Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 18 Sep 2014, 05:46

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

PLZ HELP!!! Dissatisfied working w/ Admissions Consultant

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
1 KUDOS received
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 01 Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [1] , given: 3

PLZ HELP!!! Dissatisfied working w/ Admissions Consultant [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2012, 08:28
1
This post received
KUDOS
I'm a IT Consultant with 720 GMAT and honor's graduate of TOP 15 US College. I'm having a really tough time deciding what to do as I'm not completely satisfied with my admissions consultant at a big firm.

While she's extremely experienced and good at what she does, I frequently feel like I'm burdening her with my questions or that I have to kind of remind her that I"m here and get her attention. We've submitted one application (to HBS) together, and while her feedback on essays is AMAZING, I don't feel like she's personally "invested" in my success.

For example, they have a 48 hr response policy and she's frequently missed it without explanation. I brought it up once early on with the manager who guaranteed it wouldn't happen again, but it continued to happen. Also, I ask her random questions on the admissions process and some of them get ignored or during phone conversations she says she hasn't looked at that yet and searches through emails to find my input. I've asked her how to improve my chances to Stanford and she said she'd look into it but never got back to me. I'm also doing all the research on schools completely on my own since she doesn't seem to offer school-specific insights. We are done with the first application and ready to start on the next, but she hasn't offered on how I should approach the next school, so I've looked it up on competitor's websites. I understand that she is busy but Is this normal? Am I expecting too much?

The thing is, I'm signed up for a 6 school package and the original terms of the contract state that I would forfeit payment once services have started At this point, I want to ask for at least a partial refund since I still have 5 schools left and haven't done any interview prep for HBS. But if they don't allow the refund, then I'm stuck and have probably ruined the relationship with the consultant.

Please advise on how I should address this issue or if I'm overreacting. I can't compare since this is my first time working with a consultant, but I imagined the process would be like having a personal coach to let me know what is next on the agenda and when I need to complete it by. She's a really sweet person and helpful when she's focused with me, so I don't want to offend her or damage her job or anything. Plus, I'm worried if I do get a refund, if the firm could try and sabotage my chances elsewhere by stating I've worked with them to admissions committees.
Please provide some wisdom as this is only adding stress to an already stressful process! :cry:
Kaplan Promo CodeKnewton GMAT Discount CodesGMAT Pill GMAT Discount Codes
1 KUDOS received
Director
Director
User avatar
Affiliations: Columbia, Wharton, LBS
Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 592
Schools: Harvard, Stanford, LBS, Columbia, Wharton, HEC Paris
Followers: 19

Kudos [?]: 113 [1] , given: 1

GMAT Tests User
Re: PLZ HELP!!! Dissatisfied working w/ Admissions Consultant [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2012, 11:44
1
This post received
KUDOS
I do not think you are overreacting to this situation. The business school application process should be taken as seriously by you as it is by your consultant. Also, by the sounds of your posting, you have set high personal expectations and you need to know that the application that you are submitting is going to be as competitive as it can possibly be. As you invested thousands of dollars into an advisor, I concur that you should be looking for one that meets your expectations and your requirements.

At Manhattan Review, we do not believe in a one size fits all approach to admissions consulting. We spend a great deal of time getting to know the people we work with and internalize their admissions quest as our own. You will further be matched by a person who was a full voting member of an admissions committee at a top five program and intimately knows the MBA admissions landscape. Lastly, while we do not guarantee admissions at any school, by the time you submit your application we are sure that you will feel that you submitted your best work and that your candidacy will be taken seriously by every admissions office (not to mention that we limit the number of clients that our consultants take so as not to overload them and to end up in the type of situation you are facing).

If you would like to speak about our services, please visit our web site or call our offices and our administrative people will arrange for you to speak directly with our Head of Admissions Consulting.

