|All Reviews > Avanti Prep > Avanti Prep Tier 2 Package Reviews|
Joined: Apr 06, 2017
770 Q49 V48
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]
Engaging a (sub-par) consultant during the last admissions cycle had already been a bitter experience that I primarily made due to the seemingly beneficial geographical proximity (they were based in the same city as me) and undeniably 'low-cost' services (be sure to verify advertised claims). Already on the other side of 30, I felt that this time around was really going to be my last real chance at gaining admission to a Top MBA program and I didn't want to leave any stone unturned. Here's some brief background:
> Indian Male
> US Undergrad + First Masters (Top 30 School)
> 750+ GMAT
> 9 years of work-ex
> Re-applicant in R1 2018 (from R2 in previous cycle)
As an Indian male engineer with nine years of experience when I would start the MBA program, primarily in family business (with some entrepreneurship and startup experience, all in India), I was in an over-represented, older, and non-traditional bucket.
Although I was re-applying with a much-improved GMAT score (50 points+), with 4 interviews and 3 waitlists last time around, I knew that it probably wasn't just the GMAT that needed improvement and hiring someone who knows the drill was essential in achieving my goals. Admittedly, I began my research on choosing the right consultant very late in the process (less than 2 months to go before the first R1 regular deadline), and by the time I had decided to engage Greg, the first deadline was just 5 weeks away.
Consultation & Signup
Although Greg technically advertises a 30-minute free consultation before sign-up, we ended up talking for almost 2 hours during that initial conversation where he really took the time to understand my situation and offer his candid opinion. He was also the first consultant who offered upfront to connect me with his previous clients (post which, during my research, I made that a requirement for even considering a consultant – and let's just say no-one was as forthcoming as Greg in making those connections). This was also a big bonus as I could actually talk about some of these connections (and subsequent connections made in their network) in my applications (in hindsight, these were strategic choices made by Greg given my specific school and career interests).
We ended up speaking again to finalize our arrangement and I ultimately signed up for a Tier 2 package for 2 schools with 23 extra hours to tackle 4 additional schools.
Quality, Efficiency, Precision & Personal Investment
Let me say here that Greg is really efficient with his time, and although I was a little sceptical of being charged by the hour once the 2 schools in the package were over, multiple times I saw him mark less time than I expected and make major progress within a review that seemed like it would have taken at least a couple of hours. Given the limited time we had, I had numerous anxious moments throughout the process, but Greg stood right by me before each and every deadline (literally burning the midnight oil on more than one occasion if there was a delay on my part in a particular review). No matter what, Greg was always committed to ensuring that we put our best foot forward.
Throughout the process, never did I feel even once that Greg just wanted to 'get it done and over with'. To the contrary, he was really personally invested in crafting my story and achieving a common goal. I doubt that an individual consultant in a larger firm (where you often have only a part-time lead consultant, and sometimes have different individuals working on different parts of your application) would have worked in a similar manner. In fact, when it came time for interview prep, Greg threw in an extra interview prep call prior to a scheduled Skype interview I had with an M7 school to ensure I was fully ready. I found him always eager to go above and beyond during the process, and I would also say he challenged me to do the same, bringing out the best in me.
The quality and precision in his reviews is also remarkable. At times, it seemed impossible to be able to do exactly as he'd recommended in an essay review, but once that was done (sometimes, post a couple of iterative suggestions), the depth of his initial suggestions really shone in the final outcome. I was also amazed at how effortlessly, over the course of several reviews of my resume, he was able to shrink 2.5 pages to the standard 1, without compromising on the substance or impact in my work experiences.
Summary & Endorsement
Given my GMAT score and the fact that I was applying in R1, we decided to apply to 4 stretch and 2 reach schools. I got an interview invite at one of the stretch schools, a wait-list at one of the reach schools (Greg predicted this one) and an admit with a 50% SCHOLARSHIP AT A TOP 10 US PROGRAM (we were both over the moon about the $$$)!!!
I can confidently say that engaging Greg for my applications was the best investment that I made during the process. The improvement in my applications from last season to this one stood out like night and day. The work we did and the brainstorming that went in to craft my story will not only hold good for a long time in my professional career, but also really helped me understand the value of my experiences thus far and aspirations going forward.
I have already referred multiple MBA aspirants who worked with Greg on their R1 and R2 applications during this past admissions cycle, and will happily continue doing so in the future!
Joined: Jul 31, 2017
650 Q44 V35
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]
- International working in the U.S.
- White male, early 30s
- Consulting (non-MBB)
- Mid-600s GMAT
- Lower-than-average work experience for Wharton’s EMBA
Choosing Avanti Prep:
A friend of mine recommended Greg when I was considering applying for an EMBA. This friend was admitted into Booth’s full-time program and heavily attributed this to Greg's assistance - so I knew I had to give Greg a call!
Even from the initial consult, I knew that Greg was a straight shooter and provided direct, honest, yet fair and friendly feedback. He provided me with realistic expectations - focusing on how to unpack the strengths in my profile and overcome what was lacking in my application: lower GMAT from a crowded personal and professional demographic and applying with several years less experience than the traditional EMBA applicant. I took Greg's comments seriously and knew that my story, essays, and recommendations would need to stand out from the crowd.
Process and Reviews:
Along with enhancing my resume, Greg’s input really stood out in storytelling and essays, which for Wharton’s EMBA can span up to four essays. In the essays related to career objectives, why Wharton, and what I could give to Wharton, Greg continually pushed me to provide more specific school references and articulate those references with real depth and sincerity. This was intensely frustrating at times, however upon reflection I understand why it was necessary. At first, my essay read like a laundry list from Wharton's website, however Greg pushed me to write about the "why" more than the "what," and “how” all of this fit into my overall goals, desired growth, and intended contributions. For example, he forced me to question how exactly I hoped to grow both in the classroom and out, why this was necessary given my goals, what unique contributions I could make to the class, and what specifically appealed about certain classes, professors, and program offerings. As such, my essays transformed from a simple regurgitation exercise into a thought-provoking and intensely personal articulation of reasons for my choices.
