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"Best" admission consulting companies?

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2011, 06:42
I finished up my applications and wanted to provide some feedback about my experiences with consultants. First, I applied to Harvard, Columbia, Kellogg, Tuck, and Johnson. I was accepted at Columbia, and interviewed with Kellogg and Johnson (waiting to hear back from them, along with Tuck. Dinged at Harvard).

In general, I strongly recommend anyone serious about a top-10 program take advantage of the insight and expertise that an established consultant can offer. At a minimum, get the free initial consultation to hear their thoughts. Going into the process, I had a decent idea of my "brand" and the stories I wanted to tell, and I consider myself a strong writer. I was hesitant to pay for help, but I was also concerned that I wouldn't be writing about the right things, or framing my essays for optimal impact. Getting the perspective of someone who was an expert on the admissions process made sense (you'd have a lawyer read a contract, or an accountant check your taxes, right?).

The first resource I found, and one of the best available, is the essaysnark blog. The snark ripped apart (in a good way) one of my first attempts at an essay, and provided great feedback. The articles are full of relevant and practical (and free) advice. I ended up purchasing a small package to help finish one of the last essays I was working on, and the quality (and speed) of the work was awesome. I also won a Twitter contest and got a free Columbia school guide :). Definitely check it out to get yourself started. (5 out of 5)

Then I started researching more formal (i.e. paid) options. I filled out a consultation request form with MBA Crystal Ball, only to find out they specialize in Indian applicants (I'm Caucasian from America). No matter, Sameer still offered to review my profile, and I ended up using their MBA Mock Application Process. It was a great value, and the mock interview really helped me articulate some of the key points I'd want to highlight later in the process. (4 out of 5 for me, probably higher for Indian applicant)

Sameer recommended I check out Precision Essay for additional help, and I spoke with Jon for a free consultation. In about 45 minutes, he synthesized my (non-traditional: logistics and military) background and career goals (MC) into a thorough and compelling story. I started slowly with their services (still convinced that, because I was a good writer, I could write good admissions essays), and they didn't pressure me to do anything more than I was comfortable with at the time. Eventually, I realized that their input would be an advantage, so I upgraded to a two school junior deluxe package (Columbia and Kellogg). The edits, turnaround time, customer service, and overall experience were all fantastic. Obviously, the final product speaks for itself (accepted at Columbia and had a great interview with a Kellogg alum). (5 out of 5; highly recommended)

During my research, I also received a free consultation from Clear Admit. I don't have anything negative to say: the discussion was helpful, the staff was friendly, and the follow-up service was good. But during the conversation, one big negative aspect of my situation came up (just left the military, and was spending some time in Europe = unemployed). We never really moved forward from this point, even though I was clear it was something that wouldn't change and that would have to be dealt with on my application. The response was basically "you should try to find a job" instead of thinking of how to frame and overcome the issue - this turned me off from their services. (3 out of 5, based strictly on the initial consultation; could be better as you get more in-depth)

Finally, in addition to all the paid services, most of the consultants offer a variety of free resources that I found very helpful during the application process. Stacy Blackman sent me a free "Designing Your Business School Brand" guide, Accepted offered a free report on how to fix the "5 Fatal Flaws" of college personal statements, Amerasia provided free guides on "How to Apply to Harvard Business School" (and Columbia), and Veritas Prep has an entire collection of Annual Reports for all the top schools. Add to these resources blogs, wikis, and forums that are hosted on most of their websites, and there's a ton of material out there to help you create the best application you can. I recommend you take advantage of all of it.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2011, 04:17
Hi,

Can anyone provide a review on "Apphelp" consultant services? If you have worked with anyother Indian based consultant services for Essays editing, resume, interview, please let me know about your experinces.

Thanks,
LC
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2011, 07:20
LifeChanger wrote:
Hi,

Can anyone provide a review on "Apphelp" consultant services? If you have worked with anyother Indian based consultant services for Essays editing, resume, interview, please let me know about your experinces.

Thanks,
LC



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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2011, 07:34
Hey does anyone have any feedback on Stratus Prep? If anyone could send me a message or post here as soon as possible, I would greatly appreciate. Considering working with them for R2 but need to decide quickly.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2011, 12:56
Hello What would be the recommendation on a good consultant, preferably boutique, specialising in IMD?
Since IMD is more of an industry oriented school, usual stories about consulting would not pop out among others. My case is - I plan to move from consulting to industry. Any suggestions given will be much appreciated.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2011, 21:42
Expert's post
mray86 wrote:
Hey does anyone have any feedback on Stratus Prep? If anyone could send me a message or post here as soon as possible, I would greatly appreciate. Considering working with them for R2 but need to decide quickly.


Hm... never heard of them.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2011, 09:37
LifeChanger wrote:
Hi,

Can anyone provide a review on "Apphelp" consultant services? If you have worked with anyother Indian based consultant services for Essays editing, resume, interview, please let me know about your experinces.

