|All Reviews > Avanti Prep > Avanti Prep Hourly Services Reviews|
Joined: Aug 08, 2017
690 Q49 V35
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I’m a male engineer from India with 720 GMAT and some international experience. I belong to a common demographic for US B-Schools and had a complicated profile, with a Master’s degree in hand and already age 30 when applying. I happened to find Avanti Prep via GMAT Club. Greg had the strongest and clearest recommendations from past applicants on the website, which prompted me to request a Free Consultation. I had already talked to a few other consultants before talking to Greg. And then after just one call with Greg I knew I wanted him to be my guide throughout this process. I availed Hourly Services from Avanti Prep, initially 5 hours, but expanded significantly along the way as I saw major value of working together and decided to apply to more schools. In total, I ended up with 67 hours of service with Avanti Prep from July 2018 through April 2019.
Because I did not have a good GMAT for my demographic, I wanted to test my chances across a wide range of the rankings. We worked on 10 schools in Round 1 and Round 2, ranging from M7 schools mostly through U.S. News top 20/25, one school a few spots lower down and one more school another tier below that. Given my higher number of schools, spreading Hourly Services across them was my preferred approach, rather than focusing on only a few of the schools through a Package. This way we could mirror full depth of the comprehensive experience while adapting it for more schools.
Even with some international experience, I knew this strategy was aggressive. If you believe studies on GMAT Club, Indian applicants with 720 GMAT have 5% admission chance at U.S. top 20, and many people in the forums even say Indian males with sub-730 GMAT should look outside top 25. Despite these odds, I received two M7 interviews (was waitlisted thereafter at one) and three scholarships offers overall. Right now, I’m enrolled at a top 20/25 school with a generous scholarship (50%). This would not have been possible at all without Greg’s magic. Trust me, Avanti Prep is the best investment you can make in your B-School journey. Greg is one of the most well rated and reasonably priced consultants in the market at his elite level of expertise.
Given my needs, we used about 6 hours total on school selection, story and goal development and strategic calls, 6 hours on full cycle of resume reviews (literally start to finish), 5 hours on recommender strategy and feedback, 4 hours on application entries and review, 1 hour on video strategy and practice, 3 hours on interview prep (only did one session, maybe should have done more), 5 hours on post-application support (scholarship negotiations, waitlist strategy and updates) and most remaining time on essay brainstorming and reviews (sounds like a lot but was for 10 schools).
Also, unlike other consultants in the market, Greg is not money minded and was very generous with timing and pricing. You can feel that his main motivation is achieving the best possible outcome for you. He did not count time for my many annoying email queries, he rounded down the time and provided some free time as necessary to achieve best quality, and given size of our relationship, we proceeded at a customized discounted rate. I am certain I received far more than even the 67 hours I signed up for, and given quality of experience and 50% scholarship result, it was undoubtedly worth it.
Greg is not just an expert MBA consultant, he is a wonderful person as well. He is approachable and friendly and makes you feel very comfortable. Despite my complicated profile, Greg did an amazing job of breaking down my long story and guiding me to assemble all pieces together in a symmetrical and persuasive way that created logical sense between my experiences and goals and allowed me to share the most interesting elements of my experiences. This process lets you put forth the best version of yourself. For this reason I have no doubt you are achieving the highest possible outcomes given your profile.
Greg is a thorough professional and walks the talk when it comes to his work. The level of detail, professionalism and responsiveness are extremely high. The way he helps you strategize the different pieces of your story for each school is expert level. We worked together on very tight timelines for Round 1 and Round 2 submissions and Greg never let me down. He has the unique ability to understand and respond in a timely fashion every query I put through him. I did put him through a lot of annoying nitty-gritty questions, but he was always so happy to respond to all of them. You really feel that Greg puts his clients first.
I’m happy to answer any specific questions regarding my experience with Avanti Prep. You can message me anytime. Good luck!
Joined: Jun 30, 2018
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]
For context: I’m a male, 5 years work experience in finance and nonprofit work, GMAT in 690-720 range, undergrad GPA of 3.75 from very good but not top-tier university.
