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# Admissions Consulting - Worth the money?

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Current Student
Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 197
Schools: Chicago Booth '11
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 14 [0], given: 2

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  10 Nov 2008, 09:27
I'd be interested to see the GMAT clubbers success rate with consultants.

For those that used consultants:

% of interview invite
% of acceptance

We won't know until 2009 but it would be interesting to track
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Current Student
Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 63
Schools: Kellogg 2011
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 1

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  11 Nov 2008, 16:53
I did one of those free initial consults with one admissions firm a few months back. The response that I received can be at best be described as pitiful. It was poorly written, overly repetitive (they hit 'copy paste' a few too many times), and at one point they offered to set me up with a gmat tutor, even though I got a 730, information that was included in what I initially provided them. As I told them (they followed up several times asking me to sign up), if that's the lax standards that they provide when trying to sell me something I couldn't imagine the poor quality that I'd receive after I coughed up the money.
Senior Manager
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 483
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 34

Kudos [?]: 146 [0], given: 12

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  01 Jun 2009, 18:55
So for those considering a admissions consultant, what good ones are out there?

I assume Alex's MBA Apply is up there. I've heard good things about Stacey Blackman Consulting. What about Veritas Prep? Finally, what about HBS Guru? I've heard amazing things regarding HBS Guru, but that seems to be more focused on the essays.

I assume that the biggest help a consultant can provide is with the essays, and for those, I figure HBS Guru would be the best option?
Founder
Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 12854
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Followers: 2789

Kudos [?]: 14040 [0], given: 3876

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  01 Jun 2009, 19:05
Expert's post
Here is a good post to consider - a long one though.
http://www.geekmba360.com/?p=725
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Senior Manager
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 483
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 34

Kudos [?]: 146 [0], given: 12

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  01 Jun 2009, 19:33
Wow... interesting article. I read that one as well as his original article that he mentions. He names the big players - Alex Chu, Stacey Blackman, HBS Guru Sandy, Veritas, and ClearAdmit and has positive things to say about each of them.
I was pleasantly surprised that he is overall supportive of the industry and I think I will eventually use one of the consultants. I think given these times candidates with non-IB/management consulting backgrounds need to separate themselves from the pack. I mean, if you're Princeton -> Bain -> Bain Cap, chances are you don't need the service, but for others...
Good to hear that b-schools have also become more accomodating on such services.
At the end of the article there was a survey and I can't wait until the results come through. Until then, still not sure which one is best!
Manager
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
Posts: 189
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 1

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  02 Jun 2009, 03:48
I thought I had written some excellent essays before I hired a consultant. Even my colleagues and friends thought my essays were good. But after going to a consultant (he came highly recommended), I see now I was still a child when it came to kick-ass essay writing. I think the consultant provided more of an objective and critical eye. He has experience with what AdCom is looking for, so in that respect it helps. Currently, I am working with him on my essays. We'll see if it's worth it come admissions season.
_________________

A New Yorker's MBA Journey Yo!
http://xlick.blogspot.com/

Senior Manager
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 483
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 34

Kudos [?]: 146 [0], given: 12

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  02 Jun 2009, 08:44
Mind you telling us what consultant you are using?
Manager
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
Posts: 189
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 1

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  02 Jun 2009, 09:03
pm me if you want the name
_________________

A New Yorker's MBA Journey Yo!
http://xlick.blogspot.com/

Senior Manager
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 483
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 34

Kudos [?]: 146 [0], given: 12

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  02 Jun 2009, 09:04
Manager
Joined: 06 May 2009
Posts: 53
Location: Texas
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  02 Jun 2009, 20:27
Not worth the money. Last year I used one that supposedly maintains a "97% success rate"... I went 0 for 4.
Senior Manager
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 483
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 34

Kudos [?]: 146 [0], given: 12

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  03 Jun 2009, 07:35
goose wrote:
Not worth the money. Last year I used one that supposedly maintains a "97% success rate"... I went 0 for 4.

Mind telling us which one it was? Thanks
Manager
Joined: 06 May 2009
Posts: 53
Location: Texas
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  03 Jun 2009, 08:23
bipolarbear wrote:
goose wrote:
Not worth the money. Last year I used one that supposedly maintains a "97% success rate"... I went 0 for 4.

Mind telling us which one it was? Thanks

Stacy Blackman.

I got feedback from one of my schools that said my essays didn't convey specific enough career goals. Not the feedback I expected after spending big $of an admissions consultant. Senior Manager Joined: 10 Dec 2008 Posts: 483 Location: United States GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44 GPA: 3.9 Followers: 34 Kudos [?]: 146 [0], given: 12 Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink] 03 Jun 2009, 10:06 Wow that's surprising... always thought that stacey blackman was one of the elite admissions consulting firms out there. thanks for the info and good luck next round Director Joined: 20 Feb 2008 Posts: 797 Location: Texas Schools: Kellogg Class of 2011 Followers: 6 Kudos [?]: 145 [0], given: 9 Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink] 03 Jun 2009, 10:21 goose wrote: Stacy Blackman. I got feedback from one of my schools that said my essays didn't convey specific enough career goals. Not the feedback I expected after spending big$ of an admissions consultant.

