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"Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season

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New post 22 Sep 2015, 09:25
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This thread is retired. For the latest discussion, please see the 2017 Season thread:
http://gmatclub.com/forum/best-admissio ... 30121.html


Best Admissions Consulting Companies
Real reviews and opinions by REAL GMAT Club Members.

This thread is a 2016 continuation of the "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies discussion that had over 500 posts spanning across 4 years.It is time to retire it! We are introducing improvements starting now - we will maintain one thread per year to make it easier find feedback and relevant information. Also, IMPORTANT: we will only post here reviews from members who have at least 30 posts. If your profile is new - you are welcome to post questions or engage in a discussion but please do not post reviews as they will be deleted or hidden. If you are a lurker and had a great experience with your admissions consultants, post it in the Reviews Area instead.

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Last edited by kirstik on 16 Mar 2017, 11:05, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season [#permalink]

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(I posted this in the old thread but it's been closed and this one is technically more appropriate anyway since it's for the 2016 season. I can delete the other one if it's an issue having it in both places.)

After speaking with consultants from both Stacy Blackman and Critical Square, I chose to work with Alice Van Harten from Menlo Coaching for the entire application process because she was the consultant that immediately "got it". While the other two companies also seemed to be experienced in bschool consulting, I felt like they didn't understand me or my profile at all. They asked a lot of questions about extracurriculars and whatnot before really understanding what my story was which I later realized doesn't make a ton of sense. In contrast, after my free half-hour consultation with Alice, I could tell that she had a great understanding of who I was as a person which really makes a difference for everything from choosing schools to verbalizing post-MBA goals to essay writing. There's a reason everyone says to ask your best friend to read your bschool essays - if your essay reviewer has no idea what you're like as a person, then there's no way that they can help you make it sound sincere or genuine. I honestly feel like Alice now knows me better than some of my closest friends and we had a very limited number of phone calls together - she's just the type of person who can read others very well. That is an incredibly valuable skill as a consultant and not one that anyone should overlook.

As a non-traditional candidate, I knew that despite my strong GMAT score and "respectable" undergrad GPA, I would need some help weaving all the elements together in a cohesive story. Without Alice's work, it was very possible that I would have written essays that would make me seem like a non-committal degree collector (I earned my JD two years ago) instead of one that makes sense with my history and interests. With Alice's help, not only did I get into my dream school (Columbia here I come!) but I actually felt confident that I was an attractive candidate for M7 schools which I definitely was not when I first started thinking about business school. She will not let you sell yourself short but is brutally honest at the same time.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of things Alice did for me:
- helped me choose schools to apply to, including which round to apply to which school
- worked out a schedule complete with deadlines to have certain milestones completed (I was late with this often and Alice was extremely accommodating)
- helped me with networking emails to students, alums, and faculty (not just the actual wording of the email but also the strategy on how to get a response)
- reviewed and edited my resume
- guided my research which later fed into my essays
- set the tone for what each essay should sound like
- identified the themes that each essay prompt was looking for (this really helped because I found some of the prompts quite cryptic)
- reviewed and edited the essays to help make them say what I was trying to say
- helped me choose the photo(!) requested by Columbia's application

In short, I would highly recommend Alice's services, both to non-traditional candidates such as myself who need to craft a story that makes sense and to traditional candidates who need help standing out from banking/consulting crowd. If you have any questions you'd like to ask me privately about working with Alice, feel free to send me a PM!

FYI, I only applied to one school, Columbia, early decision so when I received my offer, I stopped all other applications.

[EDIT 12/10/2015] I just received notice that Columbia is awarding me a $40,000 merit scholarship. I am certain that this would not have happened without Alice's expertise in packaging my story. [/EDIT]

Last edited by deerhunter on 10 Dec 2015, 08:40, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2015, 10:16
Personal MBA Coach http://www.personalmbacoach.com

I worked with Scott Edinburgh at Personal MBA Coach and I could not have been happier! Scott offers an incredible personal experience that is very hard to find. The fact that you are working with an individual and not a company cannot be emphasized enough. Don't be fooled by the big company name / support services that some larger firms have. At the end of the day you work with one person most of the time so why not work directly with an expert for the same price rather than an employee of a larger firm?

I hired a more well known name and was not satisfied as the support did not feel personalized enough and it died off as it got closer to the deadlines. I then worked with Scott and was floored by the level of support I got. While we only had a short amount of time since I contacted him late, he took the time to get to know me personally and professionally and he was the one coming up with essay topics after just a couple discussions. Scott is quite tough and it works out in the end. In a very short amount of time, we did an entire HBS application and I ultimately got in. (As well as a couple other programs too!)

