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"Best" admission consulting companies?

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2012, 09:12
For those interested in hiring a consultant, I would strongly recommend Tyler Cormney of MBA Prep School. He was punctual, honest, concise, and realistic. We spent a few months working together on applications to two Top 10 MBA Programs, and I was admitted to both programs.

I had several free ‘assessment’ calls with different consultants. I think the biggest difference that Tyler brought to the table was his crafted approach – I had the feeling on all the other initial calls that many other consultants and larger firms had a more ‘cookie-cutter’ approach. Tyler really took the time to get to know me personally and different strengths I could leverage in my application. He was very accessible throughout the process. There was a lot of prep work on my end, but as long as you put in the time and effort, Tyler will too and you will reap the benefits.

Tyler has his MBA from a top program as well as a degree in creative writing – I believe the latter helped me significantly in my essays so that they stood out from the crowd. He does not write them for you, but he provided me with great feedback – specifically, I was having trouble identifying points of differences that Adcoms would find valuable, as well as coming up with a career ‘story’ that made sense given my interests and prior work experience. Tyler was able to help me pick my best experiences and craft them into meaningful stories. He also assisted with different ways of making points so that I was able to stay within the essay length guidelines. We spent hours and hours on them and I was very happy with the result. There is NO way I would have gotten to the same final product without Tyler’s guidance.

It was a bit tough for me to digest the fee at first, but in retrospect I think the value that Tyler provided was well worth the investment. To me the biggest value-add was the essay editing. We also spent a lot of time on assessing my strengths, picking target schools, and interview and resume prep. To those applicants who are finding it difficult to come with a concrete “story” that makes sense, or who are struggling with essay writing or having issued with self-reflection, I would encourage you to try MBA Prep School.

Additionally, MBA Prep School has a comprehensive online forum with seminars and tools for everything related to MBA applications – from selecting target schools to nailing the interview, and everything in between. I believe access to this online resource can also be purchased separately from the traditional hourly or comprehensive consultant fee. This would be useful if you are a particularly strong writer or have some really concrete stories already in mind – otherwise, I would go with the comprehensive package. As I said before, it’s my opinion the biggest value-add was the essay prep and editing.

Overall, it was a great experience. My outcome was very positive as I went 2/2 on acceptances. Though even if I went 0/2, I still would have been pleased with my applications as I felt with Tyler’s help I did absolutely everything in my power to make them as strong as possible.

I’d be happy to give more feedback or advice if necessary, so feel free to PM me if you want more info.

Edit: For more Admissions Consultant Reviews please visit: http://gmatclub.com/reviews
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 08 Feb 2012, 09:57
Any feedback on Michelle Awuku Tatum from Amerasia?
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2012, 08:18
Edit: User verified with 100+ posts; using an anonymous identiy for this review.... why? Not sure but it is fine.

-bb



I was admitted into my dream school thanks to Tyler Cormney and MBA Prep School, read below for details! It’s a thorough / long review, but I hope it’s helpful to anyone doing research. PM me with any questions.

Background
The MBA application process is excruciating and stressful, especially for re-applicants who are waitlisted and ultimately rejected.

During last year’s application process, I initially thought that both my application and essays were strong. After all, I had been invited to interview at my dream school and a couple of very close friends had also thought my essays were compelling. However, the eventual rejection signaled that I needed to go back to square one and objectively re-evaluate my application if I were serious about re-applying.

To start, I decided to reach out to friends who did not know me as well as my previous reviewers; I thought they would be more objective because their feedback would not be clouded by intimate knowledge of my background and story. Their feedback helped me realize my essays were not as strong as I had previously thought.

Despite the rejection, I remained enthusiastic about reapplying. The first time I applied, I was skeptical of the value provided by admissions consultants. I thought my undergraduate record, work experience, extracurriculars, and writing skills were adequate / strong. With an open mind, however, I started doing research on admissions consultants to see if I could benefit from their guidance.

Given that using an admissions consultant is a significant investment, I was extremely diligent with my research process. I contacted all the consultants reviewed on GC and eventually spoke on the phone with six of them. On each call, we covered a list of 15+ questions that I had. I also set up follow-up conversations with the front-runners with more questions. Eventually, I narrowed down my list to MBA Prep School / Tyler Cormney, MBA Mission, and SBC. As someone without finances to spare, I was still hesitant but there were two deciding factors:

1. An emphatic endorsement for Tyler by a mentor who I had worked with
2. Tyler’s answer to, “why are you in admissions consulting?”