Kimberly Plaga
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review
_________________

Manhattan Review GMAT Prep & MBA Admissions Consulting
Web: http://www.manhattanreview.com | Phone: +1.212.316.2000
Receive 20% off Admissions Consultings as GMATClub member!

Expert Post
1 KUDOS received
MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 840
Followers: 51

Kudos [?]: 178 [1] , given: 195

Re: PLZ HELP!!! Dissatisfied working w/ Admissions Consultant [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2012, 19:52
1
This post received
KUDOS
Expert's post
Hey liebe,

Sorry to hear about your predicament and I wanted to chime in. I don't want to sell you on my company's services. Rather, I wanted to focus on what you can do to work things out with your current consultant. Really, the first step is to determine if the relationship is in fact salvageable.
One more thing - to be clear, the consultant you are speaking about is NOT an Amerasia consultant.

If the expectation is a 48 hour turnaround time, and she has acknowledged that was in fact her understanding, then she needs to stick with it.

However, the reality is that you need to find out what is going on behind the scenes. I would encourage you to manage the situation by doing this - speak to her on the phone and ask her what her limitations are, and how you can help her through the issue. It might be a squirmish conversation, but passive communication via email is a killer. For example - is she having personal problems? Technical issues? Try to determine if she is overwhelmed. Try to determine is if it something you can help with - perhaps putting all your questions into one email, or setting a weekly call to get her on the same page.
Get it out in the open, and don't let emotion creep into the equation. Just maintain a cool composure, and that will let her maintain hers.

Also, make sure you speak with your consultant first. Don't speak to the manager or break the chain of command (I'm not saying you did in this case btw.) The reality could be that her "manager" has little control over what she does or does not do. Perhaps the manager could pair down her future workload, but that does not help you right now. In a rather unprofessional scenario, it could even hurt you if the admissions consultant decides to just "phone it in" and become even more aloof. When you do speak to your consultant, make sure you stress the material impact it has on you. For example - if she missed a deadline and that f-ed up your weekend planning - then you need to explain that and the effect it had on the rest of your week. But also consider this - if there is no material impact, then ask her if she needs more time. Tell her that it's okay if it is 4 days, rather than 2. The main point should be that she needs to tell you if it is going to be late! In turn, you will understand as long as it does not have a material impact. You are human, she is human, and shit happens.
I would also make it a habit to send her an email as well on the day of the turn-around deadline, reminding her. For example, you could even ask if setting a calendar reminder for her would help. I know you do not HAVE to do it but it's an olive branch that your consultant should appreciate, unless she is a total mess.

Just reach out and find out what she needs, and that you can reasonably provide - after all, you did hire a professional. If you can't get remediation, then you escalate (again) to the manager. But you need to make it clear to your consultant that this is your intent - to escalate - that the current situation if she cannot hit deadlines. But be respectful, because you could be put in a situation where you work on 4 schools with your current consultant and then 2 more with another consultant at the same firm. It's going to be awkward if you have to compare and contrast advice all the time.

I think a very honest question to ask of your consultant is simply this - "what would you do if you were in my situation?" Then focus on describing the specific impact on you, rather than stating all the line items that she has missed. That will only put her on the defensive.

If you want a coaching template, I like using this model -
    Define your expectation, explain the deviation from that expectation, describe its impact on you/your app, get her side of the story, now collaboratively set a new and reasonable expectation, get agreement, follow up on it in a week, two weeks, etc. If she shits the bed again, then escalate.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti

liebe wrote:
I'm a IT Consultant with 720 GMAT and honor's graduate of TOP 15 US College. I'm having a really tough time deciding what to do as I'm not completely satisfied with my admissions consultant at a big firm.

While she's extremely experienced and good at what she does, I frequently feel like I'm burdening her with my questions or that I have to kind of remind her that I"m here and get her attention. We've submitted one application (to HBS) together, and while her feedback on essays is AMAZING, I don't feel like she's personally "invested" in my success.

