If it were not for Vikram's help, I am sure I wouldn't have been successful in submitting my applications with so much confidence and quality. He helped me in shortlisting schools based on my interests and here I am with a Wharton and Yale admit in hand. After I got rejected from Stanford, to which I applied by myself, I wasn't sure of applying to Wharton but he highlighted my strengths, convinced me to aim high and apply to Wharton.
The best part about working with him was the unlimited working hours that he dedicated because of which all the conversations were detailed and upto my satisfaction. He patiently went through my whole life story in minute details and quickly connected the dots to bring out the perfect story that would make my essays stronger.
The kind of training that Vikram provided during resume writing, essay writing and interview preparation developed a unique way of thinking and helped me highlight the important bits in the applications and interviews in my own natural way.
Vikram never rushed through the conversations, worked with me till late nights and pushed me a lot to bring the best out of me; he gave me exactly the kind of push I was looking for.
Vikram is honest about your chances and has a fee structure tied to your success, both of which are quite rare. He is truly invested in helping you succeed. I decided to apply to INSEAD a little late and first spoke with Vikram five weeks before the deadline for the round. A month is a short time to create a good application however I felt we were able to put together a very good application. If you are dedicated and willing to put in the effort, Vikram's quick turnaround time for providing suggestions or his availability is an advantage. Communicating with him is efficient and he made sure we go through multiple drafts until we felt satisfied with each essay. I live in another country (in North America) and we still managed to communicate regularly – he was just a message away if I need help while working on something.
I had applied to four schools before this – two of which were with the help of a popular American firm which helps business school applicants – and none of those applications went forward to the interview stage. I was surprised at the level of detail and rigor Vikram demands. It made me feel my previous efforts, before I met Vikram, were loosely guided and not focused although I had reputed professional help. He can relate to your experiences and tries to understand every little detail to find hidden gems.
In the B-school application process, having a good sounding board to bounce one's ideas of is pivotal. Vikram's role in helping me identify stories that had potential from the not so impressive ones added immense value to my application. Through Vikram's process that he put in place, he goes to great lengths in understanding the applicant's story. This process personally helped me reflect on myself as well.
As a first time applicant working with him, helped me understand how B-school adcoms function. Overtime, I was able to articulate my stories and structure my conversations better, which ultimately helped me in other settings as well.
Another aspect where Vikram added immense value was instilling a much needed discipline to the process. Considering most of us as applicants have a full time job, among other things to juggle, Vikram's experience guided me in getting 5 b-school applications out in the targeted timeframe.
An MBA is a significant investment, both in terms of time and money. As I started my MBA application journey, I spoke to a lot of people who had stellar profiles but still got rejected by Top B-Schools, not once but twice. I was determined to get through in the first attempt and hence decided to have a partner in this journey; someone who was an expert in the domain and hence decided to enroll with a consultant. Luckily for me I had friends who had a great experience with Vikram earlier and the choice became easy. However I took my time talking to about 10+ consultants and consulting firms- both India and US based and finally convinced, enrolled with Vikram.
I like the approach Vikram follows of deep self-reflection. Only then do you really realize how you stand out from the crowd and given the competition we face as Indian applicants, this step is extremely crucial. From discussing which B-schools to apply, getting the CV right to endless drafts of essays, Vikram was there to help me, working harder than I did. Also as he got to know me better, he was the one who encouraged me to apply to higher-ranking schools and we eventually decided to apply to Top 10 only.
Vikram is more of a collaborator than a consultant. He will not just limit himself to give feedback on your essays. He worked with me right from scratch to make that final big decision -" To join School A or School B".
It is very important to project a consistent and clear picture of "Who you are" to the Adcom. Vikram forces you to think deep about every word you put in your application. After some sessions I too developed the same bent of mind. This really helped me communicate my message clearly not only in my applications but also during my interviews. He acted like an amazing sounding board giving very objective and clear feedback. On top of that he is very hard working and will make you work equally hard even when the discussions go late in the night.
