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# "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season

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MBA Section Director
Status: Back to work...
Affiliations: GMAT Club
Joined: 22 Feb 2012
Posts: 4337
Location: India
City: Pune
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
GPA: 3.4
Followers: 441

Kudos [?]: 3197 [0], given: 2307

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06 Dec 2016, 03:24
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Real reviews and opinions by REAL GMAT Club Members.

This thread is a 2017 continuation of the "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies discussion (2016). It is time to retire it!
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.

We welcome any feedback from the members including constructive criticism/suggestions for improvement as well as positive comments. Take both positive and negative comments with a grain of salt. Please also read:
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Joined: 12 Jun 2015
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20 Dec 2016, 08:56
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Review for: Menlo Coaching.

I worked with Alice Van Harten and David White from Menlo Coaching.

After talking to various consultants including Stacy Blackman, Admissionado, Aringo, and Critical Square, I was left to choose between Paul Lanzilotti from Amerasia Consulting and Alice. I used these 30-minute free consultation calls to judge my consultants. The way they treat you before you become their clients is very telling of how they'll treat you after and for that reason I picked Alice over Amerasia.

I'm a candidate from an over-represented applicant group with a non-traditional background. Alice took the effort to learn about me, my background and what matters to me. Then she helped me carve a story - the story was already there but I wasn't seeing it, Alice pointed me in the right direction. Once I got the story right, we turned to selecting schools and dealing with essays. Sure, I struggled initially but Alice helped me a lot and was very supportive of the whole process. By the end of it, I could turn in essays which required only a few/minor edits. That was all of Alice's doing. All along Alice has also been honest and extremely direct with me. She once even called a creative essay of mine "cheesy" and in retrospect it indeed was. The best part was that there wasn't any bait/switch - you consult with Alice and you work with her.

When I was invited for interviews, Alice suggested that I mock-interviewed with her partner David, so it would be from the perspective of someone who has only seen my profile on paper, much like that of the Ad-com. David did a terrific job in conducting my mock interviews. His questions were pretty standard but when I was up for a challenge, he didn't hesitate to throw me a curveball. Both Alice and David helped me improve my content, delivery, and style for the interviews (including video essays for 2 schools). I initially had a flat, relaxing (Alice was being nice - my partner called it sad/depressing) tone but tremendously improved, thanks specifically to the tips and tricks they taught me.

To sum it up, you cannot go wrong with Alice. She knows a lot about these top MBA programs, how they work and more importantly bringing the best out of you. If you are looking for an MBA admissions consultant, I'd look no further than Alice and David at Menlo Coaching. PM me questions about Alice and David you may have and I'll gladly answer them.

P.S. You should nevertheless schedule calls with other firms and see how they try to get you to commit to some package, which you'd be stuck with even if you don't like your consultant. Alice, on the other hand, returned the unused portion of the fee I paid, the moment I told her that I was accepted at one of the 6 schools (Kellogg, Tuck, Yale, Darden, Stern and Johnson) I applied to. I'm waitlisted in one and yet to hear from one more. I'm not sure how much of this would have been possible without Alice.

Update: I got into 2 schools and I'm waitlisted in one.

Last edited by ramp275 on 23 Jan 2017, 09:07, edited 1 time in total.
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20 Dec 2016, 09:39
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Review for: Menlo Coaching.

