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Our consultants have been advising college and graduate school applicants since 1994. Based in Southern California, with consultants in North America, Europe, and Asia, our team of experts can assist you, like they have helped thousands of others, no matter where you are or where you want to go.
When you choose Accepted, you will be assigned your own consultant dedicated to helping you, as well as the support of a team made up of uncommonly talented professionals, including former admissions directors, published authors, and PhDs. It's the best of dedicated one-on-one mentoring combined with the breadth and depth of a larger company.
Not only do our consultants have the experience and expertise needed to make you stand out, they have the passion necessary to help you get accepted. It's not just what we do – it's who we are.
Get to know our consultants and you'll see why Accepted can help you get accepted!
Former Associate Director of Admissions at Yale SOM, Director of MBA Admissions at MSU Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the UK. Since 2014 has guided Accepted clients to acceptance in various graduate programs including MBA and masters in finance, business analytics, data science, sustainability, and public policy.Get in touch with Esmeralda Cardenal.
Over 25 years of experience as MBA admissions director, career coach and Chief Military Recruiter at Vanderbilt University and Tuck School of Business, consultant at Université de Nice, and adjunct faculty at Vanderbilt, Dr. St-John has a deep knowledge of MBA and graduate admissions.Get in touch with Dr. Christie St-John.
Chen brings to your MBA application an international, military background and experience as a management consultant and UCLA Admission Ambassador as well as an MBA admissions consultant.Get in touch with Chen Chadash.
Dr. Philippe Barr served as Assistant Professor in the French Department at UNC-Chapel Hill for 7 years and coordinated the application process for the masters and doctoral programs. He also served as Assistant Director of MBA Admissions at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.Get in touch with Dr. Philippe Barr.
Professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.Get in touch with Jennifer Bloom.
Professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.Get in touch with Michelle Stockman.
Former Admissions Dean/Director at 3 top business schools with hundreds of admitted clients. Understands exactly what admissions directors are seeking.Get in touch with Natalie Grinblatt Epstein.
Former dean of graduate admissions who for 10 years reviewed and signed off on over 4500 admissions decisions per year. Has taught communications and rhetoric since 1991.Get in touch with Carol Drummer.
Has served as a writing tutor, consultant, and adjunct professor teaching writing. Has also assisted applicants in applying to an array of MBA and graduate programs. Earned her masters from the University of Chicago and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Harvard University.Get in touch with Rachel Slutsky.
Draws on ten years of experience teaching writing and guiding students and clients through the application process. Her applicants have been accepted at top universities, including Harvard, Stanford, and USC.Get in touch with Vanessa Febo.
With more than eight years of recruitment and admissions experience at London Business School, Jamie is the former Admissions Director for Early Career Programmes at LBS. Originally from the U.S., Jamie is now based in London.Get in touch with Jamie Wright.
A Chicago Booth MBA who previously served on the Student Admissions Committee. Sam brings career experience from a diverse set of industries including portfolio management, derivatives trading, socially responsible investing, and health care.Get in touch with Santosh (Sam) Prasad.
After a successful career in business publishing, Cindy has worked 15+ years with Accepted, every year helping clients get accepted to top MBA, law, and med programs. She is a pioneer in the niche of EMBA application consulting.Get in touch with Cindy Tokumitsu.
With 30 years of career/admissions experience at four universities, including Cornell’s Johnson Business School and College of Engineering, Dr. Ash facilitated students’ entry into the world’s best companies. As a member of the adcom she also evaluated applications; she knows what schools and employers seekGet in touch with Dr. Karin Ash.
Attending a top MBA program can be the ticket to achieving your professional dreams, but getting accepted is not easy. Hiring an MBA admissions consultant to assist you in delivering your best possible applications can give you a major assist, but is it worth the investment? How do you choose the right one?
Here are the things you must ask to determine if the consultant you are considering is the right one for you.
There are endless discussions on forums and message boards questioning the value of admissions consulting. One of the more common arguments against using a consultant runs something like this:
“I know so many MBA students at top schools who got in without an admissions consultant. It just is not necessary to use one.”
I’m sure if you took a poll of business school admissions consultants, the majority would have gotten in without the assistance of a consultant. Some, especially the more senior ones, also would not have taken a GMAT prep course before applying to b-school. However, over the last thirty years test preparation has gone from being an act of desperation to a competitive edge, to a mainstay of the application process. Today, to maximize chances of a top score and acceptance at the best possible school, most applicants take a test prep course.
