With over 20 years experience crafting messages that influence opinion and inform decisions, Peter brings a wealth of communications expertise to the business school admissions process.
From 1984 to 2002, Peter was Managing Director at the global PR firm Burson-Marsteller before setting out to apply his craft on the client-side.
Peter joined Admit Success in 2009.
Peter received his B.A. from New York University.
A Conversation with Peter Roberto
Managing Partner, MBA Essay Consultant and Personal Brand Strategist, Admit Success
New York business journalist Alex Yong recently interviewed Peter Roberto on his role as MBA Admissions consultant and personal essay expert at Admit Success.
What makes Admit Success different?
Cutting through the noise is something we do well. While we will occasionally blog about things we believe will add value to aspiring MBA candidates, we don’t believe in a shotgun approach to business school admissions. We do not offer “how-to guides” on getting admitted to business school because our philosophy mirrors that of business school admissions committees – each candidate has a unique story to tell, and should be telling it in a unique manner. With so much information on admissions out there, anyone can hypothetically become an “expert in admissions”, but what you won’t get online, or through a guide – is a filter. Relying on unfiltered information leads to generic applications, which most often leads to getting dinged.
If you want to be focused, you absolutely need a filter to separate what’s valuable from what’s not and how each applies to you.
Another differentiator for Admit Success is what we are NOT, namely MBA’s.
Some applicants believe they need to work with someone with an MBA, which is great if it helps them move the admission process along and gets them admitted; however, this logic is akin to needing to work with an oncologist who survived cancer. While empathy has its place in medicine and the sometimes painful process of applying to business school, patients and candidates alike are seeking results, not understanding.
The candidates Admit Success works with place great value on the tool-kit we bring to the admission process, both in terms of our specialized backgrounds and having the benefit of a “team” perspective, not just for a review, but throughout the entire admissions process.
Applicants who choose Admit Success are getting two people who are passionate about what they do.
This is all we do and we enjoy it.
Integrity has a lot to do with it. We’re not an admissions mill or an essay mill that will work with anybody. If we don’t think we can help, we will let you know, and why. Carol came from admissions and when you mix that with my background in corporate communications, it’s effective and a big reason why we’re unique. Carol’s ability to ingratiate herself to our clients lets me execute my job more effectively.
As the first step in our process, clients need to be comfortable, and Carol is great at that. With comfort comes the trust that our goals are aligned with an applicant’s MBA pursuits. Our next step is getting them to listen to and take our direction. That’s when success happens. Bottom line, our clients’ success is our success.
I’d like to hear a little more about your PR expertise and how it helps MBA applicants.
In our industry, the applicant field is already overloaded and growing, even at schools outside the Top-15 — so the first thing we need to do is get our clients noticed. We then need to build enthusiasm for what he or she wants to do. Then there’s the task of showing, in the most convincing way, that the applicant is “the right fit” for the school. We know different schools are looking for different specialties and demographics to keep their programs interesting. Some focus on social impact, some on innovation, and some on global issues. They’re all different and you need to create a fit.
I was at Burson Marsteller for 18 years managing their creative production facility, which eventually grew into a standalone profit center serving a direct client base including other agencies. In this capacity we helped corporations and government agencies get their messages across, whether those messages were for consumers, industry groups or other target audiences.
My function was to capture what needed to be said in an honest and compelling manner that expressed passion points, pain points, ideas, and achieve a client’s desired result. I had to convince audiences that our client’s product, service or ideology was the right choice, even if it was a difficult choice.
In other words, the right fit. This applies 100 percent to what we’re doing now at Admit Success.
How do you keep up with industry trends or changes?
We get insights from all over. We network with others in admissions to see what the schools are looking for; we read and go to events, and perhaps more significantly, we keep in touch with former clients who not only give us feedback on their MBA experiences, but keep our information pipeline fresh with referrals which provides us with a broader perspective on who is applying and why. Again, business school admissions consulting is our total focus. We also look at published statistics and analyze what the schools say they’re doing, which sometimes differs from what they’re actually doing.
This was enlightening Peter. Thank you.