Read Hundreds of Testimonials

Pages and Pages of No BS Testimonials

Thank you again for your help with interview prep – truly believe it was a big part of my acceptance to HBS & Stanford

I decided to work with Sandy after seeing his name referenced in every helpful article about the HBS application. Best thing about working with Sandy is that he tells it like it is – he gives the type of constructive criticism that friends, parents, & coworkers typically won’t. We spent an hour on the phone prepping for my HBS interview. After I answered each question, Sandy provided feedback and suggestions on what I could have done better. 80% of the questions I was asked in my interview were questions that Sandy had asked me in our mock interview. Absolutely recommend Sandy to future HBS applicants!

I got into HBS thanks to Sandy’s interview prep package

We talked about specific questions I would likely get asked, and a lot of those came up during the interview.  We also talked about my general strategy for answering questions so that I felt prepared for anything that came my way.  The 90 minutes I spent talking to Sandy went a long way in making me feel confident for my interview and confident that I knew what I needed to do to get accepted.Thank you again Sandy!

Admitted to the HBS class of 2017

I did a mock interview with Sanford ahead of my R1 HBS Interview and was admitted to the HBS class of 2017. I must say that this mock was crucial in my interview preparation. Sandy was very well prepared and familiar with my app, and the tailored questions he asked were similar to the actual interview (no generic bs). His feedback was very straightforward and to the point as well. I would recommend a mock interview with Sanford for anyone with an HBS / any business school interview.

YOU’RE A STAR!!!! I’M IN!!!

Hi Sandy, 

Can’t believe this is real, especially after 30 days of incessant dissection of what I thought was a horrible interview. This COULD NOT have been possible without you!!!

The word “Thank You” seems to small to express the amount of gratitude I have for all your help and support. Can’t believe you actually stuck it out with me – through all the annoying questions and the paranoia.

I owe this to you – BIG TIME!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

First things first, I got in!!! 

Hi Sandy,

Now that the adrenaline is fading just a bit from this past week, I wanted to send a note to thank you for the help during the interview process. Particularly coming from a non-traditional background, doing a mock interview with you was so helpful in understanding what the adcom would have questions on and how to make sure they clearly understood my story. When my interviewer called me on Wednesday, she mentioned that my story stood out and I’m positive that it was your help which helped me communicate that story. 

If you want to nail that interview and get that seat to Harvard – Sandy is the man!

I had heard about Sandy, read his articles and watched his prep videos – I knew there was no one better would could help me with my prep for an HBS Interview. That 1 hour call with Sandy was very very very helpful and he added a lot of value to the way I presented myself. He wouldn’t settle for anything less – We went over an entire range of questions and he course corrected wherever the style and content didn’t seem perfect. Coincidently and luckily – my interviewer asked me from the same set of questions Sandy stressed upon in our call. Sandy helped me with a few questions around my weak spots and I could answer those questions in the interview very confidently – THANKS TO SANDY

Sandy has his finger on the pulse of the HBS admissions committee

The 90 minutes I spent with him was one of the most valuable things I did to prep for my interview. After our call there were very few surprises. He had great thoughts on about how to make my answers pithy and on point.  Now here I am planning for my next two years in Allston. Thanks Sandy!

Into HBS (and GSB and Wharton)

Hi Sandy, 

I wanted to let you know I got into HBS (and GSB and Wharton)! Thank you soooo much for your help! I couldn’t be more excited! The HBS interviewer told me I did a great job in the interview. Happy holidays!

Got into HBS!!! The only school I ever wanted to go to and all THANKS to you!!

Sandy, 

 I am so glad that I got to know about you through some close friends who used your service previously and were ALL successful. Your guidance and support through the process was invaluable. 

The best part about you was how brutally HONEST you were while reviewing the application. You told me exactly when I was wrong, you did not shy away from scolding me when even the nth iteration did not seem to work quite well, you identified my strengths and weaknesses so well in just the first call that we had! I have heard of experiences of my friends who have worked with other consultants and I am SO SO glad that I found you!  You told me frankly what you felt was lacking in my profile for a certain school, not only that – when I felt under-confident ( for my age was higher than median for HBS or factor y), you assured me that you were confident that I would get through.  Unlike many others, you never pushed me to apply to multiple schools just because you could have made more money! You are very genuine and the quality of your work is beyond professional! It is exceptional.

. You are undoubtedly the BEST guide for MBA applications! I feel so relieved and fortunate to get in and I hope I can do justice to this great institution in the years to come.  Would love to meet you in Cambridge for a coffee and witness some of that dry sense of humor in person.

S,

IN…CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH BROTHER!!!  YOU NAILED IT MAN!!!  

I just received an admit to HBS Class of 2021! And I could not have done it without you.

I cannot thank you enough for all your help and guidance. You were really patient with me and kept me motivated through the process (especially after my interview :))

Please let me know if I can be of any help in future and hope we can stay in touch. As I will be moving to Boston soon, I would love to come and meet you basis your availability. I will write to you once I am there.

Thanks a ton again!

You rock!

My brother and I are DELIGHTED to tell you that HBS admitted the both of us!

We are SUPER HAPPY!

And seriously we are SUPER GRATEFUL to you, for your great support and advice!

We, obviously, would love to invite you for diner once we are in Boston :-).

Warm Regards,

HBS is really a dream come true

Thank you so much Sandy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Sorry for the late email – was having an emotional celebration with Mom and Dad. This was their dream too!)

Got into HBS

Hi Sandy, long overdue email, sorry I was traveling. I got into HBS!! Thank you so much for your help, those 70 minutes truly changed my perspective on how to approach the interview! Really really appreciate it! Thank you for making me believe that I could do it! I still describe the interview process as ‘When you go to the doctor, you just have to prove that you are healthy, don’t try to prove that you are healthy and beautiful’ (I may not have gotten that entirely right haha!)

I could not have gotten my HBS and Stanford admits (or for that matter, Wharton or MIT!)

Hi Sandy, 

Hope you’re doing fabulously!

Just writing in to let you know that I’ve finally decided to accept HBS.  They are giving me $150K in aid money, majorly through need based aid and partially through a merit fellowship for healthcare background professionals 🙂 

I’d like to thank you again, Sandy, for all your amazing help and guidance all through my application process last year.  I could not have gotten my HBS and Stanford admits (or for that matter, Wharton or MIT!) without you!  I owe you big time and I will always be immensely grateful.  Given that I’ll be in Boston for 2 years starting this Fall, I would love to take you out for lunch / dinner / drinks / coffee – whatever suits you! – if you have time.

Sandy is the real deal and his track record speaks for itself

Sandy was instrumental in my success of obtaining a class seat at HBS. Sandy offered me pointers on my essay and helped me refine my long term goals to include realistic goals that fit my overall narrative. I would highly recommend Sandy and his company with no reservations. 

Admitted to HBS

Hi Sandy,

I just learnt that I am admitted to HBS!!!

I am absolutely thrilled and want to share with you this terrific news.

Thank you so much for your kind help and advice during the process! I could not have made it without you! This is an exciting start of the next stage of my life. I hope we can stay in touch and I will definitely sing the praise to my friends of your incredible service!

Got into HBS! All as predicted by you

Hi Sandy,

Thank you for your invaluable guidance and advice! I hope we can meet sometime next time when I am in Boston. So excited!

Thank you so much for your prompt responses, honest (sometimes blunt) comments and right support- all shaping up to a great application and interview.

Next..off to Cambridge! Thank you!!!

I really couldn’t have done this without you! Going into the application process I never realistically saw myself getting into HBS.

You have been incredible in this process, candid in your feedback (I needed it!) and always had quick turnaround time. I highly recommend Sandy for prospective HBS students. He really does help you show the best version of yourself in your application. 

Simply put, Sandy knows what HBS wants

He knows how the admissions department shapes each year’s class and how an applicant can accentuate his or her talents, experiences, and passions to become an attractive prospective member of the class in the eyes of adcoms. 

As many clients have said it before, Sandy is assertive. Unless you feel very strongly about a certain point, I suggest you follow his advice. Sandy will also quickly cut through the BS by telling you when he thinks your output is garbage. You may even find his bold comments humorous, making the entire application process less stressful, as I did. His response time is consistently very good (usually under 12 hours, max 24).

It’s a dream come true

I was admitted into Harvard and Stanford in R1. I am thrilled to be saying I will be joining HBS this Fall!!! 

If you are serious about getting in, and are the type of person that can handle the no BS answers (which I think you want in this process), you will hire Sandy. 

His unparalleled experience translated into a mastery of H/S’s entire application process and into sound judgment that navigated me throughout this stressful and often ambiguous process. 

He’s also a class act and an all-around good-guy that genuinely wants you to get in.

Admitted Sir! Still sinking in! At 39 I am doing an MBA – Granny in the class!

Geeez..It’s the first time ever some kinda good news has made me sweat! Right now my BP is high. Just received the ‘admitted’ call!

THANKS AND THANKS AND THANKS AND THANKS AND THANKS SANDY.

We both know the BS experience in my life couldn’t have been made to look attractive without your efforts.

Sandy- Letting you know I got a call from GSB today and I’ve been accepted

Thank you for all your help both on the HBS essay (which served as foundation for GSB app) as well as the materials/guidance you shared on letters of rec/interviews.  Very much appreciate you providing your unvarnished opinion throughout the process – it definitely strengthened my application tremendously (speaking as a re-applicant, I’m very confident in this statement).

Thank you thank you thank you 

I got in!!!!!!!! Thank you Sandy you are a fkng legend!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

BIG thx from a happy man!

hi sandy, long time no hear. i got a phone call  yesterday from Gwyneth Slocum Bailey, the admdir at Michigan – I’m in! must thank you for the hard, but constructive words that made my essays portray the right picture to sooth the minds of the adcom, considering my mediocre gmat  and grades. 

Wait and see what happens.

Sanford,

Thank you for your latest suggestions concerning Cornell. I will send out the whole stuff tonight. As I told you, this was my last application and all I’m gonna do from now on is wait and see what happens… In any case I think you did a great job over the last few months.

