My consulting work is resolutely client-focused, so there is no cookie cutter process that I put all my clients through. Every client is unique, and while the following description represents a fairly typical process, I tailor my work to meet each individual’s specific needs.
Regardless, I begin each consulting engagement by acquiring basic information (transcript, resume, standardized test results, target schools, career interests, goals, timing, and so on). My client and I review this information thoroughly, discuss how it fits together, and craft an appropriate plan of action. The following phases outline the process:
Strategic Front End of the process. Typical issues: What is the appropriate timing—now or sometime in the future? What programs would be best? Which schools? What are your chances at those programs/schools? What could you do to improve your chances? How would we like to position you to get fullest value out of who you are, what you’ve done, and where you’re headed, in light of what particular programs value?
Written Applications. Focus: The various essays, of course, but just as importantly the resume, recommendations, and application forms.
Interviews. Focus: Discussion of what the interviews are likely to involve and how best to prepare for them. Possibly preparing a resume designed for the interview. One or more mock interviews in the fashion of whichever school(s) my client faces first or values most, with consequent de-briefing.
The End Game. Focus: Helping clients get admitted from wait lists. Maneuvering to get maximum financial aid offers. Choosing the best option.
After this, there may be additional consulting to help a client prepare for a program and/or additional help during the program.
A few additional comments are warranted:
There is no need to specify at the beginning of our consulting relationship exactly what services you will need. In fact, in my experience, clients’ needs usually evolve over time.
The entire process tends to be very interactive, with frequent emails and conversations.
For more about my consulting work, view:
Consulting: Business School (MBA)