With Personal MBA Coach, you get a great balance of no BS, direct and brutal feedback while at the same time you have encouraging support throughout the entire process. Whereas with the other more well-known name I felt like I was a number in the process, Scott brainstormed everything with me from start to finish. Scott is a hidden gem in the admissions consulting space and I have sent many friends to him over the years who also had great success!

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season [#permalink]

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I received an admit offer from Duke with Partial Scholarship. Poonam(myessayreview.com) played a huge role in helping with the essays and the overall application process. Below is my review:

I was looking for a personalized (1-1) essay review help. While doing my research, I talked to a few other big brand Essay editing companies, but realized that their process is too mechanical rather than personal. Next, I came across some great reviews about Poonam’s essay services on GMAT Club and few other online forums and talked to her previous clients. I also found the pricing of myessayreview to be reasonable. The one hour session we had was very useful. We formulated the strategy on how to proceed with the applications, talked about which schools to apply and how the essay review process will work.

While writing an essay, I got so engrossed in making the essay impactful that sometimes I forgot what the question is actually asking and what the admission committee is looking for. This is when Poonam’s comments / edits on the essay started making sense as she steered me in the right direction. It was also nice to have someone read your stories in an unbiased way ( the way admissions committee will probably review it)

The basic framework of an essay / letter is very critical because it makes sure that you cover all the aspects of the question. Poonam helped me define this structure for each question, and this helped me in making my story more impactful and complete. After getting all the essential components of the story, she helped me trim my essays to the allowed word limit. Her edits were just perfect in all areas, such as sentence structure, word choice, punctuation, and grammar. The turnarounds were exactly as stated on the website (24-48 hours). Poonam was always there to address all my concerns and queries.

I had a great experience working with Poonam. It would have been very difficult to complete those essays effectively and on time without her help. Her guidance on my application ( essays, résumé, LOR’s) got me an admit offer from Duke + Scholarship with a below 650 GMAT score. I couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you Poonam.

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Hi all, I have just started my MBA at University of Oxford and would like to share my application experience with all of you. Entering a top business school was always an unrealistic dream to me due to my poor GPA (<2.5/4). Luckily, I met Alice Van Harten from Menlo Coaching and she made my dream come true....
(It may be a BIT late to share my story 9 months ago...but it is really busy when you need to prepare for moving to a new country and arranging for the wedding at the same time.....)

Before reaching Alice from Menlo Coaching, my GMAT score was still average (670) and I was preparing for re-taking the exam. Given the application deadline, I talked to many consultants and would like to start drafting my application essays. However, most consultants thought that I won't have any chance to get into a top business school in Europe because of my low GPA. Some consultants asked me to apply for other lower-ranked schools and some of them even didn't want to work with me as it may hurt their success rate.

Fortunately, I met Alice and chose to work with her. She is different to the other consultants. Although she was still honest to me that my GPA might hurt me, she tried her best to understand my background, my strengths and my weaknesses. She encouraged me to improve my GMAT score and made sure I submit the best application to the adcom. I am glad that she was willing to take risks on me. During working with her, I found that she really cares the success of her clients and encourage them during the process. I felt disappointed and pressured when I got dinged by LBS and Cambridge. But she still believed me that I could perform well in the Oxford's interview. I still believe the main reason of getting into Oxford is Alice!

In summary, I appreciate that Alice helped me the followings:-

- She didn't help me to write my essays and I think no consultant would do so....Instead, Alice helped me to identify the theme of each essay and my story to fit into each essay. She reviewed my essay and guided me to use my own words to write the essay.
- She set up a timetable to help monitor the application process of each school
- She is very efficient and the turnaround time is usually one working day. This is very important especially when the deadline is close.
- She worked with me for the interview prep and also taught me how to network with the adcom, alumni, students...
- Encouragement! She kept encouraging me during the journey and this surely helped me to change myself from a doubter to believer.
- She even gave me advice how to prepare for the business school after my admission to Oxford!

I really think that if anyone is serious to your application for the business school, you should talk to Alice. She definitely won't let you disappointed. You can also inbox me if you want to talk to me privately.

p.s. my results under the help of Alice: Oxford (admitted); Cranfield (admitted with scholarship); IESE (invited to assessment day but stopped the application as I received the offer from Oxford at that time); LBS & Cambridge (dinged without interviews, mainly due to my poor GPA)

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New post 23 Oct 2015, 08:36
my query has been resolved so I removed it from here

Last edited by Kubrick13 on 25 Oct 2015, 11:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2015, 08:40
Kubrick13 wrote:
Hello everyone I was looking for more authentic feedback on MAC approved consulting services as I tried reaching out to their services but couldn't connect with them and I really wanted to get started with my applications.


