Hiring a Consultant

To hire a consultant or not?

I was stumped with hiring a consultant initially. After taking a stroll around the web, looking up the costs of hiring a consultant and all, I was scared by the total costs of getting one. I mean this thing runs into thousands of dollars. The thought of shelling out one month salary per school just to hire someone to brush up your essays was daunting. My excel spreadsheet told me that I would have to sacrifice four months salaries on consultants to help me apply to my four selected schools. Then how would I live? It looked like my personal government would have to shut down for four months, but the problem is that I can only attend one school, not four.

I happen to be a member of the most popular forums for MBA candidates, GmatClub.Com and BeatTheGMAT.Com. There is so many information on those websites that one can actually get confused about the whole application process. The loads of information is so much that several contradictions about a simple issue abound. Some of the admission consultants on the forums makes it look like you need not apply to some of these business schools if you don’t score a 780 on the GMAT or get a GPA of 3.99. They also sometimes make you feel like you have no chance if you don’t discover a cure for cancer or win an Olympic medal. Then occasionally, an average guy will pop out of nowhere and post on how he was able to get into Harvard with a 690 GMAT score or into Wharton with a GMAT of 660. That pretty much clinched it for me that I might need to hire a consultant so that I don’t end up getting confused in the process. This also became much more important because there is nobody around me who is applying to a business school anyway.

After discussing my concerns with my boss, who by the way has agreed to act as a recommender for all four schools and any other one I might be interested in, told me about a Nigerian consultant, who had once been a member of the admissions committee in Harvard Business School. He had not met her before but he told me about her company, Expartus, and her book, The Best Business Schools Admissions’ Secrets. He believed that she would be a very good resource in helping me bridge the cultural gap between me and the schools I am interested in.

Now to get in touch. I was still brooding on how to best get across to her when some guys from a private equity firm who wanted us to invest in their upcoming fund walked into my office on one fine sunny day. One of them happened to be an HBS graduate and his surname looked really familiar. I gave him a call a week after they visited my office and surprise surprise, he was related to the CEO of Expartus! That was when I knew the stars were lining up for me.

And that was how I hired a consultant. Oh well, it is still expensive though but at least my government will not have to shutdown because I can actually spread out my payment and I will have to sacrifice only two months salary. After working with her for a few weeks, I feel that it was worth it after all.