You might be wondering if MBA admissions consulting services are worth your time and money, just as you might be wondering, “is an MBA worth it?” Well, it's really up to you - many people can find their own way through the thickets of the MBA admissions process but the truth is that the process for how to get an MBA is extremely competitive, especially at the best MBA programs in the world. Others, like our student Lindsay, who worked with us on her MBA application, find the “the prospect of applying for MBA programs incredibly daunting,” which is why she reached out to us. MBA admissions consultants can help you identify your strengths and spot your weaknesses, as well as provide personalized feedback to increase your chances of acceptance. In this article, we discuss how an MBA admissions consultant can help you stand out among thousands of MBA applicants, and how to find the best MBA consultant for you. 

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12 min read

MBA Admissions Consulting: How Hard is the MBA Admissions Process? Why You Should Get MBA Admissions Consulting How Does MBA Admissions Consulting Help You? Is MBA Admissions Consulting Worth It? FAQs

MBA Admissions Consulting: How Hard is the MBA Admissions Process?

It is no wonder that business schools globally reported a steep increase in the number of applications in the last couple of years. MBA graduates tend to have higher salaries and more upward mobility in terms of career growth. MBA programs are always in demand, so getting accepted is extremely difficult. Every year the best MBA programs in the US and the best MBA programs in Canada are flooded with tens of thousands of applications. To name an example, Harvard Business School receives around 10,000 applications each year, and only 10-11% of applicants are admitted. Stanford Business School’s acceptance rate is usually even lower, alike top-ranked business schools in the US.

MBA acceptance rates at mid-ranked business schools may be slightly higher, but the admissions process at these schools is extremely selective. Why? Because MBA programs are looking for very specific candidates with very unique skill sets and experiences. In one MBA’s words, business schools are “looking for high achieving individuals.” Academics don’t matter as much in getting admitted to an MBA program, so says our admissions expert Mehdi Khalfallah, a graduate of the MBA program at the Université Laval. Mehdi says that “while some MBA programs may consider applicants from diverse academic backgrounds,” their main focus is on previous work experience. As Mehdi puts it, “work experience holds the utmost significance in MBA admissions.”

Unlike many other professional programs, MBA programs look for more than achievements in academia or workplace. According to one of our other admissions experts Anant Singh, an MBA graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology Scheller College of Business, “a perfect GMAT or GPA does not guarantee admission into every program,” so it’s more than having the right numbers. Having a high GPA or GMAT score is not going to make you stand out to an MBA program; having relevant work experience is not going to be enough to get in because it's one of the most basic MBA requirements that all applicants fulfill; getting strong MBA recommendation letters is great, but you need to make sure they complement the rest of your application.

MBA Admissions Consulting: Why You Should Get MBA Admissions Consulting

Low acceptance rates is just one of the hurdles. There is another huge challenge that MBA applicants face: each MBA program has its own requirements and application process. Unlike medical schools in the US or colleges in the US which have unified application systems, AMCAS and Common App respectively, MBA programs do not have a unified app systems, which means that you need to submit a separate and unique application to each program you pursue. This means a unique MBA statement of purpose, unique MBA admissions essays, unique MBA motivation letters, and so on. And MBA admissions essays are usually what our students struggle with. For example, our student Tim, “needed some help on my statement of purpose for my MBA application.” Tim, and another student , Lindsey, were having a common problem, which was how to integrate their “professional experiences into a narrative that not only made perfect sense but also proved captivating to read.”

Hiring an MBA admissions consulting firm is to help you deal with these types of intricate problems. Forming a compelling narrative is not easy for business-minded people who are more quantitative in their thinking and world-view. But an MBA admissions consultant can help you, as Lindsey mentioned, make sense out of all your past experiences so you stand out to the admissions committee. An MBA admissions consultant can also help you with general organization and administrative tasks. Think of all the schools you have to apply to; all the essays you have to write, letters you have to ask for, transcripts you have to send! 

