Prices & Services
Our plan for ultra-devoted types who want to maximize their chances for their Number 1 choice school. We give you a really no-bull discussion which includes your chances, what you might do to improve your application, and what schools are maybe better choices. That is actually free, and you can get that by sending us a resume and outlining age, stats, etc. Or calling us at 617.354.2242, but beginning w. an e-mail is better.
If you want to go ahead, we will outline what you have to do, essay by essay, and suggest how best to present yourself.
Then we will have you write your essays and go back and continue to bug you for improvements based on more and better details, better lessons, better mastery of the narrative, more shrewd goals and reasons for attending your dream school, etc. etc.
That is a back-and-forth process by email (especially after things have gotten started) and phone (in the beginning), which often takes about 3-6 iterations per essay (sometimes more, but that usually means trouble!!, but we stick with you). We also will review your recommendations, if you have access to them, and suggest tweaks in terms of details, etc. In some cases, applicants send us other parts of short answer questions, and in some cases, applicants ask us what their favorite hobby is, or what what gender they are (some people become very dependent on working with a consultant, not a good thing, and we try to wean you away from that, if in real doubt about your gender, put down FEMALE, if under-going a sex-change operation, apply to Stanford and write about it).
Who should sign up for From Scratch Editing ? Ultra dedicated, plan-ahead types who have absolutely dreamed of going to HBS, Wharton or Stanford their entire lives and just cannot wait to get going. Are you like this client?
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. [ More Testimonials]
If you email us your entire application including the essays, data sheet, recs (if you have them), and resume:
- We will go through each question, appraise its strengths and weaknesses, point out key mistakes, make suggestions for improvement [or deletion] and figure out a better spin;
- We will also give you 'macro' advice about positioning, the proper balance of work versus non-work content, the proper 'voice' to use given you 'positioning' strategies.
- We will also go through your resume and other materials looking for 'hidden' assets--many winner essays, especially for HBS, can be developed from neglected nuggets in your resume, or casual phone remarks ("Oh yeah, well I did supervise a Girl Scout cookie drive with 40 girls and we sold 1,000 boxes of cookies, is that leadership?")
- We will put it all together, your positioning, your voice, specifics about each question, suggestions for better answers.
- First, we will send you an e-mail outlining all the above, macro and micro issues, and then we will follow this up with a brainstorming phone call where we will go over each question in your draft, note the issues above, and figure out how to improve that question in your first draft, or suggest killing that response for something else.
WHY DO WE CALLTHIS THE "ONE-TIME" SANITY CHECK OPTION?
If you have completed a new application for Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and other schools, we quickly give you an up or down appraisal, plus tips for reworking answers, macro suggestions, and--if it is very close to when the application is due--some REAL HONEST advice about whether you should defer and hit a later round. IT IS CALLED THE 'ONE-TIME' SANITY CHECK BECAUSE AFTER WE GO THROUGH APPLICATION ONE -TIME AND TALK TO YOU ON THE PHONE, THE SERVICE IS OVER.
Some people call this the one-night stand option, because you don't get another date.
Help I was dinged at HBS/S/W and it hurts and I want to know why?
If you send us your stats, essays and recs, we will go thru the whole package with you, by e-mail and on the phone, tell you what we think your shortcomings were, make suggestions for improvement, and suggest both action and repositioning strategies for next time, plus give you a realistic and brutally honest rap on what we think your chances are, where you should apply, etc. --Amazing
Click here - This one is for Wharton, well, just our comments, not the underlying application, but you get the idea
HBS MOCK INTERVIEWS
I DO A LOT OF THEM
I CAN HELP YOU (I CAN ALSO HELP WITH STANFORD AND WHARTON)
I did over 60 Mock Interviews for HBS Round 1 this fall and summer, those are interviews based on the very same new HBS one-question application you filled out--so I know the latest in HBS interviewing issues. I did over 100 mock interviews for HBS in Rounds 1 and 2 and 3 last year. Over the past 10 years, I have probably done over 800-1000 HBS mock interviews. My knowledge of how to prepare you for an HBS mock interview is based on those experiences.
