Expert MBA Admissions Consultants 

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    Meet Accepted's MBA Admissions Team

    Over 80 years combined of direct admissions committee experience plus the passion and dedication necessary to get YOU accepted!

    Esmeralda Cardenal

    Esmeralda Cardenal

    16 years of MBA and graduate admissions experience as former Yale SOM associate director, MSU director, and Cardiff Business School (UK) consultant.

    Learn more about Esmeralda >


    Natalie Grinblatt

    Nearly two decades of admissions experience as former admissions dean/director at Michigan Ross, Cornell Johnson, and ASU Carey

    Learn more about Natalie >

    Christie St-John

    Christie St-John

    25+ years of experience as admissions director and career coach at Dartmouth Tuck and Vanderbilt Owen.

    Learn more about Christie >

    Kara Keenan Sweeney

    Kara Keenan Sweeney

    More than 15 years of experience in MBA admissions at Columbia Business School, INSEAD, and the Lauder Institute's joint MA/MBA and MA/JD programs.

    Learn more about Kara >

    Kelly Wilson-1

    Kelly Wilson

    23 years of experience as executive director of admissions at CMU Tepper and assistant dean of admissions at Georgetown McDonough and Pittsburgh Katz

    Learn more about Kelly >

    Michelle Stockman

    Michelle Stockman

    Former staff member with the Columbia Business School admissions office, and broadcast journalist with 15 years experience coaching candidates

    Learn more about Michelle >

    Our MBA admissions consultants are true experts and industry insiders, having served on admissions committees at ASU Carey, CMU Tepper, Columbia Business School, Cornell Johnson, Dartmouth Tuck, Georgetown McDonough, London Business School, Michigan Ross, Michigan State, Pittsburgh Katz, Vanderbilt Owen, and the Yale School of Management. 

    When you choose Accepted, you'll have a passionate and invested admissions consultant dedicated to helping you specifically, in addition to the support of a team of uncommonly talented professionals, who have helped applicants get into all the top MBA programs around the world, including Harvard Business School, the Stanford Graduate School of BusinessColumbia Business SchoolThe Wharton SchoolDartmouth’s Tuck School of BusinessNorthwestern’s Kellogg School of ManagementINSEAD, and London Business School.

    Click here to view a complete list of all the business schools our clients have been accepted to.

    Things to Consider When Choosing an MBA Admissions Consultant

    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.

    Why use an MBA admissions consultant?

    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:

    • Boost chances of ​acceptance​ ​to​ ​a​ ​“better”​ ​school.​ ​​“Better”​ ​implies​ ​more​ ​professional​ ​opportunities, increased​ ​earnings,​ ​a​ ​deeper and more valuable network,​ ​and​ ​an​ ​educational​ ​experience​ ​more​ ​to​ ​your liking.​ ​Just​ ​looking​ ​at​ ​dollars​ ​and​ ​cents,​ ​“better”​ ​represents​ ​potentially​ ​tens​ ​of​ ​thousands​ ​of dollars​ ​more​ ​in​ ​your​ ​pocket​ ​during​ ​your​ ​career.
    • Help​ ​you​ ​snag​ ​a​ ​scholarship.​ ​​Savings:​ ​tens​ ​of​ ​thousands​ ​of​ ​dollars.
    • ​​​Save​ ​you​ ​the​ ​cost​ ​of​ ​reapplication.​​ ​Applying​ ​to​ ​b-school​ ​or​ ​any​ ​other​ ​graduate​ ​program, including​ ​application​ ​fees​ ​and​ ​travel​ ​expenses,​ ​can​ ​cost​ ​several​ ​thousand​ ​dollars.​ ​Apply​ ​one​ ​time and​ ​save money and time.
    • Reduce​ ​the​ ​time,​ ​stress,​ ​and​ ​frustration​ ​you​ ​(and​ ​those​ ​close​ ​to​ ​you)​ ​experience​ ​during​ ​the admissions​ ​process.​ ​​A good admissions consultant will protect you from following detours​ ​or floundering​ ​for​ ​weeks​ ​as​ ​you​ ​struggle​ ​to​ ​learn​ ​what​ they​ ​know. As a future MBA, you already understand that time is money.

    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.

    What you should look for in an MBA admissions consultant

    The​ ​categories​ ​below​ ​will​ ​guide​ ​you​ ​in​ asking the relevant questions ​to consultants you are considering.  

    • Consultant’s​ ​Experience

      Absolutely​ ​ask​ ​about​ ​her​ ​experience​ ​with​ ​your​ ​programs​ ​of​ ​interest,​ ​your​ ​demographic​ ​group,​ ​and​ ​your industry.​ ​At the same time, ​understand​ ​that​ ​a​ ​really​ ​good​ ​consultant​ ​is​ ​always​ ​discovering ​new​ ​programs,​ ​learning about significant changes in existing programs,​ ​and​ ​about new​ ​types​ ​of​ ​applicants competing for seats in the class. A consultant at the top of her game will be current with all the trends, and will know how to help you present yourself as a fully realized individual--beyond ​the​ ​stats​ ​and​ ​the​ ​stereotypes. She will guide you toward presenting yourself distinctly, with a compelling story and valuable qualifications. ​
    • The​ ​Process

      Before​ ​you​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​consultants,​ ​consider​ ​what​ ​services​ ​you​ need.​ It is possible that after reviewing your basic profile, a consultant will suggest that you broaden or edit your list of target schools so you will have a better chance of acceptance. It is also possible that after reviewing your essay drafts, he will recommend a fresh and more effective angle.

