Testimonials from 2006-07 Clients
HBS, Harvard Business School
Monday, 26 February 2007
It is often said that the process of applying for an MBA is a journey to find your true self. According to my experience, I could not agree more, but I could not have completed this journey without Bryan, who guided me through this rugged, rigorous, yet enlightening process. Obviously, his thorough knowledge and understanding of the Japanese economy and various industries, his extensive background in journalism and miraculous editing techniques, as well as his track records and experience helping past applicants get accepted to top MBA programs are all huge assets. But it is his willingness to sit down, look you straight in the eye and try to understand what kind of person you really are that helps you break the barrier from an ordinary MBA applicant to a distinguished individual.
For reference, my professional accomplishments were nowhere near comparable to those who started up a new company and sold it to Google for 30 million USD, saved the lives of many children through charity and volunteer work, or a top gun pilot who fought valiantly for his country, etc. etc. My extra-curricular activities were moderate at best, and the only professional certifications I had were basic computer and accounting skills.
Still, I was accepted to my top-choice MBA programs, and I owe this in large part to the essay counseling service I received from Bryan. Through his counseling, he made me realize that everyone, including myself, is unique. He brought out my best aspects through asking questions like, “Why was this particular event meaningful to you?” “What words did you exactly say to your boss during the conflict and why?” and “Don’t just TELL me what you did. You have to SHOW me.” As I dug deeper and deeper to find the answers to these questions, I found out many things about myself that I previously did not know. I always thought I was more comfortable doing individual work, but realized I produced the best results when in an intensive team-focus situation. I used to think I was the vocal type, but found out people naturally followed me most when I was leading by example. I never had the chance to visit campus and meet members of the admissions committee, but the fact that I was invited to interview from every single school I applied to proves that I was able to portray exactly what kind of person I am just through my essays.
If your goal is getting into the MBA program of your dreams, you probably should go talk to the dozen or so counselors out there and compare them until you find the “best match” to see who has the highest possibility of helping you get there. However, if you want to know who you really are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, what your subconscious goals and passions in life are look no further and I can assure you Bryan will help you achieve your goals. You will quickly realize that getting into an MBA program is merely a stop along the way in the long, enduring journey to seek your true identity, and be amazed at how much you can discover about yourself.
Monday, 26 February 2007
Thank you for your great help throughout my entire application process. My acceptance to the business school that I wanted to join the most owes to you totally. You gave me guidance in the right direction, flexibility, fantastic editing and practice for interviews.
You guided me in the right direction by discussing my ideas deeply. When we met for the first time in August, I was not sure how I could prepare for the application. My thoughts and reasons for getting an MBA were vague. But you took time and were willing to discuss my vision with passion. I appreciate you took the time to make my thoughts clear. Owing to this experience, my career goal became sharp and persuasive.
In addition, your counseling was very flexible. I was a frequent traveler, so it was very difficult for me to visit you at the regularly scheduled time. But you kindly changed your schedule to meet me as much as you could. This helped me very much. If I had chosen another counselor, I would not have been able to have these discussions, and I wouldn’t have been admitted to any schools.
This is needless to say, but your editing was wonderful. I was an international student and haven’t lived my life in a country where English is the native language. So I couldn’t write an essay without your help. When I wrote my essay, you gave me deep and sharp critiques to improve my essays. Simultaneously, you regarded my ideas as very valuable. You never imposed your ideas on me. Moreover, your editing was very fast. You replied to me by the next day when I emailed my draft essays and questions to you. This made my preparation very effective.
Furthermore, you took a lot of time to practice interviews. Since you were a good photographer, you kindly recorded when we practiced my interview. After going back home, I could check my faults objectively by watching the DVD you recorded and gave me. You didn’t give me just practice, but advice on how I could answer the questions. This was very helpful for me to practice the interview objectively.
After acceptance to my school, I talked to many candidates and found that my counseling was wonderful. I trusted in you entirely and this attitude finally benefited me by the fact that I was accepted. And above all, I enjoyed the entire preparation process with you. I would have been satisfied even if I hadn’t been accepted by any school.
