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"Best" admission consulting companies?

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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2011, 08:51
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Really appreciate if anyone who has used Precision Essay/Amerasia drop me a PM?
Would like to ask a few more questions regarding the process.

Thanks!
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New post 05 Dec 2011, 10:37
Think Vibranture might be helpful(Though i have never used 'em)
ksp wrote:
LifeChanger wrote:
Hi,

Can anyone provide a review on "Apphelp" consultant services? If you have worked with anyother Indian based consultant services for Essays editing, resume, interview, please let me know about your experinces.

Thanks,
LC



Did you try MBACrystalBall sameer ?
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New post 06 Dec 2011, 10:38
Any reviews for Vocaz ... for engineers ?
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New post 07 Dec 2011, 06:48
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mundasingh123 wrote:
Any reviews for Vocaz ... for engineers ?


mundasingh123,
I worked with Vocaz on my MBA application (got into Sloan). I found them to be very responsive and professional which is very important for an admission consultant. They have a very structured process that incorporates feedback from recent alumni of the top schools. I decided to work them since they have expertise with engineering-background candidates, and they really did a great job helping me show that my background is relevant for business and to differentiate myself from other engineers.

The only issue with consulting companies is the high cost but it can usually be addressed by special programs/packages that they offer.

Overall I would highly recommend working with Vocaz.
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New post 15 Dec 2011, 11:02
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MBAapply.com Alex Chu's review
----
I just received a school decision so I can contribute to the forum by sharing my feedback on working with MBAapply.com guru Alex Chu.
A year ago, when I started an MBA saga, I was reading all available materials on the MBA program and the application process. Thus I came across Alex’s book "The MBA Field Guide" that literary covers all aspects of MBA application (by depth/quality of material I can only compare it with Rhyme’s guides). Later on I read his posts on the forum and came across his video advices on who to blow an interview http://mbaapply.com/interviewdonts.htm, so Alex appeared on my radar. Once I dealt with the GMAT, I looked for a consultant to help shape my essays (I had plenty of ideas/material, but vague understanding of the structure/selling points).

So, why Alex?
Uprightness/Integrity
First, I read this thread, shortlisted some names and then asked for free profile evaluation with four or five other companies. I was looking for an expert who can assist rather than milk me. Thus I immideately dropped all the companies offering crazy sliding schemes (pay for eight - get ten etc) – IMHO that makes no sense! If you are looking for specific experience and opportunities, you probably can shorlist three-four schools MAXIMUM! If your school list is more than four names, you are going after a diploma, not after knowledge/experience. Also, gone were the companies that work with fixed hours allocation as I had no idea how much time I would actually spend. I also deselected all canned evaluation replies. That is not serious: the cost of consulting is USD 2-3-xk and in many cases the only 'test' option for us to judge consultants is a profile evaluation. With such approach, I narrowed down my list to Alex and Avi Gordon (who wrote an excellent book on building your profile). Since Avi was on vacation and I really liked Alex's replies, I started with Alex.

Individual approach
Probably the only canned stuff I received from Alex was questionnaire. Apart from it Alex’s replies were up to MY points, customized and written in my language (in his explanations he would refer to realities of Europe where I live, not those of California where he lives)

Quality and patience
It probably took AT LEAST A DOZEN of iterations to get right my goal essay (I could not shape my ideas well enough). Alex patiently checked my corrections and reverted with advices. Note he won’t write stuff for you, but will explain what you need to think about, what will be better selling points and why. Response time was like 12 hours or sometimes even 2-3hr (Alex, do you have a life? :)

Fun
Alex has a very smart and often funny way of communicating, so you won’t be bored with "one size fits all" vague advices (‘be yourself’). In addition to application questions, I asked him on a lot of other related topics (job prospects etc) and received EXCELLENT advices that answered my points and also triggered some thinking.

Things to consider:
    I worked with Alex via email. I don’t know whether it is his policy, but eventually I understand it is probably better than Skype – I have all valuable info stored in my mailbox and can access it anytime.

    Unlike other consultants who advertise they will load you with schedules and be pushy, Alex won’t be kicking your a… (or maybe I was too fast working weeks before deadlines). IMHO, that is a personal choice – I think MBA students are adults who can manage their lives and don’t need a babysitter reminding ‘’it’s time to drink your glass of milk and submit that Harvard application’.