Good news

Sandy-
…i’m emailing (rather than phoning) you to inform of  the good news. i heard from wharton last week and am  happy to report that i have only 88 days of work left.  thanks for your help, sandy. as i’m sure you’ve been  told before, you’re excellent.

A satisfied customer

Sandy,

You helped me back in the fall prepare application essays for numerous schools  and I thought I would update you on my status. accepted at Kellogg  (delighted!) and still have not heard from Wharton or Columbia.  Thanks again for your help. You definitely made a difference in my essays by  challenging me to clarify my message. I will definitely recommend you to  others.

Best regards,
jfd (a satisfied customer)

Accepted at Harvard, Wharton, Cornell, and CMU

Sanford,
I wrote you a few months ago after I had applied to several B-schools. This week I heard back from 4 of the 6 schools to which I applied and was accepted at all 4 (Harvard, Wharton, Cornell, and CMU). I have upcoming
interviews with Columbia & MIT, but Harvard and Wharton were my top two choices, so I will likely attend one of those. I can’t thank you enough for the advice you gave me, and like I said before, also for the confidence in the direction I took with my essays. I will definitely recommend your service to my acquaintances who may be interested in an MBA.

A happy ending

Sandy,

Thanks so much for the msg and advice!

HBS was a sad story. But I’m quite happy to get into MIT. MIT is another story. I called Rod Garcia after the ding last year. Though he didn’t return my call, he was so nice to send me an e-mail, followed by a regular mail — though no substantially detailed reasons given. I guess I was able to make an impression on
him. Then with the great help from you, I guess he was quite impressed — a happy ending.

Again, thanks so much!

In at HBS

sandy
just wanted to let you know that I got the acceptance letter today from HBS.
thanks a lot for all your help and a very Happy New Year to you.
regards

Definitely a fan of Sandy’s

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.

I was accepted to Harvard and Stanford in Round 1

I applied to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and Kellogg. I was accepted to Harvard and Stanford in Round 1 and withdrew my applications to Wharton and Kellogg.

Given my stats, work experience, and recommendations, I was a fairly strong applicant, but probably around average for the top schools. I could have been easily dinged at any of the schools to which I applied. I can honestly say that I would not have gotten into my top choices without Sandy’s help.

Working with Sandy is like sitting down with the admissions directors and staffs at the business schools and having them tell you what they want to hear from you, and how you should best position yourself. Sandy knows more about the admissions process than anyone else I spoke with while I was applying.

SANDY WILL GET YOU INTO ONE OF YOUR TOP CHOICES!
The best things about working with Sandy were his overall knowledge about the B-school admissions process, his unbelievable insight and help with the application essays, and his willingness to work as hard as his clients to fine-tune an application.

Sandy’s unbelievable turn-around time enabled me to complete all of my HBS essays in one week, start to finish. He was extremely accommodating to help me reach the Round 1 deadline.

While I know people can be sometimes be put off by Sandy’s style, I actually found his comments very amusing in addition to their helpfulness. The key is not to take his constructive criticism personally. Sandy cuts right to the chase, and gets you to cut out the unnecessary BS and write about what is really important.

I have recommended friends and colleagues to Sandy. I think Sandy’s insight would be helpful to anyone applying to business school, regardless of the strength of their application or stats. Sandy’s area of expertise is really effective for those applying to the top schools, especially Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton.

NEVERTHELESS, HIS HELP WRITING THE ESSAYS IS ABSOLUTELY INVALUABLE FOR ANY APPLICANT.

Before I started working with Sandy, I had a number of ideas/stories I had in mind to present to the adcoms. Sandy definitely saved me from making a couple of mistakes by vetoing topics or angles that were clearly not going to be a positive for my application.

Sandy was most helpful in taking my stories and personal and professional experiences and crafting them into effective essays. He really pressed me to provide details and specific examples to give more color to my experiences and bolster my essays. He was most helpful in positioning my story the way the schools want from their applicants.
normal, but glad I used SK

I would recommend Sandy for anyone applying to HSW for the reasons I listed above, including his unbeatable insight into what these schools are looking for and how to tailor your essays to fit their needs. I think anyone with a reasonable shot at these schools should use Sandy. Even if you think you’re out of the running it is worth giving him a call. He’ll give you honest answers about your candidacy.

If you use Sandy, be sure to check your personal pride at the door and be prepared to do some serious self-evaluation. Sandy ripped apart my essay drafts from top to bottom, pushed me to really dig and write about details from my experiences, and focused my energies on what was really important. The end result were essays that would beat the pants off of anything I wrote as an undergrad at a top Ivy League school, and most importantly, got me accepted into the best business schools.

[ARGUABLY WORTH IT, LOVE THESE INGRATES–SK ]

Well, I’ve now received all the results from the schools I applied to .Australian  690 GMAT/H2A degree in chem eng (arond 3.4 GPA more or less) from top Aussie Univ.  7 yrs w/e in engineering, construction and proj. mgmt in Australia, UK, USA, ChileResults :

Tuck : Accepted with 25% tuition scholarship
Wharton : Accepted, don’t have fin aid details yet
Thanks for your help along the way,
Don’t think W would’ve sniffed at me w/out your help. You’re expensive but arguably  it.

I’m in at MIT

Sandy,

I’ve finally got good news — I’m in at MIT!

O, God, it happened.

After ding from Harvard, ding after interview from Wharton, call (!) from Don Martin about WaiList, interview with him and another ding from Chicago, I FINALLY MANAGED THIS RESULT.

I followed your advice of arranging a campaign and get support letters from two more recommeders, alumnae in Moscow (thanks God, Rod Garcia knew her personally), students (MIT guys were in Moscow during Study Tour and I had a chance to convert them; one of them wrote a letter for me)
On April,15th I had the interview in Frankfurt and felt that everything was OK this time. And yesterday I finally got my Congratulations letter.

I’m a bit shocked and can’t believe that this marathon of admission (2 years, you know) is going to finish. I realize also how many problems I have to solve: credit, visa, housing, etc.

BUT FIRST OF ALL, thank you, coach… You were the person who cut all shit from my stories. You made me focused on top. And altho I didn’t get result from H and W, I’m in at MIT. This year, I suppose, it is more than perfect result. Hope, that someday I’ll be so useful for you. As soon as I arrive to Boston I pay for a dinner with you. Don’t mind

Sandy is great

I learnt a lot from him: not only how to write concise English, but also the way to think in English. The guy is awesome. Personally, I like his style: strict and blunt. He will never flatter you but you got the REAL improvement.

During the work, Sandy is always strict and sometimes frustrating, but I personally like it because I know that’s the way to make results.

As to H/W/S I would rec. SK for the following reasons to the following people:Big ideas and excellent execution for HBS package. SK is good for guys who can think. If you use SK, be sure to be inclusive and work hard. He doesn’t write for you

In Sloan

Well, you called it. Break out the Champaigne. I’m in Sloan 2004. Thank you so much for your advice and support. Please let me know if I can be of help in the future.

Thanks again for helping me to get into Wharton

Since I was able to get into Wharton, I was wondering whether you think I have any shot at Harvard in its third round (I am sure you have heard this question many times from people who were admitted to Wharton/Kellogg, etc.)  You know my application very well, especially because you worked on the  Kellogg one also. I would appreciate if you would share your opinions on  my chances of getting into Harvard especially in the third round (I would be a reapplicant to Harvard).

I am ecstatic to say the least!

Sandy,

I just got the letter today offering me admissions  to the January Cohort. Thanks for all of your help. I know I would  not be in the same position I am right now without  your guidance along the admissions process. The letter did say that I would have to complete a two week on-campus analytics program. Do you know  anything about that? Thanks again.

Accepted to HBS

Sandy:
I found out last night that I was accepted to Harvard Business School!!!

Thank you very much for your help and guidance. You really helped me give them what they need to hear and I greatly appreciate your help.

HBS AND STANFORD

Hi there. Hope that you aren’t too cold over there. What’s going on back east with the weather? If it makes you feel any better, it’s a little drizzly here, so no shorts and t-shirts like I wore a couple of weeks ago!

Honestly, I have been in a daze with reality not quite setting in until recently. I even kept the [HBS AND STANFORD] news quiet for a couple of days before telling my family. It wasn’t until I sat down and wrote that letter to you that I truly started believing it. Hope you enjoy the wine, already chilled… the east coast weather is quite the bonus!
Thank you again for all your help.

Hard time choosing between Wharton and Harvard

SK

I just wanted to let you know that I have been accepted at Wharton. Many thanks for your help with my essays. I have also been accepted at Harvard and Kellogg. I am still waiting on hearing about the Lauder Institute at Wharton.

I am having a hard time choosing between Wharton and Harvard. I obviously like Harvard´s prestige and network in all corners

of the world but Wharton´s focus appears more global and the administration more amenable to student initiatives.
Any insights are welcome!!

Again – thanks for your help.

HBS, TUCK, WHARTON

Alright, Sandy.

Make it a hat trick. [HBS, TUCK, WHARTON] Wharton called today to extend their invitation.

Now I’m left with the decision. I’m leaning almost overwhelmingly toward HBS, but do you know anything that I don’t?

Thanks again for all your help.

Admitted to Darden

Hi Sanford,
I owe you a dinner! Last week I was admitted to Darden University!

Accepted to Columbia

Sanford,

I got accepted to Columbia this morning! It’s my first-chioce school and
it’s the first school to send me a reply, so I’m a happy camper right now.
Thanks again for all your help.

Why am I so happy today?

CUZ I GOT ACCEPTED TO BERKELEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

International applicant reapplied to Wharton this year and got in.

Sandy helped me polish my reapplication essay. I really appreciate his sharp, straight comments and quick response time. These are very important for international applicants who are unfamiliar with U.S. schools’ ways of evaluating candidates.

I’d like to recommend Sandy to others, especially international applicants.

I would have paid him much more than I did, and his services are well worth it

I will not post all of my stats, but I will say that I have the average stats at Harvard and a very traditional background. I used Sandy and feel that he brought out the more profound and meaningful lessons learned from my leadership examples. After it is all over, I can honestly say that Sandy made the difference and helped me get accepted to Harvard. 

