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Adam Hoff is a Principal of the Amerasia Consulting Group and the architect of the firm's renowned school-specific Strategy Memos. His approach to admissions consulting is informed by a career spent in every possible admissions capacity. As a former Associate Director of Admissions at his alma mater, Pepperdine University, Adam came to understand the strategic, psychological, and financial pressures that admissions officers face in building a class. In addition to running an admissions committee, managing scholarships, and organizing recruiting efforts, Adam also reviewed over 1,000 files each year and knows exactly what applicants much accomplish when they get their five minutes to shine.
Taking a brief break from the admissions world, Adam attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated in 2007 after spending three years specializing in entrepreneurship law before taking an Associate Position with Sidley Austin, one of the 10 largest law firms in the world. After working primarily with hedge funds and on M&A deals, Adam left the practice of the law once and for all and became the Director of Admissions Consulting for Veritas Prep, where he spent nearly three years rolling out services and ultimately coming to know every top MBA program intimately.
After being hired to write a feature film (Adam is a member of the WGA and currently has a television pilot in development with USA Networks), Adam returned to his first love of admissions when he joined Amerasia Consulting Group. It was there that Adam created a unique, multi-dimensional approach to consulting that drew upon all areas of his career - admissions officer, attorney, director of admissions consulting, and screenwriter - in order to produce essays that were perfectly structured and customized to the DNA of each individual program. He has worked with over 100 clients in the past several years and, as a Principal in the business, has created seminal strategies for specific schools and essay types.
Joined: Aug 15, 2018
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I could not have received offers from each of my top 3 schools without Adam (I ultimately accepted Wharton). I initially completed trial calls with other, larger consultancy companies, but Adam really stuck out because he spent a full hour getting to know me on a personal level. Whereas other trials seemed very cookie-cutter, Adam tailored his approach to my individual attributes. He also demonstrated an insider's knowledge to the process that targeted/accounted for the core identity of each school, rather than seeming out-of-the-box. While it was very clear Adam knows a great deal about each school, including the most efficient and effective ways to spin a narrative toward each, Adam made sure the fit was correct first.
Throughout the entire process, Adam was honest, flexible, and direct; I did not feel coddled in any way and every piece of feedback was efficient and effective with sound and outlined rationale. Adam did a great job up-front outlining my school-specific narratives and his work on the essays was top notch. He was great about eliminating unnecessary jargon/buzzwords and made sure the essays really played into the attributes each school touts. He is an extremely strong communicator and made himself available whenever I needed to hash anything out. His memos were also very helpful as references and guides while I worked through my essays. They not only paint a clear picture of a school’s essence with far more context than what’s available on school websites, but the memos also immediately get to the “this is what’s really going on here” about every prompt.
Overall, Adam exceeded my expectations and was invaluable throughout the process; I would recommend him to anyone looking to attend a top MBA program.
Joined: Sep 03, 2019
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Adam is AMAZING. You will be lucky if you can work with him, as now he only works with client referrals. He truly goes above and beyond for every applicant and I cannot thank him enough!
- He is incredibly honest and direct -- if he doesn't think you have a credible shot, he will not work with you for that school. He will also be honest about the holes in your application and where the questions may arise. He is not afraid to hurt your feelings if your essay or answers need lots of help.
- His memos and strategy guides are incredible -- they give you fantastic insight into each school and each essay topic (what it means, what you should think about, what you should avoid, etc.)
- He spends the time to get to know you -- I have heard that other consultants will try to "bucket" applicants without taking the time to get to know you. He takes the opposite approach, don't care about what others might perceive your background, just be yourself!
- He knows how to tell a story -- this is super helpful when it comes to distilling your entire background into a few short paragraphs / pages or making sure the most important aspects of your life are able to shine through
- His team brings well-rounded expertise and insight -- a separate team member reviews your resume and a separate team member gives a mock interview
Best of luck with your admissions process! If you are lucky enough to work with Adam, you are in good hands.
Joined: Jan 26, 2017
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I would highly recommend Adam Hoff at Amerasia. I found him to be a true partner throughout the application process, and his feedback/work is top notch. He is not only very knowledgeable about what each of the schools is looking for (or not looking for), but he is quite honest and upfront with you. He is especially helpful with the essays, and will push you to make them as strong as possible. It seems like he has a real vested interest in each person he works with. He is used year after year by all the pre-MBAs that go through my private equity program, and with great results.
Joined: Aug 26, 2018
I worked with Adam from Amerasia on the complete school package for two of the four schools to which I was applying. Adam was incredibly helpful in all aspects of the application process including essays, guidance on selecting recommenders, and (fortunately) preparing for interviews.
