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  What is Admissions Consulting?

Posted by jeremy on Tue 25 Nov 08 at 11:27pm

Jeremy Shinewald is the founder of MBA Mission. He has helped applicants from the United States and more than twenty other countries on six continents gain admission to top-tier MBA programs. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) and earned an MBA from Darden School of Business, where he was an admissions interviewer. To contact Jeremy please see the Admission Consultant directory.

What is Admissions Consulting?

Many MBA aspirants find the admissions process daunting. For some, the massive amount of material that they (multiple essays, resumes, etc.) and others need to produce (recommendations for each school) can be overwhelming. Others may be new to the MBA universe and therefore not understand the distinctions between programs or whether they can be competitive across certain tiers of schools. Meanwhile, candidates in another group may fully understand the challenges ahead but simply lack the time necessary to properly polish their application or need creative direction to create a standout application.

Admissions Consultants help MBA applicants navigate the admissions process, using their knowledge and experience to help candidates reduce their stress, enhance their efficiency and increase their competitiveness.

What services do Admissions Consultants provide?

Most admissions consultants will guide MBA candidates through a process that includes the following:

• Educating candidates on the differences between schools and helping them select their target programs
• Gaining an in-depth understanding of their candidates’ stories and then helping the applicants articulate these stories in a compelling manner via the essays (often including essay critiques and edits)
• Drafting a simple but nonetheless eye-catching resume
• Preparing for and conducting mock interviews and then critiquing responses and performance
• Selecting recommenders and helping educate candidates on how they should manage these individuals to maximize results
• Counseling applicants “post-application” with respect to selecting schools and pursuing scholarships

When should I engage an Admissions Consultant?

Some Admissions Consultants work on a package basis, helping MBA candidates from the very beginning of their application process to the very end on an unlimited basis. Others help candidates on an hourly basis, which means the candidate can engage the consultant at any point in the process, using/purchasing services at their discretion. At mbaMission, for example, we offer both options but generally encourage candidates to engage our services at the beginning of the process, so that we can make sure that things start off on the right track—rather than trying to fix problems near the deadlines. We find that this approach reduces risks and enables us to be partners with our clients throughout the process, maximizing the support we offer as well as the candidates’ chances of succeeding.

How should I select my Consultant?

This question has no “right” answer. As you can likely tell from the number of Admissions Consultants on this forum, many different individuals and companies offer a wide range of varying approaches. Some firms cater to specific nationalities; others are global firms managing a global clientele. Some firms are sole proprietorships, while others have multiple consultants who work one-on-one with clients or may even collaborate as a team. What is most important is that you understand precisely what you are getting before you sign on with a consulting firm and that you engage an individual (or firm) who stands behind his/her work (preferably via a contract).



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