Try sending them a PM on GMATCLUB. They took some time to reply but they did reply to my PM.

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New post 23 Oct 2015, 08:53
Hi

I gave my GMAT two weeks ago. Planning to do my second MBA and apply in R2 deadlines. Have been pondering over a decision to finalize admission consultants for very long. Shortlisted Crystal ball and Mbadream.in . There is huge difference in the fee charged for the services. Can someone guide me with reviews for either one of them.

(Hope my post doesn't get deleted due to less than 30 posts)

Thanks

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2015, 09:04
sg2911 wrote:
Hi

I gave my GMAT two weeks ago. Planning to do my second MBA and apply in R2 deadlines. Have been pondering over a decision to finalize admission consultants for very long. Shortlisted Crystal ball and Mbadream.in . There is huge difference in the fee charged for the services. Can someone guide me with reviews for either one of them.

(Hope my post doesn't get deleted due to less than 30 posts)

Thanks



Look at: http://gmatclub.com/reviews

Please make sure to read the posts completely. All the information is given in the 1st post of this thread.

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2015, 09:07
Engr2012 wrote:
sg2911 wrote:
Hi

I gave my GMAT two weeks ago. Planning to do my second MBA and apply in R2 deadlines. Have been pondering over a decision to finalize admission consultants for very long. Shortlisted Crystal ball and Mbadream.in . There is huge difference in the fee charged for the services. Can someone guide me with reviews for either one of them.

(Hope my post doesn't get deleted due to less than 30 posts)

Thanks





Please make sure to read the posts completely. All the information is given in the 1st post of this thread.


Hi,

I have already seen that link. However it doesn't contain the reviews of the consultants I have mentioned.

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2015, 11:04
MBA application is the equivalent of an elevator pitch for aspiring students. Everyone has a story to tell but you need to be very succinct to stand out in this aspiring pool. GyanOne educational services provides an excellent service in this area. I used their services for my ISB application this year and have successfully been admitted to the ISB class of 2017. They provide proper guidance on how to build your profile and reflect the most relevant bits in the essays and application. By following their process I was able to gain a better understanding about myself and also project my experience in the best possible manner. I worked with Rohit on my application and he provided timely and concise feedback on all my queries. For the interview, Swati helped me prepare by staging realistic mock interviews which really boosted my confidence and helped me crack the final stage. The approach of GyanOne is very professional and encourages personal introspection. Additionally, their fees are very competitive and reasonable for the quality of service offered. It has brought more clarity to my mind for my future and I would definitely recommend their services to all.
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New post 31 Dec 2015, 05:17
Just wanted to put a good word in for MBA Crystal Ball. I had written a brief review of how I benefited from their quality services and good response over here: reviews-needed-for-admissions-consultants-in-india-201897.html#p1590306. Quoting the same below for posterity.

Quote:
I have used all the services of MBA Crystal Ball - MAP, essay review and mock interviews. They have an excellent small team of consultants - one of them even holds IIT/ISB/McKinsey credentials and you can't ask for better than that. Very intellectually honest and do not sugarcoat facts. Also force you to think on your own so that you come up with a personalised plan of action as opposed to receiving a cookie cutter input from someone else. So far, I have admits from 2 out of 3 schools that I have applied to based on their help, and received a sizeable scholarship from 1 of those 2. If they agree to take you on, their help will definitely add great value to your application.


My detailed MBA journey review also chronicles the extent of inputs I received from MBA Crystal Ball. The same can be found here: gmat-730-oxford-r1-admit-strategy-tips-210526.html.