Results: INSEAD - accepted (prepared essays, CV with Alex; interviews - myself). Ross - interviewed and waiting (all prepared myself using experience working with Alex).
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2011, 00:06
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Hi all,

I recently wrapped up R1 after working with Adam at Amerasia and also did initial consultations with 7 or 8 other consultants. Feel free to PM me with any questions!

Thanks
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Last edited by solb22 on 09 Jan 2014, 17:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2011, 07:38
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Moderator: Identity checked. The user joined the club in June 2010, has more than 370 posts and owns more than 60 kudos. He got into CBS and Booth.

I am gmatclub regular, but I have decided to post this review under an anonymous username. If anyone would like to confirm my identity, or inquire further about my experience working with Amerasia, feel free to PM me.

----------------------------------------

This is a review of my experience using Adam at Amerasia. It was a pleasure working with him…and if there was a rating system in place, I’d give him a 10/10.

Before I go into detail about my experience working with Adam, let me explain my unique background. I have an above average GPA and GMAT score, but I lacked confidence in my candidacy for three reasons. First, I’m young. I only had two years of work experience when I submitted my applications. Second, my work experience, while entrepreneurial, is very non-traditional. And finally, I had a very rocky start to undergrad. I actually failed out of school during my freshman year, and while I was able to return after one semester, it took me five years to graduate.

For these reasons, I set up an initial consultation with Adam. Our conversation lasted 1.5 hours and I took three pages of notes. There was no sales pitch; it was just a long discussion about the application process, my profile, and my concerns. I had already been told by two admission consultants that it would be difficult to get into a top program this year given my lack of work experience. Therefore, I was very surprised when Adam told me the complete opposite. He said that if I framed my unique background correctly and adequately explained why I needed an MBA right now, I shouldn’t have any trouble getting into a top program this year. I was so impressed after this phone call that I decided to pull the trigger on a three-school package.

Working with Adam in the months that followed was a great experience. During this time we exchanged literally hundreds of e-mails and spoke on the phone probably a dozen times. No matter how small, mundane, or worry-ridden my questions were, Adam would always reply promptly with a well-thought out and sincere response. If I had a question that was too complicated for email, no problem, he was always willing to speak with me over the phone. When it came time to write my essays, Adam would first send out a custom-made, comprehensive PDF document that provided insight into the school and outlined strategies for each essay. After drafting an essay, I would send it to Adam for review. He would correct any awkward sentences and add notes to the margin that would ask thought provoking questions and suggest ways to emphasize specific aspects of my background that were most relevant to what that school valued. We would rinse and repeat this process until each essay was perfect.

In addition to providing unparalleled guidance through the general application and essay writing process, Adam was a lifesaver when it came to preparing for interviews. After my first invitation to interview, he arranged an hour-long conference call just to discuss the twists and turns of the business school interview. Then, a week before each interview, I’d schedule a mock interview and feedback session with Adam or one of his colleagues. Coming from an entrepreneurial background, I don’t have much experience being the interviewee. Therefore, these mock interviews were truly invaluable.

Ultimately, what impressed me the most about Adam was how familiar he became with my profile. While he was no doubt working with a number of other applicants this season, he never forgot even the minute aspects of my story. He really did make me feel like I was his only client. In the end, I was accepted to my top two choices (both top five schools) and I couldn’t be happier! If you are considering an admission consultant, and you don’t at least arrange an initial consultation with Adam, you are doing yourself a disservice. I absolutely feel that he was worth every penny and I would recommend him to anyone.
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2012, 14:13
Hi GMAT Club Members,

Has anyone hired Justin Pope as the MBA consultant for Round 2 applications? I have been having trouble reaching him over the last few days. I have a couple of upcoming MBA application deadlines that I need him to return the edited essays! I'll appreciate if anybody knows the current status on Justin Pope. Thanks!
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New post 11 Jan 2012, 21:21
Why are there no reviews of Clear Admit? From what I've seen they seem very legitimate. Has anyone used them?
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New post 13 Jan 2012, 04:05
I worked with Aringo for Round 2 and I have just received the interview from INSEAD and Yale.

My consultant is very experienced in professional writing and we worked on 7 schools within 2 months. I don’t think I can complete so many essays without her assistance.
In addition, Aringo is very structured. I had my main consultant to work with me for my essays and had a specialist to run a test drive for INSEAD.
One thing I like Aringo is they will not try to persuade you to buy the comprehensive package. In fact, I had the option to choose between 3, 7 or 10 hours package. I think it’s very flexible.

