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Joined: Apr 11, 2013
Should you apply in round 1 or round 2? If you still can’t decide after reading all the MBA blogs and forums, go with the round for which Lorraine still has capacity – she’s that good. Having applied to b-school on my own before, I’m certain Lorraine’s guidance and MBA Prep School’s systematic approach to the application process are what got me results this time around.
• Top 10 UG business school, 3.6 GPA, 710 GMAT
• Non-traditional career path at little-known companies, solid international exposure
• Limited leadership experience outside of work
Never would I have thought I could get into Wharton with those credentials. Applying to Wharton was Lorraine’s suggestion. I thought she was crazy, but I’m very glad I trusted her, as I’m going there this fall.
My favorite things about Lorraine:
1. She only takes on a few clients each round and is deeply invested in every one of their applications.
2. She can help clients find dimensions that are truly unique to them because she 1) spends a lot of time getting to know them, 2) listens well, and 3) has good instincts. She saw value in things that seemed very trivial to me but really captured who I am and probably made me more memorable to the ad com.
3. She has an uncanny knack for finding the common thread among seemingly unrelated bits and pieces. There were a lot of things I wanted to communicate to the ad com. Without a strategic approach, I would’ve come across schizophrenic. Lorraine helped me figure out my core identity, thus enabling me to weave the different components of each application into one compelling narrative.
4. Her diverse experiences (corporate/nonprofit/creative) and knowledge of many different industries translate into her ability to help clients 1) best position what they’ve done and, 2) clearly define what they want to do after b-school. I struggled with the latter, but under Lorraine’s guidance, I was able to transform a vague vision into concrete goals and articulate how an MBA could help me achieve them.
5. She gets the nuanced differences among top schools. The information I gathered on the schools were a lot to digest. Lorraine helped me isolate the unique characteristics on which each school prides itself, characteristics applicants must understand if they want to craft targeted applications that demonstrate fit, which is critical. If you work with Lorraine, you won’t be doing much recycling/copying & pasting.
6. Like a good personal trainer, she will motivate you until the very end, past writer’s blocks, burnouts and breakdowns, and the point where you just want to submit what you have and “get it over with.”
7. She is very understanding. As a former MBA student and seasoned consultant, she gets how exhausting it is to apply to school while working and how frustrating it is to sit in front of the computer for hours only to write two sentences. She kept me sane and focused when I wanted to pull my hair out.
8. She is punctual with calls and quick with feedback.
9. She is a cool person with a good sense of humor and a quirky personality. Very easy to talk to.
10. She loves what she does.
No Lorraine, no Wharton. I <3 Lorraine!
I truly do not believe that I would have received an acceptance letter to HBS without Tyler Cormney’s guidance. The toughest part of the application was putting together quality essays that hit on all the points I wanted to make while addressing the fit qualities that the schools deemed to be most important. I would have had no clue how to pick stories to tell in my essays or understand fit qualities of top-tier programs without Tyler’s support. Tyler was very helpful and knowledgeable about every step along the path to putting together a top-notch application. He was always available to answer any question, no matter how specific it was to my application, or general it was to each program. Tyler was genuinely interested in my success, which could be felt during our conversations and his devotion to the nitty-gritty aspects of my application.
The MBA Prep School videos that Tyler created for the benefit of his clients were all-inclusive, and allowed for much richer discussions when Tyler and I had one of our live meetings. I would absolutely recommend Tyler Cormney and MBA Prep School if you are serious about applying to a top-tier business school and believe, as I did, that you need help standing out in this incredibly ferocious competition.
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Enlisting the help of Esther Choy and Faisal Khan for my business school admissions process was simply one of the best professional decisions of my life. I firmly believe that without their help, I would not have gotten into a top-5 MBA program. While there are many MBA admissions consultants out there, I believe that Esther and Faisal differentiate themselves in the following ways:
1. Robust client workplan: If I had to mention one item that sets Esther and Faisal apart from other admissions consultants, I would have to say it is their comprehensive client workplan. They rely on a framework that breaks the MBA application process into its discrete components and that is truly the best way to brainstorm and figure out how to portray yourself to the admissions committee.
