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It’s your call: Full-time or Part-time MBA Consultant?

October 4 2012 By The MBA Exchange
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A common question that many MBA applicants face when comparing admissions consulting firms is whether to choose a full-time or a part-time consultant. At first blush, full-time may seem like the way to go: you supposedly have your consultant’s undivided attention, while a part-timer has “another job.” So, we decided to dig deeper — and our conclusion may surprise you.

First: consider the economics.Graduates of top-tier MBA programs earn an average of $100K+ as a base salary. On top of that are bonuses. Now, here comes the real question: How many clients would a top MBA who is a full-time admissions consultant need to earn a six-figure salary like his or her peers? 30 clients? 40? No serious MBA applicant would want to be on a client roster that long.

By comparison, part-time consultants typically serve just a handful of clients at any given time. (That means more attention and faster response.) With substantial income from other sources, part-timers are motivated more by passion and dedication.

Next question: How do you know if an admissions consulting firm really believes in your qualifications and potential before accepting you as a client? Consider their motivation. Firms that feature only full-time, salaried consultants are incentivized to take any and all clients so they can cover the fixed cost of consultant salaries. By comparison, firms with part-time advisors have only variable costs, which frees them to accept only those clients who they truly believe will succeed.

Finally: consultants with daily professional exposure beyond admissions consulting bring real-world, real-time business savvy to their client engagements that full-timers — insulated from the marketplace — simply do not have. After all, this is BUSINESS school, right?

So, before assuming that a full-time consultant is the best choice for you, think twice. You may be getting less value than you would with a talented, dedicated part-time consultant.

If you’re shopping for an admissions consulting firm, the 60-member team of part-time AND full-time advisors at The MBA Exchange merits your serious consideration. If you’d like a free evaluation of your candidacy, we’ll also suggest a few consultant matches that would be ideal for you.