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August Academy Admissions Consulting Reviews

August Academy is a venture founded by an alumnus of IIT Madras and Stanford University in 2013. Over the past five years, we’ve helped students belonging to the most competitive MBA applicant pool (Indian Engineers) get into several top 20 schools from across the world. We’ve worked with people in every time zone from Australia to California - we are extremely responsive. Several of our students have received offers from top 20 schools in the US (including Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Columbia, Yale, Duke, NYU Stern, UVa Darden, Ross, Cornell, Anderson, UNC Kenan-Flagler, McCombs, Tepper, Olin and Goizueta), top 10 schools in Europe (including London Business School, HEC Paris, IE, ESADE and Oxford), and top ranked schools in other regions (Rotman, Ivey, Schulich, the National University of Singapore and the Indian School of Business). Overall, our students have won over $3,100,000 in scholarships so far.

August Academy is a member of AIGAC - the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants. This is a reflection of our commitment to the highest levels of integrity and service to candidates.
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August Academy Admissions Consulting Reviews

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82
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5
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Most Reviewed August Academy Consultants

Karthik Palaniappan
Reviews
82
Average Rating
5.0

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April 01, 2023
gurnoor1723

Joined: Apr 28, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
690 Q47 V37

Highly recommended

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I scored a 690 on GMAT and was from a traditional technology background. I was a little sceptical on whether to pursue an MBA or re-take the exam and wait for another year. I came across August Academy through a friend’s reference. Ever since the very first meeting, Karthik sir gave me a realistic picture of the entire application process. I truly admire his honesty because that is what set the momentum for my journey.

His entire application process is extremely seamless, professional and thorough. His profile review, resume building and brainstorming sessions are exceptionally informative because they helped me explore certain areas of my profile I was not aware of. He always provided the right insights, did multiple review sessions and constantly motivated me to upgrade my profile. He is extremely meticulous and listens actively, therefore, he helped me pick the right kind of stories for my resume and essays.

I truly believe Karthik sir tries his best to bring the best out every student. I was able to get into 3 colleges with up to 85% scholarship. I strongly recommend Karthik sir to future applicants.

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March 28, 2023
Nam2Ag

Joined: Mar 15, 2021

Posts: 2

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
700 Q48 V38

Methodical Approach and helpful insights

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From August Academy I got the support and guidance needed to deeply introspect myself and figure out my highlights. Mr. Karthik was always available via mails to answer my questions and provide feedback on my essays and other application materials.

I was able to crack into some of the most competitive B-Schools in the world such as HEC Paris, National University of Singapore and Indian School of Business and am entirely grateful to Mr. Karthik and August Academy for the same.

Overall, I found the experience to be incredibly helpful and valuable and would recommend to anyone looking for a MBA Consultant for applying to B-Schools in US/Europe

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March 22, 2023
AshwinMathew

Joined: Aug 29, 2019

Posts: 14

Kudos: 6

Self-reported Score:
740 Q50 V40

A Great Coach!

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The first time around when I applied to MBA programs, I did so on my own accord. But I was not able to secure a single admit. The next admissions cycle, I was still determined to give it another shot. But my confidence had taken a big hit by then. So, I decided to look for a consultant who’d help me approach things differently and stay on track amidst the fog that sets when applying to MBA programs.

I met with over a dozen different consultants. Karthik seemed to be the right match for me. From the onset Karthik stood out from the rest because of his transparent approach towards the entire process and his commitment towards giving me an honest and complete picture of my profile and the business school landscape that matched with the same. At no point did he tell me things I wanted to hear and was very direct with what he believed was the best path for me. The most important thing was that he made sure to not let my list of previous rejections bog me down while I was planning for a fresh season of applications.

Once I signed up with Karthik, he was very quick with getting the ball rolling. He is a very systematic individual with great organizations skills and a strong sense of time management. His resources urged me to think in the right direction and his approach towards breaking the entire application process down helps you get a very good grasp of how AdComs view each component of the overall application. He is very well-researched and each of his writing exercises helped me bring out all sorts of stories that I initially hadn’t realized would play a crucial role in telling my story.

