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"Best" admission consulting companies?

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 11:14
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 11:30
bbig11 wrote:
I also decided to use an admissions consultant. I spent over a month research different firms. Ultimately, I used Paul Lanzillotti at Amerasia. I did a couple of pre-emails and pre-calls, specifically with Dan Bauer at MBA Exchange and Aimee Pearlman at MBA Mission. My pre-call with Paul was great - I was looking for a more boutique experience where I felt that I would be more of a focus for the consultant that I might be a larger firm. In a lot of ways I felt that I was a borderline candidate that could really benefit from the help and direction of a boutique admissions consulting firm. My bought the four school program with Paul. My results:

Tuck: Admit
Columbia: Admit
Yale: Waitlist
MIT: Ding

You can't really argue with results. I went into the process with a dream school and that's the school I'm attending. Paul was very realistic with me during the process. Going in, he thought there were schools I should get into (I did) and a reach school that was my number one that he wasn't so sure about (and I got it). If anything, I would use this as a example of the fact that Paul won't blow smoke up your ass. When you're shopping around for a consultant and he tells you sure, with his help, you can get into HBS and Wharton, sounds good. Paul didn't. He took a realistic approach to my strengths and weakness and helped me frame a story that put me in the best light. Paul is excellent at figuring out what your best story is and how to tell it to admissions consultants.

On a side note, one of the most valuable parts of my package with Paul was the interview prep. I interviewed at three schools and with each his prep was instrumental. We did two - three mock interviews before each interview. I went into each interview with a great sense of the story I wanted to tell the schools. Not only that, but for each school he helped me tailor it to that individual school based on his knowledge of what that school looks for.



Its funny how after I posted my negative review of AmeriAsia all of a sudden there are 3 people who have new join dates and just a few posts immediately chime in and root for AmeriAsia.

I'm not saying the reviews are fake but take it with a grain of salt.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 19:31
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sneakonr wrote:
Its funny how after I posted my negative review of AmeriAsia all of a sudden there are 3 people who have new join dates and just a few posts immediately chime in and root for AmeriAsia.

I'm not saying the reviews are fake but take it with a grain of salt.


Hello Andrew:
Thanks for voicing your concern. I wanted to take some time to address your concern because I notice that you have posted other comments to discredit Adam (and now me and the clients I have worked with.)

Previously (within this thread), you tried to discredit another one of my clients who posted a review. He responded directly to your post by stating that his review was in fact being officially verified by GMAT Club and posted in the official Amerasia review forum (http://gmatclub.com/reviews/amerasia-8?page=3). You then deleted your post on this thread (in which you claimed that his post was fake.)

Now, it appears that you are engaging in the same pattern of behavior again - which resulted in you deleting your old post(s). I am a little dismayed because a) these reviews have already or are being officially vetted by GMAT Club b) prior to this, you and I have had no direct interaction by which you could judge my individual abilities, but yet you feel informed enough to take issue with my client's assessment of those abilities.

If you take issue with me or any of my client's credibility of assessment, then I invite you to respectfully and maturely discuss it with me personally via phone call. I believe that our conversation would be much more productive, and place your anxiety to rest. Please let me know if this would interest you.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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Last edited by PaulLanzillotti on 28 Feb 2013, 19:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 21:48
PaulLanzillotti wrote:

Hello Andrew:
Thanks for voicing your concern. I wanted to take some time to address your concern because I notice that you have posted other comments to discredit Adam (and now me and the clients I have worked with.)

Previously (within this thread), you tried to discredit another one of my clients who posted a review. He responded directly to your post by stating that his review was in fact being officially verified by GMAT Club and posted in the official Amerasia review forum (http://gmatclub.com/reviews/amerasia-8?page=3). You then deleted your post on this thread (in which you claimed that his post was fake.)

Now, it appears that you are engaging in the same pattern of behavior again - which resulted in you deleting your old post(s). I am a little dismayed because a) these reviews have already or are being officially vetted by GMAT Club b) prior to this, you and I have had no direct interaction by which you could judge my individual abilities, but yet you feel informed enough to take issue with my client's assessment of those abilities.

If you take issue with me or any of my client's credibility of assessment, then I invite you to respectfully and maturely discuss it with me personally via phone call. I believe that our conversation would be much more productive, and place your anxiety to rest. Please let me know if this would interest you.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti


1. I haven't discredited you - I merely brought up the coincidence that there were positive reviews from users with few posts and recent join dates after I posted my negative review. Could these reviews be fake? I don't know. How hard is it for someone to create a fake profile and write a good review? Business owners do it all the time.