I asked Greg to help me using his pay-by-the-hour services with the intent to use those hours sparingly. I ended up using his help more and more because his edits on essays were so specific and pertinent and I felt I was getting good value for the cost. He has great insight into the process, what different schools are looking for, how to position oneself a bit differently for each school. I did video interview prep with him too and that was really helpful to identify where answers could be stronger or call out a connection to the school’s priorities that I otherwise may have missed.
Greg helped me apply to 5 schools ranked HBS (why not?) to UNC. I was much happier with the entire process having Greg onboard as my coach. He kept me on track throughout and helped me prioritize how much time to spend GMAT studying, when to quit and focus on essays, when I needed to do more, etc. His work and feedback was always useful, turnaround was really quick, and just a generally kind, smart person to entrust your application to.
In the end I got a good scholarship to Fuqua and when they called me to give acceptance they even referenced one of the little jokes Greg gave me as something they thought was a nice touch of my personality in the essay :)
If I had to do it again, I’d use Greg in a heartbeat.
Joined: Oct 08, 2018
770 Q49 V47
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Short summary first if you don’t want to read the whole thing:
Thanks to Greg’s help, I was accepted to the Kellogg 1Y program, INSEAD, IMD, and USC, and I am convinced that I would not have been accepted had I not worked with Greg. Between the four schools, I received over $175,000 in scholarships. Since Greg is a small shop, he takes the time to get to know you personally and can really help you discover your voice. I consider myself a very compelling and articulate writer, but I was astonished at how much my essays improved after working with Greg. I would highly recommend working with Greg.
Longer version for those interested:
Nationality: American (Texas), white
Schools applied: Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg 1Y, USC, INSEAD, IMD
Accepted to: Kellogg 1Y, INSEAD, IMD, USC
Scholarships: Kellogg ($35k), IMD ($20k), and USC (Full ride)
Background- I have been working in my family healthcare business for the past five years after starting my career in hedge funds and private equity. As I saw things coming to a close in my family business, I started thinking about what’s next. In the absence of a clearly defined passion or desire, I wanted to go back to school to get some more credentials and take time to think. Coming to the game a little late, I was worried about crafting my story and articulating why I was ready to get my MBA.
One thing that Greg did very well was help me craft my narrative for very different schools. Because I don’t know exactly what I want, my applications ranged from going to USC to pursue a job in the entertainment industry to going to Kellogg to return to family business to going to INSEAD or IMD to pursue international consulting. Obviously Greg helped me identify the parts of my story that resonated with each, because I was able to secure a seat in each school.
I researched the heck out of admissions consultants, and I actually worked with 3 different consulting companies over the course of my admissions process. Greg and Avanti was the one that stuck in the end. I started out with a bigger, more well-known firm, and quickly felt like the process was too automated and impersonal, like a cookie-cutter approach. I was told form the beginning with the other firm that I had to follow a syllabus and they would email me changes. I said that I’d prefer to speak on the phone and they said that I had to schedule phone calls days in advance in order to speak to a human. Greg’s personal approach felt more aligned with my personality and communication style, so I went with Greg. He was always open for a phone call and would email me responses very quickly when I had questions. Greg even went out of his way to email me stuff when it crossed his mind, whether I had requested it or not. For example, I was visiting Tuck’s business school, and Greg emailed me that he knew a couple students there and got me in touch with them. I didn’t even ask. I thought it was very thoughtful and intentional. This characterizes how Greg goes above and beyond.
By the time I had started working with Greg, I had already put together some background info on myself mapping out my life story, motivators, etc, but I’m sure that he would have done this with me had I started out with him. We had a long call going over it and discussing major themes and motivating forces. These early conversations became the seeds of my later essays.