I will continue to recommend you to people who are thinking about an MBA as I already have. Take care of yourself. Thank you.
Monday, 26 February 2007
I am really happy to write this letter to you from Boston. Now I am attending summer school here to prepare attending MIT Sloan. The contrast between many historical buildings and the sunny sky is so beautiful that I am going to forget the severe experiences we shared last winter.
For those that are coming after me, I would like to take a break from watching the Red Sox game on TV to look back at my sessions with Bryan.
First of all, the best thing about Bryan was himself. Though I have heard that there are some counselors who make application life tougher and they don’t treat clients nicely, I always became energized whenever I saw him; it was not just businesslike. Bryan supported me very much personally. It was like a California breeze with his aloha shirts and bare feet. One time, when Bryan found out that I was going to a casino, he took out cards and taught me how to play blackjack. Is there any other counselor who has a sense of humor like that?
However, sometimes I was worried if I was doing alright with Bryan’s method, and clashed with him over how to write essays. In the end, though, I believe he was right. I received invitations from all the top-seven ranked schools I applied to and was accepted at three of them. Now I know how savvy he is about the MBA application process.
The especially great things about Bryan’s counseling were:
You can consult with him on a wide range of topics related to the MBA application process, like making a plan of when and to which school you should apply and lessons for interviews.
The most appropriate selection of topics for essays:
His method of editing which shows you as an individual. It is not just one-way writing while telling the client to shut up or transcribing what the client says. It is writing after understanding yourself and making your writing unique through exchanging each other’s opinions. It was true that Bryan’s editing give a big impact on my results.
Bryan, it was the one of greatest things in my application process to meet you. I really look forward to meeting you in the US with my smooth English!
The Tepper School/Carnegie Mellon University
Monday, 26 February 2007
Thank you very much for supporting me throughout my application process. Thanks to you, I finally received admission from my ideal MBA school. Although my application process was very long and steep, I was considerably impressed by your high quality service during this process. I’d like to express my utmost gratitude to you in this letter.
The most useful and helpful feature of your service for me was that your counseling was so speedy and flexible. Unfortunately I couldn’t get that high of a score either in my TOEFL or GMAT, but even so, I wanted to get into a top MBA school. To achieve my goal, I thought it was a very important strategy to apply to as many schools as possible. (Of course I never thought of sacrificing the quality of my essays). And as a result of overload, I had to send you impudent e-mails asking for immediate essay reviews particularly at the last moment before the deadline of each school. Even so, you always sent back surprisingly precise modifications or proposals as soon as possible. Without your earnest support, I couldn’t have applied to as many as 11 schools (I’m sorry for my unreasonable demands, and if all of your clients had been as naughty as me, you couldn’t have slept at night!).
In addition, your consulting style was also effective for me. You always gave me realistic advice about my essay and never stirred me up. Owing to your steady analysis and proposals, I could recognize my strengths and weaknesses as they are without becoming unnecessarily arrogant nor uneasy, and could develop abundant ideas without haste.
The process of pulling out the answers through a direct dialogue was essential to create the depth in my essays. Furthermore, it was efficient and effective for me that you surveyed my overall application process and gave me wide-ranging advice, apart from improving my test scores. After completing the entire process, I again realized the importance of “integrity” which you had emphasized, to survive this severe evaluation process.
I hope you will go on providing your excellent service to many clients who have high potential. I’d also like to recommend your counseling to my friends who aspire to the MBA. See you again!
Monday, 26 February 2007
Remembering all the hard but enjoyable days we worked together, I am writing this letter to say many thanks to you. I owe it to you that I was accepted by top b-schools in the US this year. You gave me a lot of confidence and clear direction since I started my reapplications to MBA programs. In a sense, you successfully performed as a “turnaround manager”. I would like to raise several points that helped me win the MBA competition this year.
First of all, it was the most effective approach to start discussing “WHY MBA” and “CAREER GOALS” before drafting all the other types of essays. That approach really helped me crystallize “WHO I AM” and “WHERE I WANT TO GO”. Your persistent questions, like “What did you do then?” or “Why did you do that?” etc., during our weekly 2-hour sessions sharpened me up!! I could also feel invigorated in presenting myself to others, which finally helped me perform in the MBA interviews confidently.