2. I never deleted any of my posts and I stand by every word I wrote. I still think that review is fake. GMATClub can't determine whether or not a review is real or fake.

bb wrote:
ss87 wrote:
Hi,

For the GMAT Admissions consulting reviews, I notice alot of users are new - they have 0 posts, 0 kudos, signed up for GMAT club the same day they wrote the review and didn't login after that.
Do we know whether these are credible?

Thanks


What I am seeing is that a number of people are being channeled by the prep companies to post reviews (who may not be GMAT Club members and thus sign up for the gift card benefit).
We do link to the profile there and list number of posts and Kudos (there are some heavy hitters there too) but the mass is usually much less active.

As to the knowledge if these are credible.... I sure hope so. Do you have a better suggestion?


3. I have nothing to say to you or anybody at AmeriAsia on the phone that can't be posted here. I have nothing to hide in private and believe others would benefit from my experiences.

4. Bottom line is - I believe the consulting services I received were quite poor. How could a company that claims the be one of the best advise a client to put down on his career goal essay that he is shifting from one field to another (in my case from engineering to marketing) without providing a clear transition? That was my case with AmeriAsia and I strongly believe it cost me admission into my top school choice (Columbia).

My interviewer at Columbia asked me questions such as "What have you been doing to prepare yourself for a career change?" and "Have you been reaching out to people in the marketing industry?" These are things that you would expect your Consultant to prepare you for, which in this case AmeriAsia didn't. If I were a consultant this would be one of the first things I tell my client!

When interviewing at Cornell (my alma mater and safety choice), I asked my interviewer what she would suggest to be the best way for me to prepare for business school and she told me that my drastic career change choice worried her. I had the numbers to back myself up (760 GMAT, 3.43 undergrad GPA, 3.30 grad GPA, both in mechanical engineering) but her biggest concern was that someone with the career goals that I stated in my essay would have trouble finding a job in this economy. I ended up getting waitlisted.

So a note to all those reading this - if your sole goal is to get into business school and you have no idea what your career goals are, make sure you tie them into your work experience and background. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way, even after shelling out close to $3000 to AmeriAsia for their comprehensive package and following their advice.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 23:04
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As other readers of this thread go grab their popcorn, I will just address your main points as respectfully as possible.

sneakonr wrote:
1. I haven't discredited you - I merely brought up the coincidence that there were positive reviews from users with few posts and recent join dates after I posted my negative review. Could these reviews be fake? I don't know. How hard is it for someone to create a fake profile and write a good review? Business owners do it all the time.


it's pretty clear that by introducing doubt (without any actual evidence) specifically aimed at my credibility and the veracity of statements about me - that you are trying to discredit me. It's apparent when you state that you are not trying to do something, and then do it in the immediately following sentence. I'm just trying to make sense of why you personally targeted me, when I have never worked with you. This is why I wanted to speak with you one-on-one - not because I have anything to hide, but because it's more personable, and because its harder to defame someone gratuitously when speaking with them (as opposed to a faceless forum ID.)

sneakonr wrote:
2. I never deleted any of my posts and I stand by every word I wrote. I still think that review is fake. GMATClub can't determine whether or not a review is real or fake.

this is the post that you deleted: best-admission-consulting-companies-92923-380.html#p1166735. The actual entry remains, but you scrubbed all content from post - hence, deleting it. In the post the follows (best-admission-consulting-companies-92923-380.html#p1166738) you can see that MNC86 replied to you calling him out as a shill by telling you that his GMAT Club review was being verified (which it was.)
Again, if you proclaim that MNC86's post is fake, then you trying to discredit me (which I can deal with) and my clients (which is absolutely not acceptable to me - hence, the time and effort I am spending here.)

one more point - GMAT Club does verify that reviews posted to each consultant's forum is accurate and true. They do this by asking both the client and the company to verify the details of the business relationship. They will also ask for receipts/contracts, correspondence, and acceptance letters/emails. It's not a conspiracy, it's transparency.

sneakonr wrote:
3. I have nothing to say to you or anybody at AmeriAsia on the phone that can't be posted here. I have nothing to hide in private and believe others would benefit from my experiences.


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

sneakonr wrote:
4. Bottom line is - I believe the consulting services I received were quite poor. How could a company that claims the be one of the best advise a client to put down on his career goal essay that he is shifting from one field to another (in my case from engineering to marketing) without providing a clear transition? That was my case with AmeriAsia and I strongly believe it cost me admission into my top school choice (Columbia).

My interviewer at Columbia asked me questions such as "What have you been doing to prepare yourself for a career change?" and "Have you been reaching out to people in the marketing industry?" These are things that you would expect your Consultant to prepare you for, which in this case AmeriAsia didn't. If I were a consultant this would be one of the first things I tell my client!

