Thursday, March 22, 2012

How a friend made to Kellogg!

An acquaintance of college recognized me when he bumped into this blog last year and approached me because of my experience in GMAT and applications. We chatted about my experience and his plans.  He was little apprehensive because of his low GMAT score - 700 (low because of super scorers Indians!) and was clueless about essays.

Till then I had helped out few people with resumes and essays, so I asked him if I could help. He gladly agreed and we started working on his resume first. I sent him my resume; he picked the format and wrote his. Then to move ahead, I had to understand what he does because I had absolutely no knowledge about his domain of work. I would put forward questions, he would explain it to me and we would reach at a common understanding. We would talk about the impact he made and qualities he demonstrated for each bullet point in resume. This way we kept on building until we reached a point where we satisfied that each aspect that we want to highlight in his work is present in the resume. After several versions, emails and skype calls we were satisfied where his resume was.  

We moved forward with essays.  He was sure about Kellogg and Ross and was yet to shortlist other schools. Since Kellogg essays have higher word-limits and they are in greater number, we started with them. Essay writing got a little tricky at first. My friend has lot of International experience working in different countries and we wanted this to be the biggest highlight of his candidacy. But we were not just getting it right with the starting. We were able to write about his career progress part very well, thanks to resume, but we wanted it not to sound like a resume! So, we discussed about unique experiences he had in different parts of the world and how that helps him now to quickly adapt and work in a new country. Finally we found a perfect start and then we were able to complete one essay at a satisfactory level.

All this was before I joined Teach for India i.e. end of April. After that I had such a hectic training at TFI that I just couldn’t take forward the work we had done thus far. Also, my friend now was slowly becoming an expert on essay-writing himself. He carried forward remaining essays on his own. I couldn’t follow-up much except telling him that by end of writing it all, he must hire a professional service to get the final review and I recommended to him the only person I was sure of – Khyati Soparkar  - who had helped me with essays and interview at Tuck in 2010 and one more friend to get through Wharton in 2011.

We lost touch. I would sometime wonder what he was up to but just didn’t follow up. On one fine day this month, I got a call from him telling me that he has been accepted by Kellogg. 

We met up for lunch and he showed me his essays. I am so proud of what he finally got – much better than our satisfactory levels. I think because he started so ahead in time and took complete ownership that his essays came out really magnificent in the end. He kept the process simple without complications of multiple reviewers. I believe that is the key.

I am really proud of his acceptance.  He got through the one he wanted! I guess he wanted it badly enough and he went all the way to get it!


  1. What was his profile?

  2. Hello,
    i have met several applicants who either lose their individuality or drive while getting their essays reviewed and just want to live off the efforts of the reviewers. I have had painful experiences with such people. Needless to say, they weren't successful in getting into their dream schools. I am glad your friend found his feet early in the process and was able to make this happen.
    Congrats to him