Secondly, your “95% THEORY” helped prevent me from trapping myself in the “Labyrinth”. During the uncertain MBA application process, too much information and input from various sources, for example, rumors among applicants and advice from MBA graduates, might work as “a double-edged sword”…. They do not always work well for applicants. I still remember the day when you strongly refrained me from including more ideas and information in the completed essays. Yes, you were right…. I understand the 100% perfection I eagerly pursed in the “Labyrinth” does not necessarily impress the MBA admissions staffs most effectively. Your objective view, rich experience and calm professionalism stopped me from deviating from the right direction as well as doing needless work.
Finally, your INTERVIEW PRACTICES pushed me up from an applicant to an admit!! Besides your professional advice, you encouraged me to feel relaxed and be natural, giving me the feedback that I performed best when I smiled a lot during practice. Then, I turned on the real me and found the key in marketing myself with my English communication skills. Thanks to your “mental care”, I really enjoyed the real interviews (Honestly, I could not enjoy them at all when I applied to MBA programs the first time.) and could showcase “WHO I AM” for the interviewers. It goes without saying that the refined interviews helped me unlock the heavy doors of b-schools in front of me.
It was my great luck to meet and work with you, Bryan. You satisfied all my needs with your flexibility, solution-providing and inspiration, while paying attention and respect to me. Each of us will be living on different coasts in the US, however, I am very happy to keep in touch with you. Take care.
Monday, 26 February 2007
To Future MBA Candidates:
I am glad to write this letter to share with you my experience with Bryan throughout my MBA application process. I believe the match with a good essay counselor is the key element for success. I can summarize the strengths of Bryan’s service into three areas: his style of communication, knowledge of various industries and the Japanese business environment, and the community he creates among his students.
When I met Bryan, I was surprised to be asked by him many detailed questions which I was not prepared for. His questions were basic but straightforward: why I want to go to an MBA, what strengths have I shown in my career, and which schools I wanted to apply to. I found out that his style of counseling is not telling students what to write but helping students think about what an MBA really means to his/her career path. This approach was very helpful to have consistent and thoroughly developed essays. But don’t worry, he doesn’t just let you think alone. He has many tools to let students think and materialize the thinking process. Also he gave me many ideas when I did my brain storming. Though it took a longer time than was expected and was a tough process, the initial thinking process was very meaningful and when I started to write my first draft I was already clear what I was really aiming for. If you are a candidate who can do your own thinking (which I believe is the basic element for entering an MBA), I really recommend Bryan’s method.
Through his consulting experience, he knows quite well the principles of various industries and typical Japanese business traditions. My background is sales and marketing of a manufacturing company and he had no problem understanding what I was saying. Not only did I benefit from his understanding, but I also heard very good examples from his past student’s experience in my industry. I was surprised how well he understands the Japanese traditional business environment such as relationships with superiors, etc. It helped me a lot since I was working with him through Skype and I did not have to explain each element to him. Even though I was in Mexico and he was in Japan, the distance and time difference did not bother me at all. It worked better since I could write my drafts and he could review and edit while I was sleeping which we called a ‘24 hour shift’.
Last but not least, the excellent community of Bryan’s students helped me a lot. Bryan helped us by creating a web-based BBS where we could share our information. Everyone was willing to share interview questions or essay techniques which could benefit other students no matter that everyone was competing with each other. When I finally met my colleagues at a get-together party of Top MBA admitted students, I was surprised how strong and impressive they were. Also I could benefit from his previous students currently enrolled in top MBA programs. When I was visiting schools, there was always someone helping me who Bryan introduced me to.
I believe there are many options when you choose your essay counselor. I recommend you consider deeply the fit with whom you will work with. I learned that in some services, you can not know until the last minute whom you will work with. Essays are one of the most important factors of applying. For those who are willing to do thorough research about yourself and willing to spend time to know who you are, I strongly recommend Bryan’s service. Good luck and enjoy the process!!
Monday, 26 February 2007
It is a terrific feeling being admitted to the school of my first choice, for which I would like to thank you officially and formally by means of this letter. Wharton would not have been possible without you as a counselor.
