Leading Firms in MBA Admissions Consulting

by Greg Spielberg on

MBA admissions counseling has become so common that there are now as many as 300 firms around the world with more than 500 consultants helping applicants get into the best business schools. The average MBA applicant applies to 3.2 schools, so someone who signs a comprehensive consulting package with a firm generally pays about $6,000 to get help with applying to three MBA programs.

The explosion of the business is an outgrowth of the Internet, which allows consultants easier access to potential clients, the increasing numbers of people eager to get a prestige MBA degree, and the growing popularity of undergraduate consulting which has made it ever more natural to seek advice when pursuing a gradate degree.

The vast majority of the players are one-person boutiques, such as Sanford Kreisberg of Cambridge Essay Service in Boston who pretty much specializes in helping applicants get into Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton (See “The Rebel Savant of MBA Admissions Consulting.”) But MBA consulting has become such a large and lucrative business that a few highly sophisticated and professional service firms have emerged. These companies have dozens of consultants on staff (usually part-time contractors) and work with clients around the world. The largest of them is The MBA Exchange, with 40 consultants, many of them former admission officials from the top schools.

One advantage these larger firms have is that they match clients to consultants. If you’re from India, you’re more likely to get a consultant who specializes in Indian applicants and may even speak Hindi. If you’re a private equity analyst, you might get a consultant who once worked with PE types and knows how to best position them for a given school. If you’re applying to Stanford, you might get a Stanford MBA or former admissions officer from the school to guide you through the application process.

Here’s a brief and incomplete directory of six of the leading players, which together employ a total of some 120 consultants, in order of the number of consultants they have on staff.

THE MBA EXCHANGE

Dan Bauer, founder and managing director of The MBA Exchang

Dan Bauer, founder and managing director of The MBA Exchange

Background:

Founded by Harvard MBA Dan Bauer in 1996, The MBA Exchange says it has helped more than 2,300 applicants unlock the doors to get into prestige business schools. The company claims a 97% success rate, a number that is verified by an accounting firm that conducts an audit of its client business. Before launching his firm, Bauer’s career includes management positions with Citicorp, MasterCard International, and DDB Needham Worldwide.

Based in Chicago, the firm has some 40 consultants all over the world that includes MBAs from all the top schools including nine MBAs from Harvard, a half dozen from Wharton, and three from Stanford. More importantly, perhaps, among its consultants The MBA Exchange boasts former MBA admissions officials from Columbia, Kellogg, Wharton, Chicago, Michigan and UCLA with inside knowledge of how elite admissions offices work. Its consultants are either fluent or conversational in Hindi, Mandarin, Marathi, Gujarati, Italian, Spanish, and French. One differentiating service is that customers can have sessions with a career coach who had worked with Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Pricing:

One-application package: $4,400

Two-application package: $5,100

Three-application package: $5,800

Four-application package: $6,500

Five-application package: $7,200

Six-application package: $7,900

Contact Info:

Phone: 888.305.5553

Website: The MBA Exchange

For a free evaluation of your chances of getting into a top-ten school

STACY BLACKMAN CONSULTING

Stacy Blackman, founder and president of Stacy Blackman Consulting

Stacy Blackman, founder and president of Stacy Blackman Consulting

Background:

Founded in 2001 by Kellogg MBA Stacy Blackman, this firm is among the largest in the business, with 30 consultants. Blackman counselors  have worked in the admissions office at Columbia, Fuqua, Kellogg, INSEAD, Tuck and Wharton. Most of the on-staff consultants hold degrees from top MBA programs including six from Stanford and Harvard, five from Kellogg, four from Wharton, two from Booth, and one each from Anderson, Columbia, Haas, Rice, Ross and Tuck.

The firm claims that with comprehensive clients, those who have bought its full package of services from $3,750 for help with a single application to $7,700 for five schools, it has a 92% success rate in getting applicants into at least one of their four top schools (at least in terms of clients it had heard back from).

Pricing:

One-school package: $3,750

Two-school package: $4,950

Three-school package: $5,950

Four-school package: $6,850

Five-school package: $7,700

Hourly fees: $270

Contact Info:

Phone: 323-934-3936

Website: StacyBlackman.com

MBAMISSION

Jeremy Shinewald, co-founder of mbaMission

Background:

Founded in 1999 by University of Virginia MBA Jeremy Shinewald, mbaMission works exclusively with MBA candidates. All 19 senior consultants have degrees from top MBA programs including seven from Harvard, three from Wharton and Columbia, two from Darden, and one each from Booth, Haas, Ross and Stern.  Before starting the firm, Shinewald was a speechwriter for the ambassador of Israel and a student member of Darden’s admissions team.

