Welcome!

Thank you, for your interest in Vince's Flat-fee Comprehensive-consulting (FC)

  • Since 2002, I have been one of the world's most in-demand and successful MBA admissions consultants
  • I help clients around the world get admitted to MBA programs at HBS, Stanford, Columbia, INSEAD, MIT, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, Wharton, LBS
  • I provide the world's best MBA admissions support to a select handpicked group of global leaders
  • My service (hosted at VincePrep.com and owned by CityStages LLC) incorporates 30 years of professional experience in teaching critical thinking, improvisational theatre, storytelling, and instructional design
  • I also help a select handful of former clients engage stakeholders and advance their careers by preparing for TED Talks & funding pitches
  • Please, contact me via this website to learn more

What is Vince's consulting style?

  • To quote a top tennis coach, “I’ve got your back"
  • During our sessions, I try to maintain the right balance between asking good questions and listening to your answers
  • I also try to avoid providing unsolicited advice; that puts the onus on you to ask my opinion when you want it; I know I have a reputation as a somewhat difficult personality, and I work hard to avoid pushing my opinions on you or your story; I know I am not always right and greatly enjoy being proven wrong; I try to keep a beginners mind, despite being sought out for my experience
  • Ultimately, we both seek the same result
  • I want to help you identify the best mix of stories that will maximize your chances of being interviewed and admitted
  • I often ask, “How can you connect with your admissions office readers on an emotional level?”
  • Applicants who lack deep writing training often struggle to tell stories on paper with the same passion they use to tell stories in person
  • Adding emotional depth and rich detail to your written application materials will help the admissions officers imagine your classroom and event-based contributions
  • I hope the FAQs below help you decide whether or not to reach out for an initial consultation
  • As a first step, please, kindly watch this short video, where I explain my approach

How can Vince help me connect with readers?

Since 2002, I have helped nearly 500 applicants get admitted to their dream schools. If we agree to work together, I will help you:

Plan

Create

Execute

  • Determine your relative strengths and weaknesses compared to past applicants
  • Read between the lines to determine why admissions officers ask particular questions
  • Guide you step-by-step towards success using time-tested methods & customized creativity
  • Research the current admissions environment at your target schools
  • Provide an objective view of your materials, as adcoms are likely to view them
  • Pull out your best performance, like a personal fitness trainer, or athletic coach
  • Reflect industry trends into your goals and accomplishments to convince non-expert readers
  • Structure stories so outsiders can understand the cultural context of your achievements
  • Motivate you to keep pace with an ambitious but realistic application schedule

What tasks does Vince's FC cover?

What is Vince's suggested best method for completing written application materials?

How much time should I expect to spend on each stage of the process?

  • Stage 1: Initial 15-minute consultation to determine whether we should work together
  • Stage 2: Resume: 1-3 hours
  • Stage 3: School selection and strategy: 0-3 hours
  • Stage 4: Essays, first school: 3-30 hours
  • Stage 5: Recommendations: 1-4 hours for 2-3 recommendations (0-1 hour for each additional school)
  • Stage 6: Essays, subsequent schools: 2-10 hours per school
  • Stage 7: Interview practice: 2-20 hours in total (English ability and interview skills vary widely)
  • Stage 8: Assistance with administrative issues (application data forms, wait list letters): 0-1 hour per school

How many Comprehensive Clients does Vince help at one time?

How can I qualify for Vince's FC service?

We can arrange an initial consultation if you:

  • Aim to commence MBA studies at one the following schools in 2020: HBS, Stanford, Columbia, INSEAD, LBS, MIT, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, Wharton
  • Have already secured a 107 TOEFL or IELTS equivalent
  • Have a 680 GMAT or GRE equivalent score
  • If you meet the above conditions, please contact me via the intake form on this website
  • I believe that an initial consultation is the best way to determine whether there is a good fit between us

Why can't I start working with Vince before I achieve competitive scores?

