Welcome to fxMBAconsulting. My name is Leah Derus. I’m an MIT Sloan MBA who has been helping clients gain entry to top U.S. and European MBA and EMBA programs since 2009. There are no tricks, shortcuts, or secret handshakes for getting into a top business school. What works is presenting a compelling story – and that happens to be my speciality. In addition to services like mock interviews or hourly advising, I offer two types of editing services: Content Review and Content Creation. $ Content Review: You write. I provide tactical advice that you implement. $$$ Content Creation. We brainstorm. I write. (My original content and writing is featured in Harvard’s Essay Guide).

 

 

CONTENT REVIEW ANY DOCUMENT


$20 per 100 words

Content review is a great way to significantly improve the quality of your MBA or EMBA application. This service works for any document – including your resume, essays, application short answers, recommendations, emails to the adcom or alumni, thank you notes, wait list correspondence etc.

Choose between two content review options:

Tactical Review provides you with advice on how to improve your document. This is by far the most requested type of content review.

Final Polish provides you with document editing with a focus on improving grammar and overall flow/readability.

Pricing is simple: $20 per 100 words reviewed. You decide what portion of your content you’d like reviewed.


Deliverable: The content review service provides you with written feedback (in the form of either line edits and/or comments directly in a Word document). You can choose between two types of content review:

Tactical Review provides you with advice on how to improve your document. This is by far the most requested type of content review.

Final Polish provides you with document editing with a focus on improving grammar and overall flow/readability. This service is usually requested after a client has been through a round or two of content review or is otherwise satisfied with his/her document’s thesis and supporting arguments.

After receiving a tactical review or final polish, clients may ask a limited number of clarifying questions via email, but the content review service does not include phone support. A second review of the same text (assuming you want this after you have reworked it) requires a new order.

Process: You’ll highlight your document to indicate which sections should be reviewed → You’ll place your order for content review (and upload your document) → I’ll complete your content review and return my edits/comments to you within 2 business days (or less)

Turnaround Time: The turnaround time for Content Review is a maximum of two business days (see the FAQs for more information).

Document submitted or call concluded by 18:00 EST on: Deliverable returned by midnight EST on:
Monday Wednesday
Tuesday Thursday
Wednesday Friday
Thursday Saturday
Friday Tuesday
Saturday Wednesday
Sunday Wednesday

American Holiday Closures: Memorial Day (last Monday of May); Independence Day (July 4th); Labor Day (May 1); Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November); Christmas (December 24th and 25th); New Year (December 31st and January 1st

EXAMPLE

  • Client places order for content review for an MBA essay at 16:00/4pm EST on Monday, the submission day is Monday and a newly edited resume will be returned to the client by Wednesday at midnight EST.
  • Client places order for content review for an MBA essay at 22:00/10pm EST on Monday, the submission day is Tuesday and a newly edited resume will be returned to the client by Thursday at midnight EST.

(package)  COMPLETE MBA or EMBA APPLICATION PACKAGE


$1,000-5,000

A complete MBA or EMBA package guarantees that a predefined strategy and a cohesive story underpins your entire application. I personally write and quality control everything the admissions committee sees and hears, from you. That includes Unlimited Phone Support, School Selection, a Story-based Resume Rewrite, Statement of Purpose and Essays, Recommendation (bespoke talking points to guide your recommenders + support and editing services available to your recommenders), Application Short Answers, Mock Interviews, Offer Management or Waitlist Strategy. A school package is a high-touch service for clients who want a trusted adviser on call from the beginning to the end of their application process.

There is no limit on the number of edits or rewrites for the various components of the written application. You’ll have full access to me at every step of the process, for any reason (via phone or email). Based on my experience working and training with two other firms in the industry, the amount of time I invest with each client and the resulting application are a rarity and a point of differentiation.