Happy applying folks! :)

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2016, 08:54
My business school admissions journey was not easy. In fact, it was two years of hard work, disappointment, and uncertainty. However, it was also an incredible learning experience and tremendously rewarding. Looking back, I only have one real regret, which is that I did not work with Critical Square from the beginning.
Growing up, I had been a competitive tennis player -- I played through the juniors and in college and professional events. After attending a top 25 public university, I spent two years working in equity research and consulting and then left the finance world to pursue professional tennis aspirations. I discovered a real passion for coaching and worked with competitive junior players for the next couple years. From coaching, I transitioned to entrepreneurship, starting my own sports consulting, sponsorship sales and activation, and athlete/event marketing business. Nearing the end of my twenties, I decided to pursue bigger challenges and greater intellectual fulfillment outside of sports and joined the business development team at a rapidly growing, late-stage startup in the digital marketing space. Though I had been successful in a number of disciplines, translating my disjointed work history into a compelling business school application proved no easy task. I focused all of my attention on the GMAT, upon which I did well, and I hired a number of consultants as the round 2 deadline approached, thinking that I could circumvent some of my uncertainty by throwing money at the problem -- big mistake. My high-priced, well-known consultants had no idea how to synthesize my story effectively. They hastily inserted a few facts and metrics into my essays and helped me churn out some mediocre-at-best applications, resulting in two wait lists and ultimately zero acceptances.
I was disappointed and momentarily considered giving up, or at least targeting part-time programs exclusively. Having been close to getting into some great programs, I decided to give it another go and had the incredible good fortune of discovering Critical-Square through a blog post. From my initial conversation, the experience with Critical Square was head and shoulders better than with any previous consultant I had worked with.
The differences were obvious. Most of the consultants I had worked with or spoken to focused on the weaknesses of my application: my age (now 30), non-linear work history, and difficult to attain/justify career goals. I always left our consultations/initial conversations feeling like my chances of getting into good schools were grim and without any sense of direction or of a cohesive strategy that highlighted my strengths. While my case manager at Critical Square acknowledged that there would be challenges associated with my story, he was positive and focused on the aspects of my story he liked. More importantly, he immediately pointed out elements of my background that he felt had been underutilized and fit well into a larger narrative. I chose Critical Square based on their enthusiasm, confidence, and ability to articulate what they thought they could do with the "raw material" I provided.
The fact that my case manager was knowledgeable, experienced, and confident enough to immediately begin to synthesize a strategy that we both believed in did not mean our collaboration was easy. In fact, I found that I had to work much harder with the staff at Critical Square than with any of the previous consultants -- I would say the thing that they did best was to tolerate mediocrity less than I did, which was no small feat. In having me download from memory all of the relevant details from my professional and academic background onto paper, they were relentless, pushing me farther than I would have thought possible. We explored every stretch at an academic institution, every extra-curricular activity, and every job with an extraordinary attention to detail, something profoundly more extensive than anything I had encountered, but it was their insistence on getting everything out that would set the stage for our future success.
My case manager maintained this commitment to excellence at every stage, overcoming push-back and frustration from me on numerous occasions. He pushed me to select better recommenders, conduct more informational interviews with students, student body leaders, and alumni, and participate in more campus and class visits. The MBA admissions process is arduous, and it is only because of Critical Square that I now understand what a great application looks like -- the payoff of the partnership with my case manager became evident as I completed my first essay drafts. By motivating me to dig deep into my past and approach researching schools and collecting experiences/talking points with the same tenacity that I had approached the GMAT, I began to see the mountain of raw data refined into concise, compelling, and effective writing. I had done all of the work myself, but what I saw in front of me could never have been achieved without the collective expertise of the staff at Critical Square to show me how to allocate my time and efforts.
Armed with all of this information, the essay writing process was far easier. My previous consultants had advised me to stay away from using too many words to describe things and encouraged me to insert facts and metrics wherever possible, but this is only part of the truth. Without spending time really considering every step of one’s life and career journey, conducting career/goal research, talking to people, and visiting schools the metrics and specifics are just clutter and do little to make the essays more persuasive and forceful. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough and how regrettable it was to have wasted time alone and with other consultants without this in mind. Moreover, my case manager displayed incredible patience in reworking all of my essays until I felt we had assimilated all of the facts and metrics into my writing in a way that did not compromise the flow of the narrative.
When I finally submitted my applications, I can honestly say that I was at peace with the fact that I had done everything I could do to further my candidacy.
Even after all of the hard work, I was not particularly optimistic. The disappointment of the previous year was still fresh in my mind, and I just wanted to get into one of the six schools I applied to. In fact, I only applied to two top ten schools. My top two choices were Columbia and Wharton, and I received word that Columbia wanted to interview me only a few weeks after I submitted the application. I have always been fairly confident in interviews, and I did not expect to get too much out of the practice sessions with my case managers. I could not have been more wrong. Their process of having me tell my story a few times and getting me more comfortable with the transitions on my resume was incredibly valuable, and every time we went through a prep session something new came to light – the logic behind a decision, wording that I wanted to stay away from, a subtle tie in to something from my past. By the time we had finished, I had mapped out a story that replaced disjointed clutter with a linear, well-thought-through career progression that led to my targeted roles with a gap just large enough for an MBA degree to bridge.
I selected an interviewer through Columbia’s web portal and completed the interview a few days later. About thirty-six hours later, I got the call -- I was accepted into the class of 2018 of my dream school and am moving to NYC in a few months. I received interview invites from Yale and Michigan and a ding from Wharton, and I withdrew the rest of my applications. I can honestly say that I would not be going to Columbia next Fall if it were not for my case manager and the staff at Critical Square. Had I gone with Critical Square from day one, I would have saved myself thousands of dollars, tremendous disappointment, and a great deal of time. More importantly, our collaboration and the guidance of the staff gave me an opportunity to really evaluate my goals and ambitions, understand myself better as a professional, and learn life-long resume writing, interviewing, and business skills.

