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Best MBA Admissions Consulting Service?

This topic has 4 expert replies and 124 member replies
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Vincent Ho-Tin-Noe Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Post Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:11 am
While I realize that finding a consultant able to support you before round 2 deadlines might prove difficult at this point, we have published several posts in the last 2-3 days to help applicants still putting together their MBA Application.

In particular, we have advice for your LORs, resume, and a list of must-read tips to review before hitting the submit button:
http://www.mbaadmissionsadvisors.com/

Good luck to everyone. Just a few more days of hard work !

Vincent

_________________
Vincent Ho-Tin-Noe (HBS '13)
CEO and co-founder
MBA Admissions Advisors LLC
www.mbaadmissionsadvisors.com

Get an immediate assessment of your odds at top MBA programs, try our algorithm for free: http://www.mbaadmissionsadvisors.com/mba-matching-algorithm/

Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!
gmat_thingie Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
12 Nov 2009
Posted:
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Post Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:28 pm
Hi Vincent

Thanks for your reply and your concerns.

As you may realize, post this debacle. I decided to take it up on me to do the essays. But quickly hired a consultant to edit my essays.
He is not a top-notch consultant. But i have been reading your website, and since you offered 30 minute free consultation. I am still worried about my resume. I wonder if u would help to review it and we can then decide if I take a package now or later. I went through this link on your website.
http://www.mbaadmissionsadvisors.com/how-to-write-a-resume-for-mba-admissions-applications/#more-604

Look forward to hear.
My skype ID: ruchi857

Thanks

Vincent Ho-Tin-Noe Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Post Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:29 pm
Hi gmat_thingie,

My post was meant to be generic in nature, not a response to the specific evaluation of your consultant. However, we do offer free consultations, and I will reach out to you directly to set up some time for us to talk.

Kind regards,

Vincent

_________________
Vincent Ho-Tin-Noe (HBS '13)
CEO and co-founder
MBA Admissions Advisors LLC
www.mbaadmissionsadvisors.com

Get an immediate assessment of your odds at top MBA programs, try our algorithm for free: http://www.mbaadmissionsadvisors.com/mba-matching-algorithm/

Thanked by: gmat_thingie
mm077241 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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04 Jan 2015
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Post Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:20 am
I applied to HSW this year and managed to get an admit from HBS. I reached out to several consulting firms before I started the process. Despite the fact I was very late in the process, Stacy Blackman matched me with a consultant who has an excellent track record for HBS and GSB - Paul Kang.

Not only Paul is a GSB and Harvard alumnus, he has also served as the admissions committee member at GSB. This added real practicality to my application. Paul was instrumental in pushing me hard to think about my own life - what I have achieved so far, what I am as a person, what do I want to do in life and why, how would I want to do it, etc., and use all of this to present my story to the B-schools. The biggest advantage of working with Paul, unlike few other consultants, is that he would never force his thinking upon you or write the essay for you. He would always be ready to help you think and write, and to review and improve the same. He would never say no to you even if you send the nth version of the essay. He is always ready to get on a call with you to discuss any small or big thing.

Paul also helped me fit my application process into timelines and adhere to the same - else it would have been extremely difficult given the work load I had. Moreover, the final essay I submitted with Paul's help was much better that what I could have submitted on my own.

I am truly grateful to Paul for his support in the process and highly recommend him to be consulted, esp. on HSW applications - he is the HSW guru!

manyaabroadtpr Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:34 pm
Hi Taviboo,

In order to select the best institute for your MBA admission consulting services, we would suggest you to walk over to all centers of various companies located closer to your home. You can either speak to their expert counselor or even appear for a mock test with them. Ask all your queries, doubts and the one with whom you feel most satisfied should be your ideal choice.

We at Manya provide you all the guidance required starting from the preparation for your GMAT, till you get admitted to your dream college.For Princeton Review's (Manya Abroad) MBA admissions consulting services, you can get all the information here:

http://www.manyagroup.com/mba-admissions

Hope this helps.In case, you would have any further queries, please do let us know and we would be happy to help. Wish you the best.
www.manyagroup.com

pjp89 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Jan 2015
Posted:
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Post Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:19 am
I looked into ALL of the consulting services and conducted assessments/calls with all of them. I ultimately liked how comprehensive and structured Stacy Blackman was. On top of having a dedicated consultant to help me along the way, they have school guides, interview guides, essay guides, etc.