My rating for Aringo would be 5 out of 5.

One sharing on choosing a consultant:
You must be clear that you are still taking the main responsibility for your essays and your consultant is there to help you with the grammars, structures and make sure you answer to the question. Do not expect your consultant to write anything for you and I believe that would violate the school’s honor code as well.
I used to write long sentences and explain simple thing in a complicated way. When my consultant helped me reduce the words, she usually used my own words and structure to summarize. Besides, when she found me did not reflect enough or did not answer to the question, she would ask me questions that helps me to think more. She NEVER wrote any learning or reflections based on my story. I believe that’s very important to keep the applicant’s own voice.

Hope above information helps.
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New post 15 Jan 2012, 00:36
Hi all,
I am constantly moderating this thread. And I want to be crystal clear with you. There are some of feebacks posted from temporary profiles and the users claim that they are long-time members of the club, but want to stay private, providing a feedback. No problem.

Please if you wonna stay private and you are a posting from temporary profile notify me through you regular profile to let me check your identity. Otherwise I will warn all users about low credibility of feedbacks posted by fresh users.


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New post 17 Jan 2012, 00:40
hey, guys. i know my id looks new here. i still want to share some of my experience of my interaction with Jon Frank. i didn't use service of his company (Precision Essay), but i did get a lot of specific advise from him. and it's really helpful. a couple of weeks ago, i got an offer from one of those M7.

often, applicants get confused by so many issues. Jon Frank specifically helped me on the following quesitons: i shouldn't send additional email to explain my low GPA. how and when to invite alumini to write support letter for me. how to get off of wl...i got valuable reply.

also, i know two of my friends used PE service, and both have secured top mba offers.
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New post 02 Feb 2012, 15:19
Hi all, I want to share my experience with Adam from Amerasia Consulting.
I only have a 680 GMAT score, and with his help, I just recently got the interview invitation from the #1 B-school. What I like about Adam is, he actually pushed me to do a lot of work and go thru several revisions. It wasn't a easy journey (as it should not be), and the purpose of this process is to think of what I have achieved in my life, and where I want to be in the future. Adam did help me to clear up the big picture.
My experience is: because this the life I live, so I actually have no idea what to write about. What are my top three achievements? What are my setbacks? I have no clue. Adam went thru all the possible topics with me and helped me to pick - what appear the right choices now - to write about. I am not a good writer, but every step on the way, Adam always gave me warm encourages so I became more confident about my candidacy along the way.

I am very glad about the result. Will recommend him to anyone.
I know I am new here, if you have any questions, please PM me.
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New post 03 Feb 2012, 11:16
Any suggestions on who gives out the best mock interview prep ?
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New post 04 Feb 2012, 07:42
mafcMOTK wrote:
Why are there no reviews of Clear Admit? From what I've seen they seem very legitimate. Has anyone used them?

I worked with Kevin Chen from Clear Admit. His feedback is specific, thoughtful, and direct. He's not afraid to push you beyond your comfort zone--there were a few times when I got "stuck" and thought I couldn't improve my essays further, but he convinced me to re-edit them and I think they were better for it.

However, Clear Admit is very pricey (to me) and I found the response time a little slow (~24-48h, OK, maybe I'm asking alot!) relative to other consultants my friends used. It's also a very professional relationship, so don't expect him to become your confidante/best friend/FB pal/career counselor or hold your hand and make you feel better, like I've heard about other consultants. I didn't mind because that's not what I was looking for, but for someone who's looking for a little more reassurance and a gentler touch, you might want to try another firm.

Overall, I've been very satisfied. Think Kevin helped me put together a good app, fingers crossed, it'll get me past the finish line!

What I would STRONGLY recommend is getting a profile evaluation over the phone before signing up for any consultant. Be prepared with VERY specific questions about YOUR app and the schools you're interested so you can check how good their advice is. Some of the consultants I interviewed clearly hadn't bothered to read my resume before the call or were giving me super generic advice about schools ("HBS is looking for leaders"--seriously?!). That was an automatic ding on my part!

