43 Reasons to Hire an MBA Admissions Consultant

There is a real lack of transparency when it comes to MBA admissions consulting. How will it help me? Often, candidates think it is just about the consultant telling you what to do, schools to select or what your chances might be at HBS.

 

I remember one candidate saying he could get the same information by reading blogs. Let me assure you: the free content we write is only a tiny morsel of what we deliver. Please know, there is no way in heck you would get the same benefit from reading my blogs. Others say, I can’t afford coaching I just want help editing my essays. Hearing this, I think applicants are unclear on how the coaching has everything to do with the quality of your essays.  

 

I hope this list might bring about greater transparency on MBA admissions consultants deliver to their clients, and why you should hire an MBA admissions consultant. Or at this MBA Admissions Consultant.

 

It’s important to not only to look at the cost of hiring a consultant, but the immediate, short term and long-term benefits of hiring a consultant. Including but no limited to increasing your chances of an admit, increasing your chances of a scholarship and securing an MBA internship offer.

  1. ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS: The content is only as good as the research. As a trained journalist and a certified coach, I’m highly trained in the art of ask the right questions. Questions that bring forth the content that aligns with what adcom is looking for. Content that differentiates you from your competition.
  2. MATCHING WHAT YOU HAVE TO WHAT ADCOM WANTS WANT: I get to know you well, probably better than you know yourself. We do research and assessments to accelerate the process of helping me get to know you. This allows me to learn about the qualities you have demonstrated that the adcom cares about.
  3. IDENTIFYING TRANSFERRABLE SKILLS: For career switchers, this helps adcom and recruiters understand the qualities you bring to a new industry or function. Showing these qualities allows you to make a bigger “leap” in terms of role, industry and geography.
  4. IDENTIFYING THE RIGHT PROGRAM FORMAT. I vet your strategy in terms of degree, program format, location and goals. There are a lot of ways to make a wrong turn. I talk clients off the ledge of making fatal mistakes with this. Having a viable strategy and plan can save you a year of wasted effort on applications, maybe test prep too.
  5. CERTAINTY > MOMENTUM > SPEED. I help you stay focused and advance with momentum and confidence.
  6. AVOIDING STRATEGIC MISTAKES BY FOLLOWING THE UNINFORMED: I work with dinged applicants all the time who say their friends and colleagues told them what to do and helped them make decisions. This is a complex labyrinthine process and even MBA grads are unsure of how to effectively advice you. Beware of friends, colleagues, mentors who do not know, what they do not know.
  7. AVOID UNINFORMED FEEDBACK ON ESSAYS: I work with dinged applicants all the time who follow the advice of friends, colleagues and mentors who gave them bad advice on their essays. For example, encouraging you to avoid discussing weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Fatal advice. Again, beware of listening to those who do not know, what they do not know.
  8. CUTTING WORDS, CLEANER MESSAGE: I help you narrow the scope of your message to what is most CORE, the #1 communication objective. We deepen that message while cutting away the distractions. This allows you to be HEARD by the adcom instead of them being confused by a muddled message and dismissing you.
  9. LEVITY. I make you laugh when you’re tired or overwhelmed. I keep things buoyant and animated, which is important because the process is long and drawn out.
  10. BRUTAL HONESTY. I will never lie to you to make you happy. Don’t even know how to do that. I take a stand for what is in your best and highest good. Clients often come to me with bad ideas based on untrue assumptions. I talk them off the ledge. I allow you to make your own choices and will stand by what you decide, but make sure you are first fully informed.
  11. TOTALLY DEDICATED PARTNER. I am a safe place to land and have a fiercely positive intent for you. My entire focus is on helping you get what you want.
  12. LEARN ABOUT YOUR STRENGTHS. Most applicants, even those with a very successful career, are not very aware of the strengths, patterns, and habits that make them successful. Or how they need to develop to get to the next level. It requires outside perspective from an unbiased party who can fuse together who you are, how you contribute and where you fit in.
  13. CLEAR PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY. Working with me empowers you with words you use to describe yourself, and talk about your brand, for the rest of your life. To be successful, you must know your unique value proposition (USP) and be able to communicate it cleanly and concisely. This is what sparks interest in you when it comes to interviews, speaking with investors, and anything else that comes your way.
  14. HIT THE GROUND RUNNING. I actually put my clients through the same exercises they do in zero week in business school, in terms of personal branding, informational interviewing, and your outreach/communication strategy in finding an internship or post-MBA job.
  15. CHOOSING THE RIGHT GOAL. We review all our findings to choose a goal that is at least a winner on-paper and ideally your real goal. We want to pick a goal that 1) makes you look low risk to career services and 2.) is going to make you happy, so you can write passionately about it. Both of these things really help your chances of getting an admit.
  16. GETTING GREAT VALUE OUT OF YOUR B-SCHOOL EXPERIENCE. Having your goals ironed out allows you to spend time in b-school learning, instead of recruiting for a bunch of different industries. Why go into debt JUST to get a job – when there are so many more interesting ways to spend your time in business school.
  17. CANVASSING SKILLS. I help you research your goals. Find the right contacts, reach out to them so you get a response, and write out the questions you need to ask. Even if you switch goals in b-school, you will have built the skills to embark upon that new job search effectively.
  18. RESEARCHING VIA INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWING. Networking with those who share your post MBA goal or attended your preferred program. At minimum, you have a killer goals question/Why MBA answer and at best, you will have offers for internship interviews.
  19. ESTABLISH YOUR CRITICAL PATH. My key to success: research yourself, research your goals and research the schools. I help you establish the right activities that get you closer to your goal of an admit, activities which are very specific to you personally.