I worked with Paul on my MBA application process and was very pleased with everything. SBC has all the resources you could possibly need and really helped me feel confident in my applications. Paul was extremely knowledgeable about the admissions process for all of the top schools I wanted to go to. Thanks to his help, I was admitted to HBS (my top choice!) and Booth and Wharton (both with significant merit scholarships). Paul was able to identify exactly what I should be highlighting in my essays and applications by having extensive conversations and brainstorming sessions with me. He gave me honest feedback and I felt extremely confident after submitting my applications and when interviewing. I come from a very typical background, studied finance at Wharton, completed 2 years of investment banking and 2 years of private equity and knew it would be really hard to differentiate myself. Paul was able to identify the pieces of my upbringing/experiences/etc. that could truly set me apart and I don't think I would have been able to do that on my own.

I was surprised how many little questions/concerns/nuances came up throughout the process that I needed Paul's help to answer and don't think I would have managed the admissions process successfully without him. I definitely believe Paul was the edge I needed to earn an acceptance into HBS and highly recommend using him if you are looking for admittance into any top school.

pjp89 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Jan 2015
Posted:
2 messages
Post Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:19 am
I looked into ALL of the consulting services and conducted assessments/calls with all of them. I ultimately liked how comprehensive and structured Stacy Blackman was. On top of having a dedicated consultant to help me along the way, they have school guides, interview guides, essay guides, etc.

I worked with Paul on my MBA application process and was very pleased with everything. SBC has all the resources you could possibly need and really helped me feel confident in my applications. Paul was extremely knowledgeable about the admissions process for all of the top schools I wanted to go to. Thanks to his help, I was admitted to HBS (my top choice!) and Booth and Wharton (both with significant merit scholarships). Paul was able to identify exactly what I should be highlighting in my essays and applications by having extensive conversations and brainstorming sessions with me. He gave me honest feedback and I felt extremely confident after submitting my applications and when interviewing. I come from a very typical background, studied finance at Wharton, completed 2 years of investment banking and 2 years of private equity and knew it would be really hard to differentiate myself. Paul was able to identify the pieces of my upbringing/experiences/etc. that could truly set me apart and I don't think I would have been able to do that on my own.

I was surprised how many little questions/concerns/nuances came up throughout the process that I needed Paul's help to answer and don't think I would have managed the admissions process successfully without him. I definitely believe Paul was the edge I needed to earn an acceptance into HBS and highly recommend using him if you are looking for admittance into any top school.

polestarcap13 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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19 Jan 2015
Posted:
1 messages
Post Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:11 pm
Stacy Blackman is the best consulting service!

My experience with Stacy Blackman was amazing throughout the entire application process! Beginning with the application strategy, Bridget (my hand-selected personal consultant) and I worked closely to explore my past academic and professional experiences, areas of greatest strength and weakness, and personal passions in order to crystallize my ultimate goals. This process was critical to the overall application as it enabled me to become truly inspired by and motivated towards the MBA experience.
Next, Bridget diligently assisted me in selecting the individual schools to which I would apply. This process was equally crucial as the level of wisdom and pragmatism provided by Stacy Blackman was undoubtedly a foundational element of my eventual success. Bridget also helped me work on my strategy around recommenders as deciding which recommenders to use where can be tricky, and more importantly, Stacy Blackman’s method enables applicants to provide recommenders with a clear and focused outline of one’s application strategy; this helps the recommenders provide the best and most impactful recommendation possible.
Most importantly, Bridget worked tirelessly with me on the short answer questions, required essays, and optional essays for each school which I was partnering with Stacy Blackman on. I cannot overemphasize how necessary it is to have Stacy Blackman and someone like Bridget working with you on your essays. I am an excellent, well-above average analytical writer, and this is the one area that I had always excelled in academically. However, I can honestly say that my essays would have been an absolute disgrace without Bridget’s guidance. Throughout multiple drafts and rewrite processes, Bridget helped me hone my application strategy and goals into pointed, strategic, and impactful essays that clearly answered each question being asked, while maintaining a strong sense of my personal voice and being sure to always highlight the ever-critical topics of “why me” and “why this school”/”why this program”.
And when it came time for the interview phase, Bridget was right there to prep me. However, one of the most valuable aspects of Stacy Blackman’s program is the way in which the application strategy and essay processes generate so much passion for the MBA experience and so much involvement with each school’s materials that you are already an expert on yourself and each school when it’s time for the interviews.
For reference, I am a 26 year old male, I went to a top-20 liberal arts college and graduated with a low 3’s GPA (non-econ major), and took the GRE. However, with Stacy Blackman’s help, I will now be attending NYU Stern in the fall. I truly believe that without Bridget and Stacy Blackman’s assistance, I would not have gotten into Stern or the multiple other programs I was admitted to. Lastly, one top-20 program offered me a $48k merit scholarship, which would equate to an 800% direct return on my Stacy Blackman investment (that completely disregards the near pricelessness of an MBA from such an institution)…if that’s not money well spent, then I don’t know what is!

cyberbg Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
09 Oct 2014
Posted:
5 messages
Post Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:38 am
Vanessa Gil is the best admissions counselor anyone could ask for!

