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Intern
Joined: 29 Aug 2012
Posts: 13
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 3 [1] , given: 0

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15 Jan 2013, 01:32
1
KUDOS
I spent a lot of time looking for the right admissions consultant and in the process talked to many of those on this list and went through assessments/interviews/conversations with many of them. Here is my advice for selecting the right admissions consultant (AC):

You are going to spend a lot of time working with your AC - as you are assessing ACs, ask yourself if you could see yourself enjoying working with the person. Is there personality/style the right fit for you. Treat it as an interview where you are the interviewer - for me this process yielded one clear winner and I strongly recommend this approach to anyone (TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FREE ASSESSMENTS THAT MOST CONSULTANTS OFFER)

2) Make sure your application gets to the core of your USPs
At the end of the day, the right consultant will help YOU articulate YOUR "unique selling points" This is the essence of any good bschool application. The originality, appeal, and fit of your personality will only come out of a deep introspective process - otherwise your application will tend to tell a story that you think the adcoms want to hear rather than the story you should be telling about yourself.
So avoid consultants that prescriptive right off the bat or who don't seem to want to get to know you on a deep level. If a consultant doesn't know you they will not be able to help you articulate your story.

My experience led me to selecting Laura Freedman at Access Education MBA Admissions Consultants in Singapore. Simply put, I don't think that I could have worked with a more effective partner for completing my (now successful!) application to INSEAD. Here's why:

Laura took the time to hear about me. And asked questions. And more questions. Whereas most other initial conversations I had with ACs went something like this "well you seem to have strong extracurriculars but your GPA might be slightly low so maybe you should consider taking some classes to boost your grades"... Laura, very refreshingly, did not offer any cookie cutter suggestions. I immediately got a sense that we would have good working chemistry - she's smart, she cares, and relentlessly keeps you focussed on reaching your goal.
Her approach starts with several sessions of getting to know you so that she can speak from a place of knowledge about you in context of your application. I really can't emphasize enough how important this process was in helping me create a truly unique, self-representative application.

Access Education was without question right for me. Follow the approach I outlined above and you'll find the right one for you. But do yourself a favor and talk to Laura Freedman and do the free diagnostic as part of your AC evaluation process.
http://www.accesseducation.com.sg/
Manager
Joined: 05 Nov 2009
Posts: 128
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
GMAT 1: 700 Q V
WE: Management Consulting (Consulting)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 37 [1] , given: 67

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22 Feb 2013, 06:06
1
KUDOS
scleraxis wrote:
bpmbaquest wrote:
It took me 2 months of market research to finalize on a few Admission Consultants. I grilled almost all the big consultants . Some were too costly, others were simply not interested in what I wanted to say;
Then, I talked to Rahul from mbadream. ....

Agreed with scleraxis - The post by bpmbaquest definitely looks like a shameless plug by Rahul/mbadream.
Current Student
Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 572
Location: United States
Schools: Ross '16 (M)
GMAT 1: 720 Q V0
Followers: 9

Kudos [?]: 142 [1] , given: 28

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22 Feb 2013, 20:13
1
KUDOS
bb wrote:
Ward2012 wrote:

Also, has anyone faced a situation where the consultant himself/herself wasn't willing to work with the candidate because he/she felt the candidate wasn't a strong applicant and was probably aiming too high.

Yes, I have. While I wish I could say that I got admitted somewhere to prove him wrong, I'm unfortunately on waitlists. But I guess waitlists are a better result than what this particular admissions consultant predicted for me.

I somewhat feel that it was a hard and honest call to make for the consultant. One they are passing money and two pissing some one off. At the same time they felt they could not help.

Posted from my mobile device.

I agree with that and would accept that gladly from any consultant. I know not every consultant is a fit for every person. But it was his statement, which I left out in my last post, that offended me. He told me "I think you need career counseling, which I can't do."