This isn’t probably how everyone likes to work, but I wrote multiple stream-of-consciousness essays for each school and then shot them off to Greg for a quick read. Greg would look at all the essays I’d written and give me feedback on which one he felt would work best as a final essay. Then we’d work together to polish the essay. THIS IS WHERE GREG REALLY SHINES. Like I stated above, I feel that my essays were pretty good to begin with, but boy was I wrong. Greg really made them more succinct, articulate, and in lots of place, more politically correct or less offensive. There were lots of times where he changed wording because I didn’t realize how something might come across as insensitive or something. Greg helped me really articulate to each school who I was, why I wanted an MBA from that school, and how I could contribute to each school. In the end, I truly believe that Greg’s help on my essays made the difference in my getting in or not, ESPECIALLY ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS, where it was a bit harder to explain why this white guy from Texas wanted to go get an MBA in France.
Greg self-admittedly did not have much experience with Harvard Business school, so I worked with a third consultant who had specific experience at HBS. Greg still helped me on my essays there, but the other consultant helped me understand what HBS was looking for. While I did not get into HBS, I don’t necessarily think it was their fault. I think as a 31 year old white male applying in round 3 with no clear driving passion or career vision, it was an uphill battle to begin with. The other consultant used to be an adcom at HBS, and she told me form the start that I had slim odds at HBS.
Greg didn’t nickel and dime me with time, and occasionally did stuff off the clock when he was personally interested in a question I had asked or something. Greg was always a pleasure to talk to and I genuinely enjoyed my time working with him. I highly recommend Greg. If you are looking for a very personal, highly communicative approach and a better value than the big names, Greg is the guy.
For the curious, I chose IMD. The personal, intimate, focused nature of the course seemed like the best fit for my personality type, even though it’s not as well-known as Kellogg or INSEAD. Kind of like Greg…I took a chance on the little guy and went with my heart based on feel, and I don’t regret it. I’m hoping I have the same experience at IMD.
Joined: Sep 22, 2017
740 Q50 V40
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As a reapplicant who worked with a different consultant last year and did not receive interviews invites, I was anxious about applying this year, and hesitant to work with a consultant. I can say with great confidence that this year’s success is completely a result of my work with Greg and his unique, personalized and brilliant approach to crafting my application.
With a 740 GMAT, 3.85 GPA, 5 years of work experience at a big tech company, and career goals in brand management and entrepreneurship, there were no glaring red flags about my previous application. I felt lost when it came to improving my application, and apprehensive about my odds this year.
I initially set up a free consultation with Greg, which went probably two times longer than the allotted time; by the end of our conversation, I could tell that Greg was different than other consultants, and really understood me and each school’s unique application process and values. He followed up with a comprehensive email with ideas and insight based on our conversation, and I immediately started feeling hopeful for this round of applications.
I initially signed up for three hours with Greg, but I quickly realized how invaluable his insight and help is and ultimately signed up for about 10 hours (Greg certainly rounded down more often than not, so I’m sure that 10 hours should really be more like 20). Greg not only helped me craft my essays, but also helped with strategizing on recommender selection, prep, crafting my MIT Sloan video and eventually with scholarship negotiation. He also helped me with school selection, and encouraged me to apply to Wharton (which is where I will be attending next fall!).
Greg helped with my applications for MIT Sloan, Columbia and Wharton. I must say that the ten hours I worked with Greg were more effective than the 40+ hours I worked with my previous consultant. I felt confident about every essay and application component.
Ultimately, I received interview invitations from all three schools (versus zero invites last year), and was accepted to Wharton and Columbia, with a $100k fellowship at Columbia.
Greg’s expertise and insight are unparalleled. He has an incredibly deep understanding of every school’s mission, offerings and priorities and helped me craft applications that spoke to exactly what each school was looking for. In each essay revision he would offer brilliant anecdotes to include to highlight my fit for and knowledge about the programs. He suggested ultra-specific treks, clubs, competitions, and courses to highlight in my application, showing a very deep understanding of each school.
Greg is also a highly skilled essay crafter. He was incredibly strategic at cutting down content to fit word count without eliminating important details. He helped me prioritize aspects of my background that made me stand out but also fit into each school’s culture.
Greg was incredibly responsive and provided feedback often within 24 hours. Nonetheless, his feedback was deep and comprehensive. He provided clear strategies for improvement and what content to prioritize.
