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Joined: Jan 26, 2017
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I would highly recommend Adam Hoff at Amerasia. I found him to be a true partner throughout the application process, and his feedback/work is top notch. He is not only very knowledgeable about what each of the schools is looking for (or not looking for), but he is quite honest and upfront with you. He is especially helpful with the essays, and will push you to make them as strong as possible. It seems like he has a real vested interest in each person he works with. He is used year after year by all the pre-MBAs that go through my private equity program, and with great results.
Joined: Nov 02, 2017
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I was introduced to Adam Hoff and Amerasia through a high school classmate that worked with Adam and recommended him highly. My classmate and his wife both received Adam's help and guidance throughout their b-school application process and wound up at HBS together. After hearing rave reviews about Amerasia, I was excited to hear about their services and set up an initial consultation with Drew Hoff.
After going back and forth on whether I wanted to use an admissions consultant I ended up choosing to work with Drew and Amerasia because of the personal and dedicated approach that was shown in my hour plus consultation call; very different than any other free consultation calls I had before. Looking back at my notes from that call, Drew really opened my eyes to a successful and feasible path forward towards reaching my b-school goals due to his attention to detail and sincere advice based on the short questionnaire I had filled out beforehand.
Drew was a huge help at the start of the process as my brain had been swirling around in circles when I was trying to figure out where to begin on my own. I asked for guidance and a voice of reason throughout the application process and received it from Drew each step of the way - from vetting my final list of schools to choosing which stories to write about to preparing as best as possible for interviews.
The personalized strategy memos were really the kickstart to the hot and heavy time of my application period and they were a great help for putting pen to paper. I certainly remember being frustrated staring at a blank Word page for hours on end but Drew was there to coach me through my jumbled thoughts and help maintain my clear vision for b-school and beyond. Drew was responsive no matter how many iterations of my essays I went through and I distinctly remember the point in time where I took a step back after reading an updated version and thinking, "wow, I really have a chance at this" and "I've really learned A LOT about myself".
I cannot thank Drew and Amerasia enough for the instrumental help in the application process and I am happy to report that I was accepted at both Wharton & Kellogg when it was all said and done. (I interviewed at GSB & Haas and got dinged right off the bat at HBS). For quick reference - B.S. in Civil Engineering, 5 years in construction, 770 GMAT.
I'd strongly recommend Drew and Amerasia!
Joined: Jun 10, 2018
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Hey all! So first off and to preface my entire review, I applied for Harvard, Stanford, Sloan, and Wharton. These are obviously very difficult schools, but I did have hope that my unique background combined with a strong consultant could pull me through. In the interest of transparency however, I just wanted to state that I was not able to secure any of the four schools, not even an interview. Take from that what you will in regards to whether or not my review is tainted, but I do believe I am not one to be so affected. At the end of the day, I have other opportunities that I can aim for, and so this does not faze me too much. I do think everyone here would appreciate knowing how my process with Drew went though, to not make the same mistakes that I made.
Alright, so into the process itself. Perhaps because of my origins as a PhD candidate, coming a bit out of left field that it ended up being hard for Drew - though the initial consultations had left me assured I would be in good hands, with someone who knew what to do with my background.
We started with a survey that I returned to Drew on the 11th of November 2018, which I suppose marks the first day of the consultation process. This was where the first red flag appeared, and perhaps I should have done something about this then. Once I completed the survey, nothing came out of it - nadda. There was no follow up discussing the results of the survey, or even later on how the results could play into my application. This is a general theme that pervades the consultation process, and I would highly recommend if you are going to go with Drew, to always be ready to remind him of deadlines and things that has been done/needs to be done.
This is because the next thing that happened, was that I sent him the first draft for my resume on the 27th of November and my first draft of the Harvard essay on the 1st of December. He took four days just to get back to me on my resume with suggestions (not really any edits), and really practically all throughout it had always been four days between when I sent him a resume draft and when I receive feedback/edits from him. I would suggest to send him drafts as early as you can, and also ensure it is as close to one page as possible because Drew will not really make edits or significant suggestions to your draft until then.
The bigger problem was the first draft of my Harvard essay, which went way past the four day (96-hour) deadline as promised by Amerasia. Allegedly Drew sent me a response that never got through. We had a bit of a discussion about this, where Drew was a bit bummed out, and I was too. I did offer to dissolve the agreement, but Drew wanted to continue, and, having not much time left, I decided to take a leap of faith and continue with Drew. To be frank, I think it is fair of me to voice such concerns to him, given that we had a later start than others, and deadlines were fast approaching.
Unfortunately it happened multiple times. Five times actually - across Harvard, Wharton, and Sloan essays, and that was enough to turn everything upside down. On one occasion, Drew allegedly forgot to send me an edit until I reminded him. On the remaining four occasions, Drew was late by 7 hours, 16 hours, 36 hours, and the worse one - 83 hours (which already accounted for 48 hours where Drew asked to take two days off over Christmas). As you can imagine, when you are coming so close to the deadline, every hour counts.
So therefore, if you go with Drew, you HAVE to chase him up. Do not be like me and wait for at least 96 hours (i.e. the deadline for return of edits based on the agreement), chase him up earlier than that. He might be overwhelmed, or for whatever other reason, but it is your application - you need to take charge.
This is because Drew does do good work - he managed to make significant modifications to my resume to squeeze in everything I wanted to write within one page, and have made good edits to my essays. However, it could have been so much better if he has had more time to go through my essays - which simply did not happen due to the constant breaches of deadlines.
I considered giving him a lower rating, but given that he does do good work when he seems like he wants to do it, I simply cannot do that. I think my rating is fair given that there were significant breaches on Amerasia's side that significantly affected my applications. So yes, if you go with Drew, you have to chase him up - whether because he is too busy, or in my case maybe not feeling like he wants to help me anymore, he does not chase up my progress or check in with me. Though in that case, that is not exactly professional, especially given that I offered him the choice of dissolving our arrangement.
Joined: Aug 26, 2018
I worked with Adam from Amerasia on the complete school package for two of the four schools to which I was applying. Adam was incredibly helpful in all aspects of the application process including essays, guidance on selecting recommenders, and (fortunately) preparing for interviews.
Adam did a great job of getting to know my background and what I was interested and passionate about, and then making sure that I stayed true to those elements throughout the process. He knew when to push me to dig deeper for more details and how to effectively cultivate my experience in order to craft my story. Despite multiple revisions of my essays, Adam always responded quickly and gave me his honest assessment every step of the way. When it came time for interviews, Adam helped connect me with hand-picked interview experts from the Amerasia team who helped to ensure that I was not only prepared for the generic MBA interview questions, but also those that would demonstrate my interest and commitment to each school.
Overall, I cannot recommend Adam highly enough based on my experience as he and the entire Amerasia team helped me immensely throughout the application process.
Joined: Apr 17, 2017
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.
Joined: Mar 17, 2018
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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.
Joined: Jul 29, 2016
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
Joined: Oct 27, 2014
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.
Joined: Jul 03, 2017
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.
Joined: Dec 02, 2014
Consultant Paul Lanzilotti
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