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Hourly Better as Packages have wrong Incentives?

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Hourly Better as Packages have wrong Incentives? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2017, 04:56
Hi,

so far I only considered packages, as I need help in all areas. However, one consultant made me aware that the incentives in packages are not well aligned. Once the money is paid the consultant has an incentive to minimize the time spent and rubber stamp the application as "good to go" even though it could be further improved. This argument makes a lot of sense to me.
In addition, I cannot leave if I bought a package and they try to push me into a certain mold that I am not comfortable with.

Therefore the questions:
a) What are your experiences? Will consultants really take "unlimited" time if you buy a package? Or will they stamp your 2nd or 3rd essay review?

b) Are there any advantages to packages except price?

c) How much time does a good application take? How big is the risk of producing far greater costs with hourly?

Thank you.

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Re: Hourly Better as Packages have wrong Incentives? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2017, 11:40
Ozymandias wrote:
Hi,

so far I only considered packages, as I need help in all areas. However, one consultant made me aware that the incentives in packages are not well aligned. Once the money is paid the consultant has an incentive to minimize the time spent and rubber stamp the application as "good to go" even though it could be further improved. This argument makes a lot of sense to me.
In addition, I cannot leave if I bought a package and they try to push me into a certain mold that I am not comfortable with.

Therefore the questions:
a) What are your experiences? Will consultants really take "unlimited" time if you buy a package? Or will they stamp your 2nd or 3rd essay review?

b) Are there any advantages to packages except price?

c) How much time does a good application take? How big is the risk of producing far greater costs with hourly?

Thank you.


Hi Ozy!
You bring up a very compelling point, and as someone who initially bought a single school package and then paid hourly for the remaining schools, I can shed a bit of light into the issue.

While, yes, there does exist the possibility of the consultant taking advantage of you, this practice is not very common with smaller boutique firms. Firms, both big and small, are able to charge the money they do because they generate results, so it is always in their best interests to make sure you produce the very best application you can. I'll take your question piece by piece

A. For my applications last year, I used Personal MBA Coach and initially bought a one school package for UCLA Anderson. My resume needed a ton of work and was finalized in 6-7 edits. My main essay took 9 edits to become final. There were a number of times where I thought my essay was good enough to be final, but my consultant disagreed. I began to pay hourly for the other schools i was applying to, but soon realized I was over-paying and decided to include my two other targets (Duke and McCombs) into a 3-school package. For R2, I only applied to 2 schools and used the hourly rate, which turned out to be quite expensive, since they were reach schools and the essays had to perfect in my eyes in order to submit. Had i just done a 5 school package at the beginning, I would have saved between 1-2K total. I can't speak for other consultancies, but buying a school package w Personal MBA Coach was definitely a more cost-efficient method and got better functional support since we were able to build a relationship throughout the process and I was free to bounce ideas and exchange e-mails without worrying about being charged.

B. The main advantage is that you build a rapport with your consultant so he/she, in turn, becomes a better editor of your work. With the hourly work, they don't get to know you that well as a person, so it's more difficult for them to understand your story and motivations to tie in with your application. For my package, we had an hour long phone call where I walked through my life story, my goals, and how B-school fit in with all of it, and I came out of it with a greater confidence that my consultant was in a position to really help me. Not only that, but i got interview support when I received the invites, which costs 300-400 alone at most firms. In fact, a lot of consultants don't do hourly with new clients because of the fact it's inefficient.

C. It's difficult to place a specific time limit on a great application. Assuming the essays need 8 edits to be final, you are looking at 2-3 hours to write the initial, and then between 30 min to an hour to incorporate changes, multiplied by however many edits you do until it is final. Same with resume (perhaps a bit less time). Then you have to make sure your recommenders have a general guideline on what to write (hour sit down with each of them). It's a process that can take 2-3 weeks, perhaps more. My best advice is never to rush an application, and to only submit when you feel it is the best work you can produce. For hourly work, the risk is definitely a factor, since each extra edit of an essay will cost between 100-350 dollars (depending on the time). Every time you send it back, it's another cost. Before you know it, you could have spent 2,000 dollars just to have one essay finalized, which is more expensive than including the school in a package and recieiving complete support.

I hope this helps, and please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions/concerns!

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Ivy Groupe Admissions Consulting Representative
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Re: Hourly Better as Packages have wrong Incentives? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2017, 14:32
Hi there,

To make sure a particular consultant is a good fit before spending a lot of money upfront, you should definitely speak with him/her first to make sure that you are on the same wavelength. You can also request to start out on an hourly basis, and then if things are going well, convert that to a comprehensive package (where the money spent on those hours is then deducted). Hope that makes sense!

If you'd be interested in scheduling a free consultation to chat further, feel free to reach out at https://www.ivygroupe.com/contact.

Best,
Shaifali
(HBS Grad/MBA Admissions Expert)
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Re: Hourly Better as Packages have wrong Incentives? [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2017, 19:34
Most consultants will want you to do well in the process. There are incentives on both sides for you to feel like you are getting value out of the process and ultimately getting into school. Now the format with which you utilize is really up to you and there are honestly positives and negatives for both formats as well as for the consultant and client.

Ultimately I feel like a package will allow you build better rapport with you and offer more value as a consultant. Also, financially, it probably represents a better value for you. Now the hourly can be attractive if you have a fixed budget for this and if you have specific needs. I would keep in mind with hourly work, that everything involved with admissions consulting takes a ton of time, so do not minimize what you think you will get for some of the smaller hourly packages. Setting expectations up front with your consultant and the company you work for will help in this regard and I even recommend mapping out how you want to use your hours with the consultant so you are both aligned
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Re: Hourly Better as Packages have wrong Incentives?   [#permalink] 30 Aug 2017, 19:34
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