Process
I give Tyler and MBA Prep School my highest possible recommendation. Tyler was instrumental in pushing me to present an application that captured who I am.

The biggest advantage of working with Tyler is the personalized approach. He took the time to get to know me and understand my story. I felt he was invested in the outcome of the process as much as I was. The “care” factor is what I valued highly as a client.

In many ways, working with a consultant involved more work and hours than the first time I applied. The tools, tutorials, and (countless) videos on MBA Prep School helped me thoroughly understand my own story, strengths, weaknesses, and future goals. Yes, this was useful even as a re-applicant. While doing all this work, Tyler remained alongside, providing feedback as necessary. All my prep work also helped Tyler understand my story better. Initially, the amount of prep work required was actually perplexing because I already had a previous application and a set of essays. But I came to appreciate and understand the value of taking one step back, doing all of the MBA Prep School work, and trusting the process to take me two steps forward. All the prep work also opened my eyes to schools I had not previously considered.

Having followed the MBA Prep School curriculum, I had full awareness of the content pieces and stories to use for my resume and essays. Also, I was able to differentiate the qualities that were more important to one school vs. another, which helped me pick the appropriate stories for each set of essays.

Tyler’s feedback and the MBA Prep School videos were key in helping me understand how to position my stories in a memorable way. Sometimes, I thought my initial drafts were close to being “masterpieces” (just like last year, of course), but Tyler brought me back to reality and continuously pushed me to write better. In the end, I was confident in the essays and the application I prepared.

To top it off, MBA Prep School has video tutorials on acing your interview. In addition, Tyler’s mock interview and advice made me feel completely prepared to tackle this last step of the application process.

Another of Tyler’s strengths is his personality. He is sincere, honest, and encouraging. That combination and balance is hard to find, but much needed in someone who you’ll look to for advice through months of hard work.

Result
I was admitted into my top choice (think H/S/W). Unlike last year, I actually felt the application I presented was the best I could regardless of the results. Before decisions even came out, I told one of my friends that I would have no regrets about my applications this year or my investment, I knew I had done my absolute best – that feeling of knowing I did everything within grasp is thanks to Tyler. If you are considering working with a consultant, Tyler is the absolute best in the business – 5 out of 5 stars.

Last edited by bb on 22 Feb 2012, 12:15, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2012, 10:42
archanavakiyil wrote:
Any feedback on Michelle Awuku Tatum from Amerasia?


[highlight]Moderator Note:[/highlight] User verified. User joined long time back but never posted on GC even with the original id


With a clear idea on why I want an MBA, I started applying to B-Schools on my own. I wrote a few essays and sought feedback from my friends and family. From the feedback, I realized that I am not coherently conveying my message. Also, I needed honest advice, from a reliable source, on the admission process and on the quality of my application. I eventually decided to take help from a consultant.

Why Michelle Awuku-Tatum?
There is valuable advice on this thread on several consulting firms and their consultants. I have gone through most of the posts, spoken to several consultants, and shortlisted Amerasia, for its personalized services, and Stacy Blackman (SBC), for its structured approach. I also had very specific requirements based on my background – I wanted a consultant with corporate work experience and with international exposure. I reviewed several consultant profiles from both firms and decided to speak with Michelle (Amerasia) and another good consultant from SBC. I chose Michelle, a Kellogg alumna, for her corporate experience as a VP at Citigroup and for her diverse international experience. After speaking to her, I was even more confident in her abilities because of her patience, experience, and composure. More importantly, I enjoyed my conversation with her - I decided to work with Michelle.
My advice to anyone who is in the process of choosing a consultant/firm – even if it is time consuming, please look for a consultant who fits with your profile/background and who is genuinely excited by your experiences.

My experience working with Michelle
Working with Michelle was a stimulating conversation because she truly is passionate about what she does. I felt motivated after every single call, and she inspired me to seek perfection. She gave me valuable feedback and unbiased advice. Her attention to detail is extraordinary, and I believe that this detail differentiates a great application from a good one. I always got back to Michelle with a ton of questions on every single aspect of the application, and she never fell short of answering all my questions patiently. I cannot emphasize the value of her experience that she brought to the table – I made confident and informed decisions because of her experience and knowledge.

What differentiates Michelle from other consultants is her faith in the candidate’s dream. I am sure she picks her clients well, and she is very ethical in choosing a limited number of clients every season. This dedication to offer her best to her clients creates an exceptionally personalized consulting experience. In my case, she truly believed in my goals, ambitions, and potential contribution to the society. She enjoyed listening to my experiences and understanding how they shaped my personality. When a consultant works at this level of detail, I am sure the candidate will present the best possible application.

