I am happy to introduce you to SY, another North Star client who has generously offered to share his experience. As a business school re-applicant, and also as an international student and a first generation college graduate, SY has a tremendously valuable perspective. I know that you will benefit from his insights. Thank you, SY!

My name is SY. I am an international re-applicant. I have been working at Citi since graduating from college, where I have been fortunate to experience job rotations across a broad spectrum of banking businesses and functions over the past four years.

My parents are retired blue-collar workers. They started working early in life and never had the opportunity to attend college. Their experiences shaped them into fervent believers in the value of education, and making sure their children received a college education was always a priority. I can fondly recall how exhilarated Mum was when I graduated from college.

I dream of working at the well of banking knowledge: Wall Street. At the same time, I know that I can benefit from enhancing my leadership skills, increasing my international exposure and building my network. Pursuing an MBA in the United States will allow me to achieve both development and career goals.

In formulating my school strategy last season, I made the mistake of relying only on rankings and recruiting statistics to decide where to apply, discounting fit entirely. My applications also lacked focus and did not sufficiently showcase my strengths, skills or experience. In retrospect, it was no surprise that out of my five school applications, I was rejected without an interview at three, and waitlisted at two.

Reeling from a string of disappointments, I decided to seek professional admissions advice. I arranged free consultations with several firms, including some of the famous names in the industry, but was left feeling cold. I encountered hard sales tactics, and sat through conversations which made me feel as though being an “Asian Finance Male” was criminal.

I came to know about North Star via the blog. Karen’s pricing structure of applying the waitlist advice fees to a future comprehensive reapplication package was unique amongst competitors – this spoke to me of her desire to get to know every single one of her clients. It suffices to say that I was sold during our first call and I knew I had to get Karen on my team.

With a GMAT score that is below average for my applicant pool, I recognized getting admitted off the waitlist was a long shot. Karen and I worked together to provide the best waitlist updates possible, but always kept an eye on the horizon – drawing up my re-application strategy and talking about how I can produce compelling applications for the next season.

I value the guidance that Karen brings to the introspective process of identifying my strengths, mitigating my weaknesses and clarifying my goals. With the extra lead time, I was able to continue delivering strong performances at work, yet stay on track to submit six school applications for Round 1.

I will be visiting Hanover and Durham for open interviews in September, and hopefully will be able to update on my interviews/trips once I am done!