At the same time, Greg’s guidance was instrumental in helping to infuse my essays with a sense of passion, purpose, and personal stories. I felt I was therefore able to convey a strong blend of the professional and the personal, and tell my story in a way that truly reflected who I am and what I wanted to share. Without Greg's assistance - and constant reminders - I would not have honed my essays into what they became: sharp, pointed, personal, and engaging.
Greg also helped me proactively approach some of the weaknesses my application; these included a less than stellar GMAT score (we were diligent in brainstorming and articulating the other areas from which I could showcase my analytical and quantitative abilities) and lesser work experience than other EMBA candidates (we were equally diligent in brainstorming and articulating the unique contributions that I could make to the class at this stage of my career).
Overall, Greg's attention to detail, tremendous command of the English language, and vast experience helping others in their MBA journey helped provide me with the confidence that I had done everything I could to maximize my application. Greg was also considerate of my workload and always provided ample time for review and feedback that fit within my busy schedule.
Joined: May 19, 2018
700 Q47 V39
When I started searching for MBA counselors, many started to sound similar - either promising to move mountains, or being pessimistic on my candidacy. As a white American male in Finance from New York, slightly older than the average candidate with a 700 GMAT score and 3.3 GPA, I was realistic about my candidacy, but optimistic with strong essays and direction I could succeed in the process.
From Day 1, Greg broke this mold and working with him was by far the best decision I have made throughout the admissions process. Even before engaging, Greg offered to do a quick read through of a draft essay I wrote for a school, offering complimentary comments as part of his free consultation. He was frank about my odds, but optimistic, passionate, and ready to go to battle!
Through out, Greg was extremely responsive to all questions. While we engaged on the Tier 2 package for 2 schools, and supplemented that with hourly services to finish the rest (I was very ambitious applying to 8 schools), he did not let the confines of our engagement limit his work - i.e. if an essay needed 30 more minutes than I had purchased, he was genuinely engaged with producing the best results.
In addition, Greg structurally went above and beyond in terms of availability and engagement. We began with a kick-off meeting in person - something not typically included in any of the Avanti packages, but he was truly willing to do whatever it took to partner and put our best foot forward. In addition to the numerous additional hours he put in on top of our agreed upon engagement to drive home essays to the finish line, he also provided introductions to people within his network who would add value to my application and, more importantly, my overall business school search process. Greg epitomizes someone who pays-it-forward.
The first rounds of revisions really steered the ship, beginning high level with structure and content, while latter reviews brought the full polish to the essays. Greg was always extremely professional, kind, while balancing that with providing strong feedback and getting the best out of me.
I can confidently say Greg was the best choice for an admissions counselor, providing A+, institutional caliber service with a bespoke, customized, personal touch. As a result, I received interview invitations to Wharton, Fuqua, Darden, and UNC Kenan-Flagler and am happily enrolled at UNC Kenan-Flagler.
Joined: Jan 19, 2017
710 Q48 V40
Let me curb some fears of working with an application consultant before I get started…. Greg Guglielmo was WORTH EVERY PENNY in this entire process. I came into application season with a GPA and GMAT score that are both slightly below average for the schools I was looking at. I knew it would be an uphill battle to get where I wanted. I chose to work with Greg at Avanti Prep because I knew I would need all the help I could get to have the most polished applications I could. It didn’t hurt that he came strongly recommended from a friend of mine who just started b-school last fall.
I’m a married Midwest man who had to consider my budget in the application process, so I chose to only work with Greg on one school and hoped that I could get some carry-over benefit for my other applications. My target schools were Kellogg, Tuck, Sloan and Fuqua. After talking it through with Greg, we decided to work together on Kellogg. This worked very well because most of its deadlines were ahead of the other schools.
When we started off, Greg got to know me on a very personal level through scheduled phone calls and emails to framework how I would present myself to the admissions committee. After that, we got to work on my resume. I had no idea how much work my resume needed. I had a ton of industry lingo that had to come out and simplified my accomplishments into something admissions committees could understand. Greg was always very pointed and specific about what he wanted me to fix.
Once we both felt comfortable with my resume, we got to work on the essays. I’m not a gifted writer, so Greg was a huge help in this department. Greg went as many rounds as we needed to get my essays looking their best. He never took more than a day or two to get my essays edited and sent back. After my essays were in tip top shape, Greg was more than willing to spend time on the phone to discuss the rest of my application (LT and ST goals, international exp, extracurricular activities, etc.). Greg also helped me with a mock interview and gave me pointers for the video essay which proved invaluable. He helped shape some of my answers for typical interview questions in ways that I hadn’t thought of but made perfect sense. Greg was also extremely accommodating for a very late letter of recommendation. One of my recommenders procrastinated too much; however, Greg was able to turn around a review of his LOR the day of the deadline.
The Spillover Effect: Although I only had Greg help me with one application, my work with him substantially improved my other three applications. My goals were in much better form than they would have otherwise been. I know my essays were not near the same quality, but they too were much better off. With a 710 GMAT and 3.37 GPA, I’m in at Tuck and have an interview scheduled with MIT later next month. I can confidently say that I would not be where I am right now without Greg’s help at Avanti Prep. His personalized touch, responsiveness, thoroughness and skill should put Avanti Prep at the top of your list.