Finally, I had a great time working with Michelle. She was a good friend with whom I could discuss every application question that was lingering on my mind. At the same time, she was very professional in her approach and advice. Also, I must mention her ethics: not once did she put words in my mouth or do anything that is remotely unethical. She helped me by giving a good structure and definition to the application through right questions.

Result
I have worked with Michelle on one (extremely selective) school from which I received an Interview invite. She is very helpful in preparing me for the Interview through her detailed feedback on the mock interviews. I promise to update this post with the name of the school and the result as soon as I hear from them (my interview is in a few days). I wish you guys all the very best on your applications!

Forum Moderator,
I have been a passive GMAT Club user for a long time. I want to give back to the community through my feedback on the consulting service that I used for my MBA application process. Please let me know if you need more information to verify this post.

Last edited by scorpionz on 17 Feb 2012, 11:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2012, 20:19
Who is really good at interviews and helping me frame answers?thought of approaching Sandy but he mentioned he only does HBS interviews..

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2012, 12:01
Edited by MDF: Review Verified - I have confirmed that this user was an Amerasia client

I am a member of GMAT Club but am not the type to post much - the moderators of this forum can reach out to me to verify everything below.

I used this forum to get some guidance while picking my consultant and I wanted to share my experience and hopefully someone looking for a consultant will find this post helpful. I worked with Adam at Amerasia Consulting on the applications to 5 top B-schools. Since the initial consultation I felt very comfortable working with Adam, he was very honest, straight to the point, and he was positive about the process.

Adam and I worked over email the entire time after that initial consultation, he never took longer than a day or two to reply to my questions and send me his comments and /or feedback. After writing many drafts and having Adams guidance, my essays turned out amazing. Without his help my story would have not been able to be expressed as clearly it was.

My GMAT score was not as strong as I wanted and Adam helped me tell my story in a way that top schools would see past only a grade. I got interviewed in 4 of the 5 schools I applied to, got accepted at my top choice with $$$. I would highly recommend working with a consultant and I would recommend Adam @ Amerasia Consulting. After your initial consultation you need to feel comfortable with the person you will work with because you will have to tell them very personal stories and be able to accept their critique in a positive way.

I am very happy with the results achieved working with Amerasia Consulting and I recommend having an initial consultation with them and if you feel its a good fit then you will not be dissapointed!

Good luck all!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2012, 12:27
** FIRST POST **** LOW CREDIBILITY WARNING **

I worked on my application with Aringo and got admitted to the Tepper MBA. The moderators of this forum can reach out to me and check. I've only recently discovered this thread (therefore it's my first post here) and decided to share my experience for future generations.

When I decided to apply for MBA programs I started looking for a consultant and eventually contacted Aringo. I was assigned to an experienced consultant, and although he wasn't an MBA graduate he has done a terrific work on my application. I liked his professionalism, which was represented by the great "milking" sessions for the essays, the diligent work on the resume and the great ideas he had for the recommendations. My consultant was very helpful and resourceful, even questions that he did not know he would ask other professional at Aringo and get back to me ASAP. I also liked the way he prepared me for the interviews and his insistence on going through the little details.

What I liked about Aringo in general was the drive for the little details, the fact that the company is focused on helping the customer at any cost. They really work as a team, combining MBA graduate with consultants who has a background in marketing writing. They have this "round table" strategy, meaning that each consultant can ask for expert opinions at the critical decision points throughout the application process.
I would recommend Aringo to MBA candidates without even thinking twice. I remember looking at my essays at the end and how I was amazed by the great work.

The only thing I didn't like so much is the cost. I had financial problems at the time, so it looked like a costly package, but looking back I would say that it was worth it.

Last edited by theK on 08 Jun 2013, 11:01, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2012, 16:21
I worked with Laura Freedman at Access Education (http://accesseducation.com.sg/), and had a great experience. She is very knowledgeable about the process and you can tell that she's been doing this for a long time. I received honest and constructive feedback and really appreciated the personal attention I received.

In addition, her experience as an INSEAD alumni interviewer was a huge help. The bottom line is that Laura provided me with everything I hoped for in a consultant.

I would highly recommend anyone applying to get in touch with Laura and at least take advantage of the initial consultation. Feel free to send me any specific questions you might have.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2012, 03:04
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Hey e1984:
Thanks for the vote of confidence.

