Working through graduate school applications has been one of the most strenuous experiences I have had till now. To manage multiple deadlines together, identify the most minute details in the application process, build critical reflections that would shape my future, and navigate the admission anxiety altogether had been extremely challenging personally. What made it easier throughout was to have a mentor, and support system like Shashank who would not just guide me at each step but also be an equal part in the struggle. From being extremely low on confidence to receiving an offer from 4 out of 5 schools I applied to, it was quite a journey for me. While Shashank brought a lot of clarity, and a sense of direction to this process, there were many other reasons why working with him was the biggest enabler of my grad school success:
My spaces with him were comfortable and authentic at the same time. He never missed a chance to share honest feedback, push me out of my comfort zone, and show me the other side of everything.He took a conscious effort to schedule our catch-ups regularly, and be completely present mentally when he would step in. Shashank has impeccable attention to detail. He would catch words that others around me would generally ignore. This attention to detail was only amplified when we were creating the final drafts of my essays, and he really noticed little details to bring everything together.He paints a picture beyond just the application process and helps in creating long-term life goals. He made me realize how graduate school admission is just a stepping stone towards the bigger goal, thus enabling me to understand the importance of my admission objectively.Lastly, he has a way around words and stories. I loved how he brought his diverse life experiences to the space, sometimes to lighten up the environment and sometimes to share life-altering anecdotes. I really looked up to his perspectives and his stories.I wholeheartedly recommend working with Shashank to all prospective students who are looking for an admission coach. He has a way of making things work!

Piyush Narang, 2018 cohort (UC Berkeley, IDS Sussex, The Graduate Institute-Geneva, International Institute of Social Sciences)

I started working with Shashank with the first module around exploration. What I liked was that Shashank never told me to do a particular thing; instead, he asked me specific questions, which helped clarify my thoughts and eventually aided me in my decision-making. 
Secondly, one of Shashank’s indispensable assets is knowledge of what precisely these IVY League universities seek. I think this expertise helps in crafting an informed SOP. Additionally, he explained to me the different formats for SOP, which format might suit my story the most, and finally, what were the pros and cons of each format. This information assisted me a lot in articulating a very personalized SOP.
Finally, for the third module on references, he clearly understands how an academic reference differs from a professional one. Because I had both, this information played an imperative role in guiding my referees and ensuring that my references were befitting. As a result I was able to secure admissions in prestigious universities like Harvard, that too with 50% Scholarship, Columbia with 50% and Michigan with 70% Scholarship.

Alok Sharma, Delhi 15er (Harvard University, Columbia University and the University of Michigan)

I got in touch with Shashank when I was struggling with a career change decision after working within a PSU for the past 8.5 years. In our first conversation I had with him, he lent a very patient hearing to all my confusions. Somewhere in that initial one hour of the call, I already had a feeling that he understood my dreams and would support me in this new career path. And from there started a year-long journey with Ivy dreams which has landed me into my dream universities, i.e University of Michigan, Ann Arbor for pursuing the MS in Environmental Science and Management Program, and University of Pennsylvania for their conservation program. Also, the best thing about Shashank and Ivy dreams is that they do work with you diligently on various streams of courses and application, beyond the regular course choices like MBA’s/MPA’s etc. Shashank is very meticulous, dedicated, and punctual in his work. In him, I found a mentor and a friend. He is equally strict with deadlines. I remember due to some reason I had delayed writing my SOP, but he kept pushing me through regular follow-ups and never lost his patience. He has also worked with me beyond the regular calls each time I required help. What I really like about Ivy dreams is that they work very closely with applicants and not like any other typical money-churning consultants. Shashank also helped me to hone my writing skills and I successfully published Op-eds of mine in reputed news portals. He also helped me build a stronger profile which doubled my chances of getting accepted. Thank you, Shashank, Pooja, and Ivy Dreams for making this happen.
University of Pennsylvania | University of Michigan | Nivedita Biswal – Senior Manager Coal India 

“I wanted to pursue higher studies in Public policy stream and I had no clue how to go about it. When I reached out to a TFI fellow, she suggested I take the help of IVYDreams and Shashank. When I got in touch with Shashank, I knew I required his help. His knowledge in this field is excellent and he knows exactly how to tailor your documents for your specific course! The entire process is highly personalized and flexible as per the needs of individuals. I think that is a very big positive when compared to the standard run-of-the-mill options available otherwise. I highly recommend Shashank for people who require help and guidance in college admissions :)”

Kirthi Uthayavarman | Sciences Po | Entrepreneur  

The application process into premier colleges is particularly challenging and each step feels like traveling in unchartered territory. I must say that I made an excellent decision to go through the process with IVY Dreams. I am glad that I was supported by Shashank who provided customized, empathetic yet critical feedback and encouragement at each step. The entire process was organized and flexible to match my working schedule. This, helped me to get offers from multiple colleges in both US and the UK. He has immense knowledge and expertise in terms of what each college expects and thus paved a path to realizing my dreams of studying in an Ivy League College. Also, I was able to secure part funding at Harvard Graduate School of Education and hoping to clear a few other scholarships as well. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to have worked with the team. 
 Cambridge – Faculty of Education | Harvard Graduate School of education | Anonymous on request – TFI Fellow (2015-17)

