Chris is a co-founder of MBA Prep School and co-author of How to Get an MBA, the essential guide to earning an acceptance letter from the world’s best business schools.
Chris has over 15 years experience in top tier management consulting as a partner, managing director, and executive vice president. More recently, he has been focused on helping fund and grow promising early stage companies in the online learning and media publishing space.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) in Finance and Information Systems from The University of New South Wales where he graduated with First Class Honors and was awarded the University Medal.
Chris enjoys hiking with his wife, sons, and their Labrador, or sharing a good glass of Australian red wine.
Below are reflections from just some of Chris’ recent clients:
Accepted to Wharton with Scholarship
I was late to the Round 1 process (Chris and I first spoke in August), and Chris helped me figure out a sensible number of schools to apply to (3). In retrospect, having seen other friends’ experiences, I’m very happy I didn’t push to submit more, and equally happy that I made sure to get apps in to all of my “top” choices within the same round. The videos / materials / worksheets developed by MBA Prep School were also a real benefit early in the process. After our initial call, it was clear that I had a long way to go in creating a coherent “story” to tell across applications; the brainstorming and ideation exercises provided by MBA Prep School really helped me to bring forward the strongest elements in my background to deploy across schools and essays.
All that said, I think the personal dynamics really make or break this kind of relationship, and this is where Chris really shone. He certainly passes the “good guy” test, and – as I had judged from our initial call – was consistently supportive and easy to work with, while always challenging and looking to improve the final product. Most importantly, I never once felt like I had anything less than Chris’s full attention and commitment to my application – I might as well have been the only project he was working on. This was especially important given the short timeline we were working with – and frankly, time management was another primary reason I had engaged a consultant in the first place. Chris helped develop a clear timeline to manage the process of getting 3 strong applications submitted, and he pushed me the whole way to accomplish that goal.
This process is tough. Working with Chris helped me internalize that, and realize that all you can do is put yourself in the best position to succeed and then roll the dice. Chris helped me put my best foot forward in all my applications – and even so, there were some surprises and disappointments. In the end, I got into one of my three top schools; and I also got a generous scholarship. I’m happy with my outcome, and grateful to Chris Aitken and MBA Prep School for helping me get there!
Accepted to Wharton, Chicago and Columbia
Though I hired him only on an hourly basis, I found his advice to be very impactful and have very high bang-for-the-buck. He did a great job pushing me to articulate my rationale for why MBA and to get more specific about what attracts me to a specific school, while providing thoughtful suggestions. These were the weak points of my application and he rightfully identified them and worked with me to close the gaps.
Chris took the time to understood my goals and worked closely with me on all of my essays. He went above and beyond: he got on the phone and spent extra time with me when he didn’t have to to make sure my essays were of high quality, and performed miraculous edits on a super-tight 24-hour deadline. He was also direct and honest. My first drafts were terrible and Chris wasn’t afraid to call that out and push me to improve them.
I applied R2 to HBS (long shot based on my age), Columbia, Booth, and Wharton and got interviews at the latter three and was accepted to all three! All in all, a very good working experience that put me on a path to good admissions outcomes.
As a separate point, I am a reapplicant. I used another admissions consultant from a major firm last time around and I can easily say that my experience with Chris was far superior even though I spent significantly less time working with him.
Accepted to Harvard Business School
In addition to all of the prepared modules, videos, and frameworks that he had on his site to help me fill out my application, I found Chris to be most valuable in helping me to think through the purpose behind my application/candidacy, which I felt in the end. For those who have not applied before, the business school application process can be wrenching not only from a time standpoint, but even more so from an introspection perspective. At least for me, it was the first time in my life where I really spent a ton of time thinking through whether this was something I wanted to commit a lot of time and money to doing. Through the written modules and our weekly conversations, Chris pushed me to dig deep into what mattered most to me, what I truly wanted to be when I grew up, and what experiences I’d had in my life that shaped who I was. It was in doing so that I was best equipped to reinforce my decision to apply and also fill out the best application possible.
After completing this extensive brainstorming marathon, Chris was helpful in picking out what he thought were the best stories and helping me to concatenate them into a cohesive story that formed the basis for my application and subsequent interview. In connection with this, he was able to help me identify the key parts of my story to reinforce during each phase of the process. I have no doubt that my application and candidacy was meaningfully better having worked with Chris and am very grateful for his counsel.
Accepted to Cambridge and Waitlisted at Stanford
Worked with Chris throughout my application process. Unlike a lot of other consultants out there MBA Prep School offers a very personalized experience, I talked with Chris many times over the phone as well in addition to normal editing. Despite the massive time difference he was always available and post editing the difference was there to see.
I did not have the best GMAT out there but with his help and planning I managed to get a Top European Program. The MBA Prep School online process is simple and anyone can use it without hassle. 24 hour turn around usually meant your edited documents were back in less than 24 hours. Chris knew the specific needs of individual B-school essays and that made all the difference. He knows individual B-school cultures inside out and brings that out in your application, without which a strong candidate too doesn’t stand a chance at the best B-schools.
I used MBA Prep School’s mock interview service as well and I have to say the mock interview was tougher than my actual interview. No aspect of my application or essays was left untouched and Chris made sure the interview experience was akin to the actual culture of the B-school.
Accepted to Wharton and MIT
Accepted to London Business School
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