After the initial period of introspection and brainstorming, Karthik makes efficient use of project management tools to streamline the essay writing process. I was able to seamlessly write through 5-6 iterations for many essays until I reached the perfect versions. While making edits or suggestions, Karthik was always very thoughtful in ensuring that he preserved my voice while still using his judgement to ensure that I was appropriately addressing what was asked of each essay. He even gave me the freedom to experiment with different stories for certain essays to ensure that I was able to demonstrate my fit with schools in the best way possible. His confidence in his process and my stories allowed me to experiment a lot. I don’t feel I’d be able to do that had I gone about it my way. Karthik is a great coach who truly believes that he is training a great athlete. He held me accountable for every step of the way and pushed me till he believed I had gotten to the right version of my story. He was also very good at assessing obstacles in my mind that I had trouble articulating, and was able to help me maintain the right focus. The essay writing period is very strenuous and confusing. Karthik really played a major role in helping curb any deviations at different points. His prompt turnaround time between different edit versions helped me plan my work and gave me the confidence to run through as many edits as I needed.

Post the application, I had weekly sessions with Karthik to prepare for interviews. Like the rest of the process, he is very well-researched and helped me ensure that I was able to convey all aspects of my story during interviews. What I liked about these sessions were that Karthik really spent the time to learn about what my thought process was for each of my answers and talked me through different ways I could express them in a simpler manner. Through these practice sessions, he helped me understand the importance of being succinct and he also helped me articulate my story in an easy-to-understand way. This goes a long way when you’re talking to an AdCom who usually comes from a different background from you but still needs to be able to connect to your story. He gave me help in areas I didn’t know I needed it.

In conclusion, I do believe that Karthik was the perfect consultant for me. He was quick towards understanding me as a person and candidate. And, one thing that stuck with me when working with him was that his commitment level was very high and he really got into the process as if it were for himself. The level of care he puts into it always filled me with a high level of confidence. And it is this momentum that finally helped me secure an admit very early in the admission cycle. I will always recommend Karthik to whomsoever I speak to. He not only helps with the admissions process, but also makes you think about other aspects you should be thinking of when wanting to do an MBA.

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March 22, 2023
cfcyash

Joined: Jun 08, 2020

Posts: 21

Kudos: 3

Verified score:
710 Q49 V38

Extremely Professional and End-to-End Support

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Karthik is extremely professional with a deep expertise in the domain of end-to-end admission consulting across all top global b-schools. He understood that my goal was to get an admit in top European b-schools and always provided personal attention. Even though I approached him after Round-1 was over for most b-schools, he helped me in applying to 4 b-schools between Rounds 2 and 3 within very constrained timelines.

He helped me in evaluating my profile, discovering my true post-MBA goals, shortlisting b-schools, tailoring every single essay prompt (including scholarship essays) and preparing for interviews. He clearly explained to me the risks, pros and cons of applying to all the shortlisted b-schools based on his years of experience of guiding students with diverse profiles and experiences. Last but not the least, instead of just correcting grammar or suggesting points from his end, he always pushed and guided me to think through my pointers for every essay. He pin-pointed the strengths and helped me realize what my essays may lack through simple examples, giving me a clear direction in which I was supposed to think. This ensured that my applications are 100% my original stories and perspectives (this is a very important criteria for every top b-school).

After the application stage, I received interview calls from 2 top business schools - HEC Paris and ESADE. He scheduled mock interviews with me for each of the schools and made me realize my strengths as well as some critical areas of improvement. Additionally, since HEC Paris interviews need you to prepare and present a presentation as well, Karthik even helped me in cleaning up and tailoring the presentation which made it more crisp and interesting. The entire process from getting onboarded with Karthik to giving my final interviews took ~4 months. He constantly supported me throughout this journey.

The results finally came. I received admits from both b-schools HEC Paris and ESADE. ESADE also gave me a ~15% scholarship on tuition fees. I was elated and called my parents and friends giving them the good news. I have decided to join HEC Paris for the September'23 intake because it was always one of my dream schools. I am very thankful to Karthik for his valuable support and guidance throughout this process and I could not have pulled this through in such a short timeline without his help!

