How To Select An MBA Admissions Consultant

Updated: May 6, 2021

You’ve made the decision to apply to business school. Now what? Researching all the different schools can be a task in and of itself.

how to select an MBA admissions consultant
  1. Which school is right for you?

  2. What programs are offered?

There are so many things to consider including curriculum, cost, time commitment, networking/recruiting opportunities, travel involved, etc.

Getting into a top-tier business school is no easy task. Competition is steep, the application process can be daunting, and you will invest many hours into completing applications for schools that can be looking for completely different things.

Hiring an MBA admissions consultant could be the answer you have been looking for. But with so many companies and consultants out there, how do you select the right one? What can an MBA admissions consultant do for you?

First of all, you need to identify your priorities. Take a look at your strengths and weaknesses and determine what aspects of the application process you will need the most help with.

Are you struggling with finding the right business school for you?

Perhaps you tend to freeze up during interviews and you would like to focus on interview prep. Or maybe you are fantastic when meeting people face to face but your writing skills are subpar so you would like to focus on essay writing.

Maybe you are just so overwhelmed by the entire application process that you want help with it all!

stressing out in front of the computer

And that is ok!

That is why MBA admissions consultants exist. Their job is to realize your potential and make you shine bright in a sea of candidates.

When considering hiring an MBA application consulting firm, you need to do your research. Most consulting firms will be more than happy to have an initial conversation with you free of charge.

This is your opportunity to figure out if this firm and/or consultant is right for you. You should be asking questions regarding their experience and expertise.

  • Have they evaluated MBA candidates as part of an admissions committee?

  • Do they know what adcoms are searching for in candidates and what red flags can pop up?

  • What schools have they worked with in the past?

Consider these tips when speaking with an MBA admissions consultant:

Know Your Potential

Be sure to communicate clearly your expectations as well as your strengths and weaknesses. If you are not seeing eye to eye with the consultant during the initial meeting, there is no point moving forward (or paying for a service you might not be happy with).

Don’t Get Hung Up On Price

While hiring an MBA application consultant can be expensive, look at the value they are providing. This goes back to asking those pressing questions about experience and success rate.

Maybe you can save a few hundred dollars going with another firm, but what kind of service are you getting?

Most Importantly, Trust Yourself When Making This Decision

You know yourself better than anyone and you know the type of person you can work with. If you speak to a consultant and are not getting good vibes, it is probably a sign that you should interview some other MBA application consulting firms.

Are MBA Admissions Consultants Worth It?

Many admissions consultants have worked in admissions for top-tier business schools or are former MBA students who have been through the process.

They are experts at helping applicants discover their personal narratives, gearing essays towards each school, interview preparation, and navigating the application process.

They have helpful resources for GMAT and GRE preparation. There are many MBA admissions consulting companies ranging from large, visible firms to more boutique, one-on-one style businesses.

Bigger companies may have more contacts and/or resources but may come with a heftier price tag. A boutique consulting company may be less expensive but could potentially give you more personalized attention and a faster turnaround than a larger firm with more clients.

You need to determine what is most important to you when hiring someone to assist in such an important process.

A good MBA admissions consultant should be prompt, attentive, accessible, and responsive. They will help you manage the stress of applying to business school while helping you to deliver the best MBA application possible.

The competition is fierce for most top-tier MBA programs and a good consultant will know how to navigate the process while turning you into a stand-out candidate. Many of the top-tier business schools have thousands of applications every year.

Your MBA admissions consultant should address whatever fears and concerns you have about being competitive and not getting lost in the crowd. Most importantly, they should believe in you and your potential!

If you are concerned about your competitiveness for a particular school, it is probably a good idea to hire an admissions consultant. Their services could prove to be invaluable in the grand scheme of things.

While it may be a hefty out-of-pocket expense, the benefits could be endless. You would be doing yourself a disservice to give up on your dream of applying to a top-tier MBA program simply because you lack the confidence to try.

Questions to Ask an MBA Consultant

During the initial meeting with an MBA consulting firm or individual consultant, you really want to get a good feel for what types of services they are providing and how they will customize those services to fit your needs.

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the MBA application process. Every candidate is different and every business school is different. Coming into the process with clear goals and direct communication will make finding a college admissions consultant that much easier.

Know what it is that you are looking for in a consultant and don’t settle for less. If you know someone who has used a consultant in the past, it would be a good idea to speak with them and see if they have any recommendations.

Asking the right questions can help you determine the right fit for your MBA admissions goals.

answering questions

When you are speaking with an MBA admissions consultant, consider asking them the following questions:

1. What is your usual turnaround time?

It is not unusual for consultants (especially with bigger, more visible consulting firms) to have multiple clients at once.

2. Will your application be a primary focus for them?

3. What happens if I don’t get into the schools of my choice?

Some consultants w