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Best MBA Admissions Consulting Service?

This topic has 4 expert replies and 124 member replies
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taviboo Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Best MBA Admissions Consulting Service?

Post Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:40 pm
Hi,
I wanted to find out if people have used or are planning to use MBA admissions consulting services? If so, which ones do you recommend and why? Some names I know are: Clear Admit, Stacy Blackman, Veritas Prep. I want to get comprehensive consulting from the beginning of the application process till the very end.

Thanks
Tavi

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Post Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:27 am
Shawn@StratusPrep MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:33 am
Hi Tavi,

Here is some information on my company Stratus Prep's MBA Admissions Counseling service:

- You work with two admissions counselors so that you have both a partner in this process and an objective, external evaluator at every step along the way.
- By assigning you two counselors we also ensure that your application package will appeal to readers/interviewers with diverse personal and professional backgrounds.
- We have a proven, robust admissions strategy methodology that will guarantee that you are most effectively marketing yourself to the schools of your choice (we believe getting into the top schools is about much more than simply drafting well-written essays).
- Our counselors, most of whom are former consultants, bankers, and corporate marketers, are available in person, by phone, and via email to assist you any time.
- We cap the number of clients/schools each counselor works on so that you can be sure to get the individualized attention and quick turnaround times that you deserve.
- All of our counselors are graduates themselves from top 10 MBA programs with significant admissions experience.
- Our teams treats every MBA application that we work on as if it were our own; we will not rest until you and we are satisfied that there is nothing else you could possibly do to improve your chances of gaining admission to the schools of your choice.
- We transparently release the statistical evidence of our admissions success. For example, our lifetime success rate at Columbia is 75%+, and our Round 1 Success Rate at HBS is 90%+.

I hope this information was helpful. I would be happy to do a free half hour consultation with you and/or put you in touch with a reference who could tell you about his/her personal experience with us.

Best,
Shawn

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Post Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:10 pm
Hi Shawn - thanks for posting, I've been a lurker but am starting the applications now and I'm eager to join the community and post. I've been looking at consulting firms and didn't know about you guys.

I'm an Asian female, 27, from the midwest. 3.8 gpa from a top 10 state school, and 3 years in a consulting firm (one promotion). I teach piano on the side and play with a chamber group. 730 GMAT.

Your stats are really impressive. I hope you dont mind me asking, but how do I know these stats are “true.”?

Thanks!

GilLevi Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:10 pm
For those of you with GMAT scores below 710 -
here’s a (yes, totally subjective… Smile ) input as to possibly the most suitable consulting firm for such cases.

It all started with my own personal case - I was accepted at Harvard, Wharton and INSEAD with a GMAT score of 650. I received a full, merit-based scholarship at Wharton upon admission and later became a member of the Wharton Admission Committee.

Following these experiences I founded Aringo.com, an admission consulting firm specializing in clients with GMAT scores below average (the GMAT average of admits at the top schools now is close to 720).

Aringo employs the series of essay tools I originally developed as an applicant. As a result (I hope… Smile ) some of Aringo's clients were accepted at Harvard (MBA) with GMAT’s of 580, 660 and 670; to Wharton with 640, 660 and 670; to INSEAD with 630, 640 and 650; to Kellogg with 640 and 680, etc…

Here are some Wharton admission tips as an example that clarifies Aringo's approach (and tricks…) a bit: www.aringo.com/Wharton_MBA.htm

Hope you find this helpful… thanks.

Gil Levi
Aringo.com

Shawn@StratusPrep MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:21 am
Hi,

At Stratus Prep we calculate our success rates after every admissions season and have consistently seen the percentages I mentioned year after year. I would be happy to put you in touch with former clients of ours who are now at top schools so you can hear about their experiences with us.

Given your numbers and experience, I am confident Stratus Prep could help you gain entry to your dream schools. Feel free to email me directly at shawn.oconnor@stratusprep.com to discuss further.

-Shawn

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Post Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:54 am
Thanks for the follow up and the nice compliments. I'm not actually that interested in speaking with specific former clients because any firm can produce a handful of happy clients, what's more interesting to me is the percentage acceptance rate you indicated. 90% just seems so high compared to what HBS accepts overall. I just find it hard to believe, they're so impressive. Can I ask again, how do I know those stats are "true"? What are the numbers behind them?

Shawn@StratusPrep wrote:
Hi,

At Stratus Prep we calculate our success rates after every admissions season and have consistently seen the percentages I mentioned year after year. I would be happy to put you in touch with former clients of ours who are now at top schools so you can hear about their experiences with us.

Given your numbers and experience, I am confident Stratus Prep could help you gain entry to your dream schools. Feel free to email me directly at shawn.oconnor@stratusprep.com to discuss further.

-Shawn

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Shawn@StratusPrep MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:47 am
Hi,

Simply put, our statistics are based on taking the total number of students that we have worked with who have gotten into a given school divided by the total number of students who completed our full MBA Admissions Counseling program for that school (no smoke or mirrors here).

As I previously mentioned, to verify these rates, we are happy to put you in touch with the many satisfied students who have achieved those success rates.

As this is a very competitive industry, we do not release the total number of students that we have worked with for individuals schools, however, I can tell you we have worked with thousands of students from across the US and around the globe since our founding in 2006.

I am happy to further discuss our services with you in a personalized consultation if that would be helpful. You can set up a consultation by calling our office at 212 307 1788.

I wish you the very best with your MBA applications; we are always here and happy to help if we can be of assistance.

