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Admission Consulting- Is it necessary?

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Admission Consulting- Is it necessary?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2017, 13:28
What are the general thoughts about admission consulting? Do most applicants use it? Does it increases a person's chance to get admitted to a top 20 business school?
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Admission Consulting- Is it necessary?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2017, 21:03
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M23A wrote:
What are the general thoughts about admission consulting? Do most applicants use it? Does it increases a person's chance to get admitted to a top 20 business school?


There are a few schools of thought but the prevalent and by far the shortest is that you get out of Admissions Consulting as much as you put in. They will not carry you to the victory and shove you through the adcom door into the HBS.... but they may hold the door or assist with carrying your belongings. Think Sherpa. Primarily admissions consulting helps keep you on schedule, it prevents you from making stupid mistakes, and gives you a coach/buddy to help bounce ideas and keeps you on the most likely path to victory. It saves time on the research and they clarify the process and what to expect. They fix your writing style and pick the best examples out of your available ones. However, admissions consulting is not a magic makeover where you sit and do nothing and then become someone else. You absolutely can get the information they have and accomplish the same result by yourself. It has been done thousands of time but it does take time, some mistakes and learning, and you are not maximizing your chances/results until you have gone through a whole year of applications and won/lost some battles. However, a consultant is definitely no guarantee of success, simply improvement in your chances.

Here is how you could do it by yourself:
1. Research the heck out of schools - school forums, guides, bschool reviews, current student and alums. Try to do a school visit, esp if you are seriously interested in it. Visit a few, at minimum.
2. Figure out your story - you can use a framework outlined in many of the application books or ask a buddy who has applied and got in to help
3. Start writing and drafting. Get friends and family to help critique
4. Figure out what schools are suited best for R1 and then some for R2 - see where you stand based on your average GMAT score and how "impressive" your qualitative factors are.
5. Proofread your application, stay on track and on top of your recommenders (may need to coach them a bit). Then submit and wait

You should probably hire an Admissions Consultant if....
  1. If you are applying from abroad and lack international/specific country experience, I highly recommend you get as much help as you can (consultant or native speaker or friend). Things are just too different if you are applying to top 20 to think you will hit it. This has to do with style/examples/etc.
  2. If you lack any contacts in bschool network
  3. If you have the money and don't mind paying $3-5K to slightly pad your chances. Some folks work out in a park and others hire a personal trainer at a gym - depends on your style and finances
  4. Your writing sucks. Now, they won't write for you but they will comment on your drafts and help you get in better shape
  5. You are in your 30's or you must get in this year and risk of not getting in is too high


If you end up getting a consultant to help you, here are a few threads/topics to put things into perspective. Also, ask a consultant how optimistic they are to work with you and how they rate your profile - are the schools you are targeting a stretch or realistic. Some consultants may not even work with you if they don't feel you are competitive enough (they don't want to tarnish their reputation and that speaks about the whole concept - they can't make you a diff person, only amplify some aspects of your career and personality).


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Re: Admission Consulting- Is it necessary?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 01:34
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As a former Admissions Director and Admissions Consultant, I agree with everything BB has said. On point and his post should be bookmarked.

I just wanted to add a few more thoughts:

- in 2016, GMAC (the org that administers the GMAT) estimates that 1/4 of candidates used admissions consultants to give their application an edge

- imagine a BCG matrix with "writing/presentation skills" on the x axis and "mba network" on the y axis
this could help you determine what (if any) services to seek from an admissions consultant, and how to get the most value:

(1) weak writing/presentation skills + weak mba network = seek comprehensive help from admissions consultant
(2) weak writing/presentation skills + strong mba network = seek "a-la-carte" or "hourly" services to strengthen your application
(3) strong writing/presentation skills + weak mba network = seek "a-la-carte" or "hourly" services to strengthen your application
(4) strong writing/presentation skills + strong mba network = you prob don't need a consultant. but get your MBA network to review your material and point out any blind spots

I share my thoughts here:
http://touchmba.com/should-you-hire-an- ... onsultant/
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Re: Admission Consulting- Is it necessary? &nbs [#permalink] 19 Dec 2017, 01:34
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