First, about how I came to know of your services. I was attending a prep school for GMAT, where my teacher there set up an opportunity to introduce you and your services to the class he was teaching. Since I was not entirely familiar with the counseling process at that time, I felt that I wanted a counselor who can oversee my entire application package, and you were one of the first counselors I had met who suggested just that. I also felt a kind of “calmness” and “facing reality” atmosphere from the way you spoke, and my gut feeling told me that your counseling style would be sincere and honest, which I will touch upon later.
Next, the reason for choosing your services. There were a few factors for this: 1) capped fees; 2) flexibility in schedule; 3) over all services; and most important of all, 4) your sincere and honest personality.
When I was out looking for a counselor, most of the services were a “buy your counseling time as you go”, which I did not quite feel comfortable with since (obviously) I was not able to tell how much time I would need on my essays, recommendation letters and interview training. Although of course there may have been the possibility of spending less as a result of adopting a “by-the-hour” counseling fee, I think the sense of comfort that I felt due to the capped fees was vital in structuring my applications.
Working in international project financing deals in a Japanese bank, I knew I would have difficulty in managing my schedule. Therefore, I needed a counseling service that would accommodate a last minute change in schedule. In this sense, again your services surpassed the other services. Specifically, the late counseling sessions (at times, as late as 11pm), being available 7 days a week, and the flexibility to reschedule a few hours prior (NOT cancel, like other services) were the points that really helped me. I was able to schedule my counseling sessions around my work schedule.
Most counseling services only focus on a certain or specific area; for instance, essay review only, etc. However, your services overlook a person’s application from their resume to their interview, and even beyond. I thought this was vital, since I strongly believed (and I still do) that an application should be reviewed by the same person from beginning to end, due to the consistency of tone required throughout the entire application. I think that an applicant needs to have a very strong sense of control over the application process if he/she decides to patch together the resume/essays/recommendation letters/interview that have been reviewed separately by different counselors.
I think that the “chemistry” between the applicant and the counselor is most important of all. If either the applicant or the counselor does not trust in the other, I think each counseling session will be nothing but a mere execution of each other’s responsibilities under a contractual obligation. I believe that the whole MBA application process is a so-called “journey of discovery of one’s true goals and motivations in life”, which starts with truly understanding and facing your true inner self. We all have gone through a similar process in life one way or the other; if you are a typical Japanese undergraduate seeking employment in Japan, you probably go through this during your third year in college, through job hunting. However, going through this process again after a few years experience professionally can be very stressful and confusing at times. That is why I think that chemistry with your counselor is important, and like I previously mentioned, I felt a “tranquility” in your atmosphere when you first came to the GMAT prep school which I attended. I felt you were a person I could trust, and it turned out that it was exactly as I expected.
Finally, I would again like to express all the effort you have gone through for me, beyond what you contractually were obliged to do. I some how have gained a lot more from you than just counseling services. I have reconfirmed what is most important for all professional people, including those pursuing an MBA…to be motivated, dedicated, and consistent…and opportunity will find you!
Monday, 26 February 2007
Thanks to your support, I was successful in getting accepted from my dream school “Kellogg”. If it wasn’t for you, I would’ve never been accepted from any school.
1. When did I start?
Because my company sponsorship was decided at the end of August, I was way behind others in application procedures. I had to start working on my GMAT first in September, forcing me to start my essays in late October. I knew that essays and interviews were the most important factors in the application process, so I searched for the counselor who could lead me through the process. I visited and talked to several counselors, but no one seemed to be the right person for me, but when I visited your office, I knew at once that you were the “one” for me. While others (including those counselors I met before you) thought and actually said that I had no chance of getting accepted from top schools, you had faith in me and stood by my side encouraging me throughout the tough time. For this reason, I owe every piece of my success to you.
