Bright and early on Friday morning my co-panelists – Ricardo Betti of MBA Empresarial, Maxx Duffy of Maxx Associates, and Graham Richmond of Clear Admit – and I met with Beth Flye, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at Kellogg to conclude our preparations for our panel presentations at 11:00 AM and 1:45 PM that day.
The theme for the conference, attended by over 700 MBA program professionals, was “Cutting to the Core.” Beth Flye in introducing our panel said that if any session title “cut to the core,” ours did. The title: Admissions Consultants: Love ‘em, Hate ‘em, Use ‘em.
Key points in our presentation:
- We help applicants present applicants, not just applications and in so doing contribute to better information for adcoms and better b-school classes.
- We counsel applicants to be truthful and real, to think deeply about what they wish to say and how they go about saying it.
- We are information hubs for thousands of applicants and have influence far beyond those who actually work with us.
- Going forward, we seek to continue the dialogue we have with some schools, enhance the dialogue we have with other schools, and initiate dialogue with the schools that previously thought ignoring us would make us go away.
None of us expect that our presentations and the resulting dialogue will result in an endorsement of our industry and certainly not of individual firms. We don’t seek one. And I expect a handful of adcom directors will insist on continuing to abuse consultants in the media as opposed to engaging with us constructively.
However, after each session many of the attendees eagerly exchanged business cards and expressed interest in having us visit their schools or simply stay in touch. We also were invited to lunch with a number of top school admissions directors. I believe this conference and our lunchtime conversation, not to mention other conversations throughout the conference, will be the beginning of constructive and open communications between the schools and our young industry. If so, mission accomplished.