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"Best" admission consulting companies?

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2010, 14:09
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As an experienced applicant I have to say and underline - go with a team instead of a single consultant and go with one of the teams that has a high number of reported successes and a high % of success vs failure. The Admissions 411 should help you find the two teams that are best at what they do - MBA Exchange and MBA Mission. Those stats are the truest criteria I have seen so far. One-consultant practices may get overstretched and may be weak in one side of the process vs another. A one-consultant practice may also not be held accountable for what they do. The teams have people who are strong in Editing, Consulting, Career Goals mentoring, etc. and you get the best in each. They are also usually accredited members of a professional association of consultants which holds its members accountable for ethical practices. A good consulting team should never tie you to a certain way of writing essays, write stuff for you, or in any way take away your personality from your application. Instead they should spend ENOUGH TIME to get to know you (something one-consultant practices often can't afford to do), get you to dig deep in your experience for your best stories, and make sure you don't shoot yourself in the foot. Also, a good consultant's job is not to know the latest scoop on a school, but to help YOU find the strongest sides of YOU which can sell you at ANY SCHOOL (that your profile and credentials qualify you for). You all can do the research on your own in the forums, and it doesn't usually help since things change quickly and the the school doesn't care how much you know about them, they care to know you. Even if you can afford to get a good consulting team, make sure to visit each school you care about, contact alums, current students, and/or faculty and TALK TO THEM IN PERSON. Good luck!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2011, 15:16
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lately, I have been hearing a lot about Amerasia consulting group. So, I scheduled an appointment with Paul, its founder. He did go through my profile completely before the call and based on the schools I wanted to apply, he gave excellent suggestions. The way he said I should address my weaknesses and highlight my strengths really made sense. I had Wharton, Columbia and Cornell in my mind and he really seemed to know what it takes to get to these schools. If you, as an applicant, have some drawbacks in your applications and still have some time before you apply, I would definitely suggest that you talk to him and see where you can improve. He seems to be really good at differentiating you from other applicants, especially if you are from an overrepresented applicant pool. The resources that he would provide you with, will give you a very good idea on how to draft essays (before his review).

Overall, I would definitely recommend scheduling an initial consultation with him.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2011, 00:33
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Hey srinathreddy:
I appreciate the props.
In other news, one of my clients just got admitted to MIT Sloan this week. He just called me, so I am pumped. He had a fairly typical background - from a Big 4 firm and a low 700 GMAT.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in speaking with me via an initial consultation, please email me at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com. I have also listed a couple of promos for GMATClub members -


Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti

srinathreddy wrote:
lately, I have been hearing a lot about Amerasia consulting group. So, I scheduled an appointment with Paul, its founder. He did go through my profile completely before the call and based on the schools I wanted to apply, he gave excellent suggestions. The way he said I should address my weaknesses and highlight my strengths really made sense. I had Wharton, Columbia and Cornell in my mind and he really seemed to know what it takes to get to these schools. If you, as an applicant, have some drawbacks in your applications and still have some time before you apply, I would definitely suggest that you talk to him and see where you can improve. He seems to be really good at differentiating you from other applicants, especially if you are from an overrepresented applicant pool. The resources that he would provide you with, will give you a very good idea on how to draft essays (before his review).

Overall, I would definitely recommend scheduling an initial consultation with him.

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2011, 12:03
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I think one of the better things you can do is go ahead and take advantage of their free consulting sessions to get a general feel for them and then use that as one data point to compare against what people are saying here.

I have a free talk with Paul Lanzillotti tonight. mbamission came to my MGMAT class over the weekend (they are business partners) and gave a short talk about their approach. I reached out to Sandy (HBS Guru) to see what he had to say. The bigger companies kind of worry me as the customer. I'd prefer a more intiamate, boutique approach, but I realize that these people have mouths to feed also.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2011, 22:02
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I also tried EssayCom - you won't find them advertise anywhere. My friend here on GC forum recommended me.

He charged me 120 bucks per essay (any school), unlimited edits and reviews, 2 day return

I would recommend trying him if you know your story and profile (as he won't do much in that level). He also only communicates via email which I thought was okay. He did turn around in 2 days and I was pleased with his edits on one essay and was average on the other one. I think he also charges 420 bucks for the whole school unlimited package too.

Based on my experience, I would rate him a 3.5 - 3.75 out of 5. So maybe he would fit in with your needs. 120 bucks? Worth a shot IMO. Nothing to lose. Better than spending 5k and realizing that some big brand company did not fit your needs.

