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"Best" admission consulting companies?

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New post 14 Sep 2011, 21:39
What are the prices for Ivy MBA Consultants?

I have been researching consultants for some time now and I can't settle on a single company, or person. They are all so expensive and I feel like the big companies just set you up with young consultants out of b-school who don't really have any extensive knowledge of the application process except from their own experience applying. Thats not worth $4,000 in my opinion. I would like a consultant that does this full time, preferably based in nyc. Any recommendations?
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New post 16 Sep 2011, 00:13
For someone based out of India (or even in North America), 'Experts Global' located in Delhi, India is a very compelling choice.

I am availing their services and they helped me boost my score from 680-690 to 750 (Q50/V41).

I have now signed up for their 'application packages' service.
They can present your story in the essays convincingly and convey your candidature with amazing clarity.
It is run by few of guys who have themselves gone through the process of the MBA apps and know what it takes.

They will charge you a fraction of what other Ivy agencies may charge, but I think they are very effective!
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New post 19 Sep 2011, 01:09
Edit: Moderator Note: First time poster; low credibility
However, registered 5 months before posting this; continues to visit the site more or less regularly


Just want to share a little bit on Precision Essay. Let me do some disclaimer first - I am new to the forum. Now,I am still having the service with the firm.

Honestly, I wish I had read this comment earlier...

I do agree with Sanv. For typo, I did experience that after they edited my resume and said that was prefect. I almost trusted them 100% to submit it right away. Luckily, I also sent to my friend to ask for final comments and he found at least 3-4 mistakes in the resume.

Knowledge of Specifc School Themes: I agree that PE does not add any value in this sense. I hoped to get extra insight about the school given I paid for a better application. But unfortunately, so far, I got nothing specific. Or that shows I have done a very good job to understand the school already (just wish that is the case...)

For other comments below, I do agree with most of the points. But while I am still working with them, I am pushing them harder to address the problems and weaknesses.... Now, it may be unfair to give all in detail.

I will come back and add more color later....

sanv wrote:
MBA Consultant Comparison - Precision Essay vs. Amerasia
I am using two different consultants this season, both Full package - 1 school. I don't recommend doing this, I was on a time crunch and couldn't decide which I wanted to go with. Precision Essay cost a lot less and since it would basically be the same price for 1 full package from each company as it would for 1 full and 1 smaller package just from Amerasia, I went with 1 full each and figured that way if I wanted to add another school later, I would know which one I preferred. I am still in the application process and have not received decisions from either of these schools yet, but wanted to share my experience now in case it helps someone else who is deciding. I evaluated each on the following criteria:

Knowledge of Specifc School Themes: Precision: C Amerasia: A
Amerasia knew the insights of the school and what they were looking for, I don't think Precision even knew what the essay questions were if I didn't tell them

Learning about me to bring out best aspects: Precision: B Amerasia: A-
I had to keep reminding Precision of my weaknesses and plead for help in addressing them. Amerasia told me what they were and already had advice for me on the intial consultation call

Content of Edits Precision: B+ Amerasia: A
Amerasia read and edited with whole picture in mind, Precision did well in bringing more clarity out of me, but the themes I wanted to portray somehow kept getting lost. It was a bit frustrating, they would blanketly cut out sections, then later say I need more detail. Also found a typo after submitting my essay! My fault, I should have proofread better, but I later discovered this made it through 2 versions of their edits, how could they have missed that? Also lots of typos in their responses to me, not a big deal, but hard to take seriously.

Turn-around time for edits Precision: A+ Amerasia: A
Precision would sometimes send revisions back the same day and was very sensitive to my deadline. Yet to experience either very positive or very negative from Amerasia as far as response time, seems about right, and my deadline for this one is not as urgent, so pretty good to start.