This is a huge undertaking! You need to keep up with the different MBA grad school application timelines, make sure that each application meets the school's requirements, communicate effectively with each school, and so on and so forth. That is a tall order. If you're an MBA applicant, you are most likely a very busy individual, so this immense undertaking in the form of the MBA application process can only add to your already busy schedule. But the right help can make all the difference:

“I used BeMo for help with my MBA application. This included 4 essays, resume update, and interview. They were an enormous help and really helped me understand what grad schools are looking for. Each item I submitted was considerably better after reviewing multiple times with BeMo employees. I would highly recommend BeMo services to anyone lookin to improve their submission package for an MBA. P.S. I got accepted into my #1 school.” – Tim, BeMo student

So two things are very clear: firstly, acceptance to an MBA program will require very hard work, as well as superior organization skills. Additionally, it's not going to be enough to meet the MBA requirements - you must exceed them to guarantee your acceptance, as Anant mentioned up top about how good GMAT scores or GPA are not enough to get in. Can you do this on your own? Some people may be able to accomplish these goals on their own, but most may need some guidance. For example, some MBA applicants might not take seriously some parts of their application, such as their MBA personal statement or statement of purpose. As our expert Aali Malik, a graduate of the Molson School of Business at Concordia, remembered, the hardest part of the application process was “understanding the purpose for documents including the CV and personal statement from an MBA admissions standpoint.” An MBA admissions consultant can put things into perspective and help you take seriously those parts of your application that you aren’t interested in.

Remember that the best athletes, or the best actors, or the best artists, or the best professionals in their fields have coaches. MBA admissions are no different, so getting help from those who "have been there and done that" will give you a competitive advantage. So how can you guarantee acceptance? MBA admissions consulting experts can truly help and get you into your desired MBA program on your first try and leave you with lifelong skills that you may use in other professional and educational settings. How do they achieve this? Read on to find out.

Want more tips on MBA interviews? This video is for you:

How Does MBA Admissions Consulting Help You?

Firstly, you should know that MBA admissions consulting services do not prepare your application for you. You have to do your own work - no one else is going to write your MBA statement of purpose for you or do your GMAT prep for you. It is completely up to you to get into an MBA, but an MBA admissions consultant can be your guide for how to best present yourself as a candidate and emphasize why you would be the best choice for a program. Additionally, they can really help you overcome any admissions challenges. For example, they can brainstorm with you how to explain a low GPA in an MBA application or provide tips on crafting an engaging MBA video essay. In Tim’s words, his MBA admissions consultant’s advice about how to write his statement of purpose really “opened my eyes.” Afterward, Tim saw “this essay in a totally different light,” and was able to write a statement of purpose that got him accepted. But maybe you don’t need help with your essay. Maybe you need help to review GMAT sample questions, or you’re having trouble understanding MBA coursework

The key here is having the right, personalized strategy when you apply. Remember, lots of applicants have good GMAT scores and years of relevant work experience, there must be something else that makes you stand out! How MBA admissions consultants help you do this? Here're some steps our MBA admissions consultants can help you with:

Select the Right Schools

This is the first, and maybe the most important step in your MBA journey. Many students make the mistake of applying to the wrong programs. Instead of assessing whether the programs they apply to meet their career goals or their values, they look at prestige or acceptance rates, which are not exactly misguided. Aali Malik, who graduated from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University looked at “acceptance rates and acceptance statistics prior to applying to get a sense of my likelihood for being accepted,” so looking at whether you have a reasonable chance of getting in is not a bad idea.. No wonder they do not get in! But that’s something an MBA admissions consultant can do for you; they can help you choose which MBA programs are the best fit for your career aspirations and weed out any programs where you would not be a good candidate. They know what aspects of your portfolio and your work experience the programs will value most and help choose the right MBA program to apply to.