Thanks,
LC



Did you try MBACrystalBall sameer ?
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2011, 07:51
Really appreciate if anyone who has used Precision Essay/Amerasia drop me a PM?
Would like to ask a few more questions regarding the process.

Thanks!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2011, 09:37
Think Vibranture might be helpful(Though i have never used 'em)
ksp wrote:
LifeChanger wrote:
Hi,

Can anyone provide a review on "Apphelp" consultant services? If you have worked with anyother Indian based consultant services for Essays editing, resume, interview, please let me know about your experinces.

Thanks,
LC



Did you try MBACrystalBall sameer ?
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2011, 09:38
Any reviews for Vocaz ... for engineers ?
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2011, 06:38
1
This post was
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Moderator: Identity checked. The user joined the club in June 2010, has more than 370 posts and owns more than 60 kudos. He got into CBS and Booth.

I am gmatclub regular, but I have decided to post this review under an anonymous username. If anyone would like to confirm my identity, or inquire further about my experience working with Amerasia, feel free to PM me.

----------------------------------------

This is a review of my experience using Adam at Amerasia. It was a pleasure working with him…and if there was a rating system in place, I’d give him a 10/10.

Before I go into detail about my experience working with Adam, let me explain my unique background. I have an above average GPA and GMAT score, but I lacked confidence in my candidacy for three reasons. First, I’m young. I only had two years of work experience when I submitted my applications. Second, my work experience, while entrepreneurial, is very non-traditional. And finally, I had a very rocky start to undergrad. I actually failed out of school during my freshman year, and while I was able to return after one semester, it took me five years to graduate.

For these reasons, I set up an initial consultation with Adam. Our conversation lasted 1.5 hours and I took three pages of notes. There was no sales pitch; it was just a long discussion about the application process, my profile, and my concerns. I had already been told by two admission consultants that it would be difficult to get into a top program this year given my lack of work experience. Therefore, I was very surprised when Adam told me the complete opposite. He said that if I framed my unique background correctly and adequately explained why I needed an MBA right now, I shouldn’t have any trouble getting into a top program this year. I was so impressed after this phone call that I decided to pull the trigger on a three-school package.

Working with Adam in the months that followed was a great experience. During this time we exchanged literally hundreds of e-mails and spoke on the phone probably a dozen times. No matter how small, mundane, or worry-ridden my questions were, Adam would always reply promptly with a well-thought out and sincere response. If I had a question that was too complicated for email, no problem, he was always willing to speak with me over the phone. When it came time to write my essays, Adam would first send out a custom-made, comprehensive PDF document that provided insight into the school and outlined strategies for each essay. After drafting an essay, I would send it to Adam for review. He would correct any awkward sentences and add notes to the margin that would ask thought provoking questions and suggest ways to emphasize specific aspects of my background that were most relevant to what that school valued. We would rinse and repeat this process until each essay was perfect.

In addition to providing unparalleled guidance through the general application and essay writing process, Adam was a lifesaver when it came to preparing for interviews. After my first invitation to interview, he arranged an hour-long conference call just to discuss the twists and turns of the business school interview. Then, a week before each interview, I’d schedule a mock interview and feedback session with Adam or one of his colleagues. Coming from an entrepreneurial background, I don’t have much experience being the interviewee. Therefore, these mock interviews were truly invaluable.

Ultimately, what impressed me the most about Adam was how familiar he became with my profile. While he was no doubt working with a number of other applicants this season, he never forgot even the minute aspects of my story. He really did make me feel like I was his only client. In the end, I was accepted to my top two choices (both top five schools) and I couldn’t be happier! If you are considering an admission consultant, and you don’t at least arrange an initial consultation with Adam, you are doing yourself a disservice. I absolutely feel that he was worth every penny and I would recommend him to anyone.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2012, 01:01
I worked with Aringo.com and got admitted to Duke Fuqua, my first and only choice. Here is a short review:

What I liked - the service was excellent, anything I needed they came back to me in a matter of hours and the consultant was extremely professional. My consultant was very experienced and knew exactly how to extract the things from me that were the most suitable for the school. His writing skills were really great, and it transfromed my essays from mediocre to excellent.

What I didn't like - I did the work on the phone so it wasn't as comfortable as it could have been if it was face to face.

To sum up - I would rank the service 5 out of 5, and would recommend it without a doubt.

Let me know if you have any questions. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2012, 13:13
Hi GMAT Club Members,

Has anyone hired Justin Pope as the MBA consultant for Round 2 applications? I have been having trouble reaching him over the last few days. I have a couple of upcoming MBA application deadlines that I need him to return the edited essays! I'll appreciate if anybody knows the current status on Justin Pope. Thanks!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2012, 20:21
Why are there no reviews of Clear Admit? From what I've seen they seem very legitimate. Has anyone used them?
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2012, 03:05
I worked with Aringo for Round 2 and I have just received the interview from INSEAD and Yale.

