Ask Emma Bond about her superpower as an MBA admissions coach and you’ll quickly discover the not-very-secret reason for her remarkable success.
“It’s my ability to connect and empathize with my clients,” confides Bond, a director at Fortuna Admissions who earned her people skills at London Business School and The Boston Consulting Group. She invests the time necessary to intimately know her clients, building mutual trust along the way. “Once you do that, you get them to open up to you. And when you are at that point with a client, I get to understand more about them and their story. When you have that relationship established, you have the basis for putting together a really strong application.”
And that’s exactly what she has done for hundreds of prospective students aiming for an MBA at an elite business school. For all her work on behalf of highly satisfied clients, Bond is Poets&Quants’ top MBA admissions consultant of 2023, our seventh annual ranking of the best. She has racked up more perfect 10.0 satisfaction ratings over 25 clients during the course of our review than any other business school admissions advisor in the world.
THE BEST MBA ADMISSION CONSULTANTS OF 2023
The genuine praise she receives from clients is more often reserved for the world’s best athletes on hyperbolic sports pages. A sample: “Emma Bond Is My Hero.” “Made My Dream Come True!” “Emma Bond Is Awesome!” “The Best!” “Treats Your Application Like Her Own.” “Incredible & Knowledgeable Advisor.” “Awesome Mentor & Coach.” “Game Changer.” “No One Better.” “Insanely Dedicated.” “Faultlessly Professional.”
She is one of only two coaches with a perfect satisfaction score from 20 or more clients. The other is Rajdeep Chimni, founder of Admissions Gateway in India, with 23 positive client reviews. Chimni is a familiar name on the list, now having made it for seven years in a row (see Can Any MBA Admissions Consultant Be This Successful?).
The analysis is based on verified client reviews at Poets&Quants from September 1 of 2021 to August 31 of 2022. During that timeframe, clients wrote 1,233 assessments of their experience with 212 admission consultants at 59 different firms. Yet there are 567 MBA counselors in our directory, easily placing Bond in the top .002 percent of MBA admission consultants worldwide.
In the hotly competitive world of MBA coaching, it’s extremely hard to stay on top. Only four of the original Top Ten MBA counselors on our inaugural ranking in 2017 made this year’s expanded list: Alice van Harten of Menlo Coaching, Alex Leventhal of Prep MBA, Paul Bodine of Admitify.com, and Angela Guido of Career Protocol. Last year’s winner, Candy Lee LaBalle of LaBalle Admissions, made our list again but landed in 13th place.
The Top Ten Perfect-Scoring MBA Admission Consultants Of 2023
These MBA coaches were given perfect 10.0 client satisfaction scores across at least ten clients during the year-long review period by Poets&Quants. See our full list of the top 39 MBA consultants of 2023 on the following page.
|Consultant||Firm||Client Satisfaction Scores||Positive Reviews||Cost|
|1. Emma Bond||Fortuna Admissions||10.0||25||$450 Hourly, $10,580 (3-school package)|
|2. Rajdeep Chimni||Admissions Gateway||10.0||23||$9,500 (3-school package|
|3. Susan Cera||Stratus Admission Consulting||10.0||18||$585 hourly/$12,300 (3-school package)|
|4. Rishabh Gupta||GyanOne Universal||10.0||16||$3,000 (3-school package)|
|5. Betsy Massar||Master Admissions||10.0||15||$425 Hourly/$7,500 (3-school package)|
|5. Jessica Shklar||mbaMission||10.0||15||$500 Hourly, $11,000 (3-school package)|
|7. Emily Sawyer-Kegerreis||Military MBA Consulting||10.0||14||$350 Hourly, $6,500 (3-school package)|
|8. Krista Nannery||mbaMission||10.0||13||$500 Hourly, $11,000 (3-school package)|
|9. Eli David||Ivy MBA Consulting||10.0||11||$390 Hourly, $8,950 (3-school package)|
|10. Heidi Granner||mbaMission||10.0||10||$385 hourly, $9,200 (3-school package)|
SOME 39 MBA CONSULTANTS ARE SINGLED OUT FOR THEIR STELLAR WORK
In a typical year, we usually highlight the Top 20 MBA admission consultants of the year, requiring a minimum of 15 positive reviews during the year-long review period. This year, we expanded our honor roll by requiring only 10 favorable reviews and the highest client satisfaction rating. The change provides prospective applicants with a wider range of consultants, both solo and with firms.
Of the 39 advisers who make the list, a mere ten were able to achieve a perfect 10.0 score for client satisfaction. Several of the consultants who made our cut actually earned more positive reviews than Bond but could not equal her perfect 10.0 record. Scott Edinburgh beat everyone in this regard, racking up 53 favorable reviews. He was followed by Devi Vallabhaneni, a former Harvard Business School adcom member at mbaMission. She received 34 positive mentions from clients and was closely followed by Sam Weeks, who earned 33 favorable reviews.
Admissions counseling for elite graduate business school admission doesn’t come cheap. Bond’s three-school-package rate is $10,580, or a $450 hourly rate, a reasonable price compared to some of the other premium MBA counselors. Among the highest-paid consultants is Alice van Harten, the founding partner of Menlo Coaching, who is rolling out a new rate of $20,000 for admissions advice on three schools, a hefty jump from her $16,000 fee last year. Van Harten, however, is the only MBA admissions coach to have made all seven of Poets&Quants‘ lists of the best consultants since our debut ranking in 2017 (see At $20K A Pop, Alice van Harten’s MBA Admission Advice Doesn’t Come Cheap).
On an hourly basis, mbaMission’s Vallabhaneni who brings rare insider knowledge from Harvard Business School to the table, tops the price list, charging $1,250 an hour. Among the least expensive of our top-rated coaches? Emily Sawyer-Kegerreis of Military MBA Consulting, with an hourly rate of $350 or $6,500 for a three-school package, though Rishabh Gupta of GyanOne Universal in India can even beat that package price. He charges a mere $3,000 for advice on applying to three schools.
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