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"Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014

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Rec for North Star Admissions Consulting - Karen Marks [#permalink] New post 31 May 2014, 07:37
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Hi--

Before I go into my recommendation, I'll first say that I don't believe there is one "best" admissions consultant for everyone. Like any type of product or service, you have a choice and you should find the one that best fits your needs and/or your working style.

That said, I'd like to recommend North Star Admissions Consulting and Karen Marks as another option to consider. She's relatively new in the world of admissions consulting, however, she worked for 10 years in admissions for both undergrad and MBA admissions at Dartmouth/Tuck.

I worked with Karen this past season. I found her style to be very practical and realistic. From her admissions experience, she dispels many of the myths that are out there and focuses on answering all of the questions that schools ask. She always gave actionable and specific feedback, and is extremely organized and prompt.

Most importantly, Karen doesn't treat admissions as a game with complicated strategies. She knows the type of information that admissions officer like to get, and isn't afraid to probe into your background, goals and interests to find anything to tell schools, no matter how off the wall.

Towards the end, I started doing hourly consulting because I felt amply prepared by Karen's prior feedback to handle things on my own. Karen is very efficient, so I had no worries about running up hourly charges.

At the end of the day, not everyone needs a consultant, but I just wanted to make this recommendation because I haven't seen North Star mentioned before in the forum.

Thanks.

Last edited by Ward2012 on 01 Jun 2014, 08:38, edited 1 time in total.
Correction: North Sta[r] Admissions Consulting
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"Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 31 May 2014, 07:49
Expert's post
Ward2012 wrote:
Hi--

Before I go into my recommendation, I'll first say that I don't believe there is one "best" admissions consultant for everyone. Like any type of product or service, you have a choice and you should find the one that best fits your needs and/or your working style.

That said, I'd like to recommend North Start Admissions Consulting and Karen Marks as another option to consider. She's relatively new in the world of admissions consulting, however, she worked for 10 years in admissions for both undergrad and MBA admissions at Dartmouth/Tuck.

I worked with Karen this past season. I found her style to be very practical and realistic. From her admissions experience, she dispels many of the myths that are out there and focuses on answering all of the questions that schools ask. She always gave actionable and specific feedback, and is extremely organized and prompt.

Most importantly, Karen doesn't treat admissions as a game with complicated strategies. She knows the type of information that admissions officer like to get, and isn't afraid to probe into your background, goals and interests to find anything to tell schools, no matter how off the wall.

Towards the end, I started doing hourly consulting because I felt amply prepared by Karen's prior feedback to handle things on my own. Karen is very efficient, so I had no worries about running up hourly charges.

At the end of the day, not everyone needs a consultant, but I just wanted to make this recommendation because I haven't seen North Star mentioned before in the forum.

Thanks.


Good to hear about a new player Ward2012 :)

Why don't you ask North Star Admissions Consulting/Karen to participate in our club ? That would be an interesting opportunity for the applicants/community to leverage her skills!
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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2014, 15:32
Hello,

I'm looking into MBA Admissions consultants and have been through many pages on gmatclub and beyond but am still having trouble with choosing an admissions consultant. I have spoken with a few companies but none of the experiences have led me to choose one or the other. From the information I've seen, the initial experience or consult is not an accurate predictor of the actual service.

Is there any concise comparison between consultants available? Statistical information? REAL reviews?
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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2014, 16:14
crisprin117 wrote:
Hello,

I'm looking into MBA Admissions consultants and have been through many pages on gmatclub and beyond but am still having trouble with choosing an admissions consultant. I have spoken with a few companies but none of the experiences have led me to choose one or the other. From the information I've seen, the initial experience or consult is not an accurate predictor of the actual service.

Is there any concise comparison between consultants available? Statistical information? REAL reviews?


How do you suggest a concise comparison? What sort of statistical information do you think is relevant?
Before answering these questions, read mbaMission's thoughts on success rates: http://www.mbamission.com/resources-tru ... -rates.php

Real reviews are available here: http://gmatclub.com/reviews/
(I will be first to say that I find these reviews kind of pointless in that everyone has a 5 star rating...)
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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2014, 11:39
Yes, I think its ridiculous to rely on anonymous 5 star ratings for many of these consultants. Are the anonymous and declared reviews at least verified by GMATCLUB?
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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2014, 12:33
crisprin117 wrote:
Are the anonymous and declared reviews at least verified by GMATCLUB?


Yes.

