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So i just had my first initial free consultation with one of the consulting companies active on this forum and will have a few more with some others (i kinda want to shop around) - for those of you who have had these consultation calls before or who have worked with/are working with a consultant right now, how much of what they tell you during your initial free session should i trust? I can't help but feel like it's only natural for them to give you hope that you would make it into your top choices so that you would buy their services, regardless of which consulting company it might be.
great question. As a fellow skeptic I was apprehensive about these calls too. One thing to note: how much can someone really tell you in 30-60 min? They arent reading your essays and are going by mostly numbers. Another thing is that its not in their best interest to lie. They would be exposed pretty quickly if they did (which has happened before!) and their business would be finished.
I think that advice is numbers based in the first interaction. if you meet certain targets (avg of gmat/gpa/we) then you should narrow down the schools yourself. Where a consultant comes in is helping you refine your story for impact and perhaps editing essays.
I spoke with 6 or 7 and they all had the same basic advice. I told them what schools I was interested in and the all pretty much agreed on which were stretches/within reach/safeties etc.
Talk to the rest and see for yourself. You could also post up your profile here to get some quick feedback.
If you write well I would read Rhymes guide to applying and do it myself.
i dont think they would not take clients b/c of that. They may not take clients if they are too busy or its too late in the round to work with them. I bet if you wanted HBS and had no shot the consultant would tell you to rethink your school choices
You know it is a business, and these guys are out there to sell you a service. The initial calls are marketing and sales pitches, and the consultants are very good at these. While those calls are helpful, you should be cautious and make sound decisions for yourself.
Have the consultant do a free edit for you (which some companies do), so that you can see for yourself how it is going to look. Believe me, it will be the best edit you will ever get. So if you like the first edit, you can make your mind. Also set expectations and agreements in writing (email) on number of edits, frequency of interactions, response time, turn-around time. That way if your consultant deviates from what he sounded like in the first marketing call, you can challenge him on his/her servicing. You can also ask the consultant to provide 2-3 references of real people, who can provide some perspective.