Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Food & Beverage FP&A
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 5
GMAT/GRE score: 720 (V:44 Q: 44)
Undergraduate GPA: 3.71/4.00
Graduate GPA: 3.70/4.00
Admitted to: Anderson, Fuqua, Kellogg
Service Type: Premium
I worked with SOP for Round 1 applications, on a Premium package for 1 school. I thought Allison, Kathryn, and Horatiu were good partners and found their process and advice very helpful for managing the various parts of the application, especially recommenders. I received an admit to the M7 school we worked on together, and much of the work we did together helped me get 2 other offers (T15) and a waitlist (T10) in R1. I also applied to 2 more M7s in R2 (HSW), and received one invitation to interview (TBD on the remaining school).
Things that were great:
1. SOP’s work on my resume was excellent. I would have not considered crafting my resume the way we did together (b-school resumes are very different from professional resumes), and the upfront work I did with SOP carried through to all my applications across rounds 1 and 2. As a corollary, the discovery call and worksheets that I completed with my consultant were helpful both for self reflection and for getting specific advice/input from my consultant throughout the process.
2. I loved SOP’s recommendation management process. Again, I wouldn’t have thought to organize the process in the way SOP did, and it saved me and my recommenders a lot of time and hassle. Both my recommenders had to write letters for 6 schools, some of which had no overlap at all, but SOP’s structure made it easy to navigate and feel confident about what my recommenders were submitting.
3. The career narrative work was excellent. We did this very early in our process, and at the time I didn’t necessarily view this as a very important exercise. But having a detailed, data driven career plan before I even started writing my first essays made it very easy for me to answer all career related questions in applications and interviews throughout the application cycle.
Areas for improvement:
1. Iterating on written work was sometimes a struggle – I personally work better with live feedback and discussing why something works/something doesn’t work, but I typically received feedback as track changes in my word doc. As a result, I sometimes received edits that changed my intended meaning, and the back and forth slowed us down. I would’ve preferred comments and actionable advice over inline edits, which would’ve allowed me to absorb the feedback and implement it in my own way. Along the same lines, I wish we’d spent more time brainstorming on essays before starting to write – I work better that way.
2. SOP’s document library is massive, but difficult to navigate. I would’ve liked to have a smaller selection of curated essay/resume samples, or at least to have gotten a few relevant highlights for me instead of trying to skim through 50-70 files by myself.
I recommend SOP, and specifically applaud them for their methodical approach to applications. I think applicants who have some familiarity with the MBA application process, and already have a somewhat strong POV about their candidacy, stand to benefit the most from working with Allison and Kathryn. Best of luck on your B-school application journey!