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To change or not to change admission consultant

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 11 Oct 2011
Posts: 21
Schools: Booth '14 (D)
GMAT 1: 740 Q V0
GPA: 3.93
Followers: 1

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

To change or not to change admission consultant [#permalink] New post 28 May 2012, 22:22
Least season I started preparing quite late (in October) with a private admission consultant. I applied in 2nd round in H/S and Booth. H/S declined w/o interview while Booth waitlisted me after the interview and I'm still in w/l.
Looking back, I can say that H/S is probably not of my level (though I have high GMAT and GPA but probably not bright enough career path for H/S).
I want to reapply this year in a wider range of schools and not sure that I should do this with my current adviser.

Pros:
He was very responsive (I never waited too long for another draft) and provided good ideas on how to present my experience
I liked his editions of my essays
I can expect significant discount

Cons:
I think we ran out of ideas how to sell myself by the end of the process. When we prepared additional essay for w/l, I had to ask another consultant for feedback on my package, since he could not explain weakness of my package and how can we mitigate them. I'm afraid that if I reapply, I will get the same result since I don't expect my profile to become much stronger this year.

Have anybody experienced similar things/fears when you failed and what did you do?

Thanks
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1 KUDOS received
Manager
Manager
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Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 82
Detail: MBA admissions help
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 2000
GMAT 1: Q V
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 16 [1] , given: 0

Re: To change or not to change admission consultant [#permalink] New post 29 May 2012, 04:26
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My advice is to remove the financial component from the decision process (temporarily) and to think about this decision as what will provide your best chance into a top program. Ultimately, even if you spend a few hundred dollars more, but it gets you admitted into a top program, that's a fine investment over the long term.

With that being said, however, you need to really think about WHY you and your consultant are not able to come up with new ideas and positioning statements. The reason I say this is because you could end up with the same problem with a new admissions consultant if the problem is with you and not the consultant. Did you have a better experience with the 2nd consultant you worked with who helped with the waitlist? Overall, did you feel he was effective? And are you ready to begin from scratch with someone you've never worked with before?

Just some questions to consider as you think about this decision.

Hope this is helpful,
-James Young
_________________

http://www.TheFirstRead.com
Former Kellogg adcom member, offering a new approach to MBA Admissions Consulting.

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 11 Oct 2011
Posts: 21
Schools: Booth '14 (D)
GMAT 1: 740 Q V0
GPA: 3.93
Followers: 1

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

Re: To change or not to change admission consultant [#permalink] New post 29 May 2012, 23:06
Youngjames, thanks for your reply. The 2nd consultant was effective since it's much easier to review/edit others' work than to write your own story. We struggled to write additional essay since we thought that we covered _everything_ in essays and I didn't receive any feedback on 'what could be wrong'. Probably there was some conflict of interests since consultant would have to criticize his own work.
Probably my question can be paraphrased in 'how to evaluate the quality of admission consultant's work?'
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 82
Detail: MBA admissions help
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 2000
GMAT 1: Q V
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

Re: To change or not to change admission consultant [#permalink] New post 31 May 2012, 04:25
In my opinion / experience, often the effectiveness of an admissions consultant can be determined by the chemistry between the applicant and the consultant. you could have a perfectly good consultant, but if his/her style doesn't mesh well with yours, then it's very difficult to be effective. it might be that this chemistry is "off" with whomever you've been working with. if that's how you feel, i'd move on. you've already obtained the insights and advice from this person, and if you were not admitted the first time with him/her, there's no reason to think it'll happen this next time, unless you've really added a lot of new content to your application (which is perfectly reasonable as well; i've seen this happen).

in finding your next consultant, my advice is (and this is very difficult) to focus on 2 areas: (1) what is that person's knowledge on the schools you're most interested in. the programs are very different and look for different qualities. make sure your consultant has some familiarity with your SPECIFIC program. (2) was that person actually on an adcom at an MBA program, or is s/he more of an editor? my belief is that it's important to have actually served on an adcom. you read thousands of essays at once and develop a sense on "where the bar is." there are great consultants who have been trained into the job, but IMO, there's nothing that compares to the actual experience of sitting on an adcom and making a judgment on hundreds of candidates.

hope that's helpful
-James Young
_________________

http://www.TheFirstRead.com
Former Kellogg adcom member, offering a new approach to MBA Admissions Consulting.

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 11 Oct 2011
Posts: 21
Schools: Booth '14 (D)
GMAT 1: 740 Q V0
GPA: 3.93
Followers: 1

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

Re: To change or not to change admission consultant [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2012, 06:26
James,
thanks that was very helpful. Now I can say that what really disturbed me: though my consultant is ex-adcom member and he knows the formula of how to write effective essays, he probably knows little about specifics of other schools
Re: To change or not to change admission consultant   [#permalink] 04 Jun 2012, 06:26
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