The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to: Some, but not all
This is my first post here, and in all honesty I do not spend a lot of time on forums at all because they usually bring me more anxiety than calm! Having said that though, I would like to post for all of you my review of Amerasia and Paul Lanzillotti, and hope that it will help you as you decide whether or not to use a consultant and if so, whom to choose.
When I first decided 2012 would be the year I apply to B-school, I had barely heard of admissions consultants and was certainly not planning to hire one for myself. I have an impressive GMAT score, solid work experience, strong writing skills, and several MBA grads in my extended family to help me so I figured I was all set. When I got down to choosing my schools and looking at the essay prompts for each one, I idly browsed a few GMAT/MBA forums to see what others were doing. That’s when I got seriously intimidated. I realized I was up against a very varied pool of applicants from completely different backgrounds and professions and unlike applying to engineering grad school (which was much more straightforward), I had no idea what I should do to appear unique and compelling in my B-school application. I was encouraged by a couple of friends and by my husband to look into getting a consultant and after some initial sticker shock I decided it was worth the money.
I interviewed 3-4 different companies (including Stacy Blackman) before I had my free initial call with Paul Lanzillotti (Amerasia). Within the first 15 minutes of that 90 minute call, my decision was made and I signed up for the 3 school package with Paul immediately! Paul had taken the time before our free consultation call to pore over my resume and profile, and he got straight to the point on the phone discussing what areas of my background I should emphasize versus play down. This was in sharp contrast to the other consultants I’d spoken to earlier, who were clearly learning about me for the first time on the call itself.
My first impression of Paul was excellent, and it never lessened through the many months we worked together on my applications. He came to every single call we had each week fully prepared and we always hit the ground running. I credit him especially for listening carefully when I discussed my experiences, identifying things unique about me and my background, and encouraging me to represent those in my application - which I wouldn’t have done otherwise because these are things I generally take for granted and wouldn’t necessarily think are my best strengths. He also really knows his stuff on what each school wants and how each one is different from the others, which is super useful when you’re applying to multiple top schools and want to tweak each application to be just perfect for the target school. Some schools care a great deal about which clubs you will join, while others just want to hear that you’re going to make a difference in a third world country. I certainly didn’t know who cares about what, so his experience and advice was invaluable. His turnaround time on essays was solid, and his comments were always very detailed and easy to take action on. He never tried to put words in my mouth or write my story in his way, but at the same time was very candid and honest when my stories or ideas just weren’t compelling enough for the essay prompts. He helped me prepare well for my interviews, and was always available to read or review something even at the last minute.
Overall, Paul is just a really nice and easygoing guy, he is very easy to work with and I felt like I was chatting with a friend during our weekly calls. Also, best cheerleader ever. He was genuinely disappointed with me when I didn’t get into Stanford, and incredibly happy with me when I did get into Kellogg. I highly, highly recommend him as an admissions consultant, and I wish him and all of you every success ahead.
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