I am another 100% satisfied customer of Sandy’s

Stats: 740 GMAT, 3.4 GPA in Engineering, 3 years IB, 3 years running my own business. In at Stanford, Harvard, Wharton.

Sandy is focused, blunt, and up front. I worked with him from September to November for first rounds apps. I’m the first to admit that Sandy is not the type to stroke your ego. After my “I’ll do anything to get into Stanford” speech, Sandy gave me a reality check. He told me to retake the GMAT (former score 680) which I did while we worked on the many drafts of my essay. It was not a pretty sight, pages of writing I thought were outstanding were deleted, topics reworked, everything was moved around. I wished I had started working with him earlier (it didn’t help that Stanford changed its essay topics this year). But I ended up with these essays that were amazing. And those essays got me into Stanford, Wharton, and Harvard.

I am a big fan of Sandy’s and highly recommend him to those who are willing to put forth the effort and time to work with Sandy… you need both sides to work well together in order for the magic to work. If anyone has any questions or wants to learn more about my work with Sandy, please feel free to email me at [email protected]

I worked with Sandy on my HBS application and he was great

I am a 32 year old engineer with an unusual backround. (GMAT 700/GPA3.6). He was able come up with a strategy to explain my age and fit my story into the strict format of the HBS essays.

Well,  Sandy, your prognostication skills are as good as your essay help

I just got the good word late last night–I’m in!!

I’m very excited, I feel very fortunate. I think Sloan is probably the best fit for me of the top programs. Thanks so much for your help during the app process. It made putting the app together much more fun, especially when I was away from home surrounded by non-English speakers!

I’ll keep an eye out for you in Cambridge!!! Thanks again!

Got in at Wharton!

Thank you, Sandy.

You called it right…
got in at Wharton! I’m psyched. I cant thank you
enough for everything..without your constant egging,
your comments that cut to the chase and your help it
would have been impossible.

thanks a ton, I really owe you one.
[THIS GUY KNOWS HOW TO SAY THANKS. ]

Got in HBS, MIT and Darden

Sandy,

I just found out a few days ago. Sorry I have not written yet. I had an interview and got in HBS!! I also got in MIT and Darden. Those are the only ones I heard from.

Thank you very much for all your help. I am really excited!!

II. the best things were

SK’s encouragement

I think SK’a honesty and direct comments were useful. I prefer that someone is harsh and honest than someone who makes me feel good. I appreciated his ideas greatly as well.

Best things SK did for my essays:

Good ideas, know what schools really ask for and guides you in positioning.

V. Based on my stats, my outcome at top choice school was

normal, but glad I used SK. My stats were on par with the average students, however, using SK gave me assurance, improvement in the content of my essays, and good insight to how to position myself.

1- If you need improvement in the content of your essays.
2-If you do not think you have great stories and need to talk about it in depth with someone
3- If you need assurance and one last approval to their application by someone who knows and understand the process very well.

What can I say Sandy, you are worth your weight in gold.

Hey Sandy —

Guess what!!! I just found out that I got into HBS. YAAY! Just wanted to let you know, have of course been e-mailing, calling, screaming into the phone all day to every and any family member, distant relation, poor relation, friend, enemy, you name it. Obviously, without your help and advice, I would have been screwed! Thank you!!!!
What can I say Sandy, you are worth your weight in gold.

If you ever need a testimonial from me (i’m sure you don’t, but I’ll offer), let me know.
You rule!

Choice of Stanford vs. Wharton

Hi Sandy,

Just wanted to share the good news that I got into Stanford! Got the call from Derrick Bolton yesterday afternoon in Hong Kong. I’m really excited about this and wanted to say a big thank you again for all your help with my application. Now I have the choice of Stanford vs. Wharton and will make a decision after I visit both schools. Any advice?

Thanks again!

Now I have this problem: go to Stanford or HBS?

Sandy:

I’m in!!!! It was really a great surprise!!!

Thank you so much again!!! It was really a wise investment – and you accuratelly predicted that I would be accepted!

Now I have this problem: go to Stanford or HBS? I know your opinion: HBS has strong brand/alumni/resources. However, Stanford has a strong appeal for me: more liberal, more selective, better environment,…But ultimately I think I’ll go to HBS, because I’ll learn more, get more contacts, and it is less risky…
So, hope to meet you one day in Boston!

Admitted to Sloan

Hi SK,
I am very grateful. Couldn’t
have done it without you. You are the amazing
consultant.. Thanks alot!

HBS or Wharton

SK,

In at HBS. Now, which to go, HBS or Wharton?

I am going  to HBS

You are the man! I got the $.55 special from HBS last night! Without  your encouragement I probably would not have even applied there. I have  also been accepted to Wharton which makes me 2 for 2 so far. I am going  to HBS. This process has been so long that I’m not sure what to do with  myself now that it is over – your support made a big difference. I will  definitely encourage friends interested in business schools to get in
touch with you.

Admitted to Wharton

Sandy:

I learned yesterday morning that I have been admitted to Wharton. Thanks a  lot for all your help. I would not have been able to get into Wharton without your suggestions and direction.

I got into Harvard!

Dear Sanford,
I got into Harvard! I can’t believe it. I got in! I got in! I got in!
I also used portions of the Harvard essays that you edited to put together my Wharton application and I got an interview.
I could not have done it without you. If it were not for your help, my attempt would’ve failed the same way it did in 1999. Contacting you was the best decision I’ve made during the application process.
Thank you so much. You changed my life

You the man

Sandy:
Just wanted to let you know that I got my acceptance from Wharton today. I definitely could not have done it without your help. You were the difference between my rejected application last year and my accepted one this year.
Thanks again.

Thanks a million

Hi Sandy
You probably make good bucks doing what you do, but I think you do it ’cause
you love it. And you’re damn good at it, too (coming from me, who doesn’t
lick anybody’s ass). Man, 10 psychologists (and me) wouldn’t have seen the
chip on my shoulder, but you’re spot on!

Excellent points re unfocused easy-chair ramble and (not)
building on past successes. Presumably these are the obvious interview
topics, assuming I get that far.

Couldn’t have done it without you, Sandy

Sandy,
I just heard from the last school about 10 mins ago.
Here’s the outcome:
Wharton Accepted
Tuck Accepted
Kellogg Accepted
Harvard Ding
I’m a little disappointed about Harvard, but overall very happy. I checked
the princeton review discussion boards and it looks like guys with a whole
lot more stuff than me were dinged at HBS so that made me feel better. Is
Harvard saving the second round for the white guys?

Sandy’s help was critical

..to my getting accepted at michigan. i don’t have great academics (3.4 state school) or gmat (650). what i did have was superb experience in consulting, from markets in europe, south america, far east, and south e. asia.

my problem was that, as an intl applicant, i did not know:

a) what the adcoms were looking for in the essays, b) how to maximize my chances of getting in by correlating my past to my future to make the mba a logical step, and c) most importantly – how to write the essays to really bring out my unique experiences (my ‘only’ strengths)

clearly, without sandy’s constructive bullets, i would NEVER have been accepted.

i applied to michigan, kellogg, and columbia. so far admit at michigan, wait list at columbia, and no word from wharton (ding most likely).

so , an eloge to sandy, he’s worth it, especially if you’re unsure about your potential in writing the right essays.

In at Wharton

Sandy,

I am in at Wharton, last year dinged by Columbia and NYU (of all
places), still waiting to hear from Columbia for 2000. I just wanted
to thank you for all of your help (although it does not come cheap)
and frankly, for anyone who wants to know, you are worth every penny.
Should anyone want to check this reference they can e-mail me at

Just got the news

i’m in at Harvard!!! THANKS, SANDY!
now i’m off to get drunk. =)

Looks like the HBS Guru strikes again

Sandy, 

I got in and know that it would’ve been much more of an uphill battle without our interview prep. All my Army training never taught me how to do a business interview. Thanks for providing such a valuable service and candid perspective on the whole process. 

I worked with Sandy on my HBS interview preparation

He helped me not only structure my elevator pitch, but also build my storyline. We did a mock interview for about 80 minutes.  After the mock interview, I felt surprisingly well prepared and got a good sense of direction on areas I needed to focus on. I love Sandys style of interaction  he was very direct, blunt and honest! I appreciated all of these qualities. I needed honest opinions and feedback. Finally, Sandy assigned me to gather additional research materials to strengthen my story.

I am so glad that I reached out to Sandy and highly recommend working with him prior having your HBS interview. I couldnt score my interview without Sandy!

Sandy is your man:

he helped me walk into the interview with confidence and very well prepared. He provided perspective on how the interview would go, the kind of questions asked, and what is being assessed. Sandy fired many questions at me, some of which I had prepared and some of which I hadn’t prepared, making it a proper mock interview. Sandy would then jump in and provide guidance and tips on how to improve so by the time I walked into the real interview I felt confident about what I had to say. If you want to get a taste of what the HBS interview will be like, I highly recommend doing a mock one with Sandy.

You’re the man!!!!!

I have been admitted to Stanford!! Needless to say that I’m beyond thrilled right now!!

This could not have happened without all your tough love and help. I’m really very grateful!!

You are amazing at what you do and you’ve found yourself a huge fan!! You have to let me buy you lunch/coffee when I am in Boston!

Please let me know if I can help in any way.

Thanks again

Sandy’s interview prep was super helpful in preparing for my HBS interview

Sandy is very patient and really guides you through the mock interview.  What I appreciated most about it was how straight forward his suggestions were.  He would ask me a question, I would give my answer and he would give very specific, actionable feedback on how to improve it and even recite a sample answer himself.  He had clearly reviewed my application in detail prior to the call and gave suggestions that were tailored to my story.  Thanks, Sandy!

Thanks,

Thank you so much Sandy. I am definitely sending all my friends your way

When I first heard that I got an interview from HBS, the first thing I did was email Sandy for interview prep. I figured I was so close that I wanted to do my best. At the start of the prep, Sandy made it clear to me what I had to do and not do during the interview. Throughout the 90 minutes we spent together, Sandy was nice and helpful. He was blunt at times, but it was always done in a kind and thoughtful tone. Whenever I did any of the “do not dos”, he corrected me and helped me understand, even suggesting better phrasing. He had read my entire file and he tailored his applications to the parts that he suspected the committee would ask. 