When interviewing at Cornell (my alma mater and safety choice), I asked my interviewer what she would suggest to be the best way for me to prepare for business school and she told me that my drastic career change choice worried her. I had the numbers to back myself up (760 GMAT, 3.43 undergrad GPA, 3.30 grad GPA, both in mechanical engineering) but her biggest concern was that someone with the career goals that I stated in my essay would have trouble finding a job in this economy. I ended up getting waitlisted.

So a note to all those reading this - if your sole goal is to get into business school and you have no idea what your career goals are, make sure you tie them into your work experience and background. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way, even after shelling out close to $3000 to AmeriAsia for their comprehensive package and following their advice.


I understand you are upset and are venting. I would urge you to put aside emotion and take a step back, please.
It does NOT make me feel good to hear that you were not accepted to CBS or that you were waitlisted at Cornell. However, I believe you are misguided in your actions and anger. This is why - you are attacking me (I did not work directly with you) and my client's (not fine). Additionally, you did not even use Amerasia for your Cornell application - this is an important point. If you review this post - best-admission-consulting-companies-92923-360.html#p1150445 - you clearly state that you used a former Cornell admissions committee member (and not Adam) for your Cornell application. Yet, according to you, you still had the same critical flaw with Cornell that you did with CBS - your goals and your explanation of career switch. You blame Adam for it, then you proceed to attack my credibility, and that of my clients. Again, I know you are upset, but that does not give anyone the right to shift blame by (clearly) fabricating facts (such as removing your post or Amerasia's influence on your Cornell app). Adam and I have had lengthy discussions regarding your profile and I have reviewed all email correspondence between him and you. I did see the emails you sent him describing the alumni interview, how you "stammered" and the very straightforward feedback that the alumni told you point blank (regarding your answers) during the interview. At no point then did you blame Adam for that misstep.

we should have had this conversation offline. While this may serve as entertainment value for others on the forum, this whole episode make me genuinely sad to be a part of. Please, let's set up some time to speak over the phone, mono e mono.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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Last edited by bb on 19 Mar 2013, 08:54, edited 1 time in total.
Removed personal details that should NOT have been posted
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2013, 00:24

!
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.

The admission process for top MBA program is not like anything I knew before. Not only it is prolonged and exhausting, it's simply conducted in a different language. I wasn't used to presenting and marketing myself, and in this game, where you compete with many other people who are as successful and impressive as you, the contribution I got from Aringo was substantial.
Starting from building the strategy – how to market the story and ambitions of each candidate the best way possible, selecting the right schools for him and walking him through the application process until the interview. During this process, Aringo's added value makes the difference between success and failure. Their professionalism, dedication and the ability to see the bigger picture is what I'm grateful for. Without them I wouldn't have ended this process with 2 offers from top schools – Berkeley and Chicago.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2013, 14:08
I'll address your points one by one.

PaulLanzillotti wrote:

Andrew - it's pretty clear that by introducing doubt (without any actual evidence) specifically aimed at my credibility and the veracity of statements about me - that you are trying to discredit me. It's apparent when you state that you are not trying to do something, and then do it in the immediately following sentence. I'm just trying to make sense of why you personally targeted me, when I have never worked with you. This is why I wanted to speak with you one-on-one - not because I have anything to hide, but because it's more personable, and because its harder to defame someone gratuitously when speaking with them (as opposed to a faceless forum ID.)



Point taken. I'm not trying to personally target you, like you said we've never worked together. I was just bringing up a point that could be true or could be false. If it is false then I apologize for being wrong. However readers have no way of knowing as it was stated in the quoted post above. I'm certainly not trying to defame the work you do, I even commended your company on the response time and excellent writing style.

PaulLanzillotti wrote:
Andrew - this is the post that you deleted: best-admission-consulting-companies-92923-380.html#p1166735. The actual entry remains, but you scrubbed all content from post - hence, deleting it. In the post the follows (best-admission-consulting-companies-92923-380.html#p1166738) you can see that MNC86 replied to you calling him out as a shill by telling you that his GMAT Club review was being verified (which it was.)
Again, if you proclaim that MNC86's post is fake, then you trying to discredit me (which I can deal with) and my clients (which is absolutely not acceptable to me - hence, the time and effort I am spending here.)

Andrew - one more point - GMAT Club does verify that reviews posted to each consultant's forum is accurate and true. They do this by asking both the client and the company to verify the details of the business relationship. They will also ask for receipts/contracts, correspondence, and acceptance letters/emails. It's not a conspiracy, it's transparency.


