Alumni Success Stories

Alumni Success Stories

School / Company (Outcome)
Product/ Offering (Solution)

Advisory –
Ad_Council

Advisory –
iCoach

Advisory –
eDIT

Scholar / Professional (Name)
"I was really impressed by the caliber and commitment of Crimson Oak’s team. My consultant was always available and made the application process very manageable. Having a trusted consultant that was resourceful and could advise on alternative approaches was crucial."

- Sara - Harvard Business School

THE COMPLETE PACKAGE:


A Clear Path
with
A Trusted Guide
Citizenship: USA
MBA Program: Harvard
Industry: Finance
Function/Role: 2nd Year Analyst
The Situation
You’re smart, successful and a decent writer. So why do you need professional MBA Admissions Counseling? Over 20% of applicants to Top 30 schools – your competitors – are estimated to utilize some sort of MBA Admissions Counseling. While having a quarter of your fellow peers with more polished essays is pretty compelling, the back-of-the-napkin cost-benefit analysis cements your decision. For less than 3% of the cost of an MBA Program you could: i) ease the pain of the application process ii) determine your personal best combination of school choices and iii) increase your competitiveness relative to your ambitious peers. The story below is of one of clients who found her path to success.

The Challenge
Successful undergraduate career at an Ivy League institution – check! Respected – albeit young –career at a prominent investment bank – check! Acceptance to one of the world’s best graduate business schools – hmmm? Even with a sharp intellect and requisite past successes, Sara realized that given this year’s increased competition and her relatively slender work experience that she could benefit from professional MBA counseling. The service was also constructive as Sara was a "career switcher": moving from finance analyst to future media maven. The comprehensive MBA Admissions package (Ad_COUNCIL) promised to streamline a cumbersome application process and offered objective, professional insight. Eliminating the hassle and lessening the doubt that comes with each phase of the application process, was very important to Sara.

The Solution
Crimson Oak’s process begins with an in-depth consultation and diagnostic to ensure that the service being selected is appropriate for the client. After the initial consultation, Sara selected the comprehensive school package. The package includes multiple rounds of essay review, interview prep, recommendation strategy and much more. The engagement is anchored by a Lead Advisor who accesses other resources within the Crimson Oak network as necessary to produce the best outcome for the client. The Lead Advisor chosen for Sara had considerable experience in investment banking, was an alum of the targeted school and could access our network of media professionals for additional pragmatic insights. During each phase, Sara had a Crimson Oak partner providing advice and a rationale for the suggestions offered: from variation in sentence syntax in essays to sub-conscious body language techniques during the interview phase.

Outcome
Armed with a clear path, defined milestones and trusted guide, Sara’s anxiety ebbed. The additional time afforded by utilizing the Ad_COUNCIL MBA admissions counseling package, enabled Sara to further develop her leadership positions in her firm and community. Sara is currently attending Harvard Business School focusing on Media and Entrepreneurship.
"My Crimson Oak consultant had a deep knowledge of possible interview questions and was very thorough. I felt ready during the interview. The Crimson Oak process, including the assessment, and pointed tips were invaluable."

- Fatima - Wharton

THE MBA INTERVIEW:


The Gap Between You
and…
the Acceptance Letter
Citizenship: Egypt
MBA Program: Wharton
Industry: Technology
Function/Role: Engineer
The Situation
Congratulations on winning the invitation to interview at that top MBA program! Now what? Getting the invitation can have you swinging between the excitement of possibilities and the dread of fumbling. Professional interview preparation can stabilize the “emotional see-saw” and provide a path to success. With increased competition this year, interviews have become more intense as evidenced by the increased number and difficulty of questions. For such an important phase, in some cases 30 minutes away from a possible acceptance letter, you are correct to consider professional interview preparation. The story of one of our clients, who as an MBA candidate chose to get professional interview preparation, follows.

The Challenge
The interview for her number one ranked MBA program – Wharton- was looming only a few weeks away. Recognizing the importance of the interview, Fatima sought professional preparation from Crimson Oak. Fatima, an engineer by training, who at the time was employed by a major investment bank in that firm’s technology department, struggled with effectively communicating her personal story and her ambitious long-term plans. She had a wealth of international experience, technical expertise and a passion for women’s entrepreneurship. But explaining – concisely and credibly- that she could successfully transition from information & technology (IT) engineer to Mid-East entrepreneur was daunting.

