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Last Friday I received a call from Columbia inviting me to join them! Ashley (one of Expartus consultants) probably knows best how excited I am about this opportunity as she has had to deal with me for some months while preparing the application. Columbia has always been my first choice and I can’t start to express how grateful I am.
I have to say that as much as I regret choosing Kaplan to study GMAT, I on the other hand, could not be happier with Expartus, and especially with my advisors: Chioma and Ashley. It has been an honor working with them.
My application was a challenge and you were not only up to it but excelled at it. You were friends when I needed and advisors (tough and focused advisors!) when it was due. Never did you miss a deadline, forget to wish me luck before an exam or were able to call me if I had a problem. I am seriously impressed by the amount of time you were able to put into this and the excellent outcome. If you at Expartus keep some sort of hit ratio benchmark, I say that mine should count as double! I was a pain because I was too busy to have time to focus as I had to continue working, had a low GMAT and was overall a late and risky applicant. So seriously Ashley, Chioma you are stars!
I recommend this service to EVERYONE
Chioma…thanks so much too! The mock interview was critical, not just for this interview but for many others. The business that you have built is great. I have enjoyed the whole process so much. I never ever knew that “personal brand” was a concept but I can’t be happier that I had the chance to fill that PBA and discuss what my brand is. Hats off Ashley for helping me figure out my personal brand!
Joined: Feb 08, 2015
A lot of people ask whether admissions consultants are worth the expense, and it's a good question. I think the answer hinges mostly on the quality of the experience and background that your consultant and his or her colleagues can bring to bear on your behalf. Having used an admissions consultant in order to gain my Round 1 acceptance to Harvard Business School (my dream school!) this past December 2014 (August 2015 intake), I strongly and highly recommend that applicants make use of admissions consultants and I strongly and highly recommend the consultant that I used: EXPARTUS (www.expartus.com).
The co-founder of EXPARTUS, Chioma Isiadinso, was formerly a member of the Admissions Board at Harvard Business School. The specific consultant who I used, Adaobi Arpino, attended Columbia for her MBA. During the mock interview stage, I did mock interviews with Chioma, Adaobi and with Mollie Wolin, another former HBS Admissions Board Member.
Adaobi took me through the entire application process, from conceptualizing what my brand/application story should be, through developing and refining my resume and essays and finally to the mock interview stage. Over the course of six months, she read each and every line of my application and essays, repeatedly, to ensure that each and every message that we wanted to communicate to the HBS Admissions Board was captured somewhere in my overall package. She was always available via email and mobile phone during the week, we did scheduled check-ins once a week over the telephone and we also met in person during the process, including after I received my HBS interview invitation. She was very friendly (yet always firm and honest), extremely knowledgeable and quite helpful and encouraging, too.
The great part about EXPARTUS is that although I worked with one particular consultant (Adaobi), I actually had the collective wisdom of the broader company behind me at all times. It's pretty cool to open up your work-in-progress application essay and see the names of a few different consultants as "track changes" editors in your document. The EXPARTUS consultants pass your application proofs and admissions essays around to each other, always making sure that fresh eyes are available to review your work. As mentioned above, this continued during the mock interview stage; I went through distinct interview sessions, in person and via Skype, with several consultants and received detailed, immediate feedback from each of them. Chioma's husband (and EXPARTUS co-founder) is an HBS MBA graduate whose professional background overlaps somewhat with mine, and so she looped him in for his insight during my interview prep!
Admissions consultants are expensive, but a) so is business school, GMAT prep, and everything else that matters in this process and b) it's actually worth every penny when your consultants know what they are talking about (like the ones at EXPARTUS). I cannot understate the benefit of having people who do not know you personally provide blunt feedback that leverages their deep singular and collective experience in the industry. EXPARTUS's focus on my personal brand was an extremely helpful way to help organize my thoughts and MY approach from the beginning of the process until the end. We focused on the broader ideas that I wished to communicate to those reading my application and found ways to comprehensively insert these themes and ideas (my "personal brand") into the application. And it worked.
I formally accepted my HBS MBA admissions offer just this week and I could not be happier with the results that EXPARTUS helped engineer!
Feel free to send me a direct message with any questions or comments. Good luck!
I am a re-applicant and I have got admission from Kellogg, Tuck and Duke with 50% scholarship. I rate EXPARTUS service as 5 stars, absolutely. At the very beginning, I learned of EXPARTUS from one of my friends who managed to get off from NYU Stern waiting list with the help of EXPARTUS. Also in those admitted students’ sharing events, they strongly recommended the book “Best Business Schools' Admissions Secrets” by the founder of EXPARTUS, Chioma Isiadinso. Therefore it was a pretty much easy decision to choose EXPARTUS. Without the help from my consultant, Adaobi, I could not have such a smooth application this year. My consultant have spent many hours talking with me face-to-face or Skype, including weekly call, mock interview, oral English practice. This has not included her offline efforts such as reviewing my essays, responding to my emails, etc.Other EXPARTUS consultants reviewed my final version essays and gave comments. I am sure I submitted a strong application package for all the three schools I applied, as all the three schools offered me admission.
Meanwhile, if I am allowed to tell you three top secrets that EXPARTUS offers for successful application, those are as follow.
1. Well-structured framework for Personal brand audit and recommender management.
For personal brand audit, I wrote a 44-page word document… this process helped me to get to know myself and let my consultant become my closest friend. Without such a thorough audit process, I cannot build very compelling stories. Furthermore, the recommender management process indeed made my communication with my two bosses much much easier. To be honest, I did not really spend much effort to manage my bosses, while they wrote very strong recommendations as my brand champions.
2. Inspiring me to be a better myself
When my consultant reviewed my last year’s failure, she advised me how to improve my plan – such as how to make impact in community service, join & found a Toastmasters Club in my company, participate New York Library conversation group during my business trip to U.S., correct English pronunciations by practicing with online resources, etc. Everything I followed, then I improved. I enjoyed making success because of solid improvements instead of taking shortcuts.
3. Be myself throughout essay writing and interview
I felt comfortable with working with my consultant. Because I can be myself throughout the whole application process, which was indeed great comparing with its opposite side, “over-polished” or over-prepared.. I can tell the stories in the way I like and my consultant prompted me to think further and revise again and again. At the end when the story was tightened up, it was still my story, and the flavor had not been changed. The only difference is that, the story became touching and genuine within limited word counts.