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I had very bad experience with MBA Exchange. I used them in 2015 and failed all schools. The consultant I worked with came from under-presented group (F. C.) and has no insights at all. Sometime the essay editors even gave more valuable comments than the consultant did.

My suggestion is that your profile is the key and then find someone who is specifically familiar to the school you apply to.

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New post 03 Feb 2016, 09:31
I worked with Alice van Harten at Menlo Coaching. Wow, what can I say – she is AMAZING.

I truly don't think I would have gotten into HBS without her guidance.

When I began my process, I had initially worked with Stratus Prep. What a horrible experience - they are a total disaster and I recommend you stay away...far away. Thankfully, I decided to cut my losses and hire another consultant. Because I was so wary, I interviewed almost 20 different MBA admissions consultants, from smaller boutiques to larger consulting firms. Through this process of interviewing, Alice clearly stood out. It felt like a "no brainer" hiring her - she was just so different than all the other consultants you speak with. She really, really cares deeply about her clients. It was also important to me that Alice doesn't take on a lot of clients because its important to her she be able to give her clients a lot of attention.

If you ask me, the reason Alice is so successful at helping people get in to schools like HBS is that she offers such a personalized coaching experience that is so customized to you. The kind of attention she gives to your application is seriously unmatched - it's the key ingredient. Alice really took the time to understand my personal and professional background, what I had accomplished and my career goals. She helped me think through my background at such a deep level. After digesting this information, Alice helped me piece together all the pieces of my story and craft them into a beautiful, cohesive mosaic.

But in addition to helping me introspect and craft my story, Alice did so much more. She did a wonderful job of keeping me on track and made sure to monitor the progress of each of my applications. Alice was also immensely helpful when it came to interview preparation - it was so thorough and personalized that I really felt prepared for all of my interviews (and it shows: I was accepted everywhere I interviewed!).

To summarize, Alice has what it takes to get her clients into the best schools - she is highly personable, super encouraging, gives very direct / honest feedback, is a strategic thinker, has a business background, looks at your application with a creative mindset and is very knowledgeable about the MBA admissions process. After going through the admissions experience myself and talking with many of my friends who all used consultants, I can confidently say without any hesitation that Alice is one of the very best (if not THE best) admissions consultants in the industry.

I could go on and on about how great Alice is and how hiring her was such a smart decision but I suggest you see what I'm talking about for yourself and give her a ring!

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2016, 10:23
If you are even considering working with an MBA consultant, be sure to talk to Scott at Personal MBA Coach first. From essay writing to recommendation letter support to general application questions, Scott is always available and has great insights. The best part about working with Scott is how well he gets to know you early in the process. This helps not only when cultivating your story but also when writing essays.

Prior to working with Scott, I wondered how a single person would be able to do so much but he exceeded my expectations by miles. He challenges you to think carefully and methodically about your application and his ability to provide feedback on a holistic application is impressive. He is always available via phone and E-Mail.

Thanks to Scott at Personal MBA Coach, I will be attending my dream school, Harvard Business School, next fall.

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New post 10 Feb 2016, 01:19
Hi!
Did anyone worked with http://www.mbaivyleague.com/ ??
Would like to know about them in detail and especially the person operating it.
Regards
Celestial

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New post 12 Feb 2016, 01:32
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I worked with Poonam Tandon from myEssayReview. Admitted at Kellogg, Haas, Yale and UCLA with substantial scholarships. Thanks Poonam!

