Helen Summers

Senior Consultant


    
Number of reviews [15]


Company: mbaMission
Packages: * School Packages   Hourly Services  
Before joining mbaMission, Helen Summers served as the director of MBA Programs at Management Leadership for Tomorrow—a national nonprofit that guides underrepresented minorities through the business school application process—where she developed curriculum and programming for nearly 1,000 fellows. Helen’s passion for business school admissions began when she was earning her MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS). In recognition of her significant involvement in admissions efforts and outreach there, Helen received the HBS Student Association Award and the Bert King Fellowship. Before attending business school, Helen was a senior financial analyst with Johnson & Johnson (J&J)—during which time she earned her CPA—and began her five years with the company as part of the Financial Leadership Development Program (FLDP). She gained valuable experience through rotations in finance and accounting, managing Motrin Franchise marketing expenses and analyzing the financial impact of new initiatives in the production process of cardiac catheters and stents. As a graduate of FLDP, Helen returned to J&J’s corporate headquarters, where she helped develop a new financial reporting system and managed the $160M budgets of the company’s CEO and CFO. She is a former Division I scholarship tennis player and has completed two Chicago marathons in recent years. Helen now enjoys exploring vegetarian and vegan cooking.

Helen Summers's Reviews
Great writer.
July 15 | 2015

       By Anonymous joined: December 5, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Helen Summers
I didn't know about MBA consulting service till I went to a conference in September and encountered a different MBA consulting service company. I did my research and decided to go with mbaMission.

I would say Helen's biggest asset would be her ability to play with words. I am not a writer, so I needed a lot of help on my essays. I knew what I was trying to convey, but somehow I couldn't translate onto paper. Helen was able to make my story to the point, add more color, and make it flowed.

I paid a little more for the 5 schools package because I wanted to play it safe and have a range of schools. However, some of the schools have similar essay prompt, and you can probably do okay with 3 schools package.

Thanks Helen!
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Hourly services with Helen Summers - HBS
June 29 | 2015

reviewer identity verified by school email address
       By Anonymous joined: March 21, 2014 | 2 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  Helen Summers
First off, mbaMission allows you to read up on bio's of the many consultants they have on their team. This is great because it allows you to choose someone who may have similar experiences to your own and makes it easier to connect with one another. That's why I chose to go with mbaMission and it worked out perfectly.

My experience with Helen Summers met all my expectations and in fact exceeded them (more on that below).

I used an hourly service and went in with a particular goal. I had my application to HBS fairly complete. I wanted Helen to essentially review my full application as if she were an admissions counselor at HBS. Based on the premise of not having any other information other than what I have provided in my application - what would her take be? Understanding that we'd be missing the recommendations component, how could I improve the overall application and chances to get to the next interview stage?

Helen provided amazing feedback on my application which helped guide me towards my final submission. Where she exceeded my expectations was that I originally asked to receive this feedback while anticipating that all my paid for hours would be used up with that round of feedback. However, Helen provided feedback on my HBS application and still left more time which allowed me to get her take on another school's application! She doesn't waste any of your precious time paid for!

In the end, I got into HBS - the school of my dreams!

Thanks Helen. And best of luck to future B school prospects!
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A great consultant to work with
May 26 | 2015

reviewer identity verified by school email address
       By kchung3 joined: October 16, 2012 | 15 | 9 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Helen Summers
After completing my GMAT in late August, I decided to work with a consultant for my application, and was referred to mbaMission by a couple friends.

I started off with a 30-minute call with Jeremy, the founder, who didn’t really provide much insight on my profile, only to mention most of the consultants are fully booked so I better act fast.

Based on availability and reviews, I chose to work with Helen and signed up for a 2-school package, and subsequently followed with another 2-school package at a later stage.

Here are a few things that I think Helen does best:

- Helen’s turnaround time is quick, often ahead of the 2 business day turnaround timetable stated officially. She also responds to emails quickly, provided that it requires a short response.

- Helen is direct and will tell you upfront your ideas doesn’t work

- Helen is very passionate in helping her clients, you can sense it in her voice, her tone, and by the number of edits she made on an essay to make sure that the end product is at its best shape

- She does a good job in refining the content in my stories and shining the light on the appropriate details, while keeping my original tone in it

- She pays attention to the small details – when we were preparing for a video essay, she made comments on the lighting, background, webcam angles, my smile – things that I wouldn’t pay a whole lot of attention to normally

With Helen’s help, I was able to create a very good application piece for Stern and Booth, which led to interviews/admits subsequently. She was also able to help me edit 2 essays that I struggled with mightily and just did not have the most-fitting experience. To my surprise, I was admitted to that school as well.