Best,
Shawn

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Post Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:15 am
taviboo wrote:
Hi,
I wanted to find out if people have used or are planning to use MBA admissions consulting services? If so, which ones do you recommend and why? Some names I know are: Clear Admit, Stacy Blackman, Veritas Prep. I want to get comprehensive consulting from the beginning of the application process till the very end.

Thanks
Tavi
I didn't use admissions consultants but if I had to, I'd go either with Alex Chu of MbaApply.com or Essay Snark from essaysnark.blogspot.com. Why? Because they seem to be reasonable people who consistently provide really good advice across the various b-school forums.

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Post Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:07 pm
@Taviboo - while I never did research on any of the companies responding in this thread, I commend you for asking questions that not many people ask who are considering MBA Consultants. I have friends who are very unhappy with their consultants because that did not ask similar questions to yours.

One thing that I have heard of (remember I have never researched these companies) is that companies have applicants apply to a very very "safe" school so that they get accepted somewhere and then don't ruin the acceptance rates.

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mbaMissionBrianE MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:16 pm
@money911 - You raise an interesting observation about how some admissions consulting firms may operate, and in fact it is precisely one of the two reasons that we at mbaMission do not release so called “success” rates. We do not want our consultants to have any incentive to push their clients towards safer schools simply to make our numbers look good. Our incentives are your incentives: help you gain acceptance to the school of your choice, not ours.

The second reason we do not release a “success” rate is that we believe it is impossible to define success mathematically. If an applicant gets into only to her safety school, is that success? We once had a client get accepted (with a significant scholarship) to Wharton and she was utterly disappointed that she did not get into HBS. While most people would regard her results positively, she did not. How can we claim her in our “success” rate when she did not view it that way?

To us, one of the most important numbers is, quite simply, “2” -- the number of GMAT companies which have chosen to recommend mbaMission exclusively to their clients. Both ManhattanGMAT and Kaplan thoroughly vetted many of our competitors (MGMAT evaluated 10 different firms) and ultimately only chose to recommend us. In fact, just this spring Kaplan closed down its own internal MBA admissions consulting firm in order to form an exclusive referral relationship with us.

As you assess consulting firms, keep in mind their goals. If it is anything other than to support you fully in achieving your goals, it may not be the right place for you.

Best of luck with your application process.

Brian

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GoingtoHBS Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:49 am
I am really excited that I will be heading to HBS this fall and have enjoyed using Beat the GMAT throughout my preparation to get some really valuable insights into the exam and the MBA admissions process. Thanks for all the great content!

Anyone who has worked in marketing, finance, consulting, IT, etc. would lose their job if they asserted that it is better to have no data than some perhaps imperfect data when making a critical decision. Thus, I was a bit shocked by Brian's response below.

I agree with Brian that overall success rates (something like "95% of our students get into one of their top 5 MBA schools") from MBA admissions consultants are completely worthless since consultants can get clients to apply to huge safeties in order to inflate this statistic.

But there ARE consulting firms (like Stratus Prep, which full disclosure, I and many of my friends in NYC used) that release admissions success rates school by school. This is incredibly useful data and is not nearly as susceptible to manipulation. For me, I would definitely rather know that I am using a firm that increases my chances of admission to HBS by 5x than a firm that just won't release any success rates. That would not inspire confidence for me.

Tavi, I know that you had questions about Stratus Prep's stats which I think Shawn (Stratus Prep's founder) answered below. But if it's any help, I can tell you I have known about 10 people who used Stratus's services, and we all found Stratus Prep's stats to be accurate at least within our group of friends and co-workers. Certainly not everyone gets into every school at Stratus Prep but they are very, very successful at HSW (I am living proof), and they will be very honest with you about your chances and the micro success rates of folks with your profile. I always found them to be very honest and straightforward.

One other thing that I think bears mentioning. In his post, Brian failed to mention a couple of important things that I learned from reviewing this site over the last 18 months. Last year, Kaplan bought Manhattan GMAT (so one has to believe they are now basically one and the same). I actually found Stratus because I didn't want to got to MGMAT after they were acquired by Kaplan as I wanted a smaller company with the most expert GMAT instructors. Also, I assume that Kaplan/MGMAT did not consider admissions firms like Veritas and Stratus which offer (I believe, far superior) GMAT prep and thus directly compete with Kaplan/MGMAT. Also, one has to wonder what sort of payment Kaplan/MGMAT receives for referring clients. Certainly, they did not shut down their own admissions firm to refer clients to another company out of the goodness of their heart, did they?

Just some food for thought on a Monday morning.

Good luck to everyone applying to HSW this year. My advice, be very personal in your applications it was definitely what set me apart!

JB

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Post Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:07 am
GoingtoHBS wrote:
JB
Wow GoingtoHBS/JB, that post came across as a total advertisement for Stratus Prep or whatever they're called. Perhaps the internet has made me cynical but when I see a new person join a forum and their first post is something promotional for a for-profit company, I get a little suspicious.

If you are real and you really are going to HBS, I'll see you there in a few weeks. Wink

Alex

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Post Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:01 pm
Thanks everyone for the information, will definitely look into these consulting services.

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Post Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:00 pm
Hi All,

Wanted to share my experience with a consultant mbadream. After the tough last year that i had, i got in to a top 25 school with a scholarship. I realized working with rahul from mbadream was very useful. My latest admit, from another top 30 school, i received yesterday that too has a scholarship. I suggest, mbaaspirants for next year should speak to mbadream.in . They are top class.

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