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Net Promoter Score: 9
Alice has coached MBA applicants since 2007 and is proud of her clients’ successes. Her background as a former Bain Consultant and Stanford lecturer puts her in a unique position to coach applicants to top MBA programs.
“I want to tell my MBA story in the most compelling way possible.”
That’s great because Alice began her career in the humanities and loves a good story. She completed her Ph.D. in Classics (read: Ancient Greek philosophy) at the University of Cambridge.
During this time, she studied Plato’s philosophical writings, reading tens of thousands of texts along the way about what it means to live a good life and to pursue work that has a moral purpose.
Not only did she read extensively on this topic, she wrote original research papers (e.g. Socrates on Life and Death), and tutored Cambridge undergraduates in writing as part of the intimate “tutorial system” through which Ph.D. students instruct undergraduates.
Alice continued teaching in the Introduction to the Humanities program at Stanford University, where she again helped elite undergraduate students to write compelling personal essays.
She can help you to find your story and express it in clear terms that an admissions committee can understand.
“Alice was so committed to my reflection process and brainstorming content for application essays. It was important for me to have my genuine voice, rather than being directed by a formulaic consultant who knows ‘what works’ in an application.”
“I want to work with a consultant who understands my career.”
Alice is a former Bain consultant and has worked as part of the in-house strategy team for leading academic publisher Elsevier.
During her time as a consultant, Alice worked on cases including due diligence for private equity investors, reducing churn for consumer subscription products, and new product launches for manufacturing companies. Later, at Elsevier, Alice worked on quarterly budgeting and forecasting for a publicly-traded company and digital transformation for a company switching from traditional print journals to online access.
Since founding Menlo Coaching, Alice has worked with clients from nearly every industry and background:
Because of her own experiences, and those of her former clients, Alice will understand your professional background and career goals
“The one thing I love the most about Alice is that she never compromises […] she will never settle for anything that’s less than the quality she expects”
“I want to maximize my chances in a competitive application process.”
Alice has succeeded in many tough application processes:
Alice can help you to put your best foot forward even if you’re targeting very competitive programs and have an unusual background that doesn’t “fit the mold.”
“I would not have been accepted to Harvard if it weren’t for Alice and Menlo Coaching!”
If you want to do everything you can to win admission to a top MBA program, and you are ready to do the hard work involved in building your profile and creating great applications, Menlo Coaching can help. We have high standards and will push you hard to uncover every detail that will help you to find your voice and tell your story in the most compelling way possible.
You will never have a blind spot when you work with us. We visit campuses, interview admissions directors (see our blog), and employ a network of students to give us candid feedback about their MBA programs. We know the things that aren’t always discussed openly, like how schools manage their rankings, the side channels through which schools receive feedback on applicants, and more.
Our services combine unlimited 1:1 coaching with a self-paced curriculum that allows you to learn the basics in a way that fits your incredibly busy schedule. We also bring you together with other applicants to build your MBA network and keep your motivation high throughout the process.
To ensure the highest quality of service, we accept only a limited number of clients each year so that we can keep a low ratio of clients to coaches. Contact us as soon as you have committed to pursue an MBA and want to maximize your odds of acceptance.
We support applicants across all stages of an MBA application: planning your career goals, selecting schools that will help you achieve those goals, networking effectively with students, staff and alumni, identifying your personal story, and telling it across the many essays, application forms, resumes, and recommendations. Our structured approach means that you’ll always know the answer to the question “What should I be doing NOW to improve my odds of acceptance?”
Our interview preparation combines mock interviews, tailored to each school’s format, with communications training provided by former professional actors. You’ll overcome your interview nerves and will feel confident, authentic and relaxed on the day of the interview.
Even after the interview, we work with you to negotiate your merit-based aid. Although we cannot promise an award for any particular candidate, our clients have received millions of dollars of additional awards based directly on our negotiating strategies.
Finally, we love helping future-year applicants to build their MBA profiles through our “Early Birds” program because taking the right steps now will give you an edge in the competitive application process later.
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While banking on luck is not an option for your application, working with Alice feels lucky. With deep straight forward no non sense analysis of your profile and constructive critiques, Alice made sure my story and artifacts matched my ambition.
On a technical side , I could not have asked for more , her guidance and reviews are impecable . Paired with an army of experts , she will find the weak spot and put pressure on it.
When it comes to build skills , decide schools and prepare , her experience is only matched by her investment in her clients . I truly believe Alice knew me and advocated for me even in moments of pressure.
Come prepared to work , deconstruct and iterate . Alice is a true master at her craft and it only feels fitting to correspond with dedication and resilience.
I worked with Alice through the Early Bird program for a Fall 2023 admission. Thanks to Alice and the entire Menlo team, I got 3 acceptances to the most competitive M7 schools, and I only applied to 4 schools. This includes 2 acceptances with significant scholarships.
First, as an Early Bird client, Alice helped me to build my resume very early on, including deciding which extracurriculars to pursue and working on getting an early promotion at my workplace (I come from a non-business background and promotions do not come quickly). Thanks to Alice’s early guidance, I was not only able to build a compelling resume but also grew as a person through my volunteer experiences and efforts to secure that early promotion.
During the application process, Alice never compromises on quality and she pushes me to go beyond what I thought I could do – and she was right every single time. For instance, I wanted to push my application to next year because I wasn’t getting the GMAT score I wanted. Alice pushed me to still apply this round and take the GMAT one last time anyway. After a lot of pushback from me (sorry Alice!), I caved and went to take the GMAT, and scored a 750. Alice knows when and how to push her clients, and always with good reason and to good results. I am beyond grateful to Alice for not compromising and always believing in me.
Lastly, Alice has been a pillar of support and encouragement throughout the application process. As mentioned, she pushes her clients to give the best they can offer, but she does it with empathy and sincerity. She is exceedingly patient, and when we had to make a particularly difficult decision, she considered my case as if I was her own child. The advice she gave to me was not just what was rational, but also what was best for me as a person. I really, really appreciated having Alice on my side.
I definitely think that Alice is the best there is. She is a gift and I couldn’t recommend her more!!
I can not recommend Alice and her team from Menlo enough! She was super helpful and thoughtful throughout the process. I had worked with another MBA consultant from a different firm a few years ago but Alice’s professionalism and experience were a leap ahead of what I expected. Aside from being extremely supportive in ideating during the application process, Alice and the team were very helpful in preparing me for my interview. Alice isn’t scared to give you direct feedback and is clearly on your team throughout the process, always welcoming live conversations or additional iterations (as desired), If you want to give yourself the best chance for admission into a top MBA program, you should use Alice, a full-stop.
As an ORM software engineer, I come from one of the most competitive applicant pools for top business schools. I also didn’t know many people from my background who had successfully applied to top business schools. After completing the process and getting into several top schools, including Harvard, Wharton, and Kellogg, I can safely say I wouldn’t have been as successful in this process without Alice and Leslie. Alice and Leslie will make sure you put your best foot forward. They gave clear actionable feedback on everything from the resume to the essays, helping me avoid application landmines. They pushed me to be bold in my essays, even when I questioned whether the risks I was taking were worth it, and pulled me back with an outsider’s perspective when I perhaps wasn’t clear enough or going too far. They have high standards, but if you’re willing to put in the work and revise draft after draft, Alice and Leslie will be right there with you every step of the way. 1000% recommend.
Alice and her team are truly phenomenal. She is a thought partner and was critical in my admission to both HBS and GSB. From day one, it was clear that Alice had the business school application process down cold and was unafraid to tell me things as they are. We spent countless hours together better understanding my background, refining my responses, and best positioning me for my dream schools. Coming from a competitive finance background, I was afraid that I would come across like every other applicant. Those fears were washed away once I started working with Alice. She helped me tell my story in a way that was authentic and unique all while maintaining the edge I needed for applications. Alice is like no other – she possesses the best combination of intellectual horsepower, heightened emotional intelligence, and sheer dedication to getting things done. I have recommended her to countless friends and would encourage you to work with her if given the opportunity.
Alice takes the time to really understand your situation, ensuring a unique application that allows the schools to fully understand who you are and what you can bring to their MBA. She also takes the time to discuss with you what schools are the best fit for you, balancing between ranking, the school’s strengths, and your personal situation. Alice is not afraid to give candid feedback and will push you when needed. The GMAT and GRE tutors are also real support. Working together with them and Alice allows her to maintain an overview of your application throughout the period that you are working together. I would not have gotten into an MBA program without Alice!
Alice has a very personalized approach to the MBA application process. She spent time getting to know me and my story and helped me think about my personality, ways of working, strengths and weaknesses, and more. As a result, not only did I get into the school that I wanted but I feel better equipped to start. Alice is also always available and very willing to help; as an example, she sent me feedback from her vacation. Her structured process and great GMAT tutor were fundamental to my acceptance.
Alice was really helpful throughout the application process. Applications are time intensive and require diligence, especially when working on them while actually working professionally in tandem. Alice and the team made the process much easier, I would have seriously struggled without their guidance and coaching.
When I found Alice, I was a reapplicant to many of the top MBA programs in the US. Having endured the process for a year before I met her, I had worked with a handful of admissions consultants that were good, but not exceptional. I was looking for that one consultant that could not only get me across the finish line but also make sure I did so with a podium finish. Alice was that consultant for me. And here are three reasons why.
1. Organization: Alice and her team’s standout basecamp platform provides you with dashboard access to personalized modules that cover the entire application journey – resume building, networking with current students/alumni, essay drafting, GMAT prep, interview prep, and upcoming deadlines. In my months of experience with top MBA consultants, I have never come across a platform so seamless that kept me on top of not only application requirements, but also highly recommended efforts like networking and admissions events that give applicants an extra edge. The platform also facilitated communication between me, Alice, her team, and other applicants.
2. Knowledge: Have a blemish on your profile? Alice knows how to fix it. And in some cases, even make it look like a strength. She spent countless hours working with me to understand my background, my weaknesses, and my strengths and used the information to highlight and package the good (work experience, initiatives, awards, etc) and find strategic ways to explain the bad (low GPA, recommenders, etc). The end result – an application that presents the most compelling version of myself possible.
3. Persistence: Alice will not let you submit an application that she thinks will get dinged. In fact, she will meticulously work with you to ensure your essays (including short answer responses and the fill-in-the-blanks you think don’t matter) are in the best possible shape. One of my essay drafts was rewritten, edited, and proofread 21 times before she finalized it (and yes, it resulted in an admit).
Alice is a godsend. I could not possibly recommend her more. In my first cycle (without Alice) I was rejected from USC Marshall. And this fall (with Alice) I’m going to Harvard.
Alice has been absolutely instrumental in my MBA application journey. I have received offers from all European schools I applied for (LBS/INSEAD/IMD) and this would not have been possible without Alice’s help.
Alice has been extremely valuable from day 1. Early in the process, we had worked out a game plan, with clear objectives and identifying strengths and weaknesses.
Alice is also a fantastic person to work with and has an ability to motivate and keep one’s focus throughout the entire application process. With her background, she is very well placed to assist anyone in their quest to get into top business schools across the globe.
Very effective and extremely professional, she also has a great team who equally assisted me on GMAT/GRE, with success.
I warmly endorse Alice and highly recommend working with her (she was recommended to me by several friends and I have already recommended her to some of my closest friends).
Alice is goal-oriented and knows the ins and outs of the application process. In addition, she is a great and genuine person, which makes the quite burdensome preparation and application process a pleasure!
Alice is the best partner to have in the MBA process – she helped me get into my dream school (along with other top MBA programs)! Prior to working with Alice, I had worked with our consultants and, without a doubt, Alice is the best consultant. She helped me think through my story and narrative, the schools I was applying to, and how to best craft my entire application. She is definitely the consultant you want throughout the grueling MBA application process, especially while balancing a busy job – she is incredibly detailed oriented and organized, responsive (to a host of questions), and knowledgeable in her craft. I highly recommend hiring her!
With the help of Alice, I was admitted to my #1 choice M7 MBA program with a technical background and limited managerial and business experience, so I was far from a shoe-in candidate. Even though we started working together one full year before starting an application, Alice dedicated a significant amount of personal intention early on to identify my strengths and weaknesses. In order to compensate for any weaknesses, Alice went about helping me optimize my candidacy by advising me on how to build my extracurricular profile. Alice worked with me to find a pro-bono consulting organization, and we prepared for the intensive interview together. Therefore, I highly recommend working with Alice and her team as early as possible to tailor your story to maximize your chances of getting into your dream school.
I believe that Alice and Menlo’s methodology for interview prep is the best part of working with them. Far from being the best interviewer, Alice put me through rigorous preparation that was far more challenging than the real interviews themselves. In addition, Menlo sets you up with a Fearless Communication Workshop to give you strategies for being an effective and confident communicator. After all the interview prep I went through with Alice and her team, I was able to perform at my absolute best level in my interviews with minimal nerves, despite the stakes being the highest in my whole life. I intend to use these strategies for future interviews as well.
Alice was with me every step of the way. I could not have achieved my dream without her help!
If you are reading this message, just stop. Begin working with Alice and the Menlo Coaching team immediately.
It is truly difficult to put into words the value of working with Alice. From the very moment I decided to apply to business school through to when I put down my deposit, Alice has been there every step of the way, and it has been quite the journey. Some highlights:
After taking a number of generic GMAT classes for months, I was topping out on practice tests around a certain score. Thanks to Menlo Coaching’s GMAT services (which I desperately wish I had started using right from the beginning), I improved my score by an additional 40 points to land in the top 1%. The study plans and guides (and Chris’ humor) made all the difference, but Alice’s support is also what got me through, which she doesn’t even know (surprise Alice!). After my first GMAT (upon which I did not perform as well as expected), Alice gave me a call to check in. Unbeknownst to her at the time, I was feeling very disappointed / frustrated with the insanity of the whole process and doubting myself / my decision to even apply to business school, but Alice’s advice and words of encouragement inspired me to keep pushing and achieve my desired score.
Additionally, about a month before all applications were due (and before any of my essays were final), I came down with a bad case of COVID, landing me in the hospital, at which point I assumed my dream of applying to business school was dead. Often you hear the phrase “I couldn’t have done it without…” but I LITERALLY could not have crafted and completed my essays under such circumstances without Alice. She helped me make a revised timeline/plan, turned around essay editing in insane time, and didn’t let one ounce of quality suffer. I cannot express the relief I felt being able to focus on my healing, knowing with 100% certainty that Alice would help me get this done and submit nothing less than perfection.
Lastly, a third highlight was interview prep, which I was not expecting. With interview prep, I imagined prepping types of questions I might be asked or practicing how I present myself (all of which was covered too of course), but what was so remarkable about Menlo’s interview prep is how I FELT by the end. Understanding how to structure an answer to “walk me through your resume” is one thing, but going into every interview actually feeling confident is priceless.
I could go on and on. Alice’s knowledge about the process and these schools is unparalleled. She pushes you towards what she knows are the highest of standards, yet also brings humanity and perspective to the process. Her professionalism, strategic mindset, and storytelling skills are felt throughout every interaction (no doubt a result of her unique background getting a Ph.D. in Classics and working at Bain as a Consultant).
In short, I am the one who feels grateful Alice worked with me. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, Alice, Leslie, Obinna, Chris, Dave, Amy, and David!!!!
If you have not listened to my advice and are still reading, then one last bit of information to still try to convince you: after the entire process was over and I began to dream up my travel bucket list during business school, the Netherlands immediately came to mind so I can visit Alice, whom I am now lucky enough to call a friend.
If you are coming across Alice’s profile, consider yourself lucky. She is the best person to have in your corner as you take on the MBA admissions journey. I worked with Alice targeting schools in Europe and Asia. Alice is not just someone with great insights into what works and what doesn’t in an application, but also someone who would never give up on you. Let me give an example here: I struggled in keeping my nerves calm during the GMAT test despite doing very well in the official mocks. I missed many internal deadlines working on my GMAT score (I seriously felt it is only fair for her to move on with others after my extended tussle with GMAT), but Alice always had my back and you want such a person in your corner during this roller-coaster ride of MBA admissions. I cut too close to the deadlines and if it was not for Alice I wouldn’t have even been able to submit them in time. I ended up with 3 admits from top schools including an admit from the most prestigious university based in the UK.
Alice and her team put in genuine efforts to understand me and my background, they identified valuable experiences which I never really realized I had myself and molded them into great application essays. Menlo Coaching is a one-stop for all your admission needs. Be it GMAT (which if aren’t yet done with then blindly work with her team-mate Chris) or Interview coaches, Alice is supported by the best in the industry. Alice made me feel as if I was her only client and I got all the attention I wanted.
Alice always and every time tried to get me the very best that I could achieve. She never compromised on my application. I am sure Alice puts more thought and effort than her applicants themselves. She was worth every cent I spent and more, I walked away knowing I showed the best version of myself to the adcoms.
Picking an admission consultant can be very confusing, I have been there. If you want to maximize your chances at your target schools, I suggest working with Alice. Thank you for everything Alice.