Adam did a great job of getting to know my background and what I was interested and passionate about, and then making sure that I stayed true to those elements throughout the process. He knew when to push me to dig deeper for more details and how to effectively cultivate my experience in order to craft my story. Despite multiple revisions of my essays, Adam always responded quickly and gave me his honest assessment every step of the way. When it came time for interviews, Adam helped connect me with hand-picked interview experts from the Amerasia team who helped to ensure that I was not only prepared for the generic MBA interview questions, but also those that would demonstrate my interest and commitment to each school.
Overall, I cannot recommend Adam highly enough based on my experience as he and the entire Amerasia team helped me immensely throughout the application process.
Joined: Apr 17, 2017
Over the past 2 years, I spoke with 10+ consultants, worked with 5 of them on various schools and services, and found Americasia’s Adam Hoff one of the bests for the following reasons: 1) an extremely clear and detailed understanding, breakdown, and strategy for each school and 2) a genuine interests in the candidate’s performance.
Since Adam was referred to me by a friend who got into Booth with Adam, I decided to work with him on Booth through a School Package. Throughout the application process, Adam provided me with materials that were more reading-friendly, to-the-point, and in-depth than most other consultants; Americasia really knows its stuff.
The twist comes here: I did not get into Booth, and thought Adam and my work would end here; nevertheless, in a few months’ time when I received an interview invitation from MIT Sloan in R2 and sought for Adam’s advice, Adam voluntarily provided me with a mock interview with MIT Sloan, which was not the school I had purchased the School Package for. This small act of kindness was very touching and inspiring; furthermore, the mock interview prep helped me obtain an offer letter from MIT Sloan.
Extremely supportive throughout the process; very attentive.
Joined: Mar 17, 2018
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Summary/Results – My wife and I both worked with Adam in the fall/winter of 2017 (applying for spots in the Class of 2020). We only applied to Stanford GSB and HBS; we were both dinged by the former and accepted to the latter. This review will be from my perspective only, as my wife will add hers separately.
Initial Call – My initial call with Adam was the most informative of all of my initial consulting calls. He provided actionable advice, such as the suggestion to apply to GSB and HBS in separate rounds instead of in the same one. He has a clear and direct manner that I like, and which is ultimately why I decided to work with him.
The Process (non-essay components) – As you have likely read by now, Adam corresponds almost exclusively over email. I was perfectly fine with this, as it kept communication efficient. Given that the application process (outside of the essays) is fairly standardized, Adam/Amerasia has come up with several "memos" which break down how to tackle each component (e.g., how to craft an effective resume, how to present your goals in an MBA-friendly manner, etc). Adam also gets input from the other advisers at Amerasia, as well as outside experts so that your final product will have been viewed from several different perspectives.
Essays – Adam provides the perfect amount of guidance. After giving me the strategy memo for a particular essay, it was up to me to craft the first draft. Like everything else, going back and forth on drafts with Adam was highly effective and efficient – his advice is clearly presented and isn't forced upon you to the point where you lose your personal voice. It goes without saying that he WILL NOT write your essays for you; the heavy lifting is still your responsibility. He is simply there to provide additional perspective and guidance.
Interview Prep – Again, very effective. After providing me with another memo, Adam set me up with a consultant he uses for interview prep which was extremely helpful.
Overall – I decided to use a consultant to maximize my chances of success. I am fairly confident in my writing abilities and did not want to blindly follow some drill-sergeant type. Thus, Adam was the perfect adviser for me, and I would highly recommend him.
Joined: Jul 29, 2016
I worked with Adam in the Fall of 2016, and worked on 2 schools in R1, and 1 in R2. Out of the three schools, I was accepted to Booth (with $$), waitlisted at HBS and dinged by GSB.
My background: US undergrad, MBB consulting for 5 years in Asia, 770 GMAT
As an Indian male applying to Bschools, I was part of a super competitive application demographic. My introductory conversation with Adam stood out, because in comparison with some of the other consultants, Adam was pretty confident and gung-ho about my chances at the set of schools mentioned earlier. The vibe I got from that call, as well the fact that he wasn't trying to sell me short to apply to a lower echelon of schools, is what convinced me to sign up with him
Adam was a big help throughout the process, both in terms of getting the applications over the line as well as setting up mock interviews for interview prep. I'm listing down a set of places where he helped massively, as well as a couple of things to think about if you're considering working with him
1) The MEMOS!! These are an amazing starting point, and really help clear up the ambiguity in terms of how each school is different. Given the number of essay topics, and how vague some of them are, the succinct breakdowns given in the memo are super useful. Adam was very generous, and also gave me memos for a couple of other schools that I was applying to alone
2) Adam's insistence on limiting everything to email communication is initially daunting, but it definitely pushed me to structure my thought process and communication. If we'd been communicating over calls, there's a chance that my application would have been constructed less tightly with more vague messaging. So despite my initial misgivings, the strong preference for emails was a big help.
