Admit: INSEAD and LBS
I was referred to Sam by a friend of mine who had received really helpful career advice from Sam. I came to Sam with two particular problems: I had done really well with my European MBA applications (receiving a scholarship from INSEAD) and not well at all (dinged without interviews) with my MBA application in the US despite high expectations there. This difference in outcomes left me wondering what could explain the difference and whether I should consider reapplying. I also was left in a very tricky situation in deciding between INSEAD and LBS and negotiating scholarship money with LBS (my preferred European school) – this is an extremely delicate conversation and I wasn’t sure exactly how to manage it without damaging the relationship.
Sam had a much more meaningful understanding of what European schools look for (than some US-based advice I had received) and why my profile was naturally better suited to them which helped bring me closure and decide between a 1-year programme vs a 2-year programme. When I followed his advice I received a very decent scholarship offer while maintaining a good relationship with the admissions committee.
Three things stand out for me with Sam:
1. Breadth of knowledge: Sam has a level of knowledge of the US MBA programmes comparable to the best US consultants, but has a *clearly superior* knowledge of the European programmes. This means he is much better able to match specific individuals to the best MBA programmes in the top 20, which includes several European schools.
2. Integrity: While it may very well have been in Sam’s interest to recommend that I reapply with him (and I was definitely prepared to do so), he put my interests before his own and recommended against reapplying, given my outcomes because, ultimately, it was the best choice for me.
3. Time: time is money for consultants. With other consultants (I’ve been around the block), I had a distinct sense that I was up against the clock. This left me feeling uncomfortable probing the advice I had paid a lot of money for in any depth. Sam was comfortable running overtime when I had important follow-up questions about his advice that hadn’t been answered yet, which left me feeling a far more satisfied client!
I would highly recommend Sam to anyone who is considering applying to both US and European schools.