Adaobi As an EXPARTUS MBA Admissions Consultant for more than 9 years, I am passionate about helping my clients secure admissions into top MBA programmes. Working with my clients, I coach each one to discover and clearly communicate their personal brand.

When my clients share with me that they have not only achieved the immediate goal of entering the MBA programme of their dreams but also gained a framework with which to evaluate their careers and long term goals, I know I’ve made a deep impact.

Having lived in 4 countries, including the USA, it’s a privilege to bring as much in my perspective to my clients as they impart on me. When I’m not helping my EXPARTUS clients succeed at their goals, I continue to build upon my successful career with cross-functional assignments in Finance, Marketing, Operations, General Management and Sales.

Before joining IBM Corporation, I gained experience in the financial services industry working with JP Morgan Chase, Ford Credit, United Rentals and M.I.T. Asset Management, Inc.

I earned an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York and graduated summa cum laude from Barry University, in Miami, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and International Business. I enjoy mentoring small business owners and playing Scrabble; I speak English, French and Igbo.

What is your background? I was part of a mentoring women’s group, and my role there was to help other women who wanted to go to business school work through the process.

Nine years ago, I had a meeting with a woman who was planning to apply to business school at a bakery in Harlem. We borrowed a pen from Chioma (EXPARTUS founder), who was sitting beside us.

At the end of the conversation, I returned the pen, and Chioma asked me to connect with her because she liked the advice I was giving the woman.

I was just helping mentoring, which is what I am driven to do, so my work at EXPARTUS began from my love of mentoring, and I have worked there as an MBA admissions consultant since then.

Why EXPARTUS? I was mentored a lot, and I still am by my peers, people who have more professional or life experiences. I value being mentored and coached and guided by people who know more than I do in a particular area.

When I applied to business school, I only applied to one – Columbia – because I wanted to be in New York, and I felt more at home there than at New York University.

I turned to some of my mentors for advice on applying to business school, and that collaborative approach was very helpful. When you look at what we do at EXPARTUS – it is a team approach.

Even though each client has a primary consultant, we routinely interact with each other to glean from the experience of other members of the team.

Results are very important for us on so many levels. Almost all of our clients tell us that having gone through the process of EXPARTUS personal branding gives them a blueprint to view their life, not just their MBA journey.

My clients tell me I have helped them develop a new way of looking at their lives. That is the double bottom line of what we do.

What are the biggest misconceptions applicants have about successfully applying to business school? The biggest misconception is the amount of time one needs to invest in properly preparing – studying for the GMAT, learning about the schools – every aspect of planning it out to get into their dream school.

When they hire an MBA admissions consultant, some of them expect us to do everything for them like write their essays and furnish all the information needed.

I try to establish quickly in the beginning that we are not an essay-writing shop.

While we offer a significant amount of guidance for example with the EXPARTUS Essay Guides or via the EXPARTUS blog, the EXPARTUS personal branding process works best for those who roll-up their sleeves and go find out why one school and all the school offers is the right investment for their future.

Often clients start out  thinking that it is a slam dunk for them to get admitted usually because they know someone who recently was admitted to a top MBA program.

The effort and everything that is needed to be successful simply takes time – it is a worthwhile investment worth doing well.

What role does personal branding play at EXPARTUS? If you don’t dig deep and become introspective to understand your personal brand so you can weave the story about how you are going to continue that track record of high performance to do more in the future, you will be hard-pressed to gain a seat at your top school.

You have to articulate whatever is distinct about you to the school and articulate it in a way that aligns with what the school is looking for.

So you raised the biggest amount in a fund or you climbed Mt. Everest? There are nine other applicants that have similarly spectacular achievements and backgrounds as you.

If we line up all 10 of you, why should your dream school choose you? What makes you distinct in a level but highly-competitive playing field?

I worked with one client who was focused on starting a business in his country of birth. He had a successful, budding law career in the USA at a top law firm.

Yet, he is deeply drawn to giving back to his native land and was clear on needing the experience and network of a top MBA program to achieve his ambitious goals.

Part of his motivation was established before he went to college – as he grew up, he saw his parents always send money back to relatives including extended family even though they themselves struggled at times.

He did the same when he worked as a teenager even from meagre earnings. Today, he is looking to fulfill these values instilled in him so young through a  law degree and HBS MBA training.

When a candidate tells their authentic story in an authentic voice, it is so much more powerful and vivid.

My goal is to have the personal branding communicated in a manner that is clear, concise and captivating.

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