Here is how I came to work with her. After interviewing Stacey Blackman, Clear Admit and Stratus Prep for MBA admissions counseling, Shawn O’Connor, the founder of Stratus Prep, convinced me to use his firm.

I had obtained a 720 on my GMAT which was good, but below average for the 2 schools I had targeted: Stanford GSB and Harvard Business School.

Knowing those were the schools I wanted to apply to, Shawn placed me with a counselor who was an alum from both schools (NOT VANESSA).

And here I was… getting into the annoying process of business school applications. The first deadline was HBS in early September (Round 1). The counselor and I spent 3 months working on positioning, outlines and essays for Harvard. However, she and I didn’t have the same perspectives at times. Every time I came up with a creative idea for my essays, I got turned down. I felt my application was going to be pretty standardized. Another thing she would do was coming back to me with edits within 10 minutes of me sending my drafts. This annoyed me as I had paid a pretty big amount to get her advice, and I felt I wasn’t getting the level of attention I deserved. I was disappointed and thought I would ask Shawn for another counselor. However, I had less than 2 weeks left before submitting HBS and I thought I wouldn’t that risk so close to the deadline so I decided to stick with her and apply to HBS.

The day after I submitted HBS, however, I asked Shawn to reassign me with a different counselor for my Stanford app which was due 3 weeks later (early October, Round 1). By doing so, I also thought I would diversify and increase my odds of getting into at least one of the two.

Shawn understood my concerns and paired me with Vanessa Gil. And here comes Vanessa. I didn’t know it at the time, but working with Vanessa was the best thing that could have happened to me. Vanessa and I got along immediately. I told her about my concerns with my former counselor and she gave me the ability to be my true self in my applications. She and I spent hours on the phone discussing the most detailed items of my application from positioning, wording, approach, what works and what doesn’t to what Stanford specifically likes in candidates. Literally everything. She was so accessible, nice, competent and open-minded. It was night and day.

Vanessa and I worked hard in those 3 weeks I worked on my GSB application. I found out later on that she had a lot more clients than I thought. Yet I felt like I was the only one she was working with. The level of attention she gave me was unparalleled. She understood who I was as a person, what I stood for, and what I wanted to convey in my applications like no one else. Her perspective was invaluable.
Vanessa and I finally submitted Stanford early October.

Mid-October, I found out I got declined from HBS, without an interview.
Early November, I got notice that I got an interview with the GSB. Vanessa and I prepped for it in a rigorous manner with 3 mock interviews and detailed question by question feedback. I went into the interview feeling confident, and aced it.

Mid-December: I found out I got into my dream school, the Stanford GSB

The bottom line is that none of this would have been possible without Vanessa. Her trusted advice, intelligence and amazing personality made this stressful process an enjoyable experience. When you think about it, Vanessa only helped me with one business school, and it turns out that the school is actually the hardest one to get into. With Vanessa, my hit rate was 100%. I know, “impressive” you would say. However, the minute you meet her, you will realize it’s not all that surprising. Vanessa is an unbelievable person who simply gets it. If you’re driven, focused and dedicated, she will get you into your dream school. That’s what she does, and she does it better than anyone else in the industry.

cyberbg Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
09 Oct 2014
Posted:
5 messages
Post Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:41 am
Vanessa Gil, who isn't with Stratus Prep anymore, is the best admissions counselor anyone could ask for!

Here is how I came to work with her. After interviewing Stacey Blackman, Clear Admit and Stratus Prep for MBA admissions counseling, Shawn O’Connor, the founder of Stratus Prep, convinced me to use his firm.

I had obtained a 720 on my GMAT which was good, but below average for the 2 schools I had targeted: Stanford GSB and Harvard Business School.

Knowing those were the schools I wanted to apply to, Shawn placed me with a counselor who was an alum from both schools (NOT VANESSA).