I think I’ve written 1 other review in my life and I’m pretty sure it was to get $10 off for food delivery (college student budget). Now with that said, out of my own volition I decided to accumulate the required post count solely so I could post in this thread and sing the praises of Alice Van Harten and David White from Menlo Coaching. I decided in May 2016 to take a serious run at applying to Business School. Unfortunately, my work / extracurricular are significantly demanding and, even with the research I had done on the application process, I still felt unsure as to how to best position my “story.” I was familiar with admission consultants and figured since they all offered a free initial consult I would receive some insight. Awful. Perhaps it was my misfortune but a good amount of consultants I spoke with either: (i) gave a stereotypical used car salesman vibe (ii) forced me into a bucket without hearing my life experiences. A few were helpful but I just didn’t get the “I want this person in my corner” feeling. Enter Menlo Coaching. I actually came across Alice and David’s company through the 2016 version of this thread. The reviews seemed so unbelievable that I had to reach out. To anyone reading this thread, I will save you some time by saying: set up a consult and speak with them. That experience will speak to the quality of Menlo Coaching far better than I could. For my initial consult, I spoke with Alice and let me tell you, she is smart. Seriously smart. The kind of intelligence that impresses and draws you in within the first few minutes. She knows the admission game backwards and forwards. She genuinely cares about your success (not just in getting into a school but also your career) but at the same time, she is upfront and pragmatic about everything. While I was driving my story and the work, I kept getting constructive feedback and soon the application process stopped feeling like a chore. Moreover, she has a bell personality. All the personalities of her clients are different yet she can resonate with all of them and knows the right way to communicate with them. Beyond the application process, I learned quite a bit on how to be successful in general. Working with Menlo Coaching felt like I had all the answers in my back pocket. I applied to 4 schools and received admissions to Wharton (near full-tuition waiver.. this shocked me) and Booth (high scholarship … also surprising). I’m waiting to hear from HBS in round 2 so we’ll see. I would not have achieved these results with other firms or alone (I can say this with confidence). Menlo’s approach to strategy is otherworldly. I *know* for sure because every now and then I reread my essays. They contain my story and do not contain a single fabrication yet I never would have thought about taking that approach or angle. However, when I read them I can’t help but think “wow I would totally want this kid in my class!” On a tangent note: I’ve worked two different high-finance jobs in my career and consider myself a strong interviewer. I worked with David for less than an hour to prepare for my Booth interview. When I finished my interview, I confidently told David and Alice it was the best interview of my life. I *knew* I would get the Booth offer and this is not from a place of ego but just to speak as to how well David prepared me. In short, work with Menlo Coaching. Do not wait too late though as I know their spots fill up rather quickly. When I spoke with Alice in May, she had mentioned that she expected to be fully booked in a few weeks. I believed her, that is just how strong of a consultant she is. Moreover, when you look at it from a Quality to Value ratio, the other consultants just are not in the same league. Intern Joined: 05 Jan 2017 Posts: 2 GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season [#permalink] ### Show Tags 05 Jan 2017, 12:36 [Reveal] Spoiler: Review Hidden due to not meeting the required post count I worked with Melody Jones of Vantage Point on 4 applications for Round 1. She and her partner just started Vantage Point, and I ultimately chose to work with them over other more established firms because she showed a dedication and focus to a very personalized experience. This was proved out during our work together. We started late, but she proved an excellent resource for distilling my non-traditional story into an application that would prove compelling to adcomms. She was incredibly thorough in her analysis of my materials, providing feedback that enabled me to develop materials that were authentically mine, but still ensured I hit the many benchmarks of a successful application. I'm a crunchtime worker and had a chaotic work/travel schedule, but she made a point of making availability at odd hours and for often tight turnarounds-- it was a level of dedication that made me feel that she was thoroughly invested in my success. I was accepted to two schools with scholarship offers from both. I'm pleased with my experience and the results of working with Melody. I would highly recommend working with her to future applicants-- my only advice is start working with her sooner and don't wait.  ! Moderator's Warning: - User with low number of posts. High potential for a non-genuine review. If you're the poster, the warning can be removed if you can provide proof of service to the moderator. Intern Joined: 26 May 2015 Posts: 33 Location: United States (CT) Concentration: Technology, Entrepreneurship GMAT 1: 700 Q48 V38 WE: Information Technology (Consumer Products) Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 22 [0], given: 34 Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season [#permalink] ### Show Tags 08 Jan 2017, 14:17 Review for: MyEssayReview I would recommend ‘myessayreview’ for anyone who wants to get admission from top business school. As you all know, after giving the GMAT, the next important step for any B-school admission is the school essays. I initially tried writing some sample essays, and after reading them, i realized I have pretty bad writing skills. I zeroed in on 'myessayreview' after reading all the reviews on Gmat club. Poonam is excellent in editing the essays. I had applied to 7 schools, I got interview invites from 5 schools, and converted two of them into admits (ISB, UW Foster). We started off by building resume. Her initial guidelines/ template helped me compose a decent first draft before we started refining/ polishing the resume. I really liked the way she used different action verbs