So it was application time, and clueless as I was at the beginning, connecting with Vikram made a big difference in my life. Vikram knows how to help bring out the best in you in your application and really shows you how to market yourself well- and that is exactly what I needed to help me get through to my school of choice.
Vikram's application writing process is tried and tested- it was probably the most efficient process that helped me get my story right. His quality of work is outstanding and having gone through an MBA from a good school himself, Vikram knows exactly what to do at each step of the journey. The best part is that Vikram handles the entire application himself alone- therefore giving me a one-point contact for everything with undiluted assured quality.Read more
Vikram played a vital and key role in my bschool application process. He was there from the start (resume revision/drafting) to the finish (interview advice/practices). I was having trouble in setting and selling my story in the most concise, unique and marketable way possible. Vikram led me to overcome the various obstacles and eventually succeed in putting together stellar applications that led to my acceptances at Booth, NYU and UCLA (and a wait listed spot at Kellogg). He is very responsive and approachable and devoted to his clients. Furthermore, he pushed me hard and served as a great support and guide during the entire process. I would highly recommend Vikram Shah to help you prepare your business school application.
Vikram was referred to me by one of my ex-colleagues. I reached out to him and in the first call itself I sort of made up my mind to hire him as my guide for MBA application. He has an extremely robust approach in which he tries to bring out the best in your profile. He meticulously goes through each and every activity/experience of the candidate to ensure that the best story is revealed and leveraged in the application. He also made sure that I was able to complete my applications on time. Because of office work pressure I could prioritize MBA applications and it could have been easily sidelined. However, Vikram made sure that I push myself and complete the tasks at hand. Vikram has always been very understanding while working by keeping his hours flexible. He made sure to take calls even at 1 or 2 ams when I needed his guidance.
I thank Vikram wholeheartedly and give him all the credit for my admits in Ross and NYU Stern.
On his website, Vikram Shah says, "I am a marketeer, a story teller, a writer, a coach, a teacher and a consultant. I like helping people achieve their goals. I am very straight forward and am brutally honest with feedback. I work very hard and set very high standards." After having known him for more than a year now, I would say just the same for him or even more!
Let me give you a background of how I happened to find him. I stayed in Mumbai and in December 2012, I was done with my GMAT and wanted to begin with the process of applying to business schools in the next couple of months. Having done a lot of secondary research online and having known no one who had pursued an MBA abroad, I knew that the process of selecting business schools suited for my profile and career goals and subsequently applying to them all alone without any support would be both confusing and tedious.Read more
Deciding on an MBA was one of the biggest decisions of my life (as it would be for most!) and getting into the right MBA program was critical. To put forth my best application, I realized that I couldn't rely on my judgement alone. What sounded fantastic and mind-blowing to me could sound stupid and childish to the admissions committee and vice-versa. I needed a learned friend, an alter ego to give me a frank opinion of my stuff without worrying that the "truth" would hurt the friendship. I needed someone who could hear my story, tell me where I was on track, and where I'd gone horribly wrong and if possible suggest on the best course of action.
I was lucky to have Vikram introduced to me by someone close, who had worked with Vikram and had got admitted to the school of his choice. Although I wasn't based in the same town (or country!) as Vikram, he assured me that distance wouldn't be a barrier with communication tools such as Skype available. He recommended Vikram very highly and where I was planning to invest millions in my MBA, it certainly made sense to invest in a few thousands for expert advice to ensure that I invest my millions wisely.
When I started with my MBA application, I was completely overwhelmed with the volumes of essays I had to write and the whole application process. Hence I decided I needed someone who could guide me through the whole process and help me bring out the best in me. A good friend of mine from a reputed B-school introduced me to Vikram and after speaking to him I was convinced he was the right person for me to work with.