In general, how effective a consultant is depends on you. What works best is if you come prepared with an idea of your career vision, why you want an MBA, why you should be given a place, and what are your potential areas of weaknesses. Having a rough idea of your answers of these questions would give the consultant enough material to work with. You also need to be quite motivated and send your drafts regularly as well as push the consultant with questions about how you can improve, potential areas of weakness. I think that helps maximize the huge amounts you're paying!
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2012, 07:49
dokiyoki wrote:
Any suggestions on who gives out the best mock interview prep ?

I think the value of mock interview prep is getting a good sense of the type of questions that would be asked. So who gives the "best" mock interview prep depends on the school you're interviewing with. Find a consultant with significant experience helping applicants to your school. For example, I worked with Sandy (HBS Guru) for my HBS mock interview because of his extensive experience coaching HBS applicants. (Fingers crossed, his questions are a good reflection of what's likely to be asked!) Might not have chosen him if I were interviewing with INSEAD for example.

Now that I have a good set of questions (gleaned from Clear Admit wiki, friends who were past applicants, Sandy, etc), I'm planning to just arm-twist my good friends into practising with me. I think you just need practice to train yourself to come up with answers on the spot that:
- answers the question
- is structured and concise (not rambling, not getting lost in the weeds)
- doesn't sound like bullshit


(PS. For those who were wondering why I worked with Sandy AND Clear Admit--I engaged Sandy because I wanted an objective assessment of my app from someone who was completely unfamiliar with my app. I wanted a fresh pair of eyes to see if there's anything Clear Admit or I missed.)
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Re: "Best" admission consulting companies? [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2012, 10:12
For those interested in hiring a consultant, I would strongly recommend Tyler Cormney of MBA Prep School. He was punctual, honest, concise, and realistic. We spent a few months working together on applications to two Top 10 MBA Programs, and I was admitted to both programs.

I had several free ‘assessment’ calls with different consultants. I think the biggest difference that Tyler brought to the table was his crafted approach – I had the feeling on all the other initial calls that many other consultants and larger firms had a more ‘cookie-cutter’ approach. Tyler really took the time to get to know me personally and different strengths I could leverage in my application. He was very accessible throughout the process. There was a lot of prep work on my end, but as long as you put in the time and effort, Tyler will too and you will reap the benefits.

Tyler has his MBA from a top program as well as a degree in creative writing – I believe the latter helped me significantly in my essays so that they stood out from the crowd. He does not write them for you, but he provided me with great feedback – specifically, I was having trouble identifying points of differences that Adcoms would find valuable, as well as coming up with a career ‘story’ that made sense given my interests and prior work experience. Tyler was able to help me pick my best experiences and craft them into meaningful stories. He also assisted with different ways of making points so that I was able to stay within the essay length guidelines. We spent hours and hours on them and I was very happy with the result. There is NO way I would have gotten to the same final product without Tyler’s guidance.

It was a bit tough for me to digest the fee at first, but in retrospect I think the value that Tyler provided was well worth the investment. To me the biggest value-add was the essay editing. We also spent a lot of time on assessing my strengths, picking target schools, and interview and resume prep. To those applicants who are finding it difficult to come with a concrete “story” that makes sense, or who are struggling with essay writing or having issued with self-reflection, I would encourage you to try MBA Prep School.

Additionally, MBA Prep School has a comprehensive online forum with seminars and tools for everything related to MBA applications – from selecting target schools to nailing the interview, and everything in between. I believe access to this online resource can also be purchased separately from the traditional hourly or comprehensive consultant fee. This would be useful if you are a particularly strong writer or have some really concrete stories already in mind – otherwise, I would go with the comprehensive package. As I said before, it’s my opinion the biggest value-add was the essay prep and editing.

Overall, it was a great experience. My outcome was very positive as I went 2/2 on acceptances. Though even if I went 0/2, I still would have been pleased with my applications as I felt with Tyler’s help I did absolutely everything in my power to make them as strong as possible.

I’d be happy to give more feedback or advice if necessary, so feel free to PM me if you want more info.

Edit: For more Admissions Consultant Reviews please visit: http://gmatclub.com/reviews
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New post 08 Feb 2012, 10:57
Any feedback on Michelle Awuku Tatum from Amerasia?
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New post 10 Feb 2012, 00:20
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Forum Moderator - This is my first post. Please contact me if you need to verify anything. Please don’t label it with anything less than its true value.