for each bullet point and focused on the impact I made on my organization. This helped us create a strong resume that effectively showcased my profile . We then picked up essays. From the beginning, Poonam’s recommendations helped me to answer exactly what the essay prompt was asking. All her inputs helped me to select the right story for each essay. After working with her, I understood that even though the essay prompts of different schools look similar, they are not. As a first-time applicant, I didn’t think about the flow of the essay. Thanks to her edits/ guidelines, all my essays looked great after her final review. She is excellent at reducing the word limit of the essay without losing the impact. For some essays, she amazed me by trimming down more than 100 words without sacrificing any essential elements of the story. The turnaround time was always less than 24 hours. I even remember that she refunded part of the fee for one essay as she finalized the essay in only one edit. Don't expect her to write your essays, but she will guide you at every step of the way and help you submit the best essay. The other advantages of working with Poonam/myessayreview are you will work directly with her and the price for the services is inexpensive compared to all the other admission consulting companies. I was very happy with her services and the results. Along the way, I improved my writing skills. Thanks for everything, Poonam. Senior Manager Joined: 23 Feb 2015 Posts: 480 Followers: 7 Kudos [?]: 140 [0], given: 161 Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season [#permalink] ### Show Tags 08 Jan 2017, 14:38 Really helpful post. Thanks... Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app _________________ “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained in sudden flight but, they while their companions slept, they were toiling upwards in the night.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Intern Joined: 28 Jul 2013 Posts: 5 WE: Consulting (Consulting) Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 8 [1] , given: 0 Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season [#permalink] ### Show Tags 18 Jan 2017, 23:37 1 This post received KUDOS Edit: Moderator Note: Review has been verified. Review for: August Academy Initially when I decided to apply to B schools, I had no idea where to start from. I contacted a close friend of mine who had just secured admission in one of the top B schools. She recommended Karthik to me and I am glad I decided to go with him. Why? Because I applied to just 2 B schools and I got in both! Ivey with a$ 30,000 scholarship and Rotman with a $20,000 scholarship. Making the mistake of not giving my GMAT beforehand, I had limited time to study, draft essays, resumes, recommendations, video essays, prepare for interviews and deal with office work at the same time. But Karthik constantly pushed and motivated me to ensure I complete my application well before the timeline. The best part about Karthik is that he didn’t spoonfeed me - he gave me space to come up with my own story. He acted as a catalyst, guided me in the right direction, helped me identify and highlight key points in my essay. This was really important because I needed to own my goals and essays and talk passionately about them to be able to convince my interviewer that I would achieve those goals in the future. The advice and constructive criticism I received from Karthik while practicing my video essays and my mock interviews was extremely useful. I completely aced both my interviews - infact my Rotman interview was the best interview I had ever given in my life, even before it had ended I knew that the interviewer was really impressed and there was no way I wouldn't be selected. This was all possible because of the ample time Karthik had spent with my mock interviews - all the times he put me on the spot with really twisted behavioral questions gave a great boost to my confidence and my ability to tackle unexpected questions. Karthik was also really organised with the to-do lists on Asana and the meeting booking on Calendly. I really liked Asana because it helped me keep a track of all the items pending on my plate and assign tasks to Karthik easily. The constant annoying reminders from Asana that cluttered my inbox kept me on my toes to finish all the tasks on time. All in all, it was a wonderful experience working with him and I would definitely recommend him to others. Last edited by Narenn on 08 Feb 2017, 00:16, edited 4 times in total. Review Verified Intern Joined: 28 Jan 2017 Posts: 32 Location: Chile Concentration: General Management, Strategy GMAT 1: 710 Q50 V35 GPA: 3.2 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 2 "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season [#permalink] ### Show Tags 31 Jan 2017, 13:44 Review for: My Essay Review I have been admitted to the Ross School of Business with full scholarship! I applied in round 2 and worked on my applications with Poonam Tandon from 'MyEssayReview'. I would recommend her services to everyone. Poonam is a PhD in English Literature with tons of expertise reviewing essays and resume for applications to top-ranked business schools. I had very little time, so we worked on a tight schedule (just 72 hrs!) without any extra charges, and prices were pretty convenient. Poonam knows exactly how to tell every experience in a thorough and compelling way. She provided me with powerful formats and carefully edited my documents to professional writing, while helping me to comply with word limits. She also provided many ideas for making count every part and even every word of my essays and resume. We worked fast, with turn-arounds in less than 24 hours, so despite time constraints, we built strong essays and resume well before each deadline. Overall, it was a pleasure to work with Poonam. She not only provided me with the best possible technical advice, but she also helped me boost my confidence at a point of weakness and tiredness. I had high expectations and the results were far better than expected. Last edited by pitroncoso on 16 Apr 2017, 09:16, edited 6 times in total. Manager Joined: 25 Sep 2014 Posts: 53 Location: United States GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40 GPA: 3.4 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 18 [1] , given: 4 Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season [#permalink] ### Show Tags 02 Feb 2017, 17:47 1 This post received KUDOS Review