The pursuit of an MBA will present many challenges. But before you get there, you must first clear the hurdle of getting admitted to a program. Around 25 percent of students, daunted by the prospect, turn to an MBA admissions consultant to help navigate the admissions process.1 But how do you know if a business school admissions consultant is right for you?
What an MBA Admissions Consultant Will Do
A business school admissions consultant is like a coach. Their job is to ensure you achieve your personal best performance throughout the admissions process. Depending on your strengths, this can take different forms. You may need help expressing yourself in their writing, so consultants will help brainstorm essay topics and revise drafts. Or you might feel a lack of confidence expressing yourself in one-on-one situations, so a consultant may perform a mock interview. This can help you express yourself in a clear, attention-grabbing way.2
What an MBA Admissions Consultant Will Not Do
MBA admissions consultants don’t complete your application for you. They’re not ghostwriters, and they can’t repair unsatisfactory undergraduate grades. They don’t put a good word in for you with the admissions board, and they can’t improve your test scores.3 Consultants, especially those that belong to national consulting professional associations, are guided by a code of ethics that prohibits direct intervention in a client’s application.
Who might benefit from hiring an MBA admissions consultant?
If you’re the kind of person who has difficulty finding the right words to express yourself, you might benefit from the services of an MBA admissions consultant. You might also be a good candidate for consulting services if you’re uncertain about which MBA programs might be the best fit for you. Likewise, if you’ve been in the workforce for a while and are thinking about pursuing an MBA because you want to change career tracks, a business school admissions consultant can help you determine your main areas of interest and help guide you toward programs that will help you to achieve your goals.4
Is an MBA admissions consultant right for you?
The majority of applicants to MBA programs do not enlist the aid of an admissions consultant. If you feel confident in your writing and speaking skills, or if you have an engaged mentor, colleague, friend, or family member who might be able to serve some of the functions of a consultant, it might not be worth the money to hire someone. In some cases, speaking authentically from your own experience will make your application stand out just as much as the extra polish you can get from working with a consultant.
In addition, you can—and should—reach out to your prospective program’s admissions advisors, who are specifically trained to help students like you through the process.
Whether or not you decide to hire a business school admissions consultant, you should take advantage of the tools available to you to demystify the MBA application. At California State University Monterey Bay, we wrote a few blogs to help guide our prospective Online MBA students through the process. Read our tips on how to write an impactful personal statement, develop a strong application and polish your professional resume.
1. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from ft.com/content/02bece04-aa79-11e7-ab66-21cc87a2edde
2. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from poetsandquants.com/2014/07/08/admissions-consultants-do-you-need-one/2/
3. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2018-03-29/should-you-hire-an-mba-admissions-consultant
4. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from gmac.com/why-gmac/gmac-news/gmnews/2006/july-august/admissions-consultants-love-em-hate-em-use-em