Edit: Verified; long time & legit member
-BB

For more Admissions Consultant Reviews please visit: http://gmatclub.com/reviews


I am a longtime GMATclub user – well, a passive user. Today, I decided to take my first step in giving an honest feedback plus some suggestions to other GMATClubber because there are things that nobody is seriously talking about.

While selecting a good admission consultant, follow the below guideline
+ Contact potential admission consultant – I contacted Amerasia, Veritas, and Stacy Blackmann.
+ Prepare a list of questions that you want to cover on your very first call (or initial consultation). Usually, this call is free of charge. You can ask as many “relevant and pressing” questions as you desire. But refrain from obvious questions such as "what are my chances". Come on!! Seriously@#$@#$
+ Be clear on which colleges you are applying to. Some consultants are familiar with the colleges so they can give more pointers on your research. For example, only Adam ( from Amerasia Consulting) asked me to look into some categorically similar colleges in Europe while others just engaged in conversation.
+ Be clear on the payment and promotion.
+ Discuss your weakness upfront. No shame in showing your vulnerability. Acceptance of your weakness is a door to surprising opportunities. Trust me on this!!
+ Discuss your profile in brief ( such as GMAT, past attempts, current role, future goal, etc) and get a quick feedback on the list of colleges you are planning to apply to.
+ Many consultants will ask you to fill the detailed questionnaire. Do so only if you feel that you need to send across your message clearly. Not required if you have not decided on the consultant.

Once you have selected a consultant, the first order of business is to establish a working relationship. Everyone is different and possesses a unique personality. For example, I can't just work on one essay; Otherwise,I will experience lingering writer's block. I normally like working on two to three different essays at the same time. As such, I finish all of them together. What it means to the consultant is that he or she has to switch gear when reading the essays and finish them in the stipulated time. The advantage is that you are rolling fast on your essays. The downside is that if you do not pay enough attention to structure and content, you are up for multiple revisions, which , in my experience, will start diminishing the quality of your literary piece. At this point, you can’t blame your consultant because they are the usher or guide, not the creator. If you are relying on your consultant to write essays for you, first of all it is wrong and second of all you are not ready for MBA. Also, be clear with your consultant on your approach and ask his convenience. You must establish a healthy relationship, as you do with your doctor or lawyer.

Result : After much research and deliberation, I went with Amerasia Consulting. I got interview calls from most of my selected colleges, and have been admitted to few of them. But finally, I confirmed my place in HKUST. HKUST was my second choice. My first choice was INSEAD, but I didn't get an interview call. Oh! Well…

Let’s talk about Amerasia Consulting. I worked with Adam. Adam’s input was extremely valuable in structuring my essays. I have a habit of wandering off to irrelevant content while answering any essay question. What Adam did was providing me a general structure of an essay answer. For example, if the question asked about a 100-word story where I had to demonstrate my leadership skills, Adam asked me to share a quick story in 50 words and the conclusion in the remaining 50 words. This is just a simple example. But when you work on , say, INSEAD essays, you will know what it really takes to work on 8 essays. Another thing I like about Adam is that he was as much serious about my college application as I was. Usually he sent the revisions on time and, on some occasions, on the same day. There were times when he was “blunt” about the content. And I knew that I favored speediness and compromised the quality. One thing is that you need to take the critique on a very positive note. Since he has read many essays in his profession, it’s clear that he will be very objective in his deliberation. So if he is pointing any kinks in your essay, pay close attention and follow his suggestion – rather becoming defensive. At the same time, if you want to highlight any of your strengths that Adam is asking to get rid of, let him know why you think strongly about it. Just remember. You cannot cut corners when working with the admission consultants. You are going to face actual admission committee and they are going to bring up these things. Since Adam has been on the other side of the aisle, he knows what the admission committee is looking for or concerned about. In short, be affirmative and yet flexible. And do not let go of your values.

Bottomline You can take help of admission consultant for smoothing the rough edges. And if you decide to do that, I can personally vouch for Amerasia Consulting.

If anyone has any questions, shoot pm me.

PS : While looking for a good admission consultant, I narrowed my list to Amerasia Consulting and Stacy Blackman. Stacy seemed to be very pricey, which I was not able to afford anyway. And Stacy company works in group, but I prefer one person looking at my essays. So my rejection of Stacy , by no means, states anything other than my preference. And I was not really impressed with Veritas. Period.

Last edited by bb on 10 Feb 2012, 10:34, edited 3 times in total.
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