Yes or No: Academic Consulting Firms

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acw2300

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Okay so I am applying this upcoming cycle (24-25) and am trying to decide whether I want to pay for a consulting firm. I have a 4.0, 515 MCAT, some research, and 900+ clinical hours as an MA. I also have a lot of leadership and involvements throughout college. Volunteer wise, I have both clinical and non clinical hours.

At the end of the day, I am really most concerning about the writing aspect of applying. I definitely am looking for personal statement feedback. I am also pretty nervous about turn around time for secondaries.

Does anyone have any thoughts on consulting firms (shemmassian, ryan gray, etc)? Are they worth it?

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I was about to say hiring an experienced editor for your secondary and to help with pratcing for the interviews will be your highest yield b/c your stats are good to go. GL.
 
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I did use them and I now do this for students. It worked out!
 
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I have told many faculty that a personal statement is a product of the assistance an applicant gets. You should have as many people read your essays as possible, even as volunteers. If you know you need help with writers block, coaching helps. It's like athletics or a music master class... when you hire a consultant, you want goals and results with nutrition, weight, strength, speed or skill. Approach writing coaches with the same focus. Don't expect or want them to write your whole essay for you.
 
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Couldn't agree more @Mr.Smile12 . One slight quibble. I have seen applicants show their essays to a wide circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. The applicants receive conflicting advice and in the end the essay loses coherence. My suggestion is choose ~3 people who know you well and/or who know something about what med school admissions committees are looking for and seek feedback from them. Also evaluate the feedback. If all give the same advice, you probably should pay attention to it. If it's conflicting, evaluate it and take what you think is valid.
 
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Couldn't agree more @Mr.Smile12 . One slight quibble. I have seen applicants show their essays to a wide circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. The applicants receive conflicting advice and in the end the essay loses coherence. My suggestion is choose ~3 people who know you well and/or who know something about what med school admissions committees are looking for and seek feedback from them. Also evaluate the feedback. If all give the same advice, you probably should pay attention to it. If it's conflicting, evaluate it and take what you think is valid.
I agree, too many editors can make your essay into a Frankenstein monster. It has to still be your words & ideas.
 
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I’d recommend exhausting the abundance of free resources available first, and then seeking paid help only if really necessary. (If money isn’t an issue, then go for it, but these programs can get pretty pricey). There’s a personal statement editing thread on here where you can get feedback on your writing from volunteers (like myself). There are great resources out there that are free, like Ryan Gray’s YouTube videos and podcast which helped me immensely with my application process, mostly with just giving great perspective to what schools are actually looking for.

I think that the best purpose for a medical school admissions consultant/editor is not actually writing anything for you, but getting you to tell your story in the most effective way. Getting to the point where you have a very strong and compelling narrative is a combination of actually having experiences to talk about and then reflecting on them thoroughly. This means writing, rewriting, writing, rewriting, until you have a finished product you and trusted editors feel is strong.

I think the trap a lot of 4.0/high stat applicants fall into is thinking that their stats will carry them into medical school, when in reality all it does is hold open the door long enough for you to tell your story and hopefully convince someone to let you in.
 
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Okay so I am applying this upcoming cycle (24-25) and am trying to decide whether I want to pay for a consulting firm. I have a 4.0, 515 MCAT, some research, and 900+ clinical hours as an MA. I also have a lot of leadership and involvements throughout college. Volunteer wise, I have both clinical and non clinical hours.

At the end of the day, I am really most concerning about the writing aspect of applying. I definitely am looking for personal statement feedback. I am also pretty nervous about turn around time for secondaries.

Does anyone have any thoughts on consulting firms (shemmassian, ryan gray, etc)? Are they worth it?
Hell no. Do yourself a favor and save some big cash. There's plenty of ppl willing to help on the Personal Statement Reader list (below) and I'm sure they'd be just as willing to help out with W/A section, etc. I had a couple even help me with interview prep from last year's list

Forum Members - *~*~*~*~*~*Official Personal Statement Guide and Reader List 2023-2024*~*~*~*~*~*
 
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