Overall Value for money Precision: C Amerasia: A
I don't feel I got the full value of Precision's Deluxe package. Part of this is my fault, I did not give them much lead time before my application was due, but I was also not familiar with the process and how much time I needed. I gave them my deadline and I feel as a consultant they really should have told me you will only have time to get to the essays and a Junior package would be fine. But instead they sold me on the Deluxe, claiming it was necessary for the first one, yet I only got one resume edit (he recommended I lengthen it to two pages...huh?), no time for recommender advice, no evaluation of my application as a whole etc. all which are supposed to be included in the Deluxe. The time I needed to get the full value just wasn't there and I wish they would have been honest about that. I would consider Precision again only if I needed help with essay revisions, but as a consultant helping to shape my overall application, I would look elsewhere.

Amerasia is absolutely worth the money in my opinion, plus I see they are offering 15% off now in the GMAT Club marketplace...the decision is a no brainer. I also really like their fee structure, how you pay a lower price up front and only pay the extra $300 if you are extended an interview invite. At least that way you are not paying up front for a service you might not need if you do not get invited. I am just getting started with them but already feel good about it. Hope this comparison helps to decide, good luck everyone!
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New post 22 Sep 2011, 12:02
great posts and feed back. glad to see reps from the consultants as well.
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New post 28 Sep 2011, 03:50
1
i'm working with Adam from Amerasia and while i'm only half way through the process, i find 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 energetic and approachable, and he has a great sense of humor which has proven to be so very important in keeping my spirit up! I feel comfortable asking every single stupid question that pops 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 are straightforward and candid, so while he is 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.

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 US 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 (?!). while i'm sure he's probably a very intelligent guy, the call didn’t convince me that he was a good fit for me.

Feel free to PM me if you have qns 8-)
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New post 30 Sep 2011, 07:35
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*****Sorry for the late UPDATE, I still feel this will be useful********[color=#0000FF]
-------------------------------
I had really bad experience with Veritas after 2 interactions with my consultant. I wanted my money back - and after SEVERAL calls they agreed but still didn't refund $300.00
Now I am working on my own. This tells me that - whatever research we do - at the end its your luck if you get a good consultant or not.

Also one of their consultants - wanted me to work with him/her seperately without going thru Veritas !! Can u believe that!!
---------------------------------[/color]
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New post Updated on: 10 Oct 2011, 01:07
3
2
I will provide a review on my experience with Several Admission Consultants (Omitting Names).

First, I will highlight the positive aspects of the consultants. Finally, Rather than pointing out or blaming, I will suggest some improvements where consultants could improve.

--------------
Positive Points
--------------

The End Product
============
The Final Essay is meaningful, and conveys the point. There can be minor mistakes and repeated information, which the consultant may overlook, however this can be taken care by the applicant.

Nature of Communication
==================
They are superficially supportive, and share their knowledge of schools.

Knowledge about admissions
=====================
An applicant can surely derive and understand what schools expect to read or what essays should convey after working, with the consultant, on atleast one or two schools. Few schools are more than enough, however it is upto the applicant to grasp this knowledge while working.

--------------
Improvements
--------------

Attitude
======
This needs a major transition. Unless, all the founders and admission consultants, of admission companies, are sultans of brunei, i am not sure why their attitude towards clients remains callous. There is an instance when I enquired politely about the service charges of an consulting company. One of the founders questioned my capability to afford their services. I was not sure whether such attitude is sub-consciously restricted towards certain groups of people, but I would suggest that they focus on the question rather than whether I am the son of an industrialist or a street vendor.

Observation: All applicants are simply sales figures. I would suggest that a client should be more than a number. I know this because I serve clients (in a hitech field), and I always prioritize my clients demands regardless of the pressure I already have. Such personal approach and priority must be given by a consultant, in order for the client to truly rely on the consultant and recommend the consultant.

Timelines
=======
This needs improvement too. The suggested time of reply is normally two to three days, however there were several instances when I had to wait more than three days, excluding any emergency that the consultant had.

Additionally, the consulting company needs to have some kind of structure where they inform their clients about impending deadlines, twice or thrice if needed, for accepting new schools. So far there is none, and regardless of your camaraderie with the consultant, the consultant will simply shut the door on you, and that is highly unprofessional and speaks volumes about the nature of a person.

School Packages
=============
My advice to all applicants would be to first pick a single school and work with the consultant to learn their mode of work. If your’ truly bedazzled by the consultant or if Ratan Tata agrees to sponsor you then surely pay for a boat load of schools in advance.