I will have a couple more in coming days as I am out of country. PM me if you need more info.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2011, 05:33
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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to chime into the discussion and mention the consultant I used, which I don't think anyone has discussed yet. Like many of you, I took many companies up on the free initial consultation - I think I spoke with consultants from MBAmission and Admit Advantage. I was referred to Tyler Cormney (http://tylercormney.com/) by a colleague, and I eventually chose to work with him.

I started the process pretty early - I took the GMAT in May and started working with Tyler soon after. We spent probably the first 2 months working on my story, goals, personality/leadership strengths and weaknesses, etc. - basically, all the building blocks. With that ironed out early on, essay writing became significantly easier, and I firmly believe that is where I got the most value from Tyler. He really took the time to get to know me as a person, and that helped him mold my story.

In terms of essay editing, I found him to be very helpful and prompt as well - I write a lot of lengthy (and difficult to understand) sentences, so he really helped there, as well as making sure that the entire thing made sense as a whole. I did a mock interview with him too, and he did lots of research beforehand to make sure that he asked questions that the school's admissions officers typically ask.

Anyhow, if any of you have questions about Tyler, I'd be happy to answer them - I got into my top choice school with a scholarship, so the results definitely show.

Thanks!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2011, 02:03
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UA87:
Thanks for the props.
- Paul Lanzillotti

ua87 wrote:
I have been looking for an admissions consultant for a while and from what I read on the GC and else where, I scheduled two calls, one with MBAMission - Jeremy and other one with Amerasia - Paul.
MBAMission. I had a 30 minute discussion with Jeremy where he basically commented on my profile, what could have been my strengths and weaknesses and he answered my questions. Then he asked me to send him one of my applications past year and we scheduled another call where he went through my old application, pointed out the week parts of my essays and potential improvement areas.
I like talking to Jeremy but if he told me that if I hire them I would working with another consultant from the company.

Amerasia: Before the talk, Paul had answered a lot of PM's from GC and he had given good advices / comments. So I decided to have a call with him too. before the call I send him one of my old applications and our call was similar to the one with MBAMission. Paul gave his comments on all of 4 essays on that application, and again pointed out the potential improvements in each of them. We had scheduled the call for 30 mins. but it took almost an hour and he answered all of my questions in detail. After the call he sent me a bunch of documents like sample essays , school guides, interview guides etc.

I am slightly inclined towards Amerasia (it is slightly cheaper and I felt very comfortable talking with Paul, I am not sure if I'll feel the same with the consultant MBAMission assigns me) currently but still not sure which one to go with. But based on my initial calls but guys seem great..

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2011, 20:24
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I have contacted Amerasia and mbaMission for free consultation. I will update the details once I am done with the consultation.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2011, 03:43
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Gclubbers, Who, in your opinion, is a patient consultant at mbaMission. I have a consultation lined up and the consultants available are

Lynn Moloney
Regan Clarke
Brian Hartman
Jeremy Shinewald-This guys consultation is pretty late in the night wrt my time. If every other consultant is short tempered and impatient then I will choose Jeremy.

If you feel uncomfortable posting your choice, please pm me, it will be very helpful.

Thanks.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2011, 11:12
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wow just had a call with Lisa Westlake at Stacy Blackman - she was late to the call and then she mixed up my profile with someone else's... which was ok, i mean, people make mistakes. she did offer some solid comments about interviews and what each school might focus on etc.

and then it just kinda became a boring sales pitch when i asked about the consultant pairing process etc. i also asked what's the maximum number of clients each consultant takes on (something i'm very concerned about), and she gave some vague answer like "for some consultants the max is 2, for others its 20"... C'MON. I'm a consultant myself and I say things like that to my clients all the time, and i fully understand how quality is usually compromised simply because of workload (because it happens to me too!!!).

i guess i do prefer the boutique firms ive spoken to so far...
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2011, 11:14
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contact Paul at Amerasia.. They have very good prices.. During my search, I found them to be competitive ..
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2011, 19:51
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myturn2012 wrote:
I was under the impression that most of the top consulting companies have similarly high rates as MBA Exchange. Maybe I am missing something. Who do you consider affordable (e.g. a 4-5 school package less than 4K (IMO))?