I cannot say enough positive things about my MBA application experience with Alice. As a member of the military serving on active duty, my planned application timeline was interrupted by deployments and further disrupted by an irregular work schedule. However, having worked with veterans before, Alice created a custom and holistic approach to my application designed to maximize our time together and be proactive. Throughout the entire process, Alice was always accessible by email or zoom, and she was incredibly prompt with her replies to my inquiries. Also, her comments on my application were incredibly detailed and insightful. Simply put, Alice is a master of the creative process who never misses a deadline. Leveraging Alice’s expertise, I was able to find my voice and create a truly compelling narrative that resonated with Adcoms at multiple prestigious MBA programs. Ultimately, I was accepted to all six MBA programs I applied to, including Booth, Kellogg, and HBS. Alice is an amazing consultant and a wonderful person–you will not be disappointed if you choose to work with her, and I would recommend her to anyone.
I had an amazing experience working with Alice. Wanted to pivot out of my middle office job, I reached out to Menlo early in the process, more than a year before the Round 1 deadlines. During our initial assessment, Alice provided pivotal advice that proved critical to my admission success, including retaking my GMAT and beefing up my volunteering experience. The former ensured that I had a score that was competitive among the very competitive Asian male and finance demographic pools and the latter helped me develop my overall story and showcase my social consciousness to the AdCom. Throughout the process, Alice and I built a genuine connection. She knew the elements of my life story very well and pieced them perfectly together during the brainstorming process. The turnaround of the essay edits was incredibly efficient, with clear and actionable feedback. The interview prep also got me very comfortable in front of the interviews throughout all my interviews, and answers often came right out because of how familiar I was with elements of my story. The outcome of the application season was more than I had hoped for. Booth as my top choice offered me $50000 in scholarship. I wholeheartedly recommend Alice to anybody who is serious about getting into his or her dream program.
Alice is a fantastic consultant and, most importantly, a great person. All through the application process, I felt very comfortable working with Alice. She made a great effort to connect at a personal level, which ultimately resulted in an outstanding outcome. I highly recommend Alice as a top consultant and someone you can trust who will have your best interests in mind.
As a straight Asian male I was told by many consultants that I had incredibly slim odds at an acceptance to HBS or GSB. Alice not only believed in me but saw an opportunity to transform my application. She spent countless hours helping craft my story, adjust my essay, and prep for interviews. She was integral to my success, ultimately helping me get accepted to both HBS and GSB! Thanks, Alice!!
I’m really grateful to work with Alice and the rest of Menlo Coaching team for my R1 application this year. Like a lot of people who have been through this process, I felt really overwhelmed at the beginning, facing a tight schedule to prepare for the GMAT while having a quite busy job. Alice not only helped me to figure out the timeline that perfectly fit but also offered tremendous guidance on how to relax and be focused. She has been such an insightful and effective mentor along the way!
As we were drafting the essays, it was beyond my expectations of how responsive and patient Alice was to whatever questions or worries I had. Her expertise and dedication in crafting compelling essays are incredible and so effective. Rounds after rounds of editing have improved my essays to an entirely new level. And she’s always willing to even give it a final little push. As she said, she wanted it to be as perfect as possible. And most importantly, I can tell that Alice truly cares about my story and she can always help me to discover the deeper side of it. This is just invaluable as I’ve learned more about myself during the past few months and felt more confident facing the upcoming challenges.
Alice has been a professional coach, an inspiring mentor and a great friend! She’s is the top in the business and someone you can truly count on during your MBA application. I can’t recommend Alice and Menlo Coaching team more strongly and it’s going to be a great journey working with Alice!
I reached out to Alice early on in the application process through her Early Birds Program (1-2 years before applying). She was instrumental in helping me use my time effectively leading up to the application process which included guiding me towards which classes to take and which career moves made the most sense for me in order to bolster my profile while also positioning me best to reach my post-MBA goals. During the application process, Alice was extremely responsive and professional while also making the experience extremely personalized and tailored based on my goals. She was always available to answer questions across various aspects of the application process including reviewing my resume, school trips, mock interviews, and essay reviews, and she is extremely knowledgeable about every facet of the process. She was never too busy and always responded within 24 hours. Without her guidance, I never would have been accepted to 2 top 5 programs and I would recommend her to anyone who is applying to business school.
Coming from a non-traditional background, applying for an MBA was a super daunting experience and I was looking for a very personalized college counselor who would really support me through the process. Alice over delivered on my expectation. Over the last year, she has been a huge support and I’m not sure if I would have managed without Alice’s guidance. I was lucky to get accepted into Europe’s 3 top MBA programs. Alice is really personal, taking on her applicants as personal projects. She was never too busy for me, and always giving guidance especially when I was wavering on whether to even do an MBA! I could email her evenings and weekends and she always responded. She gave me strong prep before my interviews, worked thoroughly on my resume with me, and helped me shape my personal story so that I would be a strong candidate for my schools. I couldn’t recommend anyone more highly qualified or supportive than Alice to get you through your MBA process. You will not be disappointed if you chose Alice or Menlo Coaching to guide you through the application journey.
Alice and the team at Menlo Coaching were extremely helpful during my entire application process. As she mentions in her bio, she really does try to tell the story in the most compelling way possible rather than the typical cookie-cutter approach. I come from an over-represented applicant pool and Alice really helped me differentiate myself in my application. I received offers from two top 10 programs(Haas and Tuck) and have been waitlisted at a few others.
The aspect I liked most about working with Alice was that she was always available to answer any question I had, ranging from application-form-related queries to potential interview questions. She is a perfectionist and does not settle for any less, but she is extremely supportive and will always ensure you feel motivated during the process. Working with both Alice and Leslie ensured that I would get edits within 24-48 hours(max). The Menlo coaching team really works together to optimize your outcome(she would run my goals essays by David when we wanted a second opinion). Ava always helped ensure I was on track with respect to timelines and Obinna’s mock interview was really helpful as well.
While Menlo’s fees are a bit expensive, you have the flexibility to apply to as many schools as you like to increase your spread. I definitely recommend them if you’re looking at the top B-Schools but ensure you contact Alice early as her slots fill up fast!
Alice and the entire team at Menlo Coaching were vital to my success applying to and receiving admission to my dream school, Columbia Business School. I loved that they were full service, totally overhauling my resume, offering sage advice and support with the essays, and the best interview prep. I loved that they brought in a former actor to help loosen me up and prepare me for the interview. The basecamp module videos were also extremely helpful and I loved how Alice and the team kept me to a strict deadline so I was never too rushed. Menlo services are pricey but it is the best if you want to shoot for the stars and get into your dream school.
I am very happy to have worked with Alice and the rest of the Menlo team. I am excited to write that I was accepted to a few top MBA programs, including Booth with a six-figure scholarship, and know that it would not have been possible without their support!
I have a bit of an unconventional background and was not sure how to start thinking about the application process, but Alice worked with me and helped me put together a tailored plan to methodically craft my applications.
Alice helped me find a GRE tutor to help me boost my score, ran through multiple iterations of my resume which was a long way from being ready, provided me with advice on how to network with each program (including how to approach the conversation), she helped me select recommenders, helped me articulate my career goals, and most importantly got to know me on a personal level which was key when it came down to writing the essays and preparing for interviews.
I found Alice to be very insightful in both business and the MBA application process. Alice asked me thought-provoking questions and helped me see my story from different angles as we worked through essay drafts; while not everything I wrote was submitted I was happy to find that as a result of thinking deeply through those questions I was better prepared for my interviews months later.
Alice was amazing throughout, replying to all of my emails and questions thoughtfully and quickly. I could trust that if I needed help with anything that I was working on that I would hear back from Alice by the end of the day. This was especially helpful when I was cutting it close on a few essay drafts. Alice is a pleasure to work with and I would recommend her and the rest of the Menlo team to anyone who is applying to business school!
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Alice and her all-star Menlo Coaching team. I could not have gotten into Stanford GSB without her.
I started working with Alice in February, and she coached me through the entire Round 1 application process. Alice’s team was involved in every step of the process, incl. re-doing my resume, guiding me on school visits, preparing me for interviews, and of course, crafting my essays. Most importantly, her support in my Stanford essay was invaluable. I felt paralyzed when we started the essay writing process – I had no idea where to begin and was terrified of putting pen to paper. Alice was incredibly supportive and called me every week to coach me through the process. She responded to my questions within the hour (even though she was in a different time zone). She and Leslie would turn drafts in 1 day. She was as invested in the success of this essay as I was, and she was never interested in throwing in the towel and settling for an essay that wasn’t groundbreaking. She even answered my call on Labor Day to help me with the very last sentence. At the end of the process, I was overwhelmingly happy with every single word in my essay.
Alice believed in me more than I believed in myself. She, Leslie, Ava, and the entire team were by my side day after day, keeping me on track and reminding me of what I have to bring to the table. I truly could not have gotten into my dream school without her. If anyone is looking for a consultant who is there for you 24/7 and is a deep subject matter expert in every step of the application process, Alice is your person!
From the get-go, Alice was completely invested in developing the strongest possible case for my admission to the best MBA program possible. Along the process, I was coached, motivated, inspired and even made to jump and dance (voluntarily) by the team at Menlo Coaching.
I was looking for one-on-one school-specific guidance on what can seem like a very daunting process and I got more than just that. The pre-work videos featuring Alice and David on Basecamp were a great way to get started to think about my journey, introspect and develop my line of reasoning for what I wanted out of an MBA and how I could add value to the MBA cohort.
Since I was part of the Early Bird Program at Menlo Coaching, Alice was there every step of the way as we got closer to preparing for the application essays and resume. In my case, the optional statement was a crucial part of the application, given my circumstances and I am convinced that without Alice, my submission would not have been nearly as strong.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the one-on-one sessions with Alice, the team at Menlo Coaching consisting of Ava, Leslie, Fearless Communicators and Obinna constantly encouraged and supported me to put my best foot forward. I cannot say enough about the value that Alice and her team at Menlo Coaching brought to my MBA application and to me personally. I am very happy with the result – I was admitted into two of the three programs I applied to and received a scholarship offer as well
I had an amazing experience working with Alice. Prior to choosing a consultant I spent countless hours researching the various options, and I came away with the conclusion that working with Menlo and specifically Alice would best set me up for success. Having now gone through the process I can confidently say that this proved true! We spent significant time going over items such as realistic career goals to crafting my life story that we could then leverage for my applications. At times when I was slacking on my applications, Alice got me back on track by having weekly calls with me think through what was stumping me. When it came time to interview, they provided a theatre coach to help me come across in my best light and connected me with other consultants at Menlo to have mock interviews with.
I worked with Alice and the rest of the Menlo Coaching team for my R1 applications this year and had an outstanding experience. Alice takes the time to truly get to know and understand you as an individual, and this effort shines through in the application process. Alice helped me pick the right schools for me, craft a compelling career goal arc, and provided candid feedback from start to finish. Most of all, her guidance on my essays was invaluable – through dozens of iterations, she helped me bring out a genuine and unique side of myself. With her help, I was admitted to Wharton and am very excited to be attending this fall. Alice is the best in the business and I can’t recommend her highly enough.
I’ve had an amazing and tremendous experience working closely with Alice, and the rest of the Menlo Coaching community. I am very happy with my results, and it aligned very well to Alice’s initial expectations with my application. For me, in addition to her dedication to the application process (i.e. always answering any questions or turning around drafts within 1 day) and expertise, I think what’s most important is that she actually does care about your story and your future career and personal goals. I feel strongly that I can trust Alice to give me unbiased and right advice around school selection, essays, and also my final school decision. I think that this is actually the most important criteria for finding the right consultant, and Alice for sure checks this box!
I’ve worked with Alice for my application through the first round of applications for MBA, and she has been nothing but great! I could not have gotten into Columbia without her support.
Alice has great working morale and is able to give you a boost every time you talk. She gives relatable examples from her personal life and breaks down every task into small steps to help me with understanding what needs to be done on my side and how I can approach it. For example, she taught me how to ask my manager at work for a recommendation letter and what I needed to prepare them for it. Nonetheless, she has high standards and will urge you to try your best in all aspects of your application. I would highly recommend her if you’re looking for a consultant to aid your MBA application!
Alice and the Menlo team have supported me through every step of the process from school selection in January to getting accepted by HBS in round 1. Most helpful were Alice’s attention to detail in brainstorming and perfecting my essays, and also her vision on how to best portray my candidacy given my unique background and career goals. I trust her 100%.
I am a “non-traditional” candidate and Alice takes the time to get to know me and my career path in detail. Throughout the application process, she asked thoughtful questions, provided candid feedback on essays, and resume while making sure I was my genuine, authentic self. This was my main differentiator to get accepted to HBS.
I started working with Alice back in December 2019 and worked with her throughout the entire round 1 application process. Even as I navigate the waitlist for one school Alice is still with me strategizing and working on my update letters to get through the process. Alice is extremely knowledgeable about the entire MBA application process. She helped me identify and present my career goals in a compelling way, craft phenomenal essays, and thoroughly prepare me for my interviews. She is incredibly responsive (always within 24 hours) and made me feel as though I was one of the only students working with her. However, beyond her incredible professional expertise & effective process management I believe what really sets Alice apart from other consultants is that she is truly invested in the success of her clients – she REALLY DOES care about you. This year was incredibly difficult for me going through a career change, moving countries, taking the GMAT, and of course, applying to B school but Alice was always there to be a sounding board and give me perspective. She had this incredible ability to instill confidence in me when I needed it the most – I wouldn’t have gotten through the process without her. In the end I was able to gain admission to two top 10 business schools (Tuck and Yale). I sincerely believe that Alice is worth every penny and that if you are serious about getting into a top business school you should working with Alice and Menlo Coaching (try to contact her well in advance because her spots fill up fast)!
Alice is my coach during my entire application process – I could not have been accepted into both HBS and GSB without her guidance throughout the process. She is personable, knowledgeable, patient, and detail-oriented. I followed her advice from crafting my personal story (we probably went back and forth 15+ times until we felt it was in good shape), writing thoughtful school-specific essays, what to put into my application form (and how to word them), to doing two rounds of mock interviews. She is not only good at what she does, she also helps me think about the big picture of what I have and will want to achieve in my career (and life). She is there for me every step along the way – I couldn’t have achieved this without her help. Alice is THE BEST!!!
Alice and the whole Menlo Coaching crew are the best support one could wish for!!
I really liked that Alice is able to provide a clear roadmap to success, laying out all milestones (essays, etc.). This allowed me to prioritize accordingly and allocate my time to the most relevant topics. Alice is very approachable and is quick to respond when questions arise (during essay writing we interacted several times a week) and thus, I was able to write my essays super efficiently. What I liked about working with Alice is that she’s keen to get the best version of the story/essay, sometimes resulting in a lot of iterations.
Also, the interview preparation process is amazing. A lot of support material and a great coaching session with Fearless communications (‘YAASSS’, you’ll understand once you took that session).
Overall, I can highly recommend working with Alice. I got accepted to all MBA programs that I applied for and Alice was an important piece to that success story.
Alice and Menlo Coaching provide numerous resources to help you succeed – from countless essay edits to rigorous interview preparation tailored to each school. I have a unique career goal, and Alice did a wonderful job of helping portray myself in the most genuine and compelling manner possible. She is patient and always available for any questions regarding unique or different applicant backgrounds.
Alice was highly recommended by a close friend who got into HBS. I was lucky to work with her as she had no availability when I spoke with her (and I only got the opportunity when one candidate dropped out). I informed her how my dream school was the GSB and despite my concerns of applying R2, I was fortunate to be admitted – Alice provided such invaluable advice along the way. She is incredibly experienced in all aspects related to the application process. Some key highlights – For the recommendation, she has great instincts on who to select (her choice turned out to be so ideal when I was personally skeptical) and she’s very clear on explaining her rationale. She is also experienced in how an applicant can best brief the recommenders to help them through the process (I wasn’t aware that was even a part of the process!). For the resume & essay portions, not only does she attentively listen to your own personal life story and opinions, she has a lot of experience knowing what each business school is looking for (e.g., what GSB cares about) and is always very direct in telling you when your opinion/direction is off track and not compelling. This really makes Alice stand out because she is determined to help you achieve your goal – more so than she cares about how you feel & letting you go on a less compelling path. Last but not least, she always finds time to talk whenever you have something on your mind during an extremely stressful time (it isn’t always business) and it’s been incredible working with Alice. Would highly recommend!
I had a wonderful time working with Alice when applying to HBS and Wharton in R1 last year (and got into both!:)). I was struck with Alice’s candid feedback on my essays and resume – she never shied away from giving me honest, constructive criticism. She does not tell you what you want to hear but tells you what she really feels and backs her arguments up with solid logic.
Alice handles the process (from resume to interview) extremely well and not once did I feel worried that I might not finish my application in time or submit a sub-standard essay. She is meticulous and invested in uncovering your story, and isn’t focused on force-fitting you into a pre-defined mold. She is also able to think outside the box.
