|All Reviews > Amerasia > Complete School Package Reviews|
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: Apr 11, 2016
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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!).
I was referred to Adam (Amerasia) through a coworker that successfully applied to Booth with his assistance. After careful research of his services as well as different consulting companies, I decided to work with Adam. Very glad I did considering I was admitted to 2 of 3 schools I applied to (including a very generous merit scholarship from a top 7 program).
Average work experience, good GMAT, low GPA, and good volunteer experience.
My reasoning for going with a consultant was that I felt I needed help “differentiating” myself. Nothing in my profile was exciting on paper so story telling was the major area I wanted help with. I was aiming relatively high (have seen very few from my background get into M7’s).
Review of services:
I purchased a two-school package for comprehensive services for two M7’s. I purchased a few hours to help with editing for a top 10 program. Accepted at one M7 ($$) and top 10. Rejected at the other M7.
You can read many reviews of his services on this site already. I’ll highlight a few key valuable differentiators I found in my experience with him. I had a handful of friends applying the same round as me using different consulting companies. The points I’m highlighting below are thus comparative and where I felt my experiences exceeded those of my friends and the consultants they used.
1. Brainstorming / idea generation: Before starting each essay, Adam provided me with a memo tailored towards the school. The memo had a lot of insight into the school’s DNA and the meaning behind the prompt. It brought up what the school is looking for and how the prompt has changed over years (giving perspective on these changes and implications on your response). This served as such a valuable starting point (some friends had their consultants insist that they just send them an essay draft before receiving feedback on if the ideas worked). In addition, Adam was helpful in pre-screening ideas before I started my first draft. I pitched potential ideas and he responded with an evaluation of what ideas work, what didn’t work, and how they could be improved.
I will note that one thing that concerned me before hiring Adam was that he insists most of the communication take place over e-mail. He does work with people over the phone if necessary. DO NOT LET THIS DETER YOU. My friends who used different companies almost never got on the phone with their consultants. Communicating with him via e-mail provided me with a clear record of everything and his responses were always concise and actionable.
2. One on one attention: Adam was the person I had my free-consultation call with. I requested early enough and was able to have him as my consultant throughout my application process. He was the one who helped me brainstorm, edited my essays, and answered all my miscellaneous questions throughout the process. The only time I worked with someone else was for resume review (he brought in an experienced recruiter for this) and mock interviews (he brought in a graduate from a top MBA program to do the mock). Both of these people were incredibly valuable in the services they provided. My friends who went with different consulting companies had their editor randomly assigned to them (making it harder to evaluate ahead of time the help they would receive). Also I had a major project at work that prevented me from touching my essays for a week close to the application deadlines. Adam was flexible and I noticed his turnaround time improving as I tried to juggle apps and work commitments.
3. Storytelling: Adam has an unbelievable understanding of what makes a story resonate with people. His edits and suggestions push you to bring out the most human and unique story possible and is ultimately what makes your story come to life. There was a personal story that I wasn’t sure would translate to an application essay. He encouraged me to use this story and helped frame it in a way that made it very powerful. On the scholarship letter I got with my acceptance package, this story was mentioned as one of the points that impressed the admissions group. I would not have gotten the scholarship without his help in framing the story.
I’m very glad I went with Adam. Comparing notes with friends who used different consulting companies, any doubt I had before choosing Adam was erased. The scholarship I got with his help is instant ROI on services I paid for.
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Adam Hoff helped me get to Haas Business School in a methodical and efficient way. Instead of walking through my successful experience and the multiple pros I see in hiring Adam’s services (please see all other reviews for full stories), I want to highlight what are the key factors that allow me to say that investing in Amerasia’s services is worth every dollar:
1. Full understanding of what the school wants in a candidate: His experience took me directly to the core of what the school wanted to see in my profile. After getting this insight, it was easier to find the right points to highlight from my experience.
2. Amazing work in building a strong profile for the applicant: Probably the most significant process of all, Adam helped me understand my goals and state them the way that any school wanted to read. Through this process I understood what I wanted from an mba and how my background fitted in.
3. A process to trust on: Very short time to response/give feedback. Also very frank and honest on what to improve. I never felt helpless or a one-size-fits-all victim. Adam always took the time to read and repeat what he wanted on my essays. Pretty intense work sometimes, but the results were worth it.
4. Excellent past experiences/recommendations: I got to Amerasia through some friends that worked with Adam. They also had good experiences working with him, so I had no doubt that I’d be successful too.
In conclusion, Amerasia is a very smart investment, and getting Adam’s help for this experience was a tremendous leverage in my favor.