Helen also did a great job in preparing me for interviews in terms of giving me feedback on my answers, my tonality, and my presentation.

Overall, my experience with Helen was great. She is a true professional, and I would definitely recommend her to anyone considering working with a consultant.

Here’s also a couple remarks/caveats to anyone that considering a consultant

- Since I did a fair amount of thinking on my essays, my profile positioning, and my school choices prior to using mbaMission, my experience working with Helen primary consisted of running ideas through her, essay edits, interview preparation, and reviewing the application as a whole. Adding to the fact that I completed my GMAT relatively late with only a 1-2 months until the first deadline, I couldn’t comment on the earlier stages in an application such as candidacy positioning, strength and weakness analysis, etc.

- While working with a consultant will enhance your story and maximize your chances, it is up to you to provide them with good raw materials, i.e. experience, to work with.

- While you might have 5+ applications to work on, a consultant will have just as many applications multiply by the number of clients they have. So it is the responsibility of the applicant to plan ahead of the deadline and inform the consultant that they plan to submit the application after this edit or a certain rounds of edits, taking consideration of the turnaround time.
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mbamission is awesome!
April 16 | 2015

       By Anonymous joined: June 27, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Helen Summers
I worked with Helen Summers at mba mission and she was absolutely amazing! I did the full school package for 5 schools. She helped me narrow down schools I should apply to based on fit / feasibility, helped me find a great GMAT tutor, and really took the time to get to know me and why I wanted an MBA. She pushed me hard to dig deep when brainstorming essay topics, wasn't afraid to call my BS when she knew I could be doing better, and was constantly providing valuable and critical feedback in a timely manner. She was also great at helping me get out of my comfort zone with the essays and really telling my stories in a eloquent and unique way. Without her help, there is no way I would have gotten into 3 top schools!
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mbaMission
April 02 | 2015

       By Anonymous joined: March 28, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Helen Summers
I am not the type of person to usually post reviews online but I wanted to make an exception for my experience with mbaMission. I would highly recommend the program for anyone needing guidance on their B school applications. I personally worked with Helen who I though did an amazing job of helping me along the process. They have a tested and proven method for all stages of the application process and I thought they did a great job of giving me a step by step guide of how to go about the process and what kind of information to try to present to the admission committees. Helen helped me put my best foot forward and form a specific story regarding each school. If you do the work and listen to their advice and feedback it will be a beneficial service. I would do the free 30 minute consultation and then go from there. I also think the earlier you start the program the better so you are able to get the most out of the service and have as many drafts and exchanges as needed with your consultant to prepare the best application possible.
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Best Outcome
February 01 | 2015

       By Anonymous joined: February 1, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - got into all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Helen Summers
Very simply, I'm not sure I would have gotten into Booth - my first choice school - without Helen at mbaMission. After sending in my brainstorming material, Helen helped me uncover the key themes in my personal story that I wanted to highlight in my application. She helped me frame the application and suggested an overall organizational structure. Helen's greatest strength was speaking directly. She provided blunt, honest, and constructive feedback. And, she was always right. Helen won't project manage you, and you'll need to own your deadlines and the pacing to get things done. But, if you're looking for straightforward and substantive input on your work, Helen might be the perfect fit. You'll never be confused about what she thinks is working and what isn't.

Ultimately, I produced an application I was really proud of and the outcome was as good as I could have possibly hoped for - thanks to Helen.
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mbaMission School Package - Helen Summers
July 20 | 2014

       By Anonymous joined: July 20, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Helen Summers
At first I was very hesitant to sign up for a school package. I had heard about admissions consultants and thought that I would be able to get the same amount of valuable insight from forums online without paying the money. I ended up doing the free thirty minute consultation with Helen and realized I needed to sign up for a school package.

Helen is a perfectionist and is a great person to have on your side throughout the admissions process. She works with you to figure out how to make you shine and helps you convey your story in the best way possible. She goes above and beyond, constantly proofreading drafts and always giving really insightful feedback. She has a very fast response rate and I never felt like I was waiting for her to get back to me. It actually felt like she was keeping me on schedule! On top of it all, she is honest and gives feedback in a way that does not seem critical or judgmental. Applying to business school is stressful, but I always felt like I had an edge with Helen. I know I would not be going to a top program (with a fellowship) if it wasn't for all of her help and guidance.