The initial content from the post still remains the same:

Joined: 09 Jan 2013
Posts: 1

Unless I'm missing something here, I wrote that to insinuate that a user created a profile on the same day, logged on just to write a review that could be questionably real or fake. I don't believe I went into any more detail than that. I left it up to the reader to decide what's real and what's not. As for the credibility of the post, GMAT Club states here that even they are not sure whether or not the reviews are credible:

verified-reviews-125793.html

bb wrote:
What I am seeing is that a number of people are being channeled by the prep companies to post reviews (who may not be GMAT Club members and thus sign up for the gift card benefit).
We do link to the profile there and list number of posts and Kudos (there are some heavy hitters there too) but the mass is usually much less active.

As to the knowledge if these are credible.... I sure hope so. Do you have a better suggestion?


Unless I'm mistaken, the whole verifiable aspect relates to GMAT prep companies, not admissions consulting (as stated in the link above).

[/quote]

PaulLanzillotti wrote:

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



Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Yes I did create a profile on a dating website after a bad break-up put me in a state of emotional vulnerability. I did post questions on a steroid website after I was diagnosed with low testosterone and the treatment from the doctor caused too many negative side effects - causing me to seek feedback and advice from people who suffer from a similar medical condition. I'm glad to know that you're willing to go above beyond to highlight irrelevant issues of your company's clients. I hope your future clients can all expect to receive the same high level form of customer service.

PaulLanzillotti wrote:
Andrew - I understand you are upset and are venting. I would urge you to put aside emotion and take a step back, please.
It does NOT make me feel good to hear that you were not accepted to CBS or that you were waitlisted at Cornell. However, I believe you are misguided in your actions and anger. This is why - you are attacking me (I did not work directly with you) and my client's (not fine). Additionally, you did not even use Amerasia for your Cornell application - this is an important point. If you review this post - best-admission-consulting-companies-92923-360.html#p1150445 - you clearly state that you used a former Cornell admissions committee member (and not Adam) for your Cornell application. Yet, according to you, you still had the same critical flaw with Cornell that you did with CBS - your goals and your explanation of career switch. You blame Adam for it, then you proceed to attack my credibility, and that of my clients. Again, I know you are upset, but that does not give anyone the right to shift blame by (clearly) fabricating facts (such as removing your post or Amerasia's influence on your Cornell app). Adam and I have had lengthy discussions regarding your profile and I have reviewed all email correspondence between him and you. I did see the emails you sent him describing the alumni interview, how you "stammered" and the very straightforward feedback that the alumni told you point blank (regarding your answers) during the interview. At no point then did you blame Adam for that misstep.

Andrew - we should have had this conversation offline. While this may serve as entertainment value for others on the forum, this whole episode make me genuinely sad to be a part of. Please, let's set up some time to speak over the phone, mono e mono.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti


Ok I do want to clarify that I don't blame you or Adam for the result of my Cornell application. The point I was trying to make was that I used the similar goal from my Columbia essays on my Cornell essays and in both cases it seemed that both interviewer's main concern was the drastic career goal transition (I do wish that my Cornell admissions consultant would've picked up on it and advised me not to do it, my third consultant actually did advise me not to use it because it just seemed to not make any sense).

Yes during the alumni interview I did stammer when I was thrown an curveball questions - I later re-interviewed with a member of the admissions committee where it seemed that the main concern she was worried about was the transition in my career goal.

If you'd like to speak on the phone I am open to it. It does neither one of us benefit to go back and forth like this. You can PM me a time of your earliest convenience.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2013, 21:23
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mappleby wrote:
I really think a larger piece of advice would be to not let anybody else tell you what your goals are. Doesn't matter if they are an admissions consultant, your best friend or the dean of Harvard Business School. Only you can know what you want to do with your life. If your sole goal is getting into business school you probably should be re-evaluating why you want to go to school in the first place. B-school is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. Yes any school in the Top 15 will open lots of doors but if you don't know what you want to do it is going to be very difficult to figure out which school is right for you. Schools don't care if undergrads are trying to "find themselves" but business school are looking for motivated people who are actively pursuing a career goal. That doesn't mean you can't change your mind or do something different once you get to school but you will have a tough time getting into a top program if you are wishy-washy on your long-term goals.


100% right on!!!!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2013, 21:53
Can someone please provide feedback on Kyn Chaturvedi from Admissionado????
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2013, 22:04
WillstudyMBA4Money wrote:
Can someone please provide feedback on Kyn Chaturvedi from Admissionado????

There aren't many on the thread who have used his services. The couple of them, whom I talked to said he was average. Would help you, but you're not going to miss a lot if you don't engage him. Having said that, sample size is very low to make a judgement.