Pricing:

One-school package: $3,500

Two-school package: $4,750

Three-school package: $5,550

Four-school package: $6,350

Five-school package: $7,200

Hourly fees: $250

Contact Info:

Phone: 646-485-8844

Website: mbaMission.com

ACCEPTED.COM

Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted.com

Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted.com

Background:

Founded in 1994 by Linda Abraham, the firm has worked with more than 3,500 applicants to business, law, medical and other graduate programs. Accepted has 14 editors, including founder Abraham. Four of them bring insider perspective from  such admissions offices as Cornell University’s Johnson School of Business and  Duke University’s Law School.

Pricing:

Accepted’s has an unusual pricing approach: its consulting packages differ in price by school. If you’re applying to Columbia Business School, for instance, the consulting fee is  $2,425, while help with an application to New York University’s Stern School is $3,075 and an application to MIT’s Sloan School of Management is $3,625. On two or more applications, there is a $1,000 per school additional fee. For a la carte services, Accepted charges a $260 hourly rate.

Contact Info:

Phone: 310.815.9553

Website: Accepted.com

EXPARTUS

Chioma Isiadinso, co-founder of EXPARTUS

Chioma Isiadinso, co-founder of EXPARTUS

Background:

Founded in 2002 by Chioma Isiadinso, a former Harvard Business School admissions board member and assistant director of admissions, and her husband, Obinna Isiadinso, a Harvard MBA. She spent three years as an admissions official at Carnegie Mellon University before going to Harvard. EXPARTUS is based in New York and serves the MBA market. Isiadinso, a regular contributor to Poets&Quants, is also the author of The Best Business School Admissions Secrets.

The firm has eight admissions consultants, including those with MBAs from such tops schools as Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia. “We don’t take on every client that applies,” says Isiadinso. “I put every prospective client through a consultation to understand their story, ensure there is a fit, before taking them on.” The company claims a success record of 85% to 90% for clients “gaining admission to their dream schools.”

Pricing:

$350 for an initial one-hour consultation

Contact info:

Phone: 212-802-7580

Website: EXPARTUS.com

CLEAR ADMIT

Graham Richmond, co-founder of Clear Admit

Graham Richmond, co-founder of Clear Admit

Background:

Founded in 2001 by Wharton MBAs Eliot Ingram and Graham Richmond, the firm exclusively consults MBA applicants. Four consultants have experience in admissions offices at such elite schools as Wharton, Columbia Business School and Dartmouth’s Tuck. Four of the six members of the senior management team, including founders, have degrees from top MBA programs, including three from Wharton and one from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The firm maintains an aggressive outreach program around its website, with daily posts that are largely reproductions of press releases from business schools and pick-ups of published stories from both traditional media and blogs. Richmond is currently president of the Association of International Graduate Admissions Counselors, the primary trade association of MBA and other graduate school admissions consultants.

Pricing:

One-school package: $3,500

Two-school package: $5,000

Three-school package: $6,000

Four-school package: $7,000

Five-school package: $8,000

Hourly rate: $275

Contact Info:

Phone: 215-568-2590

Website: ClearAdmit.com

Return to main story: “Suddenly Cozy: MBA Admissions Consultants and Business Schools”

  • HeadedToHBS

    Wow, I’m shocked at how many negative posts are on here. Thankfully I found someone with a lot of experience, and things worked out for me (I’m headed to HBS this fall!). Anyway, I worked with Mark from Admissionado. Being a nontraditional applicant, I had a lot of concerns about how best to position myself in my applications. Mark and the entire Admissionado team immediately seemed invested in my success. I felt like I wasn’t going through the stressful application journey alone. Mark was super prompt in replying to my emails, and he helped me to most effectively position my experiences in a way that would resonate with an admissions committee.

  • Anonymous

    I was late to the entire application process, only starting my essays and finalizing my GMAT studies by mid-December for R2. I went with MBA Exchange and under three weeks, including the holidays, was able to get everything done (4 applications) and was extremely happy with the outcome and process. I worked with Kenna and she was able to help me make what seemed to be impossible a reality. Note that I was wait listed and that I believe their strategy truly improved my odds! On that basis alone I would recommend the MBA Exchange.