  20. FIND LAST MINUTE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PROFILE. I help you improve your profile, even with very little time left to do. I spot opportunities that can be quickly implemented, which will improve how you are perceived by adcom.
  21. CREDIBLE AND MEMORABLE APPLICATION CAMPAIGN. I create consistency and synergy across all elements of your application – resume, essays, recommendations, application boxes, Linked In and interview responses. This gives you credibility – it makes you stand out, creates a clear message, and most of all makes you memorable.
  22. TOOLS AND RESOURCES. I possess resources that make this journey lighter, easier and more efficient. This saves you time and spares you from confusion, so you can maintain momentum in this journey. I guide you on when to use these resources, and how to sequence things.
  23. MY CLIENT ALUMNI NETWORK. I allow you to tap into my personal network of past clients and associates for the purpose of researching your career goals or researching schools/programs. This really helps you see where you best fit. It also creates within you a passion for the program you’re applying to, that powerfully shows up in your essays.
  24. FROM ACRONYMS TO ADCOM-FRIENDLY LANGUAGE. I help you recognize where you are using industry jargon that adcom won’t readily understand, and translate that into universal language, as much as possible. This helps remove BARRIERS to adcom getting to know and appreciate you.
  25. LEARNING HOW TO TELL STORIES. By outlining your anecdotes together, you learn an effective framework for telling stories that you take into interviews for the rest of your life.
  26. MITIGATE RED FLAGS. I help you see possible red flags in your profile, as adcom would see you. These are not always obvious for applicants. Then, we come up with ways to fix them or mitigate the potential negative impact of them.
  27. DISTINGUSH YOU FROM OTHERS WITH YOUR PROFILE. I help you focus on the attributes that separate you from other competitors in your profile group.
  28. 1-1 SUPPORT OUTLINING ESSAYS. I outline all your essay stories with you, so the draft you write is on track, which saves time for you.
  29. 1-1 SUPPORT OUTLINING RECOMMENDATION TALKING POINTS. I help you outline anecdotes to share with your recommenders, so they share compelling examples, but at the same time, allow their authentic voice to shine through.
  30. POLISHED FINAL PRODUCT. I edit all your work, so it accentuates the key communication objective of each piece. I cut away what distracts from the main message. Greater focus and SIMPLICITY makes you more memorable.
  31. STRATEGIC EVALUATION OF POTENTIAL RECOMMENDERS. I help you look at all the different variables that determine your best choice of recommenders. It’s a complex model, to be honest. We discuss dealbreakers too, when choosing recommenders.
  32. KEEN INTUITIVE OBSERVER. I’m kind of psychic. Even though some say it’s “creepy” but it’s still very helpful! I tap into things unsaid: strengths, patterns and passions that I am intuiting about you, that lead to breakthroughs.
  33. YOU LEARN ABOUT YOUR VALUES – to communicate who you are to adcom. When we reveal who you are to adcom on the level of values they become more attracted to you – the authentic you. Articulating your values helps adcom know “what makes you tick,” so they get to know you better and feel closer to you.
  34. YOU APPLY YOUR VALUES – to make better decisions. Understanding your values also helps us make choices that are in alignment with those values. For example, if a key value for you is adventure, we would want to choose a school and a career goal that allows you to experience this value.
  35. WHY MBA? AND WHAT NEXT. In choosing your career goal, I help you identify how you will need to grow and transform through the MBA experience in meaningful ways that best position you to secure your post-MBA job. This is good not just for essays but helps guide you in making choices on how to spend your time in b-school. Believe me, this will become important to you, because there is an overwhelming number of choices on how to spend your time. You need to be very intentional about your goals going in and be disciplined in sticking to them.
  36. IDENTIFYING THE BRILLIANCE FACTOR. Initially, your stories are like a heap of information, and actions you took. I help you identify what I call the brilliance factor in all stories you have to tell, the breakthrough thinking you applied to solve the problem, to get the result. With tight word limits, it’s important we go down the right road with these stories, so we develop the best angle to showcase in each of your application elements, i.e., recommendations, essays, CV and interview anecdotes.
  37. DULL DESCRIPTION TO MOVIE SCRIPT. I help you go from vague generic “white paper” project-level language to a personal anecdote showing the adcom who you are in this project, so they can get to know you and root for you.
  38. REPOSITIONING YOU AND YOUR WORK HISTORY. I help you communicate who you are and what you’ve done so it can be understood by a wide audience outside of your world, outside your industry, which is what HBS asks of you specifically and is helpful when applying to any business school. And when changing careers.
  39. SPOTTING HOW YOU HAVE ADDED VALUE. I am able to see various ways to articulate benefits and results of your work that my clients often miss. I can see ways your actions benefitted the company that you may not. They are seeing this through a much smaller aperture. I’m very experienced and my background is very multifaceted.
  40. IDENTIFYING APPLICATION-KILLING ASSUMPTIONS. I help you identify your assumptions and limiting beliefs “It won’t be enough” “I can’t leave anything out.” “I can’t be specific, or I’ll seem too specialized.” Carrying on with these beliefs leads to muddled and messy applications where you include everything but the kitchen sink. They limit your effectiveness in creating successful MBA applications.
  41. LEVERAGING THAT BRAND TO CREATING A CLEAR IDENTITY FOR ADCOM. By getting to know you, I identify your brand promise. What you deliver in every setting. From this we come up with an “angle” unique to you, and weave that through all the deliverables and interviews. Adcom can summarize who you are, because we have done the work for them.
  42. IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT. GUIDANCE ON SCHOOL COMMUNICATION. You are being observed in all your interactions, and so it helps for me to give pointers on you emails to admissions, what to say at admissions events, and other informal interactions. 
  43. CREATING EMOTIONAL CONNECTION TO ADCOM. For example, I help you describe your hobbies in terms that are relatable to a wide audience, which allows adcom to become emotionally connected to you. This is an extremely undervalued strategy.
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