The Solution
Crimson Oak thrives at unique candidates and providing slight push to make our clients already impressive candidacy even stronger. The first step of our iCoach interview prep process is a comprehensive assessment of the candidate. Crimson Oak distinguishes itself with its high-touch approach and the ability to be familiar with the full dimensions of various candidacies. In Fatima’s case, a consultant with international experience and who had advised scores of MBA candidates with technical backgrounds was assigned to be her Lead Advisor. The Lead Advisor invested a considerable amount of time upfront to develop a rapport with Fatima. In doing so, both gained a deeper understanding as to the motivation of her long term goals and could be strategic in positioning her past successes to support her vision as a future leader. Finally, during the process of simulated interviews with Fatima, the Lead Advisor was armed with access to our proprietary database of interview questions that is continuously updated.

Outcome
Through the preparation sessions, Fatima’s concerns gradually subsided. Her confidence was building as she became more comfortable with conveying her compelling story in various techniques. On the day of the interview she was in her words "ready". Fatima is now a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton Graduate School of Business focusing on Entrepreneurship.
"I immediately trusted my Crimson Oak consultant who was adamant about maintaining integrity throughout the MBA process. His insights struck me the most: detailed and differentiated. The entire Crimson Oak team was committed, energetic and enthusiastic throughout my candidacy! Knowing that you have a dedicated team in your corner was essential."

- Andrew, NYU Stern

GETTING
YOUR STORY DOWN:

Words of Truth
Citizenship: USA
MBA Program: NYU
Industry: Finance
Function/Role: Financial Analyst
The Situation
Knowing that almost every MBA applicant reaches this juncture early in the writing process brings little solace. The un-uttered question repeats itself in your mind: “Should I write to ensure that I am placed in [X] bucket or should I tell them [the MBA Admissions Committee] what I really want to do?” Each year thousands of MBA applicants like you are confronted with this dilemma. Some take a hybrid approach, others utilize a defiant, raw “take-me-as-I-am” tactic and there are even those others, who in resignation, simply flip a coin. The story below is of an MBA candidate, who successfully wrestled this decision.

The Challenge
Finding fulcrum or leverage was a concept that Andrew - an avid wrestler- was very familiar with. A seasoned real estate finance professional, he had excelled in his industry and had earned a title that surpassed most immediate post-MBA positions. Although fond of real estate finance, Andrew’s true burning passion was commodities trading. On the few occasions that he shared this truth with his friends, his honesty had been rewarded with incredulous, raised eyebrows. He pictured the MBA Admissions Committee doing the same. With MBA application submission deadlines pending, Andrew recognized that he would need to dedicate extra time to crafting his story. Furthermore, he was committed to minimizing the stress and exhaustion that the MBA application process can cause. A self-proclaimed “New Yorker-for-life” and witness to the recent carnage in the finance industry, avoiding additional stress was a high priority. He needed leverage to effectively and credibly communicate his career goals in his essays.

The Solution
Crimson Oak Academy’s clear stance on crafting your story, coupled with our talented editors, enables us to provide that tipping point to our clients. Our editing service begins with you and your Lead Advisor agreeing that you are the best author of your story. We provide leverage through our guidance and editing. From our ethical perspective, we never recommend a contrived strategy in hopes of “tricking” the MBA Admissions Committee to placing you in [X] bucket. Our philosophy espouses building lasting success for you regardless of how challenging it may initially seem. In Andrew’s case, the eDIT service began with a careful assessment of his true long-term goals. The Lead Advisor worked with him to find credible pathways to express his ultimate career goals in his essays. Convinced of the long term benefits of investing the time upfront to have a road map to later career success and being consistent, Andrew proceeded to the writing phase with confidence and clarity. During the essay editing iterations, his Lead Advisor, always made sure that his voice was represented in his essays, while noting diction, sentence syntax, thematic inconsistencies and grammatical errors.

Outcome
After gaining clarity on a credible career path, Andrew’s choice became simple. With Crimson Oak’s guidance, he wrote passionately and convincingly about his real career goals. That vexing problem that had stone-walled his essay writing and sapped his energy, crumbled. The MBA application process for all his target schools became infinitely easier. Andrew was rejuvenated and prepared for his future. Andrew eagerly anticipates the beginning of his academic career at New York University – Stern School of Business where his intended focus will be on Alternative Investments & Commodity Trading.