  • I think of my service like first-class seats on an airplane
  • If I sell you a seat and you do not end up applying to start your MBA in 2020, I would be denying that seat to someone who may contact me after you
  • I need to be equally unfair to all
  • Agreeing to help you before you are ready to fully focus on your written application and interviews is unfair to you and to my other clients
  • I work for results, not money
  • Clients without competitive numbers represent a business risk and an opportunity cost

To how many schools can I apply?

  • I do not limit the number of schools to which you can apply
  • As long as we can balance speed and quality, I encourage you to apply to as many schools as you would actually attend if admitted
  • We share the same goal and I try to maximize your admissions chances to as many top schools as you can manage

Can I work on more than one school at a time?

  • Yes, but not with Vince
  • We follow the five steps listed below and can only perform one task per school in any given session
  • For example, we might be editing your Columbia application, outlining and drafting your Stanford application, and editing your HBS application

Every time you answer a question in your written application, please, I will do my best to help you avoid common mistakes as you:

  1. Brainstorm (list and discuss ideas and options with Vince)
  2. Outline (list your main ideas and supporting details)
  3. Draft (turn your outline into complete sentences and paragraphs)
  4. Revise (add words to make the story clear and interesting (explain what happened, add details)
  5. Edit for concision (cut words to meet the word limit)
  • I do not limit the number of schools we can work on, nor do I limit the number of times I will review your written application materials (or help you prepare for an interview)
  • That said, I do not see MBA admissions as an exercise in trophy hunting
  • I want to help you get admitted to schools that might actually attend if admitted
  • I was admitted to every graduate education school to which I applied (Harvard, Northwestern, Columbia, and NYU
  • I was also admitted to every undergraduate university to which I applied (UC Berkeley with a Regent's Scholarship, U Washington Seattle, Wesleyan, Yale, Harvard, Brown, Stanford)
  • Because I did my homework and understand each school's academic and student culture, I would have attended any of them
  • In the end, I chose the school's where I felt the best fit (Stanford and NYU)
  • If you can convince me that you would actually attend a school if admitted, I will help you apply there

How often will I meet Vince?

  • Comprehensive Consulting includes written application support and interview training
  • We meet once per week at a fixed time
  • Each meeting is scheduled to last nearly two hours (110 minutes because we need time to transition between sessions)
  • My service is like buying a first-class seat on an airplane
  • I block out available time slots in March and continue selling seats until the first-class section is full

What is I have a business trip or professional/personal commitment during our weekly scheduled meeting?

  • If Vince cannot make our weekly session due to a pre-existing commitment, we can reschedule
  • If you can’t visit or call Vince at our regular appointed time, we will work offline using Google Docs
  • The session immediately becomes what Agos calls an "email session"
  • That means you would send the URL of your latest Google Docs update by the start of the session
  • In the URL, you would make a prioritized list of items you want me to check and how much time you want me to spend checking each file
  • If it takes me longer to check some of your prioritized items, I will record time on task using time-and-date-stamped comments inside Google Docs
  • Since I charge a monthly retainer and not an hourly rate, this system works in your favor

Can our weekly meetings last less than 110 minutes if I don't have much to brainstorm and confirm with Vince that week?

  • Sure
  • If you want to spend less than our weekly 110 minutes talking, Vince can use the remaining time to complete a mid week check of your updated written application materials

When can I start FC with Vince?

  • We can start working together as soon are your payment clears
  • All payments are made via PayPal
  • If you do not have an account, please, kindly set one up
  • It is free and effective
  • Once we agree to work together, we will send you a PayPal invoice

When does my Comprehensive Consulting service contract end?

  • Regular weekly meetings can continue at our appointed time until Tue 31 Mar 2020 (or you get admitted to your dream school, whichever comes first :)

Will Vince help me edit?

