Melody Jones at Vantage Point MBA is a wonderful consultant and I am very fortunate to have worked with her.
Firstly, if you are on the fence about hiring a consultant in general, I was in the same boat last year and I highly recommend pulling the trigger and going for it. When I first decided to apply to business school, I had never even heard of an admission consultant. The concept was foreign to me and as such I was reluctant to pay up for one. However, once I started my essays, I realized that they were nowhere near the standard required for the schools I was targeting. I was really struggling to express my "story" in a cohesive and compelling manner. Given that the MBA is such a large investment overall, I wanted to make sure that I wouldn't be leaving anything on the table, and I ultimately decided to bring in a professional.
I researched most of the firms and interviewed consultants from each of them, but I was immediately drawn to Vantage Point due to its smaller size, which I felt would be most conducive to a genuine, personalized experience. When I spoke with Melody on the phone, I just knew that she was the one. Not only is Melody brilliant, but she is friendly and down-to-earth. I felt like she really understood where I was coming from and where I wanted to go. Having Melody in my corner curbed my anxiety tremendously and increased my confidence - that alone was worth every penny.
I had a 700 GMAT and not-so-great GPA and I was applying to some of the very best schools. On our kick-off call, Melody kept it real with me and was upfront about where my weaknesses were (later, she helped me develop a game-plan to directly address each of these challenges), but she NEVER attempted to discourage me from applying to the programs I'd set my sights on. I believe that it is crucial to work with a balanced consultant like Melody, who makes a point to manage your expectations but then puts in an insane amount of effort to elevate your application to the highest possible level as if your weaknesses didn't exist.
Melody is an MBA expert and if I hadn't worked with her, I'm certain my application strategy would have been all wrong. Admissions folks only spend ~15 minutes reviewing your entire application and I was surprised to learn that most of them do not have business backgrounds. Therefore, you must present yourself and your materials in a way that is drastically different from a job interview, for example. MBA essay-writing requires a significant amount of introspection and Melody possesses the rare skill of helping you spin life experiences (that to you may seem mundane) into captivating stories. Melody worked tirelessly to help me put together seriously killer essays (I'm talking 10+ drafts each). She will not do any of the work for you, but she asks very pointed questions that force you to dig deeper and she will not let you off the hook until every single sentence is perfect. There were many occasions when, after 5-8 drafts, I thought my essay had finally reached perfection and I had mentally checked out of it, only to receive yet another completely red version from Melody. I cannot stress this enough -- if you work with Melody, she will not simply check the box by providing a few iterations of useful feedback. Rather, she will be totally personally invested in you and your success. On that front, this review would not be complete without a shout out to Katherine Canning, who graduated from Wharton and works in my industry. She took time out of her vacation (!!) to do a final, last-minute review of my Wharton essays before submission. The consultants at Vantage Point are passionate about what they do and are seriously dedicated to you.
Finally, pretty late in the process, I realized that one of my 4 target schools actually wasn't the best fit for me and I decided to switch it out for another top 10 school (which I will be attending in the fall!!) just a few weeks before the deadline. I NEVER would have had the courage to take such a big turn so close to the end without Melody's encouragement. When it came time for interviews, Melody held several mock interviews with me. I went from being terribly awkward during the first mock interview to absolutely rocking it at the real thing! Also worth mentioning that throughout the process, I experienced several SNAFUs (the kind you never expect to happen), and if I didn't have Melody to guide me and calm me down, I would have had a meltdown and handled the situation incorrectly.
TLDR: Do something special for yourself this year and hire Melody Jones from Vantage Point MBA!