On the day of the interview, my interviewer focused on the sections that Sandy had identified. I was able to say some of the answers Sandy and I had come up with for some of the questions. I was still worried after the interview, but Sandy reassured me that I was over thinking my performance and that my story probably came across well to the adcom. I provided a list of questions I was asked to Sandy and that really helped me replay my interview, which helped me for my post-reflection. 

Couldn’t have done it without your help!

Your help on the mock interview was very useful. You were able to identify several pitfalls to watch out for, and the practice you provided was invaluable for preparing for the real thing. Couldn’t have done it without your help! Now I’ll be fortunate enough to attend HBS next fall.

I firmly believe your help was central to me getting my HBS acceptance last week!

Sandy,

Thanks once again for the mock interview session. After doing ~30 hours of prep solo you managed to deconstruct my overly verbose style within 15 minutes and gave me the confidence to express my answers in a much more specific and direct style. You correctly identified the weaknesses in my story and there was a large amount of overlap between the mock and the actual interviews. 

I recommend using the HBS Guru without hesitation! 

(2+2) I can’t imagine going into my HBS interview without Sandy’s preparation.  After a busy fall interviewing for jobs, I was confident that I knew exactly what I was doing when it came to HBS.  As it turned out, however, the interviewers were looking for something very different.  Were it not for my call with Sandy, I don’t think I would have done nearly as well.  In his direct and helpful manner, Sandy told me exactly what I was doing right and what I needed to fix.  I felt absolutely ready going into my interview, and I came out knowing that I nailed it.  Using Sandy was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made–and I got in! 

Without Sandy: Dinged by HBS and GSB

I wanted to thank you again for an amazing HBS mock interview prep.  I came in clueless as to what to expect in the interview, but you were able to based on my written application precisely break down the areas where the HBS interviewer would focus his/her time.   I took your advice, redid my homework and prepared more in those areas.  Needless to say, the questions you asked were spot on.  I didn’t feel flustered at all when the interviewer dug into details or asked follow up questions regarding my “flag” areas.

I’m confident enough to say that without the mock interview prep with you, I would not have gotten in.  I’m so glad I made the decision to run through a mock interview with you – it’s the best money I have ever spent.

I wanted to thank you again for an amazing HBS mock interview prep

I came in clueless as to what to expect in the interview, but you were able to based on my written application precisely break down the areas where the HBS interviewer would focus his/her time.   I took your advice, redid my homework and prepared more in those areas.  Needless to say, the questions you asked were spot on.  I didn’t feel flustered at all when the interviewer dug into details or asked follow up questions regarding my “flag” areas.

I’m confident enough to say that without the mock interview prep with you, I would not have gotten in.  I’m so glad I made the decision to run through a mock interview with you – it’s the best money I have ever spent.

Offer from HBS

By the grace of got I got an offer from HBS today. I couldn’t be more excited. Thank you so very much for your help. I would’ve looked pretty foolish in the interview had I not practiced with you.

I am beyond excited to be heading to HBS!

Sandy is amazing! I really believe his interview prep was instrumental to me getting into my dream school, HBS! I was a strong applicant on paper but would have crashed & burned in the interview w/o his help. During our mock interview, he freely told me when my answers were rambling, off-point, or just plain rubbish. He helped me clarify my storyand, most importantly, gave me confidence going into the interview. Thank you so much, Sandy! 

I highly recommend that you work with Sandy

I can say without a doubt that without the help of Sandy before the biggest interview of my life, I would not have been offered a spot at HBS. I did a mock interview with him before doing any prep and he ripped me a new one in the nicest way possible. He allowed me to realize that my approach was soooooo wrong (I was giving way too much context in all my responses) and that I had some serious research to do (I didnt know enough about my own industry, embarrassingly enough).  Rather than just criticize all that I was doing wrong though, Sandy helped me out tremendously by giving me genuine responses ­that were tailored to my background and interests­ that I could use in my real interview. I used what I learned from Sandy as a foundation for my interview prep and in my real interview with HBS and it obviously worked because I got accepted. If I hadn’t done a mock interview with him initially I wouldve prepped in all the wrong ways and said all the wrong things. If you dont want this to happen to you and you want to do well in your interview with HBS, I highly recommend that you work with Sandy. 

I have been admitted to HBS

Sandy,

The seemingly impossible has happened and I have been admitted to HBS. I have no doubt that I would have fallen short were it not for your interview preparation. The questions for which you helped me prepare and the feedback you provided were perfect practice for the real thing. After having ‘interviewed’ with you I was far more calm and confident during my actual interview than I otherwise would have been. Your preparation enabled the ‘real me’ to come through in the interview and now I get to realize my dream of studying at Harvard. I will always encourage anyone who is hoping to attend HBS to utilize your services because for me you made all the difference. Thanks again.

Sandy is not for the lazy! 

He showed me some tough love and pushed me to  dig deeper than I thought possible  After blood, sweat, and tears, I completed an application that Im truly proud of.  I got into the school of my dreams, and I couldnt have done it without Sandy.  Thank you for everything!!!

Hiring Sandy for my HBS interview prep was the best decision that I made

Testimonial:

Hiring Sandy for my HBS interview prep was the best decision that I made during my journey to becoming an HBS student. Sandy correctly predicted who would interview me and 90% of the questions I was asked. Without question had I not hired Sandy, I would have failed my interview. He provided candid feedback to each of my responses during our mock interview that enabled my success during the interview. More significantly, he helped me avoid common mistakes that military applicants make and helped me steer clear of potentially dangerous responses. Even after our consultation he was always quick to respond to my questions leading up to my actual interview.

I still cannot believe this, but I got in to HBS!

I want to let you know first, and I am truly thankful for the help you have provided me during this stressful and complicated process. THIS IS ALL BECAUSE OF YOU!

My experience with Sandy could not have been more rewarding: I will be heading to HBS in the fall!

For any applicants considering MBA Admissions consultant options, I strongly recommend Sandy for two reasons:  

(1) He knows what he’s talking about. In particular, Sandy’s mock interview preparation was spot on. In retrospect, he had me prepare ahead of time for a number of the questions that I was asked during the interview, which was incredibly valuable. 

(2) Sandy has an opinion (which is super refreshing!). Unlike other MBA consultants I spoke with and that my friends used, Sandy has a real viewpoint and isn’t afraid to provide real direction as you craft your application. This is why he is so effective as a consultant. 

Bottom line is that Sandy’s advice is well worth the time and money!

Sandy was an invaluable resource in the MBA application process

He took a resume that was all over the place (banking, startup, sports marketing) and helped bring structure to a story that got me into Wharton and Columbia.

Sandys unfettered feedback, no nonsense approach, and years of experience help demystify the process and vastly improved my essays and short answer questions. If youre looking for a consultant who will tell you what friends and family are afraid to, Sandy is your man. He correctly estimated my odds at all of the schools I was considering, level set  expectations, and was a big part of my success in Round 1. 

 I decided to work with Sandy for my Stanford app and used a one-time sanity check for my HBS app

The one consistent theme I read online about him is that he will kick your ass and does not sugarcoat his feedback. This is 100% true. My early drafts were bad and his comments were offensively direct. What I appreciated though, was that even when I sent in a bad draft, he was very specific about why certain paragraphs were ineffective. He never told me what to write, but after each draft I had a clearer picture of what my personal story was and what stories would best illustrate it. I went through eight drafts of the main “What matter most” essay before Sandy and I were both satisfied. I’m not sure that every consultant would have had the same patience and have maintained as high a standard (as opposed to saying after the third draft, “this is probably good enough, let’s just edit it a bit and submit”).

I got into HBS thanks to the help from Sandy throughout the entire application process! 

 Right at the beginning, Sandy knows the admission process inside out and knows which schools are looking for what kind of candidates. He can give you the best assessment on your school choices and application strategy.  

In terms of application execution, Sandy is very professional and sharp. He knows which part of your application to highlight and how to address the weakness in your application.  I like how he doesnt sugar-coat his message and his candid, direct approach, making the communication process very efficient. Sandy is also very efficient that he usually has a fast turn-around in 24-48 hours. 

When it comes to mock-interview, Sandy is truly the expert. He knows the usual pitfalls to avoid and he knows all type of potential questions based on candidates background. In addition, he has a huge database of past real interview questions from his previous clients, making your preparation process much easier. 

I recommend anyone who is serious considering using a consultant to go with Sandy, you cant go wrong with that!

Sandy was a true game changer in my HBS application

While I believe I had a good GPA, GMAT and work experiences, he helped me build a narrative. He seemed to know exactly what HBS wanted and what type of applicants they accept. His method is extremely blunt which is great; this helps you understand what the admission officer would be thinking when he/she reads your essay. His mock interview was brilliant as well and after doing it, the actual one was a breeze. He kept pressing me on certain points that were weak in my application. Essentially I feel what he does is helps you create a great story and then weed out any unnecessary fluff. 

But if you are applying to the best business schools in the world, you should have the ability to work with anyone, especially someone with Sandys insights. If you are thinking of spending $2000+ on a consultant, spend it on Sandy without a doubt.

Sandy is worth the investment!

Please feel free to add this to the pile of emails that sing your praises. You know how great you are, but to all the people reading these testimonials wondering if Sandy is worth the investment, I add my vote with a resounding yes. HBS has been a life long dream and I just found out it will become a reality. 

What exactly did Sandy help me do? Pick out the golden nuggets of my story. As the person who had ‘lived’ all the stories, it was hard to select which anecdotes came across the most powerful or impressive to the adcom. 

Similarly, once you have the prose on paper you are not the best person to cut the useless words just as a parent isnt the person to cut off a child’s superfluous limb. You need an outsider to come in, cut unnecessary parts and point out areas where you need to elaborate in order to hit home certain points the adcom wants to read. Sandy knows what the adcom is looking for. You only think you do. 