Because I started late, I needed special attention from you. Although you were fully booked, you somehow came up with a way to meet me twice a week. This was very helpful because while other counselors can only meet once a week, I had two opportunities a week to discuss my situation with you throughout the process. Because I was in a great hurry, I always went straight to an Internet Cafe´ to work on my essays right after our sessions and sent you my essay drafts within that day. Although I was not a great writer, meaning there was a lot to edit, you always sent back my essays edited to me quickly with the questions you had on my drafts that never failed to make my essays better. Although I was only scheduled to meet you twice a week, you also allowed me to send you my drafts on other days as well and sent them back to me edited within a day. This enabled me to write my essay drafts almost everyday, which made my application procedures much faster. I am positive that you are the most flexible counselor there is in the market. To everyone’s surprise, I was actually able to apply to Cornell in the first round which was in early November. I was actually invited to interview and was accepted from Cornell, which proves that your services are not only “fast” but also “high quality”.
3. The “Package”
Your counseling service includes both essay preparation and interview training, which makes your service the total “Package” for MBA applicants. Some of my friends had to find separate counselors for essays and interviews, which they said made the process both very inconvenient and time consuming, because they had to explain who they were to two counselors. But it’s a different story with Elite Essays, because you were both the essay counselor and interview trainer. You know what I want to say and what I need to say at the interview making your interview training very worthwhile. Because you knew everything that was written in my essays, I was able to build the right “strategy” to succeed in the interview. Not only this, you also were great coordinator and mentor for me throughout the process. No one understands my post-MBA dreams better than you and for that reason, you not only were able to advise me which school I should start from and which school to work on next, but you also guided me in choosing which schools to apply to to pursue my dreams.
4. Results, sign of your “Speed” and “Quality”
With your support, I was successful in applying to 10 schools all within the 2nd Round. Schools I applied to are as follow.
I was invited to interview by 6 schools and was accepted at 3 schools. I think these are great stats, because I withdrew from several schools before the results came in.
In order for me to succeed in this application process, I needed both “Speed” and “Quality”, which I think only you could have provided. Just being “fast” probably would have left me only with many “dings”, but with the combination of “Speed” and “Quality” that you provided, you led me to success even I was not expecting to have.
Thank you Bryan! You are the man!
Monday, 26 February 2007
Working with you in the last two years was one of the greatest experiences in my life. Though there may be essay counselors who can only help applicants with good GMAT scores, I can proudly say that you are a genuine essay counselor who makes things happen for applicants like me with mediocre scores and who need help with real essay counseling. I strongly believe that your essay service was my lethal weapon that allowed me to beat the MBA application process in spite of adversity like my low test scores and GPA. What I appreciated most about your essay counseling services are the four points below.
First of all, I appreciate your counseling style which respected my personality and style. Though I had some confidence in my unique personality and job background, I was looking for a good essay counselor who could maximize my edge while respecting my personal characteristics. Though I researched various counselors in most of the prep schools in Japan, how many counselors would encourage me to write about my crazy sense of humor as a topic in my key personal essay for top schools? When I was sometimes confused with noises or rumors about the MBA application process, I felt that I might need to make myself fit each individual school color or culture. You shut out those noises and led me in the right direction to express myself as I am. I believe that this is simple but also the best way of coaching applicants.
Additionally, your positive approach helped me a lot to pursue the same goal during my long and tough two years. When my GMAT score was only 580 in the first year, I felt that I should not have applied to any schools. However, you encouraged me to apply to the schools which I really wanted to attend. Though I was not admitted then, I did receive admission interview offers from top schools like Chicago GSB. After this first year trial, I was able to deepen my confidence in my essays which I co-developed with you. Though I struggled with GMAT in the second year also, I was surprised that you kept pushing me to pursue my dream schools rather than settling for “only realistic” options. Via those challenges, I could discover many unique edges to my personality that I did not even know before, and I believe that those edges helped me manage critical processes like admission interviews.
Furthermore, I believe that your remote service was the biggest motivation for me to decide to work with you. Since I was an expatriate working in Mexico at that time, your unique counseling style using Skype was quite a practical approach for me. I had some concerns about e-mail based counseling because I might have wasted one counseling opportunity if I did not understand what my counselor meant. However your on-line counseling allowed me to confirm and answer all the questions within a session. Therefore, I was always able to keep working on my essays while maintaining the right direction which I shared with you. And your time arrangement of 50 minute sessions twice a week helped me to maximize my essay productivity per week. I can strongly say that your potential clients can still maximize their productivity and enjoyment even through your online counseling.
