MBAAnonymous questions in "Admissions consultants?" why applicants use or think they need admissions consultants. After briefly providing her background, she adds,
I’m just an applicant. I have however worked as a writing consultant where I edited, among other things, MBA applicants’ essays to places like HBS, Stanford GSB, and LBS. Looking back on that experience now I realize how little (basically NOTHING) I knew at the time about the MBA application process. But having made a million applications for various things in my own life (college, grad school, scholarships, assistantships, jobs, grants, fellowships) I luckily knew enough of the generic crap that these organizations and adcoms usually want (diversity, leadership, innovative thinking, teamwork, blah blah blah) and hopefully didn’t screw over my clients too badly (of course I would never falsely advertise myself as an expert on such things, my official role was just to check grammar and language since most of my clients were not native English speakers). I also worked as a high school and college math instructor, sat on a scholarship board for gifted low-income youth, and spent some time teaching LSAT and GRE courses for Kaplan where I interacted with potential law, business, and PhD students in an advisory capacity. So I do have some experience in the education and particularly – the application – process.
Lately going through the whole MBA process I was mildly surprised to see the number of ‘admissions consultants’ out there. The truth is, it really just comes down to common sense."
Common sense isn’t so common. It may be common sense for applicants who have the familiarity with the application process that MBAAnonymous possesses, but most of you don’t have that extensive exposure. Furthermore, consultants provide other benefits, some of which MBA Anonymous acknowledges and some of which are mentioned in the comments to her post .
To address MBAAnonymous’ four main points:
- I don’t hate you at all. I appreciate your opening the dialogue.
- A)What is culturally obvious here, is not at all obvious around the world. B) I certainly agree that terrible writers should have their work edited, but it’s paradoxical that professional writers always have their work edited before publication. They frequently seek second opinions from other writers before even submitting a piece for publication. Yet, non-professionals somehow feel that editing is only for "terrible writers." I disagree. If professional writers need editors, all writers need editors.
- "Resourceful" means that the applicant wants to take time to do the research. Realize that because of your admissions and cultural fluency, your additional time required for research is less than that required by many others. But the choice to use a consultant or not boils down to whether one wants to spend the time to do the work or spend the money to take advantage of someone else’s research, experience, and knowledge. Applicants cannot acquire a consultant’s experience without years spent applying or working in admissions.
- The application process is about time management. Agreed. Some people are good at it, and some aren’t. Some can focus intensely on a project for several hours, and others can’t or struggle to do so. Some make decisions in a flash, and other like to ponder. Those who struggle with time-management can benefit from a consultant who, in addition to saving them time and providing a second pair of experienced, knowledgeable eyes for editing purposes, helps them stay on track by breaking down the application project into bite-size chunks. Finally, even your time estimates still add up to lots and lots of hours. And of course, as a result of individual differences, people will take more or less time. One of the early BW Journal writers admitted, "I probably spent more than 150 hours over the course of four months completing the essays for Stanford, Harvard, and MIT." Admissions consultants don’t eliminate the time required, but we can reduce it drastically.
For more information on how Accepted can help you save time, write right, and show fit with the school of you choice, please see Accepted’s Admissions Consulting and Editing.
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