For example, they have a 48 hr response policy and she's frequently missed it without explanation. I brought it up once early on with the manager who guaranteed it wouldn't happen again, but it continued to happen. Also, I ask her random questions on the admissions process and some of them get ignored or during phone conversations she says she hasn't looked at that yet and searches through emails to find my input. I've asked her how to improve my chances to Stanford and she said she'd look into it but never got back to me. I'm also doing all the research on schools completely on my own since she doesn't seem to offer school-specific insights. We are done with the first application and ready to start on the next, but she hasn't offered on how I should approach the next school, so I've looked it up on competitor's websites. I understand that she is busy but Is this normal? Am I expecting too much?

The thing is, I'm signed up for a 6 school package and the original terms of the contract state that I would forfeit payment once services have started At this point, I want to ask for at least a partial refund since I still have 5 schools left and haven't done any interview prep for HBS. But if they don't allow the refund, then I'm stuck and have probably ruined the relationship with the consultant.

Please advise on how I should address this issue or if I'm overreacting. I can't compare since this is my first time working with a consultant, but I imagined the process would be like having a personal coach to let me know what is next on the agenda and when I need to complete it by. She's a really sweet person and helpful when she's focused with me, so I don't want to offend her or damage her job or anything. Plus, I'm worried if I do get a refund, if the firm could try and sabotage my chances elsewhere by stating I've worked with them to admissions committees.
Please provide some wisdom as this is only adding stress to an already stressful process! :cry:

_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 01 Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 3

Re: PLZ HELP!!! Dissatisfied working w/ Admissions Consultant [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2012, 23:45
Thank you for the thoughtful response! :-D

PaulLanzillotti wrote:
One more thing - to be clear, the consultant you are speaking about is NOT an Amerasia consultant.


Yes, this is NOT an Amerasia consultant or anyone who has responded here.

Quote:
If the expectation is a 48 hour turnaround time, and she has acknowledged that was in fact her understanding, then she needs to stick with it.

However, the reality is that you need to find out what is going on behind the scenes. I would encourage you to manage the situation by doing this - speak to her on the phone and ask her what her limitations are, and how you can help her through the issue. It might be a squirmish conversation, but passive communication via email is a killer. For example - is she having personal problems? Technical issues? Try to determine if she is overwhelmed. Try to determine is if it something you can help with - perhaps putting all your questions into one email, or setting a weekly call to get her on the same page. Get it out in the open, and don't let emotion creep into the equation. Just maintain a cool composure, and that will let her maintain hers.


Would doing this over email be fine? I've never called up out of the blue as we "schedule" our phone chats (we've had 3 thus far).

Quote:
When you do speak to your consultant, make sure you stress the material impact it has on you. For example - if she missed a deadline and that f-ed up your weekend planning - then you need to explain that and the effect it had on the rest of your week. But also consider this - if there is no material impact, then ask her if she needs more time. Tell her that it's okay if it is 4 days, rather than 2. The main point should be that she needs to tell you if it is going to be late! In turn, you will understand as long as it does not have a material impact. You are human, she is human, and shit happens.


While she hasn't missed an app deadline, there was an instance when I submitted my resume and wanted feedback so I could prepare it and move onto essays for the HBS app with two weeks left, but I didn't receive a response for several days. In that instance, she wrote back several days later with a response stating she was sick which is completely understandable, but it would have been nice to know as I just waited. Just a brief, "I'm sick so I will get back to you later" would have been nice, as it affected my other processes.
I ended up hiring an hourly person at another firm for additional help to get more HBS specific insight on an essay as well.

When I changed a school choice for the future, she seemed audibly annoyed as well and never got back on how I could strengthen my position for Stanford.
I hate to escalate or address it too directly either, since it's nothing personal and she's good at her job. I'm afraid doing so would ruin the working relationship if I'm stuck working with her.