- I know typical HBS questions, including questions often asked of investment bankers, private equity, venture capital and hedge fund associates, and questions asked to those employed in non-profits, the military, manufacturing, and technology.
- I know how to help you formulate your core story in ways which can be applied to many questions.
- I can predict trouble areas in your application and help you come up with talking points to deal with them.
- I can sense what your particular needs are in terms of presentation, for example, if you don't get to the point soon enough (a possibly fatal habit) or if you appear too aggressive or too arrogant or confident in the wrong way for often thin-skinned (and just plain thin) HBS interviewers (some of whom are predisposed not to like bankers).
- I can help you create a back story for your goals which creates a solid platform for Why MBA, Why HBS?
- I can help you prepare a strong answer to the question "Why should we take you?" This questions is often asked in several forms:
- "What can YOU contribute to case method discussion based on background and experience?"
- "How will your classmates remember you?"
- "How have you grown as a leader?"
- I can calm you down, although that will not be the first thing that happens.
- I can help you formulate answers to 'ice-breaker' questions such as:
- "I already know you from your application, just tell me what you think the three defining moments in your life are?"
- "Pretend I have not read your application and I just met you. Tell me who you are, what you've done, and where you want to be 15 years?"
- I can help prepare you to face such recently popular questions as:
- "What is one thing that is not immediately apparent about you to others?"
- "How would your friends describe you?"
- "How has the financial crisis impacted you, your friends, your industry and your goals?"
THE PROCESS:THE MOCK INTERVIEW IS DONE BY PHONE.
If you want a mock HBS interview, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, telling me when your interview is, what time zone you are in, what days and times are good for you, and attaching a resume. I will reply back w. dates and times, etc. Then you send me a pdf of your application. Mock interviews take about 60-70 minutes. The price is $900.00 dollars USD. You pay me when we speak and do the interview.
Some quick testimonials here, others are at the link below
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.
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 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.
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
$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 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.
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
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 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. Sandy, thanks for helping me get into HBS and Wharton!"
As predicted in your email below, I have been admitted to HBS!!
Thank you very much for your help. The advice you provided definitely gave me the edge I needed to be more confident and sharp during the interview.
I will be recommending your service to a lot of my friends!
[the two emails below are typical post-interview back-and-forth between me and the above candiddate]
From: Sanford Kreisberg [ mailto:email@example.com]
Subject: Re: HBS Interview Debrief
haha, sounds real good, dude, you cert passed the interview and may have added some cred to your story.
Sounds good in the most impt ways--sure, you can always replay the thing 20 times, and come up w. better answers but that is not what it is about--it is about not screwing up and you did not.
this was good.
At 09:45 PM 11/19/2009, you wrote:
I think I did well. I didn't stumble on anything and got my main points across. She was able to ask me all the questions she had prepared without rushing, which is always a good thing.
The one positive feedback I got was in relation to the last question (the one we prepared).
INT: "Is there anything else you wish I would've asked?".
ME: "I'm sure you see a lot of candidates from developing countries who say they're going to go back to change things there and never actually do. You might want me to tell you why you should believe me."
INT: "That's a very good question to which I'd love to know the answer."
ME: I said something along the lines of what we had prepared, i,e. I was not just born in _____, it's also my one and only citizenship, all my family still lives there, I go back as often as I can (once a year), and I am already involved in several social enterprise projects there.
INT: "I'm very glad you asked and answered that question. Thank you very much."
I'm now in over-analysis mode, i.e. replaying all my answers in my mind and thinking about what I should / shouldn't have said....
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 was key in my acceptance to HBS!
Mark one up for the mysterious black box of HBS admissions - I got in!
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!
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"
Lucky me, I have an HBS, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia etc. interview and I do not want to blow it.
Well, if you send us your application, we will go over it, probe for weaknesses, and likely qustions, and arrange a time to give you a 'mock" phone interview -- sorry no in-person interiviews, even for beauty contest winners (a surprisingly large group actually, especially for international students). This takes about one-hour and will usually both tear you down and build you back up, and give you lots to think about before your real interview, which will seem like a piece of cake by comparison.