Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Digi-Transformer
GMAT 680, GPA 4
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Wharton | Mr. New England Hopeful
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. BB Trading M/O To Hedge Fund
GMAT 710, GPA 3.23
Chicago Booth | Mr. Private Equity To Ed-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. Old Indian Engineer
GRE 333, GPA 67%
Harvard | Mr. Athlete Turned MBB Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Trucking
GMAT 640, GPA 3.82
Ross | Mr. Low GRE Not-For-Profit
GRE 316, GPA 74.04% First Division (No GPA)
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98
Harvard | Mr. Climate
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seeking Fellow Program
GMAT 760, GPA 3
Harvard | Mr. Army Intelligence Officer
GRE 334, GPA 3.97
Harvard | Ms. Data Analyst In Logistics
GRE 325, GPA 4
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Comeback Story
GRE 313, GPA 2.9
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Green Financing
GRE 325, GPA 3.82
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
MIT Sloan | Mr. Marine Combat Arms Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Mr. Automotive Compliance Professional
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. MBB Aspirant/Tech
GMAT 700, GPA 3.16

Booth Courts Admission Consultants

Kurt Ahlm, Associate Dean, Chicago Booth Admissions

Kurt Ahlm, Associate Dean, Chicago Booth Admissions

In a highly unusual move, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business has launched an outreach campaign to promote the school’s prestigious MBA program to MBA admissions consultants. Booth has designated a “contact person” in admissions for consultants, sent them an elaborate information packet on the school, and will be conducting a private webinar exclusively for admissions consultants this Monday (June 20).

Only a few years ago, the admissions officials of several business schools looked suspiciously at the growing field of admissions consulting. Some school directors even discouraged the use of consultants in helping candidates apply to their programs. But in more recent years, there has been increased acceptance of the fact that admissions consultants play an ever-increasing role in the number and quality of applications a school may receive — and are therefore here to stay.

Estimates of the use of admissions consultants vary widely and there is little hard data on the topic. Scott Shrum, chief operating officer of Veritas Prep and the board secretary for the Association of Independent Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC), believes that as many as half of all applicants to the top ten MBA programs now use the help of a consultant.

A NEW PHASE IN THE COMPETITIVE RACE TO GET THE BEST STUDENTS

Still, few schools have actively courted the hundreds of consultants who act as guides for MBA applicants through their long journey to a highly selective business school. Booth’s initiative opens up a new phase in the highly competitive race to get the best and brightest applicants. The school already is among the most aggressive in using scholarship support to land highly desirable MBA candidates. Kurt Ahlm, associate dean for admissions, could not be reached for comment.

“This is a milestone in the evolution of the MBA admissions process,” believes Dan Bauer, founder and CEO of The MBA Exchange, a leading admissions consultancy. “Booth’s recognition that professional, ethical, independent consultants are their allies — rather than their adversaries — raises the bar for enlightenment.

“While adcoms from several top schools have participated in online interviews and hosted periodic campus visits by admissions consultants, starting with Tuck in 2005, Booth’s initiative in reaching out to consultants with such sincerity and formality is unprecedented — and irreversible. Producing an elaborate information packet, offering a private webinar, and appointing an official point of contact for consultants makes a statement that resonates with veteran admissions advisers. Booth’s candor and trust is certain to be rewarded by consultants when portraying the school’s culture to their clients while shortlisting top MBA programs.”

‘PART OF A POSITIVE AND ONGOING TREND’

In promoting Booth’s invitation-only, one-hour chat for consultants, the school states that “directors can answer your questions about the 2016-17 essay question and format, provide insight into the application and evaluation process, the admissions interview, and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to chat directly with the Booth admissions committee to better serve your clients.”

What kind of competitive advantage the Booth initiative may bring the school is unknown. Ironically, an AIGAC survey of MBA applicants released today (June 15) oddly showed that consultants aren’t nearly as influential in school choice as thought. Asked to name the most influential factors applicants used to select their target schools, the advice of admissions consultants came in dead last, with only 6% of respondents citing that factor. Rankings had the most sway, garnering a response from 74% of the respondents, while the impact on one’s career was second, with 48%, and geographic location was the third most influential factor with 46% of the vote.

Regardless, accepted.com founder Linda Abraham views the Booth initiative as “part of a positive and ongoing trend.” The Booth webinar, she adds, “marks a change in the relationship between Booth and the consultant industry in that Booth is reaching out to us so that we can more effectively relate and amplify its message as we advise clients. The result will be more and more appropriate applicants for Booth.”

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