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"Best" admission consulting companies?

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2012, 10:04
bb wrote:
Wow, another positive and solid review for Tyler. If you can, please also post it here: http://gmatclub.com/reviews/


Thank you!


So many positive reviews for Tyler from 1st time posters. I hope the reviews are honest/real.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2012, 10:22
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gsmon wrote:
bb wrote:
Wow, another positive and solid review for Tyler. If you can, please also post it here: http://gmatclub.com/reviews/


Thank you!


So many positive reviews for Tyler from 1st time posters. I hope the reviews are honest/real.


Hi gsmon,

I am very grateful for the support of my clients. It's often the case that for me and other admissions consultants reviewed on this thread that former clients who are active members of GMAT Club prefer to post reviews under a new account to protect their anonymity. All of the reviews at http://gmatclub.com/reviews/ have been verified as authentic by GMAT Club's moderators. I hope that helps to put your mind at ease.

Regards,
Tyler
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2012, 12:15
Has anyone used Alejandro Maldonado from SBC?? I am trying to decide on which company to use for my consultant but having trouble deciding which one would be the best for me.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2012, 06:16
Has anyone used Angela/Jessica/Rachel from MBAmission? Please PM me.

Thanks
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2012, 03:43
** FIRST POST ** LOW CREDIBILITY WARNING **

I worked with Aringo and got admitted to all the schools I applied to. This is my first post here, feel free to PM me to check or ask questions.
A while ago I started the process of preparing applications for universities, with the intention to apply to 5 top schools in Round 1. Thanks to Aringo’s great help, the quick responsiveness and the terrific professional skill, I formulated a strategy and built a “plan of action” within a short period of time. When the interview invitations arrived, Aringo’s help in preparation was also great.

In the end I was accepted to all the universities I wanted (Harvard, Wharton, MIT, Columbia, NYU) including scholarships at Columbia and NYU.
Aringo's help was simply amazing, and I know that without it I would not have gotten to where I did (the year before, when I used a different consulting company, I applied to a number of universities and was rejected from them all.)

Last edited by theK on 08 Jun 2013, 10:56, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2012, 10:17
I have labelled several reviews with a "Low Credibility Warning" today since these were first posts by new users.

To the users that posted these reviews - Please PM me from your ORIGINAL Gmatclub id if you want the tag removed from your review. The tag WILL STAY on as long as I don't hear back.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2012, 22:08
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Master Admissions 'guru' Betsy Massar (http://www.masteradmissions.com/home/Iv ... ulting.php) is one of the best things that can happen to you during this extremely excruciating B-school applications Marathon. Let me clarify one thing upfront:Betsy is not going to write your essays for you. But she will make you think hard about your goals, your aspirations and make you understand yourself much better. She will ask you so many insightful questions that while digging deep inside for those answers you will discover yourself and your story, your essays will start gaining a concrete shape and an authentic voice.
I had never thought that applying to a B-school could be such an enlightening process but Betsy makes sure that every bit of interaction with her is an enriching experience. Every one I talked to, had told me that essays are the toughest part of B-school application. But with Betsy, the tough part never showed up. She has a magical way in which work seems fun and before you realize the end product is ready to go, in its best form. Her way of working would keep me charged as her questions, and suggestions would go beyond a mere B-school candidacy and delve more into a self-realization process where we try to find who we are and what we want from life.
I had never expected my application essays to turn out so exquisite. Betsy made sure that I was at par with the quality of essays demanded by the top B-schools. Time was never an issue as no matter how many other candidates she is working with, you will feel you are the only one. Though she promises a 2-Business day turn-around, I would get responses in matter of few hours. While other admission consultants who charge by the hour are very strict about their time, Betsy's hours are very flexible and do stretch much beyond the stipulated time. As a candidate from India, interview at an American B-school was another hurdle I needed to get over. Betsy connected me to Cathy a former Haas Admissions Committee member who prepared me through rigorous mock interview sessions and helped me gain confidence to face the interview.
Also, Betsy has authored “Admitted” which is a great book detailing all the steps of the admissions process starting from the first thought of why MBA.
As I embark upon my MBA journey at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, I realize that working with Betsy was the smartest and the most life-changing decision I could have ever taken. Thanks Betsy for helping me getting into an elite school like Haas.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2012, 07:53
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So I decided to use a consultant for a few reasons; I had very unusual work experience, a poor GPA, and time constraints (didn't take the GMAT until middle of October). All of this worked against me in a few different ways. I had not discovered GMATCLUB and basically just googled it and started calling people. I did informational interviews with Veritas (seemed competent, but nothing stood out), MBAMission (could not have been more turned off by their services--I ended the phone call early it was so bad), MBAExchange (it was honestly hard to get any serious answers out of them and I didn't like their pushy advertising) and ClearAdmit.