PM me if you get to know more.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2013, 08:15
An important part of what is called application strategy, in my opinion, is to know from whom to take help.
I have no doubt that without Aringo I would not today have the privilege to debate between two schools that a few months ago were only part of a big dream for me. Aringo's amazing staff demonstrated not only a rare level of professionalism but also consideration and compassion that made me always feel “on the side of the winner.”
Their ability to combine knowledge, professionalism and mainly friendship are what turns the service they provide to a winning combination (and the facts of the results can testify).
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2013, 20:11
I would like to put in a word about Sameer Kamat's MBA Crystal Ball and his MBA MAP product.

I had applied last year to 4 of the top 20 schools. I was waitlisted by two of them so I had decided to re-apply this year to these schools again but I was not sure what went wrong with my application. I was looking for a consultant who would validate my goals, essay theme and the list of my schools. I found that MBA MAP was the perfect product which catered to my very specific needs. Sameer was excellent in providing an in-depth analysis on my story and gave candid feedback on my application strategy. The boutique nature of his firm guarantees ample time, personal attention and timely feedback. I remember speaking for hours over the phone – Sameer patiently addressed all my concerns and advised on tackling post MBA goals as well. I would recommend MBA MAP product for anyone (especially Indian candidates) who wants to get a thorough and realistic guidance on their application strategy and target schools.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2013, 10:58
I thought I would weigh in here since I went through a full season working with MBA Mission and can shed light on the experience. I applied to schools Round 1 and did not receive an admit. In addition, I was not happy with the service that I received at MBA Mission. Now you might think that my results have fueled my dissatisfaction but that is not the case. Truth be told, I felt very uneasy with the service before I was denied and even when I thought I would get in. In fact, I received an interview invite from Wharton but by then had lost all trust in MBA Mission. So I actually paid an additional and not insignificant fee to another firm to help with my interview prep. In doing this I also got a glimpse at another firm and how they operate. There was a big difference in the communication and professionalism and I plan to hire them for my next go round. (Will wait to report on that until I go through entire experience.) I am not naming names here on the forum as I do not want to be vindictive. However, I do want to help others that are making decisions understand some of the reality of what goes on once you start working with MBA Mission and perhaps other companies. So - now that that is said I will try to explain why I was unhappy with my experience. Here are my three main points:
1) My consultant was aloof and made no attempt to get to know me. I know I might sound like a sensitive child but this is a very personal adventure and I just do not see how someone can help craft personal interesting essays and be rushed, unavailable, not reviewing personal docs, asking questions etc... She ONLY wanted to review and essay that was written. She did not help with brainstorming or generating the ideas.
2) Once she did review the edits were simply edits. Grammatical, sparse, etc... not really speaking to my overall strategy. When I would ask questions about strategy I would get an answer like "it's much more efficient for me to review your work, so send me something concrete." This really rubbed me the wrong way!
3) She clearly no question about it did not have time for me. When I signed up with MBA Mission they talked about having consultants who did not treat this as a side job. However, I realized that if this was her full time job she had A LOT of clients to deal with at deadlines, and it really showed. Did not get the support that I needed around deadlines. I also felt that there was no one that I could communicate with to get the support I needed once I signed up.

So that's it - yeah I feel burned, but I am not giving up. Just trying to regroup for next attempt and hope that this write up will be helpful to others. If I do indeed work with someone else I am very hopeful that it will be different and will inform the forum at that time.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2013, 07:17
theK wrote:
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I have read gmatclub for a long time, but I have never registered to be an official member. I would like to thank gmatclub having providing me great tips and information about MBA process.

It is my first post, a positive review about Adam and Drew from Amerasia. Mod and Admin please contact me for a verification.

A bit about my profile. 2 years ago, when I started my dream of a top MBA, I would never believe that I could secure a position in top MBA. The reason was simple: I have a below average GPA (3.2) and GMAT (<700). My work experience is in IT and I wanted to have an MBA to switch my career to consulting. In other words, I am in one of the most competitive applicant pool. I have never seen anyone in my pool has such low profile and manages to secure a seat in top schools.

Last year, after a long time to strive for my GMAT, I realized that without a help from a good consultant, my dream would never come true. I looked for the most reliable consultant by reading all posts and feedback in this forum. In fact, I like the way Paul and Adam answered questions. I contacted Amerasia and other companies for a consultation for a round 3 service.

Surprisingly, one consultant from other company refused to work with me and told me that I had no hope unless I could secure a 700 GMAT. However, Drew Hoff from Amerasia approached me and convinced me that I had a hope if I could prepare the application properly. Honestly, I did not believe that I just thought Drew just tried to sell his service. I only applied one school that suited best to my dream. Drew helped me to create one of the best essays ever. I got an invitation for interview, however I failed. I got a feedback from the school that my goal was too difficult to achieve given my background and profile. Honestly, I was really disappointed, but I have never blamed this failure to Drew, I know it is my choice and Drew did the best to give me feedback on school selection, essay and interview.

