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New York, New York
Advance warning: I can get a little analogy-crazy. I enjoy breaking down the entire MBA admissions process into a dating analogy, I liken GMAT practice tests to developing muscle memory, and I have an analogy for handling recommenders that will change your entire approach to the politics of letter-writing.
My favorite part of this job is information-gathering (so you don’t have to). I have interviewed just about every admissions officer in the field as co-author of “The MBA Reality Check” (available on Amazon.com), a best-selling guide to every aspect of MBA admissions. I crunch all the data at Forster-Thomas, analyzing trends and patterns—I especially love analyzing the outliers, such as what common traits do successful low-GMAT candidates share, and what went wrong with unsuccessful high-GMAT candidates. (The results are fascinating, contradict conventional wisdom, and will blow your mind when I share them with you during our engagement.)
But, like everyone at Forster-Thomas, I am a natural storyteller. I was an editor or writer for Yahoo! Internet Life, Men’s Health, Music Choice, and Seventeen (among others). I don’t have an MBA, and I’m not a former admissions officer. My core competency is producing—and that’s why I’m great at my job. I love hearing stories, telling stories, and helping you produce the most compelling, unique, and authentic candidacy possible, allowing you to get noticed as the leader you are.
I hope we get to work together.
Over the past 20 years, Forster-Thomas has built a global reputation among graduate candidates for the personalized service, integrity, and excellence we bring to our work as educational consultants.
Our secret is simple: We truly understand admissions–and you.
No matter which MBA program you’re applying to, one fact remains the same: stats like your GPA and GMAT only serve to get you past the gatekeeper. What genuinely excites admissions officers is gaining an understanding of who you are. If they can get an in-depth look at the real you (including your strengths, values, accomplishments, quirky tastes, and yes, even weaknesses), they will form a connection with you, just as your closest friends have. In other words, communicating your personal story in an insightful, reflective way is crucial, and that’s exactly what we help candidates do best.
I also do extensive work on Letters of Recommendation, Letters of Support, and Interview Skills. Forster-Thomas has a very unique model and methodology. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-741-9090 to set up a free candidacy assessment. I promise you, love us or hate us, it will be unlike any other assessment you do.
New York, New York, United States
10=Without Hesitation, 1=I would advise against it.
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David and his team helped me through my MBA application process when I had little time to get it done. I had not done a lot of work / investigating prior, and he was able to be efficient in providing guidance, instructions, feedback, and so on. I found that his method of giving the guidelines, but really putting the work on you really effective in helping me really think about what I wanted out of my MBA, which lead me to see what school would truly be best for me. He was always very responsive with feedback, and if he wasn’t, I was able to get a hold of him via text or email without fail. I really appreciated that David and his team gave me the tools to apply, but didn’t put their stamp on everything so that it felt not like my work or me. I could go on but truly could not speak more highly of David and his team for creating such an authentic process.
David helped me reach my potential and get into my #1 program MBA choice: Chicago Booth. I referred my friend to him and she got into her #1 program MBA choice as well, which was also Chicago Booth.
I got into a safety school as well and waitlisted at my #2 choice (I withdrew my application once accepted to Booth, but I think I would have been accepted).
I purchased a 2 school package as I was saving for school expenses as well and David went above and beyond to give me guidance on every school I applied to (Booth was not part of my package, yet he discussed strategy high level, how Booth’s application was different from others I did with him and general Booth points to hit in my application).
I find it hard to believe the previous reviews are about the David (note three-star review was an admit so… – plus I reference the first review later as well) I worked with as the only point I can agree with is that there were a few interruptions here and there on calls, but it’s no longer than a minute and yes, the elevator, mailman, or food delivery, because all but literally all this man does is work. There are no hours of the day or night he will not work for you. His mother was in the hospital for two days and he still edited an essay on his phone for me and spoke with me when he was in the waiting room…come on, I felt like a jerk, but he is so kind he somehow made me not feel guilty.
