Throughout the year, we speak with thousands of prospective MBA applicants who sign up for a free consultation to gain support and advice on the MBA admissions process and assess their chances of admission to the top business schools. At Fortuna Admissions, we take great pride in these calls and in making these connections, because we believe deeply that our role is to be honest and authentic with the candidates who reach out to us, drawing on our collective admissions experience to offer tangible advice from the first discussion that will help to guide them in their decision-making process.
While the 30-minute free consultation is an industry-standard, the experience of the discussion will invariably differ depending on the firm, its values, and approach, and its team’s MBA admissions expertise.
If you’re reaching out to potential MBA admissions consultants, or still curious whether a consultant is for you, you’ll want to maximize your consultation call in four key ways.
4 WAYS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF AN MBA FREE CONSULTATION CALL
1. Make sure the call is about you and your business school plans.
What are the areas of discussion that will be most helpful for you? Are there any aspects of your candidacy that concern you? This call should be first and foremost about your profile, your background and achievements, and how business school fits into the next stage of your personal and professional development. There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss the services and experience that the admissions firm provides, but it is amazing how much guidance and insight an experienced MBA counselor can share about the many aspects of your candidacy, and details about target schools to really help you to understand the culture and admissions process of each institution. Of course, it helps when the company draws upon the many years of collective team experience working inside the MBA admissions office, so you should come away from the call feeling more confident about next steps, with a better understanding of each school – the sort of insights that you won’t find on websites or chat forums.
2. Think about your measures of success.
Many students that schedule a free MBA consultation are naturally interested in how successful a coach has been with specific schools or types of candidate background. This is certainly important to ask, but remember when you went on college tours and asked about the Student-to-Faculty ratio? It was a fine question, but you stand to learn more rephrasing along the lines of, “Tell me more about the student/faculty interaction,” which is much more qualitative in nature. What you really want to know is: What will it be like to work with my coach? How much guidance will I get from them; will they be honest with me about my approach and my content?
3. Feel comfortable to really open up and share your aspirations.
At Fortuna, we hope to use our call together to understand what is driving you to apply to business school and the background that led you to this stage in your career or academic life. We like to get to know you as a person first, before we can candidly assess what we recommend to you in terms of MBA consulting services. Each person that we talk with has different needs and priorities, and a back story that is uniquely their own. That includes not just the accomplishments and a fast-track of success, but also the challenges and setbacks that say so much about you as a person and how you rise to a challenge.
Not all candidates need or want a multi-school package, and not every applicant is going to require the same kind of support for each school. Our goal is to assess where you are in the process, and what you are hoping to gain out of working with an admissions consultant. Of course, we will talk realistically about a lower quant score on the GMAT, which recommenders you are considering, or how to demonstrate your leadership potential through community engagement. We then can tailor the backgrounds of our team and put together a plan for what we think could be the most helpful to you during your application process. We love discerning qualities or experiences that you may not have thought to share with MBA admissions, and our coaches are skilled in digging deeper than you may have considered to get to those unique differentiators.
4. Ensure an understanding of process and mutual fit.
Just like the steps for choosing a business school, we appreciate that fit is fundamental, and that the MBA admissions process is an introspective and deeply relational experience. With 40 former MBA admissions directors, associate deans, and business school insiders on our team – who come from 18 of the world’s top 20 business schools – we are thoughtful about matching prospective candidates with the coach that best suits their needs and aspirations. Your free consultation is the first step to assessing mutual fit so that you can confident you’ll be maximizing your effort, time, and investment in an MBA admissions coach.
We’re also committed to shepherding you throughout the entire MBA admission process. Unlike larger firms that may hand you off to your coach without ado, Fortuna’s engagement team is in constant contact with our coaching staff and is reading behind the scenes. I, or another of Fortuna’s directors, am always available to discuss questions or concerns that may arise; we want your relationship with your coach to be a smooth one. Together, we’ll work to support your goals and aspirations from the moment you join us as part of the Fortuna Family.
No testimonial is better than from someone who’s walked in your shoes. Here’s an excerpt from an email we received last month from a client who’d just been accepted to her dream school, INSEAD, reflecting back to her initial free consultation with Fortuna Director Matt Symonds:
“That magical call with Matt where you showed me you truly believed in the potential of my candidacy and told me that I could get my spot in ‘The Business School for the World’ was somehow a gamechanger and boosted my confidence. The honesty of the conversation was really important for me. And to realize that someone on the other side of the planet was seeing the potential in me. Although I was able to recognize my weakness I saw in Fortuna the right guidance to leverage my application and increase my chances of making my dream come true. I can say the investment was worth every cent.”
For more insights from the words of candidates themselves, view this related blog, Five Benefits of a Free MBA Consultation with a Fortuna Admissions Consultant.
Judith Silverman Hodara, EdD, is a Director at MBA admissions coaching firm Fortuna Admissions and former Wharton acting head of Admissions. For a candid assessment of your chances of admission success at a top MBA program, sign up for a free consultation.