See: verified-reviews-125793.html
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"Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2014, 22:09

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I was referred by one of my college instructors to avail DreamMBA services in order to present myself as desirable candidate for “Columbia Business School". However, I initially tried free consultancy services of several firms before getting into paid services agreement. DreamMBA was not just the better option in terms of professional services but they were also offering the most affordable and flexible packages. I have purchased 4-school package as advised by my consultant.
Their out of the box approaches including mock interviews, demonstrations, and essay writing techniques were quite helpful in boosting my confidence, knowledge and belief that I can do it. Today I am at Colombia and I can safely say that my decision to choose DreamMBA was a true stroke of luck.
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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2014, 07:42
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Having been an entrepreneur for most of my professional career, I was in the deep-end when it came to the application process for B-schools. I knew I had very little time (I started the process only in August), and I knew that my profile wasn't that of the typical B-school applicant. This is when I came across Indusminds (http://www.indusminds.com). From the first introductory call itself, Biplav and his team were extremely methodical in evaluating my profile and giving me realistic feedback on schools I should target in R1 and R2. From helping me in drafting my CV (I hadn't prepared one in more than 5 years), to discovering the inherent story I had to tell, Indusminds introduced a structured framework for me to work with. Biplav was available around the clock for any questions I had and made the entire process extremely seamless. When I got my first interview calls, Indusminds helped me go through multiple mock interviews till I felt comfortable in telling "my story" in varying contexts. More than just being an admissions consultant, Indusminds was more of a teammate, friend and guide, working alongside me through the entire process. This is because they have themselves gone through the entire process themselves and understand how strenuous it can be for the applicant.
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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2014, 23:25
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crisprin117 wrote:
Hello,

I'm looking into MBA Admissions consultants and have been through many pages on gmatclub and beyond but am still having trouble with choosing an admissions consultant. I have spoken with a few companies but none of the experiences have led me to choose one or the other. From the information I've seen, the initial experience or consult is not an accurate predictor of the actual service.

Is there any concise comparison between consultants available? Statistical information? REAL reviews?



There are no real statistical answers that you would find online.

That being said I would like to mention that consulting business is very much driven by repute. One unhappy clients will tell his friends and colleagues about his bad experience which will damage your repute, brand value and eventually revenues. So a consulting company owner would rather take a loss on a certain applicant (paying his consultants more hours in order to assure client satisfaction) than getting his repute damaged.

in short, every consulting company would try its best to keep its customers satisfied. However, make sure that the consultant you work with has the required experience and makes you feel comfortable with the process (e.g. listens to your concerns and address them accordingly).
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"Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2014, 21:32

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NYU Stern was the only good school where i could try to think about pursuing part-time MBA near New York. I am really glad that I could make it through because of GyanOne. They are truly experts when it comes to insights into the admission processes at top US b-schools. Right from extensive brainstorming sessions to creating a strong recommendation strategy and resume, they helped me strengthen my NYU Stern Langone application from all perspectives. I really want to thank them for all their efforts and support throughout my application process.
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"Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2014, 21:40
Edit: Moderator Note: Review has been verified.


I decided to hire an MBA Admissions consultant because I knew I had the potential to get into a top school (solid GPA, acceptable GMAT, tons of leadership, and significant upward progress in my career thus far) but I came from a somewhat untraditional background, where I had few resources to consult within the work place or from friends and family, so needed help guiding me on the process. I had one shot to get in as I was in the latter half of my twenties and the time was now or never. I didn't want to look back wondering what if....

I had spoken to a few people I knew who had used Stacy Blackman and MBA Admissions. Both were pricey though and I was unsure if it was worth it. From my first call with Esther Magna at Stacy Blackman Consulting ("SBC") though, I was blown away by how she was able to dissect my strengths and potential weak areas to work on as though an admissions officer was reviewing my file. I liked her candor, ability to converse with my about my fears, the process, the costs, etc. She recommended 3 potential SBC consultants to me and I ultimately chose Dawn Clare based on her prior client feedback and personal approach.

On our first call, Dawn clearly communicated her style, approach and how we would work together to ensure it was a good fit. I had a stressful job as it was, and she ensured she would guide me through deadlines but not be another boss or nagging parent. I also liked her focus and ability to separate out how the schools were different and how to approach each one.

She also guided me through info sessions and what schools I should consider. As an expert, she was very informed as to what would play to my personality and strengths.

