About: FAQ

What makes mbaMission the preeminent MBA admissions consulting firm?

We offer a combination of strengths and attributes that no other firm can match. Here is what you need to know about mbaMission:

We are the only MBA admissions consulting firm exclusively recommended by the world’s two leading GMAT prep providers, Manhattan GMAT and Kaplan.

No other MBA admissions consulting firm is recommended by either Manhattan GMAT or Kaplan, yet mbaMission is recommended by both. As Manhattan GMAT president Dan Gonzalez explains, “We used to work with ten MBA admissions consulting firms, but our GMAT students kept telling us that mbaMission delivered the best customer experience.” As for Kaplan, it actually shut down its own MBA admissions consulting operations in favor of sending interested clients to us.

Everyone on our staff is an elite, professional communicator.

The MBA admissions committees will be reading about you. Having an MBA admissions consultant who is an elite communicator first and foremost is crucial to your success. No other MBA admissions consulting firm can boast that its entire team of consultants has work in the public domain, but mbaMission actually requires it. Our experienced professional writers and editors include, for example, an ambassadorial speechwriter, a managing editor with Fast Company and Inc. magazines, an author of the book 65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays and a journalist who has interviewed world leaders.

All our Senior Consultants are MBAs from the top programs.

All of mbaMission’s Senior Consultants have earned MBAs from the world’s leading business schools and specialized in a variety of disciplines. As a result, we know the MBA experience intimately and stay constantly informed through regular communications with business school students, alumni, admissions officers and candidates, plus our ongoing research for our Insider’s Guides.

MBA consulting is a full-time commitment for our consultants, not a side project.

This is not a second or part-time job for our consultants—this is exclusively what we do. By focusing only on MBA admissions consulting, we get better and better every day and every season. Period. Why trust your application to an MBA admissions consultant who is not exclusively focused on helping you succeed?

We are constantly training and improving to better serve our clients.

Being an experienced communicator and possessing an MBA degree are not the only qualifications necessary to be an mbaMission admissions consultant. To make the cut, potential consultants must first demonstrate their competency through multiple interviews, five writing and editing assignments, extensive readings and a prolonged period of mentorship. Thereafter, our Tuesday meetings and annual training conference ensure that our consultants are always on top of their game. Maintaining a full-time staff allows us to invest in our consultants, and they in turn invest in you, our clients.

We produce in-depth research and publications on MBA-related topics.

We have a dedicated research and publications team that works year-round producing materials designed to ensure that you have up-to-date knowledge of your target schools. Interviews with students and alumni of the leading MBA programs, input from the schools’ admissions representatives, information provided by our clients and constant monitoring of Web sites and news sources inform our blog, our Insider’s Guides and our Interview Guides. Further, our founder and president wrote the Complete Start-to-Finish Admissions Guide, filled with advice for every step of the application process as well as multiple sample essays. And many of our publications are free for our package clients. Our point? We offer an unparalleled library of resources to give you an advantage in the competitive world of MBA admissions.

We have more than a decade of profound experience in MBA admissions.

In addition to having helped literally thousands of candidates gain admission to their target schools and having forged relationships with representatives of the leading MBA programs, we benefit from the insider knowledge provided by our employees who have actually worked in business school admissions. Included among these is a former Stanford admissions staff member, a former Wharton admissions team member, a former Darden admissions interviewer and a former Columbia admissions interviewer, just to start.

Have you ever helped a client get into my target school?

Over the years, we have helped MBA applicants get into every noteworthy business school in the world, from the most internationally renowned to the lesser-known diamonds in the rough. And all applicants can benefit from help identifying and telling their strongest stories, no matter where their target school is located or where it stands in the popular rankings. Wherever you have set your sights, we are here to assist you in highlighting your strengths and conveying your distinct story to the admissions committees.

Have you ever successfully helped someone like me (finance guy, consultant, Indian engineer, underrepresented profession)?

Our core MBA consulting services have helped thousands of candidates gain admission to their target schools. Thousands more have benefitted from our free 30-minute consultations, and we have interacted with tens of thousands through our in-person and online presentations and workshops, many of which we offer for free. After more than a decade in this business, we can confidently say that we have collaborated with every kind of applicant—including professional athletes, chefs, comedians, politicians, bankers, teachers, consultants, techies, engineers and everything in between. We have helped candidates from New York to Dubai to China to Argentina to Australia. Thanks to our wealth of experience and know-how, we are well qualified to help you tell your story in a way that will grab the admissions committees’ attention and make you stand out.