2. Powerful storytelling process: Not only will Esther and Faisal provide you with timely and detailed feedback to help you polish your essays, but they will also help you craft a compelling story that will touch the admissions officers on an emotional level. They pushed me to edit and re-edit my essays until all of them tied together in a way that my overall application actually had a unified theme and a powerful underlying career purpose.
3. First-hand experience as both students and admissions officers: Esther and Faisal can offer incredible insights into the MBA applications process as they have both attended a top-tier MBA program AND they have both served on a top-tier MBA school's admissions committee. Their unique background offers them a holistic and comprehensive view that was immensely helpful for me. For instance, when I was waitlisted at one of my schools, Esther was able to provide me with some insider knowledge about how the process works behind the scenes and then gave me advice on the best way to proceed.
4. Kindness and generosity: During my MBA application process I was waitlisted at a school that was not part of the our consulting arrangement. Despite this, Esther was kind enough to offer her services in helping me get off the waitlist, free-of-charge, because she cared about me and my future beyond that of a typical admissions consultant.
Overall, I couldn't be happier with the whole admissions process and attribute a lot of my eventual success to the help that Esther and Faisal provided to me. I definitely recommend them if you are looking to take your MBA applications to the next level!
Joined: Apr 07, 2013
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I was introduced to Chris by a friend, and spoke to him and several other consultants are various firms before making a final decision on who to work with. Part of why I chose Chris was his balanced (in my view) take on the strengths and weaknesses of my candidacy in our initial call. Compared to other consultants who dwelled on the positives, I appreciated Chris’s attention to the gaps in my application, and his focus on how to address them. To be honest, I didn’t leave that first call feeling completely optimistic about the whole process, but on reflection I decided that’s what I was looking for from a consultant – someone to challenge and push me, and therefore help improve my application in ways I wouldn’t be able to do on my own.
I was late to the Round 1 process (Chris and I first spoke in August), and Chris helped me figure out a sensible number of schools to apply to (3). In retrospect, having seen other friends’ experiences, I’m very happy I didn’t push to submit more, and equally happy that I made sure to get apps in to all of my “top” choices within the same round. The videos / materials / worksheets developed by MBA Prep School were also a real benefit early in the process.
After our initial call, it was clear that I had a long way to go in creating a coherent “story” to tell across applications; the brainstorming and ideation exercises provided by MBA Prep School really helped me to bring forward the strongest elements in my background to deploy across schools and essays.
All that said, I think the personal dynamics really make or break this kind of relationship, and this is where Chris really shone. He certainly passes the “good guy” test, and – as I had judged from our initial call – was consistently supportive and easy to work with, while always challenging and looking to improve the final product. Most importantly, I never once felt like I had anything less than Chris’s full attention and commitment to my application – I might as well have been the only project he was working on. This was especially important given the short timeline we were working with – and frankly, time management was another primary reason I had engaged a consultant in the first place.
Chris helped develop a clear timeline to manage the process of getting 3 strong applications submitted, and he pushed me the whole way to accomplish that goal.
This process is tough. Working with Chris helped me internalize that, and realize that all you can do is put yourself in the best position to succeed and then roll the dice. Chris helped me put my best foot forward in all my applications – and even so, there were some surprises and disappointments. In the end, I got into one of my three top schools; and I also got a generous scholarship. I’m happy with my outcome, and grateful to Chris Aitken and MBA Prep School for helping me get there!