I tried my luck again this year, and decided to work with Amerasia again. I worked with Adam this time for the same school (Amerasia will give you a free service if you fail in round 3). And I was dinged again.
Honestly, I felt no hope and really frustrated about myself rather than the service. I kept on suspecting my ability...I even thought of giving up my dream and started looking for other options.

However, I talked to myself not to give up and at least tried one more school (I do not believe in applying multiple school at a time). I contacted Adam to apply for another school. He gave me some advice in selecting a safe bet, and Ross is our choice, I think Adam suggested me Ross because he saw my passion in community work, and it matches with Ross. In fact Ross is even harder and tougher than the previous school. Unfortunately, I was super busy because of Extra Activities when I applied to Ross, I could not put 100% focus on my essays, I did some mistakes but Adam was really helpful, he always gave honest and genuine feedback. He really understood my hidden dreams, he even suggested me to rewrite my essay totally if he felt it did not match the standard. It was painful, but it was really worth. I took them back and reflected myself to rewrite essays. Adam's approach is simple, start everything from your passion, have a plan, connect your MBA, short term and long term goal. Passion is really a key here.

I got an interview with Ross and informed Adam. His colleague helped me a mock interview. It was helpful, but I suggest that you should conduct at least 5 mock interviews before your actual one. I did it with my friends

I almost broke into tear when I got a call from admission on 14th March. I informed Adam immediately. I would like to thank him for his ethical work and feedback. Without his help, I do not believe my dream can come true.

In brief, I would like to summarize my feedback as follows:

1. Understand client: 5/5
Yes, both Adam and Drew really understand their client profile
2. Understand school: 5/5
Adam really understand unique characteristics of each school (we called it DNA of school)
3. Create client profile: 4/5
I rate 4 because I think this part belongs to the applicant. A consultant can give us best advice and feedback, but he can not help us to create a fake profile
4. Edit essays: 5/5
You will have the toughest reviewer. Adam or Drew are both very detail oriented. They are both great at spotting non-sense sentences. You can expect that you have to rewrite your essays at least 5 times. Comments or feedback are very straight
5. Response time: 5/5
Almost always as promised: 1-2 days with a very details feedback

I really understand that it is always tough in selecting a good consultant. I hope my review can help others to have a better idea about what Amerasia is doing.

Finally, my review is also my thank to Adam and Drew for their great help.

All the best and good luck.
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Highly Recommend Chris Aitken & MBAPrepSchool [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2013, 07:42

!
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.

Highly Recommend Chris Aitken & MBAPrepSchool

I was introduced to Chris by a friend, and spoke to him and several other consultants are various firms before making a final decision on who to work with. Part of why I chose Chris was his balanced (in my view) take on the strengths and weaknesses of my candidacy in our initial call. Compared to other consultants who dwelled on the positives, I appreciated Chris’s attention to the gaps in my application, and his focus on how to address them. To be honest, I didn’t leave that first call feeling completely optimistic about the whole process, but on reflection I decided that’s what I was looking for from a consultant – someone to challenge and push me, and therefore help improve my application in ways I wouldn’t be able to do on my own.

I was late to the Round 1 process (Chris and I first spoke in August), and Chris helped me figure out a sensible number of schools to apply to (3). In retrospect, having seen other friends’ experiences, I’m very happy I didn’t push to submit more, and equally happy that I made sure to get apps in to all of my “top” choices within the same round. The videos / materials / worksheets developed by MBA Prep School were also a real benefit early in the process. After our initial call, it was clear that I had a long way to go in creating a coherent “story” to tell across applications; the brainstorming and ideation exercises provided by MBA Prep School really helped me to bring forward the strongest elements in my background to deploy across schools and essays.

All that said, I think the personal dynamics really make or break this kind of relationship, and this is where Chris really shone. He certainly passes the “good guy” test, and – as I had judged from our initial call – was consistently supportive and easy to work with, while always challenging and looking to improve the final product. Most importantly, I never once felt like I had anything less than Chris’s full attention and commitment to my application – I might as well have been the only project he was working on. This was especially important given the short timeline we were working with – time management was a primary reason I had engaged a consultant in the first place. Chris helped develop a clear timeline to manage the process of getting 3 strong applications submitted, and he pushed me the whole way to accomplish that goal.
This process is tough. Working with Chris helped me internalize that, and realize that all you can do is put yourself in the best position to succeed and then roll the dice. Chris helped me put my best foot forward in all my applications – and even so, there were some surprises and disappointments. In the end, I got into one of my three top schools; and I also got a generous scholarship. I’m happy with my outcome, and grateful to Chris Aitken and MBA Prep School for helping me get there!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2013, 06:46
Highly recommend Stacy Blackman Consulting (Lisa Anderson).