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March 21, 2023
karthik97

Joined: Jun 07, 2021

Posts: 9

Kudos: 4

Verified score:
740 Q49 V42 (Online)

Fantastic Experience

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Working with Karthik was a fantastic experience. He showed a genuine interest in my story and provided personalized guidance that helped me to craft a compelling MBA application. He was easy to talk to, and I always felt that he was invested in my success. He also encouraged me to express my individuality, which allowed me to showcase my unique strengths and experiences. Thanks to Karthik's help, I was able to secure a 100% scholarship at Georgia Tech's MBA program and a $25k scholarship at Georgetown McDonough School of Business. I highly recommend Karthik to anyone looking for an MBA admissions consultant who is supportive, knowledgeable, and easy to work with.

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February 25, 2023
LekhaKondaveeti

Joined: Feb 25, 2023

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Excellent Mentor!

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When I applied (without an MBA consultant) during R2 for the Fall 2022 intake, I received rejects from all my dream and competitive schools. Not wanting to compromise, I decided to reapply for the 2023 Fall intake during R1. After extensive research and reaching out to multiple MBA consultants, I decided to go with Karthik from August Academy. During my demo call with him, he was very upfront and direct with his feedback on my profile (I have 6.5 years of work experience and a GRE score of 325). I heard a lot of sugar coated responses from other consultants about what schools I can apply to and my chances of getting in. I believe that setting clear expectations from the start and getting direct feedback reflecting the ground reality of the competitiveness of Indian students applying to MBA programs helped me immensely during my application process.

During my brainstorming sessions with Karthik, he made me find my leadership stories that I could highlight. To be honest, I didn't even realise these could be identified with leadership skills. This changed my entire outlook of myself and my profile. In addition, he kept pushing me to rework on my essays until both of us were happy with them and this process helped me gain more clarity of thought. It was an amazing experience working with him. I currently hold admits from five top 25 schools including my dream school, UVA Darden, all with scholarships. I would definitely recommend Karthik to anyone applying to MBA programs and looking for a clear and smooth application process. Best of luck!

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January 30, 2023
Harsha2803

Joined: Apr 03, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Super professional and game-changing

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It was a pleasure working with Karthik on the MBA application process. I was a reapplicant, having applied to multiple schools unsuccessfully a couple of years ago. This time around, with Karthik's help, I got acceptance offers from London Business School, Columbia Business School, and NYU Stern and interview invites from all the applications we worked on (Kellogg, LBS, NYU Stern). With interview prep as well, Karthik was instrumental in helping me dig deep into my professional and personal accomplishments and shortcomings and I was able to build strong talking points for my interviews.

Overall, it was a privilege working with Karthik and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to get the best out of the gruelling MBA application process.

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December 10, 2022
Ranforce7

Joined: Apr 14, 2020

Posts: 195

Kudos: 66

Verified score:
710 Q48 V38

Reliabe and professional

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When I started applying for MBA programs as an entrepreneur and someone at the age of 29, I was insecure about my MBA dreams. I researched extensively for the professional admissions consultant, including MCB, MBA and Beyond etc., and I am glad I worked with Karthik from August Academy. He is highly professional and will go the extra mile to help. One thing I realized was that he saw my success as his own and was always there to help me get the best go my profile. With his help and deep understanding of what colleges are looking for in my profile and truly personalizing my story with MBA programs, I was admitted to four of the five colleges I applied to him. I got more than 50% scholarship in the three colleges (SIMON, Gtech, and EMORY) while getting admitted to Cornell. I was waitlisted and rejected from Columbia. I am genuinely grateful to have worked with Karthik and would highly recommend him to anyone in the blink of an eyelid.