If anyone wants to know who told me this, PM me. I don't want to bad mouth anyone in public

Last edited by Ward2012 on 22 Feb 2013, 22:23, edited 2 times in total.
VP
Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 1111
Concentration: Healthcare, Strategy
Schools: Duke '16 (M)
Followers: 77

Kudos [?]: 479 [1] , given: 461

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28 Feb 2013, 17:05
1
KUDOS
Question:

How much of a help is knowledge of 'specific school culture' ? How much of it varies with schools?

So, if you meet consultant A, who is the best writer you can get and consultant B, who has some specific school knowledge to go along with his writing (which might not be absolutely amazing) , who would you select?
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 885
Followers: 59

Kudos [?]: 208 [1] , given: 216

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28 Feb 2013, 20:39
1
KUDOS
Expert's post
Hey jumsumtak,

My 2 cents - if it was a question of one OR the other (that is, you could not have both to any varying degree), you want to go with someone who can best tell your story. I say this because it's ultimately incumbent upon you to research the school and determine what courses, clubs, orgs, initiatives, etc. that will best address the gaps you have and ultimately help you address your goals. In the scenario you propose, a good writer would understand how ideas should flow and would ask you the questions that would draw out those ideas, which you would then place on paper to edit/rinse/repeat. A consultant with school specific knowledge may be a great help on the goals essay (for example), but may do little to help you understand what stories you should tell, as well as how they should be told to resonate with a reader. Put another way, it's easy to determine what club you need to join. It's harder to tell a story that makes you seem like a person, rather than an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti

jumsumtak wrote:
Question:

How much of a help is knowledge of 'specific school culture' ? How much of it varies with schools?

So, if you meet consultant A, who is the best writer you can get and consultant B, who has some specific school knowledge to go along with his writing (which might not be absolutely amazing) , who would you select?

_________________

Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Manager
Joined: 29 Nov 2011
Posts: 114
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V45
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 22 [1] , given: 11

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02 Mar 2013, 23:39
1
KUDOS
PaulLanzillotti wrote:

sneakoner wrote:
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Yes I did create a profile on a dating website after a bad break-up put me in a state of emotional vulnerability. I did post questions on a steroid website after I was diagnosed with low testosterone and the treatment from the doctor caused too many negative side effects - causing me to seek feedback and advice from people who suffer from a similar medical condition. I'm glad to know that you're willing to go above beyond to highlight irrelevant issues of your company's clients. I hope your future clients can all expect to receive the same high level form of customer service.

Yikes. Guys is this really the place to be airing out your dirty laundry? It's entertaining to read the drama but still...
Intern
Joined: 20 Feb 2013
Posts: 6
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Kudos [?]: 1 [1] , given: 0

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30 Apr 2013, 23:37
1
KUDOS

I would like to share my experiences of working with an admission consulting firm called Admit Advantage. I learned a few important lessons along the way that I hope you'd keep in mind before picking an admission consultant.