I ended up choosing Stacey at ClearAdmit for a few reasons. The first was it felt like she was the only one listening and actually thinking about my profile, and ways to enhance and frame it, during the informational interview and I felt comfortable talking with her. The other was that I felt her insight having served on the Tuck AdCom would be valuable, especially with Tuck being my #1 choice. I will also say that while I had a mixed experience, and at times was frustrated/disappointed, if I were to do it over again (given the same choices) I would still hire a consultant and still hire her. After having been on the board for some time now I had actually contacted Alex Chu and gotten some interesting information and was planning on using him for a ding analysis and probably at least one application in the next cycle (fortunately I got in off the WL so no more apps!). I also freely admit that I was probably a tough client and could have used someone who did more "hand-holding" to use a phrase from earlier in the thread. She definitely had a lot of clients and a packed schedule, so it was tough at times if I forgot a question in a draft, or just wanted a simple clarification or a quick question answered it could be 2-3 days until the next response. I am definitely someone who prefers to communicate over the internet/e-mail and yet at times, I felt like I needed to talk to her on the phone, and it was very difficult, if not impossible to do so.

I have kind of laid out my main criticisms already but I am going to use the same format from an earlier post that I liked.

1. Initial Consultation (5/5) - I was surprised at how poor of a job most of the other companies did when it came to initial consultations. You are getting ready to plop down 2k+ you would think that they would be paying attention and formulating some real answers. I suppose they probably get a lot of tire-kickers but I was offended by MBAMission's absolute indifference and really liked how Stacey handled the call. She sold her service without being pushy, was reasonably upfront about the challenges that I faced and talked to me for another 20-30 minutes a few days after my initial consultation to answer some follow up questions.

2. Input on Content and Knowledge of School (4/5) - Her knowledge of Tuck was one of the main reasons I hired her and I felt like this really shone through in my two my Tuck essays in particular (my career goals and interview are what sunk my ship imo). She also seemed very knowledgeable about Fuqua (one of the other schools we worked on) and to a lesser degree Yale (the final school we officially worked on together). I also felt like she did a good job of vetting essay ideas and telling me which ones to scrap and which to pursue--which happened a few times--as well as the rest of the editing process.

3. Overall Strategy - I don't want to give a numerical score for this one because I honestly am just not sure. I feel like she tried her best and that a lot of the blame here falls on myself for really just not knowing what to do about my career goals and not knowing enough about the different industries. At the same time, I feel like she could have done more to push me into figuring things out or telling me "this is generic" which, in retrospect, I think some of my career goals essays were. I think eventually we probably reached a limit in terms of the number of reviews she could do with her schedule and the time constraints of impending deadlines. Again I would reiterate that this is just as much my fault as hers, but looking back I think we did a good job of telling 'my story' but that my career goals were the clear weakness in my application. I think this was further complicated by the fact that I have an odd work history, one which adcoms would know nothing about, so I had to devote a lot of time to fleshing out what I had done and how this was relevant to my career goals. I am not sure if this was a mistake or not (one friend has told me he thinks it was a waste of time to spend so much word space explaining what I do and why that is relevant) but it definitely made things trickier and probably contributed to some of my 'career goals' malaise. I think on the whole it was a tough assignment and, I don't know, I hate to be too critical but you can draw from it what you want.

4. Time Management (2.5/5) - This was definitely the weakest part of our relationship and I understand it can be difficult. She was upfront initially that essay revisions would take 24-72 hours and we devised a schedule going in, however, there were two times when it exceeded 4 days and one of those times it was I believe 6 days with no communication during the heart of the application season. As I mentioned earlier, due to her schedule (and I think she might have small children) it was also difficult to get any quick clarification/quick questions answered in a short time frame. It was also really hard to get her on the phone after our initial consultation and follow up conversation. One other anecdote, which I think shows some of her pluses and minuses, is that I eventually got an interview invitation from Johnson after applying in R3. At this point I had struck out everywhere--we had nothing left to work on for Tuck, I didn't get an interview from Fuqua so we had no further work relationship there, and it was pretty obvious I wasn't getting an interview that late from Yale either--and so I kind of expected that she would be willing to help with any further correspondence I had with Johnson even though it wasn't a school that we worked on explicitly. I understand that she didn't have to help here, and was appreciative of that, but when it came to talk we had our phone chat cancelled the first time, and then she said she would call me the day of my Johnson visit and I told her I could talk anytime prior to 3:30. I got called at 3:27 as I was walking up the stairs to Sage and so it was difficult for me to get a whole lot out of that conversation when I was walking into the building. We did a mock interview for Tuck, and I asked her to e-mail me the notes she took from the mock interview and never received them. So some small things like that were annoying. Do I think that if I had the notes from our mock that I would have aced the interview and gotten into Tuck? Nope. But I also think that she shouldn't have told me to schedule my interview there before I submitted my application. I think she should have been able to tell that I didn't have a good enough grip on my own application at that point and recommended that I do my applicant-initiated interview afterwards. I think this would have made some difference. So, at times, I suppose maybe she was just going through the motions, but again, I was probably a tough client as well, and on the whole I think she did a decent job.