With Sandy: Accepted to HBS, GSB and MIT!!! 

Thats what you get from working with the best consultant! He will not magically get you admitted to those schools; instead he will offer you an honest appraisal and his unparalleled experience to help you exploit your true strengths and passions.   

He is an extremely honest and the most blatant guy Ive ever worked with even to the point that sometimes his satirical comments makes you want to punch him in the face; but that was his job! You hired him to help you get into your dream schools, not to hear any consolation words. Joking aside, he is a true professional and genuinely cares about your success, a thing that I respect so much about the guy. Regardless of his method, Im 1000% sure his way is effective and working. When you read all his comments again, you will realize deep down that all he said were true. If you man up and accept those brutal facts like I did, youll end up like me!

I highly recommend Sandy for anyone who is serious about an MBA from a top business school

The thing that stood out when I first visited HBSGuru.com was the following tag line : 

“Prices!!! Super Expensive. How come? See the testimonial page:

–Paying to apply: $250

–Paying Sandy to help:a lot!

–Telling your mother you got into HBS: priceless.” 

 I just received the offer for admission from HBS – and I can vouch for the above. It is truly special to tell your folks that you got into HBS. I am excited and humbled to get this opportunity and I could not have done it without Sandy.

Sandy is very insightful about the admissions process at the top B schools – especially HBS. In fact, when I first talked to him he accurately predicted my likelihood of getting into HBS vs Stanford (I applied to both). Sandy guided me through a winning strategy for my application – focusing on my strengths from the perspective of the AdCom and cutting through the crap. This involved some tough conversations and brutally honest feedback which in retrospect was exactly what I needed. Besides the essay, he also gave me much needed advice on my resume, application materials, handling recommendations and even interview prep.

I highly recommend Sandy for anyone who is serious about an MBA from a top business school. His advice and expertise is well worth the investment.

I worked with Sandy on my HBS application and I am heading to HBS next fall,

… and am certain that Sandy’s advice is what steered my application in all the right directions.

Our initial conversation was spent going over my background/story; Sandy pinpointed common themes and suggested the general outline for what I could write about in my essay. Since my initial thoughts on what to write about matched Sandy’s assessment, I was comfortable going ahead with that. We went back and forth on about 6-7 drafts of the essay over the next few weeks. I will say this – if you can’t handle brutal, honest criticism, you will find it hard to take in Sandy’s feedback. I used to dread opening up his responses and seeing the all-caps, red font ripping apart my work. It’s worth it though – he is dedicated to helping you write the clearest and most effective essay you can, without micromanaging it to the point where you lose your own voice. He is also not afraid to metaphorically smack you around the head if you need it, which is tough to take but necessary during this process. My essay was vastly improved by the time we were done, which was important given the minimal amount of real estate HBS offered to applicants this year. Sandy also helped me polish up my resume, and worked with me on how to prep my recommenders to produce the most effective letters. 

Once I got the interview invite, Sandy sent through a ton of past questions to help me prepare. Our mock interview was helpful in showing me how to think about my responses; he’d encourage me to ‘just answer the question – give me your HONEST answer to this question’ and avoid saying what I thought the interviewer wanted to hear. My real interview covered about 60% of what Sandy’s had covered, and I was prepared for the majority of it because of his other sample questions. 

Sandy has a wealth of knowledge about this process, especially where HBS is concerned.  He was very willing to send me additional info when needed (but also has no patience with you when he feels like he is babysitting your efforts), and sent me a lot of practice questions for another school’s interview, free of charge. I think his real value is in how much he truly seems to know what these schools are looking for; if you are willing to take on his feedback style, the end results are likely to be completely worth it.

Sandy is the BEST – In the end I got into S&H

Sandy is the BEST. Look no further for someone to work with. I did all of my research beforehand on the many sources available but ultimately chose Sandy and he was everything I could have hoped for (seriously). 

Sandy is a no bullshit type of guy. I would cringe every time I had to read his comments because he ripped apart everything I wrote or said. He likes to write in giant CAPS LOCKS, so comments might seem extra harsh, but it works. He gets straight to the point and provides unbeatable advice. Sandy was always quick to respond. I never had to wait more than 24 hours. When he is away, he gives you full notice beforehand.

It was great that Sandy was available throughout the process from start to finish. We spoke only once over the phone and that was in the very beginning. In one hour he asked all the questions that he needed and understood my story perfectly. From then on we communicated via email and it worked well. At first, you might be skeptical that the hour on the phone is all you need but it really is. He gets you and your story and has the process nailed down. 

Beyond the essays, Sandy is very thorough. His mock interview is super helpful. He will go through a list of questions and rip apart your answers. You can also email him with follow-ups on various questions and responses that you are struggling with. Lastly, he will even look over the short answers in your app. You can ask him any question you want; but be warned, if it is a dumb question, he will let you know its dumb. 

The best part about working with Sandy is his honesty. He gets to the point and doesnt sugarcoat anything. Your responses will get ripped apart over and over, but thats the process and it works. Dont doubt Sandy.  

In the end I got into S&H. I cant thank Sandy enough! 

Thanks for the great help with my HBS app. I’m thrilled. 

The essay advice and editing was pivotal for the incredibly open-ended prompt. I used another one of the large consulting firms for Stanford, and fled to Sandy for my HBS app. You can see the difference — rejected from Stanford and HBS-admitted. You steered me away from dumb ideas and helped me find the right stories. Priceless. It took less of my time (and yours) to write a better essay than working with the big firm. Your blunt and rapid feedback was the best.

The mock interview was an eye-opener. I had prepared very canned responses to the question list and you immediately dinged me for being inauthentic. Your ding prevented me from being dinged during the real thing. 

If I had to say Sandy’s #1 value add it would be understanding the kind of stories HBS wants to hear, but his interview prep is a close second. 

I am incredibly thankful for all of Sandy’s help

I have had the pleasure of working with Sandy on my HBS application. Two things immediately stood out for me. 1) He’s very direct and clear about what works and what doesn’t. 2) His turnaround time is very quick. These two factors allowed for me to complete my application in only a few weeks, and I felt comfortable that my application was the best that it possibly could be. He helped me brainstorm my essay topics and helped to keep me calm throughout the entire process.  I don’t believe that I would have been able to complete my applications as efficiently or well without his help. I have been accepted to attend HBS next fall.

You have changed my life and Im very grateful to you

I GOT HARVARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This is soo surreal!!! I almost cried when reading that letter!!

TTHAANKKK YOU SO MUCHH!!! I really dont know how to thank you enough for this. You have changed my life and Im very grateful to you.

On a side note,  thanks for your suggestions. Harvard I think is the biggest brand there is and although my heart says Stanford, probably Harvard is the best option.

Thanks so much, Ill contact you when Im in Boston next year!! For sure!!!!!!!!!!

With Sandys help, I felt confident that I had submitted the strongest application possible

For anyone hoping to get into HBS, Sandys your guy! Hes honest and straightforward  the perfect partner for any applicant looking to get through the grueling admissions process as efficiently as possible. Sandys also extremely experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to helping kids get into HBS (i.e. picking the best essay topics and honing interview responses). With Sandys help, I felt confident that I had submitted the strongest application possible. The result speaks louder than any recommendation I can give SandyIm in! I look forward to attending HBS this fall and cant thank Sandy enough for his help in making this possible.

Sandy absolutely knows HBS

I worked with Sandy for my application to HBS and if there’s only one thing that I’d say for him, that is he absolutely knows HBS, to the point that I thought maybe he was kind of an insider. Joking aside, I believe I made the right decision with going with him for my application, considering HBS was the only school that I applied to and forunately, got in. 

What separates Sandy aside are 2 things. Firsy, his ability to put together a real solid story from who you are starting from the first conversation you have with him. He knows what parts of your story would make you more competitive and helps you stand them out and really polish them. Second, and more importantly, is his interview advice. After having completed an interview session with him,  I really felt my real interview was like a repeat interview, especially considering that he guessed 80%+ of the questions that would be asked to me.

One caveat. He is harsh if he thinks that you’re not doing a good job and putting your 100% in. This can make you feel bad at times, while pushing you to do better. If you’re not used to being told “Cut the crap” or things like that, think once again 🙂 Overall can’t recommend Sandy enough. If you want HBS, he is the one to go to.

I was accepted at HBS this afternoon

 I was accepted at HBS this afternoon. My experience with Sandy echoes all those posted below, he is demanding, responsive, and direct but if you can handle it, the ends certainly justify the means.

For the benefit of future prospective students/clients, I found Sandys tutelage most beneficial in the following ways:

  1. Sounding board.  Before you spend countless hours writing an essay, run the topic by him.  He will help you shape your story into a concise and relevant narrative.  Most importantly, he will save you from writing about a confusing or irrelevant topic that can severely damage your application.  Especially if you are applying to multiple schools, the importance of writing effective essays without dozens of iterations cannot be understated.
  2. Details.  He knows where to push.  He will tell you what to focus on and what to ignore.  Remember, in most essays, you have significantly less words than you will feel you need to present a comprehensive and impressive story.  Having someone identify which details should be further developed (and which to leave out completely) will drastically improve your essays.
  3. Interview prep.  From professional experience, I am sure most candidates feel like they have previously mastered the skills necessary to be successful in an MBA interview.  I include myself in this camp.  Sandy helped me refine my story and answer questions directly to eliminate the likelihood I would talk too much and get lost.  MBA interviews are often very different from job interviews.  Sandy gets this and will help you prepare effectively.

