Consultant Showdown – Critical Square


Just because you are a great player, doesn’t mean you will win a championship. Sometimes, you need a good coach too.

One of the key items I contemplated this year was choosing a consultant. After researching many firms, I chose three based on feedback from friends and contacts, as well as gmatclub reviews.

I have put together a small table of information (package recommendations came from the consultant).

 Consulting Firm Founded 2 School Package  # of Reviews % of 5 Star
Critical SquareStrategic 2012 $3,350 6 100%
AdmissionadoJr. Deluxe 2007 $2,775 49 96%
mbaMissionSchool 1999 $5,250 207 98%


I requested free profile consultations from each firm, where I focused on the competitiveness of my profile, my logic behind my school choice strategy, and their ability to improve my chances at getting into a top school.

So now that I have set the background, let’s get to my one-on-one impression of Critical Square:


critical square

Critical Square – New firm, highly professional, and interested in giving back
After filling out some preliminary information, Critical Square scheduled an appointment for a free MBA profile consultation. Before I knew it, I was speaking with Bhavik, one of the founders and lead consultants of Critical Square.

What can I say about Bhavik? Upbeat, professional and full of style!

I was very impressed with Bhavik. He was knowledgeable about my industry and the schools in which I applied. Although he was confident in my profile and my school choices, he did recommend adding Booth, Kellogg, and Darden. Bhavik gave an impressive pitch about Critical Square’s services and vision, however I will admit, I didn’t feel a “perfect” connection with him.

My session took 30 minutes, and I was pleased to find Bhavik was not trying to “get me off the phone.” Overall Critical Square was definitely impressive and seemingly capable; they are definitely dedicated to providing a high level of quality for every applicant. But the “newness” of the company does lurk in the back of my mind.

Ultimately, choosing a consultant will be a tough choice. Each of the consultants vary in terms of rankings, track record, and personal touch. Price is also a major player. Of course, there is also the opportunity that I go at it with the help of friends and my network and save my money.

I will be revealing my decision on Friday, so make sure to check back!

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