I’m most grateful for Greg’s help with my application to U Penn. In a last minute decision, Greg encouraged me to apply to Wharton, two days before Christmas. He ensured that he would make time to help me through my application in the days to come, and gave me hope that I had a chance at what would soon become my dream school. In an incredibly quick turn-around, Greg helped me craft a fantastic application, that showed no signs of being put together in just two weeks (I don’t recommend rushing through an application like that!)
I was accepted to Wharton and will be attending the school in the fall; I know that I would not have even applied to Wharton if it wasn’t for Greg’s encouragement, and there is no chance I would have been admitted without his expertise.
Greg’s insight is absolutely invaluable and his approach is unparalleled by any other consultant. He will make a huge difference to you application and is worth every penny and more.
Joined: Dec 17, 2016
710 Q49 V39
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I contacted Greg after submitting my application to Berkeley Haas last application season and decided to use his interview prep services after receiving the interview invite.
During the session, I realized I was not very well prepared for the actual interview, but Greg gave me very thorough and detailed feedback after the mock and helped me prepare better for the interview questions. He pointed out what were my problems when answering the questions, what I had to focus on during the interview, how I had to structure the answers, what topics I had to focus on. He also gave me tips about how I had to behave during the interview and what qualities I had to emphasize about myself. I was admitted to Haas last year! Although I was not able to attend the MBA program due to some personal reasons, Greg’s initial help with interview prep helped me immensely during the next application cycle and I was able to gain admission to Stanford GSB and HBS!
I am confident that Greg’s very detailed help with interview prep played a critical part in my success, giving me confidence and ability to correctly choose and structure my answers – I was admitted to three top schools!
Joined: Apr 10, 2019
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]
There’s something to be said about going with a smaller consultancy and getting non-canned, dedicated support. Greg was exactly that - if you want thoughtful, dedicated and tailored advice, I would highly suggest his services. I paid higher fees for Manhattan Prep and I can guarantee he is so much more worth it hour vs. hour - no comparison. He’s a great blend of very knowledgeable and very supportive, which address the two biggest stresses of the MBA application process: the intellectual challenge of getting in and the emotional roller-coaster of the process. I am thrilled to say with his interview prep support, I got into my top choice - and I really don’t know if I would’ve had it not been for Greg!
Joined: Jul 25, 2018
740 Q49 V41
I first got in contact with Greg via one of the profile review threads on GMATclub, he offered a quick and helpful review with details on how I could contact him for a free consultation session. I took him up on his offer and in the consultation we ran through my profile, motivations and work experience in more details. (profile below)
Background and nationality
English, based in UK - recently turned 30
BSc Economics - University of Bath - Second Class Honors First Division (roughly converts to 3.4 GPA I think)
GMAT: 740 (Q49, V41, IR 8, AWA 6.0)
Work experience and leadership:
(I have removed organisation names for sake of anonymity, but they are all internationally recognised)
Associate at Segregated Hedge Fund within top tier Investment Bank/Asset Manager (London, UK), 2 years
Analyst at Middle Office in top tier Investment Bank X (London, UK), 3yrs
Contractor at top tier Investment Bank Y (London, UK), 1yr - this was only ever a short term role while I was looking for good permanent opportunities
Full-time Internship (post-university) at top tier Investment Bank Z (New York, USA), 1yr
Full-time Internship (third year of degree was year long industry placement before returning for final year) at top tier Investment Bank W (London, UK), 1yr
Community and others:
Amateur soccer player, fitness training, tennis, skiing, athletics, and stock market investing.
I had already sent off a couple of applications and had the deadline to UT McCombs only a couple of days away. Greg gave me a few ideas on how to improve my initial application and let me know that he could help in more detail if I signed up for an additional last minute session.
I sent him copies of my admissions essays and he reviewed overnight before getting back to me the next day with a lot of great advice and how to really make my essays pop out. We ran through a few iterations (which definitely saw Greg run over the original hour I had paid for!) and the difference between my initial application and the final one was night and day.