Final Rating (3.5/5) - I did not get into any of the schools we worked on together. In fact, I did not even get so much as interview invitation from the schools we worked on directly but I also know that had I not worked with her on those applications that my application to Johnson would not have been good enough. I even made a decision (risky, perhaps) to switch to a new long-term career goal for my Johnson application but if I hadn't worked with her I wouldn't have known how to frame it, and how to organize my essays. I can definitely say that I would not have gotten in without a consultant, even though I did not actually use a consultant for that application. This is getting long and I am running late so going to have to wrap it up. I think there are some things that she could have done better but on the whole it was an expensive, but necessary part of the application process for me. I have tried to be fair here and hope I haven't come off as too critical because I liked her and did think that for the most part she was trying hard and offered valuable input but also wanted to include some fair criticism.

Let me know if I can answer anymore questions for anyone or if the mods need to verify anything.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2012, 08:44
Very detailed & informative review Snipes. Excellent! Kudos to you!!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2012, 08:47
The structure of the review is excellent. I think I saw the same template in a prior review.

To everyone else who is submitting reviews - May I please request you to follow a similar review template so that it becomes easy to follow? Readers can then get a gist of the review by just looking at the scores or go into each point in detail as & how they prefer..
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2012, 05:39
** FIRST POST ** LOW CREDIBILITY WARNING **
[what does this mean?]

I decided in April 2011 that I wanted my MBA from a top program, and studied for the GMAT through Kaplan courses and tutoring. After taking the GMAT in February 2012 and receiving a 640, I contacted MBAMISSION and was assigned ADAM GROSSMAN as my consultant. Adam is a graduate of NYU Stern and an accomplished businessman and author living in Chicago.

In our initial discussions, Adam did a great job of helping me decide what school and program would be best for me based on my qualifications, current job situation, and age. We narrowed it down to NORTHWESTERN'S KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, EMBA PROGRAM. Over the next six weeks, we worked daily on several essays and resume. Adam was able to return my drafts on time, field my questions, and keep track of the content of my essays throughout this process. This was impressive considering that I am not his only client and he is a very busy guy! He also helped me with the other areas of my application such as preparation for my interview and letters of recommendation. Adam definitely gave me the personal touch that I was looking for throughout this process. He undoubtedly knew his product and trade, and went beyond the scope of his services by pushing me to do better with every draft.

I WAS ACCEPTED TO KELLOGG'S EXECUTIVE MBA PROGRAM last week for a September 2012 start. If it was not for Adam, this might not have been possible. I've had an excellent experience with MBAMISSION and ADAM GROSSMAN.

Last edited by theK on 08 Jun 2013, 10:56, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2012, 21:34
Hi guys. I want a list of guides/books which can help me know my target schools better. I'm sitting halfway around the world and it's really not possible for me to visit each and every school I target. I'm looking for books which can tell me all about the schools that is there to know.

How's the work-enviornment at these schools like, teaching methodology, courses etc.? You know, pretty much all that is there to know. Thanks in advance.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2012, 23:08
Hi are there any resident Indian candidates who have hired Dr. Shelly Watts (MBA Admit) for their apps?

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2012, 06:27
Yeah, I would like to who is the best consultant for Indian and International students specifically the highly represented group?
BB or moderators, do you have any good posts to share on this note?
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2012, 07:34
I wrote (what i think is) a helpful article on what to consider when selecting an MBA admissions consultant. http://www.thefirstread.com/mba-admissi ... right-one/

In my experience, so much of it boils down to personal preference so it's difficult to make generalities. What worked for one person would be hard to replicate in another, and there are so many factors that it becomes difficult (impossible?) for even the best consultant to guarantee the same level of engagement and success across all clients.