  • RS

    I used MBA Exchange this Spring for wait list consulting for Tepper. They responded quickly and once I sent in the contract/payment I was quickly assigned to Ori Deckel. He did a great job helping me rethink my approach in getting off the waitlist. He requested a copy of my application and all communications made with the school up to that point and from there gave me a 12 point breakdown of my strengths and weaknesses, specifically how to capitalize on my strengths and address my weaknesses to get off the wait list. He suggested several strategies, although I personally contacted them a bit close to the deadline for submitting additional information to the school, so I wasn’t able to attempt all approaches suggested. He worked with me on my essay in providing feedback and updating version during the week leading up to the submission deadline. It was much more than just grammar and spelling corrections, he really worked with me to craft a well written supplemental essay that allowed me to both provide a professional update as well as a personal statement to the school, which I feel was the major factor in getting admitted from the wait list.

    I do not think that the original approach I had in mind would have had the same results, so from my personal experience I would recommend their service. To reiterate, they were fast to respond, they worked closely with me based on my own specific background and application (not just generic essay advice), and worked with me late into several nights fine tuning my update to the school. I was a bit nervous that I was going to just get generic advice and tips, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the service fine tuned to me specifically. I can’t comment on their application services in general, or speak for other consultants they have, but I would highly recommend Ori from MBA Exchange and am really satisfied with the positive result he helped me achieve.

  • Anonymous

    I had an incredibly positive experience with MBA Exchange. They were highly responsive (with a 24 hour turnaround rule), thorough and realistic about what my strengths were and what gaps I needed to fill. The fact that the consultants are themselves MBA graduations from top-tier schools illustrates their knowledge and experience in helping you shape your story around each school’s interests. My only regret is not having started looking into an MBA consultant sooner, as they provided a lot of feedback regarding how I could strengthen my profile through mentorship, extracurriculars, etc, that was a little too late to consider come application time. Interview prep was also key – they record your mock interview so that you can review how well your responses are and where you need work, which ultimately made the actual interview process that much easier. Bottom line, they will not sugar coat your profile and provide false promises to you, but they will help you prepare your best self to the admissions committee.

  • Guest

    After getting waitlisted at my #1 school, I decided to hire MBA Exchange for their WL consulting service. Once they evaluated my profile, I was assigned to work with Liz Bender. First, we exchanged introductory emails. It was great that she invested so much time getting to know me on a personal level. I think this helped establish a great rapport and definitely made me feel more comfortable trusting her strategies/suggestions. Whenever I sent her an email, Liz’s turnaround time was fantastic and without sacrificing any quality of her response. A few months after working with Liz, I found out that I was accepted! Liz and MBA Exchange were a tremendous resource and provided strategies that I might not have considered on my own. I was very pleased with their service and I would highly recommend them to anyone pursuing their dream school. Also, if possible, you should consider requesting to work with Liz Bender specifically. She is excellent!

  • Glendale1984

    The MBA Exchange was instrumental in allowing me to put forth the best possible application and find effective ways to sell my non-traditional, qualitatively-oriented educational and career background. My uphill battle was compounded by two layoffs within the past five years and subsequent difficulty in maintaining a track record of increasing stature and responsibility in my work positions.

    More than anything, what the MBA Exchange brought to the process was perspective. My consultant Seth challenged me to bring everything about; placing my story, crafting my niche, and selling that to the audience. This applied to every aspect of the application, above and beyond the essays. Seth brought the essential reviewer/reader’s perspective and his input enabled me to refine and emphasize certain points to make the essays more focused on highlighting the qualities that admissions committees want in their incoming classes. Anyone who is applying to a top business school is somewhat versed in that, but given my situation and the degree of compeition it was wise to seek a set of experienced eyes. Additionally, with my qualitative, writing-heavy background I found my tendency to be verbose as a hindrance to writing essays that cover a lot of ground within the confines of 300 words. Seth and the team at the MBA Exchange are craftsmen of the English language and will give you great ideas to shorten your essays without reducing the effectiveness or substance of the story, therefore allowing you to write another sentence or two that could reveal another personal quality to the reader.

