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making the decision

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making the decision [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2009, 07:03
There’s obviously a bevy of consultants to help sharpen and focus the application part… my question is if anyone knows of consulting services that help you make the right enrollment decision once the admits have come through.

You’d clearly have an idea of fit before applying, but I think some applicants (esp. nontraditional) would benefit from a professional take on the merit of different schools/offers depending on your age, experience, career goals, scholarship offers, etc. Asking a bunch of strangers “which is better, school A or school B” without any other details isn’t too helpful, but I would think a detailed profile analysis and a presentation of the pros and cons of certain schools would help people (at least me) make a better decision.

I didn’t use admissions consultants for the application part, but I wonder if they have anything to offer in the decision-making phase. Any insight would be welcome and good luck to all.
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2009, 07:23
I'm sure any of the admissions consultants would gladly take your money to help you make the decision and they certainly have experience with different types of people having to make such decisions, so they might be helpful.
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Last edited by Rubashov1 on 06 Jan 2009, 20:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2009, 07:42
Save yourself the money and make the decision yourself by talking with people and creating your own perspective (even if you can't visit, get people on the phone). Its such a personal decision, you should make it yourself.
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2009, 07:44
Like rca said, consultants would probably be happy to help you make that decision.

I think before calling a consultant, it's important to figure out for yourself: what do you want out of bschool? Is it the chance to meet new people? Switch into a new industry? Gain expertise in a particular area or concentration?

That will help the consultant better help you in making the right choice.

If you'd like to pick a school without calling a consultant, here are some basic steps a friend of mine suggested:
1) Think about why you applied to bschool in the first place - did you want the brand? the academic opportunities? exposure to a different part of the world?
2) What criteria did you use in determining which schools you applied to? Was it location? fit? size? ranking? academic concentrations? companies that recruit there?
3) How would you rank that criteria? I think this is where it varies by applicant - some might prioritize personal fit, others school ranking, etc.
4) How does each school hold up against that analysis?
5) If you still can't decide, visit or reach out to current students/alums to gain some more perspective. Where would you fit in the best?

Hopefully that process can help you in picking between your admits :)
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2009, 07:59

Last edited by Rubashov1 on 06 Jan 2009, 20:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2009, 08:29
To be clear - I was being incredibly sarcastic with that last post. (Best of luck with your decision!)
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2009, 09:32
If you throw me a couple hundred bucks I'll flip a coin for you.

Otherwise, I'd suggest visiting the schools if you can.
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2009, 09:42
I agree with a previous poster: If you have not done so already, visit the schools you are considering. My wife and I visited four schools during our east coast jaunt and it really added some flavor to each of the schools. After visiting each, you should have a pretty good idea of where to go. If you are deciding between two programs which are somewhat close, it probably won't matter which one you choose anyway.
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2009, 09:47
MeddlingKid wrote:
I agree with a previous poster: If you have not done so already, visit the schools you are considering. My wife and I visited four schools during our east coast jaunt and it really added some flavor to each of the schools. After visiting each, you should have a pretty good idea of where to go. If you are deciding between two programs which are somewhat close, it probably won't matter which one you choose anyway.


Did you guys visit during the accepted days/weekends? Any thoughts on visiting the schools at other times, maybe even a day before or after, when you might get a more 'honest' picture? Just when I thought the financial cost of the admissions process was over...
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2009, 11:53
cs11 wrote:
MeddlingKid wrote:
I agree with a previous poster: If you have not done so already, visit the schools you are considering. My wife and I visited four schools during our east coast jaunt and it really added some flavor to each of the schools. After visiting each, you should have a pretty good idea of where to go. If you are deciding between two programs which are somewhat close, it probably won't matter which one you choose anyway.


Did you guys visit during the accepted days/weekends? Any thoughts on visiting the schools at other times, maybe even a day before or after, when you might get a more 'honest' picture? Just when I thought the financial cost of the admissions process was over...


I did my school visits in April 2008, seven months before I sent in my application. I first visited Wharton back in 2003, but given the time lapse, a more recent and detailed visit was in order. Since you have already applied, I would suggest visiting the campus on the admit weekends. If you want to get an unpolished view, you could always check it out on one of the other campus visit days they have setup. You could just aimlessly wander the campus without meeting anybody or sitting in on classes, but that wouldn't give you much of a data point to go off of.
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2009, 12:07
the "right" enrollment decision comes from yourself, not any consultants, family members, friends, etc...

I am a big supporter of attending the admitted students weekends that each school puts on, even if some schools ask you to turn in a deposit earlier than another school's admit weekend. If that's the case, either ask for an extension (many schools will give you 2-3 weeks if you give them a good reason, such as you're trying to make a very important decision in your life and want to get all the info possible) or eat the $1000 deposit since in the grand scheme of things, $1000 is nothing compared to picking the "wrong" school.

Attend the admit weekends, talk to alums (ask students or career center for some contacts, most schools are good with giving you these contacts), talk to students, sit in on more classes, talk to career center, talk to admissions office, talk to the program office (the people who run the school when you're enrolled), talk to the financial aid office, just talk talk talk to people. Go to the school and spend a day there, hanging out with a student or just roam around yourself. Put yourself into the situation as if you were going to that school.

once you do your research, you will probably have a good gut feeling of which school is best for you. Many of us had that moment last season when we just "knew" that a school is made for us. Some of us made a spreadsheet of all the factors and weights to confirm that gut feeling, others just went with it.