To be honest, I was a bit desperate to get into a decent B-school this year, and hence thought that spending additional US$3200 would be a worthwhile investment. While zeroing in on consultants, I was rather confused by the lack of credible reviews available. Hence, I thought that the prudent course of action would be to invest in a consultant who had excellent credentials (school he graduated from, his past experience etc), and also talk to him and see whether I'd like to work with him. Just a side note, in case you dismiss my review as rigged, do PM me and I can send you the official receipt that I got from Admit Advantage. On my initial call with Kofi, their lead consultant, I was really sold on his credentials, and I decided to work with him. He told me that I would be handed to a some other "primary" consultant and he (Kofi) would act as my "secondary" consultant who would exchange "best practices" with my primary consultant. Since, he assured me that he would be completely involved in the process, I bought into his argument. (Yes, it was pretty stupid of me to buy his argument, but I though that since I would have two people with excellent credentials go through my essays, I decided to sign up with them) Now, after I paid the fee, my "primary consultant" who again had excellent credentials started guiding me or rather misguiding me. I was ill advised to apply to a freggin 60th ranked school! (I told then that I wanted to be sure that I get into a B-school this year, but I never meant that I would apply to a school that was below what I deserved to go to; I was paying a huge sum of money for their strategic advice, even I knew that I could get in a freggin 60th ranked school!). This not only demotivated me, but it really made me doubt myself. What followed was even more surprising: the team at Admit Advantage asked me to fill out an achievement template and something called as PAT, which is just a fancy name given to the questionnaire that supposedly helps you "dig deeper" and find out those "hidden gems" that make you shine on your essays. I put in my best efforts to fill out these questionnaire and started crafting my essays. After, I sent my initial drafts, my primary consultant got back to me with changes which were directly copy pasted from my PAT- no new ideas at all! (I never expected them to write my essays, but I expected them to tell me what else could I have done better to bolster my essays, rather than just regurgitation the stuff I wrote on those PATs back to me). We exchanged a few drafts, but my consultants added absolutely no value. Three months into the process, I was seriously fed up: my "primary consultant" was dumb as a doorknob! and my "secondary consultant" did not take any interest in my application. Midway, I decided to sign up with another consultant (Paul from Amerasia), as I really wanted to go to a school this year. This consultant, though quite busy, was much more helpful and helped me strengthen my profile. At the end, I was happy that I got into three top 20 schools, one partial scholarship, and also at one lowish ranked school with full scholarship (when I was ill adviced to take my chances at a 60th ranked school!). The experience I had with Admit Advantage LLC was horrible- I was frustrated and demotivated during the course I worked with them. Do PM me if you guys need more detail about my experience. Regards, VP Joined: 23 Mar 2011 Posts: 1111 Concentration: Healthcare, Strategy Schools: Duke '16 (M) Followers: 77 Kudos [?]: 479 [1] , given: 461 Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 03 Jun 2013, 10:05 1 This post received KUDOS Request everyone who is writing a review (or who has already written one) and has low number of posts, to contact me or any of the moderators if they wish to remove the 'non-genuine post' warning. This is a great resource for future applicants and it will be great if we can keep this clean. Thank you! VP Joined: 23 Mar 2011 Posts: 1111 Concentration: Healthcare, Strategy Schools: Duke '16 (M) Followers: 77 Kudos [?]: 479 [1] , given: 461 Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 10 Jun 2013, 03:24 1 This post received KUDOS debayan222 wrote: adi0529 wrote: Edit: Moderator Note: User has been verified; membership over 6 months and over 50 posts. I am thankful to folks at Indusminds (http://www.indusminds.com) for all that I have managed to achieve in the last year. After the disappointment of applying to business schools and getting no interview calls in the last 2 years, the time and effort of people at Indusminds helped me get an admit to a world class school and a waitlist(hopefually an admit soon) to an awesome school in the mid west! I first came across Indusminds through the BW forums. Once i got around talking to one of the consultants, i came out quiet impressed by the plan offered by the company and decided to sign up for one application to start and ended up writing 3 of my applications with Indusminds. I believe the unique offering is the 2 consultant approach where each one of them brought in their own thoughts and opinions. The plan was well laid out and not once did I not find them available to help me out. Another stand out feature was that they did not put a limit on the number of drafts required for an essay. I was told by my friends that other consultants had a pretty rigid process and hardly gave any leeway. A few essays were settled in 3 drafts and a few of them took a dozen phone calls and quiet a number of drafts to hammer them out. Both the consultants I worked with, ie Nikhil and Biplav bought different perspectives to the essay questions and also the overall application approach. I believe