Best Business School Admission Consultants

Jessica Burlingame of The MBA Exchange

3. Jessica Burlingame: Based in the New York metro area, Burlingame has been an MBA admissions consultant with The MBA Exchange for the past 13 years. A Columbia Business School MBA who also has an undergraduate degree from Columbia in English and comparative literature, she previously worked in healthcare consulting, private and investment banking, as well as editorial and business development with The Condé Nast Publications and Vault.com.

Review Excerpt: “After being rejected from NYU and Columbia, I was in a tough bind. I really wanted to go to a top 20 school, but didn’t have the work experience or even age to really represent myself as a capable candidate. Jessica used my strengths and turned them into something amazing on my application. My essays were powerful, beautiful and essentially really captured who I was a person. She was always punctual with our scheduled phone calls and constantly emailed me, to check on my status. Not only was she an amazing consultant, but a very kind and encouraging woman. She was there to give me that extra push I needed when I was nervous about interview practice and took the time to make sure I was ok in the stressful application process.”

David White of Menlo Coaching

4. David White: Part of the husband-wife duo at Menlo Coaching, White has been working on MBA admissions for the past five years since 2012. Before helping MBA applicants, the Berkeley-trained engineer had racked up a 15-year career in the tech industry, with roles as a senior vice president at Travelzoo, a senior director at Yahoo,  and general manager for Europe at a startup acquired by Adobe.

Review Excerpt: “After interviewing multiple big name admissions consultants, and not finding anyone whom I felt was worth the money (or the time), I found David (& Alice) through online reviews. Their reviews revealed extremely satisfied clients, and a far wider variety of acceptances (all at the top 5-10 schools), whereas the other larger firms I had been speaking to either had very mixed reviews, or only seemed to get people into specific institutions. I was sold after our first call. As promised, David remained incredibly reliable, sensitive to my goals, punctual, and encouraging throughout the 9 months that we worked together. He provided extremely helpful feedback on a regular basis, kept me on track, turned edits around extremely quickly, and was always willing to discuss over the phone.”

Alice van Harten of Menlo Consulting

4. Alice van Harten: The other half of Menlo Coaching with David White (above), van Harten had worked as a strategy consultant at Bain & Co. and manager for strategy, science and technology for Elsevier before founding her admissions firm five years ago in 2012. With a PhD in the classics from the University of Cambridge, she also has been a lecturer in the humanities at Stanford University.

Review excerpt: “Alice has high standards for client and herself, which is very assuring in the application process. For essays, she would not settle with unconvincing examples. She would urge me to rewrite and think in different directions until she finds the contents satisfying. She even did facebook account and website checking for me before I submitted my applications. She is always organized and knows my schedule very well. What’s most important, Alice is empathetic and genuine, which helps me to open up in the application process and to write about my true feelings in the essays. Without her help, I would probably still get offers from schools like Booth that values my analytical background, but working with her enabled me to explain clearly my motivation and interest in more qualitative programs. I eventually got admitted to my soul school Stanford GSB!”

Meredith Shields of Vantage Point

6. Meredith Shields: Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Shields founded Vantage Point a little over a year ago. A  Kellogg MBA, she has worked as a strategy consultant at Waterstone Management Group and in leverage finance at Madison Capital Funding. She founded Vantage Point with a Columbia Business School MBA.

Review Excerpt: “After being burned from one of the larger consulting houses, I was wary of hiring another admissions consultant. However, as a re-applicant, I knew that I needed to find a professional who was going to be honest with my application, and I was referred by a friend to try Meredith. Meredith understood my story well and helped me craft my story in a way that truly brought out the essence of who I was as a candidate. Her guidance was invaluable throughout the entire experience and really helped me understand the mindset of the adcom as well as how to approach the application process. Her honesty and guidance throughout the admissions process led to interviews for all of the schools I applied to (including schools that I reapplied to) and multiple admits.”

Susanne Peltz of Fortuna

7. Susanne Peltz: Based in Singapore, Peltz joined Fortuna in 2014 from INSEAD, where she held senior roles in both MBA admissions and career services for a dozen years. She has also worked with global media conglomerate Bertelsmann in Germany and China and has a Master’s in Management from the University of Goettingen, Germany.

Review Excerpt: “I was unsure where to start and what to do exactly, but Susanne gave me all the tips and support I needed to ace my application and eventually secure my place in the INSEAD program. Susanne tailored her services specifically to my needs and profile and ensured I was submitting a successful application. She helped me highlight my strengths and achievements and provided me with very valuable insights.”

Angela Guido of mbaMission

8. Angela Guido: Based in Florence, Italy, Guido is not only an MBA admissions consultant but also a career coach. She has worked with mbaMission as a consultant for more than eight years and founded her own career coaching business called Career Protocol in 2016. She joined Boston Consulting Group after getting her MBA from Chicago Booth in 2004, becoming captain of the firm’s women’s initiative. Guido also is something of a GMAT whiz, having been an instructor with Manhattan Prep for eight years from 2006 to 2014.

Review Excerpt: “Where other consultants were hesitant to provide too many details for free, Angela was generous: She gave me a specific GMAT goal, a short list of top schools with which she thought I was a fit, and guidance on when to apply, all during the free call. She was professional, affable, and direct. I knew that I had to work with her when, in one sentence, she summed up my post-MBA aspirations more precisely and succinctly than I had ever stated them myself – to her or anyone else, for that matter. I’m sure that a number of consultants could have helped me get into HBS, but Angela Guido’s services stand out because in addition to helping me submit the strongest possible applications, she’s also given me a bonus gift: A deeper understanding of myself than I’ve ever had before.”

About the Author...

John A. Byrne

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.