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I'm writing this review to provide some insight (based on my opinion and experiences) about services provided by Amerasia Consulting. Last year, at about this time, I got in touch with Amerasia Consulting after seeking the opinion of fellow GMATClubbers who had written reviews about various Consulting companies. Besides, I spoke to a few other consultants also but I thought most of them were really pricey, and Amerasia offered me nothing less than what they did in their packages. Simultaneously, I read the various posts from Paul Lanzilotti and found them to be really astute.
So then, I mailed them my profile and soon Adam set up a preliminary call with me to assess the situation and to provide his suggestions. In the very first call itself, I was prepared to take extensive notes and I did so. Adam was very clear in his suggestions and he made me think in a positive manner because he pointed out the strengths + weaknesses in my profile and told me the absolute must things that I need to do to get through in the US B-Schools. Earlier, I had spoken to another consultant and I had received the advice that at my age (34) US B-Schools wouldn't probably be a good option because they prefer younger people and thus, I would be better off trying the European B-Schools. (Please read my review till end to know why I’ve mentioned this).
However, Adam dismissed that notion and said that every B-School seeks people who are from different background, and older applicants do bring a lot of professional insight that is essential to the proper grooming of students in the class. Simultaneously, he recommended me B-Schools that would be within reach based on my personal + professional profile; of course, I debated with him the choices and he suggested me broadly what each B-School would mean from various perspectives (besides rankings). The point is that all of this discussion definitely gave me a lot of data points and food for thoughts to plan out my MBA pursuit.
Soon thereafter, our stint began and he asked me to fill a questionnaire and that helped me in solidifying my essays and in articulating my career goals. During the phase of essay writing, he helped me in refining them further and the most impressive factor is that there was no upper limit on the number of reviews he would have done (this can become really valuable if you really want to polish and strengthen your application). The pdf documents he used to provide with essay breakups were very helpful in getting me started on my own, and by writing my essays, and by acting on his review feedbacks, I definitely was able to prepare for my interviews by default :).
I must say that though I couldn’t get through in two R1 B-Schools we had worked together, I wouldn’t attribute it solely to Adam for suggesting those names. For one thing, I’ve heard that R1 was very uneven this year and secondly, I’m WL at one place and got offer for another MBA Program in the second B-School. Needless to say, the essays I had written in the R1 were very helpful in the R2, and the way Adam had pointed out weaknesses in my essays helped me in cracking essays for the other B-Schools as well. Finally, when I started getting interview calls in my R2 packages, Adam arranged a mock interview for me with another consultant in his company (along with his own set of dos and don’ts for the interview) and that proved to be quite useful as well.
Therefore, I can easily suggest that you can always go for Amerasia Consulting as your top choice because:
1) Adam is a brilliant and sincere guy, if he selects you as a client, he’ll definitely make sure that he does everything for you to bolster your package and to bring out the best aspects of your application.
2) His Knowledge of the Admission Process and B-Schools is extraordinary. I was talking to my college seniors also who had gotten through in B-Schools previously and they said pretty much the same things about the B-Schools as Adam did, so I Would tend to think that the advice coming from Adam was of very high quality.
3) While working with him, you’ll get personal attention which is very important to keep the morale high and maintain the tempo and accuracy during the application phase. Sometimes the whole process can be really nerve wrecking and you definitely need a person who can egg you on.
Disclaimer - Because of some personal/professional reasons, I am unable to reveal the names of the B-Schools I’m in, however, I *might* disclose them in the coming days, so please do not think that my review is a “hollow” one :). I have multiple offers now and one B-School I can name where I’m in is Kelley School of Business (with Scholarship).
Last but not the least, I got dinged at European B-Schools and got through in Canada and US B-Schools (I had applied on my own to the Canada B-Schools).