for: Menlo Coaching I am writing a review on Alice Van Harten I am an admitted student at a top MBA, but not the typical profile you often see on poetsandquants (P&Q) The P&Q’s admits are filled with ted-talk worthy, inspirational, revolutionary MBAs I am your average MBA applicant who worked hard and crafted the best application I could with the help of my consultants. In fact, I was in an overrepresented demographic pool working in an overrepresented industry I can only speak from my own experience, and personally I have been very lucky to work with Alice after interviewing a couple of consultants. While each consultant is very different in terms of size, products offering and personalities, I have great respect for Alice. Her team is smart, funny, dedicated and professional. They listened well to my stories and knew exactly which strategy to craft. The mission of an admission consultant is quite straight-forward: to get you admitted Using admission consultant has been a controversial topic in the past years. In contrary to the negative common expectation, I had a very positive experience with mine. I worked with Alice, David and two more associates in their team. Although they helped me strategizing my application, the stories, the essays, my recommenders, all of these have been me. Alice had experience with MBB firm, have a PHD from Cambridge. While I do not often think of people at work in term of where they worked and where they went to school, these facts brought some assurance to my mind that Alice was capable Working with Alice was awesome because I could: 1. Focus on the job: The troubles usually start when you focus too much on trying to stand out in the applicants’ pool. These ideas are sometimes too unique and destroyed your whole application. Having a second set of eyes who understand the MBA process inside out helps out a lot here 2. Receive proper attention: she only works with a set number of clients per year and responds to my material very quickly 3. Have a lot of fun during my MBA application: Alice's and David's good sense of humor can lighten even the most gruesome exercises (any essays, interviews, etc.) Senior Manager Joined: 03 Aug 2011 Posts: 296 Concentration: Strategy, Finance GMAT 1: 640 Q44 V34 GMAT 2: 700 Q42 V44 GMAT 3: 680 Q44 V39 GMAT 4: 740 Q49 V41 GPA: 3.7 WE: Project Management (Energy and Utilities) Followers: 13 Kudos [?]: 71 [1] , given: 916 Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season [#permalink] ### Show Tags 20 Feb 2017, 14:03 1 This post received KUDOS Review for: Menlo Coaching With the below post I want to warmly recommend the services of Alice van Harten and Menlo Coaching to all future applicants! Please, feel free to reach out to me via PM if you have any questions. I will be glad to fully verify my authenticity. As can be seen from my forum post count and post history, I have had the plan for an MBA for quite some time. Then, having worked in an unknown family startup, coming from an underrepresented part of the world, which does NOT have any tradition with MBAs and does not have English as its first language, I knew early on that I needed an admissions consultant. The best one! I talked to all of them, big and small, famous and rather unknown, and it was this thread to help me find Menlo Coaching. This is also why I am posting this recommendation/review here. I decided on working with Alice in November 2015 when I talked to here and within our chat she was almost the only one to give me honest feedback and actionable advice, regardless of whether I decided to work with her. Exactly the opposite, as she was already full, it was more or less clear we wouldn't be able to do it. Because I wanted to work with her, I decided to push my applications from R2/2015 to R1/2016. I started my apps in May 2016! It was an ambitious set of schools, but in the end, I made it into 3 out of 7 schools. And I am sure - it wasn't mine, nor her fault that I didn't make it into the remaining 4! We did a great job! So please, take into account, no one can guarantee anything! Whoever comes with some fancy statistics is misleading you! As an MBA candidate you should know what critical thinking is. Working with Alice is simple - she tries to get to know you so that your personality can come through. She always gives candid feedback, which can be hard for some people, but I always felt it pushed me to deliver a better job. This is to say, Alice and her team will never write your essays, but she will push you towards writing the best essays possible. Yet, her long experience will come in handy when you need suggestions for wording, cutting down word count or finding an interesting twist to the story you want to tell. She never ever showed any delay (though I believe I was also always on time ) and constantly answered my questions (all sorts of) within a couple of hours. Essay edits are normally ready within a day. All in all, I can do nothing but recommend her services to all of you! Should you plan on applying for the Class of 2020, please reach out to her now/early, because her spots fill quickly and you will regret it. However, please take into account a general disclaimer that I also want to share with you - admissions consultants are no magicians! It all comes down to your research, your ideas, as well as the hard work you put in (both in your applications, as well as the one you have invested in the past years). Do your homework and Alice will surely do her part of the deal! Thanks, Alice! This all wouldn't have been possible without you! _________________ Thank you very much for reading this post till the end! Kudos? Intern Joined: 28 Mar 2016 Posts: 31 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 0 Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season [#permalink] ### Show Tags 21 Feb 2017, 14:30 Review for: Menlo Coaching I can not recommend Alice highly enough. I am a non-traditional applicant, and I wasn’t sure how to best present myself, or even what schools would be a good fit, given my background. So, I knew I needed some help, but was skeptical of working with a consultant due to the hefty price tag. I did free consultation calls with several different agencies to assess my options. These calls ranged from bad to mediocre; they all felt relatively generic, and none of them felt like they truly understood how to deal with me as an individual. I then read a positive review of Alice on Gmat club, so I signed up for a free call on her site. After talking to Alice on the phone for 30 minutes, I felt like she had a good understanding of my goals, and would work with me to create a plan that I was comfortable with. I ended up working with Alice through the entire application process. We started with an evaluation call to go through my background and to clarify my MBA goals. We then outlined a timeline and process for choosing schools, drafting essays, and prepping for interviews. Here are some of the best things about working with Alice: 1) Alice takes the time to get to know you. Even after the initial 30 minute call, I felt that Alice had a better understanding of my background and goals than any of the other consultants I spoke with. But, she didn’t stop there. She continued to ask questions throughout the process to get to know me, so that her feedback was personalized to me, and to make sure that who I am as a person was reflected in every part of all of my applications. 