this was the factor that worked out the best for me. The approach and the plan was individualized as per my needs and I found their contributions coming in, in terms of leading me on the right way, asking me the right questions helping me introspect. Furthermore they offered a whole different perspective to other schools that I engaged with Indusminds on. They also proved to be a great help for the interview process, the mocks were scheduled as per my needs and I found the feedback really helpful to prepare me better for the real thing. Overall, I would highly recommend Indusminds to anyone who feels that they deserve to be in the best schools in the world. Thanks to Nikhil and Biplav, that I am on my way to my dream school for which I had tried hard to get in over the past two years. If you have any questions please feel free to PM me and I will be happy to talk about my experience in detail. Here is the link to their website http://www.indusminds.com/ Moderators-What's credibility of this kind of post..? The user himself edited the post as 'Moderator's note...' This person has joined on the same day it's posted and is saying that "membership over 6 months and over 50 posts...!"...That's funny! bb-If you've time please see this and I think this should be marked as low credibility by GC like in other same kind of posts... Re-verified the post. User has NOT edited the post himself and the moderator's verification was genuine. Some users don't want to come out in public with their usernames on this thread and use a new id. "Membership over 6 months and over 50 posts...!" means that the original id of this user had these many posts. Intern Joined: 23 Dec 2012 Posts: 27 Concentration: Strategy, Leadership WE: Project Management (Computer Software) Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 7 [1] , given: 3 Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Jul 2013, 14:45 1 This post received KUDOS I wanted to share my experience working with an MBA admissions consultant for my INSEAD application. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to help users of this forum as I have benefitted a lot being part of GC during my MBA journey. Let me begin with my background. I belong to the most competitive pool of MBA applicants - Indian/IT/M with an average GMAT. When I began planning for INSEAD, I knew that I wanted professional help to submit a strong application given the shortcomings in my profile. I talked to 3 admission consultants here in the US but did not feel the connection or confidence. There was hardly any difference in the conversations, questions and feedback that these 3 consultants provided. I won’t name them as I have not taken their services. I decided to work with Laura Freedman from Access Education in Singapore (www.Accesseducation.com.sg). My experience with Laura was totally different right from the first Skype session that we had. Working with her was one of the best decisions that I made. Some of the strengths that I found while working with Laura: - Laura has an “Insider’s view” on everything INSEAD. She is an INSEAD alum who has worked with the admissions office interviewing candidates and promoting the school, has coached applicants since the '90's and advises current students as a counselor at INSEAD Career Services in Singapore. She's also held INSEAD alumni association board roles in the US, Russia and Singapore (she even helped launch Blue Ocean Strategy in the US!). This vast experience was evident in the inputs that she provided while developing my story, editing the essays and preparing for the interviews. She was able to highlight aspects of my life that I would never have thought as important. - Laura's career experience was tremendously helpful in helping me articulate my career goals (I'm targeting consulting). She's worked for over 20 years in different industries and functions, including two top-tier consultancies and two global financial institutions, and has lived all over the world. She had a lot of insight into my professional background and how my experience would let me have the biggest impact, and great practical advice about how to get where I'm looking to go. - Another aspect of working with Laura that I highly appreciate is the face time that you get with her. Unlike telephonic conversations with other admission consultants, I had Skype sessions with Laura where we worked on discussing my story, editing the essays and even had mock interviews (she was an INSEAD alumni interviewer for over 10 years). This provided a personalized touch to the entire process. - I admire Laura’s direct approach. She can be blunt at times . However, it really worked for me in bringing out the best in my essays. After all, we need a guide who sees beyond the obvious and can provide constructive criticism. - In spite of the time difference between the US and Singapore, Laura always made time and provided multiple options for scheduling the sessions. - Laura's mock interview prep was spot on. It not only prepared me for interview surprises but also boosted my confidence immensely. Despite the weaknesses in my profile, I still made it to INSEAD. I cannot thank Laura enough for the guidance and personalized attention that she provided to make this happen. My advice to future MBA aspirants: If INSEAD is your dream school (just as it was mine), then do reach out to Laura Freedman. Her guidance will surely improve your chances, and you'll learn a lot about yourself in the process. Also, be part of GMATClub. This is a great community and folks here are really helpful. Please feel free to PM me for any help. Current Student Joined: 18 Jun 2009 Posts: 367 Followers: 4 Kudos [?]: 