    Finally, Seth always made himself available. Despite being COO of a startup, he responded to every e-mail, text and phone call within 24 hours in addition to giving ample notice of times that he would not be available. This contributed to a more organized and therefore enjoyable experience. I will be starting at Cornell Johnson in August, and I thank Seth and The MBA Exchange for helping me get there.

  • Glendale1984

    The MBA Exchange was instrumental in allowing me to put forth the best possible application and find effective ways to sell my non-traditional, qualitatively-oriented educational and career background. My uphill battle was compounded by two layoffs within the past five years and subsequent difficulty in maintaining a track record of increasing stature and responsibility in my work positions.

    More than anything, what the MBA Exchange brought to the process was perspective. I My consultant, Seth Gilmore, challenged me to bring everything about; placing my story, crafting my niche, and selling that to the audience. This applied to every aspect of the application, above and beyond the essays. Seth brought the essential reviewer/reader’s perspective and his input enabled me to refine and emphasize certain points to make the essays more focused on highlighting the qualities that admissions committees want in their incoming classes. Anyone who is applying to a top business school is somewhat versed in that, but given my situation and the degree of compeition it was wise to seek a set of experienced eyes. Additionally, with my qualitative, writing-heavy background I found my tendency to be verbose as a hindrance to writing essays that cover a lot of ground within the confines of 300 words. Seth and the team at the MBA Exchange are craftsmen of the English language and will give you great ideas to shorten your essays without reducing the effectiveness or substance of the story, therefore allowing you to write another sentence or two that could reveal another personal quality to the reader.

    Finally, Seth always made himself available. Despite being COO of a startup, he responded to every e-mail, text and phone call within 24 hours in addition to giving ample notice of times that he would not be available. This contributed to a more organized and therefore enjoyable experience. I will be starting at Cornell Johnson in August, and I thank Seth and The MBA Exchange for helping me get there.

  • Kate

    I highly recommend The MBA Exchange. I had a very average GMAT score (640) but interesting experience that my lead consultant, Jessica Burlingame, helped me to capitalize
    on. I am based abroad with a very demanding work schedule and Jessica was extremely patient, worked with my tight deadlines (and procrastination), asked all the right questions to ensure my essays were solid, gave me confidence before my interviews and really could not have been more supportive, kind and helpful. I really felt like I was working with a team and that she was just as excited as I when I was accepted to Booth. While it is quite
    expensive, in my opinion, it was worth every penny.

  • Jason

    Wow, looks like we should register today! C’mon guys what are you waiting for?

  • 2016MBA

    I am extremely pleased with the service I received from The MBA Exchange. From my initial contact with the firm everyone I dealt with was professional and helpful. The team at The MBA Exchange has been in this business for a long time and has developed a number of useful and effective toolkits. I cannot go into more detail on this as these are proprietary and confidential but I found them to be extremely useful. As a firm, they seem to have thought of everything one needs to manage through the process, they even have a social media audit service!

    My assigned lead consultant in particular, Maria Spaulding is a star. At the point of engaging the firm, there was very limited time before the schools’ deadlines but she was able to assist in coming up with an effective work plan in a very short space of time. She
    helped me to navigate the entire process and I noted that she was truly invested in my success. She also uses her marketing/branding background to strongly position her clients to a highly selective market (admissions committees). I was admitted into an elite program (top 3!) with a substantial scholarship, I would not have been able to realize this goal without her help.

    I will definitely recommend The MBA Exchange and Maria Spaulding to my colleagues and friends who are planning to apply to top MBA programs in future.

  • MBA Admit

    Hi all, I’d like to share my positive experience with MBA Exchange.

    About me: 34 years old, 690 GMAT, international career and quite poor GPA.

    I had three European target schools: IMD, INSEAD and LBS, and I got an offer from 2 and a Waitlist from one, so I consider this an excellent result, especially considering my not-so-brilliant academic record.

    My consultant has been Saurabh Dhingra and he has been consistently helpful, responsive, insightful and understanding.

  • Jaewoo Jung

    DreamMBA consultant worked on my MBA essays from scratch and I am super happy with his professionalism. My consultant provided me a very personalized service. I really appreciate his professionalism and hospitality.

    I was late in the admission process and I wanted my essays to be completed only in 4 days. Not only did DreamMBA team accepted my request for last minute help but also they calmed me down by quickly converging to high level storyline and creating first drafts.