  • I can help you edit as needed
  • I am fast and effective
  • That said, regardless of my editing, your essay will only get results if the story makes sense, contains interesting details and, most importantly, is communicated in your authentic voice
  • Editing is the LAST thing we do
  • Since 2002, my most successful clients have told me they value my brainstorming and strategic advice as much if not more than my editing
  • We need to get your story straight before we start working about your word choice or tone
  • I suggest you start cutting words one or two weeks before the deadline
  • I will ask you do the heavy lifting because this is your story and you will need to sell it at your interview
  • Here is my best advice about how to cut words from your essays

How can I maximize Vince's feedback to maximize my chances of being admitted?

Here are some patterns for how the process might work:

  1. Brainstorm new essay, recommendation, or application data form short answer topic with Vince (face to face or via phone/Skype)
  2. Outline your essay (quick notes in bullet or list form, as you like)— my best outlining tips are here
  3. Upload your outline to Google Docs or send it to Vince as an MS Word file (please be sure to add your initials to the file name)
  4. Tell Vince your outline is ready for his quick review
  5. Vince will insert comments in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS
  6. If my suggested text is correct, please re-write my ALL CAPITAL LETTERS into normal text, using your own words
  7. We can discuss any issues during our next session
  8. If your logic is clear, Vince will encourage you to write your full essay draft (as you write, you can delete Vince's comments as you fix each issue)
  9. Send Vince your full essay draft
  10. Vince will add more comments before our next face-to-face or telephone / Skype session
  11. The process continues until you have fully explained your story
  12. After all contents are explained in logical, detailed English, you and Vince begin editing your essay draft until it fits within the word limit

How long will it take me to finish my first application?

It can take anywhere from four to twelve weeks to complete your first application

How much time you need usually depends on four factors:

1. How deeply you have thought about why you need an MBA

  • Can you articulate your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Do you know what kind of job you want right after MBA, otherwise known as your short-term goal?
  • Do you have a clear and convincing long-term career vision?
  • For more insights, please see https://www.vinceprep.com/essays/ymba

2. How quickly you outline and write essays

3. How much time you can spend thinking and writing

  • Are you especially busy at your job?
  • How much travel will you be doing between now and your target school deadlines?
  • Are you able to carve out personal writing time during business travel?
  • What other family and community commitments will distract you from the creative process that is writing an authentic, self-reflective, concise, and compelling application?

4. How well you balance input from friends, family, mentors, advisers and stakeholders

  • Can you send Vince regular updates?
  • Can you balance the input of senior colleagues, mentors, friends and family as you find your own voice to best answer each essay question?
  • I encourage you to get feedback from people who know you well.
  • I only request that you synthesize that feedback and present it to us as your idea
  • I cannot share an opinion about whether or not someone else's advice is good or not
  • I avoid arguing with people I do not know
  • I can only support you as you decide what to share and how to share it in a way that best represents your candidacy and your contributions to your future MBA classmates and alumni community

When are Vince's days off?

  • While in Tokyo, I tend to take off Mon/Tue
  • While traveling, my days off change depending on conference dates and other commitments
  • Please, scroll down to see additional vacation and blackout periods

What is Vince's availability?

  • I am based in Tokyo, Japan (usually from September—May) and the San Francisco Bay Area, California (usually June—August)
  • I try to be transparent and proactive to keep clients aware of my black-out periods
  • Dates and times are subject to change
  • We can discuss these issues during an initial consultation
  • Thank you, in advance, for your kind understanding
  • NOTE: Availability subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances
  • If you need to change a regular weekly meeting, Vince can work offline on written application materials during the session
  • If Vince needs to change a regular weekly meeting, we will reschedule our weekly meeting to a mutually convenient time
  • For more information, please see https://www.vinceprep.com/services/availability
  • 7/8 2do
  • SHOW WHICH SLOTS ARE ALREADY SOLD OUT AND WHICH ARE STILL AVAILABLE

What is the price?

