For the benefit of other b-school applicants I’d like to write a short review for Alex Leventhal at PrepMBA who I worked with on my successful application to Wharton (and would highly recommend!).
When I started the application process I called a number of admissions consulting firms, but immediately felt I connected with Alex on a personal level. He spent 45 minutes on the call with me during our initial consultation (even though it was a 20 minute timeslot) and I could tell he was passionate about his service and helping me think through the critical issues. I liked the fact that he was articulate, had been through the application process himself (he’s a Harvard MBA after all!) and most importantly, that he told me straight up what my chances were at top programs. Coming from an over-represented background with some interesting (but diverse) experiences on my CV, he highlighted the importance of carefully crafting a narrative that adcoms can relate to.
Working with Alex was just as amazing. His service was very personal (no junior consultants or intermediaries) and he was flexible with my schedule (which during peaks times at work was very much appreciated!). I did a 2-school package and then did hourly work on another school. I wound up getting 2 offers, including my first choice, Wharton. I feel the time we spent thinking about my career goals and how they relate back to my previous experience was a huge reason why I got in. I also feel that Alex’s no BS approach was another factor. Many times I felt my essays were “ready” to submit, but Alex kept pushing me to refine them and go deeper – and looking back on my early drafts I’m so glad he did.
I would recommend Alex in a heartbeat (and already have to a number of work colleagues). He’s a logical guy with creative flare, and his ability to “see” the right angle and connect the dots is why he gets so many candidates into business school. If you’re thinking about admissions consulting you need to give Alex a call.
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I spoke with over 10 consultants before choosing, and I decided on Alex because of his experience and genuine care for my success. During our initial call, he was the only consultant that took the time to ask me about my background and helped me generate some great essay ideas. His HBS background and industry expertise make him the best consultant not only for HBS but also for any other business school.
Alex’s greatest strength is his creativity. He has the ability to pick out the perfect story from topics that other consultants would brush off. In my case, I came in with a few ideas I wanted to write about, but Alex encouraged me to list all possible topics. He pushed me to explore a topic that I wrote down briefly at the end of the list, and we ended up using it as my HBS 2+2 essay. Alex has the ability to take underappreciated life experiences and turn them into compelling stories.
Alex also really cares about all his clients. He willingly used my mock interview for another M7 school that I did not use his services for, which helped me get on the waitlist.
Alex was meticulous about every step in the process, from interviews to letters of recommendation to the application form itself. He definitely makes you feel like his only client. I would definitely hire Alex again!
My journey to being accepted to business school was a long one, involving reapplications, waitlists, and a lot of nervous waiting. Alex guided me every step of the way, from connecting the dots in my professional experience to define my career purpose, mining my personal experience (including my childhood) to create compelling essay material, and overcoming the introverted side of my personality to put forth an engaging admissions interview. In addition, he was equipped to handle the less typical aspects of my specific situation, which included reapplication and waitlist processes. Lastly, Alex is a good-hearted person who honestly does care about his clients, which I believe helps to create a more personal application that is truly reflective of the person underneath the applicant. I would not have been able to get into my dream school, Stanford GSB, without Alex, and I highly recommend him to anyone considering applying to business school.
I am so glad that I decided to hire Alex and his services for my MBA application process. Because I was studying for the GMAT and completing the application at the same time, it was extremely important that I stayed on track and was well paced for the short term deadline. Alex was flexible with my schedule and very responsive to my emails. He also helped to shape a clear story for why I was seeking an MBA from my background and personal experiences - I think this was a pivotal part in my application that would not have been as strong without his coaching. Even though I had a lower than average GPA and okay GMAT score, I felt confident about the quality in my essays and resume and the content in my application. I only applied to one school and was accepted with a scholarship in their most selective round.
I had the experience of working with other admission consultants before I worked with Alex, and I can tell you that the level of personalized attention I got from Alex is not something other consultants provide. The other consultant I worked with was not the most responsive. When I emailed her, she would take various days to get back to me. I never felt she took the process as seriously as I did. With Alex it was a different story. He always tried to respond within the same day, and if he could not get back to me in 24 hours he would let me know when could I expect a new version of my essays. He also provided valuable advice in choosing between my recommenders. His interview prep helped me feel confident and ready for my interview. Additionally, he identified my areas of weakness so that I could improve on them before my interview. With my essays he provided direct and honest feedback indicating the gaps in my stories, but also suggesting a complete rewrite of the essays when necessary. Thanks to his guidance I was fortunately admitted to MIT Sloan, despite having a low GPA.