Quote:
If you want a coaching template, I like using this model -
    Define your expectation, explain the deviation from that expectation, describe its impact on you/your app, get her side of the story, now collaboratively set a new and reasonable expectation, get agreement, follow up on it in a week, two weeks, etc. If she shits the bed again, then escalate.


I will try this. Again, I would not complain if I had not spent almost $10 grand for the services, and it was not important for my future. I wanted to be sure I was not demanding too much through this forum. I appreciate her help with my HBS app, but I really wish at this point I could try elsewhere if this type of service is not standard. Thank you again Paul~! :lol:
Expert Post
1 KUDOS received
Admissionado
User avatar
Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 3220
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
Followers: 44

Kudos [?]: 535 [1] , given: 29

GMAT Tests User
Re: PLZ HELP!!! Dissatisfied working w/ Admissions Consultant [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2012, 00:50
1
This post received
KUDOS
Expert's post
Sounds tough. My suggestion is that if you are stuck in a contract with a specific firm, maybe then ask for a change of consultants. Even if the quality control of the service at that firm may be lacking, there are for sure consultants who work there who will take their job more seriously. And I think that with such problems (especially if you are 'stuck'), if you take a non-confrontational way, and approach the company asking to change to a consultant who is known to be a bit more reliable, etc, you may be able to "save" your work with them, and get the most out of it, in what is a less than ideal situation.
_________________

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado.com

If you like the post, give it a KUDOS!

Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
avatar
Joined: 06 Jan 2012
Posts: 255
Followers: 13

Kudos [?]: 44 [0], given: 1

Re: PLZ HELP!!! Dissatisfied working w/ Admissions Consultant [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2012, 08:09
Expert's post
I am really sorry to know about your situation. Since other consultants have already provided their valuable insight on this issue , I will not provide you any more advice . Also, I am hoping that by now ( it’s almost a week since you posted this) you must have arrived at some resolution to the problem.
However, I would like to use this forum to offer my perspective on some of your questions/ doubts.

"I understand that she is busy but is this normal? Am I expecting too much? "

No it is not at all normal, and you are NOT expecting too much. In fact, you are being too nice.

"I imagined the process would be like having a personal coach to let me know what is next on the agenda and when I need to complete it by.
You “imagined “it right. Partnering with an admission consultant entails getting personal coaching/guidance, setting deadlines, and honoring them. However, if for some unavoidable reason, we (admission consultants) are not able to adhere to the deadlines, we are obligated to notify the applicants rather than having them make guesses if we are sick or overwhelmed with assignments. We are there to help them with the application process, and not add to their stress.

"I'm worried if I do get a refund, if the firm could try and sabotage my chances."


It is sad situation that at a time when you should be focusing only on your apps, you have been compelled to worry about so many other things – partial refund of your money, fear of sabotage by the big firm you have partnered with.

"Please advise … if I'm overreacting."

No, you are not at all overreacting. As stated earlier, once you sign up with a company, your consultant is expected to be equally involved in the process and guide/ coach you at every step of the way.

I hope and wish that the issue has been resolved by now.

Wishing you all the best with your application process for the remaining five schools,

Poonam
_________________

MyEssayReview - A personalized and dedicated essay-review service
Email:poonam@myessayreview.com

Image Image Image

Re: PLZ HELP!!! Dissatisfied working w/ Admissions Consultant   [#permalink] 07 Nov 2012, 08:09
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
Awesome app to help w/ MBA admissions process kreynolds 0 26 Sep 2013, 11:54
help plz time and work problem fmnadeem 2 26 Aug 2010, 10:43
Help on choosing Admission consultant aielman 0 23 Apr 2010, 02:25
Experts publish their posts in the topic Should I take help of Admission Consultant.. age 2 26 Sep 2009, 06:26
How Admissions Consultants Work johnnyx9 2 27 Feb 2007, 09:41
Display posts from previous: Sort by

PLZ HELP!!! Dissatisfied working w/ Admissions Consultant

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.