2) Alice gets things back to you quickly, and holds both you and herself accountable to deadlines. All drafts I sent to Alice were returned to me within a day or two (sometimes within an hour or two!), and Alice made a point to reach out to me to check on that status of various parts of my applications to make sure I was on track. 3) Alice doesn’t beat around the bush. There was no wasted time during any calls or in any emails. Every interaction with Alice contained direct, constructive feedback. 4) Alice’s flat hourly rate allows you to choose how to use her time. I didn’t want to pay huge amounts of money for unlimited help I might not use, or for services that I didn’t think I needed. The hourly rate allowed me to choose how to use the time I paid for. Alice was also very generous with her time, providing a couple of free advice calls after I received interview invites and accepts, for example, which I very much appreciated. I am waiting on one final decision, but so far I’ve received scholarship offers from two top-ten schools. I would recommend Alice to anyone who feels like they could use even just a little direction. Intern Joined: 20 Dec 2016 Posts: 16 GPA: 4 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season [#permalink] ### Show Tags 24 Mar 2017, 00:21 Hi, Has anyone consulted MBA Essay Consultant ? If yes, then how is the service? Thank you. Intern Joined: 03 Sep 2011 Posts: 32 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 5 "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season [#permalink] ### Show Tags 26 Mar 2017, 23:28 Review for: Menlo Coaching After reading a ton of GMAT Club reviews, I decided to get Alice van Harten from Menlo Coaching to help me with my applications this cycle. Now that she's successfully helped me get into Harvard Business School, I am obligated to add to her glowing reviews! After working with her, I find it obvious why she gets such great reviews on this site. With Alice as your consultant, you are going to bring out your best possible self in your applications, and your applications will simply be at a different level than they would be without her help. I can confidently say there is no other person I would rather have worked with than Alice - I'm just lucky to have signed up as her client before she got fully booked for Round 2 applications. Some quick info about me: I am a reapplicant to HBS: I applied two years ago and got dinged. With Alice's help, I was able to get the acceptance this time around with what I consider to be a far stronger application. I knew from the start I had made the right choice. Her first phone call is all about information gathering, and she really gets to know you as a person. She doesn't just care about the written materials and making sure the drafts read well - she cares about understanding you as a person to make sure your best qualities and stories get to shine in the application. She will dig into your previous jobs, college experience, high school experience, and even your childhood to make sure she gets the full picture. When it came time to write a draft, she helped narrow in on the right themes and helped me outline a compelling story to tell. After I had written my first draft of my HBS essay, before sending it to Alice, I thought to myself "wow, this draft is looking really good." I sent it to Alice thinking there would be minimal feedback and changes since the first draft was already in pretty good shape (largely thanks to the outline and other pre-work leading up to the draft). HOWEVER, while Alice agreed it was a strong draft, she had tons of feedback and had made significant edits throughout the essay! After a couple more iterations, we ended up with a draft that was far stronger than the original, leaving HBS no choice but to interview me. When it came time for interview prep, Alice was again terrific. She asked me several questions to poke holes in my story, and several of the questions/answers we talked about in our interview prep actually came out during my 30 minute HBS interview. I often struggle with high pressure interviews, so her help with the interview process really made a difference. Alice also coached me in a number of ways I wasn't really expecting - helping me navigate the nuances around asking for recommendations, talking to potential influencers about my application, and a few other tricks that I won't be mentioning in too much detail here. Any time I had a question about how to approach a certain situation, Alice would have the right answer and explain why I should handle it a certain way. Again, I'm someone who is terrible at figuring out the right way to ask for recommendations (should it be an email or a phone call? How frequently should I pester my recommenders, what materials should I give them, etc.), how to talk to current students / alumni about their experiences, and other "networking" like activities - so having Alice there to coach me and guide me really helped. Working with Alice is great if you want someone who really cares about your application, makes sure you stay focused, and forces you to truly bring out the best possible application you are capable of building. Plus, her rates are very reasonable and were competitive with other admissions consultants I interviewed - but why spend the money on anyone else when you can get the best with Menlo Coaching? EDIT: In at Wharton with$ as well. Even without the HBS admit, the fees I spent on Menlo Coaching would have had huge ROI just from the scholarship money I was able to get from Wharton!