The same phenomenon has occurred with admissions consulting. At this point, using a consultant is not crucial for everyone but it is extremely helpful for all.
The question is not whether one can get accepted to a top MBA program without a consultant. Yes. It is definitely possible. The question is: Are the advantages of using a consultant worth the cost?
Working with an experienced admissions consultant does provide a competitive edge and can:
So can you gain acceptance to a top b-school without using an admissions consultant? Certainly. Should you try? Only if you don’t value the experience, objectivity, and skill that can provide you with returns many times the cost.
The categories below will guide you in asking the relevant questions to consultants you are considering.
Several years ago, BusinessWeek published an exposé on the unethical practices of certain MBA essay writing services. These companies are not reputable admissions consultancies that guide, mentor, help applicants brainstorm, and then work with them to edit and polish their essays. They write essays for applicants.
Business school administrators all agree that submitting ghostwritten essays is unethical.
Application agents are a little different. They counsel applicants and are paid by schools for procuring applications. Sometimes they are paid by both the school and the applicant. In the latter case there is a clear conflict of interest.
Schools tend to want lots of applications; it makes them look good and allows them to be more choosy. Applicants should be counseled to apply to the schools where their goals are supported and they have a decent chance of getting in -- not to schools that make the agent or school’s marketing team look good.
Seek a consultancy that relies upon revenue from applicants. Your success is their success. Your interests align.
There is no value in using sample essays (or your friend’s essays) as templates and even less value in trying to copy them, even in part. The discovery of such abuse of the sample essays will likely cause your rejection.
Many of Accepted’s sample essays have been on the site for decades and also include helpful analyses as to what makes them work well. It is one of the hundreds of free resources we offer to clients and visitors. Admissions committee members are familiar with our sample essays, so trying to copy them would be extremely foolish. At one point, Jonathan Fuller, then Senior Associate Director of Admissions at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, even tweeted: “I swear I read Linda’s exact sample essay a few times in R1.” What do you think about the authors’ chances of acceptance?
Let’s say you have a friend who was accepted last year. Why can’t you use her essay as a guide, template, or source of material? Ignoring for the moment the ethical implications, realize that many schools use a service where they check your work against a computer database of previously submitted essays. Also, the schools want to know who you are as a person and a candidate. Why would you pretend to be someone else?
So, by all means learn from the sample essays provided on our site. That’s what they’re there for. But write your own. FYI: Accepted will cease work with clients who copy and refuse to write their own essays when confronted with the plagiarism.
Now that we know what to look for in choosing an admission consultant and what to avoid, let’s switch gears and talk about what simply isn’t that important:
Having a Degree for the Program in Question
Some applicants think that they’ll have a better shot of getting into a top school if their admissions consultant also went to a top school or who has a degree in the program in question (e.g. an MBA admissions consultant with an MBA, or more specifically with an MBA from your target program).
You might logically think, “If she got in, then I’m sure she can help me get in.” However, you need to think a bit more broadly.
First of all, applications change year to year. The fact that one admissions consultant went to a top b-school X years ago and another didn’t simply isn’t connected at all to their ability to help you create a winning application. A consultant doesn’t need to run a company to know how to ace an MBA application. Skills in financial modeling aren’t important when guiding someone who is applying to b-school.
An admissions consultant needs to know how to help you tell your story in a clear, coherent, and compelling way. A good consultant certainly understands what specific schools value, but they don’t have to attend to get that insight. Moreover, not being affiliated with a school (as an alum) may allow a consultant to encourage clients to look beyond stock choices or the alma mater to explore other schools.
Finally, many admissions committee members don’t have program-specific graduate degrees either. You don’t need an MBA to work in a business school’s admissions office. But the admissions committee members do know how to evaluate an application..
Whether or not consultants have the graduate degree you are trying to obtain is irrelevant to their ability to help applicants. What skills and knowledge should they have that will be important to you as an applicant?
Seek someone with those three qualities and you will have chosen well.
"What do I love about admissions consulting?
I've always been fascinated by people's life stories. Ever since I was a young child, I have loved reading biographies. And everyone – not just the famous – has a story. Discovering that story, and helping applicants articulate it, is a fascinating process.
Additionally, the editing process is a game to me. I was a writing tutor as an undergrad at UCLA and received excellent training there. I found then, and still find today, that figuring out the best way to express a phrase or tell a story is like solving a puzzle. Almost as good as Sudoku. Finally, I love hearing, ‘Thank you. I’m in!"