    I am not a native English speaker. DreamMBA editors helped me refine my storyline using very accurate and concise wording. I would recommend everyone to try them out. I am totally impressed by the services provided by DreamMBA.

  • John

    Are the comments here real? they look a bit fake to me…
    (I love the ones saying they applied to 10 schools, got into none, and then with XXX got into 5…)

    I worked with Aringo. they were spot on… they have a separate strategy team, then you work with a consultant, then someone else QAs your material, then an alumni test drives it.. and when I got an interview, I did two interview preps…
    got accepted to two schools, Booth with scholarship and Kellogg…

    Good luck to everyone!

  • topdogmba

    Hi there! I thought I’d add my experience with Admissionado.

    I’m a re-applicant so writing this from the perspective of someone who has been through the pain once before and didn’t want to make the same mistakes the second time around.

    I first learned about Admissionado as their founder, Jon Frank, hosted a free webinar about ‘Dealing with a Ding’. I was one of the lucky few chosen to be critiqued in the webinar and, while not a pleasant experience, I really appreciated the straight talking, no nonsense approach employed by Jon.

    This isn’t a service for those of you wanting someone to praise you constantly and tell you what a good job you’re doing – this is tough love! My consultant was a former Admissions Fellow at my top choice b school. We had a great free Skype session which overran the allotted time, but I just had a lot of questions and she was in no hurry and didn’t rush me.

    After the call, I tried to imagine finding time to not only figure out my strategy, but also to write my resume, essays, manage my recommenders, all while having to check my own work and try to find friends who would help me out and review it. I decided I wanted a paid consultant, someone I could jump straight in and start discussing my stories with, someone who was always available and would push me to do more and better.

    The Junior Deluxe package was great for this, it wasn’t cheap but was in line with other leading consulting firms. Best of all, I could bolt on additional services like Skype calls and urgent reviews of my essays (sadly, I did have to resort to this once or twice!), all in a very transparent way.

    If I had any negative comments to make, I’d say that it took several days to get comments back on essays. This is because not only my consultant was reviewing them, but also an editor who added a lot of comments on how to improve the writing style, what else I could talk about, how to build the story more effectively etc. It was only a problem because I was busy for weeks at a time (with non-MBA stuff) and when I was free I liked to focus in on my essays for days at a time.

    If you’re like me, then just make sure you spread the essays out – one school on Monday, another on Tuesday etc. – once I figured this out it was easy to adjust my schedule. Like I said, this is really not a major issue but I struggle to think of anything bad about Admissionado.

    And, now for the results: well, I applied to three schools and got three interview invites. One is converted into an offer(!) and the other two I’m still waiting to hear from. Could I have got the same result on my own? Possibly, but why take that risk for the sake of 1-2% of the cost of your MBA programme!?

    Thanks to Admissionado I am going to be doing my MBA next year, no matter what.

  • thanks!!!

    Elliot Zimmer and the team at MBA Exchange delivered as promised for me — 1 acceptance and 1 ding from top 3 schools. No matter your comfort level with the process or your “stats” going into it, having a dedicated sounding board every step of the way is a valuable resource. While more structure during the interview prep process would have been helpful, I’m overall very satisfied with the product. Thanks!

  • EA

    I used MBA Exchange and couldn’t be more pleased!!! The consultant I worked with, Pauline Jennett was extremely helpful and professional. I got accepted to Kellogg with a scholarship and honestly don’t think I would’ve even been accepted without her help. MBA Exchange is very professional, always responsive and experts in what they do. I would recommend them to anyone serious about getting into a top program. I couldn’t be more pleased. I HIGHLY recommend Pauline as a consultant.

  • Chris Wujtowicz

    I had several preliminary conversations with Veritas, the MBA Exchange
    and Clear Admit and ultimately decided to go with the three-application
    package at the MBA Exchange. A close friend of mine used Veritas
    and went to to Northwestern and another used the MBA Exchange and
    went to Dartmouth. Both had very positive feedback that helped me
    choose a firm. I worked with Liz Bender on applications to
    Northwestern, Columbia and Cornell. I interviewed with all three and
    was accepted to Columbia and Cornell (Columbia was my first choice of
    the three). Liz was fantastic and extremely responsive. She was always
    back to me within 24 hours and usually much faster. She was also happy
    to help with anything (no matter how small) and never seemed fatigued
    or frustrated (I was a demanding client). The MBA Exchange was very
    helpful getting me comfortable with their program and helping me decide
    which schools to which I wanted to apply, even before I chose to work
    with them or paid them anything. I would highly recommend Liz and the
    MBA Exchange to anyone applying to business school. I applied to five
    schools on my own last year and wasn’t accepted to any (the only
    interview I had was by my choice). I was able to increase my GMAT from a
    700 to a 740 before I started applications this year, but all of the
    other changes in my candidacy came from the MBA Exchange/Liz’s guidance,
    and they were clearly game changing.

