If you are too lazy to read all these, just read the highlighted ones (yellow background, red border, you'll figure it out)
We pulled off the biggest caper of all time! Thanks so so much! I couldn't have done it without you!
I left you a message last night to let you know that you have been admitted to the Stanford MBA Program. I inadvertently hit a few stray buttons on the phone, and I'm not sure that the message got delivered to you. Hopefully it did!
Dear Sanford ,
I have just hung up with my parents in India and I want to tell you this right away. I have been accepted to Harvard Business School in the January co-hort. I would like to thank you for your profound help and support. You are truly gifted at your task. You must let me buy you dinner when I arrive in Cambridge . . . I am just so happy. Thank you....................................................................
SK, As I told you, MM with the phone call two days ago, HBS by letter today. I owe you man, you are THE GREATEST!!!! Leaning towards HBS cause of the family situation.
I'm also an int. student. Got into HBS. 4 years IB, 700 GMAT, worked with Sandy for 15 hours on my HBS app. and as everyone notes on this thread, he really knows how to do it. He made suggestions about tone (!), content, upgrades, spin, and which events in my personal and work life to write about.
International applicant reapplied to Wharton this year and got in.
I'd like to recommend Sandy to others, especially international applicants.
Subject: My success with Sandy
Last year application = Rejected
Last year application + Sandy = Early acceptance at Columbia (just got the news) yes, my drive to get in pushed me to start on my essays in may/june but without Sandy's coaching and critique of my essays i wouldn't have made it.
yippee ! go Sandy!
Well, let me tell my story re Sandy.
I am applying to Harvard and Stanford and other schools and am surely his well-wisher. I guess, the reason so many people write good things about him is that because he really adds value. I myself am a consultant in Europe.
Like many others, I find his comments very direct and am happy bec. no one else can tell me the truth about my essays except for him.
So, for me his value added comes from:
1. he sees things in your essays you just don't see. He is very professional in his insights. He really put my complicated story together for Stanford in a very powerful and insightful way.
2. demanding: he pushes you to work on your essay until it looks perfect - with lots of details, fitting in a story, sounding big but not arrogant.
3. He is very sympathetic and cares about your application. Someone said that it must be that someone else writes his answers as Sandy writes a lot on this board and would not have time for both. It can't be so - whenever I call him he recalls at once my last essay's version
Sometimes I got irritated when he cut one of my achievements from my essay. But after thinking for a while I still came to the conclusion that he was right. He is indeed brilliant in that he sees things much deeper/global/critical.
Sign me a very happy customer.
Subject: Sandy's Service
While I'm a good writer (with the 51 Verbal and 6.0 AWA score to prove it), I was pleased and surprised by how much Sandy improved my essays. I've looked at the first drafts I sent him, compared them to the final ones sent to schools, and am amazed at the difference. The final essays are more comvincing, more interesting, more effective-and since I just got my first acceptance call yesterday, I know the ad com was impressed as well.
Sandy won't coddle your ego, and it is difficult to hear that essays you thought were great wouldn't interest an ad com at all. But frankly, I didn't pay Sandy to make me feel good-I paid him to help me with my essays, and he certainly came through. He was extremely responsive, honest, and provided great suggestions. I'd hire him again in a second...................................................................
Sandy's the real deal!
This years essays contain the persona I wanted to convey last year. Everyone knows the entire process is about packaging. Sandy edited my essays in a way that wove a common theme throughout each essay. Sandy's style allows for maximum creativity as he's there to guide you if you get off the path. The concise theme and package that we developed carried through in my interviews, resume, etc. I was accepted yesterday to my first choice; a school I hadn't really considered because I felt it was out of my league. If that isn't verification of what Sandy can do with someone I don't know what is.
To dispel an ongoing myth about Sandy only taking on 'golden boys' as projects, that is just not true. Without going into my personal information, I am about the farthest thing from a golden boy one would expect. Additionally, I concur with previous posts noting his extremely responsive service.
In short, Sandy likes what he does and that really came through in his work. He has a true feel for how to relate a persons strengths to an individual program and make it 'fit'. After all, this is what it's all about....................................................................
I just wanted to let you know that I got into HBS today. Thank you so much for your help - you definitely improved my application tremendously. What did I have 20-30% odds before I started? [hbs reapp]
It is my pleasure to write a testimonal for you:
Now I am admitted to HBS. And I am happily writing a testimonal myself.
Sandy knows HBS. He knows what would make a good story for HBS andwhat type of persons HBS are looking for. He gave me great help on
He also called me to help me practice. It really helped my interview.Sandy's service is very efficient. I don't know how he managed it,
I talked to a variety of consultants before deciding to use Sandy. I found his help on my essays phenomenal and I truly believe I submitted the best possible essays that I could....................................................................
Here is how I used Sandy: Wharton: 3 hrs on 1 reapp essay (waitlisted in 99). We also went through 3 revisions
Overall impressions of SK: Precise and quick turnaround. I made the mistake of turning everything all together for him to review and in the busiest time of last Christmas, Sandy still managed to respond within a day. I joked with him once that reading his feedback every time made me sweat. But the truth is that he helps polish your stories to hit the point in a precise way -- using his own words: "Cut the crap". For those who might get offended at first by his sense of humor, my advice, hang on to him....................................................................
I have worked with Sandy on the usual suspects: Harvard/Wharton/Columbia. Intend to use him for Stanford application as well.
I have been using the version feature of MSWord and when I look at my first cut to the finished essay on pretty much any of the questions, the following are apparent
1. The essay is crisp and to the point. 2. Feels personal and is personal.
Sandy does not write your essays - you do, but he is a phenomenal coach. Even outside of the bschool focus, you do get drilled on a winning writing style.