Although our session was focused on the UT application, I was able to use the advice Greg had given me to build my final two applications around (UNC Kenan Flagler and UW Foster). I was very happy with the standard of my three applications after first working with Greg, and feel like they were much stronger than my first two applications.
At the end of my five round one initial applications I had the below results:
1. Stanford (pre-Greg) - no interview
2. Berkeley Haas (pre-Greg) - interview invite
3. UT McCombs (with Greg) - interview invite
4. UW Foster (with Greg) - interview invite
5. UNC Kenan-Flagler (with Greg) - interview invite
I scheduled another hour long session with Greg to run through interview practice. He had clearly done his research so that we could run through practice questions from each of the schools I was going to be interviewing with and I was able to go in to all my interviews feeling well prepared and ready to go.
I received admissions offers from all but Berkeley (I feel like the standard of my written application probably played a role in this rejection):
1. UT McCombs - Full scholarship
2. UNC Kenan-Flagler - Full scholarship
3. UW Foster - Large scholarship (but not full)
I chose to accept my McCombs offer and can't wait to start there!
Overall the things that stood out to me most working with Greg were:
- His enthusiasm throughout the whole process
- His work ethic and commitment to providing excellent service (especially for the rapid turnarounds I required given how late I decided to ask for his services)
- Ongoing email exchanges where Greg provided help and advice for free
- His detailed knowledge of every step of the application process
- Extremely detailed and insightful edits for my application essays (including really deconstructing and telling my story and proposed contributions to the program)
- Really drilling down in to my goals and optimising them for my applications (as well as my own future!)
Overall I really cannot recommend Greg and Avanti Prep highly enough, every step of working with him was an absolute pleasure, and he definitely took my applications to another level. I would recommend that anyone who has not made their mind up over whether to take up Greg's services definitely do so!
Joined: Oct 19, 2015
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]
While an interview invitation may feel like an exhale, I’ve come to realize that it’s merely a half-way point – while a strong essay/application might get you ‘in the door,’ the interview is an opportunity to get in front of a member of the admissions committee and make a personal and direct case for admission. As a somewhat ‘vanilla’ candidate (graduated from Big 10 public university, 750+ GMAT, white male), I was determined to make the most of my opportunity.
I sought out an admissions consultant to conduct ‘mock interviews’ for HBS and Stanford. Through this process, I hoped to receive a strategic read of my application to identify likely interview directions, blunt feedback on my presentation style and anecdotes used, and support for HBS’ post-interview reflection.
Greg Guglielmo from Avanti Prep provided all three, far exceeding my expectations and going above-and-beyond the call to support my candidacy and contribute to my ultimate admission.
In advance of our first interview session (for GSB) I sent Greg my application materials. Through the course of our 1.5-2 hour mock interview via Skype, Greg’s familiarity with these materials, far beyond a cursory glance at my resume, was evident. His style closely followed the anecdotal nature of the GSB interview, and struck a balance between being informal and professional.
Following the interview session, Greg provided pointed feedback on my stronger and weaker answers, as well as more holistic feedback on my delivery, storytelling and the organization of my thoughts. His advice was actionable, and given the 1-2 week lead time that Greg recommends between mock interviews and the actual thing, implemented in the interview itself. The HBS session was both similar in its professionalism and different in the interview style itself - though again, very much akin to the actual HBS interview.
Following both conversations, Greg provided a very helpful summary of the key takeaways from our conversation, and pointed me in the direction of helpful resources available online. Rather than trying to upsell or get me to commit to more hours, Greg truly maximized the hours that I paid, and never made me feel as if I was imposing or requiring of additional spend.
Greg’s support of my post-Interview reflection was similarly no exception, as he provided significant push-back to the initial draft of the reflection sent, leading me to ultimately scrap my initial approach after considering Greg’s considered feedback. Even leading up to the busy Thanksgiving season, Greg was available and supportive.