  • Anonymous

    I had several preliminary conversations with Veritas, the MBA Exchange
    and Clear Admit and ultimately decided to go with the three-application
    package at the MBA Exchange. A close friend of mine used Veritas
    and went to to Northwestern and another used the MBA Exchange and
    went to Dartmouth. Both had very positive feedback that helped me
    choose a firm. I worked with Liz Bender on applications to
    Northwestern, Columbia and Cornell. I interviewed with all three and
    was accepted to Columbia and Cornell (Columbia was my first choice of
    the three). Liz was fantastic and extremely responsive. She was always
    back to me within 24 hours and usually much faster. She was also happy
    to help with anything (no matter how small) and never seemed fatigued
    or frustrated (I was a demanding client). The MBA Exchange was very
    helpful getting me comfortable with their program and helping me decide
    which schools to which I wanted to apply, even before I chose to work
    with them or paid them anything. I would highly recommend Liz and the
    MBA Exchange to anyone applying to business school. I applied to five
    schools on my own last year and wasn’t accepted to any (the only
    interview I had was by my choice). I was able to increase my GMAT from a
    700 to a 740 before I started applications this year, but all of the
    other changes in my candidacy came from the MBA Exchange/Liz’s guidance,
    and they were clearly game changing.

  • MBAisajourney

    I highly recommend MBA Exchange. Initially I had a conversation with the firm last year and they confirmed that I had a good profile but encouraged me to retake GMAT and apply. However I decided to apply anyways and in fact used another consultant who claimed to be past director and that I should be fine with my score but I did not get a single interview forget admit. Then I took the services of the MBA Exchange and they were very helpful throughout the process till the interview stage and their responses was well within 24 hour timeline. I am glad to write that I have got into LBS my dream school

  • Applicant

    I personally found MBAexchange to be very professional and helpful. They were enthusiastic in giving detailed questions to my answers and offered me great advices on school selectoin, positioning and my chances and what school to apply to.

    I also greatly appreciated MBAexchange’s willingness to work with me one year early.
    Not all Consultants displayed this patience and they encouraged me to apply in 2013/14 cycle. This was sub-optimal because back then I had just started my current job and had only 2 years of full-time experience.

    Receiving guidance from your firm a year earlier gave me ample time to strengthen my work and extra-curricular profile. I think my motivation to get into a top MBA program inspired me to volunteer for more projects at my day job, and that was key to my accelerated promotion this April.

    I received 5 offers from my dream schools ultimately. I wont say this is ALL because of MBAexchange. I worked hard for it. But i would say they offered me critical advices at critical junctures and gave me emotional support throughout a stressful process.

  • startup2016

    I used MBA Exchange and was very happy with my experience. I ended up applying to 2 schools 1st round – HBS and Wharton – and got into both.

    I worked closely with Rina Patel @ MBA Exchange, who graduated from HBS a few years ago. Rina helped me craft my story, and in particular my HBS essay. She helped me dig deep into “who I really am” instead of writing something superficial about my work experience over the past few years. Rina also thoroughly reviewed my resume and short answers, all of which she made more impactful.

    After receiving interviews, Rina also did a couple of practice sessions with me. Having walked through the standard questions – “tell me about your job”, “why HBS”, etc. – made me much more comfortable on my interview day.

    I couldn’t recommend her more highly!

  • Guest

    I worked with Maria Spaulding at MBA Exchange and was great! The process worked well for me and I got into Booth and Wharton. She was responsive to all emails and helped me craft the whole package. Would recommend both Maria and MBA Exchange to get into a top program.