And here I was… getting into the annoying process of business school applications. The first deadline was HBS in early September (Round 1). The counselor and I spent 3 months working on positioning, outlines and essays for Harvard. However, she and I didn’t have the same perspectives at times. Every time I came up with a creative idea for my essays, I got turned down. I felt my application was going to be pretty standardized. Another thing she would do was coming back to me with edits within 10 minutes of me sending my drafts. This annoyed me as I had paid a pretty big amount to get her advice, and I felt I wasn’t getting the level of attention I deserved. I was disappointed and thought I would ask Shawn for another counselor. However, I had less than 2 weeks left before submitting HBS and I thought I wouldn’t that risk so close to the deadline so I decided to stick with her and apply to HBS.

The day after I submitted HBS, however, I asked Shawn to reassign me with a different counselor for my Stanford app which was due 3 weeks later (early October, Round 1). By doing so, I also thought I would diversify and increase my odds of getting into at least one of the two.

Shawn understood my concerns and paired me with Vanessa Gil. And here comes Vanessa. I didn’t know it at the time, but working with Vanessa was the best thing that could have happened to me. Vanessa and I got along immediately. I told her about my concerns with my former counselor and she gave me the ability to be my true self in my applications. She and I spent hours on the phone discussing the most detailed items of my application from positioning, wording, approach, what works and what doesn’t to what Stanford specifically likes in candidates. Literally everything. She was so accessible, nice, competent and open-minded. It was night and day.

Vanessa and I worked hard in those 3 weeks I worked on my GSB application. I found out later on that she had a lot more clients than I thought. Yet I felt like I was the only one she was working with. The level of attention she gave me was unparalleled. She understood who I was as a person, what I stood for, and what I wanted to convey in my applications like no one else. Her perspective was invaluable.
Vanessa and I finally submitted Stanford early October.

Mid-October, I found out I got declined from HBS, without an interview.
Early November, I got notice that I got an interview with the GSB. Vanessa and I prepped for it in a rigorous manner with 3 mock interviews and detailed question by question feedback. I went into the interview feeling confident, and aced it.

Mid-December: I found out I got into my dream school, the Stanford GSB

The bottom line is that none of this would have been possible without Vanessa. Her trusted advice, intelligence and amazing personality made this stressful process an enjoyable experience. When you think about it, Vanessa only helped me with one business school, and it turns out that the school is actually the hardest one to get into. With Vanessa, my hit rate was 100%. I know, “impressive” you would say. However, the minute you meet her, you will realize it’s not all that surprising. Vanessa is an unbelievable person who simply gets it. If you’re driven, focused and dedicated, she will get you into your dream school. That’s what she does, and she does it better than anyone else in the industry.

Hitoshi Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
26 Mar 2015
Posted:
1 messages
Post Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:27 am
I was very lucky to find Laura Freedman, an MBA Admissions Consultant at Access Education (www.accesseducation.com), through a random Google search a few months ago. Although I was applying for a Master’s degree at NUS (National University of Singapore) and not an MBA, Laura transformed my resume and prepared me extremely well for my interviews (she actually designed NUS MBA’s interview process and evaluation form). She also guided me though the whole admissions process to by advising me how to cover my weak GMAT score and make me look attractive to NUS’s admissions team. As I was a last-minute applicant, I especially appreciated her strategic advice and efficient consultation on the back of very detailed background information. I highly recommend Laura for anyone applying to any business-related Master’s programs.

usmody Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
15 Aug 2012
Posted:
1 messages
Post Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:06 pm
Please read this carefully as I hope no one makes the same mistakes I did!

I decided in the Summer of 2013 that I wanted to attend business school. Studied, took the GMAT, was thrilled with my 730 score and applied to a few schools only. Unfortunately, because of my engineering background and aspirations to start my own tech company, I wrote essays that highlighted anything but what a business school was looking for. Seeking help but not wanting to pay too much, I found a consulting company that offered help for very little money relative to the others. I got what I paid for, which was another set of rejection letters due to another horribly prepared application.

As it was already late October, I did not have much time but was determined to go to business school. I reached out to Stacy Blackman Consulting and paid the fees to become a comprehensive client. My SBC consultant, Chi-Pei, immediately reached out to me and took 2 hours learning every minute detail of my life. She literally left no rock un-turned. Within 48 hours she provided me with a thorough plan of attack, filled with essay topics and deadlines and schools I should consider applying to.

I'll be honest, I am a terrible writer (if you can't tell already). I must have sent Chi-Pei over 50 rough drafts for various essays before she finally approved. Each time, she was quick to reply.. sometimes within the hour. When I finally submitted my applications, my essays looked fantastic. Actually, everything looked fantastic! My resume was spotless, my extra-curricular activities portrayed me in a positive and accurate light, and short term/long term goals were so clear anyone could understand where I was going.

