MBA admissions consultants. Is it cheating?

The temperature is rising. The competition is hotting up (that’s a weird expression, hotting up… I’ve never liked it and won’t use it again unless someone can come up with an explanation as to why we say hotting up instead of heating up).

Anyway, as a result, there has been a proliferation of MBA admissions consultancies in recent years, each claiming to make it easier, faster, better to get into the Harvard, Wharton, INSEAD or London Business School of your choice, followed by a lifetime of vast earnings, luxury and internal satisfaction.

But where is the line drawn between sound advice, which most reputable admissions consultants offer, and cheating, which some disreputable ones offer? There are those who employ a team of MBA experts to pen your essays for you, to get you into the school of your choice, and to doctor your application so that it is, for all intents and purposes, failsafe.

Do not go this route, honest reader. You will be found out. It may not be necessarily in the admissions process, though 95% of MBA admissions people claim to be able to spot a doctored application very quickly. It may not be at the job application stage, though recruiters are very savvy when it comes to spotting discrepancies in your applications. But it will happen. And then the name of the school at the top of your MBA certification won’t be worth the ink used to print it.

There are myriad business schools, catering for all kinds of backgrounds and skill-sets. This blogger recommends that the best route to satisfaction is the honest one, the one where you are the right fit for the right school, where the right professors develop the right skills. This school may be one of the absolute top-tier schools. But then again, it may not. And reputable admission consultants will be the ones that try and help you ascertain which of those schools are the best to suit you.

  1. Thanks for the post about admissions consultants. I very much agree that seeking sound advice isn’t cheating at all, but no different from hiring a coach, a sounding board, or a mentor.

    Indeed, there are some great consultants out there who can help aspiring students navigate the process and who can help applicants tell their authentic stories. These professionals are *not* the ones who make claims that they can get you into Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, INSEAD, or LBS. Claims that anyone can “get someone in” are false promises. And unethical.

    The best bet, if thinking about using an admissions consultant, is to use one affiliated with the Association of Independent Graduate Admissions Consultants. Every member agrees to follow professional and ethical principles, including the requirement that as a member, we “Insist that clients write their own essays.”

    For more on AIGAC and its principles, take a look at

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: