Helen Summers
Senior Consultant

    
Number of reviews [20]


Company: mbaMission
Packages: mbaMission * School Packages   mbaMission 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
Highly Recommend
May 20 | 2016
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     By amichelle10 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

Helen Summers is fantastic! Helen encouraged me to dig deep and really pushed me to a level of introspection that I did not think I could ever reach. She helped me recall stories from my childhood that I had forgotten about for over 15 years which really helped me better understand my personal journey and how that journey has molded me into the person I am today and shaped my goals for the future. My first draft of my essays were horrible! Through Helen's support and constructive criticism, I got to a very polished finished product of which I was extremely proud and that was genuine, reflective of my personality, and attention grabbing for admissions officers, resulting in admission into the two schools to which I applied (HBS & Wharton). I highly recommend Helen for helping you dig deep in crafting your story and for helping to keep you organized throughout the stressful process.

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     By cwsmith12 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

I worked with Helen Summers and she was tremendous. She was very "on the ball" as soon as we started, and helped me keep to a tight schedule, as I applied to three schools Round 1.

A few things that come to mind when I worked with Helen:

-Clearly understands the admissions process and how to work with the candidate to bring out the best of the person. I know she was able to use facts and stories that I didn't think were relevant and bring them all together in my application. Her insights on my essays, short answers, and even how to interact with the various ad com's and others were key. I was very pleased with how my essays turned out.

-Very honest with me throughout the process, from school selection to essays and interview prep. She told it to me straight, even during the free consultation. That's what ultimately led me to choosing her.

-Responsive. Always met the commitment to respond within two business days and was able to accommodate other quick turn requests.

-Easy to work with. Never made things stressful for me.

Overall, I am very happy that I worked with Helen, and I thought it was worth every penny.

Food for thought as you consider whether to hire a consultant or not: you are investing so much money into the admissions process, and (hopefully) investing in a two year MBA program, why not put your best foot forward on your applications? I know having someone to work with who has been through the process and understands how the Ad Com reviews an application was an invaluable resource for me. Yes it's expensive to hire a consultant for a school package, but I got into a great program with a below average GMAT (660) because Helen helped me articulate why I would be a great candidate.

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5-Star Product
April 18 | 2016
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     By petey584 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

Helen was a tremendous resource through the MBA application process. Throughout our time together, I always got the feeling that she was an eager friend that truly wanted to help. I always got prompt and unflinchingly honest feedback, all the while keeping the utmost standards of professionalism.

This service is not for everyone due to the high cost. In addition, I don't believe this is a service for people who want to use the consultant as a crutch to stay on task. However, if you are like me and want to "de-risk" the process as much as possible by being prepared, one can't do better than building a partnership with Helen.

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Great Essay Guidance
April 12 | 2016
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     By Dynamis12 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

I worked with Helen Summers at mbaMission on 5 school essays, all for the round 1 cycle of applications. Her guidance and input on putting my "best foot forward" with my essays was invaluable and I would highly recommend her to anyone who is considering an admissions consultant.

I was one of those MBA applicants with a unique background. I had a non-business undergrad degree and worked abroad in a non-corporate setting. However, business schools ( I have learned) are most interested in one's leadership capabilities ( still crush your GMAT though :) ), and Helen helped me showcase my own leadership skills with captivating stories. Also, the structure that Helen recommended I use for my essays made my story much more logical in terms of relating my past experiences to my post-MBA career goals.

I was admitted to my #1 choice. Without Helen I know that I would have had 5 dings to reminisce about this year. Instead, I'm on to the next chapter!

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     By TranslationLost 42 16
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

About 15 months ago, I was a regular high school teacher who hardly knew what an MBA was -- it was certainly never a part of my long-term plans. I had seen those three letters strung together, but I had no familiarity with the extent to which admissions was highly competitive, the opportunities this degree offered to radically transform my career, and the amount of labor that the application process would require.

After a couple of months of initial research, I knew that the MBA would be a good option for me, so I was considering whether to hire an admissions consulting service. I was at first skeptical of the value proposition and the extent to which they could ultimately improve my chances of gaining admission to my target schools. However, after an initial consultation with MBA Mission, I became certain that I wanted their help in order to maximize my chances of being admitted. Helen's background and experience speaks for itself, and the support she would give me over the following months was indispensable.

First and foremost, Helen is enthusiastic and authentic in her desire to help. During our initial brainstorming session she was warm and affable, and she really pushed me to think deeply and express myself clearly about the most subtle nuances of my personal history and experience. This primed me for success during the application process, and she would repeat these behaviors as we prepared to tackle each successive application (we worked on 4 total together).

However, do not take her kindness for weakness. Helen was a warm and enthusiastic supporter, but she never showed satisfaction when I did not deserve it. While there were some initial essay drafts for which she showed enthusiasm, there were quite a few where she frankly told me that my concept was off or my writing was inadequate. Further, she was a stickler for details -- I recall one essay for which she pushed me to write nine total drafts, several times demonstrating dissatisfaction over word choice in one mere phrase or sentence.

The process was labor intensive -- just as it should be. In applying to top MBA programs, I wanted to present myself as clearly and positively as possible so that the admissions officers could see the benefits of adding me to their program. I decided to hire an admissions consultant because I wanted the best possible chance of accomplishing that task. If there is someone better than Helen for the job, I'd be truly surprised. I thought that her advice and support throughout the process was top-notch and worth every penny.

As a result of her support, I gained admission to three top-10 programs (one being an M7), all of which offered generous scholarships. I am incredibly grateful for the support I received, and I would strongly encourage anyone who reads this review to consider her.

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Great writer.
July 15 | 2015
     By Anonymous 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * 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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     By Anonymous 2 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Yes - school of my dreams

This review is for: mbaMission 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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     By kchung3 15 9
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Some, but not all

This review is for: mbaMission * 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 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Yes - school of my dreams

This review is for: mbaMission * 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 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Yes - school of my dreams

This review is for: mbaMission * 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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