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July 11, 2022
batmanbegins01

Joined: Nov 09, 2021

Posts: 1

Kudos: 0

Self-reported Score:
740 Q51 V38

Excellent Mentorship for MBA Applications

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When I was looking for a consultant to help with my MBA applications, one of my friends, who went to pursue his MBA in US, recommended August Academy. After my initial interaction with Karthik and few other consultants, I decided to sign up with August Academy. My plan was to apply to five schools across US and Europe. He helped pick the right schools based on my
background and career goals.

Once I signed up, I had access to plenty of resources in terms of videos, webinars and documents to help with each step of the application process. I really liked the process of filling out documents and writing down professional and personal stories before starting work on any essays. This helped me create a large pool of relevant stories that could be picked as required. We did brainstorming sessions for each school to identify the relevant stories that could be used for the question prompts. During these sessions, Karthik helped with bringing out the story and articulating it.

By the time I started my essays, the content and articulation were very clear. Karthik uses project management tools to keep track of progress and his response time is very good. He uses a lot of tech during the process which really helps with the overall process and experience. Overall it was a pleasure to work with Karthik during the entire MBA application process. I got admit from INSEAD and waitlists from two schools in US. Based on my results and my overall experience, I would highly recommend August Academy for your MBA application process.

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April 24, 2022
Vijay24

Joined: Mar 11, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Self-reported Score:
760 Q50 V42

Excellent Mentor

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Having achieved my target GMAT score, I started looking at b-schools and the application process. I was of the strong opinion that I won't take help of a consultant and will navigate the entire process on my own. It didn't take much time to realise that the process is complex and overwhelming. I felt clueless and don't know where to start. I researched online for help. I found popular resources such as Applicant Lab and admission consultancies but they didn't seem like the right choice.

That's when I stumbled across a YouTube video of Karthik giving an overview on bschool application process and strategy for Indian students. The video explained in layman terms the application process, what the schools look for in applicants, and how to approach the goals and other essays. The 1 hour video helped me understand more about the application process than my 2 weeks of own research.

I then decided to schedule a 30 minute consultation with Karthik. Karthik provided a brief and transparent overview of schools I can target, goals, and the consulting process. Karthik shared his honest thoughts on schools I can potentially target, something I did not receive in my conversations with other consultants. I finally took a 5 school package and looking back, it feels like the right decision I have made.

The profile review sessions, essay edits, goals discussions, school selection - all helped me present my best application to my target schools. Karthik played the role of a perfect coach. He asked the right questions - which helped me understand my motivations behind pursuing MBA. He provided multiple examples, reviewed multiple versions of my resume, explained about highlighting impact till we finally develop a good one.

B-schools want applicants to share their authentic self in the essays, something possible only if applicants write their own story. But it is not easy to do so on our own. You need to understand what the college is looking for in that essay. You need to share your own experiences and should not copy another experience or writing style. And you need to show the impact of that experience. Enter Kartik. Karthik explains what college wants to know about the candidate through an essay and then gave a brief overview of how I should structure my essay. Then it is for me to write the complete essay. Karthik reviews the essay multiple times and provides suggestions on what to improve. However, he never wrote my essays or provided an essay template I can follow. He is committed to helping you present your true self in the application process and succeed. Working with a consultant who is committed to your success was hugely motivating for me. As consultants typically work with several applicants, it is easy to provide general advice and share a general template which everyone can follow. But kartik is genuinely interested in your success. He always spent time and provided personalised feedback even when times were difficult for him.

It was very tough in the initial stages as it is not easy to become a great writer all of a sudden.

After days of thinking, I was able to write only one impactful paragraph. However, I trusted the process kartik employed. After a few weeks, I started to see the improvement. Kartik's suggestions and the questions he asks helped me frame authentic essays. I got interview invites from 4 schools out of the 5 target schools I applied. I was able to convert my interview invite to an admission offer with 70k scholarship. I am positive this would not have been possible without guidance and motivation from Kartik.

To Summarise, the application process is strenuous. Unless you are confident and write good essays, you need a good coach who can guide you and motivate you to successfully navigate the process. You cannot ask for a better coach than Kartik to help you with the process. He is committed to your success and helps present your best authentic version to the admissions committee. Trust the process Kartik employs, follow the guidelines, and you will succeed.

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