I decided to apply to 6 schools, 3 using SBC and 3 on my own. Since rankings mattered to me, 5 were the top 5 and I chose a 6th that is ranked #10-12 depending on the ranking. Dawn helped me create a comprehensive brand and strategy, which was the cornerstone of my application. She also made a deadline chart and adjusted it accordingly when huge projects came up at work. I aimed for Round 1, but it soon became clear that in order to do a good job, Round 2 for all of them was of going to be necessary.

Having the SBC resources of sample essays, sample resume formats, sample recommender guides, etc. was so invaluable to me! I am the type of person that needs to read other things to get my creative juices flowing. Using this as a framework, I could then ask Dawn all of my silly and random questions. We went through an outline process that was helpful in framing the essay and did most of the revisions there prior to the essay writing. My biggest issue is not being consice (point in case by this blog post) so she helped me stay within the word limits by forcing me to cut my outlines down too.

While at times her feedback was blunt, it was always timely and on point and allowed me to keep things moving. In the end, I was invited to interview at 5 of the 6 schools. She helped do a mock interview for one, which allowed me to prep like it was the real deal. Then she also put me in touch for the mock team based discussion, which greatly calmed me nerves about the format.

I ended up receiving acceptances from all 5 of those schools, some with merit scholarships! She even helped walk me through my choices as I was ultimately deciding between my top 2. I am delighted to say that I am going to HBS.

Dawn really does care about her clients and is able to see what sets them apart, even if you don't always know it. I would highly recommend her to anybody. She is selective in her clients, and only takes on a limited number that she knows she can truly help and commit to, which I greatly respect.
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"Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2014, 23:11
Hi,
I am very confused after initial profile reviews by 3 consultants. All had completely different views about my profile.

1. Stacy Blackman - They told me that my profile is a traditional engineer profile, with normal workexp and I should not apply in top 15 MBA institutes.

2. DreamMBA - They told me that My profile is very strong for top 15 institutes. I should apply in atleast 4/15.

3. ThinkAdmit(Local Consultant) - I have above average profile and I should target interest specific schools and should apply in 20-30 ranked colleges.

I am from IT/Indian/Male pool.
GMAT-710, 50Q,36V.
Workex-50 months
Age - 26

Please help me in to decide who is correct, as all these consultants have good reputation.
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"Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2014, 00:34
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viditjindal wrote:
Hi,
I am very confused after initial profile reviews by 3 consultants. All had completely different views about my profile.

1. Stacy Blackman - They told me that my profile is a traditional engineer profile, with normal workexp and I should not apply in top 15 MBA institutes.

2. DreamMBA - They told me that My profile is very strong for top 15 institutes. I should apply in atleast 4/15.

3. ThinkAdmit(Local Consultant) - I have above average profile and I should target interest specific schools and should apply in 20-30 ranked colleges.

I am from IT/Indian/Male pool.
GMAT-710, 50Q,36V.
Workex-50 months
Age - 26

Please help me in to decide who is correct, as all these consultants have good reputation.



Dear Vidit,

Our evaluation of your profile is based on our ability to place you at a top school. DreamMBA has successfully placed more than 100 Indian applicants to top US/European MBA programs. International students are our key area of focus. We know how to create a storyline for Indian applicants and differentiate them from their competition.

We have proprietary processes designed to meet the needs of Indian/Chinese/Korean/Japanese applicants, and our extensive business school research database keeps track of admission trends for international applicants across all top business schools.

I believe that you shouldn't sell yourself short. Business schools ranked 15-30 are safety schools for you. Apply in one or two schools there. But your goal should be to get into top 15. This is what you deserve and this is what I think is the best for your long term career.

I can't say much about other consulting firms. My hypothesis is that the consulting firms focused on US domestic candidates might not have the depth of experience that we have accumulated over the years. That's why you are seeing the difference in opinion.

P.S: Don't forget to register for our special upcoming webinar aimed at international applicants: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/regist ... 2586722817
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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2014, 04:34
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NYU Stern was the only good school where i could try to think about pursuing part-time MBA near New York. I am really glad that I could make it through because of GyanOne. They are truly experts when it comes to insights into the admission processes at top US b-schools. Right from extensive brainstorming sessions to creating a strong recommendation strategy and resume, they helped me strengthen my NYU Stern Langone application from all perspectives. I really want to thank them for all their efforts and support throughout my application process.


You got a PM!

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"Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2014, 09:54
I enrolled with Expert's Global http://www.expertsglobal.com very early on in my MBA journey, when I had little idea about GMAT or B-schools in USA. Expert guidance program for GMAT prep suited me very well, since I was not a fan of classroom coaching.. Although I barely knew them before I enrolled, I am so glad today that I did. Once I got lot of study material and other resources like practice tests.