Joined: Feb 17, 2010
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I want to strongly recommend Chris Aitken at MBA Prep School. Though I hired him only on an hourly basis, I found his advice to be very impactful and have very high bang-for-the-buck. He did a great job pushing me to articulate my rationale for why MBA and to get more specific about what attracts me to a specific school, while providing thoughtful suggestions. These were the weak points of my application and he zeroed in on them and worked with me to close the gaps. Though I was just an hourly client, Chris took the time to understood my background and goals and worked closely with me on all of my essays. He went above and beyond: he got on the phone and spent extra time with me when he didn't have to to make sure my essays were of high quality, and performed miraculous edits on a super-tight 24-hour deadline in the thick of R2 applications. He was also direct and honest. My first drafts were terrible and Chris wasn't afraid to call that out and push me to improve them.
I got into all but one school that I applied to (Wharton, Columbia, and Booth), including my top choice school. The only place I was rejected from was HBS and that was a real long shot because of my age and profile.
As a separate point, I am a reapplicant. I used another admissions consultant from a major well-reviewed firm last time around and I can unequivocally say that my experience with Chris was far superior vis-a-vis both quality of service and admissions outcomes, even though I spent significantly less time working with him.
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Working with Tyler was truly an exceptional experience and with his help, I was accepted into Harvard Business School! I expected top-notch service and was not disappointed from the pre to post-application process.
One of the things that exceeded my expectations was Tyler’s creativity and skill in helping me craft my essays. He was able to break down my essays and suggest ways to restructure them until the same story emerged in the best light possible. He was never satisfied with something that was “good enough”. In addition, Tyler was able to step back and look at my overall package to ensure the messaging remained true to me and consistent.
Another advantage of working with Tyler was having access to The MBA Prep School’s videos, e-book, and tools. These resources not only explained what to expect from each part of the application process, but also how to approach it and what action steps to take to stand out to the admissions committee. MBA Prep School’s website provided practical tips to approach recommenders, how to research schools, and what pitfalls to avoid. The supplemental exercises and worksheets allowed for an incredible self-discovery process, which helped me articulate who I am and my motivations. By having these tools at my disposal, I felt that it gave me both an edge and self-assurance as I went through the application process.
Overall, Tyler was both professional and knowledgeable, making this stressful application process as smooth as possible. Tyler customizes his services to you and your needs, not just another template-type consulting process. He helped me transform from a strong candidate into a compelling one. Just as he told me when we first started, he was not just my consultant, but a guide, coach, career counselor, and cheerleader – and that held true. I couldn’t have done this without him!
Joined: Jan 31, 2013
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I was introduced to Tyler Cormney through two friends who had had recent success with their MBA admissions process. Prior to signing on with Tyler I didn't understand the cost-benefit relationship of his services and didn't think I needed that sort of help. I was dead wrong. Tyler's comprehensive admissions program enables candidates to discover their strengths and areas of improvements and helps guide them through the process.
Tyler’s efforts were tremendous. He was extremely reliable, professional, dependable, and hardworking. I always received a thorough response from him within 24 hours of notification (usually within 4-5 hours) and knew that I could always count on his coaching advice. Not only was he patient with my hectic schedule, but he also provided insightful guidance throughout the stressful MBA application process.
I found the online exercises through the MBA Prep School particularly helpful in discovering my career path and it translated into so many creative ideas that I was able to leverage in my applications. In addition, the tools from MBA Prep School were extremely useful and valuable because they helped me manage all documents, exercises, charts, videos, essays and project plans in a central location.
Tyler is a true professional and very good at what he does. He fully understands the admissions process and is a exceptional motivator. He provides excellent feedback, particularly during my mock interview, which I found extremely helpful. I highly recommend Tyler as he is one of the main reasons I'll be attending a top 10 business school this fall.
-Stern Class of 2015
Joined: Feb 06, 2009
I initially found about Tyler and Chris when I was going through some forums and found their advice to be unique and then signed up for an information interview to understand and go through my profile. This is the call when I was introduced to the online service which was very new. My conversation on phone had given me a confidence that this would be a worthwhile service specially from an international students point of view since it is difficult for international students to afford a full application service from an international consultant. This is where the MBAPrepSchool's online tutorials helped me a lot.