      Still, even before beginning your work together, ​ask​ ​the​ ​consultant​ ​how​ the services you are considering ​will​ ​be​ ​provided​ ​in​ ​practical​ ​terms. Ask about turnaround times for edits, how long you should allow for each application, for ​information​ ​gathering,​ for getting letters of recommendation, etc, and ​who​ ​exactly​ ​you’ll​ ​be​ ​working​ ​with.​ ​This will give you a realistic framework for what’s involved in the work ahead.

      Ask if you’re talking to a salesperson or to the consultant whom you will be working with. (You want to speak to the consultant.)
    • Service​ ​Differentiation

      Ask​ ​what​ ​the​ ​consultant​ ​considers​ ​special​ ​and​ ​uniquely​ ​valuable​ ​about​ ​her​ ​service​ ​and​ ​expertise​ ​–​ ​you should​ ​get a clear understanding of what makes her service different.  Look for testimonials on the website, especially those that are recent, and whenever possible, from applicants who were accepted to your target schools.
    • Accessibility

      Ask​ ​about​ ​the​ ​consultant’s​ ​accessibility​ ​by​ ​email,​ ​phone/Zoom ​–​ ​is​ ​he​ ​available​ ​on​ ​weekends,​ ​evenings? 
    • Candor

      Are you prepared to benefit from ​the​ ​consultant’s​ ​full​ ​expertise?​ ​If​ ​so,​ ​ask her, if​ ​you​ ​target​ ​a​ ​program​ she considers​ ​an​ ​unreasonably​ ​high​ ​reach​ ​or​ ​draft​ ​an​ ​essay​ she ​​ ​considers​ ​off-target,​ ​will she ​tell you​ ​frankly?
    • Prices

      Most​ ​consultants’​ ​prices​ ​are​ ​listed​ ​on​ ​their​ ​websites,​ ​but​ ​the​ ​services​ ​are​ ​often​ ​multifaceted or complex,​ ​so​ make sure you understand exactly what services you are getting. ​Make​ ​sure​ ​you​ ​understand​ ​if​ ​fees​ ​are​ ​time- ​based​ ​($X​ ​per​ ​hour)​ ​or​ ​flat​ ​rate​ ​($Y​ ​for​ ​a defined​ ​basket​ ​of​ ​services).
    • ​AIGAC​ ​Membership

      The​ ​Association​ ​of​ ​International​ ​Graduate​ ​Admissions​ ​Consultants​ ​(AIGAC)​ ​promotes​ ​professional standards​ ​and​ ​ethical​ ​guidelines​ ​for​ ​our​ ​profession.​ ​AIGAC​ ​members​ ​(individuals​ ​and​ ​firms)​ ​are​ ​vetted for​ ​acceptance​ ​into​ ​the​ ​organization,​ ​and​ ​adcom​ ​members​ ​at​ ​top​ ​b-schools​ ​attend​ ​annual​ ​AIGAC conferences.​ ​Ask​ ​prospective​ ​consultants​ ​if​ ​they​ ​are​ ​AIGAC​ ​members​ ​to​ ​confirm​ ​their​ ​professional qualification.

      FYI:​ ​Linda​ ​Abraham,​ ​Accepted’s​ ​president​ ​and​ ​founder,​ ​is​ ​a​ ​co-founder​ ​of​ ​AIGAC​ ​and​ ​served​ ​as​ ​its​ ​first president.
    Do not use essay writers or application agents

    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.

    What​ ​about​ ​essay​ ​samples​ ​or​ ​templates?

    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.​ ​

    What's NOT important when choosing an admissions consultant

    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?

    1. ​Experience with and insight into the admissions process.
    2. Outstanding​ ​editing​ ​skills.
    3. Mentoring​ ​mojo. ​

    Seek​ ​someone​ ​with​ ​those​ ​three​ ​qualities and you will have chosen well.

    How Can Accepted Admissions Consultants Help Your Your MBA Applications?

    Our MBA application consultants provide targeted, specific and personalized assistance to help you approach your application with confidence. With experience in the Ivy Leagues and other elite, international, academic business schools, our consultants’ backgrounds and expertise speak for themselves. More importantly, that experience will help you passionately and persuasively speak for you.

    When you work with an Accepted MBA application consultant, you will work individually with one seasoned admissions expert carefully selected to meet your needs and backed by a team of colleagues who have guided applicants to acceptance at 148 schools and with over 160 years of collective higher education experience.   

    To get accepted, you need more than just skill and intuition, more than stats and work experience. As we said above, you need a strategic plan and excellent execution. Our consultants support you through every step of the application process. We can provide guidance as you develop that strategy plus feedback and editing of your resume and essays so that they attract your target school’s immediate interest.  Later, our MBA interview advice and mock interviews will help you sustain that interest and transform it into an acceptance.

    And if you come to us after having already been rejected, no worries, we are on your team too - equipping you with the tools necessary to beat those rejection blues and reapply successfully.

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