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Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Having worked for over four years, I was clear that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and that business school was the best way to prepare me for this journey. Stanford was my natural first choice. I chose to work with The Red Pen because it promised to bring a unique perspective to my application – a deep understanding of the American culture and system of education (both co-founders being American) combined with an accurate conception of Indian applicants and their professional contexts. My experience exceeded my expectations in every way. Kim and Kavita spent an inordinate amount of time understanding my personal and professional context, and an even longer time iterating my essays to make sure that my best foot was put forward. The result was an application that I know could not have been done any better. Their attention to detail, patience, openness to new ideas and great work ethic differentiate them from the rest. A testament to this was their reaction when I decided to change an essay three days before the deadline. They very patiently understood what I had to say – despite the amount of work that had already gone in to it, and then put in extra hours over the weekend to help me rework it to my satisfaction. Through the application process, I went from “not so sure I need a consultant” to “I couldn’t have done it without them”. I would highly recommend The Red Pen!

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?