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     By talbot 0 0
Consultant: Alex Leventhal

I'm afraid of two things in life: Standardized tests and applying for things. After two attempts, thousands of problems, and a lot of sweat and tears I got my GMAT score near where I needed it to be and began to focus on my second anathema.

As I looked at what I would need to do for the applications I became completely overwhelmed. Figuring out who would write my letters of recommendation let alone asking them to write my recommendations in a way that would best support my candidacy was daunting, and just a tiny piece of a much larger narrative I would need to craft. At this point I spoke with many admissions consultants, and at a few of the larger shops got admittance percentages I was comfortable with at my top choices. Then I talked to Alex. He wasn't negative, he was just honest with where I would stack up vs. other candidates, and even suggested a few programs I hadn't considered that based off my background and interest in healthcare may be a good fit as well.

While the conversation was sobering on one hand, I appreciated the candid feedback, and was struck by how personal he made our interaction. Alex shot it to me straight, which was frustrating at times, but needed.

My biggest challenge in the application was the "career purpose". Like most of you, I'm used to creating things at work that get accolades from peers and superiors. Alex telling me my career purpose was "too broad" and "not meaningful" was a little hard to swallow at first, especially since this was the story that had impressed folks at my company enough for them to encourage me toward an MBA. There was clearly a disconnect between what I thought schools wanted to hear and what they actually do. Alex helped me bridge that in developing my career purpose and throughout our time in an iterative, albeit sometimes painful process.

While beneficial for applications and interviews, I have found the secondary and tertiary effects of our working with Alex to be significant as well. I was amazed at how many folks at accepted students weekend enter b-school with only vague notions, if any at all, of what they want to do. I feel like the mind wrangling I went through with Alex has given me a huge leg up and I feel like our conversations have given me a road map to make the most of my MBA experience. And beyond me, I now find myself using similar tactics to help friends and family members think through their careers as well.

I worked with Alex in a 5 school package, and got into two of my target schools: Tuck and Wharton. On top of that I got into my dream program: health care management at Wharton. I applied with 2 years of experience, and Alex's expertise and one-on-one focus really helped me navigate through the process. I'm really excited about going to Wharton this fall, and there's just no way that would have happened without Alex being there to provide guidance I could trust.

I would absolutely recommend Alex and have already sent colleagues interested in MBAs his direction. He does not have a team of junior consultants that he delegates work out to. He knows your story front to back, and you get the sense that he is personally vested in your success. A very worthwhile investment in my opinion.

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