Graham Balch

MBA Admissions Consultant

EXPARTUS

San Francisco, California

United States

Consultant Bio

Hello, I’m Graham and I would like to be your admissions coach helping you with what we at EXPARTUS believe are the most important factors that determine whether you get into business school: having compelling and intrinsically motivate career goals, reflection on one’s emotional intelligence and one’s ability to contribute to a business school’s community and culture.

Helping applicants with these important topics is not easy, and many consultants will focus on surface level factors instead and suggest that you “tweak your profile.”

While there are folks who’s GMAT or grades are well below the norm and the no decision is realistically made before committee review, for the 90% of applicants who’s experiences and scores are competitive, when we sat around the Adcom table discussing candidates or reading apps, we never thought “gosh if this candidate just tweaked their profile, they would be perfect and we’d love them.”  Not once. Never.

What we often said in our evaluations and in our discussions are things like “their career path isn’t feasible given their background” or “they seem more interested in position and role than impact” or “the candidate does not focus on team growth/dynamics/success” or “I am sure they could handle the academics, but I can’t see how their focus/ideas/goals/etc. will improve the experience of their peers around them”.

I and the team at EXPARTUS are very good and experienced at helping candidates with their application and essay writing.  But what really sets us apart is our ability to help you think deeply about who you are beneath the surface – beyond your profile – and share this deeper understanding of yourself with business schools.

I love working with EXPARTUS.  When I joined, I had offers from a handful of admissions consulting firms and chose EXPARTUS because I believe applying to business school is more than writing applications and essays.  It is an incredible opportunity to think about your professional and personal journey through life.  By helping you develop your personal brand, it gives you the tools to present yourself purposefully, consistently and authentically to business schools and get admitted.

Before EXPARTUS, I served as the Executive Director of Talent Acquisition for Baltimore County Public Schools where I oversaw the hiring of over 2,000 people annually.  Before that, I worked at BCG, served in the Peace Corps and was an award winning science teacher.  I attended Middlebury College and then Wharton where I served on Wharton Adcom in addition to being a Co-Chair of the Ethics Committee.  My background helps me think strategically about you and your application process, dig beneath the surface to find the root drivers of your interest and success, and teach you about the admissions process in a way that helps you feel empowered.  Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two daughters, doing triathlons, sailing and writing historical fiction.

Company Information

EXPARTUS is a boutique agency, with a team that offers a unique case/team approach to helping candidates develop the right positioning and narrative for their top school choices. EXPARTUS was founded by a former AdCom of HBS over ten years ago, and has since worked with MBA applicants from over 100 countries. We are not the right for every candidate and use our free assessment to discuss our process and assess joint fit. Clients have the flexibility to sign up for our comprehensive school packages, which includes our proprietary personal branding process, or our hourly services.

I love working with EXPARTUS. When I joined, I had offers from a handful of admissions consulting firms and chose EXPARTUS because I believe applying to business school is more than writing applications and essays. It is an incredible opportunity to think about your professional and personal journey through life. By helping you develop your personal brand, it gives you the tools to present yourself purposefully, consistently and authentically to business schools and get admitted.

The personal brand system we use at EXPARTUS is different than the process used by any other firm. We help you figure out your personal branding and then use this strategic framework to drive every aspect of your application.

Menu of Services and Associated Costs

EXPARTUS specializes on the top schools and we have enjoyed working with MBA applicants from over 100 countries and helping them make their business school dreams a reality. We are not right for everyone and use our free assessment to gauge whether we are a fit for each other. Clients have the flexibility to sign up for our comprehensive school packages or our hourly service which covers the following: Personal brand development Essay editing Interview preparation Recommendation strategy Waitlist support Re-application assessment Early start planning

Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Phone: 404-514-8876

Email: graham@expartus.com

Website: http://www.expartus.com/

Provide a Candid Review

You must be logged in to leave a candid review for this consultant. Log in or Register. Note to reviewers: You must provide to Poets&Quants your full name and email for verification or your comment will not be accepted. Your name will appear publicly as first name, last initial unless you request anonymity.

P&Q Consultant Reviews

  • Amazing Experience that Exceeded All My Expectations
    4 months ago
    After informational conversations with various consultants, I decided to collaborate with Graham because I felt that he would give me the personalized help and guidance I needed. Even in the initial conversations with him, I was surprised how well Graham was able to help me recognize and reveal personal characteristics and skills and integrate them into a conclusive Personal Brand. Creating a Personal Brand was essential in articulating and presenting myself in an authentic, consistent, and compelling manner throughout all essays and interviews. In addition, I feel that collaborating with Graham helped me be more aware of myself and that the advantage of this increased self-awareness goes far beyond an admission offer from an elite MBA program. It will help me be a more responsible, ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2020, Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Top-notch experience with Graham
    7 months ago
    After over a dozen consultation calls with various firms I chose to work with Graham on my applications to two of my top-choice schools. From the very beginning Graham took the time to understand my goals for an MBA and craft a personal narrative that spoke to my background and accomplishments in a way that resonated with my target schools. Graham went above and beyond at every stage - we spoke dozens of times over a period of 7 months and I never had any issues getting in touch. There was never a barrier to getting his advice at any stage of the application process, and he made sure I was prepared at each stage. Could not recommend Graham and Expartus highly enough. At the ...
    Read the full review
    - Matthew Brumback
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Amazing Experience with Graham
    1 year ago
    I chose to work with Graham after a few informational calls with other consultants and I knew he would be great at getting me the personalized help I need. Graham is attentive, professional, and very good at getting to my story. I really appreciated our first few sessions where we talked about all my life experiences (not just the successes), career goals, and what's important to me. The Personal Branding approach taken on by Expartus and Graham really helped me articulate my story and set me up for all my applications, including the ones that I completed myself in Round 2. Graham was very flexible in finding time for discussions, and went above and beyond in giving me opportunities to tap into his network to ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2019,
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Personal, Professional, Practised
    2 years ago
    From our first conversation Graham had a knack for opening me up and teasing out stories from my past that I hadn’t thought of in years. His open style allowed us to cover a large range of topics before honing in on what was really important to me and therefore what belonged in my application. Graham was consistent and reliable throughout all of our many conversations and we had a personal relationship that enabled us to speak of many things outside of my MBA. He even met me in person when I visited my target school. In addition to advice about my application Graham introduced me to several of his contacts in my chosen industry to whom I was able to speak prior to submitting ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2019,
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • ADMITTED with Graham!
    2 years ago
    After previously applying to business school without much success, I started searching for the right consultant to help me polish my application. I first learned about Expartus through a friend, and couldn't be more thankful to have worked with Graham. Graham focused on helping me develop my personal brand, which was key in demonstrating authenticity in my essays and anecdotes. He was always quick to respond to my questions, and went OVER AND BEYOND during the ENTIRE application process. I honestly feel that I received more help than I had expected or paid for from Graham. He never counted the times we spent on the phone; rather he was focused on assisting me in every way possible. He also happily connected me with people within ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2018, Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Top Notch Consultant
    2 years ago
    It’s rare that you come across a standout consulting like Graham. Ridiculously efficient at getting your story right is what comes to mind when I think about Graham. I worked with Graham through Expartus to apply for business school in 2016 and got into my top choice school with a full scholarship despite having a lower GMAT. Graham has a natural talent for helping people craft their authentic stories; he is incredibly knowledgeable on the MBA admissions process. He is also globally aware – and he has the ability to make your unique talent stand out on paper. Graham also pushed me to think cleverly and no matter how tense I felt, Graham made sure I finished our meetings with a smile. I am extremely ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2018, Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.