During my initial due diligence on admissions consultants, I spoke with a number of large, national firms where conversations began a receptionist to gather information, not the actual admissions consultant. After this initial experience, Alex and PrepMBA immediately stood out from the competition as a hands on approach where Alex was my initial and only point of contact. Alex took a sincere interest in my story, hearing about my goals and what I was looking for in an admissions consultant. During our first two introduction calls, it became very clear that Alex’s honestly and no BS attitude was one of the keys to his success. He outlined my weaknesses from his perspective and helped me to really gauge my strengths during the application process which was extremely helpful in putting together my target school list.
I purchased a five-school package from Alex, and worked hourly for a sixth application, and the first step in the process was the Bio Sheet: nearly 50 personal questions meant to help both him and me analyze my history to craft the perfect story. This was one of my favorite parts of his process and was the first time that anyone has had me really look into my decisions and path to date for inspiration. I had a general idea of where I wanted to take my application, but I had a very hard time moving from “general” to “specific.” Alex helped me to really pinpoint my career goals and to craft an application with character, interest and even humor. Applying to six schools was a daunting task and anxious process, but Alex made sure that I moved calmly and methodically through the application process, completing one school at a time.
I would recommend Alex to anyone looking to take their application to the next level. Alex was always available to bounce ideas off of, even at odd hours while I was traveling internationally. I can truthfully say that my applications would not be a fraction of their final product if it weren’t for Alex’s mentoring and expertise along the way. I was ultimately accepted to two of my top choices, UCLA Anderson and London Business School!
I began my search for an MBA consultant with endless questions and a lower than average GMAT for my target schools. Moreover, I came from an over-represented background having worked in banking since graduation. These qualities mandated that I find an experienced and effective MBA consultant to help me avoid common pitfalls and standout from a large crowd of qualified applicants. My GMAT tutor provided three recommendations of MBA consultants that had worked with his clients in the past. My initial communication with Alex of Prep MBA proved that he had what I was looking for. First, he was the experienced with 10+ years in the industry demonstrating successful outcomes with clients in a similar predicament to my own. Second, as a Harvard MBA himself, Alex could relate and provide crucial insider knowledge. But, most important, before signing up for any services, Alex took an hour out of his schedule to examine my profile, pinpoint areas to improve and outline his process. This initial interaction demonstrated that Alex would be a committed and thoughtful partner through this challenging process. After the initial consultation, I chose a two school package with hourly work on two other schools.
Alex was great at providing candid and effective feedback throughout the process. We started by examining my background from square one, highlighting areas of strength and weakness to help craft a compelling profile for my target schools. Alex’s strong understanding of current industry dynamics, banking and MBA selection criteria helped my profile steer clear of generalities and focus on particularities. Moreover, Alex’s attention to detail allowed each sentence in my essays to speak to my strengths and personality, highlighting my career goals and value add to the MBA program. However, I think Alex’s understanding of the interview process helped the most. Through in person, one on one sessions, Alex helped turn my interview style from nervous and impersonal to engaging and confident. In the end, I was accepted to three schools as well as one of my top choices, LBS.
Looking back on the process, I do not know how I would have fared without help from a consultant the caliber of Alex. His process helped me demonstrate a compelling profile despite my well represented background, his experience answered all my questions giving me confidence at every step and his sense of structure kept my essays impactful within the tight word limits. I look forward to recommending Alex to any of my former classmates and colleagues who wish to pursue and MBA in the future.
I first reached out to Alex over the summer as I was getting ready for my round 1 applications. Like most applicants in the market for an admissions consultant, I scheduled free consultations with several big-name shops. Alex immediately stood out because he made it clear that I would be working with him one-on-one through the admissions process, and he had a track record of helping applicants with my background get admission into top programs. Most other consultants who I spoke with were eager to pass me on to the junior members of their teams, and I would have little to no interaction with the admission veterans who were extensively featured in their marketing material. During my research, I encountered consultants who thought that I was aiming too high and pushed me to apply to lower ranked schools, or they promised the moon and advised only applying to M7 schools. Alex gave me an honest assessment of what schools I should target and were worth spending the limited application resources on. After receiving decisions on my Round 1 applications, I can confidently say that his assessment was spot-on with regards to target and stretch schools.
One big area where Alex’s expertise immensely benefited me was in the crafting of my career goals. Since I was sponsored by my employer, Alex helped me brainstorm a few different career goals that made sense for my background and my sponsorship situation. He helped me identify aspects of my background that connected organically to a career goal that was not only unique, but also something that I was genuinely excited about. I am positive that this enthusiasm came across in my essays and interviews and played a big factor in receiving multiple admits.
