One of the misguided ideas about consultants, that I have seen floating around, is of a paid essay service.
Some time back we met an MBA aspirant Sunil who had a similar idea of consultants. He came to us hoping we would write up an academically excellent essay for each of his business school apps. Had we done that Sunil’s story wouldn’t have ended with 6 admits from the 6 Top business schools?
Although he had come in with different ideas, Sunil quickly adjusted to the PythaGURUS process and had a 100% conversion rate to the 6 schools he applied to.
Sunil was no newbie to the MBA dream. He had already been working towards his MBA for seven years when he came to us for help with admissions. He had worked hard on his GMAT and after three attempts had acquired a GMAT Score of 660. Most of the schools he was aiming at also had an average score of around 660.
However, Sunil also had Rotman on his list of prospective schools.
With a GMAT score of 660, Sunil’s profile and essay needed to be exceptional for Rotman to consider him. This could only be done by bringing out authentic and personal answers to questions like ‘Why MBA?’, and ‘Why Rotman?’.
What Sunil lacked in the GMAT score, he made up for in his persistence in networking and diligence in assignments. The applicant who had started off wanting a readymade essay was now spending hours completing our assignments, such as the Short-term and Long-term goals assignment, to generate in-depth answers to the essay questions that schools had asked.
With over 30 essays that needed multiple rounds of feedback and checks, Sunil’s receptiveness of our feedback pitched into his final result of converting 6 interviews into 6 admits.
He wanted to have a career in consulting, and our prime focus was to show how his career in IT so far was strongly connected with a management consulting future. We knew that a very strong connection will help the admissions committees not confuse him for a random IT Applicant from India. We wanted to position him as a very strong contender for a consulting career.
As soon as the applications were over, we started prepping for the interviews. We quickly got him started with pre-MBA networking. We had mock networking calls to walk him through the process of optimizing his calls to actual students and alumni.
Quick tip, do not prepare a theatrical performance for the interviews by learning each and every answer to any possible question. An interviewer will see right through it. Moreover, you won’t be able to deal with a curveball from the interviewer if you choose to prepare this way.
By the time Sunil received all his interview invites, including Rotman, he knew exactly why he wanted to go to Rotman. He had an in-depth understanding of which courses and even which professors at Rotman would be an integral part of his MBA journey.
However, while building the narrative, Sunil at times would sound so technical as to make any layman(Non-IT) interviewer lose interest. This is a common mistake that a lot of MBA Applicants make- they speak as if they are talking to someone in their own organization.
The effort paid off when Sunil converted every single school that he had interviewed for, including Rotman. 6 interviews leading to 6 admits was truly a great feeling for both Sunil and us.
Here’s Sunil’s version of the story.
“This mail is due a few days but I just wanted to make sure there was nothing in it that would make you edit it and send it back to me. Thanking you would be an understatement. Proving that I got 6 admits out of the 6 colleges I interviewed with and all the colleges that you recommended in itself is a statement proving the influence of PythaGURUS in general and you in particular.
My MBA dream started 7 years back and after 3 GMAT attempts, it hadn’t gone anywhere. When I contacted you for my essays I had no answer for a very fundamental interview question "Why MBA?". The general essay I had to write kick-started my thinking neurons and slowly I wrote the first batch of essays. Simran was thorough in her review and that changed the tone of the essay completely from being a desperate plea for admission to a statement of my accomplishments.
What started off as an attempt on my part to get a readymade essay from someone turned into a desire to send across the perfect essay that would pass both Simran’s and your review. Each essay was a challenge and some of the ideas provided by Simran and you were the catalyst that I needed.
The fact that you painstakingly reviewed almost 30 essays of mine each of them multiple times made the end difference.
The mock interviews were a revelation. Your help for each college gave the peace of mind that I was prepared. I didn’t tell you this then but when I talked to a current student of a college who was also an alumnus of PythaGURUS she told me to blindly trust you when it comes to the questions and I did and it paid off. The voluminous essays that I had written in part were very helpful during all the interviews.
Now going into MBA College I feel a little scared of how I might cope with the pressure of student life all over again. With the knowledge that impact rather than word-count is of primary importance and to use accomplished, mentored, advised and supervised in my resume I am sure I can get through!"