I have come to rely on Alice as more than a coach or advisor and more as a friend and thought partner, and continue to stay in touch for other advice, either B-school related or not! Strongly recommend you work with her and Menlo!
Alice came highly recommended to me by my partner who had a wonderful experience working with her and the entire Menlo Coaching team. His application process ended with a successful outcome and was accepted to his top choice school (CBS).
From our very first discussion, Alice provided me with a clear plan forward to best position myself for my future application. As a participant in the Early Bird program, I worked with Alice for more than a year in a very structured and organized manner. I struggled with the GRE until late in my application process, and her help navigating the test while balancing all aspects of the application was truly invaluable in being able to apply by the Round 1 deadline. I also appreciated that Alice provides her clients access to working with additional members of the Menlo team, especially with interview prep. Mock interviewing with both Alice and Obinna made me feel confident and prepared to go into the real interview.
Alice cares deeply about her clients’ success and that is evident in her work. I cannot thank her enough for her guidance and patience throughout the entire application process. She exceeded all of my expectations, and I would not be attending my dream school without her support.
She is an extraordinary and knowledgeable resource for prospective business school applicants, and I can’t recommend Alice and the Menlo Coaching team more strongly.
I would recommend Alice & Menlo coaching to anyone applying for an MBA!! Working together with her was smooth, satisfying & great for my personal development! In the first phase of the process, Alice really helped me to get the story out of me and think together about the storyline for my different essays. Together we reviewed countless versions of my resume and career goals. When writing the essays, I could always count on her quick and detailed feedback which challenged me on the right aspects. When needed, it was also great to be able to discuss the story with Leslie and David as additional support! Alice has endless patience and a lot of empathy!! Also the interview training with Obinna, David and Alice gave me the needed confidence about the different interview styles! In the end, I got accepted to all of my 4 top school applications (3 scholarships offered)!
I would give Alice & the Menlo Team an NPS of 10 – below is an excerpt from the email I sent them after I heard back from all the schools (I even spent a week with them in the Netherlands working in person, highly recommended!):
I wanted to send along my deepest appreciation for all the hard work you all have put into my business school application process. This means a lot to me but even more to my family.
I do not think I would have been accepted by HBS, Wharton, and Sloan without your counsel, insight, and support. I know that I can be a pain in the butt at times – stubborn or hard-headed on certain points, prone to procrastinate, an inconsistent communicator – and I appreciate you all for sticking with me and getting me to the finish line.
Special thanks to Alice for quarterbacking this whole process and convincing me to always do the right thing, David for telling me what I needed to hear rather than what I wanted to hear, and Leslie for letting me talk her ear off for hours outside of a closed coffee shop and then helping think through what a coherent narrative might be out of my very unplanned life. And to the whole Menlo team for letting me nap in the office, putting up with a jetlagged stranger for a week, and showing me around the Netherlands – best Thanksgiving I’ve had in a while!
Working with Alice is the dream application experience – she was super responsive to anything I put in front of her. Even when deadlines were close, I felt like her only client, as she was so attentive and thoughtful in her comments and suggestions. I could rely on her and the team no matter how small the question. Alice and the Menlo team are true experts in this process – from how to handle the ‘telling my recommender’ conversation, to what parts of my story to emphasize for each school. I had several friends or colleagues that had been to top schools, who all had conflicting pieces of advice on the process – having Alice as the trusted and informed source of truth was essential to cutting through the noise and crafting a solid application. Alice has a knack for knowing how to tailor all aspects of the application to the school and applicant’s story, and exactly which bits of the essay to push you on to get there. For interviews, Alice arranged mocks with several different members of the Menlo team, which let me practice different styles and types of questions. Choosing Menlo was not cheap, but it has made me a stronger writer and interviewee; it helped me to look inwards and develop my story for why I have chosen my life path. I definitely would not have been able to go through that growth and achieve these results without Alice and the Menlo team’s support – and I’d 100% choose to make the decision again!
I finally made up my mind to apply for an MBA in August, which was kind of late in the application process. Alice and David came highly recommended by a friend of mine who worked with Menlo R1, so I got on the free consultation call with Alice. Here were my impressions after the call that made me decide to choose Alice as my MBA coach:
1. Alice is really honest and personal: she obviously came prepared during my call and I felt that she was really trying to get to know me and understand why I want to pursue MBA. Unlike other MBA consultants who kept selling about themselves, she was trying to help me understand my options and even suggested that I apply next year as she believed I would have better results and be more prepared. Although I ended up applying R2 this year, I really appreciated her honesty and how she sincerely helped me to achieve the best MBA results.
2. Alice is highly qualified: When I was searching for MBA coaches, they normally fall into two groups. One group is professionals who went to a top MBA and are doing MBA coaching part-time. I found them to be impressive people to work with, but they are really doing it part-time and they have other priorities with their career. The second group is Ex-AO from top MBA program, they understand the MBA process and are usually super nice, but I don’t feel the connection. Alice has both things I was looking for – super impressive professionals + fully committed to MBA coaching.
3. Alice had extensive experience with international/over-representative applicants: She had extensive experience working with MBA candidates around the world. During my conversation, I got the sense that she really understood the challenge international applicants have, especially from an over-representative group.
After working with Alice in the past few months throughout the R2 application, I am truly convinced that choosing Alice to be my MBA coach was the best decision I’ve ever made and I see Alice as my mentor now who I hope to stay in touch after my MBA application process. Here are the reasons:
2. I received great offers: I applied to 5 schools in the top 10 MBA programs, received four interviews. I got accepted to 2 schools and waitlisted by 2 schools (Alice is still helping me off the waitlist)
3. This is truly full service and totally worth the cost: Menlo is a powerhouse and their team will help you with every aspect of the MBA application even though Alice is my main coach. Starting from figuring out school selection, enhancing GMAT score, school networking, developing personal story, preparing for interviews, all the way to discuss school decisions and work on the waitlist.
4. Super responsive and perfectionist: Alice and Menlo team were super responsive throughout my application process. She is also a perfectionist as well. I can’t remember how many iterations we went through for my resume and essays. She would make sure any materials I submitted to be the best my ability.
5. Good at help you navigate this emotional process: the MBA application process is an emotional process. I felt Alice is on my side as a friend who understands my feelings but more importantly, as a great mentor who helps you navigate this emotional process.
I am writing this testimonial not just because of the fantastic MBA results I received. I am recommending Alice and other consultants from Menlo because they are the best in class and will help you achieve your full potential with your MBA application.
Alice and the rest of the Menlo Team were instrumental in helping me successfully apply to business school. Coming from a non-traditional and fairly disjointed background, she was able to help me create a winning narrative. Beyond this, Alice is a wealth of knowledge about the application process. She was the source of invaluable information I don’t think I would have been able to access otherwise. And, as a bonus, she is a very nice person!
I am really pleased that I got to know of Alice through a friend and I decided to engage Menlo Coaching for my 2019 MBA applications.
I was quite sure about pursuing MBA since 2018 and I was lucky to have quite a few friends who had gone through the process to guide me. Honestly, looking at people’s stories and career goals was a bit intimidating and having applied earlier in 2016 to a bunch of schools with no success deterred my confidence. I had a huge weakness in my profile and being in one of the most competitive pools of applicants, it definitely did not help my case.
Bottom line was that I needed expert help to guide me through my applications and maximize my chances at top 10 schools. Fortunately, I started my search for a consultant in January 2019, which I believed was quite early but as it turns out it was actually the right time, if not late. I talked to multiple consultants before deciding to go with Alice.
I was quite impressed with Alice from the get-go. First of all, Alice and David are the top-rated consultants on many forums. In addition to that, the note I received from Alice when I reached out to her was extremely personal and warm. It showed her genuine interest in helping candidates, even prospective clients who had not signed up with her yet.
The candidacy evaluation call with Alice was quite different as compared to other consultants. Instead of selling herself and talking about her services she was more interested in my point of view, my profile, my reasons for applying to an MBA program and my career goals. She provided a candid evaluation of my chances at different schools, she had done her homework on analyzing my resume and coming up with a plan of action to address weaknesses in my candidacy. She also provided an honest opinion on why different people choose to pursue an MBA and whether it made sense for me to do the same. Alice and David are quite selective in choosing their clients and they enjoy a bit of a challenge, which my application definitely provided. Soon after my chat with Alice, I did some cost-benefit analysis on choosing the right consultant – the fees, number of schools I could apply and the historical success rate. I knew that getting in a top 10 program would be very challenging and Alice, with her flat fee model and personalized approach to shape each candidate’s application, was perfect for me.
Working with Menlo Coaching was a pleasure and a true partnership. Here are a few things about Alice and her team that you should know which make them stand apart:
1. They make you work and are on your toes to make sure you make progress – helps you not lose sight in the bustle of work and personal priorities
2. They have the experience and understanding of what the admissions committee value in a prospective student – helps you clear the clutter and focus on the important parts of your story
3. They start early – extremely important to get ahead of the curve; also helps you plan out school visits and other things that can bolster your application
4. They are very methodical and structured – their succinct video tutorials, reference materials, and project management tool help you keep on track
5. They are super accessible and extremely prompt in feedback – it feels truly collaborative and personal; I have been on one-on-one calls with Alice and Leslie for many hours to talk about my personal stories, education, work, and goals
6. They help you think about your own story without spoon-feeding templates – helps you come out as a true one of a kind candidate
7. They are perfectionists – I have had at least 20 reviews of my resume and more than 6 to 7 edits on each of my essays for all of my 8 school applications
8. They help you get into the networking mindset while you are applying – through their former clients, existing clients, and affiliates (peer reviews, reports on-campus visits, interview notes, etc.)
9. They go out of their way in many ways like helping candidates with their GMAT / GRE prep by providing the right resources and connects
10. They are not machines, they care about their clients and do everything to accommodate their client’s requests – I had a pre-commitment after application deadlines which meant I needed to finish all my interviews in a very short window of time, and Alice helped me expedite the interview preparation in a way that worked best for me
11. They are excellent at helping candidates prepare for interviews – professional help with speech delivery, interview presence and interview preparation through multiple mock interviews and feedback sessions
12. They do not stop at resumes, essays, video essays or interviews, they help you through all that follows as well – scholarship negotiation, waitlist updates, and even pre-MBA preparation
As for my results, I got interview calls from all the schools I applied to, got accepted at 2 top-10 schools with scholarships and was waitlisted at 2 other top-5 schools. It was a total shocker for me to have turned around my profile into a compelling application and being accepted at schools of my dream.
Although my contract with Menlo Coaching was for R1 applications, Alice is such a gem of a person that she even helped me with one R2 application for a very ambitious school that I really wanted to apply to. Alice truly values the relationships she develops with each of her clients and I would not hesitate to turn to her for advice anytime in the future too.
I cannot stress enough how happy I am with Menlo Coaching. They are true professionals but at the same time equally personal in their approach. Alice is a pleasure to work with and someone who I would love to be in touch with going forward.
If you are still deciding on the choice of an admissions consultant, Alice and David would be my sincerest recommendation.
I hired Menlo Coaching to help me with my 2019 MBA Applications
I decided to hire a consulting firm for 3 reasons
1. I didn’t know anyone who got their MBA so I needed someone who could guide me
2. I was facing significant weaknesses in my application
3. The financial ROI of a top MBA program was high (3x my salary)
I did consultations with about 8 consultants. 6 were cliché and a waste of time. Ultimately, my decision came down to Menlo Coaching and a consultant from MBA Mission.
MBA Mission was enticing for 2 reasons
1. I come from a niche industry and he’s the only consultant I found who shared my pre-MBA background and post-MBA goals.
2. He was about 40-50% of the cost (depending on how many schools I applied to) and since I didn’t make much money, cost was an important factor to me.
In the end, these were the 3 reasons I went with Menlo
1. I felt like Alice & David genuinely cared and wanted me as a client (they are selective) despite my weaknesses. And that was reinforced in the reviews I read online. Every consultant has 5-star reviews. But read the contents of those reviews and you’ll see a real difference in the detail and quality of Menlo Coaching.
2. While the MBA Mission consultant might’ve been a good career coach, I realized my target audience (admissions officers) wouldn’t have an in-depth understanding of my industry either so I actually wanted someone who could translate my experience into a language they would understand.
3. As I mentioned, the ROI was high and the total cost of attendance was also going to be high regardless of where I went so might as well spend a little extra money to maximize my chances. Hiring an admissions consultant is one of the few times in life where I didn’t want the best value. I wanted the best.
Looking back, I definitely made the right decision. Be prepared to work hard, but here’s a look at some of my biggest ways Alice added value.
Taught me how the game is played. And trust me, a bit of it is a game. As I mentioned, I didn’t know anyone who got an MBA and I didn’t work at a feeder firm. But thanks to Alice teaching me the value of “influencers”, I found at least one person who vouched for me at each of the 9 schools that I applied to.
Starting early. All the other consultants I talked to didn’t want to start working until June. I started working with Alice the moment I signed in February. We wrote resumes, personal stories and career goal statements in the Spring that made writing the individual essays much easier when applications were released.
Always available. I felt like I could ask Alice about anything – from campus visits to sending the perfect thank you email. None of my questions or concerns ever felt unimportant. Being overseas in Europe was never an issue either. If you send an essay at night in the U.S., you can expect a response in the morning.
Unlimited means unlimited. Some consultants charge per school but Alice charges a flat fee and doesn’t cap how many schools you can apply to. Because I was a non-traditional applicant and we couldn’t properly handicap my chances, I ended up applying to 9 schools spread across the Top 20. That meant a lot of extra work for her but she believed it was the right strategy so we did it. We literally went through 20+ revisions on some of the essays and she never complained.
Access to reports. Menlo Coaching has a strong network of applicants who share detailed notes over the years of campus visits, interviews, etc. which I found to be more helpful than the guides available on other sites.
Crisis management. Something came up before applying that could’ve seriously jeopardized my ability to apply at all. This is where I really gained respect for her. She could’ve easily quit on me and focused on her other candidates who had strong shots at M7 schools. But she stayed loyal and doubled down her efforts to make sure I overcame the setback and could finish strong. She had the perfect balance between empathy and pushing me to get tasks done. Even later, when the coronavirus hit, she was able to assess the situation and give me insights into how it would affect my MBA experience.
Interview Prep. I can’t speak highly enough about her interview coach Obinna Arizor either. He was always well prepared, came with tough questions and gave me instant feedback on how to improve. Even though interviewing was my strength, he was always available to hop on the phone and chat so I felt 100% confident going in.
As for my outcomes: I got accepted into 4 schools:
A Top 10 school (off the waitlist), Top 15 school (off the waitlist) and 2 Top 20 schools (including 1 with a 2/3rd scholarship)
For me, this was a wild success. I went into the process hoping only 1 school would take a chance on me.
Finally, Alice is just a genuinely good person who I actually hope to stay in touch with.
I met Leslie when I visited the Bay Area on vacation and if it weren’t for the virus, I planned to meet Alice & David in Amsterdam during my pre-MBA Eurotrip.
Our contract was for Round 1 applications but I feel like she’s the type of person who if I reached out for advice about MBA recruiting a year from now, she wouldn’t hesitate to offer her insights.
There are so many people who will be involved with your MBA journey from the moment you decide you want to apply to the moment you graduate. I really feel Alice is one of the few people who will always be an important part of that process.
Working with Alice was a truly fantastic experience. I had a mix of non-traditional background mixed with over-represented work experience and so going into the application process I was unsure of which parts of my profile to highlight. Alice really took the time to get to know me and helped to pull out the aspects of my application that were truly unique. This resulted in me getting an offer with a scholarship from one of my dream schools and two waitlists (at this time) at schools that were definitely a reach for me.
Alice was the perfect mix of being honest and supportive. She immediately identified my weaknesses (GMAT) and helped me to develop a strategy to improve. I was part of the Menlo early bird group and found it so helpful to be able to bounce ideas and strategies off a group of supportive peers. This coupled with Menlo’s incredible introspective writing exercises meant that by the time that I was ready to start my applications I knew exactly what I wanted in a school and how I could best position myself.
While working with Menlo I did some of the most meaningful introspective writing of my life. While most of this never made it into my final essays, it allowed me to contemplate my strengths and weaknesses as a candidate and ultimately lead me to choose a school that I had not even considered when I first was thinking about pursuing an MBA. I could not be happier with the Menlo process and I am so thankful to have had Alice to push me to think about what I really wanted out of my MBA experience.
I cannot recommend Menlo and Alice enough to anyone embarking on the MBA application journey. You will be pushed to really think about your life to this point and ultimately will be able to make a much better and more informed decision about the school you ultimately pick. Alice was so supportive throughout the process and from school visits to essays to interviews to the final decision, I felt like I could always tell Alice what I was thinking and ask her any question and get an honest and informed response. Alice is smart, attentive and kind and this ultimately led to my MBA application process being a truly pleasurable experience.
