MBA Admissions Consultant: Do you need one?

MBA admission consultants are the people who guide you in your MBA preparation journey. Every individual is different with different needs- a good MBA consultant is analytical, objective, understands the rules of the game and supports you emotionally and offers encouragement and support.

While the preparation can be done by own but many candidates seek out a mentor simply because they feel guidance could help. But with some of the MBA Admission consultants, the fees as high as the ceiling and some poor reviews- questions arise regarding their efficacy.

In this article, we’ll shine a light on whether you need MBA consultants and if you decide on a yes then we’ll discuss how to look out for the good ones.

So, let’s begin!

Potential Drawbacks of not hiring an MBA Admissions Consultant

1. Limitations of Free information

A woman resting her head, eyes closed, on a pile of books
While all the information is freely available online, it can be tough to navigate through all that, on your own- leaving you tired and exhausted. A good MBA Admission consultant can help streamline the whole process for you.

Everybody knows the best practices when it comes to MBA preparation. It’s all available online. The internet has truly democratised information. Gone are the days when you needed to sit in a classroom to be able to study, now you can study anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

Resources like the GMATClubBeattheGMATPoetsandQuants etc have all the information about MBA in one place which can help one prepare efficiently.

But these websites fail to fill in the role of a competent MBA consultant on some parameters.

For ex- A good consultant knows the rules of the game by virtue of having years of experience, understands your strengths and weaknesses and is able to give you personalised guidance. But when you’re doing it all alone, it could be difficult to navigate through all that.

2. Limitations of a closed one acting as a mentor

A man wearing a Nike hat, has clouds of smoke in front of his eyes.
Friends or family could develop blind spots while evaluating your application. It’s hard for people who know you personally to be able to look at you with a professional lens.

For some people, friends and family can help serve as a mentor but-

A. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have good MBA’s around as closed ones.

B. When someone knows you on a personal level, they could loose objectivity with respect to your professional career or not be as strict they are supposed to be, fearing rifts in your relationship.

Especially when you’re aiming for a top business school or have some gaps in your resume, you need solid guidance to be able to beat your competition.

Professionals can provide a more realistic view regarding your chances, they could ask you to take the GMAT again or improve your essays.

As Former Harvard Business School associate director of admissions Chioma Isiadinso points out, one of the reasons behind rejection are unrealistic applications to schools where the candidate had a low chance of getting selected.

Should you hire an MBA Admissions Consultant?

2 palms stretched out- one reads YES, the other NO.
If you can take care of the above mentioned pitfalls, then you don’t need to, otherwise you might have to use one.

Well, if you can safely take care of the previously mentioned drawbacks then there is absolutely no need.

But, If you belong to the following category of people, you should definitely consider hiring an MBA consultant-

1. If you aspire to enrol at the world’s most popular business schools

For ex- Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business (which only admits 5 percent of applicants) and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and of the likes.

Even with five years of experience at one of these schools’ prestigious “feeder” employers like McKinsey, a 3.9 GPA, and a stellar score on the GMAT, competition for spots at these schools is still too intense to face without coaching by professionals.

2. If you aspire to enrol in online MBA programs offered by top business schools.

These schools include Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, and the new online MBA program at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

3. If your profile is not as solid as required to get into your dream school

For ex- Anyone applying to a top-12 school with less than a 3.5 GPA, or less than a 700 GMAT score, or work experience without prestige or feeder employers.


Anyone applying to a top-50 full-time, on-campus program with a GPA below 3.2, or a GMAT score below about 630, or work experience issues or whose age falls significantly below or above the typical range for full-time, on-campus MBA students.

4. Candidates who are applying to a top-25 school and have communication challenges that may affect their performance on application essays or during interviews.
5. International candidates who are non-native English speakers, and who are applying to a top-50 business school in the United States.
6. Candidates working at companies which don’t offer business school application counselling to employees and don’t employ many MBA’s that are willing to provide free advice.
7. Well-qualified applicants, especially from underrepresented groups, likely to win scholarships that may defray some or all of the costs of admission consulting.

How you should select an MBA Admissions consultant?

A woman holding a newspaper looks afar.
Finding a good MBA Admissions consultant is a skill. We’ve listed out the pointers that will help you find out the best one.

1. Check the credentials of the Consultant. Ideally, a consultant should be someone who has been there and done that i.e someone who has gone through the rigour of applying and graduating from a global MBA program.
2. Consultants that offer to write your application essay should be avoided. No professional would ever do that.
3. A good way to get started is by asking for referrals from trusted friends or colleagues.
4. You should be realistic with your chances of the school you wish to attend. It is also important to zero in your weak points as in what are the areas you need help in, from a consultant?

For ex- Is it a weak essay or an articulation problem or would you like someone to hold your hand during the entire preparation to ease out your anxiety and stress? Some firms offer all said services and more while others, you might have to scout out for.

5. Look out for videos of the consultants as they give a pretty good idea of the nature and teaching method of the said consultant.
6. Scout out for organic reviews. Reach out to the previous applicants and ask them about their experience with the said firm.
7. Most of these firms usually provide free consultations. Herein you can evaluate their professionalism, response and care. Are they empathetic and understanding? Do they value your time?
8. Always go for value over price. Firms that offer huge discounts should be treated with scepticism. Comprehensive packages ensure that candidates discover and address all their weaknesses in ways that hourly services cannot.

The Final Note

Mountains and sunlight shines over them with quote- “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~ Walt Disney
Dreams keep us alive. Persistence is mighty important in achieving a big goal.

MBA candidates who need good information to get into a good enough business school, an MBA admissions consultant is simply not worth the expense. For candidates with a more nuanced profile as discussed above or for those who are aiming for the top global schools, all the help in the world is not enough. So shelling out some money can be worth it!

Depending on your goals and aspirations and practical considerations like your bank balance, make a decision.

Always remember, you are capable of doing whatever you set your mind to.

Here, at CrackAdmission, we guide students in their MBA preparation journey. Follow this link for a 30-minute FREE profile evaluation.

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