Yes, Sandy's sense of humor could be an acquired taste for a few but my s.o. and I have really been hooked on his (in fact sometimes eagerly await !) his sardonic/caustic/pungent remarks. If you are the touchy feely, can't handle criticism variety don't bother with Sandy.
My s.o. is a practicing lawyer (JD/MBA from Chicago) and she was dead on the money when she guessed that Sandy was a lawyer... her claim is that lawyer's are the best editors....................................................................
I was a Kaplan tutor [not essays but GMAT] and I hired Sandy. He is the gold standard, IMHO, esp for HSW.
ExKap and now @ HSW [just one of them].
I, too, worked with Sandy on my Stanford application and found him to be great. I liked the following things about him:
2. High value-added--he has little tolerance for the standard bschool bs that we all tend to default to when we can't come up with real content, and he sniffs this out and cuts it out with laserlike precision. When my GSB essays were done they were way more personal and less generic, and I just don't think that I would have gotten to that place on my own.
3. Great service! I would (typically) send him a draft at COB (like before I went to bed, after an evening of working on the essays) and he would have his comments back to me by noon the next day or earlier. Even during the last couple of weeks, which is &amp;amp;quot;peak season&amp;amp;quot;. IMHO, that's pretty damn good-- he must be working nonstop during this crunch time.
And, the other comment about the divergence between his email and phone manners is 100% correct--his emails can be a bit unvarnished, but are always still full of great content and insight. On the phone he is more polite, etc, but frankly, I prefer the unvarnished stuff, as it helps to push you even further in the process of self- introspection as you dregde your personal history for the micro-level personal content and stories that the GSB loves so much...
I'm so pysched! Just got the good news from Wharton and I couldn't have done it without Sandy!
He was genuine in his efforts to help me put my best foot forward, from overall strategy to the smallest details. Even made me rewrite essays that I was originally happy with, over and over till he was satisfied, and could also always be counted on to turn my drafts back within 24 hrs even during the peak times just before deadlines.
Definitely a fan of Sandy's...................................................................
Subject: My experience and opinion
But the most important thing for the impatient person like me was his turn-around time - rarely in two days, 99% of the time the next day, at times even on the same day (week-ends). I did work hard, though.
As a result, my apps went out two weeks before all deadlines for the first round.
Today I got my first acceptance letter (e-mail) from Chicago!
Hi Sandy -
This is Stan M. here, you helped me write the Stanford and Harvard MBA essays. Well I came to the right guy - because I got into Stanford which was the big one. I also got into Columbia and an interview from Harvard, and I told them what to do with it, that was fun. Anyway it worked out great for me and I am greatful for your help. I think you really know what you are
Subject: Sandy is great!
I'm Sandy's client as well. Just got accepted at Harvard and thought I should share my experience.
I used Sandy's service for my applications to H, S, & Col. I have received acceptances at H & S.
School selection: Because he knows the admissions process so well at a variety of schools, he can help you tailor your essays toward the individual program. Sandy also has a feel for which schools you need to focus on most given your strengths/background.
Macro: I found it helpful to give Sandy a brief (2 or 3 sentence) description of an essay topic before I actually started writing. He was able to steer me away from less meaningful topics before I began writing.
Micro: Sandy greatest strength is his relentless pursuit of the details. He will continually ask you for more details on an achievement, or what you learned from an action, or what the significance of something is. This is what makes the essays.
Responsiveness: Quick turnaround on every essay. I would usually do my writing at night and send him an email first thing in the morning, and he would have it back to me that night or the next morning. He even got things back to me very rapidly if I needed something returned before I left town on business.
Attitude: Sandy's manner over email is certainly to the point, but that is definitely the quickest way to get the message across. I have read posts on this board describing him as condescending, and he certainly tore up the first essay I sent him, but he does have a genuine interest in your success on your essays and the overall admissions process. As I worked with him on draft upon draft, he provided me with much needed encouragement. The bottomline here, however, is that you are hiring an editor to be extremely critical of your work, and if you pay anybody for anything less, you are wasting your money.
Sandy's help with my essays turned a very strong application into an acceptance, and I would highly recommend using him to anyone serious about the application process.
Subject: thanks to Sandy from another international student
Lack of work experience in business settings is my biggest weakness. Sandy gave me great help in selling my stories and strength. He especially has very strong experience and sense to help international students. Without his help, I couldn't imagine I can get into the top-10 b-schools. I would like to recommend him to the applicants who really want to get into the top MBA programs....................................................................
I used Sandy and am a completely satisfied customer. Last year I got dinged at my choice of top four schools and I wasted no time getting in touch with Sandy. I got into Columbia this year and am waiting on the rest of the schools. The biggest difference in the quality of my essays was Sandy. Look, he cannot change your content but can almost work magic with the presentation, tone and style. His style is sharp and it helps to have a thick skin.
Yeah, HBS was first choice (indeed, I’m a brand
I want to share my experience with Sandy. I've been working with him for the past few months on several applications and have probably spent at least 10 hours with him. Here's the deal:
If you want constructive advice that will truly make your essays better, Sandy is your guy. It is true that he has a blunt style and can be critical, but in my view, that's what I'm paying him for. I want to know what's wrong with my essays and how to fix them; I'm not looking for someone to praise my grades or accomplishments or to sugarcoat the message. The bottom line is that he knows what works and what doesn't and conveys that to you.
Judging by what some others have written on this board, sometimes it can be harsh to hear that something you have written really does suck and needs to be fixed up in ways X,Y and Z. Then again, I'd rather hear it from Sandy so I have a chance to fix it than to get the message in the form of a rejection letter, which is what happened the last time I applied to business school
When I compared my essays from the last time I applied to the essays that Sandy helped me with, there is simply no comparison. I believe that my chances at getting in are much better because of his help and that he has certainly been worth the expense.