The biggest savings comes from buying a smaller package (1-2 schools), but many consultants have priced their packages to provide a very small discount for reducing your school count. I believe Amerasia and Avi Gordon both provide 1 or 2 school packages at rates that are much lower than MBA Exchange, MBA Mission, etc. Some consultants price their packages differently for each applicant, so you'll have to reach out to them on your own for a quote.

simmy818 wrote:
Cost is one aspect - but dont just decide based on low cost -

I know everyone wants to put their best foot forward, and I agree completely that cost shouldn't be a stand-alone criteria. However, I would encourage everyone who's shopping for consulting services to give a lot of thought to value.

My only advice is to be practical about your expectations. Once you get past your first two schools, you've typically covered the entire application process for the rest of your schools. You shouldn't be copy/pasting entire essays from one school to another, but you'll at least have built a well-written essay library to pull stories from. It doesn't matter if you spend $2k, $6k, or $60k, no consultant can change who you are or where you came from. You'll need strong essays that showcase your unique accomplishments to the adcom if you're going to be admitted at a top school, but don't forget that the adcom is admitting you - not your essays.

For some people, a great consultant will be the difference between an admit and a rejection. Writing is a very important part of the application and you might be one of those people that gets a lot of value from a $6k consulting service. For many (maybe most) other applicants, a great consultant will give them peace of mind, but the services provided by the consultant will not change the admission decision that they receive.

As stressful and expensive as the application process can be, try to make the most out of it and reflect on what's truly important to you. Genuine essays are the easiest to write and they're also what adcoms will find most interesting.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2011, 07:56
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I am editing this thread to update my experience with Amerasia-Mr.Adam Hoff. I missed out updating the thread after my consultation.

I contacted both Company Consultants Amerasia-Adam and mbaMission-Brian.

Initially I had my inhibitions with Amerasia HOWEVER my inhibitions were addressed and I was satisfied by the end of the consultation.

I attended a one hour consultation with Adam.
I consulted with Adam and he was very enthusiastic during the entire consultation. As a person, I found him to be accommodating in nature and I think its a very important aspect of any consultant (technical or management). I interrupted him at times to address some of my concerns, and he was sportive enough not to get upset or to let the consultation be affected by the interruption.

On a professional level, I found both Adam and Paul to be very knowledgeable. Their knowledge of schools, and the extent to which they commit themselves to learn more about the programs is very commendable. Adam gave me glimpses of how they gain insight into the focus areas of each school and I felt that was very refreshing.
Adam mentioned that a portion of his clientele is made of internationals and I felt that it was a good point as he would have gained significant information on the areas of concern that an Admissions officer has when dealing with international students.
He also spent a significant time taking about particular high target schools such as Columbia and by the end of the consultation process I was fairly satisfied.

I chose Amerasia for the following reasons

Their approach was unique and refreshing unlike other consultants who were giving cookie cutter responses.
Based on the consultation, I felt that Adam was approachable.
*I felt their level of knowledge of schools is very useful for international applicants, who don't live in USA and who have very limited resources to draw information.
I felt that as an international applicant, I would be able to draw upon their experience and address some of the concerns of admissions officers towards internationals, concerns which I would be unaware of.

mbaMission-Brian talked well; he went outside his comfort zone and queried about my application. He tried to scrutinize the mistakes I did in my essays and pointed out the points which I could improve and describe more succinctly to me-I did not sent any of my essays to mbaMission but I was asked to describe how I wrote my essays. I thought that was a positive point. He did not rush through the session, and did not sound as if he wanted to just conclude the session regardless of whether I may take up their packages.

I missed my first free consultation but I am glad I finally talked to its consultant. Some positive points but I am not 100% confident on their knowledge of schools, or the extent of support and dedication the consultant will be putting into strengthening the applicant essays. I did not get to gauge these two things in the free consultation.

I will update my experiences of working with Amerasia and please feel free to approach me for any information.
Regards.

Last edited by BlueRobin on 03 Jun 2011, 09:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2011, 14:55
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blahblahGMAT wrote:
Av has an excellent point.. Try the 1~2 school package.. There are two advantages.

1. You will know how the admission consultant works..
2. You might be able to save some $$ by doing the others by yourself, using the information and research from the 2 schools you've applied to.. They pretty much ask similar information.


Also both companies I worked with were willing to let me add on additional schools later and just charge me the difference, so not really any downside from a cost perspective to starting out with only 1 school
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 15 May 2011, 18:28
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Hi everyone,

I feel I should weigh in here. I tried not to post, but seeing the previous posts I feel I should share my "journey".