While other consultants paint a pretty picture and tell you flowery things you like hearing about yourself, Vikram takes a very different approach. He is brutally honest with you and tells you what your strengths and weaknesses are upfront. I must say working with Vikram is not for the faint-hearted. He gets right to the point, gives you a reality check when required, makes sure you aim high and put your best foot forward. He understand your profile thoroughly, helps you reason and put things into perspective beautifully.Read more
Right from Day 1, Vikram has been a partner in the effort of applying to B Schools – guiding my progress at every step. Unlike most other consultants, he followed this unique approach where he went through a "Life History Walkthrough" to understand every aspect of my life and thus found episodes that I never thought were consequential. Even though he was deeply involved in my essays, he managed to detach himself and read them from a critical, third-person perspective. Through his honest feedback he made me present my essays in such a gripping way that I received interview calls from Wharton, Stanford, MIT Sloan and Ross. Working with Vikram helped me learn a lot of things about myself and my history. I learnt to be articulate and to put things in perspective – skills that I use in my daily life now. Anyone willing to work hard on their applications to see themselves succeed should work with Vikram as he works very hard on each application and ensures that you do too.
My reason for an MBA after significant experience was to switch industry and along with it function and geography. After evaluating several foreign and domestic MBA consultants, I zeroed in to work with Vikram, primarily for his 'no strings attached' approach to working with applicants. My application work officially started only after I spent hours and hours over weeks of self-assessment. We did not even discuss the list of probable colleges till I was clear on my goals and had carved out a plan on achieving the same. This thorough exercise prepared the foundation of my application. It helped make a strong pitch on my candidature to the schools and the schools got to know who I am, what I want to achieve and why I need the particular school. Much of what I've discovered over the application process with Vikram, I will take with me much beyond my MBA. Thank you, Vikram.
Writing an application involves knowing yourself accurately. Atleast for me, it was not one bit easy to write about myself. Vikram helped me, with his apt questions, understand how to put forward my achievements, skills, etc. His honest, unbiased opinion really helps drive things in the right direction with the right spirit. I applied to only one school, but this has by all means been a very enriching experience. You can be very honest with Vikram, about all your fears, apprehensions as well as goals and ambitions and he helps you identify if you are on the right track. Not only did my essay and resume turn out impressive but while interacting with him I learnt the importance of being articulate and putting things into perspective. The mock interviews were indeed helpful, as I was able to grasp the whole picture and get a feel of what all the school is actually looking for in me as a MBA candidate. I would recommend Vikram to every candidate for whom MBA is a passion and needs the right amount of push to get into the right college!
The best thing about Vikram is his ability to understand your profile and help you find areas which can be marketed. While working on essays, he helped me put the work and projects I had done into a perspective that I had not explored myself coming from a set way of thinking. This really helped me market myself holistically, something that I had been unable to do previous year.
He is thorough in understanding the clients profile and knows well about what is required to get into a top business school. While in essays he was able to get the best out of me by challenging my ideas about various aspects that a B school application explores such as leadership, management etc. At the time of interviews he was very meticulous in preparing me not only in content but also in terms of body language and confidence, areas which are of utmost importance for a business school. While working with him has helped me get into a top business school, more importantly it has been a great learning process and taught me skills which would help me throughout my life.
After a terrible experience with a consulting firm for essay review, I was looking for someone who could actually add value to my applications and increase my chances of getting into a reputed college. I am glad I chose Vikram (over tens of other consultancies) and now I am joining school with a $70,000 scholarship!!
It sure was a tough ride from day one. I wanted someone who could push me as my professional and personal responsibilities were making it impossible for me to keep up the motivation of working on applications after a long day. Vikram helped me with school selections and had me thinking about aspects that I had never considered before. It was becoming extremely difficult to decide based on the tons of information available on the net and I now cannot imagine doing it without Vikram's help.
The thing best I guess about Vikram is his genuineness and commitment. He will make sure that you constantly push the envelope and give your best and that, I believe, makes the difference. No compromise on quality! What is particularly impressive is that he is as involved in the process as you are and at times when you tend to slack off and he does not shy off from giving you the stick. Be sure to work hard and Vikram will help you put together a great story.