I had applied to business school twice before getting help from Stacy Blackman Consulting but with little luck. I really wanted to get into a top 15-20 program but needed some guidance. Weaknesses in my application included:

1. Low GPA (2.5)
2. Shallow work and leadership experience.
3. Weak essays.

I started with Stacy Blackman's free phone consultation and followed their advice by taking finance, accounting and statistics courses at a community college and at the UC-Berkeley Online Extension. The consultation also gave me a plan to take more initiatives at work by transferring to departments where I would handle more quantitative responsibilities which also led to stronger recommendation letters as well as a stronger resume. The consultant also encouraged me to take leadership roles through community service projects so I led some college students on a service trip to Costa Rica a few months later. A year after receiving my free consultation, I gained more substances to my candidacy and signed up for the comprehensive service package where I worked with Lisa Anderson.

Lisa was great. She had a reputation for working with applicants with weak GPAs and she was invaluable in helping me brainstorm through my essays and giving me awesome feedback so that I can refine the message of my essays.
Lisa was also a great resource as I chose which MBA programs I was best suited for.

Below is the list of schools I applied to and the final results:

1. Stern - denied without interview
2. Fuqua - denied without interview
3. Darden - denied without interview
4. Ross - denied with interview
5. Tepper - accepted and most likely matriculating
6. Kenan-Flagler - denied with interview
7. McDonough - waitlisted with interview
8. Simon - accepted with scholarship

One part of the process that I wish could have been better was the interview preparation. Lisa gave me a great mock interview over the phone but nothing really simulates a real business school interview like a face-to-face meeting with a complete stranger where you have everything on the line. So my interviewing skills were something I got better at as I did more interviews. My first interview could have been better but my last interview was great. My first interview was with Ross (where I got denied) and my last interview was with Tepper (where I got accepted). If I had interviewed at Ross later in the application process, I like to think I would have had better results.

Lastly, I'll say the best aspect of the consultation was the moral support I received from Lisa. The application process was very grueling. There were a lot of waiting and hearing of bad news. I definitely needed perseverance to get through the application process and Lisa was great in being optimistic and reminding me of my potential as a future MBA student.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2013, 19:39
Hi everyone! Let me share with you my fresh experience working with Laura Freedman from Access Education in Singapore (http://www.accesseducation.com.sg).

I am Chinese national raised in Argentina (Buenos Aires) who was looking for an MBA Admissions Consultant to help me apply to INSEAD. After reading many posts and recommendations from gmatclub.com and beatthegmat.com, I came across Laura in one of those posts.

Since I had never talked with any Admissions Consultant before, I was a bit skeptical. So, why did I contact Laura? Well, to make long story short, I would say that my decision was based on the following reasons:

1. Laura has “insider” knowledge about INSEAD. Since INSEAD was the only school that I was applying to, I felt I needed an INSEAD “specialist”. Laura has extensive experience with INSEAD - she is an INSEAD alumnus who worked with INSEAD Admissions and interviewed many MBA candidates. She also coaches current MBA students through INSEAD Career Services, so she knows the program and has a lot of insight into the profiles of current students. After working with Laura, I can confirm that her knowledge about INSEAD was incredibly helpful for my application.

2. Laura’s cultural knowledge. I wanted someone who could understand my dual Argentine/Chinese background and help me explain it to best effect on my application. Laura’s lived in many different countries and had to adapt to different cultures lots of times (and even speaks Spanish and some Mandarin).

3. Laura’s consulting background. Laura worked with a top-tier consulting firm, with a Big 4 firm, as an internal consultant and she ran her own management consulting practice. I wanted an admissions consultant who could understand my background working for a small regional McKinsey spin-off and help me explain my work achievements in a way that would support my case for joining an MBBB firm.

4. Her “personal” attention. Unlike many other Admissions Consultants (yes, I watched many videos on Youtube and read webpages of other consultants), Laura works DIRECTLY and PERSONALLY with you. I mean, you will work directly with HER and not with her TEAM. That was very important, since she got to know me really well and was able to remember examples I had missed and help me use them in my final essays. I still remember how she personally answered my first email asking for the “first free consulting session” (see next).

5. The “first consulting session” (basically, you get the first consulting session from Laura for free) For me it was really important that you can first “try” the product before “buying” it, and if you are not satisfied (hard to imagine!), you can always choose not to work with her. What impressed me the most in the first session was her ability to sum up and structure my strengths and weaknesses, providing me a clear picture of my chances of getting admitted to INSEAD.

So, what are the most important takeaways from my experience working with Laura?

