Before you commit to buying any product or service, you should always “test drive” it first. A commitment-free “practice run” will inform your decision and help you feel confident that you are making a worthwhile and rewarding investment. (Frankly, this is exactly why test drives, real estate tours, and trial subscriptions exist!)
We at mbaMission believe this kind of pre-purchase test is just as important when you are looking for the right MBA admissions consulting firm to help you with your business school applications.
This is why we offer a free 30-minute consultation for all business school candidates so they can preview the process of working with a consultant, better envision what the relationship might look like, and understand what to expect on a day-to-day basis.
Each year, our team of expert admissions advisors connects with literally thousands of aspiring MBAs who have their sights set on being accepted to a top U.S. or international business school. Via our free 30-minute consultation, we have counseled these applicants on such topics as what their next steps should be, what challenges they might need to overcome, and what the overall process tends to look like.
If you are considering booking a free consultation with mbaMission, read on to learn more about what you can expect from the meeting and how to ensure you are prepared to get the most from the session before speaking with an expert.
What You Can Expect with Your Free 30-Minute Consultation with mbaMission
- First, we ask you to fill out our Free Consultation request form and provide information about yourself and your candidacy, such as your background, work history, extracurricular activities, test scores, and business school aspirations. This input is crucial to the productivity of your free consultation because prior to your scheduled call, the admissions advisor you will speak with will thoroughly review it and come prepared with notes and talking points based on their impression of you as a business school applicant.
- Once you book your virtual meeting, you will receive a confirmation email with the toll-free number or Zoom/Skype link to use for your one-on-one with your chosen advisor.
- Your consultant will begin your free consultation session with a comprehensive profile assessment that covers your strengths and weaknesses as an applicant, with respect to your background, resume, and other information. The consultant might point out your “pain points”—elements of your profile that might inhibit your ability to gain admission—or areas where you have excelled in your career or leadership trajectory. They might give suggestions on your timeline (Is applying in Round 1 feasible? Should you wait until next year?) or on ways to strengthen your candidacy before you submit an application (Supplemental coursework? A certification? Community service?). No matter what their feedback is, your mbaMission consultant will be candid and professional, offering advice based on their years (or in some cases, decades) of experience helping thousands of people gain admission to the world’s most competitive MBA programs.
- Your mbaMission consultant will then open the floor to your questions. Am I a competent applicant for my target schools? What do I need to do to improve my profile? What GMAT/GRE score do I need in order to get in? How can I stand out? All these questions and more are fair game. We encourage you to make the most of your consultation time by asking all your most pressing profile- and application-related questions.
What You Should Not Expect from Your Free 30-Minute Consultation with mbaMission
As we have explained thus far, your expert advisor will be candid in answering your MBA candidacy and application questions and honest in their assessment of your profile, resume, and goals. However, there are some things your mbaMission advisor will not do as part of your free consultation, including the following:
- Give you false hope. We will never advise you to apply to a program for which we do not genuinely feel you are a competitive candidate. Our goal for your free consultation is to give you the most candid and truthful advice possible for your specific circumstances, so you are better informed in taking your next steps, no matter what those might be.
- Write your applications for you. Integrity and honesty are our grounding principles at mbaMission, which means we will never write your (or anyone else’s) business school applications under any circumstances. Business schools want to get to know the real you from your submissions, so allowing someone other than you to craft your application would be doing yourself a grave disservice! Your mbaMission consultant is your trusted advisor and coach—not your ghostwriter.
- Be punitive. Just as we will never give you false hope, we will never judge the circumstances of your application materials or their condition. Over the years, we have had candidates at every stage of the application process come to us for advice—from applicants who are just starting out, with few ideas and little written work to share, to those nearing their deadline with impressive and fully polished narratives. In each case, we have strived to offer sound guidance to enhance their overall applications in ways that best fit their unique circumstances.
