MBA Consultants are Worth it When Applying to Elite Schools

by Stacy Blackman Consulting, Jun 1, 2020


The debate over whether MBA consultants are worth it is on the minds of countless MBA applicants. We are proud to be the only firm with a complete panel of former Admissions Officers from every M7 program and the elite European MBA programs.

There are numerous upsides to working with an MBA admissions consultant. We believe a consultant can nearly always help, whether you are a first-time or a repeat business school applicant; whether you are in the dark or more knowledgeable about the admissions process. After all, both beginning athletes and Olympians have coaches.

Here are the three key factors to consider when evaluating whether MBA consultants are worth it:

  • Assess the caliber of the admissions consultant team---vast differences exist across even the leading firms
  • Check online reviews to validate quality, track record, and service
  • Look at the scope of services to assess what firm resources, if any, you'll be able to access

Assess the caliber: MBA consultants are worth it only if the consultant team has experience in MBA admissions from the top programs.

The stakes are high in engaging an MBA admissions consulting partner. Applicants want to get it right the first time with admit success. In recent years, MBA admissions firms have grown their teams to include former Admissions Officers (AdCom) from the elite MBA programs. These former-Adcom-turned-MBA-consultants have closely-guarded, insider knowledge of how committees make admit, and ding decisions.

Working with a respected consulting team allows you to leverage the database of knowledge of a collected group of experts. Together, they have experience with thousands of clients in programs across the globe. Input from one friend who applied, or even someone who attended the school, provides only a limited snapshot.

Check online reviews to assess quality, but know that reviews can be biased.

MBA consultants are worth it for applicants aiming for elite business schools. Applicants find that the skills, expertise, and support of a quality MBA consulting partner is invaluable. Here's a snapshot of how SBC ranks across several leading industry sources. Also, check other review sites as well to offset the risk of possibly-biased or fake reviews.

Verify the scope of services offered

Have you ever booked an all-inclusive resort, and then felt disappointed by the limits and caveats? The same thing can happen with the so-called "comprehensive" engagements offered by some MBA admissions firms.

First, ask about whether the comprehensive model is truly unlimited by time. Also, find out if there's a thorough matchmaking process. Will you have access to other consultants/resources at the firm?

Too often, MBA applicants get stuck in a tunnel-vision relationship with just one consultant. As a result, they aren't able to benefit from the firm's complete resources because of contract fine print.

In the final analysis, what sets SBC apart is that we have high standards for ourselves and you. We know what it takes to be successful, and we're excited to help you reach your goals. If you are curious about working with an admissions consultant, we invite you to contact Stacy Blackman Consulting for a free consultation about your candidacy today.