  • If you seek written application support, we only sell one service
  • It costs 1,900,000 JPY and covers all necessary support between the date of your payment and Sun 22 Dec 2019
  • Please note: the entire FC service contract ends on Tue 31 Mar 2020
  • We can continue working on interviews until the end of Mar (or until you get admitted to your dream school, whichever comes first :)

What if I don't finish my written applications by 22 Dec 2019?

  • If you still require Vince's support on your written application materials after Sun 22 Dec 2019, you will need to pay another 200,000 JPY per week until you no longer need Vince's help with your written application
  • If you get put on a waiting list or decide to apply to additional schools, you re-instate our agreement by paying an additional 200,000 JPY per month
  • NOTE: I define a month as any 30-day period

Does 1.9 mn JPY include interview training?

  • Yes, Flat-fee Comprehensive-consulting (FC) includes unlimited interview training
  • I love helping clients prepare for interviews and will be happy to help you practice until our service contract ends on Tue 31 Mar 2020 (or you get admitted to your dream school, whichever comes first :)
  • We can start preparing for your interviews as soon as you complete your first written application

How can I contact Vince?

  • Step one: please contact me using this online form
  • Step two: if I have capacity and feel that I can help you, we can arrange a meeting or call (phone, Skype, Google Talk, etc.)
  • During the meeting or call, I can answer questions about my service and we can discuss the possibility of working together

How should I share my written application materials with Vince?

  • We will use Google Drive
  • Please, read below to understand why we will only use MS Word for your resume

FILE MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICES

  • Please combine all application materials into a single document
  • I want to spend our time together reading and reflecting on your ideas, not managing multiple files across various devices (home, work PC, mobile phone, etc.)
  • Therefore, I humbly request that you combine ALL CONTENTS into a single Google Drive (preferred) or MS Word file
    • For each school, please combine all documents, including your resume/CV, essays (including questions and word counts), application data form short answer questions, letters of recommendation, etc. into a single Google Drive (preferred) or MS Word file
    • I prefer Google Drive to Microsoft Word because it is
      • Synchronized - Google Drive syncs with your computer and all mobile devices
      • Efficient - saves time since we no longer need to download, "save as" a new version, and upload Microsoft Word files across multiple devices
      • Always up to date - minimizes the chance that either of us will misplace a file, leave the latest copy on another computer, or review an old version instead of the latest update
      • Accessible - all your files become available on the web (but you control who can view them)
      • Mobile - using the Google Drive mobile application, you can read, comment upon and edit your files from your smartphone or tablet
      • Helpful - Google automatically messages both of us when comments have been replied to and/or open issues have been resolved
  • For presentation essays, please send me PowerPoint files
  • Only send me PDFs, screen shots, or HTML files if you don’t expect me to make written comments
  • Final note - I encourage you to follow Stanford GSB's formatting guidelines:
    • Use a 12-point font, double spaced (Vince says, 1.5 spacing OK:)
    • Recommended fonts are Arial, Courier, and Times New Roman
    • Indicate which essay question you are answering at the beginning of each essay
    • Number all pages
  • Session Recording
    • I encourage clients to record sessions
    • If we are meeting face-to-face, please bring an audio recorder (smart phone, IC recorder, etc.)
    • If we are talking via Skype, please record on your side, as you like

How quickly can I expect feedback from Vince?

Except during days off and blackout periods, I always do our best to provide written comments and follow up questions in Google Docs file within 72 hours of you emailing the URL of our latest shared Google Docs file to me

    • I prioritize tasks according to deadlines, which means that I sometimes ask clients to wait a little while for me to check something that is not due for several weeks if another client needs something checked that is due within a few days
    • I cannot promise a quick turnaround for materials sent just before or during my scheduled days off
    • Please see https://www.vinceprep.com/services/availability

Can Vince help me for interview training if I am not his Comprehensive Client?

  • Yes, if you have already been invited to interview somewhere and if I have availability
  • Please, contact me via the intake form on this website for details