Acceptance rates at the most elite business schools range from six to 21 percent. Tough competition drives many MBA hopefuls to weigh the benefits of working with an MBA admissions consultant to help them stand out amid a sea of equally amazing applicants.
The majority seek assistance with their essays, resume evaluation, and interview preparation. There are numerous upsides to working with an MBA admissions consultant.
We believe a consultant can nearly always help, whether you are a first-time or a repeat business school applicant; whether you are in the dark or more knowledgeable about the admissions process.
After all, both beginning athletes and Olympians have coaches.
The one caveat to this situation? If the admissions committee at the school to which you are applying is heavily focused on numbers. In this case, you may not need a consultant to help flesh out things like your essays or interviews.
Capitalize on the experiences of a seasoned consulting team
An MBA admissions consultant offers a trained second pair of eyes to review your material, help steer strategy, and provide a sanity check. Our admissions consultants have years of MBA admissions and marketing experience.
(See how Stacy Blackman Consulting ranks compared to other firms in our industry.)
You’ll have the ability to leverage the database of knowledge of a collected group of experts. When taken together, these folks have experience with thousands of clients in programs across the globe. Input from one friend who applied, or even someone who attended the school, provides only a limited snapshot.
Here at SBC, we have perspective on what has worked—and what hasn’t—over time, as journalist Seb Murray touches on in his article about consultant use in MiM admissions. We can answer any questions or concerns you have about a particular program in-house. This saves you tons of time researching online or trolling business school forums.
There’s a lot of information about the MBA admissions process readily available online for free. Blogs like mine offer application advice, school-specific essay tips, and more. But some people feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of info out there. We believe applicants can do their own research and still benefit from personalized guidance and coaching.
Detractors might argue that if you’re a strong MBA candidate, consulting services will provide little added value. After all, your stats and profile should speak for themselves, right?
We disagree. In fact, we’ve seen many cases of stellar candidates who were shocked when denied admission to programs that seemed like sure things.
For example, we worked with one Cornell University graduate who had three years of experience in a top investment bank, a high GPA, a high GMAT score, phenomenal extracurriculars and competent writing skills.
However, when he came to us he had zero introspection and was unable to look inward to mine his unique and interesting strengths. He definitely belonged in a top program. With our guidance in how to market himself, his application package went from generic to compelling.
Know yourself before signing on with an admissions consultant
Cost is the obvious potential drawback of working with an MBA admissions consultant. Fees run anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a la carte editing services to several thousand dollars for comprehensive packages targeting multiple schools.
If you’re not committed to completing the process, it’s a huge waste of money. Some potential clients think hiring a business school consultant means they don’t have to do any work. A good consultant is not an essay-writing service. We won’t do the work for you, and we’re not here to agree with whatever the client says.
This type of relationship won’t work for personality types that have difficulty accepting criticism, coaching, and input from others. Only invest in a consultant if you’re ready for a true partnership—not if you want a ghostwriter.
Consultants can push you, point out errors and opportunities, and help you submit your very best application. But they still need you on the team.