$5,000 FIRST SCHOOL
$1,000 EACH ADDITIONAL SCHOOL

Deliverable: School packages include the following services: Unlimited Phone Support, School Selection, Story-based Resume Rewrite, Essays, Recommendation (bespoke talking points to guide your recommenders + support and editing services available to your recommenders), Application Short Answers, Mock Interviews, Offer Management or Waitlist Strategy. I recommend a minimum of six weeks to complete your first school package. Reach out for a free consultation to discuss your situation.

Process: I’m happy to explain more about the School Package service and my process during a free consultation call. When time permits I like to begin a school package with school selection and the resume rewrite. We usually branch out from there.

Turnaround Time: Each service contains several deliverables. The turnaround time for any one deliverable (like new edits to a document based on client feedback) is a maximum of two business days (see the FAQs for more information). Total turnaround time is a function of a) the client’s availability to schedule calls and b) the amount of time the client requires to provide feedback on drafts. A typical timeline for an essay follows.

  • Day 1: You’ll email me your essay draft or outline (if available).
  • Day 3: Essay Brainstorming Call.
  • Day 5: I’ll send you a first draft of your essay.
  • Days 6-7: You’ll spend some time reviewing the essay – possibly sharing it with a few contacts. Please use the track change functionality in Word to insert comments, feedback and changes into the document.
  • Day 8: Once you send me your feedback, I’ll either schedule a call within a day or two or I’ll send you an updated essay based on the feedback you sent.
  • Day 9+: Additional rounds of review and editing as necessary.

(à la carte)  STORY-BASED RESUME


$300-800

The Story-based Resume Service is a complete resume rewrite. It includes fresh, story-based content and bullet points and a fresh resume design (a new resume design and a rethinking of your resume’s layout/structure). The Story-based Resume is pretty simple. It fits on one page (sometimes 1.25 pages). Its structure lays out your overarching professional story. Its bullet points tell more granular, behavioral stories.

$300 STUDENT resume rewrite (based on a brainstorming document + 1 hour on the phone developing your stories)  | ELIGIBILITY: current students and recent grads (undergrad or graduate) with less than <6 months of total professional work experience
$400 STANDARD resume rewrite (based on a brainstorming document + 1 hour on the phone developing your stories)
$800 EXTENDED resume rewrite (based on a brainstorming document + 3 hours on the phone developing your stories) | This is the format I’ve historically used for MBA and EMBA candidates.

Please take a moment to review some before & after resumes from past clients.

Your resume is a roadmap that helps the admissions committee member a. contextualize the material discussed in your essays, b. better understand your recommendations, c. gauge your professional potential.

The goal of a story-based resume is to give others insight into a) your interpersonal skills, b) your ability to lead/persuade others, c) how you think and tackle issues (your cognitive abilities) and d) your capacity to think laterally/creatively and finally e) whether you’ll add value to their team or organization.

A resume is not your life story…but many people inadvertently  clutter their resume with myopic detail. Having a partner who can take a 10,000 foot perspective on your story is key to crafting a truly great, story-based resume.

Please take a moment to review some before & after resumes from past clients.

Deliverable:

The Story-based Resume Service is a complete resume rewrite. It includes fresh, story-based content and bullet points and a fresh resume design (a new resume design and a rethinking of your resume’s layout/structure). The Story-based Resume is pretty simple. It fits on one page (sometimes 1.25 pages). Its structure lays out your overarching professional story. Its bullet points tell more granular, behavioral stories.

At the end of this service you’ll receive a PDF version of your resume as well as a modular Word document which you can edit and build on in the future.

Process: You’ll email me your current resume and completed brainstorming document (optional) → (STUDENT/STANDARD resume = 1 hour on phone) (EXTENDED resume = 3 hours on phone, 2 Phone Calls (1.5 hours each)) → 1st Resume Draft → Feedback → Subsequent Resume Edits

Depending on the service you choose (STUDENT/STANDARD or EXTENDED) we’ll spend between one and three/four hours on the phone going over your career, education, community involvement and personal interests. After our call(s), you’ll receive the first draft of your story-based resume. The first draft will feature fresh story-based content/bullet points, a new design and an improved structure/layout. You’ll review the first draft and make any comments or changes using the track change functionality in Word. Depending on your feedback, either additional edits to your resume will follow or a phone call will be set up to discuss questions and concerns. The process continues until everyone is 100% satisfied.

