Most of the candidates have this misunderstanding that hiring a consultant will get them through to their dream school, however a consultant can only help a candidate improve his/her application quality and groom them a bit to face the application process.
I worked with Karthik for 4 of my R2 applications. This was after I had worked with another consultant during R1 and failed miserably. While working with the first consultant I always had issues that made me feel that I was following a herd approach. Thanks to my first consultant (yes, I am putting most the blame on him since he was hired to advise a novice and he did a really poor job) I lost my chances at my 3 target schools which I could have really made into.
Working with Karthik was really different. I worked with him on 3 reach schools (where I don’t think I could have made out anyway) and 1 target school. I got an interview invite from my target school. My experiences were as following:
- I got my say. The first guy really forced me to write what he wanted, Karthik didn’t. I used to make the first draft, then we used to sit together for a few iterations and get the thoughts clearly penned down. He used to ask cutting question to determine what was crux that I wanted to communicate to the adcom, whether it was clear & concise, and what all points could actually provide depth of the situation.
- He is generous with his time. I don’t think there was even a single session that didn’t exceed the appointment duration. Further, the appointments were easy to schedule with him.
- I loved his way of working together rather than working individually at different times (You know the “first do, then he edits, then work some more and then he edits again” sort of chain. I hate it.).
Though I made into entirely different school, I believe that wouldn’t have been possible without the learnings of the process while working with him. he deserves the credit for that!