Their biggest advantage is that they know the MBA admissions process inside out. They know that ABC program really values relevant work experience, while the XYZ program tends to prefer students with support from internal faculty. Or they may know that GPA and GMAT are not at all considered in one program, while another program uses these statistics to weed out applicants in initial admissions stages. Whatever you need an MBA admissions consultant for, you’ll feel better about hiring them after your first few meetings, as Jake was, after his first brainstorming meeting. After his initial meeting, Jake said “I feel far more prepared now than I did before.” This is the true value of MBA admissions consultants! They can really reveal to you what you should focus on in each application and choose the right schools to pursue.

Create a Holistic Application

Your MBA application should tell a story. In other words, each application component should be complementary to each other, but not repeat each other. This is quite difficult to do, but MBA admissions consultants can help you achieve this. One the one hand, they will help you craft your narrative for your MBA personal statement or your MBA statement of purpose, and on the other hand, they will help you brainstorm and write your other MBA admissions essays without repeating yourself. But most important, the advice will be focused and easy-to-follow. Tim found out the difference between general and precise advice, as his MBA admission consultant’s advice was “given very clearly,” but the most important aspect was that the advice was always “actionable.” 

They will help all of your admissions essays connect into a story of how you came to pursue an MBA. Furthermore, an MBA admissions consultant will advise you on whom you should approach for your recommendations, so that their narrative also complements and completes your application into one story.

Provide Personalized Guidance 

MBA advisors have capabilities such as analytical skills, practical judgement, editing skills, objectivity, and vast experience in the field of admissions. You’ll see this experience in action, especially when it comes to writing your essays. Tim saw how valuable hiring an MBA admissions consulting firm was every time he submitted an essay for review. He said that every piece “was considerably better after reviewing multiple times,” with his MBA admissions consultant. They will not only provide you with the knowledge you need to prepare your applications, but also serve as a source of encouragement and support throughout the whole process.

The application and interview process can be extremely overwhelming, and many students don’t know where to start. An MBA admissions consultant prioritize you and your MBA journey. They will provide you with more than personalized advice - they will provide you with personalized support with things get tough.

They care because they get to know you, your goals, your strengths, your weaknesses, and your dreams. During your interactions, brainstorming sessions, and mock MBA interviews, they get to know you better as a candidate and as a person. They will learn your story, your experiences, and weaknesses to come up with the best application strategy. By knowing you in depth, they will be able to suggest ideas for your essays, help you build your MBA resume and help you understand what you should and should not mention in an interview:

“I just worked with Emily Giroux for a second mock interview for my MBA application. She was very detailed in the actionable feedback she gave. It really allowed me to understand where I was good, and where I needed more work. I would highly recommend BeMo and Emily.” – Tim, BeMo student.

Because consultants know the admissions criteria, they are better equipped with seeing strengths in your background that you might not even consider. For example, you might think a certain experience that you have is insignificant, but you might not be aware that it’s actually very unique and will make you stand out, which is what happened to Lindsey. She was struggling with organizing her personal statement, but working with an MBA admissions consultant played a “pivotal role in helping create a cohesive, comprehensive, and, most importantly, streamlined outline for my personal statement.” An MBA admissions consultant will identify those traits and help you make them shine in your application.

Personalized and tailored help is key in admissions services. You do not want to get general advice - this will not make you stand out among thousands of other applicants. So while reading blogs (including this one!) and learning about other people's experiences is a good start, it is not enough. Getting personalized feedback during the application and interview process is key.

Preparing for the MBA interview? Make sure you have strategies to answer each of these question types:

Development of New Skills 

MBA admissions consultants help you develop skills that you can use long after you get into your chosen MBA program. For example, if you are preparing for the GMAT, you will learn how to organize your time and your study materials, something you will certainly need as you become an MBA student and a professional. If you are applying to MBA programs that do not require the GMAT, the MBA consultant will help you develop you in other areas of the MBA admissions process and hone your skills, such as writing, verbal communication, organization, attention to detail, and more. Essentially, they will help you develop as a professional. Here're some of the skills you will take away from your sessions:

First-hand Knowledge of Admissions Criteria 

No matter how confident you were about your application or how hard you worked on it, sometimes business schools have to dwindle down the application pool significantly and you might not make the cut. Business schools rarely disclose the reasons why they reject a specific candidate, so you if you get rejected and want to reapply, you might never know what you did wrong, or which aspects of your application needed improvement.