Turnaround Time: Each service contains several deliverables. The turnaround time for any one deliverable (like new edits to a document based on client feedback) is a maximum of two business days (see the FAQs for more information). Total turnaround time is a function of a) the client’s availability to schedule calls and b) the amount of time the client requires to complete the brainstorming document or provide feedback on resume drafts. A typical timeline follows.

  • Day 1: Client receives the brainstorming document.
  • Day 3: Client returns the brainstorming document and shares their current resume and a maximum of three job postings with their consultant (optional).
  • Day 4: Resume Call #1 (STUDENT/STANDARD and EXTENDED resume rewrite)
  • Days 5-6: Client’s resume is partially drafted based on Call #1
  • Day 7: Resume Call #2 (EXTENDED resume rewrite only)
  • Day 9: Client receives a first draft of their resume.
  • Days 10-13: Client spends some time reviewing the resume – possibly sharing it with a few contacts. Client uses the track change functionality in Word to insert comments, feedback and changes into the document.
  • Day 14: Client’s feedback is received. Either a call will be scheduled in the next day or two or the client will receive an updated resume draft based on their feedback.
  • Day 15+: Additional rounds of review and resume drafting as necessary. Generally though, resumes are completed after one or two rounds.

(à la carte)  ESSAY or STATEMENT OF PURPOSE


$300-700

While a resume is an overview of your professional achievements a compelling essay brings depth to what you’ve done, how you think and who you are. While you’re probably good at whipping up reports, memos and even dissertations you might not be as comfortable working with the personal essay format. Essay outlining and editing is the often the most difficult and tedious task in the MBA application process. My job is to ensure the essays you do submit are standouts. Because clients have interesting stories to tell, but don’t necessarily enjoy penning them, I personally write and revise your essay.

$300 SHORT ESSAY 300 words or less
$600 LONG ESSAY 301 words or more
$700 LONG ESSAY Stanford Essay A or HBS

Deliverable: An essay or statement of purpose that is engaging, compelling and genuine.

Process: You’ll email me your current resume, program info and essay draft/outline (if available) → 1.25-hour Brainstorming Phone Call  → You’ll receive the first Essay Draft → Feedback → Subsequent Edits

We begin with a 1.25 hour call. I’ll give you deeper insight into why the admissions committee is asking a particular essay question and what they’re looking for from candidates. Next we’ll brainstorm different stories that might work, before settling on one with good potential.

I look for material that allows us to create an engaging essay that rounds out your overall profile. For example, if your resume clearly portrays you as highly quantitative, I’ll steer you towards an essay that allows us to highlight complementary qualities (qualitative achievements, inter-personal skills, leadership moments etc.).

After our call I’ll send you a first draft of your essay. Beyond the first draft, the process involves a back and forth exchange of essay drafts and phone calls until we reach a final draft we’re both satisfied with.

Turnaround Time: Each service contains several deliverables. The turnaround time for any one deliverable (like new edits to a document based on client feedback) is a maximum of two business days (see the FAQs for more information). Total turnaround time is a function of a) the client’s availability to schedule calls and b) the amount of time the client requires to provide feedback on drafts. A typical timeline follows.

  • Day 1: You’ll email me your essay draft or outline (if available).
  • Day 3: Essay Brainstorming Call.
  • Day 5: I’ll send you a first draft of your essay.
  • Days 6-7: You’ll spend some time reviewing the essay – possibly sharing it with a few contacts. Please use the track change functionality in Word to insert comments, feedback and changes into the document.
  • Day 8: Once you send me your feedback, I’ll either schedule a call within a day or two or I’ll send you an updated essay based on the feedback you sent.
  • Day 9+: Additional rounds of review and editing as necessary.

