When our business school applicant clients are trying to decide which of our Senior Consultants to work with on their MBA applications, they often ask us, “Should I pick someone who has worked in an admissions office before?” We will answer this question using an analogy.
A food critic is someone who is skilled at evaluating meals that others have prepared. When reviewing a dish, a food critic critically assesses only the end product, considering various factors, such as composition, presentation, flavor, texture, and freshness. They then determine whether or not they enjoyed the dish and whether it could be enhanced.
A chef, on the other hand, is someone who is skilled at preparing meals. Chefs focus on the process of producing the desired end product rather than judging that end product when it is complete. Beginning with raw ingredients, a chef conceives of an idea and then manages the additions, adjustments, and balancing of the elements involved to ultimately create the best possible version of the final dish—the end product the food critic will assess.
Within the context of MBA admissions consulting, former admissions officers and experienced writers can be seen as food critics and chefs, respectively. The former is trained in appraising the value of a candidate’s end product—the application—and making a decision about its effectiveness. However, these individuals do not participate in the process of creating the applications they review. In fact, a former director of admissions at a top MBA program once admitted to us, “I would make a terrible admissions consultant because, while I know what I like to see, I don’t know how to help applicants get there.”
Even though having firsthand experience within a business school’s admissions office can confer some applicable insight, this alone is not enough to equip someone to guide an applicant through the process of crafting a compelling application. This is why at mbaMission, we ensure that every MBA admissions expert we hire is an accomplished writer (who also has an MBA), someone who knows the ins and outs of creating an engaging and successful narrative. We are “chefs” who oversee the fusion of the various components of an applicant’s candidacy—exploring different stories, mixing and matching them, changing the proportions—so that the end product is something the candidate is proud of.
Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from mbaMission’s Senior Consultant team. No matter where you are in the application process, we can provide you with actionable feedback that will help you improve your MBA application.