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"Best" admission consulting companies?

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 16:05
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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?
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 19:39
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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?

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2013, 22:39
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PaulLanzillotti wrote:

Andrew - this puts me in a tough position, and I wished we could have handled this specific part away from the gaze of other forum members, and any admissions representatives that may be here. But since you want to discuss this publicly, I will oblige your wishes. In addition to the reasons I listed above, I wanted to speak with you in private because I wanted to urge you to take immediate steps to remove your public profiles, very personal information, and other questionable online content that you are posting under your actual name and username. The adcom can put 2 and 2 together, and they do comb through LinkedIn and other public sites. If you Google your full name or your forum name, any adcom member will see the pictures, comments, and habits that are not part of the picture you want to paint for your b-school candidacy. My advice to you is to immediately take those down. If we spoke offline, I would have emailed you the links that you should not be in public view because they discuss matters that fewer really needs to know. This includes links to dating and steroid websites. Andrew - please - it makes no sense to have this discussion in public view. Although you encourage full transparency, you do have things to hide and I will refrain from posting these links.

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...
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2013, 22:37
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Admit Advantage

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,
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2013, 09:05
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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!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2013, 02:24
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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.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2013, 13:45
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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.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2010, 03:24
Check out editavenue.com.They are affordable.Both MBAExchange and MBA Mission are good but costly.Heard good things about Alex@mbaapply.com
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2010, 04:16
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.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2010, 09:38
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.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2010, 10:48
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.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 02 May 2010, 17:01
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.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2010, 11:50
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.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 05:34
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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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 18 May 2010, 06:43
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.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 25 May 2010, 23:41
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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
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2010, 14:01
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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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2010, 16:45
Hi everyone,

I am interested in hearing more about Amerasia Consulting from applicants who used their services. They seem to care much about their work, and are willing to invest an hour with potential clients. It would be helpful to get the perspective of those who actually subscribed to their services.

Thanks!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2010, 15:25
I pm'd paul (basic stuff... what i want to do, a short 'profile', etc) but didn't get ar esponse. Should I just email their website (the Amerasia group)?

Alex did get back to me and had some good insight for me. I'll be considering him, though the cost is a bit steep.

Any others I should try?
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2010, 20:19
sadbuttrue wrote:
I pm'd paul (basic stuff... what i want to do, a short 'profile', etc) but didn't get ar esponse. Should I just email their website (the Amerasia group)?

Alex did get back to me and had some good insight for me. I'll be considering him, though the cost is a bit steep.

Any others I should try?


Avi Gordon seems to have decent reviews and a pretty good range of services available depending on what you want to spend.

http://mbastudio.net/
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies?   [#permalink] 07 Jul 2010, 20:19
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