I initially got to know Alice and Menlo coaching through recommendations from two of my friends, who both worked with Alice in their respective application cycles and received great results (one HBS admit and another CBS admit). I participated in the Early Bird program and Alice has always been my primary contact. As a member of the Early Bird program, I started learning about admission basics and planning my applications way in advance (more than one year before the R1 deadline in 2019). Alice has been extremely instrumental in this process – we spent hours on the phone going through my personal stories and she pushed me very hard to reflect on my experiences and find unique angles in my story. Without help from Alice, I would not have been able to craft a great essay that I used for my HBS application. Another perk of working with Menlo is that you get to receive inputs from other team members as well. During the summer before R1 deadline, I was able to work with Alice and Leslie at the same time. It benefited me tremendously as I can get support almost 24 x 7 – I am based in Asia and I can always get feedback on my essay/to get my questions answered within a short period of time. Moreover, Alice and Leslie both have their own specialties, and I benefited from both of them.
Overall, Alice and her team are truly amazing – they are extremely knowledgable about the MBA application and they can offer you candid and sharp feedback on your plan/school selection/application materials. They are also very easy to work with, and they genuinely care about you and your applications. I would highly recommend Alice and the Menlo team to anyone who is seriously considering applying for MBA, especially for the top schools.
I had a great experience working with Alice and the rest of the Menlo team this cycle (accepted Wharton). They took a comprehensive approach to me as a candidate, getting to know the nuances of my story well beyond the straightforward professional experience, school, basic extracurriculars, etc. As an applicant from an over-represented demographic, it was definitely critical to emphasize these more personal aspects of my application and Alice and Leslie really helped me bring these out in my essays. During the actual essay writing process, Alice and her team were very professional, responding very promptly and turning drafts like clockwork. With Alice in the Netherlands and Leslie in the U.S., the coverage was more or less 24/7 so we had a good rhythm and little wasted time once it was crunch time. They were also not afraid to be honest, telling me when an essay was not going down the right track and then giving some pointers on the direction it could take. I really felt I was in good hands throughout the process.
During the interview stage, the team set me up with practice interviews for each of the schools, which really helped me build confidence going into the real events.
Finally, Alice was great to work with on a personal level, very understanding and supportive throughout the process while keeping everything on track and on schedule. Highly recommend and very thankful!
I started working with Alice and her team in October 2018, in Menlo Coaching’s “Early Birds” program. I was aiming for US-based schools. From the very beginning, I liked working with Alice because of her knowledge of the various MBA programs, her dedication, and her structured approach.
Alice and her team were there every step of the way. They connected me with the right people to get my GMAT score up. Then, we worked hand in hand on the various items that make an application: school selection, networking with target schools, the MBA resume, the personal story, career goals, the essays, finding and briefing the recommenders and finally interview prep. As a non-US-based applicant, visiting campuses was not something I could do. Menlo Coaching had the right resources to make up for that.
Alice is a caring coach and working with her was a truly amazing experience. Applying to top programs can be very stressful but Alice made it seem less daunting by holding my hand throughout the whole process. She said to me once, when working on the personal story: “All I need you to do is write. Leave the stress to me”.
Thanks to Alice and her team, I received an offer from Tuck with a full-tuition scholarship.
I decided to start working with Menlo Coaching in January of 2019 and worked with Alice for almost a year. All throughout the year, Alice and her team really pushed me to go beyond what I thought was possible. For example, when I signed with Menlo, I had a 740 GMAT, and they pushed me to study some more and take it again. Additionally, Alice and her team were willing to work with me on a daily basis for months on end. I sent her drafts for the essays, and we went through dozens of drafts. Additionally, she helped me on 8 schools, of which I earned an interview with 6, and admission at 4.
As someone who has never worked at a particularly prestigious or attended a selective college, I was over the moon to be admitted to Tuck, Ross, Johnson, and Vanderbilt, with big scholarships (including two full rides). Menlo Coaching pushed me and hopefully my career to new heights!
My recommendation is that you follow the link to their website, fill out the application form, and then do a consultation call with Alice or one of her colleagues at Menlo Coaching. If you’re considering working with an MBA admissions coach, you should do multiple consultation calls with different coaches/consultants and compare how you feel about each call/coach. I called a couple of MBA admissions coaches including some of the ones frequently mentioned on P&Q, and decided to work with Menlo Coaching for two reasons. The first and more material reason was that they made a convincing argument that their lower client-to-coach ratio meant that someone would be “holding my hand” throughout the entire admissions process to a greater degree than would be possible with other admissions coaching/consulting firms. The second reason had more to do with my ‘gut’ feeling: I felt that their candor, and the thoughtfulness and realism of their analysis of my near-term career options on this (free) call differentiated them from the other initial consultation calls I’d done.
I worked with Alice and the Menlo Coaching team throughout my admissions process, from getting my GMAT score up and then brainstorming target schools, all the way through to scholarship ‘negotiations’ post-offer. Menlo’s team includes many specialists in different areas, but Alice was my primary coach and point-of-contact throughout the whole admissions process.
I did participate in Menlo’s “Early Birds” program, so I was working with Alice from almost a year before my target R1 window. This was very helpful, because my pre-MBA background was US military and very few of my colleagues/mentors had in-depth knowledge of MBA admissions. As such, I benefited immensely from using Menlo to build detailed knowledge of MBA programs & admissions long in advance of getting into the weeds of applying. I did this largely through studying Menlo’s extensive database of research on each school, watching their videos which walk clients through each step of the process (explaining the “purpose/intent” behind each step), through talking with Alice and her colleague David White, and through connecting with multiple former Menlo clients whose backgrounds made them knowledgeable about areas where I needed more context.
Ultimately, I applied to five T10 MBA programs, got offers from three programs, one “HSW”, one M7 and one T10. I’m extremely happy with this result, and I feel like working with Alice significantly increased the “return” I got on my efforts throughout my admissions process.
Over the course of about a year, I met and spoke with many other applicants during campus visits, info sessions, and interview days. Talking to these other applicants, I came to appreciate some of the ways that Alice/Menlo’s method was giving me a persistent advantage throughout the process.
Firstly, my entire application process was very structured. Alice and her team have developed a very logical sequence for all of the things you’ll need to do well in order to maximize your admissions odds, which they will then tailor to your unique situation. This means you’ll waste little time stressing about *what* you should be focusing on *when*, and will be instead work your way through a thoughtfully sequenced plan. It’s nice to not have to worry about the “big picture” as you work though the weeds of writing and editing. Also, their web platform is great and will keep everything organized, which especially pays off in managing document control as you and Alice (or another Menlo editor) get deep into editing.
Second, Alice and her team at Menlo are amazing at guiding you through the writing and editing process. As you write your essays, work with recommenders, and prep for interviews, you’ll need to identify the elements of your personal and professional life that will tell a compelling story which addresses two questions- “who are you”, and “how will you add value to the program’s portfolio of current students and alumni”. Alice and the Menlo team take a very systematic approach to identifying these elements and guiding you through weaving them into a compelling story. I think one reason they excel here is that Alice and the editing team at Menlo have experience in English-language literature writing at an extremely high academic level, meaning that they are super-knowledgeable about the iterative process of creating effective writing. It was very effort-intensive on my part, but I was never left feeling confused/frustrated or unsure of what I should be writing/editing/re-writing throughout this (long) process. In the end, I submitted essays that told my unusual story very effectively, and convincingly made the case for my admission.
Lastly, Alice and her team will connect you with the right third-party resources at the right time. There are an abundance of resources for GMAT score improvement, interview prep, etc. But the effort of discerning *whom* to work with, and figuring out how to effectively sequence those engagements into the timeline of my personal admissions process (without adversely affecting other key steps), would have been a headache. Again, Alice and Menlo excelled here.
In summary, throughout my work with Alice and Menlo coaching, I consistently felt like I had the correct tool in my hands at the correct time, and clear instructions for what I should be doing in each phase, that fit into a broader timeline of steps that made sense to me. I was quickly connected with easy-to understand knowledge resources that gave me sufficiently detailed contextual information to perform each step of the admissions process as effectively as possible. It was still a stressful and suspenseful experience; I don’t think anything could make MBA the admissions process stress-free or suspense-free. However, after the first month of working with Alice, I was never in doubt that I’d achieve a satisfactory admissions outcome- it was always more a question of whether I’d achieve a good outcome or a great outcome.
I would not have been accepted to Harvard if it weren’t for Alice and Menlo Coaching. As an applicant from a traditionally oversubscribed background (Asian male in finance), I found Alice and Menlo Coaching to be critical to helping me differentiate myself and tell my unique story. She’s definitely had extensive experience working with MBA applicants, and I think the Menlo Coaching system she has developed has been institutionalized and perfected.
In addition to being an amazing resource, Alice was also very easy to work with. She gave me her personal attention throughout the entire process and always took time to answer my questions thoughtfully. Some of my friends used consultants from other services, and I realized that was not the case with everyone. Alice/Menlo Coaching is truly a premium service and they really treat their clients appropriately. I highly recommend them if you’re applying to MBA programs.
As a somewhat non-traditional MBA applicant trying to figure out how to navigate the process, I reached out to Menlo Coaching for a consultation and was recommended to join their “Early Bird” program. It could not have been a better fit for me, as I was given plenty of time (nearly a year) to understand more about the MBA in general and truly consider what I was looking for in a program and how to market myself in my applications. Through meeting with Alice and Leslie and speaking about my entire life story for nearly two hours, we were able to distill some salient points, stories, and themes from which to attack essays and shape my overall applicant profile. Further, in this earlier time period I was able to work with Alice to polish my resume and specifically tailor it towards the MBA application, visit all my target schools knowing what to look for and prepared with questions to ask, and even get a head-start on essay writing before the non-“Early Bird” clients started! For anyone still unsure about some (or ALL!) parts of the application process, I couldn’t recommend the Early Bird program any more highly.
After thinking about what I was looking for in a program and working with Alice to narrow down my choices, I ended up applying to 7 programs – which might seem like a few too many – so that extra Early Bird time was extremely helpful. I was able to write at least 4 or 5 drafts of every essay without ever feeling truly rushed. Alice and Leslie were both very punctual with their feedback, rarely taking more than 24 hours to respond to my questions or newly edited versions of essays. Being based in the Netherlands, Alice usually responded to me (in California) overnight, which provided for a seamless workflow. Of the 7 programs, I received interviews for 5, and felt extremely prepared thanks to MC’s provided flashcards and a 1-on-1 session with a communications coach who works with them. (Love you, Eduardo!) Eventually I walked away from the process with 3 acceptances, one of which offered a full tuition scholarship!
Lastly, working with Alice and the larger MC team was enjoyable and, dare I say, FUN…as fun as applying to MBA programs can be, anyway. Knowing how few clients MC takes on overall made me feel secure in knowing Alice would have the time and energy to devote herself fully to my success throughout the process. She really got to know me and my story, and was able to tailor her feedback to resonate with me. As the process cranked into high gear, we developed an effective working rhythm, and were able to share plenty of anecdotes and laughs along the way. Having Alice in my corner was truly indispensable, and I can’t thank her enough.
I can’t recommend working with Alice and Leslie enough. From the very start, I knew Menlo was differentiated in that they take a holistic approach to you as a candidate vs. just pay-per-hour essay advice. The entire process is truly comprehensive and helped me highlight the best aspects of my candidacy and execute flawlessly.
One of the most valuable things about their service, for me, was a session where for two hours I basically narrated my life story from childhood to where I am today and Alice and Leslie then helped my parse that narrative for the salient/interesting pieces. After this session, I wrote my initial essay drafts with this guidance. This exercise was extremely helpful in that it helped me identify a comprehensive narrative that would stand out to the adcom. Some aspects of my life I thought were salient or interesting were actually cut from my application all together; I found the unbiased advice very honest and helpful. Additionally, I have a very traditional MBA background (banking/consulting) and though I have many peers and supervisors that went to business school, I think getting essay advice from a non-banker/consultant helped me avoid confusing industry jargon and helped my essays stand out amongst my peers.
Additionally, as busy professional, the speed and professionalism of communication was top-notch. Alice and Leslie got back to me 24/7 (especially around deadlines) which I appreciated immensely. I always had small questions about how to fill out certain sections of the forms, and I was answered within 24 hours. If you have a demanding job, I can’t overstate the benefit of having an expert “on call” to bounce ideas off of or help answer questions.
Finally, the Menlo service is so personal because Alice and Leslie are completely invested in your success. I 100% knew that they were in my corner, rooting for me, cheering for me, and that made all the difference when she pushed me over and over to rework certain areas of my application. Applying to business school is quite the process – and I loved having their support.
Worth the investment – can’t recommend enough!
I had chatted with 15-20 consultants in the year leading up to business school, and what immediately stood out about Alice was her sense of empathy and respect for my personal story. Alice never tried to fit me into a cookie-cutter template of what a business school application should look like; rather, she carefully listened to my experiences and ensured her advice stayed authentic to who I was.
Alice took a holistic approach to my application. Beyond writing essays, Alice suggested extracurricular activities, additional experiences at work, and ways to deepen my understanding of each school. This gave us much more content to work with when it came time to writing essays and ensured each element of my application worked together to create a cohesive application.
While I worked directly with Alice, I also benefited from the power of the entire Menlo team. I worked closely with Leslie on refining each essay. Leslie provided thoughtful feedback on structure and cadence, giving each essay a passionate voice and rhythm. Throughout the year, Alice and Leslie responded promptly and never hesitated to suggest changes that would strengthen my application, even if it meant more work for the Menlo team. By the time I submitted my application, I knew my personal story inside out and how it fit into what each school was looking for.
Alice also engaged others on the Menlo team to act as sounding boards for videos and application strategies. This was particularly useful when preparing for the interviews, as it allowed me to grow comfortable with a variety of interview styles. Thanks to Alice, I received an offer from Wharton with a six-figure scholarship.
I cannot recommend Alice highly enough because her service is mind-blowing and has resulted in a miracle: I would not have been admitted to HBS without Alice and her team, who are top-notch for a number of reasons:
1. I can always count on Alice for highly personalized advice. She was instrumental in highlighting my specific developmental areas so that I could prioritize my time and effort. There are a few exercises so you can be assured that your application will be truly unique. As a result, my application stood out although I have an over-represented background and odds are against me.
2. Alice pushed me to become better. I would not have done some of the most useful preparation without her.
3. Alice always tells the truth. Unlike every other consultant who told me confidently that I could get into a target school, she asked me to wait for one more year before applying, the best advice that I have received.
4. Alice strives for perfection and has an incredible work ethic. For instance, without being asked, she made further iterations on my essays. She also works incredibly hard. She did not let her work slip one bit when a significant family member passed away.
5. Alice and her team work seamlessly together, providing prompt responses almost 24-7. I find this particularly helpful given that I live in a different time zone and that some situations require fast turnaround.
6. Alice makes an extra effort to solicit opinions from her team (particularly David). On several occasions, Alice and I decided on the best course of action, drawing upon a diverse set of ideas and suggestions.
7. Most importantly, I find Alice personally invested in my success. Working with her is beyond a professional service; it is not transactional. She goes out of her way to best prepare me. For example, she connected me to students and alumni, helping me to gain insights into schools and practice for interviews.
8. Lastly, Alice and her team are always looking for ways to improve their services. They take feedback seriously and work on initiatives to provide useful resources.
My friend referred me to Alice. For the information call with her, I had this vague idea of going to business school but very little directional guidance. Within half an hour, Alice was able to map out what I need to do to best prepare myself. She is very enthusiastic about helping students get into MBA programs, and I was convinced right away.
It was wonderful to work with Alice during the application process. Her responses are always timely, even around the deadlines. She took the time to listen to my story and get to know me as a person. I really appreciate her high standards on the essays. There have been times where she would push me to rewrite multiple time over a concluding sentence on an essay.
I had the pleasure to work with her in two application cycles, something that is quite rare since she always gets students into the dream school the first time around. I decided to stay with her the second application cycle since she was so supportive the first time around. I feel lucky to have her in my corner and rooting for me. I could not have gotten into business school without her support along the way.
Before hiring Alice/Menlo, I spoke with numerous admissions consultants. I had heard about Menlo through personal referrals, and in my intro call, it was immediately obvious that the team had a differentiated grasp of the admissions process. More so than the other consultants I chatted with, Alice (and David, her Menlo partner) quickly understood my background and the strengths/weaknesses to build an application around.
Throughout the process, the Menlo team provided a range of resources that far outpaced what other consultants offered. Alice and David connected me with current students at schools that interested me and with similar applicants concurrently going through the process so we could spit-ball ideas. Alice and David work with an absolutely excellent speech coach, Eduardo, who constructively supplements the interview prep they provide by sharing warm-up drills and speech strategies. Their program is much more comprehensive than what other consultants provide, which justifies the generally higher cost.
Anytime I had a question on my application or strategy, Alice would respond promptly with detailed feedback. Alice’s essay edits were rapid and carefully tailored; Alice was never afraid to suggest a large-scale rewrite or to be critical of a poorly written passage, and my essays ultimately benefited from that level of scrutiny.