Was this review helpful to you? 3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
I interviewed 4 different admissions consultants, including Stacy Blackman, Critical Square, Alice van Harten, and Paul from Amerasia. I felt that I didn’t connect at all with the Stacy Blackman consultant, and the Critical Square intake was extremely general. I was a bit torn between choosing Alice or Paul, but Paul really sold it with his 60-minute intake call (which ended up being more like 90 minutes) and a strong follow-up email. I felt really comfortable choosing him as my consultant.
The Results: In total, I applied to HBS, Stanford, Ross, Booth, Kellogg, and MIT. I ended up getting admitted to Booth and Ross, and waitlisted at Kellogg. When Booth called me, the Admissions Officer told me she had been waiting for 2 months to make the call and that they loved my application. I know I wouldn’t have gotten this response without Paul’s priceless insights into Booth and his advice on tackling that nebulous photo/essay/PPT.
Why I Hired a Consultant: I am a US applicant who lives and works overseas in a not-so-safe country for expats, and pursuing an MBA was something I was just beginning to explore when I contacted Paul. I didn't feel I could really engage my personal network from a few time zones away (easier to ask someone about business school over a cup of coffee rather than a shady internet connection). I was also unable to visit any schools. With a background in international development, I felt that I really needed an expert to help me with selecting schools, defining my strengths and weaknesses (such as my mid 600 GMAT), reworking my resume, and crafting essays that would speak to the individual Adcom audiences. Paul brought all of this to the table over the course of our engagement, and much more.
Why Paul/Amerasia: Paul not only understands the nuances of each school’s application, but also knows how to work with you and your background to help you craft essays and responses that really hit the mark. To do this, he spends a lot of time getting to know you. I felt that our conversations went way beyond what other consultants would have offered. And in the end, these conversations and the relationship we built were key to honing in on my post-MBA goals, brainstorming on essay responses, and preparing for interviews. Also, in the beginning I did have some doubts about my candidacy (was I really “business school” material?). I actually gained more confidence in my candidacy through the process of working with Paul – something I didn’t expect and something that definitely made a difference when it came to interview time.
Whether you are like me and really needed help from the very beginning (full service), or are just looking for someone to provide (extremely valuable) feedback on your essays, Paul is the guy to call. It was well worth the cost and I was thrilled with the experience (and obviously, the results!).
Was this review helpful to you? 3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
Over the past 2 years, I spoke with 10+ consultants, worked with 5 of them on various schools and services, and found Americasia’s Adam Hoff one of the bests for the following reasons: 1) an extremely clear and detailed understanding, breakdown, and strategy for each school and 2) a genuine interests in the candidate’s performance.
Since Adam was referred to me by a friend who got into Booth with Adam, I decided to work with him on Booth through a School Package. Throughout the application process, Adam provided me with materials that were more reading-friendly, to-the-point, and in-depth than most other consultants; Americasia really knows its stuff.
The twist comes here: I did not get into Booth, and thought Adam and my work would end here; nevertheless, in a few months’ time when I received an interview invitation from MIT Sloan in R2 and sought for Adam’s advice, Adam voluntarily provided me with a mock interview with MIT Sloan, which was not the school I had purchased the School Package for. This small act of kindness was very touching and inspiring; furthermore, the mock interview prep helped me obtain an offer letter from MIT Sloan.
Extremely supportive throughout the process; very attentive.
Summary/Results – My wife and I both worked with Adam in the fall/winter of 2017 (applying for spots in the Class of 2020). We only applied to Stanford GSB and HBS; we were both dinged by the former and accepted to the latter. This review will be from my perspective only, as my wife will add hers separately.
Initial Call – My initial call with Adam was the most informative of all of my initial consulting calls. He provided actionable advice, such as the suggestion to apply to GSB and HBS in separate rounds instead of in the same one. He has a clear and direct manner that I like, and which is ultimately why I decided to work with him.
