Nothing makes us feel more validated than getting our applicants an admit to the business school of their dreams. However, we also don’t believe in sugarcoating the truth. Sometimes, your dream school isn’t the right one for you, and we won’t hesitate in informing our applicants of the same.
This is why when Abhi asked us, in the middle of the application process, if she should focus on Tuck, we refused. Tuck was a finance heavy school whereas Abhi came from a technology background and wished to stay in the same post her MBA.
Thus, we suggested focusing on the programs she had already started with tech-heavy programs, Tepper and Fuqua. The final call was hers and she decided to take our advice.
Abhi was very upfront about being confused as to what direction to take for her goals story. Little did she know she didn’t even need to tell me that. Only a very few applicants, that I have met, have had flawless goals stories. They know exactly what they want to do, and how the school fits into their plan.
The percentage of such applicants is very-very low.
So, we asked her to present her raw version of the story first. Then started the feedback.
With that done, we were ready to tackle the rest of her applications!
My interaction with Jatin has been since 2017, more than 1.5 years now, not because of application related issues but because of a very honest and candid advice he gave me. I approached Jatin last year and was told by him very honestly to not apply this year and wait for one whole year. I was taken aback by this comment and felt all my hopes of doing an MBA completely drained. He also told me very clearly to not even apply on my own for experience, because reapplying with the story I had used would get extremely tedious and it could very well lead to closed doors.
Something added up in his advice and I took it. I waited for a year and went back to him this June. The thing I love about Jatin's working style is that he is very methodical and one can make out that he is very experienced and adept at his work.
He got me started immediately with my resume, goals, and networking, even before we had shortlisted schools. He stressed multiple times that networking is what is going to set my application apart and help me achieve my target schools. Initially, I didn't quite understand the value of networking, however, now in hindsight, I attribute my Fuqua admit 80% to the information I gathered and the connections I made during the networking exercise. He also provided significant guidance in the selection of schools and was very open about the schools that, however lucrative, would be out of reach and would lead to me wasting time.
Although I had started at the right time, the biggest hindrance was my extreme work schedule. Due to this, I wasn't able to devote much time which lead to my applications being pending till the last minute. Jatin had warned me several times, that schools like Fuqua would require a heavy load of networking. I spoke to a lot of current students; alumni and I had already attended the information session the previous year. About 20 days before the early action round deadline, I realized that Fuqua was THE school for me and I really wanted to achieve it. On consulting Jatin, I saw that he had the same motivation but he did not shy away from giving me a hard time about my extremely slow response times and all he said was "I am ready if you are".
We went through a couple of drafts of the essays and from my first "extremely boring" draft to the final one, Jatin gave meaningful and honest feedback and would drop reminders from time to time to get the work done. The confidence exuberated by him was what motivated me in turn. Till the last day of submission, I was unsure and asked Jatin if he was sure. He was very sure even though I wasn't.
After I received the much-anticipated interview invite, Jatin worked with me on every question type and spent 2+ hours with me having a mock interview (just 2 days before my actual one) to prepare me for it. Even though I told him honestly that I don't do well in interviews, he kept the motivation up. The thing that completely stood out for me was the fact that he was open to me calling him directly the day before my interview with any question under the sun - "whether you want to clarify a question, you're nervous, you don't know what to reply when to leave - just call me directly and we'll sort it out".
I'm sure I might be the only one to give Jatin the first draft of an essay the day of the deadline, the first one to have a mock interview just 2 days before the actual one and also the only one to get scolded so often by him. However, with his guidance and a turnaround time of mere hours, during the time of need, I received the admit from a school that was my top choice and we did it. Kudos to Jatin and I wish him all the best and hope he doesn't get any more last day drafts :)