Why partner with a top MBA admissions consulting firm?
What differentiates us from the rest of the firms out there isn't just our admissions expertise. It's our commitment to our clients and unwavering ethics that really make us stand out!
At Critical Square, we’re proud of what drives us and the impact we have. We have a responsibility to each and every applicant. In fact, we’ve designed our entire firm around giving you the best possible results and experience which has made us into a top MBA admissions consulting firm. From our promise to be available 24/7 to the way we treat our team, our commitment to you is unparalleled. We don’t compromise when it comes to your best interests.
There are a lot of things that set us apart from the other admissions consulting firms out there. We’re pretty unique! Partnering with the right admissions consulting company can be tricky and it seems every company out there sings the same tune. Rather than repeat things you’ve read elsewhere (trust us, we have those bases covered), we’re going to talk about the things that really set Critical Square apart – expertise, passion, and integrity in everything we do.
Why It Works
Who We Are
What We Stand For
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Watch this short, 3 minute video to get the inside scoop on what sets us apart
Why It Works
Our secret sauce isn't based on general approaches or dime-a-dozen formulas. We're hyper customized and hyper effective.
Our Custom Approach
A lot of companies promise personalized strategies or unique frameworks but what that usually translates into is a cookie cutter approach that generates an anything-but-unique output. At Critical Square, we start with a blank piece of paper and then we work with you to craft your story. We don’t use formulas because you aren’t a variable.
My consultant was very straightforward [and] cut out the regular cookie cutter consultant approach. Catering content to some formula is outdated…just making it realistic and cutting out all the clutter makes it more authentic. I had all the points covered in my essay and he removed 70% of it. I was unsure in the beginning but his reasoning made sense and I began to see the authenticity in my application once the unwanted clutter was out.Client @ Booth
Each program has its strengths and weaknesses (and quirks!). Not to mention, the capabilities and characteristics that admissions committees look for in their candidates change over time. Staying up-to-date allows us to consult you on what schools are looking for today, not 5 – 10 years ago. We stay current in an ever changing landscape.
Our Admissions Expertise
My consultant had tremendous knowledge and insights into the admissions process and knew the unique strengths and attributes of the top MBA programs. He helped to refine my goals and develop a coherent story for my application and then worked diligently to provide clarity and feedback to take my applications to the next level…my consultant continued having phone conversations after the initial assessment call, which helped answer my questions without ambiguity throughout the process.Client @ Ross
Our Focus on Relationships
Behind every success story at Critical Square is a friendship between an applicant and one of our consultants. This is what truly sets Critical Square apart and it comes with some great benefits. It lets us get to know you at a fundamental level. We provide more than just admissions advice because we’re more than just admissions consultants.
I’m glad my friend recommended Critical Square to me – I honestly wouldn’t have been able to do this on my own. The best part wasn’t just that I got into my top choices. It was that the entire process was FUN! I enjoyed talking to my consultant and working with him through the applications. He was always right there when I needed him! I’ve stayed in touch with him and he’s been awesome with giving me little tips and tricks about business school too.Client @ Kellogg
We might not always tell you want you want to hear, but it’ll be what you need to hear. Whether it’s assessing your odds at a school or reviewing your application, we believe in straight shooting. We have very high expectations of our clients and we aren’t going to compromise on the quality of your application. We’ll challenge you every step of the way!
Our Candid Feedback
Who We Are
We strongly believe (and our clients agree!) we have one of the strongest teams in the business. Learn more about who we are!
Before we focused our efforts on providing leading admissions advisory services, we were strategy consultants at the top global firms working with Fortune 100 clients. We worked across industries, functions, and value chains. Our diverse experiences let us showcase your true value and impact. After all, well-articulated stories are the ones that stand out.
Meet the partners by clicking our images below >
I’d been thinking about hiring an MBA consultant for a while but after speaking to a few different firms, I didn’t feel confident that they could help me. I wanted the help and expertise but I wanted to feel comfortable with the company I chose and feel like they really got me. [Bhavik] not only understood where I was coming from, but also where I wanted to go and he could articulate it better than I could! He got me. He took the time to ask the right questions and his insights were spot on.Client @ Kellogg
Given my background, he assigned me to my Client Manager and made sure he and I spoke before I signed up anything. It was really transparent and I can’t say the other firms I spoke to were that forthcoming. I could see why Bhavik had partnered me with my consultant – he understood my background and work experience better than I did. He also wasn’t afraid to call BS when he saw it…I’m excited to be starting at Wharton this fall and I wanted to thank the team for helping me get there!Client @ Wharton
What We Stand For
We're proud of what makes Critical Square the firm it is and we're defined by the values we keep
Our Belief in You
We don’t push safety schools. We’re focused on supporting you, not mitigating our risk.
We’re up front about where we draw the line and that’s just the way we do business.
The process isn’t 9-to-5 so our commitment to your success isn’t limited to business hours.
After research, careful thinking, and general head scratching, we have eliminated any incentives or processes that would prevent us from providing you with unbiased recommendations. While some firms may encourage their clients to choose safer schools or push them to pursue unrealistic options in order to boost statistics and profits, we focus on giving recommendations that make the most sense for you. Our S.A.S approach is designed to select a balanced list of target schools – some stretch, some aligned, and some safety. We developed this approach for some very good reasons. For one, top ranked programs are high on every applicant’s list and we are not in the business of watering down dreams to protect our metrics. A “stretch” school is nothing more than a challenge and if you don’t try, you’ll never know. It’s that simple! So whether it’s Stanford or MIT, let’s get to it! However, it’s important to round out applications with “Aligned” and “Safety” schools because that’s a great way to focus on what’s really important to you and, potentially, discover significant financial support. Believe it or not, Wharton isn’t for everyone and Darden will probably provide more financial aid than HBS.
When it comes to admissions consulting, there is large grey area most firms operate in. Grey area doesn’t necessarily mean bad, it just means ethically ambiguous at times. Not us. The application process must be handled with integrity and we respect the mission of the admissions committees. We do not write your essays. We do not build your resume. We do not distribute previous clients’ documents to be “leveraged”. We provide coaching, expertise, and experience through a rigorous preparation and review process.
If there is one word that definitely does not define the MBA process it would be “convenient”. Between a demanding job, a hectic extracurricular schedule, and a not-quite-social-enough social life, it can seem there is no time to sit down and fill out an application. Right as the rest of the world is ramping down for the day and watching something on their DVR, you’ll be powering up the laptop and turning to your go-to playlist. That is why we do our best to make ourselves available to you, day or night.