Another area where Alex shone was picking the right stories for my essays. Often the stories I initially disregarded ended up being extremely meaningful in addressing the essay prompts. While working on a particularly challenging essay, I found myself in a creative block and ended up spinning my wheels for several days. Just a quick phone call with Alex gave me several different ideas to work with, and I was able to crank out a solid draft that I was happy with in a matter of hours. The mock interview with Alex helped me understand the finer aspects of my delivery that I needed to refine – things such as how to come off as a more ‘fun’ applicant, adding texture and color to my stories so that I don’t sound like the hordes of other applicants applying to top programs.
Oh, and did I mention that I was a reapplicant? I went from all dings and waitlists last year to multiple admits with scholarships at my target schools this year. This was made possible in no small part by the reapplication strategy that Alex helped me come up with. He helped me determine the right mix of reapplications and new applications for round 1 and advised me to wait till round 2 for schools that had denied me in round 2 the prior year so we could show substantial year-over-year growth.
All in all, I highly recommend Alex to B-School aspirants who are looking for a solid coach who will go the extra mile with them.
Before contacted Alex, I had already called a couple consultants located both in China and United States. The feedbacks I received from those consultants were quite opposite, either a very negative feedback from Chinese consultant saying that I had no chance to get in a top 10 school or a very positive feedback from American consultant encouraging me to apply any schools I want. Coming from a very competitive pool with a moderate background (Chinese and average GMAT), I understand there are many hurdles I have to face. The initial conversation with Alex was quite pleasure, unlike other consultants who treat you just as another business opportunity, Alex was sincere, professional and passionate about his career. More importantly, Alex was very honest with me after evaluating my background. With his help, I targeted three schools and got in CBS, my dream school!
Working with Alex was a great experience, he is a Harvard MBA with more than a dozen years of experience in this business. His passion and expertise always help me think out of the box and have the chance to look into the “black box” of MBA admission. We spent a lot of times to work on my career goals and resume, when it came to the essays, Alex’s creative thinking about the structure and logic of essays really helped me to ace my application, and I believe that’s why I got in CBS.
Rather than just a consultant-customer relationship, working with Alex was also a fun and personal experience. We shared our lives during the calls and get really to know each other, I also recommended a couple Asian restaurants in LA I liked and gladly to know that Alex and his family like them too.
I would definitely recommend Alex to anyone who is planning to pursue MBA at top schools. Looking back at my journey, teaming up with Alex was the best decision I made when I decided to apply business schools.
I was referred to Alex when I first began seriously considering pursuing an MBA. Despite indicating in my initial outreach that I was unsure an MBA was right for me, and that I was looking only for high-level guidance, Alex gladly took time to speak. The discussion led me to spend another year at my job and take my time with the GMAT. His candid advice and patience with my unfamiliarity with the application process were key reasons I decided to retain Prep MBA when I had fundamentally strengthened my resume.
After retaining Alex’s services, he and I got to work immediately even though we were months out from the “typical” application timeline. With Alex’s guidance, I narrowed a target school list – Fuqua, Wharton, Kellogg, McCombs and Anderson. We then worked collaboratively – including in-person meetings, phone calls and lots of emails – to prepare a compelling resume and strong core personal narrative that leveraged my family history, work experience and short- and long-term career goals.
When the time came to write my essays, I was well-prepared with my narrative and a great resume to support it. Alex’s support throughout the drafting process was timely and demonstrated a deep knowledge of my background and target MBA programs. In addition, his bank of resumes and school-specific essays were helpful resources. His timely feedback, creative and actionable directional guidance and digestible line edits were also extremely valuable. As a result, my applications painted a clear picture of me and my specific goals at each school and how I’d give to and take from each program to achieve those goals.
As my applications moved forward, Alex continued to be a critical resource for me. His interview prep, school selection advice and scholarship negotiation assistance demonstrated his commitment to his clients from start to finish. In the end, I was offered admission at Anderson, McCombs (both with sizeable scholarships), and Fuqua. I removed myself from the waitlist at Kellogg after deciding on Fuqua, but was confident I’d gain admission in the event I remained on the list.
Given I was offered scholarships at Anderson and McCombs, Alex and I decided to shoot for some scholarship assistance at Fuqua. He helped conduct back-and-forth scholarship negotiations with the school. After some time, Fuqua offered a generous merit scholarship, which has enabled me to attend my dream school!
Overall, Alex was immensely helpful through his commitment to helping me develop the strongest possible applications and ability to navigate the MBA application process at both micro- and macro-levels. I would highly recommend him to prospective MBA students.