After receiving admission to both HBS and Stanford, I reached out to Greg to see whether he would be willing to acquaint me with a dual admit client of his. Greg put me in touch with a HBS student who went through the same decision as me the year prior. The student provided insights that were very helpful towards my ultimate decision, a point-of-view that I would have never gotten if not for Greg’s support.
In a crowded field with no shortage of generic and impersonal consultants, I found Greg to be an enthusiastic breath of fresh air. I wholeheartedly recommend Greg based on my interview prep experience with him.
Joined: Aug 29, 2012
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]
I'm an Indian applicant with seven years of work experience and a GRE score of Q164 / V157 (GMAT equivalent of 660). I applied to following schools.
1. Questrom- Accepted with 70K
2. Georgetown McDonough- Accepted
3. Kellogg- Dinged after Interview
I was looking for comprehensive service that would help me prepare my MBA application. I researched about many consultants that would be cheaper as well as effective. Finally based on my friend's suggestion and talking to fellow mods, I decided to reach out to Greg.
I was applying in R2 but started my application very late (after Christmas)
Greg and I discussed my profile, goals and target schools. We initially started with my resume. I was in an assumption that my resume was good enough. But the first edit by Greg was brutal. He pointed out all the flaws in my resume. It took the total of 7 edits and more than three and half hours to finalize my resume.
Questrom- I did apply last year with poor test score and the same resume I had before Greg edit. So I decided to reapply. Greg helped me to prepare a story, edit my essays and provided suggestions that would fine tune my essay. I received an Interview Invite. No matter what, the first interview always makes us happy and nervous after getting rejected previous year. Greg helped with the interview prep as well. The question by question rigor for the mock interview helped me prep for the actual interview. And finally, I was accepted into the program with the 70K scholarship.
Georgetown- I initially did not have plans to apply to Georgetown at all since I was targetting other schools. But I received an email that extended the deadline by a week. I immediately emailed Greg about it. He was happy to help with short notice. We created a story from my professional & personal life to write the essay. He was able to edit the essay in short notice, and I was able to submit my application in four days. He also helped me the same way he did for Questrom Interview. Result- Admitted to Class of 2020. And I will be matriculating in Georgetown this fall.
Kellogg- I wasn't sure to apply, and Greg as well since my scores and profile are well below average for Kellogg. But I decided to go for it anyway. So we decided to put in the application. Kellogg often waives interviews for Indian applicants, so I wasn't expecting an interview invite. But I was excited that when I saw the email with an interview invitation. Greg helped me prepare for the interview. I guess we had our Mock interview for over an hour discussing the plan to answer the questions.
His mock interview session for all the schools was almost perfectly accurate, and I was able to prepare for the curveball questions and create a template to answer any questions.
Greg was super helpful and he would respond to my emails within a day even though he was busy with his other clients. And always made himself available for phone calls and questions.
Joined: Jan 29, 2014
Choosing a Consultant:
I had a pretty traditional & solid background when I applied, but really needed help with telling my story. I had spent a lot of time preparing for the GMAT and not a lot of time on researching, so I felt a bit rushed applying to 5 programs in Round 2.
I was looking for someone who was experienced with the MBA process to help me brainstorm story ideas, solidify my goals, and improve my essays.
I had a few meetings with a few MBA consultants from larger firms but ultimately decided to go with Greg due to the thoughtfulness of his initial profile assessment.
Working with Greg:
I began with 10 hours and added a couple more hours later on. From the get go, I felt like Greg was on my side. He made sure that we were making good use of the hours I purchased and I believe he spent more time on some tasks than he charged for, especially when it came to "crunch time", which he did a great job of turning around edits.
I spent most of my time working with him on my Wharton essays. Greg did a wonderful job of helping me tie seemingly unrelated topics into a unique, cohesive theme. He also helped me strengthen and articulate my “why Wharton” piece, which was immensely helpful.
When I interviewed for the TBD, I was able to leverage some of the info from my essays to prepare for the prompt. The brainstorming session that I did with Greg in the beginning went a long way!
I was accepted into Wharton Round 2. I'm excited for my next two years at my dream school and I couldn't have done it without Greg!