I just wanted to add that it was just Adam and me a few years back. Thanks to a little hard work, great clients, and of course these forums, we have grown quite a bit since then. We have almost 20 consultants on staff now, each one personally vetted by Adam and me. Drew Hoff is simply excellent and I personally feel very fortunate to have a consultant like him on staff. In my experience its rare that you get the trifecta of real passion, the right priorities and of course, expertise. That's what Drew brings to the table. Hell, that's what Adam brings to the table - as well as every single one of our consultants. Holla!

Anyway, if you have any questions about Drew or Amerasia or the average rainfall in the Amazon basin - please email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti

e1984 wrote:
Hello, I think they are assigned based on your profile and the schools you want to apply to... I also believe its just Paul and Adam at Amerasia. I'm sure you can ask them when you do your consultation and they will tell you whats is best for your applications...

Good luck! :lol:

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2012, 03:07
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Hey sfz85:

If there is anything I can do at all to help address any questions you have about Drew or Amerasia, please do not hesitate to reach out to me - mba@amerasiaconsulting.com.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti


sfz85 wrote:
Hi,

Does anyone have any feedback for Drew Hoff from Amerasia Consulting?

Also does anyone have any idea of how consulting firms assign consultants? For example, it seems that most people here who worked with Amerasia Consulting worked with Adam or Paul (who both have near 100% satisfaction rates). What does it mean for one's candidacy if you are assigned to a different consultant?

Thanks!!!

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Admissions Consultants [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 06:01
After a significant amount of debate between the "Big 3" consulting shops and Tyler Cormney of MBAPrepSchool, I went with Tyler. And I could not be happier.

I was introduced to Tyler through a friend who used Tyler through his admissions process (who matriculated at Sloan). Although moderately reluctant to spend money on something I could possibly do on my own, I realized that an MBA admissions consultant could be very helpful – not to mention, it seemed that >50% of applicants who matriculated at a brand name school used a consultant.
As such, I began researching various MBA admissions consulting firms (the Big 3) and speaking with their past customers. Although some of them did seem happy with their experience, I estimated that about 2/3rd were either 1) woefully unimpressed with the work 2) felt ripped off 3) did not get into a top school 4) were given a “guarantee” of admission that amounted to worthless 5) felt like they were going to provide a cookie-cutter approach.
With this information at hand, I quickly moved to secure Tyler’s services.
What differentiates Tyler from everyone else is that he is incredibly creative, incredibly knowledgeable, wonderful listener (he remembers absolutely everything) incredibly disciplined, and intensely focused on crafting a compelling narrative. My undergraduate school was impressive, my GPA was not, and my leadership background was not particularly interesting – however, Tyler was able to help me craft an incredibly, fascinating story to tell the admissions committee. Even more importantly, he was able to help me better understand/determine what I want to do with my life.
In summary, getting into a top notch MBA school is very hard – there are hundreds of other people just like you and I with similar GMAT, GPA, and leadership experiences. The key (that I reluctantly learned) is that you must separate yourself from the rest of the pack by crafting a compelling narrative – at which Tyler is second to none. I highly recommend Tyler – so much so that I referred my younger brother to him (he is now matriculating at Kellogg). Tyler is absolutely, unequivocally worth every penny.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 06:05
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Misterchipper, thank you very much for posting a review!

if you have a minute, would be great if you could post this one here too: http://gmatclub.com/reviews/

You can use this link http://gmatclub.com/reviews/select.php
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 06:07
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 06:15
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/

Last edited by jumsumtak on 10 Jun 2013, 21:38, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 09:51
I think I will be trying out MBA Essay Critique when the time comes, maybe also try to book Sandy for a mock Interview.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 14:24
I would encourage anyone who’s serious about earning an acceptance letter to a top-10 MBA program seek out Tyler’s consulting services. Before hiring Tyler, I interviewed other MBA admission consultants and quickly found Tyler’s approach to the application process, supported by MBAPrepSchool’s videos and useful tools, was the best fit for me – comprehensive, well structured, and logically thought-out. I had excellent resources to walk me through literally EVERY step of the application process.

Tyler’s contributions didn’t stop there. His background in creative writing helped me think critically about how to craft application essays that really brought my strengths to the surface while framing my story in a way that told a compelling story. With Tyler’s coaching, I produced applications that far exceeded what I could have produced on my own.

