Hiring a top-notch consultant who serves your needs the best and does not burn a hole in your pocket is even more difficult than the decision of pursuing an MBA or studying for GMAT or converting a top school or moving the mountain that stands at the outskirts of your city. The first thought that comes in mind before selecting a consultant is: Is this even worth the money? To check this, there are various parameters, a range of tips on the internet, hundreds of reviews and promises by consultants, rankings, and an infinite amount of resources. But to be honest, these rankings, ratings, reviews are based on successes, not on failures. There can be hundreds of failing applicants who could not get through because, may be the consultant was at fault and you do not get to hear their feedback, their side of the story. This implies success rates and numbers can not be the sole base to rest such a crucial decision upon. So, while we do not deny the facts that one needs to take into account, here we are providing you with some very important (and less talked) parameters to make your decision-making stronger, transparent, and more objective. 

Before listing out any parameters, here is a piece of advice for you. KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES. Before approaching any consultant, list out your reasons for working with a consultant. Is it to grab some scholarships? Or do you need someone to express yourself? Or, Are you under-confident of yourself and need someone to project the right story? A lot will depend on what your hiccups are and only after knowing your motives, you should do your research. Check the consultants out on LinkedIn (this will give you an insight into the kind of person he/she is and what his credentials are), read their reviews, know their results, and if possible, talk to clients. This will help in completing the preliminary research. 

Now, for the secondary research and after having discussions with the consultants, try to tick these boxes: 

  • PROCESS: A highly important and ironically, the most overlooked parameter. What process you will be undergoing after signing up with that consultant and is that process fruitful enough to address the hiccups you have? Does the process have enough space to stream through a plethora of ideas and brainstorm on different thoughts to define the elements that should be picked and placed in the essays to define your “Story”. This means before even starting with the application contents, there should be enough sessions on brainstorming, on understand each other and getting the best story out of your whole life of experiences. Wherever you feel the process is not able to address your concerns, ask directly to the consultant how he is going to deal with this problem of yours.
  • MATURITY OF UNDERSTANDING THE SCHOOLS YOU ARE APPLYING FOR: First, understand the significance of “Maturity”. Does the consultant working with you share the responsibility of your application? Or are you just one of the 30 other “clients” he/she is working with simultaneously? Does he/she work with you as a mentor or a ghost-writer? MBA and Beyond has always made sure to share this responsibility and this is why, we have a limit of how many candidates we want to work with to give as much time as our candidates need. To check this box, the best thing for you is to talk to the consultant. Now when we say understanding the schools, an experience of 10 or 20 years does not validate this. To truly know about his understanding and experience, ask him about the schools and how he helps you to “fit” the criteria of those schools. Also, check the results of the consultant for those particular schools. 
  • ACCESSING HUMAN, NOT BOT: Talk to the consultant and find out if he is a human or going to be a bot for the rest of your application. See if his/her vibe matches with yours, if he can connect with you on a personal level. Understand this, you are going to share some of the deepest experiences of your life and if the person is not able to connect with you and understand the side of yours that truly, honestly depicts you, how will he get a personality, a live person in your essays? Also, you are going to have many sessions with your consultant, it’s important for you to be fully engaged in the sessions and enjoy them and this is possible only, again, if you both are in a relationship beyond customer-client. 
  • TIME: One major parameter that has been overlooked almost always is how much time your consultant should give you to get a kick-ass application? Applying to business schools is one of the major events of our lives and to truly make it major and meaningful, you and your consultant need to give it due time. So, before even approaching a consultant you need to find for yourself how much time do your applications need and then how much the respective consultant can give (with flexibility) and the time should be less gauged based on quantity and more on the quality (of the sessions). For this, you may like to talk to the clients of the consultant to get a better picture. 

Let me now tell you the relevance of the above-mentioned points. Think over it: Why do you need MBA consulting? When you will be listing your reasons, you will find that for solving all those hiccups of yours, it is very important for the other person to understand and present your story uniquely? Now for the former part, you would like to check for the last two boxes. Because unless the consultant does not give enough time and value to understand you and your story, forget about presenting it. Now once you have done it, the latter and the most important part comes into play, presenting a unique story. While every consultant claims it, how would you know if he/she is able to bring an exceptional, unique, and live person in the application? Check the box of Process(very important, it sums up almost all of the above-mentioned points). Understand how one is going to work with you, what is his method and approach to help you reach the top of the mountain?  

What our clients have to say: “Shantanu, through his unique process, use Personality test, Series of questions in tandem with your personality, aspirations, and concrete backing of all the “WHYs”, inspirational podcasts, amazing reads and finally the coveted “samples” of essays to create a better vision to chisel your way to work to reach the answers you are looking for.”

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