IVYDreams particularly Shashank helped me in becoming the best version of myself and i have had the best experience working with him.
I am a mid career professional at a leadership position in a professional services firm with more than 11 years of experience. I reached out to Shashank when I had decided to pivot to the development sector. I was not that confident as it was not an easy decision. However, Shashank really helped me to carve my path and helped me with the transition.
His guidance was far beyond the realm of college applications. We started of the journey with counselling sessions where we figured out my strengths, ambitions and aligned them to narrow down courses. He then motivated me to push the envelope and strengthen my profile as well as enhance my skill set. He was always available to answer any query that I had.
Shashank also helped me to identify my weaknesses and overcome them. For example, he helped me to compartmentalise my day to take out time for GRE prep, essays, resume etc. He guided me to construct the best narrative which also helped me to improve my writing skills.
His guidance helped to secure admissions from three universities – Columbia University (Masters in Public Administration-Development Practice), UC Berkeley (Masters in Development Practice) and The University of Chicago (Masters in Public Policy).
Our journey has not ended here. Currently he is also helping me to navigate scholarships and other ways to finance my education.
I recommend IVYdreams to not just young professionals but also mid year professionals who are looking to change careers or enhance their skill set. They really do make your dreams come true.
Neha Bais | Health Practise Head – eValueServe – Chile | Berkeley Goldman | Chicago Harris | Columbia SIPA
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 TFI Fellow (UC Berkeley, IDS Sussex, The Graduate Institute-Geneva, International Institute of Social Sciences)
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 Sinha | IT Professional | Chicago Booth | Michigan Ross | Duke | UBC Sauder | Desautels Mc Gill | Rotman
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.
Nivedita Biswal – Senior Manager Coal India / University of Pennsylvania | University of Michigan
“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.
Anonymous on request – TFI Fellow (2015-17) | Cambridge – Faculty of Education | Harvard Graduate School of education
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.
Arpita Tiwari – Program Manager TFI | TFI Fellow (2014 – 16) | Harvard Graduate School of Education | Teachers College Columbia
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