(à la carte)  RECOMMENDATION TALKING POINTS


$400

The Recommendation Talking Points service is a detailed outline that defines topics and supporting examples that your recommender can use to structure his/her recommendation.
The Recommendation Talking Points document guides your recommender in structuring the recommendation. This is especially helpful for busy recommenders. In my experience, even recommenders who are very enthusiastic about your application to business school will put off writing your recommendation until the eleventh hour.
Another service I offer called Recommendation Editing (scroll down) can compliment the Recommendation Talking Points service. Recommendation Editing gives your recommender the opportunity to work with me and have his/her recommendation edited/commented. Editing gives you peace of mind knowing that your recommender is communicating clearly in written English, accurately conveying his/her ideas and avoiding inadvertently divulging something that could adversely affect your application.

Deliverable: A detailed recommendation outline (main ideas and supporting details) that your recommender can use to inspire or structure his/her recommendation.

Process: You’ll fill out Recommendation Talking Points Template → 1.5-hour Phone Call → 1st Draft of Recommendation Talking Points → You’ll provide me with feedback → Subsequent Edits → You’ll send the final draft of the Talking Points document to your recommender

You’ll fill out the Recommendation Talking Points Template. We then use the Recommendation Talking Points Template and your resume during a 1.5 hour call to discuss which stories and qualities your recommender should highlight. I’ll then draw up the Talking Points document which you’ll give to your recommender.

Turnaround Time: Each service contains several deliverables. The turnaround time for any one deliverable (like new edits to a document based on client feedback) is a maximum of two business days (see the FAQs for more information). Total turnaround time is a function of a) the client’s availability to schedule calls and b) the amount of time the client requires to provide feedback on drafts. A typical timeline follows.

  • Day 1: Client receives Recommendation Talking Points Template.
  • Day 3: Client fills in document with personal observations.
  • Day 5: Client meets with recommender to get the recommender’s insights. Client adds these observations to the document and returns it to the Consultant.
  • Days 6: 1.5-hour phone call to discuss the client’s observations and findings and to discuss which stories and qualities the recommender should highlight.
  • Day 8: Client receives first draft of the Talking Points.
  • Day 8: Client’s feedback is received. Either a call will be scheduled in the next day or two or the client will receive an updated draft based on their feedback.
  • Day 9+: Additional rounds of review and editing as necessary. Client sends Talking Points to their recommender.

(à la carte)  RECOMMENDATION EDITING


$300

Recommendation Editing gives your recommender the opportunity to work with me and have his/her recommendation edited/commented. Editing gives you peace of mind knowing that your recommender is communicating clearly in written English, accurately conveying his/her ideas and avoiding inadvertently divulging something that could adversely affect your application.
Another service I offer, Recommendation Talking Points (scroll up), can compliment the Recommendation Editing service. The Recommendation Talking Points service is a detailed outline that defines topics and supporting examples that your recommender can use to structure his/her recommendation.

Deliverable: I edit and/or comment your recommender’s draft of the recommendation – ensuring that it’s polished and meets with the expectations of the admissions committee.

Process: Either you or your recommender will email me their recommendation → I’ll edit/comment the document and return it to you within 2 working days  → An optional follow up call or email (between you and I or myself and your recommender) takes place to go over the edits and comments and solicit additional information if necessary.

Turnaround Time: Each service contains several deliverables. The turnaround time for any one deliverable (like new edits to a document based on client feedback) is a maximum of two business days (see the FAQs for more information). Total turnaround time is a function of a) the client’s availability to schedule calls and b) the amount of time the client requires to provide feedback on drafts. A typical timeline follows.

  • Day 1: Client or recommender emails me the recommendation draft.
  • Day 3: I return the recommendation with edits and/or comments.
  • Day 5: Optional follow-up call or email with recommender to answer questions or provide further edits based on their comments.
  • Day 7: I send the client or recommender a final draft of the recommendation – ready for upload.

(à la carte)  MOCK INTERVIEW


$150

An interview is a performance, and, as any actor will tell you, a good performance boils down to content (that’s the writing) + delivery (that’s the acting). The goal of a mock interview will either be to help you a) develop content or b) refine your delivery of that content. On average, clients sign up for two mock interviews. I offer a) Behavioral MBA Interviews, b) Traditional MBA Interviews or c) 50/50 Behavioral-Traditional MBA Interviews.

