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"Best" admission consulting companies?

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2012, 05:39
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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?

Thanks
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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,
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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] New post 18 Jul 2012, 13:42
Hi, I had two questions:

1) For anyone who has worked with Stratus Prep, would you be willing to share about your experience or PM me about it?

2) For MBA Prep School, it seems like Tyler is getting a lot of great reviews. However, I checked today and the service I would buy from him is sold out for R1. Does anyone have experience working with other consultants at that firm?
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2012, 13:55
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I worked with Tyler himself and had a terrible experience. Which is why I am back to the drawing board this year. Even if I had been admitted, my working relationship with him was not a positive one. I found him to be difficult to communicate with and pretentious at best. His application input was weak and careless and I think he just had too much on his plate to really care much about me and my apps. There were glaring errors in some of his edits, no creativity or thoughtfulness and...I guess I will stop there. Enough said. I do not recommend.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2012, 00:26
Do any admissions consultants have experience specifically with Wharton Lauder?
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2012, 13:26
Expert's post
mourinhogmat1 wrote:
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?



I can probably only refer you to the reviews: http://gmatclub.com/reviews/#Admissions ... ntsReviews

I don't think I can right off the bat tell you the best one for international or Indian candidates...
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2012, 16:09
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stupandaus wrote:
Do any admissions consultants have experience specifically with Wharton Lauder?


We have worked with Wharton Lauder applicants.

You might be interested in:

* Recent interview with a Wharton Lauder student.
* Transcript and audio from Wharton Lauder chat with its director of admissions.

Best,
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2012, 08:34
snipes wrote:
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.


I had a similar experience with Stacey Oyler last year. I worked with her on five schools. Without being repetitive, here are my thoughts:

1. Initial Consultation (4/5): She outlined the challenges I faced and what I could do about them. However, didn't offer any concrete or actionable suggestions.

2. Input on Content and Knowledge of School (3.5/5): Obviously, her content knowledge was good for Tuck, which is one of the reasons I decided to work with her. For other schools on my list, there wasn't much emphasis on customizing essays for those schools. In fact, her content knowledge for the other schools was below average. For example, she wasn't aware if it was a good idea to use the optional essay for a particular school and I had to rush last minute to write that essay once I found out that applicants were encouraged to write it.

3. Strategy (3/5): This category was interesting. She critiqued my essays strategically in the sense that she would point out if any sentence sounded vague or weak. She would suggest that I make it stronger by providing more corroborating evidence. However, her overall strategic input was poor. We brainstormed a little to figure out which topics to use for which essays. However, I don't think she made an effort to bring out a strong, cohesive theme in my application. In fact, one of the schools gave me feedback that one of my essay topics made them question my career goals and background! In a nutshell, she's a good essay editor and will make the individual essays stronger. However, I don't think she had an eye towards making the overall application flow.

4. Time Management (3/5): I agree with the above poster here. There were times my emails would go unanswered for days and I would have to send follow-ups. I almost felt that I had to write shorter emails because she seemed to ignore the longer ones. That was extremely frustrating to not be able to communicate effectively. However, she did return the essays to me within 48 hours. I seldom had an issue with that. In fact, when she had a little more time earlier on in the process, she would return the essays in as little as 36 hours. She does make an effort to return the essays on time. My major gripe was not being to communicate effectively via email.

5. Final Rating (3.5/5): Stacey is a genuinely nice person and I think she does care about her applicants. She made an effort to turn around essay as quickly as possible. Her turnaround time was great initially and remained good even as we got closer to the deadlines. She offered good feedback to make my resume and individual essays stronger. However, strategically, we were not able to bring out the best in my application. Maybe that was my issue or maybe it was hers but going in, I really wanted someone who could offer strategic advice and I felt that was lacking.

I have tried to be fair and objective in my review. Obviously, YMMV.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2012, 07:34
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I worked with Tyler himself and had a terrible experience. Which is why I am back to the drawing board this year. Even if I had been admitted, my working relationship with him was not a positive one. I found him to be difficult to communicate with and pretentious at best. His application input was weak and careless and I think he just had too much on his plate to really care much about me and my apps. There were glaring errors in some of his edits, no creativity or thoughtfulness and...I guess I will stop there. Enough said. I do not recommend.


I am very sorry to learn that you were dissatisfied with your experience as my client. I admit that I was caught off guard when I read this review because I have never received feedback of this kind, even from the handful of clients over the years who were not accepted to business school. That said, I accept responsibility and want to learn more about where I went wrong in your case. I promise you that I do care deeply about the success of my clients as my other performance reviews on this site reflect (http://gmatclub.com/reviews/instructor/ ... -345345498).

I would be grateful for the chance to talk to you. Please respond to my PM.

Sincerely,
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2012, 07:01

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Moderator's Warning: - User with low number of posts. High potential for a non-genuine review. If you're the poster, the warning can be removed if you can provide proof of service to the moderator.

Hi,

I saw this thread and thought I'd share my experience working on my application with Aringo.com.
After almost a year of hard work I have succeeded and been accepted to Wharton, and I will note that this was in the second round.
Aringo and my consultant walked me through this long challenging process, from choosing the desired MBA program, helping me find my creativeness and express it in the best way possible to making it to the deadlines with excellent polished documents, and they did it with a lot of patience, serious professionalism and great attitude.

I am sure that our work together made all the difference in how my writing turned out, and I know that Aringo's efforts in managing all the editing and application details made the final results possible. I would fully recommend their services to anyone facing this task of getting into the top schools.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2012, 11:42
Anyone else had a chance to work with Betsy Massar from Master Admissions? Can't find anymore reviews on her.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2012, 18:03
Hi tgrlil:

Thank you for posting your review of MyMBAAdmit. This is Khyati Soparkar, Owner and Client Mentor.

We have looked through our records and don't have any customer complaints as you described. Had we heard about this, we would have of course tried to remedy the situation. It is unfortunate when a client chooses to not speak up at the time, and then posts something later which is difficult to respond to productively without any names/details. However, we appreciate your feedback, and hope you were successful in your business school applications. We have helped many clients, and are committed to their satisfaction.

We have sent you a PM (private message) to get more specifics around your experience. If you would like to call or email us, we would love to hear from you. This is the first time of hearing of such an issue, and we are eager to fix it.

We apologize for the experience you felt you had, and hope you are successful in your future endeavors.

Regards,
Khyati Soparkar
@MyMBAAdmit
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MBA Admissions Consultants
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Last edited by MyMBAAdmit on 06 Nov 2013, 11:42, edited 3 times in total.
Re: "Best" admission consulting companies?   [#permalink] 01 Aug 2012, 18:03
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