Last edited by randombetch on 01 Apr 2017, 12:31, edited 2 times in total.
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29 Mar 2017, 08:48

Review for: Access Education (Laura Freedman)

When I first thought of applying to INSEAD, I hadn’t thought of hiring an admission consultant. I was very confident of what I want to say in my essays and I thought I’d better save the money. When I started the actual work on my application, though, I noticed how the INSEAD application is very comprehensive, and my story and background had many moving parts. As I turned 32, I knew it was now or never to make into INSEAD.

Thus, I started looking around for admissions consultants. I searched the MBA forums, LinkedIn, and Google search. I reached out to few firms that had promising track records placing candidates at INSEAD, and that’s how I found Laura Freedman. Laura’s a certified coach who specializes in international MBA programs, and has 25 years of history with INSEAD as an interviewer, on alumni association boards in 4 countries, as a counselor on INSEAD’s Careers team in Singapore, and for 8 years as an admissions consultant.

I uploaded my CV into Access Education’s website and she immediately replied asking me to schedule an hour-long Skype call.

During our first call, it didn’t take long to notice that Laura understood very well and was very interested in my background, as if she knew me already for several years. I believe her unusually rich international experience is the reason for this amazing capability.

While working with Laura, I noticed that her service is not just about getting into INSEAD, or any other school for that matter. Her consultation for me was like career coaching. She helped me to zoom out, and have a bird’s eye view over my life and understand why I made certain decisions, as well as to delve into my weaknesses and strengths. I’ve always had hard time explaining what I do since I come from a very technical engineering background, however, I now have a way much easier time explaining what I do, even to my grandmother!

Her consultation helps you beyond just getting into your desired school, it helps you to know yourself better, improve your interview skills and express yourself in good, concise English. Most importantly, she helps you to understand and tell YOUR OWN STORY in the best possible way.

I feel I’m much better prepared for my MBA than ever.

Thank you, Laura!
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30 Mar 2017, 02:06

Review for: Personal MBA Coach

At the start of my MBA journey, I had never written an essay, did not know what leadership experience was and could not think of anything that distinguished me from the thousands of other well-qualified candidates. Thanks to Scott Edinburgh as my Personal MBA Coach, I was not only admitted to all 5 top 15 programs I applied to, but was also awarded scholarships totalling over \$200k.

Navigating the MBA admissions process is a major project in itself. Luckily there are rockstars like Scott Edinburgh who make the entire process so much easier. Being an international applicant with an unconventional background, I had no idea how to craft a powerful narrative to tell admission officers my story (when starting out, I did not even fully know what my story actually was).

Scott broke the entire process down in easy-to-understand components and tackled them with me one by one. As you will discover when working with him, his thorougness and attention-to-detail is second to none. As a result, he unconvered several great topics I had too readily discarded and helped me turn them into outstanding essays.