I’m experienced with the interview approach at all top-20 MBA programs (as you know HBS is drastically different from Stanford, both of which differ from MIT). If you’d like to prepare for an interview at a specific school, please let me know that before our mock interview.

The purpose of your written application is to secure you an interview. The purpose of an interview is for admissions committee to gain insight into a) your interpersonal skills, b) your ability to lead/persuade others, c) how you think and tackle issues (your cognitive abilities) and d) your capacity to think laterally/creatively and finally e) whether you’ll add value to their community.

In a good interview you’ll provide logical and well-thought-out answers to the practical and behavioral questions put to you. In a great interview you’ll also manage to:

  • Control any insecurities
  • Radiate a positive attitude and polish/executive presence
  • Demonstrate that you will bring value to the school and the employers that recruit there
  • Crush any negative judgments or pre-conceived ideas the interviewer may have about you

Deliverable: Mock interviews last 1.5 hours and are conducted over the phone or via a video conferencing platform like Zoom. At the end of your mock interview you’ll receive an audio recording of the call.

Process:

Before our mock interview I’ll email you to confirm what type of mock interview is the best fit for your needs (school specific? behavioral? traditional?)  → You’ll send me any requested documents (such as your application, resume etc.) → 1.5-hour Phone Call (Mock Interview) → You’ll receive an audio recording of your mock interview.

Generally, mock interviews play out as follows: I’ll ask you an interview question. You’ll answer it as best you can. Then I’ll provide you with immediate feedback and ideas on how to improve your response. You can let me know whether you prefer to pause for feedback after each question (the approach I recommend) or wait until the end of the mock interview for feedback (a more traditional approach).

Mock Interview Focus: Content Development and Content Delivery

Mock interviews focus on a) content development and b) content delivery.

  • Content Development: I help you develop scripts and stories to answer interview questions.
  • Content Delivery: Content delivery feedback looks for ways to improve on your body language, eye contact and voice cadence.

Mock Interview Questions: Behavioral and/or Traditional

  • Behavioral Interview Questions: Behavioral interviews leverage questions about past situations and behaviors to predict future performance. Behavioral interview questions are easy to recognize because they usually begin with some variation of ‘Tell me about a time when…’ Here are some examples: ‘Tell me about a time when…you were part of a team that was under-performing? you mentored someone? you received unexpected feedback? you persuaded someone to see things from your point of view? you were forced to compromise? etc.
  • Traditional Interview Questions: Tell me about yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why are you interested in pursuing an MBA at Wharton? How will you contribute to the MBA community at Stanford? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? etc.
  • 50/50 Mix: These interviews contain a mix of traditional and behavioral interview questions.
Listen to an excerpt from a mock interview. Question: Why an MBA?

(hourly)  ADVISING


$75/hour

The hourly advising rate is a catch-all service that applies to any conversations that aren’t a part of a pre-defined service. There is no written follow-up or editing involved in this service – it’s simply phone-based feedback and guidance on an issue or document.

In the past clients have used advisory calls to:

  • Discuss MBA/EMBA school selection or delve into where their career is headed and whether an MBA/EMBA actually makes sense.
  • Receive verbal feedback on a document (this could be a resume, essay, recommendation, email etc.)
  • Talk about transitioning their career from one functional role to another (or from one industry to another)
  • Talk about their next career move and how they can obtain it without an MBA/EMBA
  • Weigh big life choices and professional decisions (quitting job, going to grad school, becoming an entrepreneur, moving to a different location/country, tradeoffs (quality of life vs. $ money vs. professional visibility)
  • Figure out how to deal with a challenging situation or person in their workplace
  • Sort though expectations (their own and those of their entourage)
  • Articulate future goals
  • etc.

Process:You’ll purchase minutes of the Hourly Advisory Service → I’ll email you to set up a day/time for the call and to learn more about your needs and objective for the call → Advisory Call → At the end of our call you’ll receive an audio recording of the call (optional)


Looking for something special? Just ask.


