I worked with Adam Hoff from Amerasia on three schools (well I was planning to apply to 7 but then I got lazy) – Booth, Columbia, and Stanford – and I got into Booth (with a happy pile of $$$) and Columbia. During the whole application process, I found myself saying this to my friends all the time, "i don't know how people do it without a consultant!!!"
By that, i don't mean people can't write decent essays and put together decent resumes and get into decent schools without the help of a consultant, but having a consultant to me is like having a coach to motivate you and cheer you along - Adam is very energetic and approachable, and he has a great sense of humor which has proven to be so very important in keeping my spirit up (we all know how frustrating the application process can get). I felt comfortable asking every single stupid question that popped into my head, even for questions he could have just answered with a simple "yes" or "no" or "don't worry about it", he would still go to great lengths to explain his comments and rationale. His comments were all straightforward and candid, so while he was often very humorous about it, he would tell me directly if an idea or essay just doesn’t make sense to him – so no unhealthy coddling there at all. For each school I was given a “strategy guide”, which details what the school might focus on or care more about in their essays. Those were REALLY helpful because I would have just completely re-used essays for multiple schools if Adam hadn’t told me not to.
Adam is also an amazing writer, and that’s something I value the most. I mean while a lot of current students can tell you about what each school values, very few people have the capability to help you tell your story. Adam did a great job helping me storyboard and giving me advice on how to get my points across more efficiently.
Just fyi, i actually set up calls with 5-6 consultants and Adam was the only one who really stood out. One of the worst calls was the one i had with Jon @ Precision Essay - i work for one of the biggest consulting companies in the world and he spent 10 mins telling me how i should explain what my company does in my essays to make sure the AdCom people know what consulting is like (?!)… but anyways my experience with Adam was fantastic and I would definitely recommend him to anyone in a heartbeat.
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