The Process (non-essay components) – As you have likely read by now, Adam corresponds almost exclusively over email. I was perfectly fine with this, as it kept communication efficient. Given that the application process (outside of the essays) is fairly standardized, Adam/Amerasia has come up with several "memos" which break down how to tackle each component (e.g., how to craft an effective resume, how to present your goals in an MBA-friendly manner, etc). Adam also gets input from the other advisers at Amerasia, as well as outside experts so that your final product will have been viewed from several different perspectives.
Essays – Adam provides the perfect amount of guidance. After giving me the strategy memo for a particular essay, it was up to me to craft the first draft. Like everything else, going back and forth on drafts with Adam was highly effective and efficient – his advice is clearly presented and isn't forced upon you to the point where you lose your personal voice. It goes without saying that he WILL NOT write your essays for you; the heavy lifting is still your responsibility. He is simply there to provide additional perspective and guidance.
Interview Prep – Again, very effective. After providing me with another memo, Adam set me up with a consultant he uses for interview prep which was extremely helpful.
Overall – I decided to use a consultant to maximize my chances of success. I am fairly confident in my writing abilities and did not want to blindly follow some drill-sergeant type. Thus, Adam was the perfect adviser for me, and I would highly recommend him.
I worked with Adam in the Fall of 2016, and worked on 2 schools in R1, and 1 in R2. Out of the three schools, I was accepted to Booth (with $$), waitlisted at HBS and dinged by GSB.
My background: US undergrad, MBB consulting for 5 years in Asia, 770 GMAT
As an Indian male applying to Bschools, I was part of a super competitive application demographic. My introductory conversation with Adam stood out, because in comparison with some of the other consultants, Adam was pretty confident and gung-ho about my chances at the set of schools mentioned earlier. The vibe I got from that call, as well the fact that he wasn't trying to sell me short to apply to a lower echelon of schools, is what convinced me to sign up with him
Adam was a big help throughout the process, both in terms of getting the applications over the line as well as setting up mock interviews for interview prep. I'm listing down a set of places where he helped massively, as well as a couple of things to think about if you're considering working with him
1) The MEMOS!! These are an amazing starting point, and really help clear up the ambiguity in terms of how each school is different. Given the number of essay topics, and how vague some of them are, the succinct breakdowns given in the memo are super useful. Adam was very generous, and also gave me memos for a couple of other schools that I was applying to alone
2) Adam's insistence on limiting everything to email communication is initially daunting, but it definitely pushed me to structure my thought process and communication. If we'd been communicating over calls, there's a chance that my application would have been constructed less tightly with more vague messaging. So despite my initial misgivings, the strong preference for emails was a big help.
However, if you're someone who needs to engage on the phone/ struggles with written communication, this may be a factor be cognizant about. The other point is that email interactions typically need a 2-3 day turnaround, so build a buffer in to your timeline planning.
3) In terms of the essays/writing themselves, the changes that Adam suggested were never wholesale, and he largely stayed true to the original theme. However, the tweaks he made almost always resulted in the essay coming out more polished and reading much better
4) Given that communication will be over email, the one recommendation I would have is to make timelines/checkpoints very clear for both you and Adam. I'd procrastinated during R1, with the belief that Adam may reach out to push me if I was lagging behind. That didn't happen, and resulted in a rush towards the end of R1 along with a little friction. Thankfully, we were able to get the apps over the line, but the chaos did cause stress and maybe a slight hit to the strength of the apps . By the time R2 rolled around we had clear timelines laid out, and that led to a much smoother process.
In summary, I'd strongly recommend Adam! My applications were definitely better for having worked with him
Working with Drew and Amerasia was the key to my MBA admissions success. I had a below target score of 680 but had my eyes on the top programs. By working with Drew to unearth my story and find my true passions, I was able to obtain interview offers at every school I applied to, and earned a full tuition scholarship to a top 15 program.
Drew's approach is hands-on and effective. He is methodical and consistent in the way he approaches each school, essay, and process. He helps perfect your resume, fine tune your applications, and isn't afraid to tell you when something needs to be changed. I would certainly recommend his services for any candidate that is looking to stay both ahead of the curve and on top of their deadlines.