Ultimately, I only wanted to apply to business school once. I wanted to be sure that I was selecting schools that I could see myself going to, but that I also had a good shot at getting into. I knew that if I didn't use a consultant and ended up not getting in anywhere, I would be really disappointed knowing I'd have to wait another year to re-apply. I decided I wasn't okay with wondering "what if" and so I bit the bullet and signed up to work with Helen. I couldn't be happier!
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mbaMission - Helen Summers
June 25 | 2014

       By Anonymous joined: February 18, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - got into all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Helen Summers
I'm very excited to to say that I will be attending Wharton this fall and I couldn't have done it without Helen's help! Before working with Helen, I felt like I had a solid understanding of my answers to the major b-school application questions - why b-school, why school X, why now - and that I just needed a second opinion on my essays. Helen provided that and SO much more! She was the candid and honest voice that I needed to help my writing be genuine, clear, and impactful. She helped me dig deeper into my experiences to ensure I was bringing all relevant examples to the forefront of my application. She asked the tough questions and gave the hard-to-hear feedback when needed. And above all, she got to know me and gave me the opportunity to get to know her which tremendously benefited our working relationship that lasted a few short months. Her vibrant personality paired with her utmost professionalism made her a pleasure to work with and I hope that she continues to impact many future MBA candidates!
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MBA Mission - Peace of Mind
May 30 | 2014

       By Anonymous joined: July 30, 2013 | 4 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Helen Summers
When starting my application process, I was conflicted as to whether I should hire a MBA consultant or not.

I was confident in my writing abilities and unsure as to how much value a service like this would actually add.

After speaking to Helen Summers for our free consultation, I definitely felt much more comfortable about moving forward with MBA Mission, and she followed up our conversation with a VERY comprehensive email outlining my strengths, weaknesses, and how I could frame my application to schools. Note that this was before I even hired MBA Mission.

I decided to take the plunge and was overall very happy with MBA Mission and Helen. I opted to take the unlimited package, which I certainly recommend - even for one school, I definitely went over the number of hours that they offer on an ala carte basis. It felt very liberating to keep editing, changing, and not have to worry about using up all my hours.

Helen provided concrete and useful feedback to my essays. She did not unnecessarily revise my essays for the sake of it, and was vocal about telling me whether something "worked" or not.

The numerous revisions to my resume was the most helpful - re-formatting your resume from a professional one to an MBA application version is time consuming and difficult. Helen made it easy and was never short or brief on her explanations of why she wanted something to change.

Helen was also very helpful in my interview preparation for Columbia, which according to my interviewer I "aced."

Most importantly, Helen was supportive and upbeat. She seemed to genuinely care about my application and helping me get in (which I did!).

Having someone to coach, push, and motivate you to get your application together is an excellent tool, and that's exactly what MBA Mission provides. In the end, I would certainly recommend both MBA Mission and Helen - while it's hard to quantify exactly how much a company like this helps, it gives you peace of mind knowing that you're doing everything you can to increase your odds.
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Helen is the Answer!
January 06 | 2014

       By Anonymous joined: January 6, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Helen Summers
Hi all! I am writing to recommend Helen with FLYING colors. Her name was sent my way by several people, both students and admissions officers who are familiar with her work. I set out to apply to one of the most competitive business school programs, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and with Helen's help I was able to apply and got accepted in Round 1!

Helen was extremely thorough. She really leveraged the brainstorming exercise to identify key elements of you application that you should highlight. She also asked the tough questions to ensure that your story is tight and make sense. She is also very straight forward and realistic. She was not afraid to point out where the weaknesses were in my application and how we could compensate. She gave me honest feedback on my essays telling me when what I wrote was just fluff. She also continually pushed me to be better saying, "This is good but I know it can be better."

Helen is EXTREMELY experienced and qualified. An HBS alum herself she knows the process and is very blunt in letting you know what it takes. Also, she know how stressful the process can be and was very accessible when I needed her and was great about turning around feedback in very quick timing. She was also ALWAYS willing to hop on a call and talk through any questions I had on her feedback.

I can honestly say I would NOT have gotten in GSB without Helen! I hope many of you can have the same great experience I did!
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