I would counter any consultant's claim that packages help an applicant by suggesting that a consultant can meet the target and gain reputation by working with different applicants on individual schools and that there is no hard and fast rule that applicants essays are improved unless they pick a package.

I need to clarify that this post is not aganist any particular person or establishment. I am more than willing to share positive experiences, as I did in this post, and reviews that I may have in future. I hope applicants and consultants take this as an attempt for transition towards better policies.

In the end, I would say to any applicant, use your intelligence, which fetched you amazing laurels, talk to other applicants, and approach a consultant. Above all, have a control on your application, and make sure your consultant keeps up his end of the bargain.
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Originally posted by BlueRobin on 06 Oct 2011, 03:53.
Last edited by BlueRobin on 10 Oct 2011, 01:07, edited 3 times in total.
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New post 06 Oct 2011, 10:24
Has anyone worked with Pythagurus, India?
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New post 08 Oct 2011, 12:28
BlueRobin wrote:
I will provide a review on my experience with Several Admission Consultants (Omitting Names).

In the end, I would say to any applicant, use your intelligence, which fetched you amazing laurels, talk to other applicants, and approach a consultant. Above all, have a control on your application and make sure your consultant keeps up his end of the bargain.


Thanks BlueRobin for sharing your thoughts in such a well structured manner..
I think what would be REALLY helpful for everyone is if you could actually name the consultants you worked with...That, I believe would definitely add value and give everyone a real sense of consultants before approaching them...

Hope you don't mind sharing!
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New post 09 Oct 2011, 23:03
My post is meant to inform other applicants over the measures that they need to take. It does not concern a specific consultant, as I have worked with several consultants over the two application cycles.
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New post 09 Oct 2011, 23:06
BlueRobin wrote:
My post is meant to inform other applicants over the measures that they need to take. It does not concern a specific consultant, as I have worked with several consultants over the two application cycles.



Thank you for the post - I added a link to your guidelines in the first post of this thread.
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New post 16 Oct 2011, 16:07
Baffling? Simple litmus test, actually. If you truly feel it was not an unfair advantage, would you have admitted to it during the interview? Most people would not, because hiring help to significantly edit your writing isn't fair for the rest of applicants who can't afford to, period.

Getting friends to proofread your grammar is acceptable. Hiring someone to build your story and significantly modify your writing IMO is not acceptable. You didn't have the wherewithal to build your own personal strategy/story, too bad! The level of involvement the consultant played in your essays, would it have even been allowed in a university English class? I don't think so.

I really hope you realize that you're lying to yourself and rationalizing it away. I might add that I would presume that adcoms are good at sniffing out these types of thing at the point.

rpratt620 wrote:
Occasionally, the issue of the ethics of using a consultant to aid in the app process emerges. My thought is that if professional writers use professional editors, why would someone applying to b-school, not use the resource of a consultant? Baffling to me why more people don't use them (and why I didn't use one sooner!).
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New post 16 Oct 2011, 22:30
ssh00 wrote:
Baffling? Simple litmus test, actually. If you truly feel it was not an unfair advantage, would you have admitted to it during the interview? Most people would not, because hiring help to significantly edit your writing isn't fair for the rest of applicants who can't afford to, period.

Getting friends to proofread your grammar is acceptable. Hiring someone to build your story and significantly modify your writing IMO is not acceptable. You didn't have the wherewithal to build your own personal strategy/story, too bad! The level of involvement the consultant played in your essays, would it have even been allowed in a university English class? I don't think so.