In the weeks prior to the application deadlines, I’d been swamped with work. When I finally had some time to work through my applications, I was about to hit the deadlines. Alice and David invited me to Baarn, the suburb of Amsterdam where they are headquartered, to work with them in person at their office. They provide all of their clients with this opportunity, and without question, being out there in-person allowed me to reach peak efficiency and produce very high-quality essays in a short period of time with consistent attention from Alice and David. I think this experience in Baarn played a significant role in my success admissions to multiple elite schools.
Overall, I believe Menlo provides a creative, comprehensive, and thoughtful coaching service. They are constantly looking for ways to improve and augment the services they provide, and I really think they’re best-in-class, which has been proven out by their consistent success. Thank you, Alice!
Alice and the team helped me got into my dream school – HBS! I got to know Alice initially through my friend who also got into HBS last year. I heard so many good things about Menlo and the team really exceeded my expectations. From crafting the personal story to preparing for interviews, Alice was super involved in every step of the process. For instance, she even helped me pick the perfect outfit for my HBS interview!!
In addition, I was working on a very tight timeline, and Alice not only provided detailed inputs/feedback in a timely manner but also constantly pushed me to deliver the best possible output. She is very candid and genuine. Instead of saying what you want to hear, she tells you what you need to hear. The team, in general, is very supportive. During the interview period, I did several prep sessions, not just with Alice but also with David and other consultants on the team. The mock sessions were tailored for each school, and a lot of the questions we practiced actually came up during the real interviews.
I really enjoyed working with Alice and the team, and I would highly recommend them to anyone who is considering getting an MBA, regardless of your background. Reach out to them early because the slots get filled so fast!!
Menlo and Alice far exceeded my expectations, enabling me to submit my best application and put my best self forward in the business school admissions process. Alice helped ensure that I did everything possible to maximize my chances for admission, from campus visits, networking, and the GMAT, to application materials and interview prep. She made this process very structured and manageable through their online platform and gave me the guidance and support I needed every step of the way.
It is clear how invested she was in my success, always pushing me to the next level and helping me deliver my very best. The time and attention she devotes to you is unreal. She was extremely accessible and super efficient in providing edits and feedback during the essay writing process.
Alice is also someone that is very easy to connect with. She really tries to get to know you as a person and helps you develop your personal story, identifying the experiences that have shaped you and what makes you unique. She is incredibly honest and provided me with invaluable feedback and advice throughout this process that I knew I could trust. In the end, she helped me gain admission to multiple top schools. I can’t imagine a better coach than Alice!
Applying for schools couldn’t have been a better experience with Alice and her team. They provide an all-inclusive experience and are there for you every step of the way. For those who don’t know as much about the b-school process, they have bimonthly workshops via video on various topics (e.g. GMAT prep, visiting schools, utilizing your network, resume writing).
For me, I felt like I already knew a lot about the application process due to being at a consulting firm surrounded by many b-school alumni. I was still blown away by the level of support and new insights that Alice brought. A few things that really stood out:
1. You have fewer iterations and a tighter narrative. I wrote an average of 3 drafts for my essays, with very targeted edits after my first draft. This was due to talking through my life story with Alice & Leslie. They would then help me see the narrative, and areas to focus. When reviewing my drafts, because they knew my holistic profile, they were able to point out areas that I was not portraying as effectively, or stories that I did not initially include.
2. Alice is extremely candid (sometimes with what you don’t want to hear). She’s tactful but relentless to get you to your best application. There were times when I would write 2 drafts, and she would say it was good… which made me question—was it actually? But then she would make me write 11 iterations of a draft… then make me compare the 2 draft vs. 11 draft essays. It was clear I had put my heart into my 2 draft essa (since I was more excited to go to the school) and had used more descriptive/excited language. I fully trust her with the final pen.
3. She’s there every step of the way and encourages you to do things that may be out of your comfort zone. She guides you through any question big or small. She pushed me to reach out to people in my larger network that I normally may not have. She helped me with scholarship essays and prepped me for every interview. She even looked over emails I sent to faculty members and the admissions office (I had to sort out a deferral situation).
All in all, highly recommend Alice! I just finished working with her R1 for 2019, and already referred two of my friends who are working with her now for R2.
I worked with Alice for Round 1 applications in 2018. My situation was complicated by the fact that my GMAT was below average for most schools (700) and that I’m a British-Indian (whilst I was born and raised in the UK and my parents were born and raised in Africa, my Indian heritage was obvious through my name). With this came the usual concerns about how schools ‘bucket’ people from certain ethnicities.
If you take one thing away from this review, let it be that Alice was AMAZING (I cannot stress this enough and I could not have done it without her; every penny was well-spent!).
Firstly, I had a 30-minute consultation with Alice. I was instantly struck by her willingness to listen to me, gather all the data-points and then offer her views. Unlike other consultants that I had spoken to, Alice didn’t feel the need to force Menlo’s services through an intense sales pitch. Instead, she was honest about my candidacy for the top schools. Whilst all the other consultants I spoke with were very keen to tell me what I wanted to hear, I knew that Alice’s honesty would serve me well and give me those extra few yards which will be the difference between getting in and missing out. I instantly gathered that she would make the difference….and she did. it was obvious to me that Menlo wanted to give me the best possible shot by being honest and blunt with the assessment.
Throughout the process, Alice was available, dedicated, calm and simply brilliant. We spent time (I think almost 2 hrs) talking through my whole life (from my parent’s journey to my siblings to my career choices). She then said ‘hmm, interesting, let me mull over this for a day…’. She came back with an outline of the most brilliant story – picking bits that I would have initially considered irrelevant. She offered an end-to-end service from deciding on schools to agreeing on a story to discussing bespoke approaches for different schools (including how to network) to reviewing my wider application to working with my referees to providing thorough interview preparation to offering me support when I was going through periods of doubt! As everyone would agree, the application process is stressful, but Alice took the edge off and guided me immensely. She was also SUPER responsive – I would usually get a response to emails within a few minutes and essays with comments would be returned at least within 24 hrs (most of the time within a few hours). I guess the biggest compliment I can pay Alice is that I felt like I was her only client (she had another 10-11) with the amount of attention she gave me.
I feel as though Menlo Coaching was able to turn water into wine! Considering the hurdles I was facing, Alice got me through step by step. I was admitted to Yale, LBS, UCLA (with more than 50% scholarship), Cambridge (with scholarship), Ross (with scholarship) and wait-listed at two other schools (so at least I can say that I received no rejections!!). I could not have achieved this without Alice’s guidance. Alice and David’s understanding of the industry and of a range of schools are second to none. They are also constantly evolving to stay ahead of the game – for example, David recently came to London to speak with LBS admissions, and equally, I know that David/Alice frequently do the same with the US schools. Overall, you can’t go wrong with David and Alice. I appreciate that admissions consultants cost a lot of money, but if you want to go with a team who truly, genuinely cares about your success, has the ability to craft out a unique story based on your unique and personal journey, and has insight into what different institutions look for, go with Menlo. Menlo Coaching will give you the edge. I now look back on the process fondly (!) and that is due to the support I had from Alice.
Last thing I would like to add is: don’t think Menlo will do all the work for you. You need to reciprocate to make the most out of the service. I worked intensely over the last few months to get my work to a high standard and to address comments from Alice quickly and efficiently. You have to really dig deep and be clear on why you want to do the MBA. You have to show yourself and the team at Menlo that you really want this and you have to put in the work to achieve the best possible results.
Thank you for all your help Alice – you are truly the best in the business.
I was referred to Alice through a friend and I am so thankful for this introduction. During one of my initial calls with Alice, she told me that she would be there the entire way and beyond. She under promised and over delivered!
Alice and her team were indispensable in getting me accepted at my dream school, HBS! Their in-depth and holistic approach have amazed me and the people close to me.
It started with an online platform where you are assigned tasks to get you through the application marathon in a structured way. Alice guided me through the groundwork by, for example, setting up calls with alumni and current students, pointing out what factors to look out to during school visits, etc.
Once the ground work is done, you move to the core–the applications. When I began the application process, I wanted to write an essay with a sole aim to get me accepted. Alice and her team enabled me to do a deep introspection and to write an essay I am proud of and which really reflects who I am. The application process is very nerve racking and I was extremely impressed by Alice’s availability and her patience with me. I had her undivided attention throughout the process; during our one-on-one sessions in Baarn, but also a few minutes before the deadline. An aspect which also really struck me was how she placed my interests above anyone else, including herself. I had to make some tough decisions during the essay writing stage and Alice always gave me the best advice.
Finally, after the application has been submitted comes the final sprint towards the finish line. As during earlier stages, Alice leaves nothing to chance; voice warming exercises, posture, mock interviews… she prepares you for everything!
Looking back, not only were Alice and her team fundamental in getting me accepted to my dream school, but they also helped me grow both personally and professionally (I jokingly refer the inner-Alice I developed). Working with Alice has been one of the best decisions I have made and I am happy to now consider her as a true friend!
I have little doubt that Alice and her team are the best in the business. I reached out to her over a year ago and it was a great fit from the beginning. Bottom line, Menlo has the best reviews in MBA consulting for a reason and you should try to get to them early to secure their help!
In terms of the application itself, I had many differing opinions on what and how to present myself. Alice and team helped guide me in my writing / finding a voice but importantly, did not write for me. My application was truly my own, with my voice. I couldn’t have asked for a better consultant and when I submitted my application, I felt very good about it – with the help of Alice and team. Moreover, I received immense help during the interview prep, and a number of questions we practiced came up during the interview itself! I highly recommend Menlo if you want to work with the best.
You won’t find anyone else who brings humanity into this process and has your best interests at heart at all times.
I worked with Alice and I was blown away by her level of engagement with my application. What really sets her apart is that she’s not willing to shy away from giving you the hard truth – and sometimes telling you that maybe an MBA isn’t the best thing for you or that your selection of schools doesn’t really match your long-term interests.
Her philosophy for the essay was that it is something that needs to reflect my life story and something that I should be proud of decades from now – not something I’m whipping up just for the application. Alice not only holds that high a bar for you but also for herself. We chatted about my story over several hour long calls. Alice patiently listened, probed where appropriate, offered me her perspective on some of the challenges I’ve faced, and teased out key themes from my life. It felt less like brainstorming for essays and more like a mix of life coaching and someone interviewing me for a long-form article in the New Yorker about my narrative arc. Alice is incredibly generous with her time as well. To work on the essays, I met with Alice in Baarn (outside Amsterdam) to brainstorm essay topics, share early drafts, and iterated until she was satisfied.
I’d always considered myself fairly savvy about this process as I’d read up a decent amount and talked to enough people to understand how things “really worked”. Working with Alice was humbling because you learn how much more there is to this process from what is shared online. Alice is incredibly savvy, keep abreast of changing dynamics, and give you practical advice to help make your application the best it can be.
When some family tragedy struck and I put GMAT and applications to the side, Alice was there with a sympathetic ear and encouragement when I wanted it and with tough love when I needed it. She could shift to a career in motivational speaking and wouldn’t be out of place!
When you work with Menlo, you’re not just working with Alice – you’re also working with professional editors and communication coaches to take your essays and interviews to the next level. When there was a wide gulf between my GMAT practice tests and my actual performance, they referred me to a GMAT tutor who was incredible to work with and helped me get over mental blocks while I took the test.
True to the meaning of coach, Alice will ensure that you are sharing your story in the best way you can and will teach you skills that you can take away and apply to other aspects of your career instead of just telling you what to do.
In addition to helping you with the applications, Menlo also set up lots of events with industry professionals and current students to make sure you’re prepared to succeed at business school once you get there!
P.S. It is incredibly competitive to get a slot with Alice, so I highly recommend reaching out early!
Alice and Menlo are more than just a (world class) MBA admissions consultancy. They are sincerely curious in you as an individual and want the best for you, and as a result, they will push you to reach your maximum potential. This sincere approach means that they really understand your strengths, values, weaknesses, and ambitions (and what sits behind those ambitions). Frank and honest, they will tell you when they expect more of you or when you need to take that extra step to have the best chance of getting into an MBA, which was hugely important for me at times. The working relationship absolutely feels like a partnership. Initially, you will go through a process where Alice delves deep into your story, and very skillfully she will pull out parts of your story that you may not have appreciated enough, or perhaps place too much importance on. Alice has a remarkable ability to understand your story and motivations and then reflect it back in a way that puts all the pieces together in a way that is compelling to a potential business school. Further, when I had big questions about things such as quitting my job and moving country, Alice provided honest constructive feedback. It is important for me to also say that Alice gives you the confidence to perform. She understands how to softly instill confidence in you. First for the essay writing stage and then the interview – she keeps it simple, light, and gives you a way of thinking whereby you enjoy the process. In summary, Menlo gave me absolute confidence at every stage that what I was submitting or presenting was the best that I could offer. Not quite sure how I would have done it without the Menlo team, I couldn’t speak about them more highly. They will push you but they will get the best out of you and your application.
I talked with many consultants, and it seemed I was talking with the same person. The questions were superficial, and everyone told me how great my chances were. Alice, on the other hand, is at a much higher level, from the first email loosely explaining my ideas, she already pointed out many important flaws in my reasoning and gave me invaluable tips. That was even before the first interview, and on that instant, I knew she was the one. I would not even dare to consider anyone else but Alice.
I had a very tight schedule, only one month to prepare my entire application from scratch, and, even in such short notice, she managed to give a lot of attention to every single detail of my application. She is caring, knowledgeable, a top expert in her field.
But above all, she is one of the nicest persons I ever had the pleasure to work with. You may think this is not relevant, and you are wrong. You need to open up, find and tell your qualities but also your weakness, find the happy and sad histories in your life. And this is so much easier when the person in front of you makes you laugh and feel comfortable. If I had the opportunity I would surely want her as my BFF.
She will work with you in all the aspects of your application, essays interviews, techniques to relax and even propose a session with Eduardo on how to articulate your speech and your voice. She will make you think and talk until she extracts qualities, skills, and histories from you that you would never think were relevant, and she will show you they are a gold mine.
She will definitely tell you no BS, she is very candid and logical about your objectives and your chances.
She got the best application out of me. I got admitted to IMD, one of the most selective schools in the world.
And once the application was submitted she kept in touch and is still giving me guidance.
Alice is a fantastic professional, you will never find better. Stop wasting your time looking for someone else.
Bottom line up front: If you want to present your best self in your applications, you want Menlo on your team. Alice is the best in the business, and she will help you to extract every bit of what you offer as a candidate and present it in your applications.
I found Menlo Consulting on P&Q while reading reviews for admissions consultants. Alice’s excellent reviews stood out to me, and once I learned that Alice and David only accepted a limited number of clients each year and could, therefore, provide the individually tailored service for which I was looking, I decided to contact them. I could not have been happier with my choice.
As a transitioning Army veteran, I was concerned about being able to tie the lessons I had learned during my military service directly to my future goals in the private sector, so I was pleased to learn that both Alice and David had private sector experience in my areas of interest- consulting and tech. I was also acutely aware of a number of challenges my candidacy faced for entry into a top program. I was an older MBA applicant >30, and both my GPA and my GMAT were below the average scores of nearly every top 20 school. I understood that I was fighting an uphill battle and that most of my school choices were “reach” schools for me.
During our initial call, Alice identified a few strategies that she thought would strengthen my candidacy, provided me with candid feedback about my school selections, and helped me to understand why it was best for me to wait until R2 when I could present the strongest application to schools. We decided that once I had completed some of the strategies we discussed that we would start the application process together. After I worked through the tasks, I got back on the phone with Alice. I was extremely impressed by her process as she sought to understand who I was, and how best to describe my story to an admissions committee. I felt by the end of the call that Alice understood who I was and what made tick. As I started to work through essays and applications, Alice pushed me. She never wrote any essays for me. Instead, her notes compelled me to reflect deeper on my stories, their lessons, and what I wanted out of my future education. I wrote and rewrote. Each time I submitted a draft, I had a response from Alice either the same day or the next day. Honestly, even though I knew she had a full plate, her responsiveness made me feel as if I were her only client. After we nailed down the essays, and I submitted, Alice and David helped prepare me for interviews. The interview prep could be probing, but by the time school interview invites started rolling in, I felt prepared, confident, and calm.
When the call came in from Kellogg, my whole extended family was gathered, and we got to celebrate that moment together- it’s a moment I will never forget. I was proud of all that I had accomplished, but I knew that I had Alice and Menlo to thank for helping me overcome the many hurdles facing my candidacy, craft the best story possible, and gain acceptance to an M7 school. If you are on the fence about hiring an admissions consultant, invest in yourself and do it- I’m glad I did. Thank you, Alice and Menlo!
I had the pleasure of working with Alice for my deferred MBA applications.