What is your success rate?

We actually do not believe in “success rates,” and after you read our views on the subject, we think you will no longer believe in them either.

Can you guarantee that I will get into my target MBA program?

Guarantees may seem appealing but are really nothing more than a nefarious and misleading gimmick. When an MBA admissions consulting firm “guarantees” that you will be admitted to business school if you use its services, its consultants have every reason to encourage and redirect you to apply to safe schools that are easier for you to get into, rather than help you apply to the school(s) you really want. We are not in the business of guiding candidates in a way that makes us appear to look good—we want to support our clients in applying to their dream programs as successfully as possible, including stretching themselves, if that is what they want. Our guarantee is that we will work tirelessly with you to craft your best possible application for your target school(s), rather than guiding you toward programs you could already get into without our help.

How can I learn more about mbaMission and your approach to MBA admissions consulting?

We believe in proving ourselves to you by showing and sharing with you what we know through a wealth of free resources no other MBA admissions consulting firm can match. Download our free Personal Statement Guide—replete with sample essays—and our free Selecting Your Target MBA Program E-Book though our Web site. Attend one of our free MBA admissions events—“Writing Standout Essays,” “Application Metrics: Your MBA Scorecard,” “Long-Term Application Planning”—online or in person. (We are the only MBA admissions consulting firm with the global reach necessary to host free monthly events in cities around the world, including London, New York, Washington, DC, and more.) On our blog, we offer eight weekly MBA admissions-related blog series and a constant stream of MBA admissions news stories, in addition to essay analyses for the leading schools and exclusive interviews with admissions directors and students. Finally, sign up for a free 30-minute consultation to receive a complimentary half hour of feedback on your profile and answers to your application-related questions. Once you get to know us, we are certain you will recognize that we possess the knowledge and experience to guide you best.

What does mbaMission avoid?

Advertising a Money-Back Guarantee
We do not offer a money-back guarantee on our services, because satisfying that guarantee would require putting our interests ahead of yours. If you examine the fine print on such offers, you will find that the consultant gets to pick the client’s schools. At mbaMission, our goal is to give you the very best chance of getting admitted to the school you want. We target the programs you have chosen, have honest conversations about risks and challenges, and work as hard as possible to ensure that your applications are strong and compelling. A pricing gimmick will not get you admitted to your target school, but an experienced, committed consultant with your best interests in mind just might.

Promising Unprovable Results
We get it—people are impressed by stats and find success rates impressive. But consulting firms have only two ways of guaranteeing high admissions rates—steering people to “easy” schools that may not truly be the best for their careers and refusing to work with challenging clients. We are not in the business of convincing strong candidates to apply to conservative programs in the interest of creating or maintaining statistics that make us look good; we want to help all our clients strive for their ideal business school dreams and succeed. We are not afraid to push you to achieve ambitious business school goals and dreams.

Offering Discounts or Sales
At mbaMission, we offer no big public discounts and never put our services “on sale.” We believe that admissions consulting is the wrong place for people to seek a low-cost provider—you get what you pay for, after all. Competing on price is not good for our firm, either. We want clients who fit with and are enthusiastic about our program, rather than those who were lured by a short-term offer. Furthermore, our pricing schedule allows us to hire and train the absolute best talent and to provide our clients with the utmost in service and responsiveness. All our clients are equally important, which means they are treated equally with respect to what they pay in as well as to what they receive in return. We charge the same rates for everyone and deliver the highest quality and best value service in exchange.

Does everyone need an MBA admissions consultant?

Not necessarily, but everyone can benefit from objective feedback and informed guidance in the competitive world of MBA admissions. Quite frankly, no one should submit a business school application that has not first been reviewed by a second set of eyes.

Do I need an MBA admissions consultant?

Different applicants need MBA admissions consultants for different reasons. Some candidates

  • Struggle to identify and tell their strongest story.
  • Want any edge they can get.
  • Would benefit from some help bringing efficiency and organization to this complex and time-consuming process.
  • Need assistance in overcoming cultural or language barriers that can complicate the application process.

Some candidates need a consultant for more than one of these reasons, and others, as we noted earlier, do not need one at all. If you are unsure whether working with an MBA admissions consultant would be beneficial for you, sign up for a free 30-minute consultation. We will honestly assess your candidacy and recommend what we truly feel is best for you.

Does working with an MBA admissions consultant give someone an unfair advantage?