When I then showed him my first essay drafts, Scott did his job - and ripped them apart! Imagine Scott as a tough coach: he will be relentless in pushing yourself to your limits and beyond. You may wish that he'd be easier on you, but once you are smiling from the top of the podium, you know how valuable his input was.

To be perfectly clear: the above is in no way to say that Scott is a mean guy - the complete opposite is true. Scott is with you every step of the way offering plenty of encouragement. He genuinely cares about your success. Despite a substantial time difference, Scott was always available to answer my questions, even on very short notice if necessary.

However, Scott's work did not stop once I received the good news that I was admitted. He acted as a sounding board, helped me weigh my options and also assisted me in drafting a letter to the admissions office that ultimately got me additional scholarship money!

If your goal is to get in a top MBA program and you want customized and personalized support at a very fair price, look no further - Personal MBA Coach Scott Edinburgh is the guy for you.
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16 Apr 2017, 18:58

Review for: Menlo Coaching

I spoke with several admissions consultants before finally deciding on Alice from Menlo Coaching. I could hardly believe the glowing reviews from GMAT Club and, after working with her myself, I can attest that she is truly the best.

Alice is honest and personable. When I started researching consultants I was also in the process of re-taking the GMAT and she was upfront that she did not think I would have a competitive shot at the schools I was targeting until I got 720 or above. She doesn’t sugar coat her feedback and gives you the advice you need to hear.

When it came to the essays, she was always prompt in her responses (<24 hours) and pushed me to dig deeper and cut the fat from my drafts. Seriously, she is a godsend. You absolutely need to be dedicated and tireless in your commitment to the application process but, with Alice’s help, she’ll push and probe you to bring your essays to another level.

Most importantly, Alice genuinely believes in all of her clients. She gets to know you for you and helps bring out your unique experiences and strengths. She’s both candid and kind, and working with her is always pleasant. I was definitely prone to over-analyze and worry, but Alice was always patient with me and delivers a great pep talk!

Lastly, Alice doesn’t waste your time. She always has more than enough clients so you never feel that she’s spending more hours than necessary on your case. For example, during the interview stage, she told me I was ready after one mock session with her. I still had two more schools that she could have used to schedule additional sessions, but that type of honesty is what you can expect when working with Alice.

In the end, I got in everywhere that I applied (CBS, Yale, Kellogg) and with a scholarship as well! I couldn’t even imagine such a happy result when I started the daunting studying and application process last summer. I am more than happy to chat if anyone is interested in gathering further details about Menlo Coaching. I cannot recommend Alice enough!!
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16 Apr 2017, 23:26
To all Accepted Students: It would be really nice if you could document your BSchool application journey along with your tips/advice for future applicants. We have a separate forum to post BSchool debriefs. We eagerly look forward to read your MBA debriefs in Share Your Application Experience forum: https://gmatclub.com/forum/share-your-a ... ience-332/

Thank you,
Narenn
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21 Apr 2017, 02:08
 ! Moderator Note: Review removed for not meeting specified criteria. A user must have at least 30 posts in order to post reviews. Please read conditions described in the first post carefully before posting the review.

Last edited by Narenn on 26 Apr 2017, 02:34, edited 1 time in total.
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23 Apr 2017, 14:37
 ! Moderator Note: Review removed for not meeting specified criteria. A user must have at least 30 posts in order to post reviews. Please read conditions described in the first post carefully before posting the review.

Last edited by Narenn on 26 Apr 2017, 02:36, edited 2 times in total.
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22 May 2017, 18:34

I came to Karthik for my application help with limited time in hand since I had to retake my GMAT. We had about a month and ten days for the first school’s deadline. I must say the experience has been incredible.

I started with a bunch of starter files, which were more about soul searching than about anything to do with the application in specific. As I filled it in, the drive for an MBA grew even further. It looked like an MBA is exactly the missing piece in what I aspire to become.

We then went on with the application of each of the individual schools. Here again, he made me think of instances in my life that would be the most appropriate for the context in hand. The essays as such go back and forth for multiple edits before we arrive at the final draft. Given the limited time I had, I sometimes pushed him to get back within a day on reviews, which he obliged to as well.

Another thing that I appreciate is the high moral standards that Karthik has. He never suggests you to write something that you do not mean nor does he make significant edits by himself. If it’s a major edit, it’s for you to come back with a better version. All in all, I was extremely satisfied with the process and loved working with him on my applications.
Re: "Best" Admissions Consulting Companies - 2017 Season   [#permalink] 22 May 2017, 18:34
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