Although I had already written most of essays and was confident that they were good, I decided to sign up for a single essay review service so as to double check the quality of my work. I signed up for myEssayReview because it was highly rated at GMAT Club, and because it offered very competitive pricing for a one essay review. After completing the review process with Poonam for this essay, I realized that she helped me to elevate the quality of my essay to an entirely new level! As a result, I decided to sign up to essay review to six schools I applied as well as résumé review. Here is my feedback on my experience of working with Poonam:

Understands you as a person: Poonam was interested in understanding my whole story as an applicant and as a person, though I had initially just signed up for a one essay review. In addition, I could also understand her background and method of working, which helped us to work productively while not losing sight of my goals and characteristics. She provided me valuable advice on my school selection, application strategy, time management, and even résumé improvements, all of which were not part of the scope of my original service hired.

Delivers a Clear Sentence Structure: Poonam demonstrated that my first drafts had stories with unnatural flow, frequently lacking a clear link between the story and the point I was trying to make. Once we identified the point, then we discussed on how each part of the example was supporting the point. This method was vital not only to stay focused on my key messages but also to trim side arguments and reach the tight word limits. Poonam used an effective and elegant word choice - not overly sophisticated vocabulary. As a non-native speaker, I found it so helpful because I wouldn´t be comfortable with words that I would never write on my essays.

Effective Edits: Effective trimming of essays is one of Poonam’s main strengths. I frequently sent her very large essays thinking, there is no way to achieve the allowed word-limit – but she consistently delivered on the word limit! In addition, I found helpful that she offered my choices on what contents to sacrifice or details to omit, so that I was able to consciously evaluate the trade offs and make choices that maintained the essence of my examples.

Results speak for themselves! In the end, I was interviewed to all of the six schools I applied, admitted to four of them (Kellogg, Berkeley-Haas, Yale SOM and UCLA Anderson) and waitlisted at Stanford GSB. Plus, three of them offered me substantial scholarships! Kellogg-70K scholarship (Donald Jacobs scholarship), Yale SOM - 20k scholarship , UCLA Anderson -70k scholarship. Now I’m heading to Kellogg with scholarship! I had never imagined I would be so successful. Without doubt, Poonam has contributed substantially! Thank you Poonam for your guidance.

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2016, 09:27
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I am a re-applicant who was dinged at most of the top 10 -15 schools I had applied to last season (mind you I applied to a lot of them!). I had worked with one of the top admissions consulting firms (don't want to take names) last year and even though they were marginally okay, they just did not add any substantial value. I was also disappointed with them delegating work to much junior people and them not getting back to me on time so close to the deadline and thus hampering the quality of my essays.

I got in touch with Alice, whom I found through one of the reviews on GMAT Club, and she was someone who was unlike anyone I had spoken to in my 2 years of admissions process experience. I worked with Alice from the very beginning of my process this year and she helped me craft a narrative that I think captured my strengths and my experiences in the best possible way. Even though I come from a really competitive pool she helped me identify stories and experiences from my past that would make me a competitive applicant. Besides being a really good and experienced writer (Alice has a PhD from Cambridge and has worked with Bain), she is she also was one of the best persons to discuss your past experiences with and what you wanted to achieve after an MBA. She helped me turn my experiences into a B school essay format in the best possible way.

I really liked that she was the one I was working with throughout the process and the work wasn't delegated to someone else. Alice is someone who is very focused on the work she is doing (she doesn't relent unless you get the perfect essay!) and doesn't care at all about timekeeping unlike the consultants I have worked with. It is because of her help that I got interviewed at 6 of the 7 schools I had applied to (Kellogg, Haas, Tuck, LBS, Darden, Stern). I don't think I would have been able to do that without her support and guidance. She also helped me a lot in the whole interview process by organizing 3 mock interviews, asking me to send video essay practice prompts over Skype, and identifying areas of weakness. I finally ended up at the school which was one of the top of my list and I am really thrilled to join it next fall.

I wholeheartedly recommend Alice Van Harten (website : http://menlocoaching.com/) to someone who wants to get into a top B school. She is the peer and mentor you are looking for. Go for her and you will thank me later :-)

Do take her 30 minute free consultation. You will get more out of it than you would after paid hours with some other consulting firms. Speak with her, make your mind and you will know you made the best call.

Please PM me if you want to know more about her. I will be happy to talk to you.

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2016, 10:57
Hello guys,

I'm new to this forum.
I'm planning to apply to European 1-year programs such as IMD and IE. Does anyone have experience with MBA Exchange as I am considering using their services?

Also why are there no reviews fro MBA Exchange in the review section of this site? It seems strange that they are absent.

R

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Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2016 Season   [#permalink] 03 Mar 2016, 10:57

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