What Nigerian students should notice in International education consultants
International education consultant have been the very individuals that are responsible for more than half the admissions in foreign higher institutions for more than two decades now.
This trend began in the early 1990s and it is now very prominent in many countries today. Education consultants are those that links students with schools, scholarships, visas, grants and other opportunities available.
Education consultants have been a great help to Nigerian students. They have made the admissions process easier and simpler. The use of agents has put a whole lot of students in places they otherwise would not be due to their sheer lack of knowledge.
This brings to the force the need for the proper identification of a good education consultants and the traits or characteristics to be aware of; especially as regards the traits that are not so obvious. So here goes:
1. You see the Passion in them: Most people who enter the business of education consultancy do it because they believe that so much money can be made from it. Whereas, it requires a certain level of commitment that only passion can fuel.
When such passion exists in them, you will see it reflected in the excellence of service that they will display throughout your admission process. Summarily, it will be obvious by the attitude of the consultant when attending to you!
2. They first conduct a free assessment for you: While many people claim to be education consultants without interacting with the applicants, only very few show true and genuine interest in the students. You will come across some of them demanding for money before they even know who you are at all.
This shows that such consultants are only after money and not after your success. Student assessment are not really meant to size you up. The process will rather help to understand you thoroughly, to know your strengths and weaknesses and what can be done to assist you in achieving your study abroad goal.
3. They feature in Education fairs: The track records of a good education consultants should show that he always participate in various education fairs and tours. This may be events they organize by themselves, other consultants and even universities abroad. In the process, such education consultants will gain partner schools and develop for an in-depth relationship with them
4. They make multiple applications for you: Rather than applying to only one institution, a good education consultants always ensure that students make multiple applications.
It is the consultants’ role to ensure that the student who is applying to a higher institution gets to the school no matter what.
Multiple applications always help to increase the chances of securing admission.
5. They have workforce with personal study abroad experience: This is important for the consultant to be able to perform optimally when advising students. A personal study experience outside Nigeria makes it very easy for the consultant to fully explain some complex issues that can come up I the process.
These hitherto may not be grasped by one who has no study abroad experience.
6. They possess excellent public speaking and presentation skills: The service of education consultancy usually has to do with explaining processes, protocol, concepts and solutions to young minds. Most curious students who won’t just accept mere words.
Explanations should come in a manner that not only make perfect sense but also stimulates imagination.
Education consultancy service can only be said to be productive when the students see the prospect of traveling abroad through them. This of course can only be achieved when the consultants possess skills that enable excellent presentations. This is how one can identify certain traits that make the consultants to stand out.
7. They have proper social and interpersonal skills: Education consultants must possess the right mix of social and interpersonal skills. This will be evident as they interact with you.
Is the consultant speaking too hurriedly?
Is he or she giving more attention to other things while attending to you?
Is he or she avoiding eye contact?
Is the consultant patient enough to answer all the questions that the prospective applicants pose to them?
How do such consultants resolve mistakes and errors? Are they organized enough?
Are they willing to talk to concerned parents who may appear ignorant about certain issues?
These questions and more should serve as pointers to the kind of individual that exist on the inside of the consultant. They are also an excellent indicator of the kind of interpersonal and social skills that the consultant may or may not possess.
8. They have partner institutions: Knowledge of the partner institutions is what instills trust on the part of the parents/sponsors. This is the part where the consultants have to display their technical know-how.
Partner institutions usually have training sessions with their agents and representatives from different countries. If the consultant has done his or her homework right, then a display of expert knowledge by the consultant to you should always be a walk over.
It is also expected that a consultant understand the requirement of each country. General country knowledge aids the consultant to understand what students are really interested in.
9.They help with grants and scholarships: The best institutions in the World offer education experiences that are expensive and necessitate access to financial aid. A good education consultant should provide you with comprehensive knowledge of scholarships and grants available.
10. Involvement of other consultants: Nobody is an island of knowledge!
We all need people to add to us.
While a particular education consultant may be an expert in one field, say admissions; another may be an expert in scholarships and grants. This creates a symbiosis that you will really gain from.
This is due to the mix of knowledge and multiple expertise that such parties possess in the field. Besides, the network of a consultants is actually his or her net-worth. Education consultants with good network will have the ability to deliver success consistently.