hourly consulting

Vince Hourly Consulting

Flexible, pay-as-you-go service for those who are still working on tests


Since 2002, I have been one of the world's most in-demand and successful graduate admissions consultants

  • My service reflects 30 years of professional experience in teaching critical thinking, improvisational theatre, storytelling, and instructional design

  • I help clients around the world get admitted to MBA programs at HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, MIT, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, INSEAD, LBS, Berkeley Haas, Yale SOM, Dartmouth Tuck, UCLA Anderson, and other top programs

  • I have also helped clients get admitted to public policy programs at Harvard Kennedy School and other leading programs

  • On the law side, I have helped clients get admitted to LLM programs at Stanford, Berkeley, UPenn, Columbia, and others

  • Perhaps my favorite clients are those pursuing design degrees; I helped the first Japanese admitted to Stanford d.school and MIT IDM

  • I have helped clients get admitted to other top programs including the prestigious Masters in Design program at Chicago's IIT Institute of Design

  • If you are interested in design programs, please contact me. I am happy to refer former clients who secured admissions offers to these programs with my assistance

  • Overall, I aim to provide the world's best graduate-school admissions support to a select group of global leaders

  • 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 to learn more

Table of Contents

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

What is included in Vince's hourly consulting?

If we agree to work together, Vince will help you with

  • school selection strategy (where to apply and when)

  • resume or CV creation and editing (what to include on a one-page resume or CV)

  • essay analysis (what is the question behind the question? which stories best fit which essays for which?)

  • essay brainstorming, outlining, writing, revising, and editing

  • application data forms (what information to include in data forms short answer questions requested by some schools)

  • recommendation letter strategy (whom to ask and how to help recommenders support your candidacy)

  • interview strategy and mock interview training

  • waitlist support (as needed)

What counts as billable time?

Vince does not charge for short, schedule-related emails. Any take that takes more than five minutes and requires Vince's deep concentration is billable. This may include

  • reading and commenting on written application materials

  • editing in Google Docs

  • answering questions about application strategy (where to apply and when)

    • if your question is complicated and requires a discussion, please book a session

NOTE: As noted here, I require clients to use Google Docs. Avoiding email attachments allows me to work from anywhere and help you when time is of the essence. Please read more to understand how I use cloud-based solutions with clients https://www.vinceprep.com/services/planner/docs

Together, we will

  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)




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

  1. Career goals / why MBA essay

  2. Leadership / accomplishments essay

  3. Failure / mistake / setbacks essay

  4. Contribution / personality essay

  5. Application data forms

  6. Letters of recommendation (LoRs)

  7. Interview preparation

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

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

How much time you need usually depends on four factors:

1. How deeply have you 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 your MBA?

  • Do you have a clear and convincing long-term career vision?

2. How quickly do you outline and write essays?

  • Do you have to write in your native language first?

  • Can you make logical outlines?

3. How much time can you 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 can you balance input from friends, family, mentors, advisers, alumni, and other 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 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

Can Vince help me apply to MBA programs beyond the "M7" and also policy programs like HKS or design programs at schools like Stanford d.school and MIT IDM?

  • Yes, it would my pleasure to do so

  • Just for your reference, I was admitted to every graduate school of education to which I applied (Harvard, Northwestern, Columbia, and NYU)

  • I was also admitted to every undergraduate university that I applied to, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Wesleyan, UC Berkeley with a Regents Scholarship

  • Because I had been able to visit and learn about each school's academic and student culture, I would have attended any of them

  • In the end, I chose the schools where I felt the best sense of fit and contribution (Stanford and NYU). Despite rankings or published ROI, those were the schools where I had to most to get and the most to give

  • I encourage you to do the same

  • Look beyond the rankings. Find your fit. Maximize your potential to succeed at school and beyond

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

How many hours should I purchase?

  • If you plan on using my services on a comprehensive basis (resume, essays, application form, recommendations) for at least one school, I recommend purchasing 5 hours initially. Once you have purchased a 5-hour package, all subsequent hours will be at a discounted rate.

  • Keep in mind that you can always buy more hours as once I agree to work with you for comprehensive services, the total number of hours is based on whatever your needs are. One of the reasons that I work with a limited number of clients is that I can always provide full service to the clients I support.

  • It is fine to buy more than 5 hours at once, but I don’t incentivize doing so.

What is the price of Vince's hourly consulting?

Can I get a refund?

Refunds can be issued as follows:

  • 0-6 days from contract day = 100% refund

  • 7-13 days = 85% refund

  • 14-29 days = 50% refund

  • 30 days+ = No refund

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, waitlist letters): 0-1 hour per school

How many hours will I need?

My service is designed to maximize your results through a holistic approach to the admissions process

The total number of hours you will need is something we can discuss in our initial consultation

The first application takes the longest, usually 10 hours or more

Most clients start with a 5-hour package


Here are some numbers to give you a sense of client usage patterns

Average hours of counseling service hours purchased per comprehensive client: 11 (range 3 to 57)

Average number of hours Vince spends per client on his or her FIRST application (including interview training): 6.5 (range 4 to 15)

Average number of hours Vince spends per client on his or her SECOND application (including interview training): 3 (range 1 to 10)


Here are some past utilization patterns for MBA clients

Please note: details have been removed to protect client privacy

5 hours

  • American client

  • Applied to four top MBA programs; admitted to three

  • Needed help selecting programs, brainstorming goals, and preparing for interviews

5 hours

  • Indian client who earned a bachelor's degree at a top US university

  • Applied to two top “dream” schools; admitted to both

  • Needed help brainstorming goals, balancing essay topics, and preparing for interviews

6 hours

  • American client

  • Applied and admitted to one top “dream” school

  • Needed help brainstorming and organizing essays, and deciding which recommenders to select

7 hours

  • European re-applicant

  • Limited English and overseas work experience

  • Applied to one top school with my help, then used those materials to gain admission to a second program

  • Required support to brainstorm goals, select essay topics, planning and executing application strategy

10 hours

  • American client

  • Applied and admitted to two top European MBA programs

  • Required assistance brainstorming goals, balancing essay topics, selecting recommenders, and preparing for interviews

10 hours

  • American client

  • Applied to nine programs, including several Consortium schools; admitted to five

  • Sought my help selecting schools, brainstorming goals, balancing essay topics, and preparing for interviews

13 hours

  • American client

  • Applied to six top MBA programs; accepted by three

  • Sought help brainstorming goals, selecting essay topics, editing final drafts, and preparing for interviews

15 hours

  • American client

  • Applied to ten graduate and MBA programs; accepted by six

  • Sought help brainstorming goals, selecting essay topics, planning campus visits, completing application data forms, and preparing for interviews

22 hours

  • Korean client with advanced spoken English and extensive overseas experience

  • Applied to seven top MBA programs, admitted to two, including “dream” school

  • Sought help brainstorming goals, selecting essay topics, planning campus visits, and preparing for interviews

When is Vince available?

What is the next step?

  • Please contact me via my intake form

  • If I have availability, I will share my schedule so we can book an initial 15-minute consultation

Thank you and best wishes for your success!