Here’s when MBA admissions consulting can make a difference. Many consultants have previously served on admissions committees and possess insider knowledge of how admission committees arrive at their admission decisions. They can take a look at your application and tell you exactly why you might have been rejected. Factors like low test scores, experience, and weak recommendation letters can severely decrease your chances of getting accepted, but at the same time, Anand Singh, an MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology Scheller College of Business, says, even “a perfect GMAT or GPA does not guarantee admission into every program.”

But this uncertainty is why an MBA admissions consultant can be so useful. They can tell you where you application needs work, and what you need to do to bolster it depending on the programs you want to apply to. But more importantly, an MBA admissions consultant can also inform you on which programs would be the best fit for you, saving you the time and effort of applying to programs where your chances of getting in are less. Non-professional advisors might not know the school you are applying to, and therefore ignore the kind of profile the admissions committee is looking for.

Need help with your MBA resume? Take a look at these tips:

Is MBA Admissions Consulting Worth It? 

While MBA admissions consulting is certainly not cheap, most consultancies offer a broad variety of options that adjust to your needs. But one of our students, Lindsey, found that the personalized advice and knowledge she got from her MBA admissions consultant “made the cost of the program more than worthwhile.” Some offer packages depending on the number of schools to which you’re applying, some charge by the hour, and some charge by single service. For example, you might only be interested in interview prep, or essay editing for a single application.

Here are a few reasons why hiring an MBA admissions consulting service is worth the investment:


1. What is MBA admissions consulting?

MBA admissions consulting provides expert guidance on the MBA admissions process and gives you feedback and help with your application and interview. An MBA admissions consultant can help choose the right schools to apply to, stand out in your applications, as well as in your admission interviews. Their ultimate role is to ensure that you get accepted to your chosen MBA programs. 

2. Is it hard to get into an MBA program?

MBA programs are quite competitive. In the case of the top-ranked business schools in the US, only up to 10% of applicants are admitted. Mid-ranked business schools, on the other hand, present much friendlier acceptance rates, admitting 30% to 50% of their applicants. These schools represent a great opportunity for applicants that might not fit into more competitive schools.

3. Do I need MBA admissions consulting to get into my dream program?

MBA advisors usually have insider knowledge of the admissions decision-making process and know the kind of candidates each school tends to admit. They will be able to provide you with accurate and objective feedback that will boost your chances of acceptance.

4. What does an MBA admission consultant do?

MBA admissions consultants usually offer guidance and support before, during, and after the MBA application process. They can help you improve essential skills such as written and verbal communication skills and prep you for challenges like the MBA interview or taking the GMAT. An MBA admissions consultant provides personalized, one-on-one coaching and advice on your application, or can focus on the weak points you need to address before submitting.

5. What do I need to get into an MBA program?

In order to apply for an MBA program, you need to have completed a Bachelor’s degree, gathered relevant work experience, obtained a high GPA, and taken an appropriate standardized test, usually GRE or GMAT. MBA admissions requirements usually include essays, recommendation letters, resumes, as well as admissions.

6. Is hiring an MBA admissions consultant worth the investment?

We strongly believe it is. Think of it this way: if the work of an admissions consultant results in your acceptance at one of the top-10 schools, the difference in compensation at a future job could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your professional career.

7. Can MBA admissions consulting help me with the interview process?

Absolutely. The MBA interview is a huge part of the admissions process, so your MBA admissions consultant will help you ace your interview. Look for MBA consultants who offer mock MBA interviews and personalized feedback - there is no better way to prepare and improve.

8. Can MBA admissions consultants help me with scholarship applications?

Yes, they can. If you are applying for financial aid and scholarships to fund your MBA education, the consultant will help you prepare your applications.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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