After receiving notifications for interviews, Chi-Pei met with me in person to make sure my responses to hypothetical questions were perfect. Everything was critiqued, from posture to tone to the appropriateness of my answers.

I recently was admitted to Michigan (Ross) and Virginia (Darden), and was offered a scholarship from Cornell (Johnson), Texas (McCombs) and Carnegie Mellon (Tepper). I am so glad I finally woke up and used SBC to help me through my application process. My only regret, obviously, is that I did not reach out to them prior to applying the first time.

usmabama Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:24 am
Critical Square will take your application to the next level. With their help I went from WLed at Duke in Round 1 to accepted with scholarship at Darden in Round 2. I consider Fuqua and Darden to be peer schools and wouldn't have been nearly as successful in Round 2 without Critical Square's help.

I originally contacted several consultants in the Spring/Summer before I was to apply to business school. After a few free consultations, I concluded that given enough time I could craft a compelling story on my own and that spending a few thousand dollars on a consultant was unnecessary. I spent months writing my essays making sure each part of my application was polished. The result? I was rejected from all the schools I applied to in round one with the lone exception being Fuqua, where I was wait-listed. I was heart broken and a little unsure on what I should do next.

After returning from a Christmas trip in the Caribbean (where I was when I received the depressing news), I spent some time weighing my options. On a Saturday- December 27th - I used the GMAT Club website to post an urgent message asking for help. I received a response from Bhavik in less than 30 minutes - he remembered me from our free consultation the summer before. I sent Bhavik all my Duke documentation Saturday night and we set-up a wait-list review early Monday morning. The conversation lasted almost two hours and was very in-depth. Bhavik was blunt - he pointed out shortcomings in my application and thoroughly answered each of my questions. With Round 2 deadlines rapidly approaching, Bhavik informed me that he could only provide support on an hourly, a la-carte basis. As a military veteran who wanted a "civilian's" perspective and given my condensed timeline, I decided to purchase the hourly package from Critical Square.

Despite the fact that I had purchased only an hourly service, Critical Square helped me come up with a detailed round 2 game-plan and redo every aspect of my application for four different business schools. Because Round 2 deadlines were less than a week away I was really pressed for time, but Bhavik is a machine. I really don't know when the guy sleeps. I worked non stop all week on my applications and every time I sent Bhavik an updated essay or short answer to review he would respond in less than two hours - regardless of the time of day or day of the week. Each response would have detailed instructions on how to further shape the essay and would often include subtle changes that really took my applications to another level. During the process, it was also reassuring to have someone with limited military experience review my application. When Bhavik didn't understand military jargon he would call me to discuss and then we would reword the story to ensure that the key points I wanted to emphasize were obvious to the ADCOM.

The Round 2 results? I received interview invites to all four schools we applied to during that first week. I was accepted to three and received a significant scholarship to two. The only school of the four I wasn't accepted to was Yale, where I was wait-listed. I think that was due to my terrible on campus interview. I didn't use Critical Square for the interview prep, but wish I had.

If I could go back to last Spring I would purchase a more in-depth package from Critical Square. I'm extremely pleased to be attending Darden this fall, but I'm confident that if I had given Critical Square more time I would've been accepted to a top 7 school. They are a joy to work with and really understand the intricacies of what makes an application stand out in the crowd. I've already suggested Critical Square to several peers and would strongly recommend applicants spend the extra cash. It's a wise investment. A few thousand dollars now might result in tens of thousands of dollars in awarded scholarships. Thanks to Critical Square - it did for me.

Humstudents Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:30 pm
money9111 wrote:
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2010/09/23/veritas-prep-mba-admissions-consulting-debrief-1-money9111
This is really very good post and perfect reply to find consultant for MBA.Its also really beneficial for me.

cshelton Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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09 Apr 2015
Posted:
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Post Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:21 pm
I had a great experience with Stacy Blackman Consulting (SBC). Erika was my consultant and was exactly what I needed. I talked to 3-4 different firms before going with SBC. Something I really appreciated about Erika was that she wasn’t afraid to tell me when she disagreed. She always gave me VERY candid feedback, which was awesome. I always knew that she would tell me exactly what she was thinking rather than letting waste time or take the wrong approach. I also loved how responsive Erika and SBC in general were. Every time I reached out or had questions, they got back to me within a day. I always felt like my application was a priority. They also had tons of helpful resources that I looked at all the time (blog, guides, wiki, etc.).

The best feeling for me out of the entire experience was that when I hit submit on my applications, I knew that I had put my very best foot forward because of the help I received from Erika and SBC. I’m headed to Wharton this summer.

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