I WILL AND HAVE RECOMMENDED THIS SERVICE TO OTHERS BECAUSE HE IS THE BEST CONSULTANT TO HELP YOU IN YOUR MBA ESSAYS

THE SERVICE WAS A LITTLE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE OTHER CONSULTANTS I HAD RESEARCHED BUT IT WAS DEFINITELY WORTH THE XTRA MONEY. SK HAS A TRACK RECORD OF GETTING APPLICANTS INTO H/S/W THAT OTHER CONSULTANTS DON’T HAVE. HENCE, ITS A BIT MORE EXPENSIVE BUT YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
DEFINITELY ABUSIVE. BUT ITS AN EXCELLENT WAY TO GET THE JOB DONE. I DIDNT WANT A YES MAN, I WANTED SOMEONE WHO WOULD BE CANDID ABOUT MY ESSAYS AND WEAKNESSES AND SK WAS BLUNT IN TELLING THEM. BY DOING SO, HE MADE SURE I IMPROVED MY ESSAYS. YOU HAVE TO BE THICK SKINNED TO WORK WITH SK BUT HE’S LIKE A COACH, THINKING ABOUT YOUR BEST INTEREST.

SERVICE WAS FAST. TURNAROUND TIME WAS USUALLY A DAY, NEVER MORE THAN TWO DAYS.
THE BEST PART WAS SK’S FEEDBACK ON THE ESSAYS AND HOW I SHOULD SPIN THEM. HE TOOK OUT IRRELEVANT DETAILS AND TOLD ME WHAT I SHOULD FOCUS ON.

I WILL AND HAVE RECOMMENDED THIS SERVICE TO OTHERS BECAUSE HE IS THE BEST CONSULTANT TO HELP YOU IN YOUR MBA ESSAYS. HE IS CANDID ABOUT YOUR CHANCES, HE HELPS YOU SPIN YOUR ESSAYS AND BECAUSE OF HIS TRACK RECORD, HE KNOWS WHAT IT TAKES TO GET IN.

ADVISED ME TO PROVIDE MORE DETAIL. VETOED DUMB IDEAS. GAVE ME POSITIONING. TARGETED ESSAYS FOR DIFFERENT SCHOOLS. BROUGHT OUT MY STRONG POINTS.

GETTING INTO STANFORD WAS A REAL WIN FOR ME.DON’T GET DISCOURAGED IF HE’S VERBALLY ABUSIVE. THAT’S HIS STYLE AND IT WORKS.

I looked at half a dozen consultants and chose Sandy

I am a talented, highly accomplished professional with a unique story and astronomical test scores. Knowing that performing at the top of my abilities required professional advice, I looked at half a dozen consultants and chose Sandy. The fact that he was the most expensive was a major consideration-in an efficient market, you get what you pay for.

Sandy demonstrated to me that he is as knowledgeable about business and politics as I am (which is, very knowledgeable).

Sandy forced me to analyze the motivation behind my most significant choices of the last ten years.
Sandy picked every piece of BS in my essays- those that I put there knowingly, and those that sneaked there from my subconscious.

Sandy rained on me, day after day, a barrage of shrill questions and obnoxious comments.

Sandy annoyed the hell out of me with repeated demands for more and more rewrites, which ignored the pressures of my day job.

Sandy kept me on track when those pressures almost got the better of me three days before the application deadline.

Could I get without Sandy into a top 5 school? Absolutely.

Could I get without Sandy into the best school in the world? Maybe. But I didn’t get to where I am now by taking unnecessary chances.

I don’t care how good you are – you owe it to yourself to hire the best consultant there is.

In at Wharton and Kellogg

Sandy –Wanted to say my heartfelt thanks for helping me get into Wharton. Looking back, I feel lucky I went to the right guy to seek help on my essays. You are THE best – I know that I may not have been in Wharton today
if I had submitted the essays that I had written on my own.

I guess I can not thank you enuf for making such a huge difference – Really, really appreciate all
your help.
=============================
i got into kellogg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i think its my first choice,
though i’ll wait for stanford. i am deliriously happy already!
THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP WITH THE APPLICATIONS.

IV. Best things SK did for my essays:

a – vetoed bad essays
b – improved positioning for good essays
c – overall structure help, especially for long essays.
d – taught me how to transform 150 words of BS into a sharp, focused 15 word
sentence.
Based on my stats, my outcome at top choice school was
WHO KNOWS, I HAVE GOOD STATS BUT GETTING INTO HBS IS ALWAYS A MIRACLE!

As to H/W/S I would rec. SK for the following reasons to the following people:
POSITIONING IN THOSE SCHOOLS IS REALLY TOUGH IN MY OPINION. IE WHAT DO THEY WANT
BESIDES THE OBVIOUS (SMART, LEADERSHIP/MGMT EXPERIENCE). THIS IS PARTICULARLY  TRUE FOR HARVARD AND STANFORD, WHARTON SEEMS TO BE A LITTLE EASIER TO FIGURE  OUT. I ALSO FEEL THAT PEOPLE WITH ENGINEERING / SCIENCE BACKGROUNDS HAVE MORE DIFFICULTY WITH WRITING THESE KIND OF ESSAYS AND MAY NEED MORE HELP (LIKE  MYSELF).

7. If you use SK, be sure to
1,BUG HIM FOR ANSWERS
2,EXPECT TO BE INSULTED FREQUENTLY
3,DO NOT BE AFRAID TO QUESTION SOMETHING SILLY – BUT EXPECT TO GET SHOUTED AT  FOR ASKING IT! (EVEN SO, THESE KIND OF EXCHANGES USUALLY BRING THE MOST  IMPROVEMENT TO YOUR EVENTUAL ESSAYS

BEFORE: Stop having second thoughts. Essay two was part. good, and actually added value to the app, instead of just touching the bases.

Both are baggy, loosely structured and a bit lazy, but they read behind  them to get to the core story, which is very good.

Once we get there, however, this is absolutely an accomplishment driven politically correct, service oriented, Stanford essay– your point on the  phone yesterday that essay A was thought driven is just not true, what  gives it backbone and force is the organizations you joined, works you  organized, etc. Not any great thoughts you had about those activities, which were, ahem, mildly generic. Did not hurt that your great grand  parents ran with Gahndi [before setting up business empire] as well.  anyway, you are cert. in the running, and let me know how the interview works out.
AFTER: Sandy,
I AM IN!!!
I’m thrilled after the dings from H/W and even K!
thanks for your help
cheers

Thanks again for your help

Sandy-

I will be in Palo Alto this weekend for the Admitted Students shindig. I wonder how many of those you had a hand in… FYI: My acceptance letter had a handwritten note saying that my essays were excellent. 

I have to tell you this good news

How are you doing, Sir?

I got in at both HBS and Stanford, and  will head for HBS in this summer. I just can’t do this without you, and I  am so happy I made a good decision and found the coolest professional to  help me. I still remember when I first called you to say I only wanna apply  to H and S, you told me I was crazy — and yes now I am crazily happy to  have a choice between H and S, and I’m SO GRATEFUL that I met you and had  your help.

You are just the greatest, Sandy. Now what I worry about is not whether I can get in at H or S anymore, but which laptop I should buy and  how I can get a nice dorm at HBS….
Will keep in touch with you, and see you in Cambridge.With a zillion thanks

If you are interviewing with HBS, you should definitely consider getting Sandy to coach you.

Here are the reasons.

1. He knows the questions asked in the past few years – he will share those with you so you can prepare better by yourself.
2. He knows the ‘model’ answers, and how to best present them – he will share those answers and coach you to present them well
3. After the interview, he will give you a candid assessment of how he thinks it went – his feedback will be useful for the next time (although hopefully you get in and do not need to reapply)

I felt that I received the best interview preparation from Sandy, and I highly recommend him.

HBS class of 2012″

Mark one up for the mysterious black box of HBS admissions – I got in!

Sandy,

Thank you for your help with interview prep. Your feedback and prep strategies were incredible and it was great chatting with you as well.

Your forum and blog helped me through 8 long dark months of waitlist and re-app process. Please keep up the amazing work. Best of luck to you!

Sandy was key in my acceptance to HBS!

After I was invited for an Interview I decided to use Sandy’s interview prep. Overall it was great in helping me prepare. It helped me focus on the right things and helped me figure out the best way to express the message I was trying to convey. 

Sandy, thanks for helping me get into HBS and Wharton!

Sandy was an invaluable resource during MBA interview prep. My first mock interview for HBS was with him, and later I had a bunch of mock interviews with some other MBA prep companies and friends – and Sandy’s was way more hard-hitting and dug into my application and really asked a bunch of tough questions. The feedback I received from Sandy was also very detailed. If you appreciate blunt, honest and straightforward advice, then you’ll work well with him. 

I decided $300 was a small price to pay for fresh eyes and a fresh grilling – and I’m glad I did

Sandy,

With tonnes of help from three of my best friends who are at HBS already, I felt that I had received all the prep I needed in order to ace my application and interview. But to be on the “safe side”, I decided $300 was a small price to pay for fresh eyes and a fresh grilling – and I’m glad I did. You helped me frame my answers in ways that impressed even me! And your help and mock questions made me super relaxed during my interview – I didn’t get a single question I was not prepared for!

Still buzzing from the high of receiving my offer – will have to buy you that beer in October!

Sandy’s guidance in my preparation for the HBS interview was simply amazing – I mean it fully

Sandy gave me some really useful pieces of advice which enabled me to present a very distinct picture of myself in the 30 minute interview. The other thing that I liked about Sandy was his continuous support even after we finished the mock interview session. I think that without Sandy’s support, I would not have been able to make it through the interview. Thanks a ton, Sandy! To all the future HBS aspirants – “If you really want to get a mock interview session, start with Sandy’s.

Got into HBS thanks to Sandy’s interview prep

I felt like I was going to my HBS interview unprepared and disinterested. Sandy straightened me up and got me to focus. He also gave me detailed and honest feedback which I used to better convey what I wanted to get across in my interview. I walked in confident and composed, breezed through the interview, and got into HBS thanks to Sandy’s interview prep.

$300 and 90 minutes of interview prep with Sandy made the difference…

between an acceptance letter and a ding at HBS. Prospective applicants will not find a consultant with more insight into the admissions process, nor one with the interview coaching skills that Sandy commands. (I commented during my session that he should be a press secretary; turns out he was the Director of Communications at Sloan.) Admissions interviews only vaguely resemble typical job interviews, and Sandy prepped me for questions that I received but would have never considered pertinent. Prior to my session with Sandy, I had read stacks of MBA admissions books and read interview guides. Good enough? Hardly. Don’t try to skimp or take chances on some Johnny-come-lately imitator.

