06/08/2012Provided by Citysearch -
Going to INSEAD.. I had on paper what I thought was the base for a good application - 6 years of work experience at a leading financial services firm, significant international exposure both professionally and personally, as well as a decent academic record. However, I decided to leverage an admissions counseling service because I wanted to discover ways I could differentiate myself, since a great academic record and great work experience is the common standard for most applicants. I considered admissions counseling to be the difference between a good application and my best possible application.
I chose Stratus Prep after meeting with Shawn for the free half hour consultation he offers. You quickly figure out that Shawn is an incredibly smart guy, and I knew immediately there would be true value add to my application. As an Indian, I was particularly interested that they have a lot of experience working with candidates abroad. For example, I know they were working with someone in New Delhi through phone and online meetings.
On a side note, a few months after I signed up I had my next meeting with Shawn, and he was able to recall every detail I had mentioned during our consultation, and what I had omitted. Yes, he takes notes, but it showed me that he was thinking strategically about my application more than I thought he would.
My admissions counselor Jeff is a Wharton graduate so he has been through the process himself, but he also previously worked as an admissions reader for Wharton. Jeff was a great counselor to work with because of his solid understanding of the process, and his incredible turnaround time on your essay drafts or in case of questions.
Both Shawn and Jeff make it their business to understand in detail the requirements of every school you can think of, and they are clearly experts on what each individual school looks for in a candidate. My initial impression was that Shawn played more the proprietor's role, but he actually gets quite involved in your application. Combined, Jeff and Shawn helped me understand and organize my approach to the process. In the end, I was confident that I was submitting my best possible applications.
Clearly it all paid off because I was admitted to INSEAD, which was one of my top choice schools. I am incredibly excited to be starting there this fall!