- Provide written edits on your essays or other application components. Performing written edits on materials such as personal essays, resumes, and short answers is simply beyond the scope of a free 30-minute consultation. However, we do offer this kind of help in our Complete Start-to-Finish Package and our A la Carte Hourly Services, if you decide to continue working with our firm.
- Push our services. We encourage you to ask us whatever you like about our firm, team members, and services—and we are pleased to answer!—but we will not do so on your time. Your free consultation with mbaMission is about you and your business school aspirations, not us. We will be happy to respond to any of your firm-/process-/payment-related queries at your convenience after your consultation, so you do not have to take valuable time away from discussing your MBA candidacy and getting your questions answered!
What to Expect after Your Free 30-Minute Consultation with mbaMission
After your meeting with an mbaMission consultant, you will receive an email outlining and summarizing the discussion, along with action items and tips for moving forward.
Think of your mbaMission consultant as your guide; from that point forward, they will serve as your point of contact and will keep the line of communication open as you move toward constructing your application. If/when you decide to hire an mbaMission consultant, you are in no way required to work exclusively with the one who did your free consultation. Instead, they will be happy to offer you suggestions on your timeline, what your collaboration will look like, and which member of our team might be a strong fit to work one-on-one with (based on your profile, target schools, goals, or even your personal preferences, such as application timing, time zone, or other detail). We will work to ensure that you are matched with the best possible advisor for you.
Sounds Great! So How Do I Sign Up for a Free 30-Minute Consultation?
Simply fill out this free consultation request form on our website. We will get back to you within one business day to schedule your call.
What Your Free Consultation Should Not Be
If you are shopping around for an MBA admissions consultant, you have likely connected with other firms besides mbaMission thus far and taken advantage of (or are thinking about) their free consultation offerings.
We believe that everyone considering this important investment in themselves—not just going to business school but also hiring an admissions consultant for support—should be well informed before making a final decision, so we want to alert you to some things to look out for during all your consultations. These tactics will ultimately not be helpful to you during your application journey.
- The gimmick – “You have a 450 GMAT and no managerial experience to speak of, but I can get you into Harvard Business School! You just have to buy a premium package, and I’ll do the rest.” This one is self-explanatory. Avoid anyone who claims to have the “special sauce” or “magic bullet” that will guarantee admission!
- The “limited-time discount” – This approach goes hand-in-hand with “the gimmick.” The firm promises a big reward for a relatively smaller monetary commitment—but only if you sign on right away. In our opinion, MBA admissions consulting is the wrong place to look for a deal because comparisons should be based on the quality of the service provided, not on price. When you pay less for assistance that will be crucial to your educational and professional development, you have to ask yourself what shortcuts and compromises in quality are making those savings possible. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
- The “success rate” pusher – Click here for our thoughts on the subject of success rates and why you should be wary of anyone who touts them. Rather than judging a firm on its self-proclaimed stats, we suggest that you take some time to research what its past clients have to say about working with the firm in their reviews.
- The evasive or opaque question dodger – Be wary of consultants who find a way to avoid directly answering your questions or are unable to back up their claims with evidence from their testimonials, reviews, or website offerings. The primary purpose of mbaMission’s free 30-minute consultation is to provide you with clear, candid advice you can use in navigating your application journey—not to muddy the water with confusion or doubt!
- The car salesman – In this approach, the consultant provides very little advice on applying to business school and instead a lot of reasons the candidate should work with their firm. Some MBA consultants conduct the free consultation much like a car salesman—offering fast talk about why their model is the best and brightest—without really taking the time to address you, the applicant, at all. Remember, your free consultation should be your time, and you should be in control of what is discussed, whether that is school selection, reapplication strategies, or something else entirely. Before your meeting, take time to think about what you want to get out of the conversation, and be ready to ask your most pressing questions. If they go unanswered, that is probably a bad sign!
We hope you have found this blog post helpful in terms of understanding what to expect and look for in a complimentary consultation with an MBA admissions consultant.