About Elite Essays

Despite what you might have heard, your test scores do not control your MBA fate and through our writing services and admissions coaching we can help give you that edge. Great essays can often overcome average test scores, but great test scores rarely overcome average essays. I’ve proven that repeatedly. In fact, my goal for all my clients is to gain admission to schools that appear beyond the range of their test scores, company or university name, job title, GPA, or age. 

Some of my most successful clients don’t know how special they are. It’s my job to make sure they do and that schools do as well. I draw out my clients’ best stories and fill them with unique and humanizing details to make them come alive. We then shape these stories into a comprehensive and integrated application that unites your best professional, personal, and academic work, and shows your utmost potential for achieving your ambitious career goals.

The most important questions I will ask you during our time working together are not “What did you accomplish?”, but rather “Why did you accomplish it?” and “How did you accomplish it?” Through your answers, we will describe your decisions and actions that reveal your unique strengths and weaknesses — and more importantly demonstrate your self-awareness. Having self-awareness shows schools that you can evaluate what and how you can contribute and what skills you need to develop, and connects every aspect of your applications from essays to interviews. This has been the key to success time and time again for my clients.


About Bryan Shih

- 15 years as professional, independent admissions consultant

- MA, Journalism, UC Berkeley (full scholarship)

- Fulbright Fellow

- Business & Features Journalist (The Financial Times, National Public Radio)

- Book Author (reviewed by NY Times Book Review, Washington Post)


At the core of my consulting approach is a passion for helping people tell their best stories. I honed this instinct through my journalism training (M.A., UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, full scholarship) and experience working for some of the best news organizations in the world.

I got my start in admissions consulting in Japan, where I lived for seven years and where I established myself as one of the most successful consultants in the country, pioneering innovations such as flat-rate pricing and no-risk trial periods to provide clients with the most straightforward, comprehensive, and fair services possible. I now live just outside New York City and work with clients all over the world.

While in Japan, I was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to document one of Japan’s leading swordmakers. Before Japan, I completed my first M.A. at the UC San Diego Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies, where the curriculum included many core MBA courses. I did my undergraduate work at UC Santa Barbara in law.

In addition to Japanese, I am fluent in Spanish from having lived and established a Spanish-language school in Guatemala. In my free time, I work on long-term documentary portrait photography projects, where, similar to admissions consulting, I try to capture something unique about each individual I work with. My most recent series of portraits and interviews with original members of the Black Panther Party became a well-received book and appeared in group and solo shows at the Oakland Museum of California and the Queens Museum.

Nothing makes me happier or prouder than knowing that I’m adding value to my clients’ lives.