Our full-time staff of MBA admissions consultants has worked with thousands of business school candidates over the past decade. We have hosted online and in-person admissions events for more than 20,000 applicants. We have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, U.S. News & World Report and other esteemed publications. We have written our Complete Start-to-Finish Admissions Guide and 16 in-depth guides to top MBA programs while cultivating long-standing relationships with representatives and alumni of the world’s leading business schools. We know what we are doing and offer our clients a definite advantage in the challenging world of MBA admissions. Whether that advantage is unfair we leave for you to decide.

Will you write my essays for me?

Absolutely not. Under no circumstances will we ever write any part of a candidate’s application. In addition to obviously being unethical, acting as a ghostwriter for an applicant would be doing him or her a grave disservice. The MBA admissions committees want to hear what you have to say—not what we have to say for you. Our services are meant to hone and showcase your voice in every part of your application, not obscure or replace it.

Do you offer any discounts on your services?

In our opinion, MBA admissions consulting is the wrong place to look for a deal.

We compete on the basis of service, not price, and never discount our core admissions consulting packages or hours—ever. We provide our clients with elite and dependable service throughout the entire admissions process. When you pay less for assistance that will be crucial to your educational and career development, you have to ask yourself what shortcuts and compromises in quality have made those savings possible. We invest significantly in our consultants—as well as in our research and other offerings—so that we can provide our clients with the highest-quality support possible. We may be more expensive than a discounted service, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Is a start-to-finish package best for me?

Our package services work best for those who have committed themselves wholeheartedly to the MBA application process. Our package clients benefit from no limitations on the time spent brainstorming for essay ideas, on the number of essay revisions allowed, on rounds of changes to resumes and so on. (Always read the fine print—the packages some consulting firms offer come with limits, which we believe is completely antithetical to the concept of a package!) If you intend to devote significant time to the application process, our start-to-finish package is for you.

How many schools should I apply to? What is the right number for me?

We want you to apply to the right number of schools for you, no matter what that number is. Although most of our package clients tend to apply to four to five schools with us, every candidate is different. We work with each client individually—evaluating needs, personality, risk profile and other crucial factors—to help determine what that “right” number might be as well as which schools would be strong targets. The key is listening closely and always putting the applicant’s interests first.

Are hourly services a better choice for me?

Hourly services are a great option for applicants who need help with discrete tasks rather than their overall application. For example, perhaps you feel your essays are strong but are unsure of how to assemble a compelling resume to accompany them. Maybe you have been invited to interview and could benefit from some practice and feedback beforehand. Perhaps just one essay is giving you trouble, so you feel you only need assistance with it. Whatever the task, we can serve your needs through our a la carte hourly services.

Will my consultant truly be available to work with me?

Because our staff is full-time, we have the capacity and flexibility to serve our clients at the highest levels. You will never need to worry about your consultant trying to fit you in during a lunch break or after getting home from work. Again, this is what we do. Our consultants constantly monitor their capacity and, when needed, will even turn away potential clients to ensure that their existing clients receive the attention they deserve. Some of our consultants are regularly booked as early as May each year and will not take on any more clients until after Round 1. As much as we hate disappointing anyone who wants to employ our services, we would rather lose a potential client than offer a candidate anything less than our very best.

Which mbaMission consultant will I work with?

Our consultants often work closely with their package clients for as long as six to nine months, so we strive to ensure that candidates are paired with their best possible match. To determine which consultant is right for you, we will take the time to learn about your personality, working style, goals and other key factors—we definitely do not blindly match clients with consultants. We are in the service business, and our goal is for you to be happy from the start.

How quickly will you return my files to me?

We always return files within two business days, though we frequently strive to do so even faster. Our two-business-day turnaround service is guaranteed, and if you find yourself truly tight on time, expedited service is available for an additional fee. We typically respond to simple emails on the same workday they are received.

I understand that my mbaMission consultant will always have time to work with me, but what if I run into time constraints on my end? Can I pay to move things along even faster?

Although we do not encourage rushing any part of your application, we recognize that busy people sometimes have no choice but to leave things to the last minute, so we do offer expedited services as needed. To help avoid this added expense and challenge, your admissions consultant will reach out to you if he or she feels you are at risk of not completing your work on time, but if you find yourself in need of rush services, we can indeed provide them.

If my plans change and I decide not to apply after all, or if I just don’t get my work done, can I get a refund for any unused services?

The MBA application season is short, and our services are in high demand, which means we turn away business each year. We therefore cannot offer refunds for unused services—all our plans are nonrefundable. We will work with you to determine which services and packages are best for you, so that you only purchase what you need, and we encourage you to make the most of your investment.