Some things to consider:
- Do you feel comfortable with most of the students there?
- Is the culture that you detect (not the one they put on their brochures) what you want in a school?
- What are the career potentials for that school and region? Is it easy or very hard to get to the career you want?
- Weather, Significant Others' job prospects, future desired hometown, etc...

Everyone's different, so some of those above will trump others, but you have to make that personal decision after doing your research. :)

Good luck and hope you all make the "right" decisions!
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2009, 11:09
As mentioned by others here, plenty of admissions consultants would happily take your money to advise on this.

But why pay to have someone tell you "it's a personal decision."

There can be a lot of analysis-paralysis going on with MBA-types. The choice isn't that precious. And if you really have a tough time making a decision, then it says more about you than it does about the difficulty of that decision (the fear of making a bad decision that it paralyzes you or prevents you from making any decision at all).

How you go about making that decision is simple. Attend the admitted weekends, and talk to some alums of those schools if you can. Then make a decision based on your gut - what you feel to be the best decision for you. After being accepted you've been through enough of the process to have an idea of what the MBA is about, along with some knowledge of the schools. And if you can't trust your judgment, then no amount of analysis-paralysis of the pros and cons will help you make that decision (unless you are hoping that someone else like a parent, friend or even a consultant can act as a surrogate to make that decision for you).

That's what the choice comes down to - it's not a matter of insider knowledge or analysis -- it's about trusting your judgment. As such, it's really not that hard, if you can trust yourself to make decisions that are best for you (and if you can't - blame your parents for not nurturing that from an early age!). Good luck
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2009, 13:21
AlexMBAApply wrote:
As mentioned by others here, plenty of admissions consultants would happily take your money to advise on this.

But why pay to have someone tell you "it's a personal decision."

There can be a lot of analysis-paralysis going on with MBA-types. The choice isn't that precious. And if you really have a tough time making a decision, then it says more about you than it does about the difficulty of that decision (the fear of making a bad decision that it paralyzes you or prevents you from making any decision at all).

How you go about making that decision is simple. Attend the admitted weekends, and talk to some alums of those schools if you can. Then make a decision based on your gut - what you feel to be the best decision for you. After being accepted you've been through enough of the process to have an idea of what the MBA is about, along with some knowledge of the schools. And if you can't trust your judgment, then no amount of analysis-paralysis of the pros and cons will help you make that decision (unless you are hoping that someone else like a parent, friend or even a consultant can act as a surrogate to make that decision for you).

That's what the choice comes down to - it's not a matter of insider knowledge or analysis -- it's about trusting your judgment. As such, it's really not that hard, if you can trust yourself to make decisions that are best for you (and if you can't - blame your parents for not nurturing that from an early age!). Good luck

rsp33, if you'd like, you can send me a check ($1500 please) and I'd be more than happy to make the decision for you. And I don't even have to know your background - that's how much better I am than those "other" consultants. :-D

Actually, I do strongly agree that hiring a consultant would be a major mistake. 1. This is an intensely personal decision that you'll need to make on your own regardless of whether you hire a consultant. 2. They don't know you. 3. It costs $$!
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2009, 01:17
I'm officially beginning my career as a consultant just for you and I'll do it for $1499. I'll fire off a decision so quick it'll make your head spin, all for 1 dollar cheaper than OhThatMBA. :yes

In all honesty, it's gonna come down to your personal decision. But if you're looking for feedback from this forum, why don't you start a poll? Unlike others, I think the school x vs school y threads are helpful. It seems like the admits and current students are more than willing to defend their decisions to the death against each other.
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2009, 04:15
bbdidge wrote:
I'm officially beginning my career as a consultant just for you and I'll do it for $1499. I'll fire off a decision so quick it'll make your head spin, all for 1 dollar cheaper than OhThatMBA. :yes

In all honesty, it's gonna come down to your personal decision. But if you're looking for feedback from this forum, why don't you start a poll? Unlike others, I think the school x vs school y threads are helpful. It seems like the admits and current students are more than willing to defend their decisions to the death against each other.


I'll make your decision for $1600. Why do I charge more than the other guys? Because I'm better than the other guys.

In all seriousness, I'm not sure a poll would be that helpful. I certainly have reasons why I chose Kellogg over my other options, but those reasons are closely linked to my goals and my personal preferences for schools and would probably not be any help for you to decide where you want to go to school. There's already plenty of info on this board about what the different schools have to offer and their pros/cons. I'd suggest looking through that info, attend the admitted student weekends, then make your decision knowing it's really a win-win decision.
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2009, 05:47
I had a consultant look at my essays at no cost and give me generalized feedback so I could see the "value" of his services. He basically said they sucked for the schools I was applying to. I thought he sucked. I got into Kellogg and received interviews from Stanford, Wharton, and Chicago Booth. I am so glad I didn't waste my money. My own thinking and writing and feedback from several of my closest friends was more than enough. Don't sell yourself and your friends/loved ones short.
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Re: making the decision [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2009, 12:59
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Re: making the decision   [#permalink] 21 Mar 2009, 12:59
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