We post about this every season. We do our best to help you understand how things work. We have this exact item linked in our About page:
We’re not the ‘Snark for everybody (aka “Who is it right for?”)
We tell you that we won’t spoonfeed you the answers.
We offer dedicated school guides that lay out what each school wants in each question and how to build it into an essay. We have structured exercises to walk you through the process of sifting through your raw material and developing your best content.
We tell you that we don’t do phone consults.
And yet we get an anonymous person claiming to have bought our most expensive, most extensive package who says that we suck.
We did not approve this as a standard testimonial about our services to be posted with the others here on the site because we have no idea who this person is – and because we have never said the things they’ve accused us of in their essay critiques.
Those client testimonials go up unedited and uncensored. We have never squashed a review; right now there are a few up there that we also don’t agree with but we publish them as they were submitted. Not every admissions consultant and MBA forum does that, we can assure you. There’s a significant amount of whitewashing and pay-to-play going on out there. That’s not how we roll.
Anyway, yes, this “old client” is absolutely right: We will tell you when something does not work. We will NOT tell you how to fix it – but we do WAY more than say “boring” and we’ve never said “horrible” and we NEVER laugh at you. C’mon dude (or dudette). We don’t need to know who you are in order to know for certain that you are totally misrepresenting what we returned to you in any of the feedback we may have sent. Because we don’t say “ha ha” in our commentary about your stuff. Ever. What on earth would be the point of that?
In racking our brains over this, the closest we could come to the “boring” comment was, hmm, OK yeah, maybe we told someone that their essay would put the adcom to sleep… (?) But we’re totally guessing here. No idea what we literally said to this particular person since we don’t know who it is, however we just don’t put comments like that in essay reviews.
To be clear: We absolutely will tell you when the essay is off target. And we absolutely have a gazillion resources available to teach you how to fix such issues. We don’t include all of that all over again in the feedback report because it’s already available to you all over the site, and we’d end up writing a novel for each review. As it is, most reviews go on for pages and pages and pages. They are NOT trivial deliverables or surface-level treatments of your submitted material. In addition, the “fixing” of the problems that we identify could happen in so many different ways. There is no one right answer! We can’t tell you what to write in your essays because we don’t know you. There are (or should be) dozens of different other ideas that you should be trying out, as possible fits to the essay question and “fixes” for the things we identify as sub-par. Those ideas must be YOURS; they are coming from YOUR background and life experience. How can we tell you what to use instead when we don’t know what you’re carrying with you as possibilities?
We allow people to post reviews of our services anonymously because we allow people to do everything anonymously that will go up publicly on the site, but we need to know internally who a review is coming from, since we only allow verified former clients to, like, give opinions on our services. The email address that is displayed on this review only shows up to Team EssaySnark in their admin screen; it’s never published. Obviously that’s a fake-out address. We have no idea who this person is.
If you were so dissatisfied, why didn’t you ask us for additional help or clarification during your engagement?
AnOldClient, if you care to identify yourself – and you REALLY want to “help others” with your feedback – perhaps we can have a dialogue about your complaints. Perhaps you’ll allow your essays to be posted on the blahg so we can see what was literally returned to you as feedback and dissect what your issues with that were?
Bottom line: To be successful with this process, you need to THINK FOR YOURSELF and you need to be willing to DO THE WORK. Writing essays requires a lot of mental effort. There is heavy lifting involved – which needs to come from YOUR SIDE of the client engagement. We bust our butts too, to work through all the materials you send over and provide extensive feedback on what’s presented. But the THINKING part needs to happen in your head.
Do you really think you deserve a spot at Harvard when you want someone else to spell everything out for you and spoonfeed you the answers?
Here's what others have said about this:
Can you add the capability to leave a response directly attached to the review? This would allow people to read both and draw their own conclusion. Publishing reviews anonymously–but only after verifying the client–would also make sense.
I do agree that EssaySnark is not for everyone, but I disagree with most of the rest. For example, I had did not have a wide network of friends and family to help, and did not need them.
And anyone who tells you what to write without an extensive series of interviews to deeply understand your complete profile and achievements cannot be right. They have no idea what you should say, because they don’t know what you don’t tell them. In a single essay draft there are mountains of detail which have been left behind on the cutting-room floor, any of which might have been important. And that’s assuming a good story was chosen in the first place.
@levieillard, thanks so much for your comments, and great suggestion on the ability to leaving a response to a review – we actually do have that now but a) our reviews system is a bit buggy and the team needs to dive back into the code (hint hint to the team) and b) we sorta feel like, meh. Big shrug. Someone wants to leave their opinion, we don’t really feel the need to defend things. We’ve done so a few times and now we prefer to let reviews stand as is. People come to this site and learn about how we do things, they can decide for themselves. There’s certainly enough other happy BSers, both ones that have been kind enough to leave reviews, and many more that we know were happy, which makes us happy. Ya know?
People are entitled to their opinions. Sometimes we get blamed for the fact someone didn’t get in, which is just a reflection of the person who didn’t get in, not us. We understand that and while we wish they wouldn’t lash out in a negative review, well, we also know why some people do it. We get it, it sucks to be rejected and it’s natural to want to find fault with the system. The main issue with this particular review is we cannot verify that it was an actual client, and as stated above, they’ve misrepresented the services. The invitation still stands to this person to discuss things!
Anyway, levieillard, you’re absolutely right: it’s the editing and filtering through of the details – the hard work of essay-writing is in the revision – where the good stuff starts to come through! Usually people throw away more than they keep, at least at first, and nobody can do that for you. Appreciate the additional perspective!!