"I wanted to offer some thoughts on working with Philippe Barr through the whole process. In summary, Philippe helped me with 3/4 of my essays and a quick resume scan. I applied to Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, and MIT Sloan, and was accepted to three, waitlisted at Stanford.
I'd highly recommend Philippe across the board. Stylistically, he was exactly what I was looking for. In email communication and when I had a few follow up questions, he was very kind and personable. But, as I had hoped, his markups of my essays were not "sugar-coated" at all - he provided very direct and honest feedback. For some, this may be uncomfortable, but for me it was exactly what I needed - it helped me trust his comments and really reassess my approach when I needed to. His approach is exactly as mine would be - start with high level themes and then refine specifics/details once the structure feels good. Much more efficient.
Furthermore, in a more nuanced way, Philippe was very low-ego. Often, editors can be very stiff and inflexible - when they give a recommendation they expect it to be taken, and in subsequent versions may have difficulty accepting a rejection of their comment. I never had this problem with Philippe - when I disagreed with his comments, we discussed why, and then moved on to the broader themes of the essay. So, I felt respected as a partner and we always were very efficient.
Lastly, turnaround and response time was incredible."