A lot of people who are planning to apply to B schools abroad believe that they can do it all by themselves and do not need professional help. I was one of those. After writing my GMAT, I set out on the daunting task of applying to B schools. I researched on schools, their rankings, career options and what not. As I read on, I realized that there was so much I did not know. My ignorance was baffling. I was going to make the biggest investment of my life and I wasn't informed enough to make any decisions. That is when I realized that I needed a professional consultant to help me out.Read more
I am a marketing expert with significant experience in advertising, public relations, marketing and communications consulting on assignments for some of the world's most respected brands.
At heart, I am a story teller with an innate understanding of what makes people tick. I know how to weave mundane facts into engaging stories. I use this experience and expertise to help you tell your story, in a manner which appeals to your audience, differentiates you, builds a positive perception about you and, most importantly, sells you.
I am a trained interviewer and have interviewed over 500 candidates for various positions. I have seen talented people fail to impress in an interview because they don't know how to present themselves.
When I train you for an interview, I help you construct answers that bring out your unique selling points, aid you with your body language, teach you how to engage the interviewer and help you overcome nervousness. Most importantly, I teach you how to take control of the interview so that you can showcase your strengths and get your key messages across.
I earned my MBA from Manchester Business School, spent one semester at Instituto de Empresa and experienced the work permit application and job hunting process. I have also represented my school at recruitment fairs and spoken at information sessions as an alumni representative.
Hence, beyond sharing my first hand experience of the entire application process, I share with you insights on life at Bschool, exchange programs, internship and job searches, networking, financing your MBA and help you set realistic expectations from your MBA experience.
I focus more on the content of your application and less on your writing style. You are applying to Business School and are not participating in an essay writing contest; flowery language is less important than content. I help you articulate your thoughts and pen engaging stories that are relevant to the questions asked. I screen all your content including your application form, essays, letters of recommendation and your interview answers to ensure that all the messages across your application are clear and consistent.
Only if I know you can I market you. Therefore, I learn everything there is to know about you before we begin work on an application, a process which may take upto 2 weeks. I identify your strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, skills, attitudes and values which may be leveraged for applications to different schools. I know what attributes different schools are looking for and package your credentials accordingly for each school.
Thus, when you are considering various experiences from your life as stories for your essays and interviews, I may suggest more appropriate experiences from your life which you may have not considered, that may be more relevant to an essay topic or interview question. Thus, I ensure that you are communicating your most relevant stories to different schools.
I set very high standards and don't accept mediocrity. When you have just one chance at admission for the academic year and are paying over $200 in fees per application, you need to make the most of the opportunity. In addition, when you have only one chance to build a strong case for a scholarship, you must give your best. I critique your essays, often brutally, and coach you on how to improve. I challenge your ideas, question your assumptions and push you to give your best. So, when we finally send out your application, it will be one that we are proud of.
Everyone is different and everyone responds to feedback differently, which is why I don't have a set number of hours or maximum number of edits per document for people. Some people are able to churn out brilliant essays with just 3 to4 edits whereas others need more hand-holding. Everyone has their own style of learning, preparing and performing. I invest as many hours as it takes to bring out the best in you.
I understand that you have job responsibilities. Hence, as far as possible, I adjust my timings to accommodate you. If communicating in the morning before you head to work suits you best, I adjust and will take your calls at 7a.m. If you get home from work late, I accommodate you and work with you at night and on weekends.
I tie my success to yours. My basic fee-success fee model encourages me to work harder and push you harder. It motivates us to aspire for more competitive schools and aids you in saving a considerable amount of money by helping you win a scholarship. However, if you win a scholarship from one institution and are also accepted into a school which is far more competitive and will take your career significantly further, I would happily forgo the success fee I would have earned on helping you get a scholarship, if you opt for the latter.
I look out for your best interests. If I feel that you are compromising on your choice of school, or are opting to study at a school which isn't going to help you achieve your career goals, or are capable of getting into a much better institution perhaps with some additional experience or are taking too much risk with your finances, I make you aware of that. I ensure that you make informed decisions.