After I enrolled I was assigned a mentor who guided me with my preparation. Simply following study plan and the materials ensured my success. Evidently there has been a lot of research and experience behind the study materials that were provided to me, I never referred to any other resource throughout my preparation. I have made a detailed post on how Expert's helped me crack the GMAT and score 770 ( http://gmatclub.com/forum/scored-770-on-my-first-attempt-180683.html)

After my GMAT experience, my faith on Expert's as reinforced and I decided to go ahead with their application package. Right from the shortlisting of schools to guiding me with Visa process, I got all the guidance I wanted from Experts. Shailesh, my mentor who worked me with me throughout the process, was very professional and very frank when he gave me feedback everytime, which helped me improve. Professionalism with a personal touch was the uniqueness of the guidance throughout, with schools shortlisting, essays and interview prep etc. You can read my detailed application experience here (http://gmatclub.com/forum/my-journey-to-tepper-180684.html)

I would like to thank Expert’s, especially, Mayank Srivastava, Shailesh Otari, who helped me at various stages of my MBA journey. What I gained from the association with Expert’s is much more than just a high GMAT score and an admit from a top global b-school. The experience improved my confidence, self-belief and the drive to aim higher.
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"Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2014, 06:06

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As a 32 year old consultant with a family and after a difficult 2013 MBA application season, I realized that it was now or never for getting into business school. In 2013 I applied to three northeast schools—Wharton (FT), Columba (FT), and Stern (FT)—and was ultimately dinged from all three after interviewing at two and being wait-listed at one. I needed an edge to make sure that my next application season was successful and my last. While I spoke with several MBA admission consulting companies, after reaching out to Tyler Cormney and having my introductory interview with Esther Choy I knew I had found that edge with MBA Prep School.

After my initial conversation with Esther there were four reasons I selected MBA Prep School and especially Esther Choy and Faisal Khan to coach me for my 2014 application season:
  • Their high historical success rate,
  • Their school selection strategy aligned with my goals (i.e., diversify among top schools vs. go downstream with schools)
  • They had the most collaborative and warm culture among the firms I interviewed (e.g., kicking off the essay writing process Esther said, “now the fun begins”—and she meant it!), and
  • As a collaborative team, Esther and Faisal could provide a more rounded perspective regarding my application—Esther described it as getting both the “cup half full” and the “cup half empty” perspective.

While the application process was still a lot of work, it was a lot more fun than my previous go around and I felt more confident having a team supporting me in the process. I even looked forward to our update calls as the brainstorming process was so enjoyable. Some of the areas that Esther and Faisal helped the most were in the following:
  • Capturing a compelling MBA vision,
  • Brainstorming the most powerful story ideas to communicate my vision and leadership strengths—with a team based model, this meant I got an extra “outside opinion” early in the process of writing an essay,
  • Teaching me how to structure the stories for the most powerful effect,
  • Providing editing recommendations, i.e.: pointing out areas warranting elaboration, but especially for suggesting areas to remove content and details to make room for the most powerful story elements, and
  • Providing guidance about selecting the most powerful recommenders among my pool of options.

However, beyond the more immediate goal of getting accepted to business school, I feel like working with Esther and Faisal has given me tools that will make me more successful in business. The experience has made me not only both a better writer, but also more able to communicate a compelling vision in broader contexts. Currently working in consulting, I foresee this having immediate benefits with:
  • Communicating my personal vision and strengths to colleagues and clients,
  • Pitching our company’s vision to clients to win projects,
  • Developing compelling client recommendations that clients actually want to read, and
  • Creating a more compelling individual performance narrative that allows me to earn a higher performance rating and achieve a more rapid promotion timeline.
  • Getting higher grades on MBA class essays :)

Ultimately, I was accepted to all four schools I applied to--Wharton (EMBA), Columbia (EMBA), Kellogg (1Y FT), and Tuck (FT)—and even earned a sizable scholarship from Kellogg. While I was expecting good things to come out of this application season, after my previous year’s application season performance, I was not expecting this level of success. That’s another of the many reasons I’m so thankful for Esther and Faisal’s help, guidance, and ability to make the process more fun that made this experience so successful and rewarding. If you’re looking to learn the tools that will make you more successful in the b-school application process and in business in general, look no further than Esther Choy and Faisal Khan at MBA Prep School.
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"Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2014, 22:28

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Well I had opted for General Education's gmat prep service and the counselling to choose between schools ! It was the second time I was giving the GMAT and I didnt wan't to lose out on it, I knew I needed coaching to structure my preparation. They really did a great job. My personal mentor was really helpful at all times. Just a personal recommendation from my side, however there are many admission consultants nowadays(Just don't fall into money making pitfalls)

If you would like to visit General Education's site :http://www.genedmba.com
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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2014, 02:18
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In order to remove the warning your post needs to be verified and validated...You got a PM!

