The MBA Exchange Blog
Blog Posts: Services
A Google search on “MBA admissions consulting” produces nearly 14,000 results. A staggering number of options far beyond the ability of even the most diligent applicant to research and compare.
Some applicants are instantly attracted to the most visible firms, assuming that the ability to produce daily blogs, hourly Tweets and $10 “inside secrets” books correlates to achieving admissions success. Other applicants are drawn to smaller boutique admissions firms that promise one-on-one care, but lack the depth of resources and breadth of experience to add real value and provide 24/7 access.
What’s the need?
The stakes are high. Getting into a top-tier business school can make all the difference in achieving your long-term career potential. And the return on your investment is predictably higher over the course of a lifetime for those who don’t have to settle for a lesser school. Delaying enrollment by even one year can have a five-figure cost in terms of post-MBA compensation.
When seeking an admissions consultant, serious MBA applicants want an expert who can give them the time, attention, access and dedication they deserve. However, applicants, as early-career professionals, are typically on a tight budget. So the appeal of buying “a la carte” consulting services from an hourly consultant can be very strong.
But, as with most professional services, you get what you pay for. Emphasizing price over value doesn’t feel like such a wise decision if you get rejected by your targeted schools or have to settle for a lesser program.
Working with an hourly consultant, you might be skipping over key aspects of the admissions campaign that could spell the difference between success and failure. Using a comprehensive service to map your candidacy is like using an architect to design a home. You wouldn’t begin construction on a house by hiring a carpenter to start putting up the walls, would you? As with a dwelling, it is essential that each aspect of your admissions campaign complements the others. The plan is essential.
For many applicants, the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) is the first and biggest hurdle on the road to a top MBA education.
Although business schools’ admission committees consider all aspects of a candidacy — professional, personal and academic — there’s only one common denominator: the GMAT score. Especially during a time of high application volume, a modest to poor GMAT score can discourage a committee from digging deeper into an application. A sub-par GMAT gives them an excuse to put the application aside or to disregard it completely.
Many leading MBA admissions consulting firms promote the term "personal branding" as the focus of their services.
This suggests, somewhat naively, that admission success comes from self-packaging and self-promotion. "Personal branding" is actually a concept that has been around for the past 30 years, introduced in the book "Positioning: The Battle for your Mind", by Al Ries and Jack Trout. While at first glance it seems like the ideal mindset for MBA applicants, the fact is that this is too good to be true.
Tags: MBA Admission
Most applicants believe that gaining admission to a top MBA program is
all about writing a great application. They want to blow away the competition by submitting perfectly sculpted responses, tailored just right to each school’s specific application.
However, this leaves most waiting until mid summer, when the new applications are published, to start their admissions campaign. Valuable time has been lost, and the applicant only has 3-4 months left to meet the first-round deadline. This approach is unwise, even dangerous, for many reasons.
Five steps to gaining admission with The MBA Exchange®
If you applied to business school and are now waitlisted, don’t consider your candidacy to be DOA. In fact, there are important steps that could keep your chances alive. However, time is your enemy as the admissions committees shuffle the deck every day.
Being put on a waiting list should not discourage you. This status confirms that your candidacy satisfies the school’s selection criteria. Now it’s a numbers game — how many previously admitted applicants will actually commit and pay their deposit? How many waitlisted applicants have profiles comparable or superior to yours?
The first place most potential MBA students turn to for advice tends to be the Internet. It’s easy, fast and free. A quick Google search leads to literally millions of different websites with infinite tricks and tips on how to get into a business school.
Many candidates go on to purchase a cheap book for guidance. The authors promise “inside info” and claim to teach you “everything you need to know.” It’s easy to find a used copy of these “best sellers” on Amazon.com for under $10.
The information on the Internet and in such books is tempting, but in reality, it’s useless and here’s why:
The MBA application process can be daunting. As overwhelming as it can seem, though, there are ways you can get yourself organized and ready to tackle the task.
The dramatic culture shift spawned by the growth of social media in recent years has opened myriad new opportunities for people looking to advance their careers. But it has also created new obstacles, as well. Navigating the social media terrain to maximize your potential and appeal to hiring managers can be tricky, but understanding what you can do to optimize your presence on the Web is a good start to standing out from the crowd.
Tags: social media