Pros and Cons of Hiring An MBA Admissions Consultant
Applying to B-school can be a hectic experience. From standardized exams to essay writing, the admissions process contains a number of components that can easily overwhelm applicants.
Hiring an admissions consultant may help ease such stress from the application process.
Sydney Lake of Fortune recently spoke to experts about who may benefit from hiring an admissions consultant, what their job entails, and whether or not they are worth the cost.
“Consultants often provide an assessment of a client’s admissions chances, offer recommendations about where to apply and how many applications to submit, help an applicant decide what personal traits to emphasize in his or her application and coach the client on how to express themselves well in admissions interviews,” Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, writes.
SHOULD YOU HIRE AN ADMISSIONS CONSULTANT?
Hiring an admissions consultant isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Top experts can cost upwards of $400 for 60 minutes of consultation.
However, hiring an admissions consultant may be beneficial for busy professionals who become fazed by the application process and need help.
“I could’ve gone and done all of my research on my own and spent all this time, but as a new mom I knew I needed an expert to really help me with the process,” Alma Aguilar, an applicant accepted into University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business, tells Fortune. “I didn’t know what success looked like in terms of an application, so I knew I needed to work with someone who helps people be successful.”
While many applicants do benefit from the help of an admissions consultant, experts caution against relying too heavily on the help of others when applying to B-school.
“I would say that there are almost no situations in which I would recommend using an admissions consultant to get into business school … unless you can completely disguise the fact that you are using one,” Nick Barniville, an associate dean at ESMT Berlin, tells US News.
Moreover, Barniville adds that the authenticity of an application is a critical component to admissions.
“Admissions people are human beings,” Barniville tells US News. “They want to hear real stories from people. I don’t think an application has to be a perfectly polished piece of work. I just think it has to be an interesting and authentic reflection of a person.”
It’s important to note that admissions consultants aren’t for every applicant. Some may benefit more from having expert help, while others may be just fine without it.
“Just as someone might hire a personal trainer to get in shape or a consultant to help with a business problem, an admissions consultant can offer expertise,” Lake, of Fortune, writes.