As an older (early 30’s), non-traditional applicant, the odds were certainly stacked against me but with Tyler’s assistance, I earned an acceptance letter to a Top-5 MBA program! I can’t recommend Tyler’s services enough, thanks Tyler! :-D

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 21 May 2012, 11:44
I tend to stay fairly quiet on these forums but I wanted to write about my experience with Stacy Blackman Consulting because I think it will be helpful for others and I have also read some incorrect information here so thought I could try to clear away some misconceptions/rumors. So here goes, the story of my experience working with Stacy Blackman Conslting: I started my MBA process about 2 years ago. I was reading articles, doing general research and then decided to hire an admissions consultant in order to gain every advantage. I spoke with at least four differerent companies and quite honestly had a hard time telling them apart. The people on the phone were nice, seemed smart and were very helpful. No desire to bash any of these companies and cannot even remember the names of all of the ones I spoke to, but it was some mix of the ones I find on GMAT Club. I finally spoke with Amy at Stacy Blackman Consulting. She actually told me to wait a year to apply and retake the GMAT and work on a couple of things in my background. This was the first time that someone seemed to actually care about my application and was not just in a hurry to have me write a check. That left a very big and positive impression on me. I followed her advice, raised the GMAT by 70 points and returned about 7 months later to talk again. Again, she was helpful and informative and incredibly resposnive.

When I decided to sign up the first step was finding my consultant. I read in one of the posts above that Stacy Blackman has more of a team approach but this was not true - I worked with one dedicated consultant the whole time. So in choosing a consultant I reviewed a few backgrounds and then spoke with two of them on the phone. It took about a week for me to find my match. I ended up working with Fiona who was absolutely incredible. She has been consulting for several years (maybe 5?) and went to Harvard. She is an incredible writer and cheerleader and so organized, professional and impressive.

Fiona helped me with every part of my application with incredible patience. Although I thought she went above and beyond in many ways, especially my interview prep, the biggest thing she helped with were the essays. The essays that we ended up with were very different from what I would have written about without her help. I spent far less time on my career than I would have expected and she encouraged me to write about other things that I might not have otherwise included. We went through many checks, 11 revisions on one set of essays alone.

As I said before I also thought the interview prep was amazing. She spent time with me on the phone, gave feedback and seriously prepared me in a way that benefitted me so much. I was relaxed (more or less) and knew what to expect. She was my point person all the way through though I did take advantage of other Stacy Blackman resources three times. Fiona also managed that for me. First I had an extra liaison named Maggie check in with me right away and I did decide to show her one essay that Fiona and I had been through so many revisions of, we both agreed that it would be nice to have someone else take a look. She gave some feedback that was helpful and Fiona and I worked through it together. Second, at one point I had a very random, school specific question and Fiona asked someone else on the team who had served on that admissions committee. And lastly, my flight test - which had to be with a different consultant because that is the point of it, to have an admissions person review it like the real thing, seeing it for the first time. That exercise was incredibly useful and again, Fiona managed that and then helped me incorporate some of the feedback. So I felt that I was anchored with one point person the whole time. But Stacy Blackman has a lot of resources at their disposal and I definitely took advantage of many of them.

I only worked with one company and so can only speak to them but I interfaced with a lot of people at SBC and every single interaction was extremely professional and positive. Now the results...I am going to Stanford. I also was admitted to 2 other top schools and received one scholarship. I was not admitted to Wharton. So I hope that this was helpful - it is my way of saying thank you to Stacy Blackman Consulting and Fiona and hopefully helping those of you who are at the beginning stages of this process.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 21 May 2012, 11:45
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Hi, if you have a chance, could you pleas submit a review here please?
http://gmatclub.com/reviews/
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 21 May 2012, 13:33
Hi,

Does anyone have any reviews for Paul Bodine? Not for his book but for his individual consulting services?

I'm interested in knowing if he helps strategically with the applications, and how responsive is he (whether he's too busy to respond).

I have tried the search but have had no luck.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 21 May 2012, 17:43
bb wrote:


He has been quite a fixture here on GMAT Club for quite a while: members/member-15601.html
Has over 1,500 posts but has not been as actively involved since leaving Accepted a few years ago.


Thanks for the link. Even though he posted often in the evaluation section, I can't seem to find reviews. I'm thinking of working with him on my applications this year. Seems like he'd be a busy guy and I'm not sure if my essays would get sufficient attention from him.
Re: "Best" admission consulting companies?   [#permalink] 21 May 2012, 17:43
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