Just my $0.02,
-james young
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2012, 07:18
Following my review for Master Admissions, I had a recent inquiry about the thought process I went through while working with Betsy from Master Admissions I feel I should post this here for anyone else who is lost in this big puzzle called B-school application::
I would definitely like to go down this 1 month thought-provoking journey I did with Betsy. I had never thought so seriously about my life before talking to her. Everything about me seemed just plain mundane like everybody else. Got a degree, got a job, got married, had a kid. But Betsy made me realize how some stories in my life were simply extra-ordinary/out-standing per say. And we all have these stories/incidences. Betsy makes us realize how different we are and how valuable all those small things are which have got us wherever we are today.
Her method is very simple. No pretences, no hype, just think about what you want from life. If you are planning for a B-school: you are ambitious. Work on those lines. Don't get over-whelmed by what others are doing. Find your way. Your story will be as unique as it can get. Betsy's questions are such right questions. If you answer them truthfully you will find your way ahead in your career/personal life and even everyday routine gets meaningful.
Betsy's way of working is very intense. You will become a fulltime project for her, she will keep thinking about you and how to help you find your way ahead. She will surprise you with her extremely pertinent questions (emails at all odd times:she works non-stop) and will state facts about your past life/your personality/your upbringing that are true but you never told anyone else. She has an MBA from HBS and is a wall-street success story so no doubt she is among the best people who can coach you into a B-school but she also is an expert psychologist who will help you find your way regardless of if you want to go ahead with your application essays at this time. I would suggest to sign-up with her for a phone-session/meet-up even if you don't decide to apply for a B-school this year. Those 2 hours will be the best thing you did to give value to yourself and you will find yourself doing what you really want to do with your life.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2012, 05:42
finmaster wrote:
Hi guys. I want a list of guides/books which can help me know my target schools better. I'm sitting halfway around the world and it's really not possible for me to visit each and every school I target. I'm looking for books which can tell me all about the schools that is there to know.

How's the work-enviornment at these schools like, teaching methodology, courses etc.? You know, pretty much all that is there to know. Thanks in advance.


There are several threads dedicated towards discussions on books for MBA admissions. Just use the search function and you'll find some.

If you're looking for school specific info, most of the consultants have school specific books available at a cost. Look up their website and check those out.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2012, 07:41
Hi Guys,

I recently encountered a consultant who was introduced to me by one consulting firm whereas I found his name of another consulting firm's website. Does anyone know what their business model is ? Are there middlemen? Just curious because when someone tells you they have "carefully selected" so and so, it looks like they have not.

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2012, 23:12
Hi,
I have been reading a few reviews for admission consultants on this thread. Pretty much everyone talks about essay editing features provided by consultants. However, I am assuming pretty much every consultants' bread and butter is essay editing. But, what about the strategy before essays. I am looking for someone with following criteria:
- Brainstorm all the possible stories out of me and list them.
- Help me identify which stories need to go under which essay.
- Strategically identify which traits, character points needs to be highlighted where (essays, resumes, LORs etc)
- And then of course edit the essays/resumes etc.
Those of you already went through the process with a consultant; can you suggest a consultant that fits this bill.
Also, in your opinion, is there specialize consultants for schools such as Sandy for HBS. Similarly someone else for other schools?
Thanks.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2012, 12:50
Expert's post
soren316 wrote:
Hi,
I have been reading a few reviews for admission consultants on this thread. Pretty much everyone talks about essay editing features provided by consultants. However, I am assuming pretty much every consultants' bread and butter is essay editing. But, what about the strategy before essays. I am looking for someone with following criteria:
- Brainstorm all the possible stories out of me and list them.
- Help me identify which stories need to go under which essay.
- Strategically identify which traits, character points needs to be highlighted where (essays, resumes, LORs etc)
- And then of course edit the essays/resumes etc.
Those of you already went through the process with a consultant; can you suggest a consultant that fits this bill.
Also, in your opinion, is there specialize consultants for schools such as Sandy for HBS. Similarly someone else for other schools?
Thanks.


This is exactly the approach Accepted.com takes with itsMBA application packages. While our consultants don't specialize in specific schools, you can see which members of our staff have successfully advised applicants to specific schools either on their bios. or on our B-School Zones, which have specific information about each school, including the consultants that have had clients accepted there. We also have few consultants who actually served as admissions directors at given schools. Again, that information is on their bios.

Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Regards,
Linda Abraham
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies?   [#permalink] 18 Jul 2012, 12:50
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