Sorry, but I have to call you out on this one. That story just doesn't pass the smell test. So, you paid approximately $3,000 per school, got that response, and then that is the end of the story? Also, not conveying specific enough career goals is a very common mistake first time applicants make. It's one of the main reasons I was dinged at both Booth and Anderson before getting into Kellogg and Texas. I'd be curious to hear your whole story before making any assumptions about Stacey Blackman's services. Let's not jump to conclusions without all of the facts. Manager Joined: 06 May 2009 Posts: 53 Location: Texas Schools: McCombs School of Business Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0 Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink] 03 Jun 2009, 11:52 jb32 wrote: goose wrote: Stacy Blackman. I got feedback from one of my schools that said my essays didn't convey specific enough career goals. Not the feedback I expected after spending big$ of an admissions consultant.

Sorry, but I have to call you out on this one. That story just doesn't pass the smell test. So, you paid approximately $3,000 per school, got that response, and then that is the end of the story? Also, not conveying specific enough career goals is a very common mistake first time applicants make. It's one of the main reasons I was dinged at both Booth and Anderson before getting into Kellogg and Texas. I'd be curious to hear your whole story before making any assumptions about Stacey Blackman's services. Let's not jump to conclusions without all of the facts. What exactly are you calling me out on? That was my experience. I would agree with you that not conveying specific enough career goals is probably a common mistake made by first time applicants. But, that's specifically why I hired an admissions consultant... to help me avoid those mistakes. Manager Joined: 06 May 2009 Posts: 53 Location: Texas Schools: McCombs School of Business Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0 Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink] 03 Jun 2009, 13:16 jb32 wrote: goose wrote: What exactly are you calling me out on? That was my experience. I would agree with you that not conveying specific enough career goals is probably a common mistake made by first time applicants. But, that's specifically why I hired an admissions consultant... to help me avoid those mistakes. I want to hear the whole story. I don't like it when people tell 1/8 of a story and then leave the rest of the facts out in order to make their point. I think you left out many of the facts in your story in order to prove your point that Stacy Blackman's service was not worth the money. I have a hard time believing that the only thing they told you was that your career goals weren't specific enough, then took your$3,000 and you got dinged at 4 schools. Is that how it happened? Or did they work with you more in depth and you're glossing over that part of the story so your original point reads better?

The reason I'm making a big deal out of this is that many people trust what people write on these boards as fact. It is not right to degrade Stacy Blackman's services on an MBA admission board unless her company really deserves it. If they really screwed up, then I invite you to tell your story in depth so that others may learn from it. Tell us in more specific terms what happened and why someone shouldn't use their services, but what you posted on the boards was not in the spirit of GMAT Club. We are here to help one another, and not attack anyone - including outside MBA admission consultants. If they hosed you, then give us the facts and let the readers decide how they want to proceed or whether to use her services. I apologize if I seem harsh in any way, that is not my intent. I just ask that you explain your reasons further if you are going to post a negative opinion. That's all. And BTW, welcome to GMAT Club, Goose.

I think you misunderstood what I wrote in my earlier post. I received feedback from the adcom of one of the schools I applied to and was rejected at. The adcom's feedback was that I did not convey specific enough career goals in my application.
Senior Manager
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 483
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 34

Kudos [?]: 146 [0], given: 12

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  04 Jun 2009, 14:01
I found another article on admissions consulting, though this appears to have been written in 2007 when bschool were more hostile towards consulting. http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/co ... 906621.htm

My favorite quote is this:
Meanwhile, admissions committees will keep scrutinizing applications for a giveaway, such as writing that outshines the candidate's verbal skills. The best coaches, of course, are all over that. "You can't fool an admissions committee if you write like Hemingway and you sound like Borat," says Alex Chu, founder of MBA Apply, a one-man consulting service.

Current Student
Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 367
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 30 [0], given: 21

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  22 Jun 2009, 06:08
I used these admission consultants last year and went for 0/6 admits.The feedback I got from one of the schools is that my essays lack clarity and focus.
SVP
Joined: 04 Dec 2007
Posts: 1689
Schools: Kellogg '11
Followers: 14

Kudos [?]: 185 [0], given: 31

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  22 Jun 2009, 06:51
I think one people forget when they get consultants, is to identify what they want out of it. For instance, do you need a consultant because you need help doing all the writing? Do you need help tightening the essays up? Prepping for interviews?

Take a look at the app checklist for any school on your list, then identify which areas you think you can handle, which areas you need help with. Then talk to a consultant. I think that'll help you get what you need.

Also, I didn't use any consultants - this is just advice a friend of mine gave me when I was starting the app process.
Manager
Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 140
Schools: Kellogg (R1 Dinged),Cornell (R2), Emory(Interview Scheduled), IESE (R1 Interviewed), ISB (Interviewed), LBS (R2), Vanderbilt (R3 Interviewed)
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 86 [0], given: 10

Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money? [#permalink]  25 Jun 2009, 02:38
Hi,

Which one is better:

1. Hourly package: Pros: Can be flexible in terms of what you want, Cons: problem of being overcharged.
2. Comprehensive: No clock ticking but expensive.
3. Comprehensive for 1 School and hourly for other schools

When you have a limited amout of money to spend on admission consulting, which one of the above option is good. Opinion Guys.....
Re: Admissions Consulting - Worth the money?   [#permalink] 25 Jun 2009, 02:38

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