Sorry, but no. That's not how we do things.
As with a LOT of what the Lab stands for, this is yet another way in which we differ from others in the field, and how we're able to provide high-value services at the price point that we do.
Our services are meant to be FEEDBACK sessions - not planning or brainstorming sessions.
Phone calls, while “feeling” better because of the back-and-forth dialog aspect, are actually sub-optimal to video reviews when it comes to delivering feedback on how well your application materials convey what they need to:
- Phone calls are INEFFICIENT. You need to take a million notes and you might need to ask us to repeat ourselves. With a video recording, you only need to rewind and rewatch. Time also won't be wasted on non-value-add "small talk" - with a recording, we can skip all that and get right down to business.
- Since (most!) of us have been socialized to be “people pleasers”, someone speaking live to you on the phone might hold back on a critique, for fear of hurting your feelings. A video recording helps provide more “distance”, which helps with candor and honesty.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: when the Admissions Officer reads your materials, YOU WILL NOT BE ON THE PHONE WITH THEM in that moment. So, if you’re getting feedback from someone on the phone, they might say: “Huh, this makes no sense”… well, on the phone you can jump in and say: “Ah, but this is what I mean” … but the Admissions Officer won’t have that background. Our approach to providing recorded feedback WITHOUT your "additional explanation" mimics the experience of a “stranger” looking at your materials, with no background, and with a critical eye (which is exactly the situation the AdCom will be in!). This is why it is, overall, the most impactful type of advice you can get.
If you have specific questions, feel free to include them when you send over your materials and we’ll address them with our feedback!
This really does maximize your time — no wasted minutes on introductions / small talk!