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As a 32 year old consultant with a family and after a difficult 2013 MBA application season, I realized that it was now or never for getting into business school. In 2013 I applied to three northeast schools—Wharton (FT), Columba (FT), and Stern (FT)—and was ultimately dinged from all three after interviewing at two and being wait-listed at one. I needed an edge to make sure that my next application season was successful and my last. While I spoke with several MBA admission consulting companies, after reaching out to Tyler Cormney and having my introductory interview with Esther Choy I knew I had found that edge with MBA Prep School.

After my initial conversation with Esther there were four reasons I selected MBA Prep School and especially Esther Choy and Faisal Khan to coach me for my 2014 application season:
  • Their high historical success rate,
  • Their school selection strategy aligned with my goals (i.e., diversify among top schools vs. go downstream with schools)
  • They had the most collaborative and warm culture among the firms I interviewed (e.g., kicking off the essay writing process Esther said, “now the fun begins”—and she meant it!), and
  • As a collaborative team, Esther and Faisal could provide a more rounded perspective regarding my application—Esther described it as getting both the “cup half full” and the “cup half empty” perspective.

While the application process was still a lot of work, it was a lot more fun than my previous go around and I felt more confident having a team supporting me in the process. I even looked forward to our update calls as the brainstorming process was so enjoyable. Some of the areas that Esther and Faisal helped the most were in the following:
  • Capturing a compelling MBA vision,
  • Brainstorming the most powerful story ideas to communicate my vision and leadership strengths—with a team based model, this meant I got an extra “outside opinion” early in the process of writing an essay,
  • Teaching me how to structure the stories for the most powerful effect,
  • Providing editing recommendations, i.e.: pointing out areas warranting elaboration, but especially for suggesting areas to remove content and details to make room for the most powerful story elements, and
  • Providing guidance about selecting the most powerful recommenders among my pool of options.

However, beyond the more immediate goal of getting accepted to business school, I feel like working with Esther and Faisal has given me tools that will make me more successful in business. The experience has made me not only both a better writer, but also more able to communicate a compelling vision in broader contexts. Currently working in consulting, I foresee this having immediate benefits with:
  • Communicating my personal vision and strengths to colleagues and clients,
  • Pitching our company’s vision to clients to win projects,
  • Developing compelling client recommendations that clients actually want to read, and
  • Creating a more compelling individual performance narrative that allows me to earn a higher performance rating and achieve a more rapid promotion timeline.
  • Getting higher grades on MBA class essays :)

Ultimately, I was accepted to all four schools I applied to--Wharton (EMBA), Columbia (EMBA), Kellogg (1Y FT), and Tuck (FT)—and even earned a sizable scholarship from Kellogg. While I was expecting good things to come out of this application season, after my previous year’s application season performance, I was not expecting this level of success. That’s another of the many reasons I’m so thankful for Esther and Faisal’s help, guidance, and ability to make the process more fun that made this experience so successful and rewarding. If you’re looking to learn the tools that will make you more successful in the b-school application process and in business in general, look no further than Esther Choy and Faisal Khan at MBA Prep School.

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014 [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2014, 02:20
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Well I had opted for General Education's gmat prep service and the counselling to choose between schools ! It was the second time I was giving the GMAT and I didnt wan't to lose out on it, I knew I needed coaching to structure my preparation. They really did a great job. My personal mentor was really helpful at all times. Just a personal recommendation from my side, however there are many admission consultants nowadays(Just don't fall into money making pitfalls)

If you would like to visit General Education's site :http://www.genedmba.com

_________________

UPDATED : e-GMAT SC Resources-Consolidated || ALL RC Resources-Consolidated || ALL SC Resources-Consolidated || UPDATED : AWA compilations-109 Analysis of Argument Essays || NEW !!! GMAC's IR Prep Tool

GMAT Club guide - OG 11-12-13 || Veritas Blog || Manhattan GMAT Blog


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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2014   [#permalink] 16 Sep 2014, 02:20
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