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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.