Most admissions consultants and consulting companies offer a ‘profile evaluation’. What is it, how does it work, how does it help you, which company to select, can you ask a school for a profile evaluation?
How it helps you
The purpose of a profile evaluation is that an expert provides you with feedback about whether you meet the standards requirements for admission to graduate admission programmes in your desired field of study. Of course some of the requirements are easy to understand, but others are more complicated – how do you measure leadership potential, what counts for work experience, is your career progression good enough, etc.
If you are still not sure whether to go for a Master’s programme or for an MBA, the expert will also help you. Your destination will depend on your profile as well as your development and career preferences.
Profile evaluation helps you decide on which calibre of schools to apply in order to have realistic chances for admission. This will ensure that you develop the right strategy for effective preparation and realistic goals for the best MBA or Master’s programmes which match your aspirations and potential.
How it works
The evaluation of your profile is usually undertaken by MBA admissions experts. Initially, they will need some preliminary information about you, as presented in a CV, a resume or a special form. Brief information about your goals or the schools you are targeting (if you have already started thinking about it) will also be very useful.
There are also Automatic online tools to evaluate your MBA profile. All you need to do is to submit the required information in a form and you will automatically receive an evaluation of your profile and feedback about the types of programmes which you should consider.
Whatever type of profile evaluation you decide to use – expert or automatic, make sure to always provide the most accurate and up-to-date information required, so that you can have accurate and relevant feedback.
What you get
Some profilers will provide you with written feedback only, based on the information which you submitted. Others have a more personalised and interactive approach and will additionally conduct an individual session with you (in person, on the phone or online – via Skype or other teleconference tools). During the session you will discuss in more detail the initial information which you have provided and how MBA admissions committees will evaluate it. The expert will clarify the milestones which are important for successful preparation and application and you will receive the expert’s feedback on your strengths, areas for improvement, types of programmes and suggestions about your preparation and application strategy.
The goal of the expert feedback is that you will gain a clear idea about the immediate next steps you need to take. An clear advantage of the interactive profile evaluation is that you have the chance to ask questions of the expert, share further details and make sure that you understand her/his advice.
Two-step profile evaluation
You can also combine the different types of evaluation, starting with an automatic one and then moving on to interactive profiling. The first step will help you become more focused in the discussion with the MBA profiling expert. During the interactive evaluation you will be able to provide more details about the facts and experiences that you have already listed in your CV/resume/form. Details are important for the interpretation of the facts, precise profiling and further advice.
Next step – have your profile evaluated by business schools
Some business schools also offer the option of a preliminary evaluation of the profiles of prospective applicants. You will, again, be asked to submit a CV/resume in advance. The evaluation undertaken by a business school is an excellent approach if you are seriously thinking about applying to that specific school. However, it is important to realise the consequences of this step. First, the evaluation is only relevant to the school. The admissions officer may encourage or discourage you to apply for admission to the school in question, but this will be done solely on the basis of the CV/resume which you submit. If this document is not informative or focused enough, the results will be compromised. So it is more efficient to plan for a school evaluation of your profile as a second step which you undertake after you have some initial advice from an independent MBA admissions expert. Ideally, you should have also tailored your CV to an MBA application resume which you will send to the school for evaluation. The MBA resume differs from a job resume and you first need to understand how admissions officers interpret it – what are the key elements they are considering and why.
Mind the personal bias
If you are discussing your profile with current students or alumni, be aware they always speak only from their personal experience. Always ask a lot of questions to clarify their perspective. It is helpful to have a list of closed questions (yes/no answer) to which they should reply or to request facts and figures. These questions should be related to what is most important for you. This will help you get a more realistic picture.
The evaluation of your profile is a crucial step which sets you on the right direction in your school selection and effective preparation.