I’m the gal from [ASIA] who rambled a lot during our mock interview ;-p

I wanted to share this great news with you. As you might have already assumed from the title, yes, I got in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was two in the morning here . . .and I was up till then, waiting for the result nervously. And…you can imagine my joy and excitement to get the admission note!

Thank you so much for your support during the interview preparation. You did help me a lot and gave me a lot of great tips even after we finished our mock interview. Now I can really meet you in Boston ‘-p

Sandy pretty much tore me a new ***hole during the first ten minutes of our mock interview

And not just on the content, but on the delivery. Initially, I’d ramble with my answers. But Sandy doesn’t mess around. “Skip anything extraneous to the answer. Just answer the fucking question,” he told me bluntly. Each interview question with Sandy is followed up with how he might answer the question in my shoes. Of course, he helped me with the wording of my responses, but more importantly, helped generate realistic answers using my background and my application. This was invaluable, as he often came up with more impressive ways to say essentially the same stuff. When it came time for the HBS interview, I had practiced what Sandy had taught me, and the answers flowed out smoothly. It worked — I’m off to HBS.

Sandy was great help in prepping me for my interview at HBS

I decided to use Sandy’s services after a ding (w/ interview) from Sloan … and knew that I didn’t want to make the same mistakes. Sandy and I discussed what I did wrong in my Sloan interview, and then he coached me through common questions in the HBS interview.

It was a fairly interactive process. After I answered each question, he gave his reaction on what was working and what wasn’t. He was professional, but didn’t pull any punches … and it was exactly that kind of critical feedback that I needed! By the end of the session, I felt I had learned some concrete tips for how to crystallize my story, and I knew what I needed to think about / work on as my interview approached.

Additionally, Sandy sent me an extensive list of commonly asked questions in HBS interviews. This was EXTREMELY helpful in my prep. When my actual interview happened, there were no curveballs, as I felt prepared to answer each question that my interviewer asked.

In the end … success!! I was admitted to HBS, and I’m SO excited to start next year. Thanks, Sandy!

Sandy was just an unbelievable resource for me in my preparation for the interview

In one 90 minute conversation, Sandy helped me figure out my pitch, told me exactly what mistakes I would be prone to making, and got me very comfortable with the universe of questions that I would be facing. It was terrific preparation for the interview, but the session has changed how I approach interviews in general. Sandy’s candid insights about how I come across have helped me develop my sense of self-awareness, and genuinely were a great contributor to being accepted to Harvard Business School.

I am another 100% satisfied customer of Sandy’s. In at Stanford, Harvard, Wharton

Sandy is focused, blunt, and up front. I worked with him for first rounds apps. After my “I’ll do anything to get into Stanford” speech . . . we worked on the many drafts of my essay. It was not a pretty sight, pages of writing I thought were outstanding were deleted, topics reworked, everything was moved around. I ended up with these essays that were amazing. And those essays got me into Stanford, Wharton, and Harvard.

I hired Sandy to help me with my Wharton application

He kicked my butt and told me my essays stank long after others said they were great – but that’s because he has a high standard and KNOWS WHAT THE SCHOOLS WANT TO HEAR. We went through tons of iterations on my essays and it paid off. IMHO, he’s the best for HSW and I don’t think I could have gotten in without his brutally honest feedback. I would definitely recommend him to other candidates looking for the best.

I’m off to Philly

To: <[email protected]>

Sandy,
Looks like I got my official admit today! I’m off to Philly in April. Thank you!!

Admitted to Wharton!!!

Comparing my last-year and this year essays, I realize that work with Sandy made a huge difference. He helps you along the way starting with choosing schools ending with every tiny essay detail. Still, despite the amount of time and effort Sandy put in my essays, they were 100 % ‘me.’

I really enjoyed Sandy’s prompt, straightforward, and dead-on-point responses. Dry humor did not hurt, too. He does not sugarcoat his points, and this was always the kick in the pants I needed to achieve better results.

I would highly recommend Sandy as a true professional with a great deal of knowledge and talent.

Subject: Wharton Decision

Sandy – I got in!! I can’t thank you enough for all of your help. Your
assistance and advice were the key to getting me over that challenging hump.. Thanks again!

In at Wharton

Subject: Wharton – GOOD AND DONE 🙂

Sandy,

In at Wharton!!! Thanks, man. I could not have done it without you. Will keep you posted on the others.

– Vlad

You da man

To: <[email protected]>

I got into wharton. 

I am ecstatic to say the  least!

Sandy,

I just got the word about HBS. I am ecstatic to say the  least! Thanks for all of your help. I know I would  not be in the same position I am right now without  your guidance along the admissions process. They said that I would have to complete a two  week on-campus analytics program. Do you know
anything about that? Thanks again.

You were worth every penny – I went to the right guy

Hey Sandy,

I got into MIT/Sloan!!! Thanks so much for your help! The formula you gave me was perfect and exactly what they wanted – mapping out my career path, outlining my goals, and overall, packaging myself into a promising candidate. I certainly didn’t fit their mold as an ideal candidate but you helped me market myself well enough to get my foot in the door for an interview.

I had plenty of semi-good stories but wasn’t sure what worked. You helped me strip out everything extraneous, keep the good, real stuff, and expand on that. More importantly, you helped me separate myself from the pack and sound interesting and unique.

You gave me feedback instantly and were real and honest with your responses. One thing I needed was tough, critical editing and you provided just that.

Overall, I’d say you were worth every penny. I went to the right guy.
Thanks so much

I’M GOING TO STANFORD!

I should have told you last week when I received the call, but I’M GOING TO STANFORD!!!! Thank you for your help along the way. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that Essay A is the determining factor once you are “qualified” and
you helped me hash out what really matters most to me.

Thanks again Sanford!

Accepted to Wharton

Hi Sandy,

Just to give you an update. I just got accepted to Wharton this morning. No news on the others yet. Thanks very much again for your help on essays and interviews.

Got into Stanford

Sandy,

I wanted to write and let you know that I got into stanford business school, and will be attending the school next year. Thanks so much for all of your help. As painful as essay A was to write, I’m glad I spent the time on it, and appreciate how hard you pushed me to make it better. Thanks again!

You helped me put it all together so elegantly

Hi Sandy,

Thank you so much! this was really your doing. Thanks  to you my application was clear and convincing, and it  looked NOTHING like the first draft I sent you.

Wharton took me in R-1 as an international with NO  business experience. You made all the parts in my  applications that I viewed as weaknesses appear as strengths, and you helped me put it all together so elegantly. It was a hard long process- but it payed  off!! Wharton — here I come!

Keep up the great work

Subject: Re: GOT IN
To: [email protected]

Sandy, Hi!

I got in at Wharton. I am thrilled beyond imagination. This is amazing and your
help made it possible. I also learnt a lot about myself in the process. Thank
you! and keep up the great work.

I would not have made it this far without you

To: Sanford Kreisberg <[email protected]>
Subject: Wharton

Dear Sandy,
I was accepted to Wharton today! I am so thrilled!

I want to thank you again for your help. I would not have made it this far
without you. I truly appreciate it.

In at Stanford

Sandy-

I just got the acceptance from Stanford! Thank you so much for your help.Your service was instrumental, as I know how much the essays weigh on thedecision at this school. I will be sure to recommend you to anyoneconsidering the process, and I’ll let you know what happens at the other places.

Thanks,

THANK YOU

Sandy,

Heard from HBS last Friday. Got in!! The Director of Admission actually called me up directly at work to give me the news. It has been a long and painful wait but very well worth it! Just want to say THANK YOU for your help along the way. Your suggestions on essays were very thoughtful and extremely helpful.

The interview also went really well. The interviewer was really interested to know what my leadership and management values/styles are, and we had a very good conversation on the topic.

So, will be heading your way in the fall!
Thanks again!!

I’m off to Stanford in September

Dear Sandy,

Wanted to let you know I got the call from DB, and I’m off to Stanford in September. (YAAAAAY!!!!!) Thank you very much for your frank criticism of my essays and interview responses.

I had been a little bitter b/c client committments kept me from attending BCG’s internal essay and interview clinic, but looking at the relatively small number of BCGers on the GSB bulletin board, clearly I got the better route!

If you ever find yourself in SF and thirsty, I hope you’ll let me buy you a beer.

You’ve been crucial every step of the way

Hi Sandy,

I just found out I got into HBS. So now I’ll decide between HBS and Wharton / Lauder. I’m leaning towards HBS.
Thank you SO much for all your help! You have been amazingly helpful.

I also recommended you to a number of friends who will probably be contacting you in the next one or two years– xx (a McK friend) and my brother —– (who currently works at —— but is a much better B-school candidate than me).

You’ve been crucial every step of the way. Thank you!

Admitted to MIT Sloan

Dear Sanford,

I have been admitted to MIT Sloan and would like to express my deepest gratitude to you for your assistance and guidance during the MBA application. Your frankness and honesty were of invaluable help and the effort certainly paid off.

Sincerely,

Admitted by MIT

Sandy-

Thank you so much! Today, I am the happiest man in the world! 🙂 I am admitted by MIT!!!!!!!!

Thanks again for your help!

I got into HBS

[before] I pulled the trigger at about noon today on the application and I think that it actually turned out really well. I justed wanted to say thanks for all of the help. Your contributions made a world of difference to my essays and I think they put together a good story.
=====
[after] I wanted to let you know that I got into HBS. Thanks so much for the help with my essays. I’m sure they made the difference from last year. Thanks again,

Subject: Re: My Wharton Interview

Sandy: Thanks so much for helping me get into Wharton. When I first started the essay process, I had no idea what I was doing. Although your comments were harsh sometimes, they were right to the point. I couldn’t have done it without you!!!

Money well spent

To: Sanford Kreisberg <[email protected]>
Subject: Money well spent

Sandy,

I just received notification that I was accepted to the Wharton program! I don’t think there is a clearer example of your expertise making the difference. I was dinged across the board by top-5 schools last year and was admitted this year.