I went through the law school process writing my essays, doing my resume....and was rejected from 3/4 schools...the schools do not matter, but the one I was accepted at was not ranked in the top 50.

My background is really more business focused, so I decided to take 6 months and study for my GMAT....my first attempt was unsatisfactory, so I waited a month and re-took it. I got a score I figured would be good enough for a top 20 school. I applied to 1 safe, 1 in my range school, and 1 reach. My essays were just not turning out how I pictured them in my mind...the words just did not match up with my thoughts/background/expression of myself. I did my research and decided to go with Stacy Blackman. I know they have gotten a bad rap on this blog but this is honest to God my 100% experience.

I started working with one of their consultants and immediately clicked...they picked out the things I should highlight, the things I needed to explore more, and the things I needed to address as weaknesses.... I was skeptical at first...BUT every conversation we had I felt my essays got better... let me be clear, they do not write your essays for you, but help you find your voice....which I needed. All communications were timely, professional, and very insightful. Example....My main consultant did not have an area of expertise in the one area I was inquiring about, so they brought in another consultant who did...very selfless and turned about to be very informative.

All in all, it was an expensive engagement.... BUT I was dinged from my safe school, my mid range school, and accepted into my reach school after going 0/2...which is a top 3 MBA program....But I think the caricature SB got earlier in this blog was from someone who had a bad experience....and I wanted to share a positive experience.

Just remember...consultants cant't help you with GPA, Resume, GMAT, EC's, Personality, etc...but they can help you find your voice and put your best foot forward.

I wish all of you the best, I just went through the year long process of applying and heading to B-School next year...so I know what you are going through, I wish you the best, and God bless.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 15 May 2011, 19:52
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I just wanted to share my experience. I used to post on gmatclub under a different alias last year. I went with mbaMission last year and I applied to 6 out of the top 10 schools. End result - 0 interviews, 6 dings. I was new to this admission consulting process, so I was not sure if I was on the right track or not. After talking to some other consultants this year, I found I was quite misguided. I had a particular long term goal in mind (something I wanted to do), but my consultant advised me that since my background is in a different industry it is best for me to have a different short and long term goal. I trusted my consultant, a bit too much. Now that I look back at things - I spent close to $7,500 where most of the money went into editing stories and essays (one real pricey edit job). Did I think my essays have correct grammar - YES. Were they good enough to be an elevator pitch - HELL NO. Will I go back to them - NO.

P.S. I used admissions411.com when I selected mbaMission. I have a feeling, that site just displays ads from satisfied customers not the unsatisfied ones.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 18:52
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Hi All
Does anyone know of Paul Bodine, is he good ? any reviews ?
I think he used to be with Accepted
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 19 May 2011, 00:38
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Has anyone tried a ding analysis? I'm considering re-applying R1 this year. From what I've read, I think I'm mostly deciding between Sandy and Alex...

- Sandy, because he seems to be the most experienced and has an "insider" take; that said, I get the sense that he treats b-school admissions as a high-stakes game warranting whatever-it-takes tactics to win
- Alex, because he seems to be more down-to-earth, in tune with what actually matters in life and is able to keep things in perspective; I don't know if he has as much of a killer instinct, so to speak, but I like his emphasis on living a life rather than trying to build an app

Or perhaps more to the point... I think Sandy has better odds of getting someone in (and isn't that what we're paying them for?) but Alex might be a better coach (for short-term needs as well as longer-term life goals).

Again, this is purely my opinion from reading posts written by Sandy and Alex as well as combing through their web sites. I'll update the thread once I've actually had a chance to talk to both of them and have made a decision.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 19 May 2011, 02:30
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@gmat1011

Thanks for your words of support. I completely agree with you that signing on a consultant isnt a decision that should be taken lightly - theres a lot of money involved and we need to get as many honest opinions as possible to get a fair view of whats happening.

@gaman

I couldn't have summed it up better myself!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink] New post 19 May 2011, 17:28
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Guys, I think we are loosing sight of what this forum (and thread) was meant for. I think we all owe bb a chance to reclarify why m7's posts were deleted! Also, I agree with Gryphon's request for more clarity around the role of consultants on this forum and whether there is a potential conflict of interest. However, potentially baseless mud slinging can and should be avoided. C'mon lets be civil.

As for rules around posting consultant experiences, bb's been kind enough to provide those anyway. He's clearly given a recommended format and has also given a general disclaimer. From that point onward, common sense should take over...
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies?   [#permalink] 19 May 2011, 17:28
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