33 [0], given: 21 Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 20 Apr 2010, 04:24 Check out editavenue.com.They are affordable.Both MBAExchange and MBA Mission are good but costly.Heard good things about Alex@mbaapply.com Director Joined: 20 Sep 2006 Posts: 658 Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 97 [0], given: 7 Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 20 Apr 2010, 05:16 Class2012 wrote: Heard good things about Alex@mbaapply.com yeah but I think one major problem is time. He has too many clients and you end up in compromising the quality of your essay. Current Student Joined: 26 May 2009 Posts: 685 Schools: Ross 2012 Followers: 4 Kudos [?]: 35 [0], given: 4 Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 20 Apr 2010, 10:38 I have not used Alex's services, but based on my interaction with him on BW forums, he's pretty solid. As for bluntness, I know of one other consultant person on BW forums who's far more blunt, although people seem to appreciate his bluntness. _________________ Respect my Authoritaaah! Intern Joined: 21 Apr 2010 Posts: 1 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 21 Apr 2010, 11:48 rao wrote: Class2012 wrote: Heard good things about Alex@mbaapplycom yeah but I think one major problem is time. He has too many clients and you end up in compromising the quality of your essay. I have been a long time lurker on this form and today i thought I should contribute sth back.. esp if it helps clarify any doubts. Rao - I dont know where you got your feedback or if you have ever used Alex's service on not. But I used Alex for one of my target school. He is Terrific!!! He knows what he is doing. He helped me come up with some great essays. I was running out of time so I only used him for one school and I wish I could have used him for more schools. shaselai - The question that you have posted is very generic ... if you do some search on this form you will find some great threads that talk about these services. I have only used Alex so if you want a detailed feedback I would be happy to give you one .. feel free to pm me. Intern Joined: 29 Jan 2007 Posts: 17 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0 Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 02 May 2010, 18:01 Has anyone of you worked with Alex, MBA Exchange, ClearAdmit or MBA Mission and could give me some feedback (via PM if you don't want to post here)? My background is IB and I'm targetting some of the Top 10 schools (R1). Have already done quite a lot of work on my own but want to maximise my chances of getting into a top program. Thanks a lot. Intern Joined: 29 Mar 2010 Posts: 19 Location: Boston Area Schools: Wharton $$, MIT , Booth$$, Duke$\$
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04 May 2010, 12:50
What about taking a writing class in a community college? I would take a one term writing class and make my Business School essays to be my final project. A community college class can go for 500 to 1000 dollars, but hopefully you will come out knowing how to fish.
Intern
Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 6
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Concentration: General Management
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13 May 2010, 06:34
Spoke with Paul Lanzillotti from Amerasia Consulting. He did a complimentary 1 hour assessment on my profile. Our conversation was recorded and he sent it via e-mail as an mp3 file. I was very happy with this. Paul also sent me a bunch of documents and a to-do list to read over prior to doing the GMAT and applying to B-schools. From our initial conversation, Paul is easy to work with, and puts a lot of time in each of his clients. Each e-mail he sends is tailored to my needs, extremely detailed and easy to follow. I look forward to working with Paul after I finish the GMAT next year!
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18 May 2010, 07:43
I had a 1-hour complimentary review with Paul Lanzilotti as well. He is great - allayed my fears about MBA applications, specifically concerning reapplications. More importantly, he is very knowledgeable about the process, very methodical in his approach (he even sent me MBA related essays, documents, readings, etc tailored to my situation and needs!) and friendly on the phone. I have no doubt that he would be a great resource for any potential MBA applicant.
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
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26 May 2010, 00:41
Expert's post
Thanks Brian and "Wolver." I appreciate the kind comments.

The approach I take is to get on the phone with any prospective clients to give them a lay of the application process. Each consultation takes about an hour and afterwards, I email both a recorded mp3 of our call and 6 to 8 documents describing the varying parts of the application process as well as prior examples of my work.

I believe that this approach allows the client to make an informed decision on not only what firm to choose but also whether or not they even need a consultant.

Again, if anyone is looking for services, I encourage them to PM me to set up a one-hour conversation around their candidacy.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
_________________

Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Manager
Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Posts: 224
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03 Jun 2010, 15:01
obv there some good consultants out there but for a weird reason I am a face to face fan.....

as i m currently based in london, any recommendations?

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