Thank goodness, now I can spend the holidays trying to score with a few more hot California women instead of scrambling to come up with reasons why I *really* want to go to some ridiculous school like Purdue.

Best regards, 

Admitted to Columbia

Sandy,

I’ve been admitted to Columbia for Fall 2004! I just wanted to let you know that I’m pretty sure I would have been dinged if I hadn’t gone to you. Of all the decisions I’ve made regarding business school, going to you was clearly one of the best. Thanks so much for helping make this year long project a huge success. Not that you need the business, but I will definitely be telling all my friends about your services.

Thanks again,

Now I really want to buy you a beer

Sandy:

They took me sight unseen. [this was a while ago, when HBS did not interview everyone]. I guess those essays were SO brilliant that they felt they knew me intimately.  (By the way, I took the GMATs in ’96, so I think I was before this centering crap.)

I will keep you posted, and thanks again. I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened if I’d used my first draft of essays.

Now I really want to buy you a beer. Keep me posted as your schedule opens up.

I am one of the lucky ones

Hi Sandy,

I guess I am one of the lucky ones to successfully get off the wait list at HBS!!! I just waited, no strategy, letters, big foot interventions, etc.

Thanks for all of your excellent, no nonsense comments ….Thanks again,

Sandy was the perfect business school coach

Sandy was the perfect business school coach. He helped me think about which schools would be most open to my background and how to shape my essays so they painted a complete picture. He steered me in the right direction  early, which saved me a lot of time and rewriting. Sandy was clear and direct in his comments, and as always, right on target. The odds were definitely against me, but with Sandy’s help I got into HBS as a reapplicant! I also got into Wharton. I couldn’t have done it without his help. It was definitely the best money I ever spent! I would recommend it to anyone.”

Sandy, I’ll be in touch in the fall. Thank you for all your help!

Take care,

Got into Stanford

Hi Sandy — I’d like to let you know that I got into Stanford. Thanks a lot for all your help. I really appreciate it! — P.S. Here’s a list of questions asked during my interview:

[better late than never!!!]

– Why MBA, why Stanford, career goals
– Leadership experience (professional and personal)
– What makes a strong leader
– Strengths and weaknesses

He didn’t ask a lot of questions, but we “chatted” for almost an hour. It was pretty casual… he was very nice and informative.

Your help was really invaluable

Sandy,

I wanted to drop you a quick note to say thanks for your help this fall with my Stanford essays.

It was a long and painful process but one that eventually paid off. I think X [guy at left, her BF] told you I got into Stanford and Harvard. I am really excited. I’m going to visit both schools for Admit Weekend in the next month.

Also, wanted to send you a copy of both my Stanford essays. Your help was really invaluable and I think you’ll see a lot of it reflected in both essays. Unbelievable that I would think this (given I started writing in July), but I wish I had had more time to work on them.

In at HBS

Sandy,
…got some good news from HBS yesterday.

Very excited, and the Lord conveniently made my dilemma about where to attend a little easier when Stanford informed me that they did not require any additional redheads.

So…thanks again for your help. We’ll be up Feb 20-21 for admit weekend and would love to grab dinner or drinks

Money well spent with a good ROI

Sandy,

Dinged at HBS — nope. Just got in. Yeah!!!! Thanks for you help — feel the money well spent with a good ROI. Would recommend or serve as a reference, especially your ability to focus essays and help with overall content refinement. Kind regards, will send more info in a bit.

Thanks again for your help!

Yeah, HBS was first choice (indeed, I’m a brand junkie!!). But ultimately, it’s really a blessing, because after the campus visits, I just felt more comfortable with the Stanford atmosphere, students, etc. This just feels awesome, and thanks again for your help! Keep in touch.Best,

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.

Sandy is the gold standard

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].

Phenomenal coach

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.

Here is how I used Sandy

Wharton: 3 hrs on 1 reapp essay (waitlisted in 99). We also went through 3 revisions
Result: In for class of 2002.

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

Subject: accept

I used Sandy and was accepted at HBS and Stanford. I truly believed he made a huge difference in my essays. Well worth the money.

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.

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

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.

I’d like to recommend Sandy to others, especially international applicants

International applicant reapplied to Wharton this year and got in. Sandy helped me polish my reapplication essay. I really appreciate his sharp, straight comments and quick response time. These are very important for international applicants who are unfamiliar with U.S. schools’ ways of evaluating candidates.

Got into HBS

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.

I really don’t think I could have achieved it without Sandy’s intense help. In my opinion, he is the choice for the top schools like HSW…

you are THE GREATEST!!!! 

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. 

Will keep in touch, THANKS!!!!!!

Admitted to the Stanford MBA Program

Sandy:

We pulled off the biggest caper of all time! Thanks so so much! I couldn’t have done it without you!

see attached (it’s true — I confirmed it with the admissions office!)

—–Original Message—–
 From: Mookini, Marie [SMTP:[email protected]]
 Subject:      Stanford MBA Program

 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!

 Marie Mookini
 Director of MBA Admissions

It is my pleasure to write a testimonal for you:

Sandy,

I decided to work with Sandy on my HBS application after visiting the  “yet another MBA blog from Joey” by chance.  I had read the testimonals on Sandy’s ownwebsite before, but I was skeptical whether  those were true testimonals.  Of course, I never expected I would be writing one myself several months later.  But I had no doubt that Joey’s Feb 2004 review on MBA admission consultants was a voice from a true client, so I was convinced.

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 picking up stories for each essay.  Every round of the edits, he  pushed me to a new level. From the edits he returned to me, I could  clearly tell the efforts he himself put to my essays.   When I  prepared for my interview, I received a comprensive list of interview  advices and past questions that Sandy had compiled for his clients. 

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, but the essay turnaround time was usually only 24 – 48 hours.  He was super fast on answering my questions (usually just a couple of hours).

This was very important because he made me feel that I could really  depend on him.

When I signed on with Sandy, I truly signed on with a partner, a  coach, who has a genuine interest in my success.  I actually have a different opinion from other people who think Sandy is blunt and  critical (Maybe I heard this too much and prepared myself very well for his criticism?).  During my application process, Sandy encouraged  me and kept telling me not to over worry.  I really come to like Sandy the person, not just his service.

In at both Duke and Kellogg

Dear Sanford,

I applied to 2 schools (Duke and Kellogg), and am in at both! Was offered Keller Scholarship at Duke, but will go to Kellogg.I am so grateful to you – you made me believe in myself, and your sound advice was always there for me. I can only add that you were the only person who I could talk to about my plans, and it made a lot of difference for me.

Thank you so much!

I got into HBS

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]

I have not yet heard from GSB, but I am not that optimistic given I did not have an interview.

Again, thank you for your efforts and your persistence.

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

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:

He is very knowledgible about the different schools and what they are looking for. When you talk with him you will be able to tell instantly that he is intimately familiar with the applications and what good essays should look like.

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.

Sandy’s the real deal!

I did a tremendous amount of research into several consultants this year after getting several dings last year. Sandy stood apart from the bunch with his direct, forthright style, his enjoyment in what he does, and his knowledge of program specifics. Sandy pointed out several programs he felt my strengths were conducive with and dispelled others in which I would have surely only wasted my app fee. I worked with Sandy for about a month and a half and when I look at my essays from last year and compare them to this years it’s amazing.

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.

My Stanford application

I, too, worked with Sandy on my Stanford application and found him to be great. I liked the following things about him:

1. Socratic approach, sort of: He has a way of asking a generic question (i.e. what are the three things that you need to learn…), and then probing you to help *you* find out the answers to the questions. Sort of like the socratic method, only a little coarser.

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 “peak season”;. 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…

Got into HBS

Sandy,

Heard from HBS last Friday. Got in!! The Director of Admission actually called me up directly at work to give me the news. It has been a long and painful wait but very well worth it! Just want to say THANK YOU for your help along the way. Your suggestions on essays were very thoughtful and extremely helpful.

The interview also went really well. The interviewer was really interested to know what my leadership and management values/styles are, and we had a very good conversation on the topic.

So, will be heading your way in the fall!

Thanks again!!

Admitted to MIT Sloan

Dear Sanford,

I have been admitted to MIT Sloan and would like to express my deepest gratitude to you for your assistance and guidance during the MBA application. Your frankness and honesty were of invaluable help and the effort certainly paid off.

Accepted at both HBS and Wharton

Dear Sandy,

Accepted at both HBS and Wharton. Thanks a million.

Your suggestions, both at the time of making the application and at the time of interview, were immensely helpful.

( I also applied to Insead, where I was accepted, to Stanford Round 2, which is being evaluated, and to London Business School, which was a ding without interview).

Any words of wisdom on HBS vs Wharton ?

Subject: My experience and opinion

I worked with Sandy for about 3 months – I used him for Harvard, Wharton, Chicago, MIT and Columbia – all of the essays. It was a little tough – he is a demanding dude, with an opinion he wants you to follow. I took a “blank slate” approach and followed his tips and ideas very closely. I liked his style and he actuallyhas a great deal of knowledge about what Adcoms look for in essays (don’t know how).

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!

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.

Here is how I used Sandy: Wharton

3 hrs on 1 reapp essay (waitlisted in 99). We also went through 3 revisions

Result: In for class of 2002.

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.

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.

just acknowledging credit where it is due and

yippee ! go Sandy!

Accepted at Stanford

Dear Sanford,

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 doing.

I just wanted to tell you the good news  . . .

Acepted at Harvard

Subject: Sandy is great!

I’m Sandy’s client as well. Just got accepted at Harvard and thought I should share my experience.

I’m a reapp. I applied to Stanford last year (ding), but did not apply to Harvard. Sandy helped me sniff out parts of my life experience I had initially dismissed because I thought they were too “ordinary”. But it turns out the adcom thinks they’re great experiences!

I worked with Sandy since July of last year. He has amazingly fast turnaround time. I usually work on my essays during weekends and send it to him on Sunday nights. He would send it back the next day. Indeed, I’m a very happy customer.

Thanks, Sandy! I’m really overwhelmed by the news.

Accepted to Harvard Business School

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.