However, if you're someone who needs to engage on the phone/ struggles with written communication, this may be a factor be cognizant about. The other point is that email interactions typically need a 2-3 day turnaround, so build a buffer in to your timeline planning.
3) In terms of the essays/writing themselves, the changes that Adam suggested were never wholesale, and he largely stayed true to the original theme. However, the tweaks he made almost always resulted in the essay coming out more polished and reading much better
4) Given that communication will be over email, the one recommendation I would have is to make timelines/checkpoints very clear for both you and Adam. I'd procrastinated during R1, with the belief that Adam may reach out to push me if I was lagging behind. That didn't happen, and resulted in a rush towards the end of R1 along with a little friction. Thankfully, we were able to get the apps over the line, but the chaos did cause stress and maybe a slight hit to the strength of the apps . By the time R2 rolled around we had clear timelines laid out, and that led to a much smoother process.
In summary, I'd strongly recommend Adam! My applications were definitely better for having worked with him
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.
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Adam Hoff helped me get to Haas Business School in a methodical and efficient way. Instead of walking through my successful experience and the multiple pros I see in hiring Adam’s services (please see all other reviews for full stories), I want to highlight what are the key factors that allow me to say that investing in Amerasia’s services is worth every dollar:
1. Full understanding of what the school wants in a candidate: His experience took me directly to the core of what the school wanted to see in my profile. After getting this insight, it was easier to find the right points to highlight from my experience.
2. Amazing work in building a strong profile for the applicant: Probably the most significant process of all, Adam helped me understand my goals and state them the way that any school wanted to read. Through this process I understood what I wanted from an mba and how my background fitted in.
3. A process to trust on: Very short time to response/give feedback. Also very frank and honest on what to improve. I never felt helpless or a one-size-fits-all victim. Adam always took the time to read and repeat what he wanted on my essays. Pretty intense work sometimes, but the results were worth it.
4. Excellent past experiences/recommendations: I got to Amerasia through some friends that worked with Adam. They also had good experiences working with him, so I had no doubt that I’d be successful too.
In conclusion, Amerasia is a very smart investment, and getting Adam’s help for this experience was a tremendous leverage in my favor.
Joined: Mar 23, 2010
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If you’re reading this then you probably already know how daunting the business school application process can be: there’s just so much information and so many things to consider, all compounded by the fact that the decisions you make will unequivocally affect not just your career but the rest of your life! You get one shot at business school- no one has two MBAs. Even though I had already honed-in on the schools I was going to target, the weight of the decisions to be made coupled with the opportunity cost (for starters, one less year of post-MBA salary) of not having a seat in a class this fall compelled me to fork out the cash and hire an admissions consultant, Adam Hoff, through Amerasia.
I can easily say, without doubt, that hiring Adam to guide me through the application process was a great decision. I had canvassed the admissions consultants’ forums on GMATclub and was basically told by many that I wasn’t exactly a shoe-in at any of the schools I was applying to. You know the “yeah it’s possible, but you’re really going to have to put your best foot forward and hope for a little luck” response. Well, maybe I had a little luck, but by hiring Adam I was definitely able to put my best foot forward, and my results speak for themselves: I got into every school I applied to.
What gives Amerasia its edge, in my humble opinion, is their structured approach to essay writing and the way they are able to tease your story out, which is one thing that Adam was very good at. Chances are that, even if you don’t feel like it, you have a great story to tell; you have rich work and life experiences that you may not have even discovered through your own pre-MBA introspective process. This is where Adam comes in. He helps you discover the great in a seemingly-normal experience or story. Adam acted almost like an introspective coach, one that helps you discover the hidden value in your story and present it in a compelling manner.
Aside from the things I mention above, Adam was also more than willing to answer the bazillion questions I threw at him during the long course of the process. I always felt like I was an important and valued client, and even if I did annoy him by inundating him anxiety-induced questions, he never showed it!
I’m giving Adam 5/5 stars because he exceeded my expectations and played an absolutely integral role in getting me into the schools of my dreams.