When I was first searching for a consulting firm for mba aplication process back in october, people from this forum were very helpfull and gave me great advices. Thanks to some of you I choose well, and on the end was admited to some of the top programs. Now, I wanted to post this review for all those who may be thinking about hiring a consulting firm. This feedback comes only from my personal experience and has to do only with one firm: MBA Exchange
(because I only worked with them).
is great and worth all the $, if you need a consulting firm.
First, let me ackonwladge that not everyone needs a consulting firm. Many applicants have stats/we/leadership, writing skills and career outlook figure out well enough that from their "core-goal" schools (not the reach schools) some should take them as they are So, not everyone needs a consulting firm.
However, there are quite a few aplicants like me, who can benefit quite a bit from hiring a "good-fit" and professional consulting firm. Most of those aplicants fall into two categories: applicants with a serious flaw that can make them less competative at their core schools (low gmat, gpa, we, extras,etc) and/or who cannot answer well "why mba and why now" question.
I would classify myself as an applicant who felt into both categories, plus i am an international (Writing skills), so for me a consulting firm made perfect sense (6k for a package of 4-5 schools, getting into one of your goal/reach schools is worth it if you figure out that it just raises the total cost of an mba by 5% or so, and in my case I actually got 50k scholarship that I wouldnt otherwise, so you could say that I made money).
I decided to go with MBA Exchange
and was in my mind VERY SUCCESFULL. I had a choice between quite a few companies, but on the end choose MBA Exchange
, because I felt like they were most renown (good feedbacks from former clients), professional (great info session, knowledge) and easy to talk to (great outreach to candidates).
My experiance with MBA Exchange
Profile: European, just graduated''06 from a regional liberal arts college in U.S., 3.9 GPA, 750 Gmat, few meaningful internships (full-time, research) at leading international econ non-profits and very good extras (college). Very international experience, semi-enterprenurial ventures
Red Flags: low full time WE after college (6 months at the time of application), litle known regional college, not sure about my short term career goals (I knew I wanted to work/take over my family company in my home country in the future, but wasnt sure about my first 2-3 years post-mba)
Goals: Top 10 school, well known (i am tired of explaining to people outside of the region why i went to a "less known" colllege), with good GM/marketing/international bus/enterpr. programs, good placement at MC and GM firms
Execution: I applied to 6 schools: 3 M7 (ultra elites), 1 Top 10, 2 Top 15 (elites)
4/5 were Reach schools, 1/2 core/goal school.
- I got in to Top 10 with 50k total scholarship
- was interviewed at 1 M7 (waiting for the decision, 50-50), and another top 15 (i am sure i am in)
Got in to another top 15 (10k per year scholarship)
didnt hear back from other 2 M7, HBS/Columbia (no supprise, wasnt a good fit for CBS, HBS is HBS).
I am more than HAPPY with my admits.
I often hear about consultants being unethical etc...Wasnt true for me at all. My consulant worked with me very closelly, and helped me make the deadlines (i was quite busy with work, so did my aps at the last moment). But I was the one writing all the essays and my application.
He helped me figure out what it is I want to do right after mba, how to show my passion for enterprenuership in my essays, what examples to use for each essay (real examples from my life, not made up stuff) and what are my red flags and how I should try to adress them in my essays.
Working with him was a pleassure and very professional. The application was all my work, my goals my ideas my examples. Fully ethical. On the end I finished the application process better off:
- with clear career goals
- with admits to 3/4 out of 6 schools, were at least 4/5 were reach schools for me
- with 50k of free $ from a top 10 program (so I actually made $, 50k - 6k consulting fees = 44k)
So for me this was a great experience, and I reco MBA Exchange
I am preatty sure that without advices from MBA Exchange
I would have been dinged at 4-5 schools without interviews, and would have maybe make it to the 6th school (with no $)
If you have any questions send me a PM, I will be more than happy to give out more details.