• First, let me say that I am 200% satisfied with the results. My application and essays would not have reached that level of quality if Laura did not help me. She could clearly adapt all my essays and still let them stay true to my PERSONAL story.

• Laura was always there at my reach. Despite living with a difference of 11 hours (I am located in Argentina and she is in Singapore), Laura always managed to make room for calls through Skype. We had not less than 30 hours work.

• Laura is an amazing editor. She really knows how to write (she used to teach English). It was amazing how she helped me frame and shape and re-shape my essays to get my stories to flow smoothly and with just the right amount of detail (she calls it “fish tank clear”). Working with her really improved my business writing at work, not just on the application.

• I felt that Laura loves what she does. How do I know that? Through all the time and dedication she put into my application. With all the sessions that I spent sharing my personal story with her so she could provide better insights for my application, I can say that Laura ended up knowing me better than myself!

Overall, I had a great experience with her!!

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2013, 10:17
I hired Stacy Blackman Consulting for a four school package and was admitted to 3 of my 4 schools. I am going to HBS. I am writing this because I believe that I am similar to so many of the applicants who post here who have some interesting experiences but don't truly see the path to standing out. I worked hard throughout college and for several years out and feel that I earned my admits. However, I also don't think I would have been as successful (or possibly successful at all) without Stacy Blackman and her team, particularly Lisa who was incredible, amazing and everything in between. This is because although I had some good experiences, I did not know how to get them down on paper and when I look back at my first drafts and the kind but firm feedback from Lisa I want to laugh. Lisa did a really good job of taking my background and finding themes to help market me. She was able to highight my strengths and help me back up the strengths with my solid stories. I think my essays were interesting and that is not how they started. My interview prep was also outstanding and really helped me to go into the interview feeling calm and to stay calm. Honestly nothing threw me - she prepped me to be ready for the curveballs. I am grateful for this opportunity and highly recommend the entire team at Stacy Blackman as everyone that I interfaced with impressed me. Also wanted to note that my process with the Blackman team took around 3 months - I do not think that is necessary but it felt like a good amount of time, we kept up a steady pace without a lot of panic. I do believe if I had gone at this on my own it would have been a much longer and more painful process because I spent a lot of time early on second guessing myself.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2013, 12:59
*This is a review for Betsy Massar at Master Admissions (http://www.masteradmissions.com/)*

I started my MBA Journey two years ago applying to Kellogg, Booth, and Columbia. I had received help from a Booth alum and had also used just the essay review services from My MBA Admit and Avi at MBA Admissions Studio. Although I thought my essays were in good shape, I was denied by all three schools.

I decided to wait 2 years and applied again two admissions cycles later. Although I was skeptical about using another consultant given my past experience, I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to improve my chances of getting in and decided to hire a consultant for a comprehensive package rather than just a simple essay review. I talked to with several admission consultants - some good and some bad. I heard about Betsy at Master Admissions through this forum and decided to schedule an initial consultation with her well. The one hour call ended up lasting a lot longer, and we touched on several topics including what schools I should to target to the particulars areas of concern in my application and how to address them. She really took the time to understand my concerns, and I felt as if I were talking to a friend for advice rather than a consultant. She is very easy to talk to and puts in a lot of effort to understand who your are. Although I hadn't heard of Betsy as much as the other consultants, I knew she would be the right person for me. Her price per application was more reasonable than all of the other consultants I spoke to as well which made the decision to chose her even easier.

She emailed me a questionnaire that she wanted me to fill out, and we schedule a call to get the process going. During this call, she asked in depth questions to help her better understand me and also for me to better understand myself and what I was looking for. The entire call was recorded and she emailed a copy of the conversations afterwards. I was on a budget and decided to just go with one school with her. We went back and forth several times on each essay until it was perfect. She's not afraid to let you know what needs to be fixed regardless of how many revisions and drafts it takes. Her vast experience with MBA apps and working with various clients is evident in her feedback. We went through sometimes 7-10 revisions per essay until it was perfect. One of the best things about Betsy is that she is always available. Even though she guarantees a 48 hour turnaround most of the time it was well within a day. Her response vie email is extremely fast, and she is available to speak on the phone when necessary. As I said before, she genuinely cares about getting to know you and making sure you are successful. While most consultants would just say this, Betsy demonstrated this through her actions. I was working on several other applications and was able to use most of what I had gained from Betsy on just the one application I was working on with her. However, when I had a question or concern with other apps. she would help me for free even though I had only paid for one application!. All that hard work paid off, as I was accepted to Booth and will be attending this coming fall. Although I had done a lot of preparation and research on my own, working with Betsy really made a big difference in improving the quality of my applications.
Re: "Best" admission consulting companies?   [#permalink] 13 Apr 2013, 12:59
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