From the very start, Alice was extremely realistic and candid about my chances at the schools I was targeting, which I appreciated. Before working on the essays and the bulk of the application, I liked how Alice spent time strategizing our approach, getting me to put thoughts on paper, and really getting to know me (beyond just my resume / activities / profile). I would look forward to my calls with her, and within a few weeks I felt like I was conversing with someone I would consider more than just a coach or mentor. Her guidance is what allowed me to come up with a story that captured the essence of who I am, and her warm personality made the (long) process of figuring that out enjoyable.
Alice and her team work on EACH and EVERY aspect of the application, whether that be selecting recommenders, proofreading the final application, or preparing you for the interview. It was very easy to bounce ideas off her and get her advice for somewhat unrelated stuff as well; e.g. she helped me out with some of my job-related stuff, because she cared about me beyond my applications.
Everything worked out splendidly in the end, and I got an acceptance from Booth! This definitely would not have been possible without Alice. I cannot recommend Alice and Menlo Coaching highly enough!
I worked closely with Alice (and David for interviews) for several months. I can comfortably say she exceeded my expectations in every possible way.
She pushed me to really think about my overall story – and would wouldn’t hold back when she thought things were not up to standard, which is exactly what I needed. Ultimately, I ended up with a set of submissions that I was not only immensely proud of, but ones that I truly felt was the product of my own work (Alice will not write for you, which is a good thing for your application!).
Overall, Alice is a class act who truly cared about me as a client. She is not overly commercial, flat out telling me at times; “You don’t need to pay for more practice interviews – you are ready”. Her and the rest of Menlo Coaching are also in the process of establishing free resources and networking sessions for Menlo Coaching alumni – something which has already been useful for me.
I ended up getting admitted to HBS (and waitlisted at Stanford). If you considering using a consultant – then just speak to Alice, I guarantee you will get more from a 30 min conversation than you would from hours with another consultant.
I am so happy I found Alice through a friend’s referral. From the start we clicked and I could tell she really cared about finding the best MBA fit for me (she helped me narrow down the list of schools I was applying to based on personal/family needs). Then while writing the essays, she always followed up, helped me think through my story, and paid attention to the smallest details so that I came across as dynamic and not just a typical “finance person.” I knew when I submitted each application that it was as perfect as possible – and I ended up getting admitted to Wharton, MIT, and Booth with an 80k scholarship!
She is also a great resource to practice interviewing with (we prepped for about five hours total) and is as invested in the process as you are. I think this is because she doesn’t overwhelm her schedule with clients – so once she is fully booked, she doesn’t accept more clients in order to ensure quality time with the set that she has. That was really helpful, especially when I was finishing essays last minute.
I look forward to staying in touch with her even after I start school, since her guidance and advice has been so valuable. Thank you Alice!!
I was referred to Alice by a friend and colleague. I was planning to apply to business school and wanted to work with an experienced consultant for not only guidance on essays and applications, but because I valued the direction and insight of someone intimately familiar with the process and my targeted schools. Working with Alice was fantastic and I cannot imagine a resource more knowledgeable, helpful or supportive.
Working with Alice resulted in a very organized and methodical process, and her help was invaluable in crafting the best possible version of my story. I applied to four schools in Round 1, and this method allowed me to manage a large undertaking with minimal stress. She (and David) also helped me prepare for interviews in a way that allowed me to feel calm and prepared going into the real thing. Our process had a happy conclusion as I beat the odds and was accepted to my top choice school. I cannot thank Alice (and her team) enough for their role because without her guidance, I would not have stood a chance.
In addition to her great work, Alice’s caring and thoughtful manner sets her apart. Despite a full roster of clients, she always made me feel like a top priority. This environment facilitated an honest, transparent and supportive working relationship, which means a lot during a grueling process.
Alice is an exceptional resource for any prospective business school applicant and I cannot recommend her more strongly.
Initial Conversation: I first reached out to Menlo Coaching two years ago. They were completely booked at the time (definitely reach out to them early if you are interested). Last year, I remembered to reach out early. I had talked to a few other consultants before I reached out to Menlo Coaching. But after talking to them, I knew I wanted to work with Menlo Coaching because they sounded like they genuinely wanted to get to know me and my story. They were extremely knowledgeable about the admissions process, and I liked knowing who I would get to work directly with. I spoke to Alice, and she was very honest with me. She told me I would need an even higher GMAT score for the school that I was targeting. I liked how she believed that I could achieve a higher score (when I didn’t even believe in myself). With her encouragement, I studied hard, re-took the exam and achieved my dream score. School Selection and Applications: I told Menlo Coaching my new score, and immediately they made really good suggestions on which schools I should apply to based on my interests. Looking back, their recommendations were spot on. I insisted on adding a few additional schools to the list so the number of schools increased from four to six. In the span of two months, I wrote essays for all six schools. It was hard to stay focused, but they kept me on track. Alice provided excellent guidance throughout each stage of the writing process. She read and commented on every single draft I wrote and sent to her. Her response time was always very fast (for both essays and general questions). David helped me revise my resume. He really took the time to understand my role and provided excellent suggestions. I felt really confident about all of my essays, my resume and my overall application at the end. Interviews: I was invited to interview at all six schools. I did two mock interviews. Menlo Coaching even mailed me flashcards to practice with. They provided great advice on how to tell my story and gave suggestions on how to handle the more tricky behavioral questions. I also participated in a mock TBD. I was very nervous about it, but Alice was very encouraging and made some very helpful observations about my performance. I was a lot less nervous after that. Participating in the mock helped boost my confidence, and I definitely recommend it. Results: In the end, I was accepted to all six schools! All of these schools are ranked within the top 10. Additionally, I received partial scholarships from almost all of the schools, and some of the scholarships were a lot more than I expected (I was pleasantly shocked). Even after I got in, Menlo Coaching continued to provide really helpful advice. I can tell that they genuinely care about me, and I am SO happy and grateful I got the opportunity to work with them. In conclusion, if you are serious about applying, definitely reach out to Menlo Coaching. They are completely worth the investment, and I cannot recommend them enough. Thank you Alice!!!
My conversation with Alice started a year back when I decided to go with a consultant for my MBA application. I had just got a reject from INSEAD and had reached out to Alice for her advice for my application at Kellogg after reading some reviews on GMATclub. During my first conversation with her I knew her for the person she was – genuine, empathetic, and extremely helpful. She clearly said that my rejection at INSEAD was not because she saw drastic gaps in my essay, but more due to ‘bad luck’ and she would help me with my story at Kellogg, since she felt, in her words, that I was a ‘strong candidate who deserved a good offer’. I liked her honesty, and transparency. Alice was extremely helpful during the entire application process – extremely prompt and highly responsive with solid feedback. On one of the two essays, I loved how she broke down one question into four sub-questions. I hadn’t thought of the question that way and my answer post her feedback was phenomenally better. Anyone who is looking for genuine, impactful guidance on applications should definitely reach out to Alice! Thanks again Alice, could not have done this without you! 🙂
Like many others, I spent quite a bit of time researching various consultants and deliberated on who to pick once I had narrowed the list down. I chose Alice because I found her to be both knowledgable and committed to my success. Right from the free consultation, Alice focused on identifying the gaps in my profile and how to weave a successful story. Most importantly, she did this in a professional yet thoughtful way where I always felt comfortable and in control of the process. What truly set her apart for me was her ability to understand who I am and what makes me unique. When submitting my application, I was confident that I was submitting a strong and truthful narrative about myself that was not at all obvious to me when I first started the process. While I had the suspicion that other consultants approached my application as business transaction or tried to sell my achievements back to me for their service, Alice always listened first and answered honestly. She replied very promptly (often after work hours) and often went the extra mile. Pick Alice as she will advise you with integrity and provide sound guidance. The application requires hard work and dedication but Alice (and David) will match what you put in. Having now heard back positively from LBS and some of the top US schools, I am confident Menlo Coaching can get you wherever you want to go.
I worked with Alice on my Round 1 application to HBS and GSB, and landed both interviews, and got accepted to HBS. My first interaction with Alice was during the 30 min free consultation. At the time, I was evaluating a few other consultants, and I was immediately won over by Alice’s thoughtfulness and caring nature. She already started giving me helpful advice, even though she told me she was full for R1 applicants. Luckily we worked out our timing, and I got the amazing opportunity to work with Alice. Through out the process, Alice was a great listener, and always made sure I presented the best of myself in the most genuine way. We also did a mock HBS interview which had many topics that showed up in my actual interview. All in all, I would highly recommend Alice!
In round 2 of last season, I applied to several top full-time programs with limited success, being waitlisted and eventually accepted at one program falling just outside the top 10. In 2018, I re-applied and was admitted to my top choice Booth. I improved my GMAT score; however, working with Alice and Menlo Coaching maximized my success. I don’t think I’d be in my fortunate situation without their help. There are several benefits working with Alice and the Menlo team, which I’d distill into two major buckets. First, they help peel back the layers of your life story and help craft a unique and compelling story. When it comes to packaging your story into essays, they guide you with achieving the perfect balance of building a narrative and the necessary details while adhering to the prompt’s constraints. Second, they coach you with how to best position yourself to adcoms throughout the admissions process, including avoiding pitfalls that can be repellant (many of which I unconsciously did my first attempt). The preparation makes you very confident. Beyond the valuable support and coaching, working with Alice and team was a truly pleasurable experience in every aspect. Also, and while I didn’t need it to be sold, it’s hard to have more impressive credentials than Alice and her team (all went to M7 schools, Alice is a GSB grad who received offers from each MBB firm and received a scholarship for her PhD – she knows how to navigate the process) Without getting too in the weeds, Menlo’s business model also is the best economically. I applied to multiple schools and would have paid 2x if I went down the route of the fixed cost model other organizations offer. If I were to go through the process again, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I couldn’t have stronger praise for Alice and the Menlo team.
I worked with Alice on my re-application to Harvard and Stanford (plus a few schools that I applied to for the first time). I contacted 5-6 consultants to get a feel of the people out there first, and chose Alice because of her amazing reviews (to which I am adding) and the fact that she seemed like the only person I spoke to whom I could truly trust from the first time we spoke. I was originally going to reach out to Sandy Kreisberg about HBS afterward but decided to go with Alice after we spoke over the phone. This trust factor I think is important above all else. Alice pointed out a few broad themes and was realistic, telling me that I probably would not succeed (just based on the facts and stats), but that I had strong material to work with. Given Alice’s background at Bain, I expected her to be a hyper-structured, no-nonsense type who would put everything I needed to do in buckets and help me manage my process as if it were a consulting project. In reality, Alice is a very warm person whose coaching sessions were more of a natural, free-flowing conversation. However, she’s very firm in her advice, extremely organized, and clearly spends time when you’re not working together thinking about what your strategy should be and whether you should be making any changes or pivots given new information or updates to your profile. Alice and I worked to overhaul my entire application, including essay, resume, application short answers, recommendations, and interview prep. I was a candidate without a clear brand or an obviously fascinating story to tell, and Alice was hugely helpful in identifying what to highlight, including things that were perhaps not the most exciting but absolutely necessary information to include to connect the dots for admissions. Before I received my interview invites, I would at times have major cognitive dissonance when it came to some of Alice’s advice. Would schools really want to read about a significant experience that I had all the way back in high school? Should I really ask this specific person for a recommendation? Should I really submit an essay that I personally found kind of boring (but was not boring to other people)? Should I really not mention Why X school in my essay AT ALL? The answer to all of these questions turned out to be yes, and I luckily took Alice’s advice (this is why it’s important to have a consultant who you can truly trust, instead of a consultant with whom you have a transactional relationship/you treat as a second opinion). I had to get over the fact that I would never be able to come up with an essay that could compare with one of those “WOW!” essays about being in combat in Afghanistan or overcoming crushing adversity or digging 1,000 wells in a developing country, and just tell the story I had to tell. I’m not sure how I would have fared in a second attempt on my own, because I would have repeated many of the same mistakes I made the first time. This is specific to my personal experience and style, but I think Alice is a great partner for over-achievers who overthink and overanalyze. In my case, those tendencies resulted in a lot of convoluted essay drafts and short answers that took 100 words to say what could be conveyed in 20. Alice reminded me REPEATEDLY (I really did not get it fast enough) throughout the process to write and speak in a simple, honest voice, even at times when it would have been much easier for both of us to just work off of what I had. For example, the morning my HBS post-interview reflection was due, I basically had to revamp my draft after I received her feedback. It made for a stressful morning, but Alice will not hesitate to tell you to go back to the drawing board and how to approach things differently, because she just knows what does and doesn’t work. I got into HBS, and am so grateful to have found Alice. Absolutely no regrets on spending the time and money to work with her, and hope that many others will achieve their goals with her help in the future. She is someone you will be grateful to know, and who genuinely cares about her clients.
Alice has a strong dedication to excellence and always goes the extra mile. I want to echo all the other reviews in that she truly cares about her clients; I could trust her to offer her input in all aspects of my application. I started working with Alice in June for 2017 Round 1 applications, and had a call with her a few days ago after my HBS acceptance. The whole time Alice gave her 110% to understand my candidacy, help me present my strongest self, and support me as I navigated the process. I had a initial calls with several consultants and Alice clearly stood out with her genuine interest in getting to know me and knowledge of the MBA application landscape. Alice was so committed to my reflection process and brainstorming content for application essays. It was important for me to have my genuine voice, rather than being directed by a formulaic consultant who knows “what works” in an application. She was meticulous and extremely responsive when we worked on my essays, constantly challenging me to dig deeper into my experiences and motivations. She was not afraid to tell me when a draft wasn’t working and always explained her thought process while taking my feedback into account. The interview prep sessions were exceptionally nuanced for each school; Alice made sure I knew what to expect. I also had an interview prep session with her husband and business partner David, who offered a fresh perspective and focused feedback on career-related questions. It was helpful to get both Alice and David’s feedback even though I had only signed up with Alice; she would let me know when they had different views on my content so I could make the final call. Thanks to Alice, I had an incredibly rewarding six months understanding and learning how to tell my story, and was blown away by my acceptance results. I encourage everyone to reach out to her…and do it early! (winter before application deadline)
Alice is the best out there, hands down. I knew the application process would be an uphill battle. All of my professional experience was highly non-traditional and I was not confident I could present my story in the best way possible. That is – until I found Alice. It is a significant financial commitment to work with an MBA advisor, so I conducted careful research and had introductory chats with 7 different firms. From the second I met Alice, I knew I’d found a match. Alice was thoughtful, incredibly sharp, and she really wanted to understand me, my background, and my motivations. Throughout our time together she listened to me, evaluated my concerns, and was truly focused on making sure I did my absolute best work possible. Alice never put words in my mouth, she was incredibly fast, and she truly went above and beyond to ensure that my objectives were met. She was also very helpful with interview prep. She had tons of suggestions, shared helpful insights, and she organized practice interviews for me. She also made sure to follow up every step of the way, even after the acceptance emails started coming in! Working with her is totally, totally worth it! I truly cannot thank her enough! Go with Alice, you won’t regret it.
I am a re-applicant and Alice helped me get into INSEAD. I worked with another consultant last year and the experience was horrible. I feel Alice is very helpful. She really tries to understand me and think about a very strategic way to position me in front of the schools. I think she knows what the school is looking for. Also, she is very fast and efficient. I think we only need around 3 – 4 edits and can finish each school within 3 weeks. I recommend her to all my friends in MBA application process.
With the below post I want to warmly recommend the services of Alice van Harten and Menlo Coaching to all future applicants! Please, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. I will be glad to fully verify my authenticity. I have had the plan for an MBA for quite some time. Then, having worked in an unknown family startup, coming from an underrepresented part of the world, which does NOT have any tradition with MBAs and does not have English as its first language, I knew early on that I needed an admissions consultant. The best one! I talked to all of them, big and small, famous and rather unknown, and luckily, while doing my research I ran into Alice. This is also why I am posting this recommendation here. I decided on working with Alice in November 2015 when I talked to her and within all my chats she was almost the only one to give me honest feedback and actionable advice – before I knew whether I would subscribe or not with her. Exactly the opposite, as she was already full, it was more or less clear we wouldn’t be able to make it. Because I wanted to work with her (and only with her), I decided to push my applications from R2/2015 to R1/2016. I started my apps in May 2016! It was an ambitious set of schools, but in the end, I made it into 3 out of 7 schools. And I am sure – it wasn’t mine, nor her fault that I didn’t make it into the remaining 4! We did a great job! So please, take into account, no one can guarantee anything! Whoever comes with some fancy statistics is misleading you! As an MBA candidate you should know what critical thinking is… Working with Alice is simple – she tries to get to know you so that your personality can come through. She always gives candid feedback, which can be hard for some people, but I always felt it pushed me to deliver a better job. This is to say, Alice and her team will never write your essays, but she will push you towards writing the best essays possible. Yet, her long experience will come in handy when you need suggestions for wording, cutting down word count or finding an interesting twist to the story you want to tell. She never ever showed any delay (though I believe I was also always on time :)) and constantly answered my questions (all sorts of) within a couple of hours. Essay edits are normally ready within a day. All in all, I can do nothing but recommend her services to all of you! Should you plan on applying, please reach out to her now or early, because her spots fill quickly and you will regret it. However, please take into account a general disclaimer that I also want to share with you – admissions consultants are no magicians! It all comes down to YOUR research, YOUR ideas, as well as the hard work YOU put in (both in your applications, as well as the one you have invested in the past years). Do your homework and Alice will surely do her part of the deal! Thanks, Alice! This all wouldn’t have been possible without you!