This is the first recommendation that I am writing for any service and honestly can tell you that the book and the online tutorials that have been created by Tyler and Chris are really really useful. As an applicant what we need is a step by step methodology to create an application. This is only possible with one on one coaching. However MBAPrepSchool's online tutorials completely fill this gap. Not only you get a step by step direction but also understand what any business school look for in candidates. By any I mean any.
The international MBA application journey is a whole year journey if you want to get into a top school. It is highly important to get involved in developing your profile as well as doing a proper business school search. End of the day you will invest a lot of money whichever business school you choose. And before choosing any school you need to choose your goals. What do you want to do after MBA? The best help apart from everything that I got out of this service - understanding and designing my goals (which I understand that no other online service is teaching currently) and how to make a better resume. The goals part is very crucial and I can give my two cents that all HBS, Stanford people will be using the similar goals (the way it is taught in this service) to apply.
The other very helpful part of this service were- the weekly/monthly group calls where I could clear my doubts and the forum questionnaires which both Chris and Tyler used to answer very promptly. I can attest that Chris and Tyler were instrumental in improving my understanding of the process and that has helped me to gain admission to a top business school in US.
Thanks Chris and Tyler.
Joined: Oct 11, 2012
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My experience with Tyler was incredible. Beyond just helping me gain an admit to my dream school, Tyler's instruction and guidance led to a great deal of self-discovery in terms of my strengths as well as my real career aspirations. Tyler was absolutely critical in helping me draw out notable experiences in an otherwise unremarkable background. Tyler saw essay potential in my experiences that I would have probably never uncovered by myself.
Not only is Tyler a great admissions consultant, he is also a really great guy who took time out of his busy schedule for a few unscheduled pep talks that went beyond the application process. I give Tyler and MBA Prep School the highest possible recommendation and all of my expectations were exceeded with their service. Thank you Tyler!
Receiving an acceptance letter from a top-tier business school is especially challenging given the hyper-competitive applicant pool.
When I decided to apply to MBA programs, I wasn’t exactly sure where to start. After searching for help on my MBA applications, I was referred to Tyler Cormney by a friend who was a student at a top 5 business school and former client of Tyler’s. I am very glad that I chose to enlist Tyler’s help, and I am confident that I would not have received an acceptance letter from a top 5 MBA program without his guidance.
When I began working with Tyler, I wanted to dive right into applying to as many as schools as possible. Fortunately, Tyler helped me consider my list of prospective applications more prudently. He made certain that he and I both understood exactly what qualities I was searching for in an MBA education and helped me focus my application efforts on an optimal list of target schools. His in-depth knowledge of the admissions process at the top business schools and his years of experience advising MBA applicants allowed him to steer me towards the schools where I had the highest probability of being accepted.
Having recently completed the MBA application process, I know that a successful application is dependent on a candidate’s ability to present a compelling portfolio of educational highlights, career aspirations, and personal attributes. Through several weeks of introspective self-assessment exercises and focused discussions with Tyler, I was able to truly understand my strengths and weaknesses as an MBA applicant and fully grasp how my career history contributed to my post-MBA goals. After we had discovered the core elements of my own story, Tyler helped me to present myself as an exceptional MBA candidate throughout my essays and tailor my applications to each individual school. With an intimate knowledge of the MBA admissions process and a solid understanding of my potential contribution to business schools, he advised me to emphasize certain aspects of my candidacy that he knew would be appreciated by admissions committees. It was during this step of the process that his experience truly shined through. Although I may have possessed a strong academic and professional background, I know I lacked the self-awareness necessary to present an application capable of earning me a seat at a top 5 business school. With the help of Tyler’s advice and perspective, I was able to confidently apply to top MBA programs.
I would highly recommend Tyler to any of my friends who are about to undertake the MBA application process. He served as a valuable resource throughout several months of application preparation, and without his help, I would not have obtained a seat in a top 5 MBA program. If you are about to apply to business school, reach out to http://tylercormney.com .
--Top 5 MBA School, Class of 2014