My consultant is very experienced in professional writing and we worked on 7 schools within 2 months. I don’t think I can complete so many essays without her assistance.
In addition, Aringo is very structured. I had my main consultant to work with me for my essays and had a specialist to run a test drive for INSEAD.
One thing I like Aringo is they will not try to persuade you to buy the comprehensive package. In fact, I had the option to choose between 3, 7 or 10 hours package. I think it’s very flexible.

My rating for Aringo would be 5 out of 5.

One sharing on choosing a consultant:
You must be clear that you are still taking the main responsibility for your essays and your consultant is there to help you with the grammars, structures and make sure you answer to the question. Do not expect your consultant to write anything for you and I believe that would violate the school’s honor code as well.
I used to write long sentences and explain simple thing in a complicated way. When my consultant helped me reduce the words, she usually used my own words and structure to summarize. Besides, when she found me did not reflect enough or did not answer to the question, she would ask me questions that helps me to think more. She NEVER wrote any learning or reflections based on my story. I believe that’s very important to keep the applicant’s own voice.

Hope above information helps.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2012, 23:36
Hi all,
I am constantly moderating this thread. And I want to be crystal clear with you. There are some of feebacks posted from temporary profiles and the users claim that they are long-time members of the club, but want to stay private, providing a feedback. No problem.

Please if you wonna stay private and you are a posting from temporary profile notify me through you regular profile to let me check your identity. Otherwise I will warn all users about low credibility of feedbacks posted by fresh users.


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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 23:40
hey, guys. i know my id looks new here. i still want to share some of my experience of my interaction with Jon Frank. i didn't use service of his company (Precision Essay), but i did get a lot of specific advise from him. and it's really helpful. a couple of weeks ago, i got an offer from one of those M7.

often, applicants get confused by so many issues. Jon Frank specifically helped me on the following quesitons: i shouldn't send additional email to explain my low GPA. how and when to invite alumini to write support letter for me. how to get off of wl...i got valuable reply.

also, i know two of my friends used PE service, and both have secured top mba offers.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2012, 14:19
Hi all, I want to share my experience with Adam from Amerasia Consulting.
I only have a 680 GMAT score, and with his help, I just recently got the interview invitation from the #1 B-school. What I like about Adam is, he actually pushed me to do a lot of work and go thru several revisions. It wasn't a easy journey (as it should not be), and the purpose of this process is to think of what I have achieved in my life, and where I want to be in the future. Adam did help me to clear up the big picture.
My experience is: because this the life I live, so I actually have no idea what to write about. What are my top three achievements? What are my setbacks? I have no clue. Adam went thru all the possible topics with me and helped me to pick - what appear the right choices now - to write about. I am not a good writer, but every step on the way, Adam always gave me warm encourages so I became more confident about my candidacy along the way.

I am very glad about the result. Will recommend him to anyone.
I know I am new here, if you have any questions, please PM me.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2012, 10:16
Any suggestions on who gives out the best mock interview prep ?
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2012, 06:42
mafcMOTK wrote:
Why are there no reviews of Clear Admit? From what I've seen they seem very legitimate. Has anyone used them?

I worked with Kevin Chen from Clear Admit. His feedback is specific, thoughtful, and direct. He's not afraid to push you beyond your comfort zone--there were a few times when I got "stuck" and thought I couldn't improve my essays further, but he convinced me to re-edit them and I think they were better for it.

However, Clear Admit is very pricey (to me) and I found the response time a little slow (~24-48h, OK, maybe I'm asking alot!) relative to other consultants my friends used. It's also a very professional relationship, so don't expect him to become your confidante/best friend/FB pal/career counselor or hold your hand and make you feel better, like I've heard about other consultants. I didn't mind because that's not what I was looking for, but for someone who's looking for a little more reassurance and a gentler touch, you might want to try another firm.

Overall, I've been very satisfied. Think Kevin helped me put together a good app, fingers crossed, it'll get me past the finish line!

What I would STRONGLY recommend is getting a profile evaluation over the phone before signing up for any consultant. Be prepared with VERY specific questions about YOUR app and the schools you're interested so you can check how good their advice is. Some of the consultants I interviewed clearly hadn't bothered to read my resume before the call or were giving me super generic advice about schools ("HBS is looking for leaders"--seriously?!). That was an automatic ding on my part!

In general, how effective a consultant is depends on you. What works best is if you come prepared with an idea of your career vision, why you want an MBA, why you should be given a place, and what are your potential areas of weaknesses. Having a rough idea of your answers of these questions would give the consultant enough material to work with. You also need to be quite motivated and send your drafts regularly as well as push the consultant with questions about how you can improve, potential areas of weakness. I think that helps maximize the huge amounts you're paying!
Re: "Best" admission consulting companies?   [#permalink] 04 Feb 2012, 06:42
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