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MBA Apply vs HBSGuru

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MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2009, 06:56
Has anyone tried getting consultancy service from MBA Apply (Alex Chu) or HBSGuru (Sandy)? I'm interested in hiring a consultant for my essay prep so if anyone of you have good recommendations, please let me know! Thanks!!
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2009, 07:29
They are both highly regarded but personally I could not imagine working with Sandy...he has horrible interpersonal skills in my opinion. Neither will get you into a top 5 school if you dont have the profile for it but if you want to spend the money I would go with Alex everytime. I couldn't stomach the idea of dealing with Sandy no matter how good he is at what he does.
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2009, 12:41
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I talked with several of the consultants during my initial evaluation of chances at schools - Alex, Sandy, MBA Mission and MBA Exchange I would recommend the same for anyone willing to try them out - do your own call with each, you will learn a lot and you will see which one fits your needs best. Pitty they actually don't know much of each-other, because they might be able to communicate the difference better. ( http://www.admissions411.com/ tries to rank them all but I think those results can be skewed in many ways. Still usefull information to some levels.) Here is what I learned:

1. Alex - former Wharton MBA, good at showcasing clear cut strengths and frank during conversations. I would use him is Wharton is your first choice and you need a well targeted profile there.
2. MBA Mission - all former Harvard MBAs and all writers. Good at honing your writing and telling a story. Very focused on the writing part as a result and I am not sure how much they follow up with changes at the schools or the general admissions goals. May be able to sharpen your profile for general Admission. I didn't hear about former admissions people at specific schools on their team, they seem to be mostly former students. They do seem use admissions 411 as their testimonial and marketing tool.
3. MBA Exchange - heavy duty business with many former admissions staff from the top schools. However their standard service is 4 schools with a price to match. They brag with 90+ success rate but it applies getting accepted to at least one school from the list with which you apply with them so if you have the cash and need to be accepted somewhere this year, they may be a good choice.
4. Sandy - THE expert for HBS. Former admissions at a top MBA and former Harvard professor. I think he knows what he is doing and he seems to follow up with the top schools. I did not get the vibe from him that matches the rumors.

I say talk with as many of these guys as you can. Most offer 10-30 minutes of advice for free.
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Last edited by MBAgirl2010 on 30 Aug 2009, 16:40, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2009, 14:55
Would you guys only use a consultant if you're applying for a top 5 school?
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2009, 15:18
Jeffelite wrote:
Would you guys only use a consultant if you're applying for a top 5 school?


Many consultants specialize in top 10 and I know MBA Exchange and many other firms also helped people at lower ranked schools. Generally it depends what your own goals are and where you see yourself needing help. Some people choose to get a consultant for their most competitive choice and apply on their own for the rest, which is why the consultants specialized in the top 10 get more attention.
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2009, 22:22
My target school is not in the top 10, I'm aiming for Berkeley Haas, and I'm looking for help on essay editing. Which one would be the best to provide me this service? Thanks!
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2009, 03:48
gotomba wrote:
My target school is not in the top 10, I'm aiming for Berkeley Haas, and I'm looking for help on essay editing. Which one would be the best to provide me this service? Thanks!


Hass is among top 10.Your essay themes would be same for all the top 20 schools.That's why,some of these firms charge more for the first school.IMO,it doesn't matter whether you are applying to top 5 or top 20, if need help with essay editing,get it irrespective of the school.

I think all the editing services mentioned above have something good to talk about.
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2009, 10:12
I've never used one of these services, but in my experience Alex is a really sharp guy.
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2009, 08:01
If you need just grammar/essay-cleanup help, I think other services like Edit Avenue might be helpful too. I haven't used any of them, but heard good things last year. I'd do a forum search for more details on essay services.
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2009, 09:24
MBAgirl2010 wrote:
3. MBA Exchange - heavy duty business with many former admissions staff from the top schools. However their standard service is 4 schools with a price to match. They brag with 90+ success rate but it applies getting accepted to at least one school from the list with which you apply with them so if you have the cash and need to be accepted somewhere this year, they may be a good choice.


So how much do they cost? They sound promising but their website doesn't give their price which makes me nervous :shock:

MBAgirl2010 wrote:
I say pick based on what you need and the schools you target and talk with as many of these guys as you can. Most offer 10-30 minutes of advice for free.


I had an idea to schedule free consultations with as many consultants as possible, maybe it will lead to me going with paid services from one of them but otherwise I can scrimp and save for some free advice :twisted:
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2009, 09:54
One thing I would like to add for anyone looking to use the consulting service for bschool admissions - is that YOU (the applicant) already have all the traits to get into these top schools. These consulting services don't work some kind of wonderful magic and transform you into someone else.

They will, however, help you find the strengths that you already possess (if you have not identified them already) and advise how you can tailor yourself to your target schools.

But let's not get your hopes up. I've met some members from last year who paid a lot of money to consulting services and the results he or she got in the end was not what he or she was expecting. And this happens a lot.

So hire consultants, not with expectation that they would guarantee your admission somewhere, but with expectation that they will just increase your chances of admissions. But the outcome will vary depending on who the applicant is. If your actual chance of admission to a school X is 5% and the consulting firm increases your chances to 8%, that is still a low percentage.
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2009, 11:04
nink wrote:
But let's not get your hopes up. I've met some members from last year who paid a lot of money to consulting services and the results he or she got in the end was not what he or she was expecting. And this happens a lot.


Would you be able to mention some of these scenarios without mentioning names?
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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2009, 15:36
Here is my guide to finding out if you need a consultant.

1. You have shared your profile here and get input that you might stand a chance at a given school of your choice.
2.Then talked with at least 2 alumnae of the school, found out they think you might stand a chance and at least one offers to help you in some way (that confirms they think you can get in)
3. You have read Montauk and have some idea of your strengths/weaknesses.
4. You have talked with at least 3 consultants asked them about your profile, strengths, weaknesses, chances at the school you chose and at a school you know you are not a good fit (test their frankness), their expertise, one way in which they would address a weakness of yours and price.

If one the consultants has told you something that goes beyond what you learned in steps 1-3 that would also be worth the price you might be on the right track.

Consultants may also be good if you are international and have few sources of info on applications or us education besides this forum. If you have a strong set of stories but need a better way to tell them, use a writing coach instead.

Keep in mind, adcom will not appreciate you using a paid consultant and many alumnae would be willing to give you advice for free. Tap into those as a better alternative. Also, be very careful when getting advice from others to not loose your own voice in your writings. Adcoms are very good at sensing funky stuff in essays, they may actually ask in interviews if you have received professional help.

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Re: MBA Apply vs HBSGuru   [#permalink] 30 Aug 2009, 15:36
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