  • Anonymous

    I approached the MBA Exchange in April 2014 about their services. They were extremely responsive and helped answer all of my questions in a very timely manner. Shortly after I was paired up with Maria Spaulding. She laid out a strategy for my applications and was confident that if we executed on the goals that we had mapped out then I was likely to receive good news from my target schools (applied to M7). Maria’s strategy and insight into the admissions process is unparalleled. She was able to answer all of my questions thoroughly and was always willing to go above and beyond. I applied round 1 to one of the schools and was admitted and am waiting to hear back from two of my other target schools in round 2. I would highly recommend Maria Spaulding to anyone that is serious about engaging an MBA Admissions Consultant.

  • NMBVN

    I just got admitted to INSEAD thanks to MBA Exchange, especially my lead consultant – Jon Harari. I am an applicant without fantastic GPA; hence, Jon kept motivating me to retake my GMAT and thanks to his encouragement, I worked on my application and studied for GMAT at the same time. Finally, I got my 700+ GMAT score. Jon was very fast in responding to my questions and he really made me think seriously about my stories and helped me demonstrate my fit to the school. The editing service was great too because the editor amazingly reduced word count while keeping my stories in a cohesive way. I would recommend Jon and MBA Exchange to anyone who is aspired to apply to the top-tier MBA programme!

  • SatisfiedCustomer

    I am a recent MBA applicant who used MBA Exchange and had a very positive experience. Dan Bauer, the founder, was immediately responsive when I reached out and set up a call for me to ask my millions of questions prior to formally engaging the company. Soon after signing the contract, I was introduced to a very smart, competent and friendly consultant named Stacey-Ann. She had previously worked in admissions at Wharton, which was my top target school. With the first round application deadline rapidly approaching, Stacey-Ann was highly responsive and made sure I was on track to submit a polished, well-framed application. Once the application was in, I ran through a mock interview with her that was extremely helpful, and she offered to conduct more mocks if I was interested.
    While it’s impossible to measure how much a consultant can improve your application, I feel like MBA Exchange certainly lived up to what I expected to get out of my money and played somewhat of a role in my getting accepted.

  • MBA Military Applicant

    I had an excellent experience with MBA Exchange, and specifically my consultant Elliot Zimmer. From the beginning, I appreciated their thorough approach to matching you with the right consultant, although I knew from word of mouth from a friend that I wanted Elliot to be my consultant from the get go. I chose him due to our similar backgrounds and the similar goals I have with relation to everything he’s achieved since getting his MBA.

    I agree with the poster below that you can expect to do MORE work with the right consultant. I didn’t understand that going into the process, and at times felt discouraged when Elliot would press me to dig deeper and re-work my products. However, he always gave me the tools and encouragement to make it happen. In the end, I am more than grateful since I will be headed to Wharton!

    A really important facet of what MBA Exchange as a whole did, was help me with getting my word count down in my essays. At the same time, they changed absolutely nothing in my content or “voice.” I wrote a lot of essays since I applied to 6 schools, and this feature saved me tons of time while maintaining the authenticity of my voice.

    I didn’t think I had a shot at a top school since I was going into the process with a 2.85 undergraduate GPA. I attribute a great deal of my success to Elliot and the MBA Exchange.

  • SPin

    This year I was reapplying to schools after being rejected from top 5 schools last year without interview. I felt like I had a very strong story but was unsure why I was unable to present my story effectively to the schools. In the quest to close this gap, I decided to choose a consulting firm. MBA Exchange had helped one of my friends to get into a top school and had helped him accomplish the entire application process in less than 3 months. When I googled them, I heard great things about them, and so instinctively decided to choose them as my partners in this process.Today, I am looking at admits from 3 of the top 5 schools.

    Here is why I think MBA exchange is the BEST go-to partner for applications process. To begin with, they don’t treat you as a mere client, but treat you as a partner who they work with in every step of the way – from school selection, to guiding with the GMAT, to leveraging the best stories for the essay and to interview preparation. Most importantly, they help you through the ups and downs that you face as you move from one step to another in this process.

    I especially want to mention how wonderful it was to work with my consultant Maria. Maria is easily the most organized and detail-oriented person that I have ever met. From the kickstart call, she took charge of my admissions process and helped me focus on and prioritize the most important elements of my applications. We took an uphill task of 6 schools in 2 months, but each time that I felt overwhelmed, she provided me the comfort and confidence that we would achieve our identified goals.She made sure that I did not digress and stayed my course. She checked on me every day not just to see how my application process was going, but making sure that I was feeling good about how it was coming along.

