Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: IT
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 3
GMAT/GRE score: 750
Undergraduate GPA: 8.8/10.0
Admitted to: Fuqua, Tuck, Wharton
Wharton! Seriously?? Tuck? Come on. It only accepts a few Indians per class. These are super dream schools for you. Get Realistic. You are an Indian Engineer Male, Non – IIT background, Working as a Software Developer, and with only two years of experience under your belt. Thinking about any top school is insanity.
This is what I heard without fail from 8 admission consulting firms (in their 30 minutes sessions). I was extremely demoralized . Amongst the last two consulting sessions I had, one was with Kathryn, SOP. Honestly, their name wasn’t on the top half of my list. It didn’t even appear on the first two pages of Google Search for “MBA admission consultants”. Still, I went for the call, half-hearted and ready to listen to the same old advice.
To my surprise, it wasn’t the same. We talked for more than 2 hours in the free consultation call. We not only discussed my credentials, but even my interests and passions, and also my goals. Kathryn wasn’t impressed by my goals, but I was impressed by her knack for understanding my personality. She strongly urged me to scrap my goals because she didn’t find the right intent/motivation behind them. Not only that, going by my interests, initiatives, and personality, she suggested I research other possible career paths that I had never considered and didn’t think business schools would ever appreciate. To add to it, she agreed to connect a couple of weeks down the line to discuss the research she asked me to do. I wasn’t sure she would talk to me again given she’d already given me so much time and I was so hesitant to believe what she was saying. But she stayed in touch and two weeks later, we were on the phone again.
We talked for close to 7 hours before I officially started my consulting services with SOP. I was a little worried about the prices (the combo packages that other consulting services were also distracting because they were much cheaper than SOP). But no other company really cared about me or my success. SOP said they wouldn’t partner with me unless I went for goals that I actually felt passionate about and trusted them to guide me. Kathryn actually had to tell me more than once to stop distrusting her. She even told me to start with only a couple of schools, and only take other school packages, if needed. She didn’t upsell!. Further, even though I kept saying that i thought top schools were too risky, she encouraged me to believe in myself, and believe in SOP. So I did trust her when she suggested Wharton, my dream school that I had not had the guts to even mention I thought it was so far-fetched.
The brain-storming sessions before each essay, and then the following edits helped me put the best face to my story. I won’t deny, but at times, I lost hope of getting into a top b-School, possibly because the other consultants’ words kept haunting me, and because I kept looking at the LinkedIn profiles of selected candidates. They all had stellar professional and personal credentials. But Kathryn was always there to motivate and help me get back on track.
Eventually, we completed the application process. I received interview invites from a couple of Ivy Schools. Kathryn helped me prepare for them by taking mocks and advising on the tone, content, and length.
And voila! Fuqua, Tuck, and the school of my dreams Wharton presented me with their admission offers for their upcoming class.
My colleagues were pretty skeptical of me spending quite a few thousand dollars on admission consulting. I can say with confidence that it was well worth. I have recommended SOP to some of my friends, and they are already working with SOP for the upcoming rounds.
I would highly recommend SOP to any serious MBA aspirant who is looking for a compassionate, inspiring, and result-oriented admission consultants.
SOP’s application strategy, diligence, time management, and above all the genuine care for their clients are unusual. They made sure that “a non-IIT Indian IT male (largest cohort) with two years of experience.” got his dream B-School.