Friday, February 18, 2011

Who needs an Admission Consultant..??

A lot of applicants toy with the idea of hiring an Admission Consultant while applying to a school.

The usual thought process is :

When one is going to spend over $100 k in a top B-School, one might spend a few hundred dollars more to put together a solid application..!!

The consultants know this very well and try to cash in on the applicants ignorance. During my search I spoke to at least 8-10 consultants. Some local ones were ready to do up to 10 schools for $500 and other international ones were going for $3000 for one school and there were some charging by the hour as well.

But this post is not about understanding the consultants strategy but to answer the following question :

Do I need an admission consultant ..???? 

You may need an admission consultant if -

1) You lack self awareness - not aware of your achievements, strengths, weaknesses
2) You cant write in decent English
3) You don't know why you are applying for an MBA in the first place
4) You believe someone else can tell your story better than you could

I almost paid $800 to an Admission Consultant (a Harvard alumnus) but deep down I had this uncomfortable feeling. I decided to defer the decision by a few days. And once I asked the above questions, I was clear that no consultant (whether from Harvard, Stanford or anywhere else) will be able to do justice to my application. So I decided against going with any consultant and saved $800.

No consultant can guarantee you an admission.Once you spend enough time on researching the schools, programs etc, you yourself will have enough ammunition to strengthen your application and essays. And you will be much more confident if you write your own essays. Your story, your message, your drive will come out clearly. Of course, you may need a second opinion and there are plenty of ways to get it. Check my future posts for that..

So do the hard work and skip the consultants....!!

I was told by HBSGURU (Sandy) that I will never get into a top-school. And was told by Alex (another one of those self obsessed consultants) that top 10 schools will be a stretch for me..!! I thought of writing to them after I got admitted to MIT but did not. 

Who wants to waste more time with them anyways..!!

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