I decided to apply for the master’s program around November last year. Shashank made sure that I am submitting the best version of my application even with the limited time we had at our hands. The best part of working with Shashank is that he reduces the translation gaps which apparently is the biggest problem with TFI folks as we get too caught up in our jargon. He helps you translate your work in an easily understandable format, more so as he himself is a TFI alum and knows the work we do. He created a safe space that allowed me to share my expectations and challenges without any hesitation and in turn enabled me to produce an authentic work product. His mentoring and continuous feedback ensured that I am not just writing essays that will get me into my target college but also doing enough research to get clarity on what program I select and how will it help in the long term. Shashank’s feedback is brutal at times but he makes sure that we are producing the best version we are capable of. He is more of a friend than a mentor.
Harvard Graduate School of Education | Teachers College Columbia | Arpita Tiwari – Program Manager TFI | TFI Fellow (2014 – 16)

Hesitant at first, I’m glad to have taken the leap with IvyDreams. Having been a Fellow himself, Shashank not only gave invaluable insights but he even accommodated around my schedule and deadlines. He is extremely professional and candid at the same time. Working with him enhanced my understanding of the outcomes of the programs I was considering, helping me align my interests and expectations accordingly. I recommend IvyDreams without reservations, especially to fellows.

Aishwarya | Teach for India Fellow ( 2018-20 ) | Carnegie Mellon University | University of Indiana | University of Chicago – Illinois | John Hopkins University

I wish to express gratitude to IvyDreams who made my dream to study abroad, come true. The thought of making the right choice of college and gruesome application process, always made me hesitant, however, Team IvyDreams worked with me patiently despite a challenging timeline to make my dreams come true.” –

Archit | IT Professional

The Road so Far

Over the past 4 years, IVYDreams has gone from strength to strength having learnt not only from the success of its scholars, but also from our failures. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we have sought to continually incorporate our learnings into our processes and as a result our selection percentage as well as absolute numbers has continued to grow from 75% at the inception to 91% in the previous cohort with more than 86% of our scholars receiving some form of financial aid.

Our success rate in the inception year itself stood at 75% with the percentage of scholars with funding being 67% which has steadily increased to 91% and 86% respectively at the end of the fourth year with an average of 3 offers per scholar!!

    • This year IvyDreams for the first time had a majority of selections in Top B-Schools across the world ranging from Indian B-Schools like IIM-B, IIM-C and ISB to global B-Schools like Oxford Said, LBS, IE, INSEAD, Stanford GSB, Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, Mc Gill, Rotman among others.
    • We also had a very diverse set of scholars applying and getting selected into schools like Pratt, New School, NYU, ESMOD etc. for a host of different domains ranging from fashion design to Art to Media to Museum Studies and Journalism. This has enhanced our expertise considerably to assist a diverse set of interest areas. This was also possible because we intentionally experimented with a diverse cohort with more than 50% of scholars being from a non-TFI background
    • Besides the above, our scholars also garnered excellent results across our traditional strength areas in the field of Policy, Administration, Education and Development with selections in top schools like HKS, HGSE, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, IDS, Teaches College, Vanderbilt, UBC, UCL, KCL, SciencesPo, Hertie etc. 
    • Among international scholarships we had selections in Commonwealth Shared, Commonwealth Masters, Chevening and World Bank Scholarships (First success)

Sample list of Institutions where our scholars have secured admissions till date

School of Business
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • MIT Sloan
  • Oxford Saïd Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • IE
  • IESE
  • HEC
  • Duke Fuqua
  • Chicago Booth
  • London Business School
  • Indian School of Business
  • Indian Institute of Management – Lucknow
  • Indian Institute of Management – Calcutta
Development and Public Policy
  • Harvard Kennedy School
  • Oxford Blavatnik
  • Chicago Harris
  • Columbia – SIPA
  • Georgetown
  • University of California Berkley 
  • Duke Sanford
  • Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Institute of Development Studies
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Cambridge
  • SOAS – University of London
  • London School of Economics
  • Sciences Po
  • Hertie
  • University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore
Education Schools
  • University of Pennsylvania GSE
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • Teachers College Columbia
  • Vanderbilt Peabody
  • Cambridge University – Faculty of Education
  • Boston University
  • University of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
Child Psychology/SLE etc.
  • London School of Economics
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • New York University
  • University of Washington
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Manchester
International Relations
  • University of Cambridge
  • Tufts – Fletcher
  • London School of Economics
  • Johns Hopkins School Of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
  • Oxford University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Michigan
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • John Hopkins University
  • University of Indiana
  • University of Chicago – Illinois
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Maryland
Fashion & Arts
  • University of Chicago
  • New York University
  • University of Manchester
  • Indian Institute of Management Lucknow