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Joined: Apr 13, 2017
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I was first introduced to Greg by a Ross student who had previously worked with him. He was endorsed by another T5 admit and a Darden student, but even with such strong and personal recommendations, I was sceptical about admissions consultants because of my prior experiences working with them.
This was my third time applying to b-schools. I had applied with no luck in two previous rounds, during which I worked with a total of 04 admission consultants based out of India. More often than not I felt that even the Indian consultants with big names adopted a generalist approach with very little or no efforts to get to know stories that could form a base for a strong personalized application. Reviews were superficial and at times it took over a week to get a response over a draft.
2. FREE CONSULTATION
My reservations were all alleviated as I scheduled a 30 minutes complimentary call with Greg. Honest, curious, well-seasoned, genuinely concerned were some of Greg’s traits that I could observe during our call, which went for 60 minutes and he seemed completely fine about it. He made genuine efforts to get to know me and my prior application experience and was sympathetic about it.
Whereas other consultants boasted about their past successes and dictated which schools I should be applying and what their strict timeline of working shall be, Greg took a far different route. He listened, provided insight as to where I might have gone wrong, and held an open discussion about schools. We even explored themes for my Goals Essay, providing a glimpse of the experience should I choose to move forward. It was a detailed two-way discussion and I was sold!!
3. SERVICES AND RESULTS
Working with India-based consultants in 2017 Round 2, I applied to Kelley (rejected without interview), Ivey (rejected without interview), Arizona State (dinged post interview), Rice (dinged post interview), and ISB (dinged post interview). Working with other Indian consultants in 2018 Round 1, I was dinged without interview at three T15 US schools and invited to interview again at ISB.
The very first thing I did with Avanti Prep was interview preparation for ISB, and this time I was accepted. I also signed up for a Tier 2 Package for two schools plus Hourly Services for one additional school, all for 2018 Round 2. I specifically worked with Greg on three T20 programs, received interview invites to all three, and was accepted to two, including one with a scholarship over $90K.
Seeing this success and wanting another chance at the T15 programs (this time working with Greg), I secured a deferral from one of the T20 programs and reapplied to three T15 schools and one new M7 school with Greg the following year, in 2019 Round 1. This time the story was very different, as I got admits from all three T15 schools, including two with scholarships ($50K and $40K).
So with the very same job and GMAT score, I went from being unable to crack the T30 working with local consultants to receiving multiple T15 offers and two T15 scholarships working with Avanti Prep. The only new ingredient in my recipe to success was Greg, who helped me portray and communicate my experiences in a coherent and powerful way.
4. SCHOOL RESEARCH
Greg’s insight into schools is unparalleled and his drive to make one learn about the schools is something I had not experienced before, yet I would consider it essential in one’s applications. While discussing the essay questions and brainstorming on how to position my responses, Greg always pushed me to make sure that my responses resonated well with the core values of the school and answered the exact essay question being asked.
From the outset Greg shared his insight on schools and highlighted how to go about researching schools, how to communicate with adcoms and students, how to keep track of interactions I had, and even connected me with students from certain schools I was applying. Even after my admit euphoria settled down, Greg encouraged me to talk to more students and alums so that I could choose between the programs where I was accepted.
5. STORY AND ESSAY DEVELOPMENT
The Package started with filling out a detailed Brainstorming Document. It was structured in a way to make me think and put all my experiences and stories on paper, which formed a base for my applications. Post that we hopped on to a series of calls focused on discussing my story, school selection, and forming a strategy on how to tackle my essays for the first school I was applying.
Post these sessions I dove into drafting essays. With tons of information about the school which I acquired through research, coffee chats, and interactions with school, I felt much more confident in my first drafts. Still the comments I received from Greg showed how much further I needed to go and how much effort he puts in to pushing the applicant. His comments were detailed, nuanced, and well-organized, not just pointing out the flaws but also suggesting possible corrective actions I could take.
In my prior experiences with other consultants, I almost always received high-level comments such as, “this doesn’t seem proper, you might want to change this” and whatnot. But with Greg it was different. He made efforts in making me understand where I went wrong, why the message was not being conveyed properly, and advised on what specific changes I could consider making.
6. RESUME AND APPLICATIONS
Greg followed a similar approach for my resume. He commented extensively on my resume on a macro and micro level, making me understand why the bullet point was not effective, what did it lack, what should I do to make it more effective, and how to engage his “SCARL” approach. For the bullets he felt lacked clarity, he sought more information.
When it came to resume format, Greg did not follow a cookie-cutter approach with fitting information in a pre-designed resume format. Instead we worked to adopt a format that best depicted my experiences in a neat, well-organized, easy to follow, structured way. Again, his diligence and conviction to achieve perfection helped me craft a strong resume.
He also reviewed my responses to the various application sections and ensured that information across different components was in sync, balanced each other, and painted a diverse picture of my professional and personal life.
7. INTERVIEW PREP
Over the two years I worked with Greg for my interview preparation for eight schools and was accepted to six of them, including three with scholarships. The experiences were a stark contrast to my previous experiences where the mock interviews were organized hastily, were neither structured nor school-specific, and feedbacks provided were brief and high level.
When I scheduled my first interview preparation, I was wondering what would we be discussing for 2.5 hours, but when we finally got over with that, the time clocked 3 hrs 15 mins. Greg has meticulously structured the flow of each school’s interview to mimic the program’s actual interview experience. The questions were well-segmented, close to what I experienced in my actual interviews, and the flow was adaptive to my response.
Post the 60-minute mock we hopped onto the feedback and analysis part, where at first, I received high-level feedback of the overall mock, and then we went into a deep analysis of my responses. Greg helped identify not only what went wrong but also how could I improve my answers to each specific question. He also explained the rationale behind each question, and we prepared strategies for each question or question type.
8. SCHOLARSHIP AND DEFERRAL NEGOTIATIONS
My involvement with Greg eventually went beyond just securing admits. These steps were not on my priority list while considering working with Avanti Prep, but they became a very important part of my applicant journey. When things became uncertain with COVID, Greg helped me decide if it would be right to defer my admission and helped me in securing it.
We also worked on negotiating scholarships with schools. With Greg’s guidance and experience, I was able to secure more than a $90K scholarship to a T20 program and a $50K scholarship to a T15 program, after neither of them had offered me any scholarships alongside my original acceptance.
Obtaining a top global MBA is a costly and challenging affair. If you need a coach and friend to navigate you through this gruelling process, Greg is THE GUY. As my experience shows, the investment made to work with Avanti Prep in putting up strong applications was far outweighed by the rewards in terms of admits and scholarships!!