He answers nonurgent text messages the next morning and urgent ones immediately. I set up all my ad hoc appointments a week or two in advance, but initially, when I purchased the package I set up weekly appointments. As with anything, you need to be proactive and organized. That being said the person that referred me to him got an application done start to finish in two weeks. That all being said on multiple occasions I called him twice in a day when his office said he was 100% booked from 5am to 10pm and he made time for me. He texted me back after the second time I called and said he would call in 5 minutes, he did, then we spoke for 35 minutes.
He has been doing this for over a decade and literally has hundreds of student to draw comparisons from. He had a half dozen people with a similar profile that applied to each school on my list and explained what they did, whether they got in, and his best inference of why. David helped me make my application as strong as possible and gave me his “cracked the code” insight into the necessary approach/tone for an optional essay, interview, recommender meetings, thank you notes, meet and greet questions, school visits/events that were/were not necessary, and of course essay story structure. He spent an hour discussing whether or not I should write an optional essay and another hour discussing why his advice was applicable. I ended up completely rewriting it based on his opinions of the optional essay and what he had seen work in the past and honestly I think it had a lot to do with why I was accepted.
He is strong and confident with his opinions, but that is because he needs to be as MBA candidates are driven and well researched, but he will respect your opinion. He is there to guide you through your application process, not do it for you or tell you what you decide is right. We are going through this once, maybe twice, he has done this hundreds, if not over a thousand times. He was never rude, inappropriate, nor aggressive. Maybe the previous reviewers were looking for someone to handhold and tell you you are right, but in that case I agree, David was not the right consultant for them. I specifically chose David because I wanted someone I could not push around. Someone that was professional, opinionated, hard-working, and actually cared about my success. He found joy in my acceptances and although out of his control, upset when I did not get in, but he always kept my spirits up and shared many intelligent reasons he thought I did not get into one school I was excited about, which helped get my head back into the game for Booth.
David is excellent and fair. I hope the previous reviewers see this and go back to him and discuss their experience with him. If they have concrete facts and reasons I guarantee you David would refund them.
Lastly, I got into it with him about a point of grammar and he referenced the prior reviewer said the same thing and he did not budge either. I went back to my high school grammar textbook written by my teacher called “English Word Usage” since even English Grammar was not grammatically correct. He was brilliant, regardless turns out David was right and the textbook literally had the same sentence and explanation of the mistake. That being said David never held it against me or referenced it in future grammar debates – which he was also right on.
I understand I had a successful application process and got into my #1 choice, but honestly, I don’t think I could have done it without David. He is a consultant, friend, psychologist, big brother, parent, copyeditor, all rolled up into one. Give him a call and discuss, I guarantee you you will get your moneys worth and much much more!
I couldn’t agree more with the review before mine. David was very difficult to schedule time with, not allowing regular weekly calls (had to schedule each one as a one-off, despite being on a package), and had to schedule 2+ weeks in advance. He was often distracted on the phone (elevator, mailman, other clients, etc). The process for choosing a school list was haphazard and rushed, and he was incredibly slow to get back to me with edits. Despite paying for it, he refused to review recommenders and was not a good collaborator coming up to hard deadlines. Upon hearing back from schools, he offered no advice on how to select which one, only his opinions which were unhelpful and not tailored to me or my goals. The saving grace for Forster Thomas was a very empathetic and talented essay coach that I worked with.
However, I still would not recommend working with David or Forster Thomas.
I seriously regret spending money on David’s services because he made 0 time for me – not only was it extremely difficult to get on his calendar (so much for being a boutique firm that doesn’t take on too many clients), when we did speak over the phone, he kept getting interrupted with other things, rushing to get off the phone, and generally did not feel present.
I got 0 helpful advice from him in terms of strategizing my list of schools. He refused to provide input into my holistic application process and only helped with the schools that I indicated I would work with him on, which is off putting and unrealistic, because everything in your process is interrelated.
Furthermore, when there were times when I wanted to take essays to a new direction and got valuable feedback from other people who read the essays, he refused to change them and kept trying to talk me out of making changes.
The copy editors they use are terrible too. SO MANY spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes and used terrible style.
Again – stay away.
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