Before selecting Alice, I did initial conversations with a number of different firms. While most of the firms focused on their past successes, Alice was already formulating a strategy to help present my story to the admissions committees. This focus on her client persisted throughout our relationship from developing ambitious career goals (that were actually aligned with my interests), to making sure all the discrete pieces of my applications fit into a coherent narrative, and finally to a mock group interview to prepare me for Wharton’s process. Alice provided sage guidance and a level head while going through the emotional rollercoaster of the application process. She is constantly asked to take on additional clients but refuses because she worries that this will dilute her focus on her existing clients. I could not have asked for a better guide through the MBA application process.
I worked with Alice from Oct 16 – Mar 17 on 4 round 2 applications to US schools. The schools were Wharton, Harvard, Stanford and Booth. I am originally from the UK and had been working in New York for a year. I want to state up front that all the words below are mine and I did not share this review with Alice before posting. The reason I am doing this is that when I was choosing a consultant a year ago and came across Alice’s reviews they were so unbelievably positive that I was nervous they weren’t fully independent (I ended up speaking to a few of the reviewers who assured me that they were all their own words). I have tried to be as balanced as possible below and to not just be universally positive in order to be as helpful as possible to the reader. Apologies for the length of review but this is an important decision and so I have tried to give a many details as possible. As background context I initially really did not want to use a consultant due to the cost. I was confident that if I really worked hard I would be able to produce good essays. I ended up deciding to use a consultant for four main reasons: i) I was applying for difficult schools and was going to need all the help I could get; ii) I knew that a lot of applicants were using consultants and I did not want to be at a disadvantage to them straight off the bat; iii) being from the UK, I thought I might benefit more from the guidance on applications to US schools than someone from the US would; and iv) reading Alice’s reviews and speaking to her convinced me that she would really add value to my application. I spoke to four other consultants and finally narrowed it down to Alice and one other. It can be very hard to make that decision as there are a lot of strong consultants with impressive resumes, reviews and track records. One reservation that I had with Alice was that she had not worked within admissions while a lot of other consultants had. I ended up going with Alice due primarily to: i) the personal connection that I felt we had from the introductory phone calls; ii) I got comfortable that it was no secret what admissions people were looking for and so it wasn’t a real disadvantage that Alice had not worked on the inside (it could even be an advantage that she brings a different angle having worked in business and consulting); and iii) the fact that she was pretty much a one-person company rather than from one of the larger firms. More on these below. In summary, I was delighted with my experience working with Alice. I got into top schools, one with a good scholarship offer, and the overall process was a lot easier and less stressful that it would have been if I had gone on my own. I have already personally recommended Alice to colleagues and friends but I do always caution on the cost. There’s no denying that the application consulting service is expensive and it’s really a personal decision on whether you are happy to pay that money. Depending on the strength of your application it may or not be the difference between you getting into a top school – it’s very hard to weigh this up before you have really started the process so my recommendation is to peak to lots of consultants / friends etc. in order to really understand how much help you need and in what areas. See below for more detailed thoughts on specific areas of working with Alice. Personal connection: Alice is a really lovely person and I think it is a real differentiator that she seems to develop a strong personal connection with all of her applicants. The application process is long and tough and can be disheartening at times and therefore it is so vitally important to like the person you are working with. I would look forward to the phone calls, which says a lot given they were at 7am and often after late nights at work and given that she was often telling me that I needed to work harder on a certain essay (i.e. I would need to cancel my Saturday plans). I can imagine that if you do not get along well with your consultant you would really resent these calls and the free time that you are asked to give up. Although I believe that you really cannot go wrong with Alice I think it is still worthwhile to do your research and speak to a number of consultants before deciding who to go with. The personal connection is so important. Alice is consulting for the right reasons: Another huge positive about Alice is that you get the impression that she really cares about your application. Of course it’s in her interest for you to do well in your applications (and so will be more likely to recommend her) but I always felt that she really enjoyed helping people and was genuinely doing it for the right reasons. It is easy to be cynical about the industry (charging high rates to people who are often already well off on the promise that with a top offer they will be able to get even richer) but Alice is one of the “good guys” in the industry. For Alice it is about more than just the application and paycheck and she wants you to make the right decision – for example we are still in touch about post-MBA career goals and she is always offering to give advice. There were a number of situations where Alice gave me advice that was not in her monetary interest. These really gave me trust in her and gave me confidence that she would never rack up unnecessary hours. A few examples: – When I was weighing up choosing between Alice and another consultant she did not attempt to oversell herself. Rather she laid out her particular approach to the process and advised me to only choose to work with her if I thought our approaches aligned. – Once we’d started working together I was verging towards Columbia being my first choice. Alice told me that I should apply “early decision” there and would get in with minimal guidance from Alice. I was someone who was willing to apply to 4-5 schools with the full suite of services and she was basically advising me to only use ~5 hours of her time. (I ended up not even applying to Columbia, for personal reasons); – Later on in the process and I was considering doing a last minute application to Stanford. I asked Alice what my chances were, i.e. was this really worth the time and cost. A less scrupulous person may have tried to encourage me to apply, thereby increasing my hours, but Alice was very clear on how long a shot it was and did not make any attempt to push me towards an application; and – When we had a recent discussion on applying for consulting jobs post-MBA she mentioned that she offered a service to help with the applications. I would have thought that she would be well positioned to help on this given her experience with applications in general and that she worked for Bain (as well as getting offers from BCG and Mckinsey) but she advised me to use a different company that she thought would be able to help me more. There were a few times when Alice and I went off topic and started chatting generally on our calls. When we did this she always stopped the clock. There are pros and cons to an hourly versus package pricing model but I believe that overall the incentives are better aligned with Alice’s hourly method. With hourly pricing it means she has to be continuously adding value or risk the applicant reducing the hours used. I probably ended up paying a similar amount to if I had bought a package from one of the bigger companies but it was important to me to retain the option to turn the tap off at any moment and was not committed to a certain amount. I have also heard from other applicants who went down the package route that they did not feel very valued – rather they had been sold hard by the company initially but once they’d paid the fees they no longer felt they were a priority. The other side of the coin is that I was very aware of always being on the clock and there were a few situations when I would have loved to discuss something further but I kept quiet so as to not to incur more costs. Although there are surely many excellent consultants, they are definitely not all created equal. Of three good friends who used consultants, one had a great experience and two did not. One of these two said that she did not get along well with the consultant and actually stopped using him halfway through. The other person got along fine with her consultant but felt that she did not add that much. This shows how important it is to get the decision right. Essays: Most applicants can probably write a good essay without the help of a consultant but few would be able to write a very good essay. The strength of your background and experience helps for sure but even with a very interesting story you may not be that effective at turning it into a compelling essay. If I go back and re-read my first drafts of each essay and compare them to the final versions, it is pretty incredible how much they improved. I obviously cannot comment on how much other consultants help your essays but can just say that Alice added huge value to mine both in giving her thoughts on what the content / theme of each essay should be (the “story”) and also in editing so that it reads well. The first thing you will do with Alice is have a 1-2 hour kick off call where she will ask you lots of questions about your background and experience (it is characteristic of Alice’s personal approach that this is all done on skype rather than through questionnaires that some of the larger companies use to save their time) . This allows her to get to know your strengths and weaknesses and ultimately is what she will use direct the content of the essays. I think that Alice helped all of my essays hugely but it was probably on the more open-ended ones that she really came into her own. For example, most people would be able to make a good attempt at the two Wharton essays and Stanford’s “Why Stanford” (i.e. the more structured ones) but would struggle with HBS’s “Tell us what else we don’t know about you” and Stanford’s “What matters most to you and why”. This is primarily because it is very hard to look at oneself objectively and know what it is interesting about your background. The things that I thought were interesting about myself were apparently not that interesting, rather it was things I would never have thought of. For example, if you had asked me to think of ten ideas for the topic for the HBS essay I would not have listed the one that Alice thought the strongest (and which we went with). But by the time that essay was written I could see how strong the story was. Alice has helped so many people through the process that she is so good at identifying the characteristics that set you apart from other applicants. Another example is the Booth application, where they give you the option to write a traditional essay or submit a photo presentation. I would never have had the confidence to submit a photo presentation without Alice’s encouragement that she believed it to be the more compelling approach in my case. I ended up with a scholarship offer. Another area where Alice really influenced the content of my essays was my career goals (important for Wharton’s “Why MBA at Wharton”, Stanford’s “Why Stanford” and interviews). I started off thinking that I should be as ambitious as possible with career goals on the basis that schools would be interested in someone who aimed high. I then toned my goals down to private equity, which again Alice said was not suitable as it showed I hadn’t really done my research (very few MBAs leave for a job in private equity who hadn’t done it before, and even less without banking experience). The career goal we went with (banking) was not my real career goal but it made so much more sense given my background as well as being very achievable (which is important for the schools’ rankings as these are partly based on how quickly their students gets employed). This advice drastically altered my application and I am so relieved that I had Alice to explain all this to me. Alice also really improved the flow of the essays. This is less important than content and for sure the admissions teams are not expecting everyone to be great writers but it can only help to submit an essay that is well structured and reads nicely. Alice has great experience at cutting unnecessary words / sentences and I always enjoyed receiving each draft back from her because I knew she would have really improved it. Comments on other areas where Alice helped Managing the process – if you are really busy, e.g. at work, it is such a bonus to be able to effectively outsource the project management of your application. Alice gives you timing goals / deadlines and makes sure you are always on track. There were times when I was nervous that I was falling behind but Alice was able to reassure me that I was still on track. The application is stressful enough wand so being able to rely on Alice for managing everything made life a lot easier than it could have been. Resume – it took a few drafts but Alice helped me to write a really strong resume. I had not written a resume since being at university and it is an added bonus that I now have a great starting point for when I apply for my next jobs. Online application forms – it is easy to ignore these until the last minute and to rush them but they are important and include some difficult questions which Alice guided me through. Alice’s partner – a potential advantage of the larger consulting companies is that they have large teams of consultants and so your essays get passed around and commented on from different sets of eyes. I wanted to point out that, although Alice doesn’t have a large team, her founding partner David is also very useful in that respect. I do not know how much Alice consults with David but I got the impression that she runs a lot by him and I was aware of certain situations where he had a direct input (for example in formulating my career goals). He also gave me interview practice, more on which below. Interview prep – this was incredibly helpful and I will definitely take what I learnt with me on to job interviews. I had not had an interview in five years and definitely needed guidance on style and content of answering questions. It is both a pro and a con to have Alice give you interview practice. On the one hand she knows you well by now and so knows where you may be under-selling yourself or if you have better answers in your locker for certain questions; on the other hand, you perhaps know each other too well and it is hard to completely detach yourself from this. Luckily, Alice’s partner David can step in here – this was the first time we had spoken and so David could be completely impartial. I ended up having mock interviews with both David and Alice and so had the best of both worlds. I probably used two hours of their time on interview prep but this really was money well spent. Wharton TBD prep – this is also interview prep but a very specific type as Wharton’s interview is centered on a team exercise with other applicants. Luckily, Alice had other applicants who also had Wharton interviews and so was ale to organize a practice for 5 of us. She helped with the whole process, starting with guidance on our opening pitch and ending with detailed overall and individual feedback on our performances in the practice. She also got a current Wharton student to speak to us about her experience a year earlier. I cannot over-state how helpful this practice was. The Wharton interview is a very unnatural experience and you only have 30 mins to make a good impression. In the practice we all made obvious mistakes which we learnt from and it was also useful to see how other applicants approached it and I definitely brought some of these with me. I was able to have a list of do’s and don’ts for the real interview and I felt so much more confident for it now that I knew what to expect. Other companies also offer practice for the Wharton interview but I decided to stick with Alice because: i) everything else had gone so well with her so far; and ii) I felt that she would be able to give me better advice than a different consultant given that she knew my strengths and weaknesses. Areas for improvement In the interests of giving a balanced review I have thought hard about negatives. It speaks for itself that I don’t have much to say here, especially given what I have heard friends complain about with their consultants. The obvious negative is the cost. However this is really question about whether or not you want to use a consultant as Alice’s rates are comparable. Given how conscious I was over costs there were definitely situations where I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to keep costs down. At the start there were some inefficiencies where, for example, I hadn’t completely understood Alice’s directions and so there required an extra turn or two of an essay than was completely necessary (and therefore more costs). I definitely do not absolve myself of responsibility here given it was really on me to flag if I didn’t fully understand something. I also think that it is normal when two people start working together to take some time to sync with each other’s approaches. After a few weeks it became a lot more seamless and efficient. I also think it could be useful for Alice to direct applicants towards external scholarships. The majority of MBA scholarships are internal (and you are entered automatically through your application) but there are many external ones that you may not be aware of. I did not realize that these existed and ended up missing deadlines for a few scholarships that I would have had a good chance at. There are too many different scholarships (and varying by country / background / school applied to) for Alice to tell you which ones to apply to but she has agreed that it would be helpful to tell applicants early on that they should research this so as to not miss out. Conclusion The first thing to decide is whether you want to use a consultant at all and I hope that the details above will help you in this decision. A good consultant will improve your chances, and the extent of this improvement depends on the applicant (how good at applications in general, how busy, how challenging the school choices are). In terms of choosing between consultants, you need to: – Decide between big company or smaller place; – Decide whether you prefer package or hourly rates (some places offer both); – Find someone who is well reviewed and that you can imagine working with for six months. I would highly recommend Alice. I had a great experience with her and it was more positive than my three other friends that used different consultants. She has universally positive reviews online so it seems that everyone loves working with her. Alice is great to work with, is a lovely person and made huge improvements to all aspects of my application, in particular the essays and interviews. Alice gets fully booked quickly so I’d recommend getting in touch with her early.
Alice is truly an exceptional MBA consultant! A friend of mine was accepted to HBS with Alice’s help. After hearing good things from my friend, I approached Alice for help with my INSEAD application. Alice really cares about her client and her client’s stories. I have quite a lot of scattered experiences so I really needed someone to help me present them in the best storyline possible. Alice is efficient, reliable, resourceful, and her attention to detail is superb. She also has very good judgement of characters when it comes to interviewers. She accurately predicted the styles of my interviewers and the possible tough questions they may ask. I’m thrilled with the result! One school applied and one school accepted! I could not have done it without Alice. Already recommended her to another friend who is applying for LBS!
Alice is a great person to work with and really cares about her clients but substantively her product is second to none. 1. Clear firm guidance on what schools are in your orbit and then strategies for each. 2. Extremely high attention to detail on ALL aspects of the application from essays to work experience 3. Speedy turn around times for essays 4. Exceptional guidance on refining your pitch in consideration of ALL aspects of your work and life experience. Listens to your pov but gives clear direction when she feels strongly on something 5. Brilliant interview preparation Overall an outstanding product and service and well worth every penny. If like me you have dreamed about one day going to Stanford (or HBS etc) then engage with the best and that is the Menlo park team
As the title says, I got into my top choice business school (Harvard Business School) thanks to Alice! Looking back on the process, I’m certain that I would not have gotten into Harvard if it wasn’t for Alice’s help. Alice is hands down the best MBA coach out there. Even before I hired Alice, I could tell that she really cares about her clients. I did a consultation call with many different admissions consultants and of them all, Alice was the only one who really tried to understand my story. For instance, I’m a 2+2 applicant (applying as a senior in college), and Alice was the only one who understood that a 2+2 application is different from a normal application. After hiring Alice, she consistently gave me valuable advice for the business school application process. During our first session together, Alice dug deep into my background and was able to come up with a number of strong essay ideas that I had never previously considered. Together, we worked through more than ten drafts of writing, and produced a final product that I was very happy with. Alice is also extremely well-organized. She’ll make sure that you never miss a deadline and that your recommenders have ample time to write your rec letter. If you’re already stressed with working a full-time job (or in my case, being a full-time student) and don’t want to worry about all your business-school deadlines, Alice is an absolute god-send. I want to end this testimonial with a message directly to Alice: Alice, you are an amazing consultant and a wonderful human being! Thank you so much for the incredible level of support you provided me during the application process, and I wish you the best of luck with your future clients! (Not that you’ll need it!) PS. If you are considering hiring Alice (which BTW is a great decision), you should schedule a call with her right now. She gets fully booked very early.