    Somewhere along the way, she became my mentor and close friend. This was perhaps the most important reason why I got the confidence to open up to her and discuss various personal experiences of my life that have shaped the person I am today. Her full-involvement in the process and complete personal attention towards me, gave me the trust and confidence to share my life-story and ultimately put it together for my essays.

    I believe the difference between last year and this year was, that I worked with a very supportive partner who gave me the confidence to talk about my strengths and weaknesses, both in an honest and definitive manner, to present my best self to the schools!

    I wish through this comment I have been able to convey just how much value they brought into my application process and I highly highly recommend them!!

  • FemaleHarvardMBA2016

    I decided to work with Chioma (Expartus) last year on my MBA applications and if I could go back, my decision would not change for a day. Chioma was highly dedicated and conscientious in reviewing my application materials and was never afraid to give honest, sometimes difficult feedback. She would make herself or a member of her team available even on short notice when I had questions or concerns that I wanted their help with and they were always very productive. I always left my conversations with them not just with a meaningful list of next steps but also with a feeling of confidence that helped me my applications head-on. With their help, I got into 2 of my top choice MBAs iincluding Harvard Business School.

  • testimonial

    Other firms replied with boilerplate template emails in response to my request for urgent application help, but MBA Exchange’s founder Dan Bauer called me personally within hours of receiving my email, and he immediately set me up with Jessica Burlingame as my lead consultant. I was admitted to my top choice — CEIBS — and I received a substantial merit scholarship based on my application. The scholarship more than covered the consultant fees. Overall MBA Exchange was a great investment.

  • tan

    I had a very good experience with MBA Exchange and my lead
    consultant, Jessica Burlingame. At the time of contacting them I had a month to
    go to submit my applications to my top 2 schools and I wanted a critical review
    of my resume and essays. They were very quick in setting me up with a
    consultant that had recent successes at my target schools.

    Jessica was absolutely brilliant, she tore apart my
    first resume draft which was something I greatly appreciated. She gave me a lot
    of actionable items and was constantly pushing me to keep improving points that
    I had initially thought were just fine. Thanks to her, my essays and resume
    were of a very high standard and quality, and every sentence added to the
    message I was trying to convey. She never attempted to change my key message,
    but encouraged me to keep adding depth at a level and clarity that I would not
    have accomplished on my own.

    She also prepped me for my interview and I’m really
    thankful for a key tip she gave me regarding getting my main message across in
    the first sentence or two and how to achieve this. Her suggestions were
    extremely helpful for me to keep my thoughts straight and have an enjoyable
    conversation with my interviewer, that ended with an offer at my top choice
    school. I would highly recommend Jessica. She was extremely capable and
    professional and was also very responsive and went beyond the time she had
    allotted for me on several occasions.

  • Anonymous

    I worked with Kim Carter at the MBA Exchange, and am very pleased with the results. I gained admission to my first choice – a top 10 global MBA program. I’m an applicant with a 680 GMAT, 2.8 GPA from a top liberal arts college, and 7 years work experience (2 years in private equity, 3 years in digital media planning, and 2 years at a tech start-up in sales strategy and product marketing).

    The MBA Exchange approach was very insightful and helpful. Kim did a great job guiding me through the process and helping me craft a compelling story. She also did a great job of laying out a well-structured timeline that made the process stress-free and un-rushed.

    I can’t speak for any of the other companies, but if you are considering a consultant, I recommend MBA Exchange without hesitation. I have 3 other friends who used the service, all gaining admission into top-10 MBA programs. All of us were very satisfied with the services received.

  • Oli

    Hi All, I want to share my experience with you about The MBA exchange.

    I will join next fall Georgetown University for my MBA full-time. I am very excited about this next adventure and I am looking forward joining the hoyas!

    I wanted to underline how satisfied I am of the consulting service provided. I truly appreciate the time and dedication that my consultant (Jon H.) demonstrated this past year. It was a very challenging process as I am only 23 years old and I know the outcome would have been completely different without Jon.. Jon not only helped me put high quality applications together, but he also helped me define my career and
    personal goals. For me, the coaching was beyond just submitting an application.
    This is a substantial time and money investment for me as I am financing my own
    education but I clearly see the value of it and Jon has very a great coach.

    Jon and the founder of The MBA exchange both contributed to my American dream and help me reach this transformational experience that I was looking for. Thanks again!

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