Lastly, your techniques for good listening and praising clients were quite effective motivations for me. You always praised my essay writing ability and burst into laughter with my funny personal essays. Though I know those aspects were a normal part of your service, your technique motivated me a lot and helped me finish 13 applications without any stress and without any compromises in terms of essay quality. Your customer oriented approach was the essential piece of your counseling service because it made me open up myself and helped us share my personality and vision for pursuing better essays.
What I want your potential clients to know is working with you makes the MBA application process an enjoyable experience. If your clients decide to work with you, I believe that half of the MBA application success is guaranteed. The rest is driven from within themselves. I hope that all your potential applicants will enjoy this learning process and have great outcomes by working with you.
LBS, London Business School
Monday, 26 February 2007
With limited preparation time and my lousy GMAT scores, getting admitted to London Business School was a dream come true for me and would have never happened if I had not met Bryan, my excellent essay counselor, mentor, and very good friend. Of all the essay counselors, I chose Bryan because he was fair, speedy, and friendly. If I were to apply to business schools again, I would definitely choose him again.
First of all, I would like to explain the fair system of Bryan’s essay counseling. It includes everything from resumes, essays, application strategy, to interview practice, so you do not have to worry about extra costs once you start. Also you will get a full refund if you are not satisfied in the first four sessions. I thought this system was very generous and comfortable compared to other essay counseling schools.
Bryan’s work is also fair and honest. If you are looking for a counselor that will write essays for you, Bryan is not your man. He and I spent hours to find out true hidden gems in my career and he helped me realize my strengths and personality to stand out from others. This exciting process was very important in creating concrete essays with strong motivation and confidence. Our continuous discussions were a great opportunity to improve my oral expression and it also lead to strong confidence when I faced interviews later on.
With the application deadlines approaching everyday, keeping up a good pace in your essay writing and the working speed of your essay counselor are crucial. When working with Bryan, we made good progress automatically. Two times a week, I had to hand in several essays and this required lots of work and it was a lot of pressure. But this pressure made me keep up a good pace in producing essays and I was able to apply to eleven schools. Not to mention, Bryan’s editing speed is absolutely amazing. At one point, he was even able to edit several essays in one 50 minute session. As for one school, we were able to finish the essays and application in just three days. Also, you will notice that the essays edited by Bryan are very natural and straightforward and do not use exaggerated or complicated expressions. I first realized this when I read some of his sample essays and this made me decide to work with him.
Bryan’s e-mail responses are always quick and this was also important in the final stages when you are making minor modifications in your application. I remember that when I contacted Bryan for the first time, a reply came in 15 minutes and an appointment was already proposed. This was not just the first time. Bryan’s e-mail responses were quick all along, even in the busiest time of the season.
I would have to say that the most important moment with Bryan which determined everything was when he convinced me to give up studying for GMAT and concentrate on the essays at the end of November. My GMAT score was not improving after taking it four times, and I was determined to put every effort on my fifth and final try. Bryan is always modest and nice, but when he strongly urged me to give up the GMAT to concentrate on essays, his words were serious and strict. I realized that this was an important moment and decided to trust him. As a result, I was admitted to several schools which usually required higher GMAT scores, which I believe is a reflection of the quality of my essays. If Bryan had not convinced me, I think I would have been going to a less-challenging school.
The last 12 months, working on MBA applications, were the most stressful time in my life. During that time, Bryan and I sometimes joked around and talked about stupid things. This helped me a lot. Talking with a friendly counselor with a sense of humor two times a week was a great relief and definitely prevented me from getting paranoid. A few weeks ago, he asked me to write a testimonial for his new web-site. I thought this was a great and an honorable opportunity to show my gratitude. I would provide any information if it would be helpful for Bryan and his future clients, and I think all of his clients feel the same way as I do. Don’t you want to feel like this when you finish working with your essay counselor? You will with Bryan. I wish the best of luck to Bryan and all future MBA applicants!