Alice is an amazing MBA coach who truly cares about your application and is extremely professional in strategizing the application process from beginning to end. In the initial appointments, Alice gave me pragmatic advice in choosing which schools to apply, but she also respected my choices and took every application seriously. Alice made an effort to really listen and understand who I am and what are my professional and personal experiences. Initially, I was worried about my experience being too scattered, and I was also not too confident about my story-telling skills. Alice encouraged me to open up, to be authentic and to reflect deep on my motivations and qualities without worrying about how admission would perceive me. At the same time, she took charge of strategizing and crafting the stories that were authentic, personal and compelling. Interview prep with Alice and David was very helpful too – I did two mock sessions with her and she was able to provide honest and constructive feedbacks. In the end, I got admitted to HBS and Wharton. It would not be possible without Alice and David!
I think I’ve written 1 other review in my life and I’m pretty sure it was to get $10 off for food delivery (college student budget). Now with that said, I have decided to sing the praises of Alice Van Harten and David White from Menlo Coaching. I decided in May 2016 to take a serious run at applying to Business School. Unfortunately, my work / extracurricular are significantly demanding and, even with the research I had done on the application process, I still felt unsure as to how to best position my “story.” I was familiar with admission consultants and figured since they all offered a free initial consult I would receive some insight. Awful. Perhaps it was my misfortune but a good amount of consultants I spoke with either: (i) gave a stereotypical used car salesman vibe (ii) forced me into a bucket without hearing my life experiences. A few were helpful but I just did not get the “I want this person in my corner” feeling. Enter Menlo Coaching. I came across Alice and David’s company through google searches. The reviews seemed so unbelievable that I had to check them out. To anyone reading this review, I will save you some time by saying: set up a consult and speak with them. That experience will speak to the quality of Menlo Coaching far better than I could. For my initial consult, I spoke with Alice and let me tell you, she is smart. Seriously smart. The kind of intelligence that impresses and draws you in within the first few minutes. She knows the admission game backwards and forwards. She genuinely cares about your success (not just in getting into a school but also your career) but at the same time, she is upfront and pragmatic about everything. While I was driving my story and the work, I kept getting constructive feedback and soon the application process stopped feeling like a chore. Moreover, she has a bell personality. All the personalities of her clients are different yet she can resonate with all of them and knows the right way to communicate with them. Beyond the application process, I learned quite a bit on how to be successful in general. It felt like I had all the answers in my back pocket. I applied to 4 schools and received admissions to Wharton (near full-tuition waiver.. this shocked me) and Booth (high scholarship … also surprising). I would not have achieved these results with other firms or alone. I *know* that I could not have achieved those results without Menlo Coaching because every now and then I reread my essays. My essays contain my story and do not contain a single fabrication yet I never would have thought about taking that approach or angle. However, when I read them I can’t help but think “wow I would totally want this kid in my class!” On a tangent note: I’ve worked two different high-finance jobs in my career and consider myself a strong interviewer. I worked with David for less than an hour to prepare for my Booth interview. When I finished my interview, I confidently told David and Alice it was the best interview of my life. I *knew* I would get the Booth offer and this is not from a place of ego but just to speak as to how well David prepared me. In short, work with Menlo Coaching. Do not wait too late though as I know their spots fill up rather quickly. When I spoke with Alice in May, she had mentioned that she expected to be fully booked in a few weeks. I believed her, that is just how strong of a consultant she is. Moreover, when you look at it from a Quality to Value ratio, the other consultants just are not in the same league.
I could not have done it without Alice – no question about it. As a re-applicant, applying again was a daunting task. I had used an MBA coach from one of the big firms the first time around and while not getting in was completely on me, I felt the value that firm provided was minimal. I was skeptical about using another coach, until I spoke with Alice. Instead of telling me what I “wanted” to hear (how I was a shoe-in for my top choices etc. – which was the approach all the other MBA coaches took) she told me exactly what I needed to hear. Off the bat she was able to identify the holes in my application and what I could do to address them before re-applying. She helped me better position my story and form narratives that were so much more insightful and articulate than the year before. Alice has worked with applicants with all types of backgrounds and she has an unparalleled knack at developing customized strategies for each of her clients. Lastly, Alice genuinely cares – she took the time to get to know me so much deeper than just my resume which was crucial during the essay writing process because she was able to provide feedback that was that much more insightful. If you want to get into the school of your dreams, Alice is the way to go.
Alice is an excellent choice as a consultant, whether you’re from a traditional or non-traditional background. As others have mentioned, she is very intelligent and organized. Her assistance in crafting my story for each of the schools to which I applied was invaluable and she was highly responsive in going through drafts of my essays. The other resource she provided that was particularly helpful to me was walking me through the recommendation process, from selecting recommenders to spending time with them on the phone to ensure they were emphasizing qualities I wanted to get across. Interview prep was also useful, both 1 on 1 and especially a Skype team-based discussion mimicking the format of the Wharton interview. I also appreciated the hourly pricing structure vs. the fixed fee you often find. Regardless of how much help you need, I would highly recommend Alice’s services and at the very least setting up time to talk to her to see if she would be a good fit.
I spoke with several admissions consultants before finally deciding on Alice from Menlo Coaching. I could hardly believe the glowing reviews from GMAT Club and, after working with her myself, I can attest that she is truly the best. Alice is honest and personable. When I started researching consultants I was also in the process of re-taking the GMAT and she was upfront that she did not think I would have a competitive shot at the schools I was targeting until I got 720 or above. She doesn’t sugar coat her feedback and gives you the advice you need to hear. When it came to the essays, she was always prompt in her responses (<24 hours) and pushed me to dig deeper and cut the fat from my drafts. Seriously, she is a godsend. You absolutely need to be dedicated and tireless in your commitment to the application process but, with Alice’s help, she’ll push and probe you to bring your essays to another level. Most importantly, Alice genuinely believes in all of her clients. She gets to know you for you and helps bring out your unique experiences and strengths. She’s both candid and kind, and working with her is always pleasant. I was definitely prone to over-analyze and worry, but Alice was always patient with me and delivers a great pep talk! Lastly, Alice doesn’t waste your time. She always has more than enough clients so you never feel that she’s spending more hours than necessary on your case. For example, during the interview stage, she told me I was ready after one mock session with her. I still had two more schools that she could have used to schedule additional sessions, but that type of honesty is what you can expect when working with Alice. In the end, I got in everywhere that I applied (CBS, Yale, Kellogg) and with a scholarship as well! I couldn’t even imagine such a happy result when I started the daunting studying and application process last summer. I am more than happy to chat if anyone is interested in gathering further details about Menlo Coaching. I cannot recommend Alice enough!!
Alice has high standards for client and herself, which is very assuring in the application process. For essays, she would not settle with unconvincing examples. She would urge me to rewrite and think in different directions until she finds the contents satisfying. She even did facebook account and website checking for me before I submitted my applications. She is always organized and knows my schedule very well. What’s most important, Alice is empathetic and genuine, which helps me to open up in the application process and to write about my true feelings in the essays. Without her help, I would probably still get offers from schools like Booth that values my analytical background, but working with her enabled me to explain clearly my motivation and interest in more qualitative programs. I eventually got admitted to my soul school Stanford GSB!
With Alice as your consultant, you are going to bring out your best possible self in your applications, and your applications will simply be at a different level than they would be without her help. I can confidently say there is no other person I would rather have worked with than Alice – I’m just lucky to have signed up as her client before she got fully booked for Round 2 applications. Some quick info about me: I am a reapplicant to HBS: I applied two years ago and got dinged. With Alice’s help, I was able to get the acceptance this time around with what I consider to be a far stronger application. I knew from the start I had made the right choice. Her first phone call is all about information gathering, and she really gets to know you as a person. She doesn’t just care about the written materials and making sure the drafts read well – she cares about understanding you as a person to make sure your best qualities and stories get to shine in the application. She will dig into your previous jobs, college experience, high school experience, and even your childhood to make sure she gets the full picture. When it came time to write a draft, she helped narrow in on the right themes and helped me outline a compelling story to tell. After I had written my first draft of my HBS essay, before sending it to Alice, I thought to myself “wow, this draft is looking really good.” I sent it to Alice thinking there would be minimal feedback and changes since the first draft was already in pretty good shape (largely thanks to the outline and other pre-work leading up to the draft). HOWEVER, while Alice agreed it was a strong draft, she had tons of feedback and had made significant edits throughout the essay! After a couple more iterations, we ended up with a draft that was far stronger than the original, leaving HBS no choice but to interview me. When it came time for interview prep, Alice was again terrific. She asked me several questions to poke holes in my story, and several of the questions/answers we talked about in our interview prep actually came out during my 30 minute HBS interview. I often struggle with high pressure interviews, so her help with the interview process really made a difference. Alice also coached me in a number of ways I wasn’t really expecting – helping me navigate the nuances around asking for recommendations, talking to potential influencers about my application, and a few other tricks that I won’t be mentioning in too much detail here. Any time I had a question about how to approach a certain situation, Alice would have the right answer and explain why I should handle it a certain way. Again, I’m someone who is terrible at figuring out the right way to ask for recommendations (should it be an email or a phone call? How frequently should I pester my recommenders, what materials should I give them, etc.), how to talk to current students / alumni about their experiences, and other “networking” like activities – so having Alice there to coach me and guide me really helped. Working with Alice is great if you want someone who really cares about your application, makes sure you stay focused, and forces you to truly bring out the best possible application you are capable of building. Plus, her rates are very reasonable and were competitive with other admissions consultants I interviewed – but why spend the money on anyone else when you can get the best with Menlo Coaching?
I can not recommend Alice highly enough. I am a non-traditional applicant, and I wasn’t sure how to best present myself, or even what schools would be a good fit, given my background. So, I knew I needed some help, but was skeptical of working with a consultant due to the hefty price tag. I did free consultation calls with several different agencies to assess my options. These calls ranged from bad to mediocre; they all felt relatively generic, and none of them felt like they truly understood how to deal with me as an individual. I then read a positive review of Alice on Gmat club, so I signed up for a free call on her site. After talking to Alice on the phone for 30 minutes, I felt like she had a good understanding of my goals, and would work with me to create a plan that I was comfortable with. I ended up working with Alice through the entire application process. We started with an evaluation call to go through my background and to clarify my MBA goals. We then outlined a timeline and process for choosing schools, drafting essays, and prepping for interviews. Here are some of the best things about working with Alice: 1) Alice takes the time to get to know you. Even after the initial 30 minute call, I felt that Alice had a better understanding of my background and goals than any of the other consultants I spoke with. But, she didn’t stop there. She continued to ask questions throughout the process to get to know me, so that her feedback was personalized to me, and to make sure that who I am as a person was reflected in every part of all of my applications. 2) Alice gets things back to you quickly, and holds both you and herself accountable to deadlines. All drafts I sent to Alice were returned to me within a day or two (sometimes within an hour or two!), and Alice made a point to reach out to me to check on that status of various parts of my applications to make sure I was on track. 3) Alice doesn’t beat around the bush. There was no wasted time during any calls or in any emails. Every interaction with Alice contained direct, constructive feedback. 4) Alice’s flat hourly rate allows you to choose how to use her time. I didn’t want to pay huge amounts of money for unlimited help I might not use, or for services that I didn’t think I needed. The hourly rate allowed me to choose how to use the time I paid for. Alice was also very generous with her time, providing a couple of free advice calls after I received interview invites and accepts, for example, which I very much appreciated. I am waiting on one final decision, but so far I’ve received scholarship offers from two top-ten schools. I would recommend Alice to anyone who feels like they could use even just a little direction.
Chatting with Alice is always a pleasure. Initially the MBA application process was so daunting I didn’t even know where to start. I spoke with a lot of peers and contacts who had been through the process, but I realized I would still benefit from working with a consultant to receive honest, tailored, and direct feedback. I read a lot of reviews and spoke with several different consultants from both big name firms and small shops. The Big Names were a big turnoff for me because they seemed on a hurry to get me off the phone and had a very impersonal feel. I felt I could get the same level of effort from personal contacts who had been through the process. Out of the small shops I spoke with, I chose Menlo because of a) the stronger connection I felt during our initial conversation, b) their track record of success, and c) the flexible payment model. I was a giant ball of stress during the application process and Alice and David were fantastic in alleviating that and helping me to get where I wanted to be. I’m happy to report I’ve been admitted to my target schools with sizeable merit scholarships!
After contacting multiple consultants before making my selection, Alice was an easy choice. She was able to develop a keen understanding of my candidacy in a way that enabled her to help me frame my story and application in a very effective manner. Like many prospective MBA students, I was very busy during the application process and I was uncertain how I would be able to carve out the time to complete my applications. Working with Alice absolutely helped on this end as she was able to help me use my time as efficiently as possible. Ultimately I was able to increase my number of target schools, which had been a goal of mine. Alice’s advice throughout the application process was invaluable. I know that I would not have been able to realize the great results that I received without her help. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone applying to MBA programs.
I had initially begun the process with a different consultant. After he demonstrated that he had not even skimmed the forms he had me spend several hours filling out, I contacted Alice. Starting with our first conversation I could tell that Alice truly cared about getting to know my story. There were several times when she was able to suggest obscure details (that I had mentioned early on) as being applicable to my essays. The online tracking database that she maintains is invaluable for keeping track of tasks and due dates. Her interaction with my recommenders was incredibly professional and they were impressed with how she helped them come up with meaningful, glowing recommendations. Interview prep (via Skype) was quite rigorous and I was able to leave my interviews feeling like I answered most (if not all) questions with relative ease. I was ultimately admitted to Kellogg with a significant merit scholarship. You will have no regrets working with Alice – she is excellent!
As soon as I finished my first call with Alice, I could tell that she is different from the other consultants I talked to. She is honest, transparent, and really seems to care about her clients. She was able to provide specific actionable suggestions for extracurricular activities to boost my resume – right then and there on our very first call. I decided to retain her services and I never regretted it once. I have friends who are applying or who have applied in the past, and from comparing their experiences to mine, I would say Alice really excels in all areas – advice on schools, essay tips, choosing recommenders, creative essay ideas, how to beef up your resume and also interview prep. She will try to understand your background and your experiences and help you let that uniqueness show in your applications and interviews. I also like that she wont push you to spend unnecessary hours with her, eg. she did a mock interview to help me prepare for my 1st interview, and once she thought it was good enough, she did not push me to do further mocks for my 2nd and 3rd interviews. I applied to 5 of the M7 MBAs, and was admitted into 2, waitlisted at 1, with a sizable merit scholarship offer as well. Thank you Alice!
I reached out to Alice the spring before applying to MBA programs, with very little knowledge of the process. My non-profit background meant I had few friends of colleagues to guide me, but Alice’s support led me to the school of my dreams, Columbia. Her knowledge and experience was immediately obvious during the introductory call, when she quickly plotted out a potential strategy to leverage my background. Her help started with school selection and still continues even after my acceptance. From school selection, to essays, and to recommender selection, Alice’s advice was both honest and helpful. The most valuable experience was the mock interviews I completed with her in preparation for interviews at my top and 2nd choice. The extensive prep work she provided and the thorough interviews helped me feel at ease while pushing me to make sure I was 100% prepared. In the end I am going to the school I dreamed of, and it wouldn’t have been possible without her support along the way.
I cannot recommend Alice enough. In a massive cottage industry of advisors and tutors, I feel so good about the money and time I spent on Alice. I can point directly to how she added value to my case as a candidate, and I ended up with great results: offers of admission from Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, Northwestern Kellogg, Duke Fuqua (also waitlisted at Wharton). I also received significant merit fellowships from Booth, Sloan and Fuqua. I contacted Alice after having submitted my applications, and after not receiving an interview to another school to which I applied–I was spooked. My first thought was how I could maximize the interviews I did have, which at that point was the Kellogg interview (given to all applicants). Alice gave me her customary free consultation where she immediately calmed me down, demonstrated that she listened carefully, and was very respectful of my goals and concerns. I noticed how generous Alice was with her time–beyond what was promised–which was frankly how Alice operated throughout our entire time together. Later in our work together, she suggested I didn’t need more sessions with her when I had additional interviews that were similar in format to ones for which we had prepared, saving me a great deal of money. I could tell that Alice invests great time and energy into each of her clients, and really appreciated that she would respond nearly instantly to any question or concern I have, always taking it seriously. This has continued even after our official work together has finished. Beyond giving great client service, Alice’s real value is in her advice. We did a mock interview to prepare for Kellogg (and later for other schools), and she was quickly able to identify how I could be telling my story more powerfully, clearly, and simply. It instantly upped my confidence. She quickly figured out what motivated me–treating interviews a bit like games–and tapped into that motivation in order to keep me calm and focused. She found ways for me to present my goals and experience that made them sound SO much more impressive. She also adjusted my tone in moments so that I sounded smoother and more confident. Her tweaks were far from obvious, and I do not feel I could have identified these areas for improvement on my own (despite being a good interviewer already). Over the course of admissions season, she transitioned into being a sounding board for me about the process, and I’m frankly sad I don’t get to work with her longer and in the future. She has tremendous integrity, and is very honest about every aspect of the admissions process. If you want to be sure you are spending your time and money well on this process, and work with someone who truly adds value, Alice is your person.
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