I really hope you realize that you're lying to yourself and rationalizing it away. I might add that I would presume that adcoms are good at sniffing out these types of thing at the point.

rpratt620 wrote:
Occasionally, the issue of the ethics of using a consultant to aid in the app process emerges. My thought is that if professional writers use professional editors, why would someone applying to b-school, not use the resource of a consultant? Baffling to me why more people don't use them (and why I didn't use one sooner!).


no intention in getting into this debate... but hey, if you can't beat the system, join it.

over n out.
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New post Updated on: 18 Oct 2011, 16:23
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Originally posted by fidelity on 18 Oct 2011, 14:03.
Last edited by fidelity on 18 Oct 2011, 16:23, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 20 Oct 2011, 04:05
Hi to fellow MBA aspirants,

4 months ago, I was as anxious as many of you were or are during your application process. One big part of that anxiety was finding the right guidance and help through the application process. I must say, that after working with Tyler Cormney, I feel I have addressed much of that anxiety.

I just wrapped up one of my round-1 applications with Tyler and was thoroughly impressed by the experience. I wanted to pass on a quick interim review to provide a great option to my fellow gclubbers. I will try to make this note as objective as possible so that you are able to quickly pick up the information that you need while finalizing a MBA- consultant.

Apart from excelling in other aspects of any consultant, two areas really stood out during my experience with Tyler.


Structure and approach:
Tyler’s experience coupled with very well researched MBAprepschool was a great way to organize my mba applications. (mbaprepschool com) has broken down the daunting application-discovery process in a series of well defined and actionable exercises. Traditionally, I would have spent 20% of time doing the groundwork and 80% writing the essays. Tyler’s process forced me to spend around 50% of my time to get a good base of leadership stories, career goals and key differentiators even before I had looked at my essays for my first school. This I believe added great value when I started with my first drafts.


Flexibility: One-on-one MBA counseling might sound like a Cliché, but I must say I got the true benefit out of it. Personal one-on-one counseling is much more than just giving unlimited time for editing and phone calls. Tyler with his professional experiences was the perfect sounding board for my career goals and other aspects of my application. I was pretty disciplined in the application process, thanks to Tyler emphasis on sticking to the cadence. But, Tyler provided a great deal of flexibility at times editing turnarounds less than 24 hours during the final few days before the deadline. In general, I would advise against having essay turnaround time as a criterion for selection. Most consultants would approach Editing as an additive process, adding tweaks or changes to existing material. Editing calls for a holistic review each time even if it is like the 5th draft. It does take lot of effort and heart deleting major portions of your almost final essay if it doesn’t bring the best possible impact. This is an area I benefited the most working with Tyler.

One of the areas, which worked well for my working style but might not for everyone, is structure of phone meetings. I usually took the lead on most calls and asked specific questions from the edited essays. Tyler was willing to provide guidance wherever needed. I am sure, he will flexible on working out a different approach to phone conversations.

Great experience overall, highly recommend working with Tyler. (www(dot)tylercormney(dot)com) At-least signup for the MBAprepschool. A service that is totally worth it.
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New post 26 Oct 2011, 18:48
bschool2014 wrote:
Any feedback on Drew Hoff from Amerasia? If you have feedback, pm me. Thanks!


Hi,

I am also intersted in finding out about Drew Hoff, if anyone has any experience with him, I would appreciate if you can share it with me. PM me.

Thanks a lot !
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New post 01 Nov 2011, 06:00
Hi all,

I would like to review a few consultants I used. For the following I used the FREE consultation which enabled me to get a good view of the service the companies offered. Also, for JK Consulting I paid for 1 essay edit.
So here it goes:

1) AMERASIA - Drew Hoff
Amerasia was overall the best service of all I used. Drew was fantastic. Very quick to interact with me and paid special attention to my profile. He also possessed good info on international schools and was especially accurate at pin-pointing the right school for my profile. His advice was honest and constructive. BEST CHOICE FOR OVERALL PACKAGE. Drew is especially recommended.
2) Precision Essay
Although the service is "basic" because it only formats essays I must say that Jon Frank is fantastic when it comes to essay editing. He is relaxed, friendly and really helps improve an essay. The free consultation edited half an essay but the work done was so good it actually transformed the whole product. Good to note, that when I asked for more advice Jon quickly and happily provided. In fact he actually eneded up "fixing" my whole essay. FANTASTIC ATTITUDE and very quick and good work. Top choice for essays
3) JK Consulting. JK seemed to have a great package. Nice website, lots of testimonials and cheap prices. Alas, I must say I was VERY annoyed. Overall the essay edit I paid for was cheap. But instead of providing constructive criticism I felt my essay was thrashed simply for me to feel inadequate so I would buy more services. Considering, I worked on my essay alone and got admitted into HEC Paris and ESADE my point of criticism for business is re-endorsed. Comparing to precision essay there is a huge price difference and also quality difference. This is not to say JK is all bad. Some points given in the essay truly helped me move forward and I consider that I was greatly helped. Overall I would say use only if you can make the effort to understand which comments are helpful.
Here is my biggest issue: I was asked to provide feedback on the essay which I did via email. 2 days later, WITHOUT my consent I was quoted on the website as an admitted student to a MBA. Not only was I not admitted but my privacy was not respected. The comment was taken down per my request...but too little too late.
4) Stacey Blackman. Overall very good. My consultant was fantastic but I felt I needed to push the information out of her. Feedback was good but I felt my unique profile wasn't valued as much; they didn't see my potential. I was told I probably wouldn't get into Ross or Tuck. Considering my admit into HEC and my recent interview request from Ross I see that as a mistake. Nonetheless, good service but Amerasia was a better choice for me.

I hope I helped a bit here... I must say that Precision and Amerasia were both top choices. A special note for Drew Hoff who dosent have many reviews here: He is absolute fantastic. Quick, accurate, very good work overall.
I wanted to focus my reviews on the bottom line. If anyone needs specific information I am happy to provide.
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New post Updated on: 05 Jan 2012, 12:27
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Originally posted by washingtondc627 on 01 Nov 2011, 06:25.
Last edited by washingtondc627 on 05 Jan 2012, 12:27, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 03 Nov 2011, 22:50
Does any of older applicants (above 32) here have successful experience with any of the admission consultants?
As I see, two of the biggest challenges in my profile are (a) I am already 32; will be 33 by the time I start school, (b) I also fall in one of the vastly representative & thus very competitive category in mba admissions.

Since in articulating their essays, older applicants face a slightly different set of challenges than those faced by candidates in their mid to late 20s, I was wondering if anyone with a similar background had a positive experience with any admission consultants?

I will greatly appreciate any response.
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New post 07 Nov 2011, 02:18
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Hey guys,

I am applying in R2 and recently decided to work with a consultant. I must say the decision which one to choose was more difficult than I had thought. I strongly suggest thinking about this early, as it is not exactly very smart to add unnecessary stress into the already demanding application process. Also, think about what you really want from the consultant, such as: "do I want him to help me discover myself and then just edit the essays a little or do I prefer a more directive approach, in which the consultant has a strong influence on the apps" etc. That said, I'd like to comment on the initial impression that Paul Lanzilotti of Amerasia Consulting made (as I have ultimately decided to go with someone else, I will comment on the other guy at some other time, perhaps after the whole application process).

In my case, when I first contacted Amerasia, I spoke to Adam, who later decided I should speak directly to Paul. We had to postpone the first introductory call on a kind of short notice, but other than that, I felt that Paul was pretty fast with replies to my emails and was also willing to do the call on weekend. In the intro call Paul spoke mostly about my profile (I sent him my prior to the call) and the way I should position myself and which schools to target. We also discussed the way the cooperation would work with him and I think if you are prone to procrastionation, he would definitely help you overcome that and get to work early. I tried to find out how many clients Paul works with in each round but that one question wasn't answered (I know it is kind of personal, but it gave me a slight feeling that there might be a little too many clients; on the other hand, the question might have just been missed among others I had).

Paul also helped me (as an international applicant) to select some schools I have previously not considered. Overall, after the one our intro call, I was confident that I'd be in good hands. He probably edits the essays quite a bit, which might work for some and not for others. Make sure you discuss these things. Paul also claimed he goes over the whole application thoroughly before submitting, which might not be the case everywhere. That said, Amerasia is not the cheapest company out there (although they do offer a 10% discount for gmatclub members) and I ultimately decided to turn his offer down mostly because of the price tag.


I will comment on my consultant's work in January when I have submitted the last of my apps. Good luck everyone!
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