Products

Sure. Here are some before & after examples of story-based resumes and cover letters written for past clients.

Sure. Here are some before & after examples of MBA & EMBA essays written for past clients.

Process

Client work is never outsourced to junior editors or other consultants. fxMBAconsulting is a boutique operation and Leah Derus personally delivers all services.

Generally speaking, work is carried out over the phone or via screen sharing sessions/video calls. That’s because working with clients virtually delivers better results. Why? Because I’m able to focus exclusively on a client’s words rather than being influenced by other forms of communication such as demeanor, eye contact or body language. That allows me to really hear what is being said, ask the right follow-up questions and ultimately help their client develop winning stories.

Mock interviews are an exception to the rule. Video calls are often used to provide feedback to clients on their eye contact, expressions and gestures.

Expedited service is available. Depending on the service you’re interested in ‘expedited’ may mean overnight, one-day or two-day delivery. A 50% fee increase is applied to all expedited services. If a service is normally listed as $200 on the services page, that figure is multiplied by 1.5 (in this case: $200*1.5=$300). To discuss your needs, please email hello@fxmbaconsulting.com with the subject line: Urgent

There is a full description of each service on the Services & Pricing page. There you’ll find precise descriptions of services, working methods and turnaround times. Each service available at fxMBAconsulting contains several deliverables. The turnaround time for any one deliverable (like new edits to a document based on client feedback) is a maximum of two business days.

  • Example of a service: Cover Letter
  • Example of some deliverables: Email client first draft of their cover letter OR Review client feedback and edit cover letter
Document submitted or call concluded by 18:00 EST on: Deliverable returned by midnight EST on:
Monday Wednesday
Tuesday Thursday
Wednesday Friday
Thursday Saturday
Friday Tuesday
Saturday Wednesday
Sunday Wednesday

American Holiday Closures: Memorial Day (last Monday of May); Independence Day (July 4th); Labor Day (May 1); Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November); Christmas (December 24th and 25th); New Year (December 31st and January 1st)

CALL
  • Client and consultant finish up a cover letter brainstorming call at 16:00/4pm EST on Monday, the submission day is Monday and a first draft will be sent to the client by Wednesday at midnight EST.
  • Client and consultant finish up a cover letter brainstorming call at 22:00/10pm EST on Monday, the submission day is Tuesday and a first draft will be sent to the client by Thursday at midnight EST.
WRITTEN FEEDBACK
  • Client submits written comments on the first draft of his resume at 16:00/4pm EST on Monday, the submission day is Monday and a newly edited resume will be returned to the client by Wednesday at midnight EST.
  • Client submits written comments on the first draft of his resume at 22:00/10pm EST on Monday, the submission day is Tuesday and a newly edited resume will be returned to the client by Thursday at midnight EST.

Payments

Small discounts are available for clients who opt for payment through Venmo or Direct Bank Transfer. After adding a service to your cart, proceed to the checkout page. There you’ll be able to see the discount associated with Venmo and Direct Bank Transfer.

Rather than negotiating prices with individuals, fxMBAconsulting offers the same straightforward rates to everyone. The prices you’ll find on the website have been carefully calculated to reflect a) the amount of time and effort involved in delivering a service and b) the caliber of work rendered. Apples to apples, you won’t find better value anywhere else.

Payment Plans: Unfortunately payment plans aren’t available but we do accept payment from the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club.

U.S. Clients: U.S. clients can pay via Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club), Venmo (a free service owned and operated by PayPal) or Direct Bank Transfer.

International Clients: Clients outside the U.S. can make payments via Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club) or Direct Bank Transfer.

Payment Plans: Unfortunately payment plans aren’t available.

Discounts are available for clients who opt for payment through Venmo or Direct Bank Transfer. In order to simplify back office procedures, payment must be received before we begin working together. Credit card and Venmo payments are received instantly. Direct Bank Transfers can require 3-6 days to clear. Please take this into consideration when choosing a payment method.

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