I had a fantastic experience working with Paul from Amerasia on my MBA applications, and am very pleased with the results (admitted into two out of 5 schools applied to). I couldn’t have done this without Paul’s a) insights into the entire MBA application process, b) genuine interest in seeing me succeed, and c) ability to help me tell my authentic “story” in the most compelling way possible.
I interviewed mbaMission, Stacy Blackman Consulting, and Amerasia in deciding which consultant to work with. When I spoke with mbaMission and Stacy Blackman Consulting representatives, I definitely felt like a “number” and had very rushed 30 minute conversations where they tried to sell me their services. In contrast, my initial conversation with Paul from Amerasia was completely different. Paul spent over an hour speaking with me, learning about my background, motivations for applying, and future aspirations and discussed how I might go about application planning. I was not only convinced of his deep expertise of the application process but that he truly cared about going the “extra mile” to see his clients succeed. The cost of the comprehensive package was also more competitive than what the other firms offered.
Throughout the process, Paul helped me craft essays and prepare interview responses that reflected my values, goals, and what I could specifically offer and learn from each school I applied to. Paul is a great listener – after probing on a detail about my background I had mentioned in a prior conversation, that ended up forming the bedrock of my story. In addition, at times he was also like a life coach, especially when things got stressful in the process!
Given my experience working with him from the very beginning, I can say Paul is definitely an invaluable source of guidance at any stage of the process you might be working through. I had a great experience working with him and am thrilled with the outcome.
Paul helped me get into a top US program despite an average GMAT and a subpar GPA. Listen to him and you'll be better off than if you did it yourself. Trust the process and his experience. If you want to go crazy and do your own thing, don't hire a consultant, or apply to other schools by yourself. In other words, don't argue with his ideas.
1) Empathy: Paul cares, he will talk to you when you need to and be down to earth if/when that time comes
2) Experience: his comes through when you need it to
3) Mindset: he is positive and usually collected, which makes for a better experience overall
1) Time management: crunching is commonplace
2) Execution: has a hard time actually going from A to B, but to be fair, most people struggle with this (myself included)
3) Setting expectations: less excitement or lower expectations (delivery/time wise) could perhaps minimize his other weaknesses
I was impressed by Ameraisa, specifically, Paul, since the first call. I talked with some big brand consultancy but they have been very pushy to get my business or telling me I am not a competitive candidate. But Paul didn't throw any sales pitch to me during the call. Instead, he was very down-to-earth and analyzed my profile and given a couple of key points that I should work on. The call went on for an hour, all great information, and all free.
During the process, Paul has been very dedicated and went above and beyond than just the hour service. He is very knowledgeable and resourceful, always provided me with hard-to-find information.
With their outstanding service and competitive pricing, I would recommend Paul.
I spoke first to Paul when I was dinged from CBS. I had seen Amerasia's blog so sent them my application asking if they had any thoughts on what went wrong (I already had another company helping). Within the hour I had my application returned with hundreds of pointers and he wrote with some of the most supportive comments I had seen throughout the process. Did I mention that this was all for free?!
Paul looked through each of my applications and was so helpful - offering hints, offering to go through word-by-word, offering interesting facts that were so incredibly helpful.
When it came time for interview, I was very demanding and tried to book Paul as much as possible. He not only found time, but always went over time. On every single session. What I liked most was our discussion around the interview talking points - discussions that actually came up in my interview. After the interview, Paul continued to check up on how I was doing and send me any relevant information on my intended career area. I was admitted to HBS and I don't think I could have done it without Paul.
Did I enjoy the process? - Yes! Amerasia made it seem like a way of exploring new areas I hadn't thought of beforehand?
Were Amerasia/Paul helpful? Beyond anything. Paul went out his way to help, responding to every email, question, call, however stupid the question. I always felt reassured and, for the interview, I felt totally prepared.