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How to maximize a free consultation

It is indeed that time of the year when you, the aspirant, are speaking to admissions experts, mentors, seniors and admissions ambassadors all in an attempt to understand your chances of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your candidacy and assessing its competitiveness at various schools. The free consultation, an industry-standard, in the admissions consulting world, is also among these conversations you are having. But have you really identified what you want from these free consultations?

The discussion will invariably differ from firm to firm and coach to coach. Whether you are reaching out to admissions consultants, to determine if a consultant is for you or to assess your chances, here is how you can gain maximum value from your consultation call.

Prepare ahead of time! Discuss your concerns and aspirations.

Review the consultants’ testimonials, work style and services. If not, there will be enough time to understand services, pricing and terms that the counsellor provides. During the free consultation, keep the focus on you. Gather inputs on your candidacy, details about target schools and try to understand the culture and admissions process. Prepare ahead of time and have a list of concerns, doubts and strategies to discuss. Make it a point to get an honest opinion on any aspects of your candidacy that concern you. If you have not thought about why an MBA or a Specialized Master’s program is a good next stage in your personal and professional development, take time to develop ideas. Seek opinions on your thoughts and make notes. Bottom Line: You should walk away feeling confident about next steps.

Move beyond track records and what are my chances. Assess fit.

Aspirants are naturally inclined to schedule a free consultation to understand how successful a counsellor has been with specific schools or types of candidate background and seek to walk away with a probability of acceptance. Probabilities can be reassuring but more valuable is getting qualitative information to understand if what will it be like to work with the counsellor? MBA and Masters admissions processes are deeply introspective and highly relational experience. You want a partner you can trust to give you brutally honest feedback. Bottom Line: You should walk away with a fair sense of the trust and support will enjoy during the long application process with your counsellor.

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