Helen Summers

Senior Consultant


    
Number of reviews [9]


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
mbaMission School Package - Helen Summers
July 20 | 2014

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       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

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       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

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       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

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       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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I would definitely use mbaMission again
December 22 | 2013

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       By Anonymous joined: January 13, 2013 | 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
Helen Summers is amazing. When considering to use the services of an admissions consultant I was a little sceptical. I read a lot of testimonials and reviews like this very one and wondered whether the candidates behind all those with successful admission experiences actually needed a consultant to begin with. I wondered whether they were all just exceptional individuals and whether their constant made any real difference. I now know the answer to those questions and let me tell you that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Helen is the person who got me into Booth, without her I can honestly say that I would not be heading to business school this fall. I guess the true test of Helen’s skills a consultant and her impact on my application is whether I would use her services again. My answer is categorically YES.

Helen’s skills and contribution to my application are best represented by comparing my submitted essays with my very early attempts, particularly those that I attempted prior to working with her. The difference is massive, to the point where I am now embarrassed by my initial attempts. I put a huge amount of effort into my application and Helen matched me at every step. Helen went above and beyond what she was contracted to do. She regularly sent me feedback within a few hours and worked until the early hours of the morning and at weekends. We only spent a few weeks working together but I think almost every essay had at least 10 or 11 drafts! So be prepared to work hard.

I was really impressed with how professional Helen was yet she remained so personal. She was honest, fair and not afraid to provide me with ideas and the constructive criticism necessary to improve my application. This is what really made the difference between creating an average application and the one that got me admitted. She pushed me further than I would have pushed myself, she ensured that every word of my application had meaning and maximum impact. Helen is a pleasure to work with, generous with her time and contributions. It is clear from working with Helen that she genuinely feels for her clients and wants them to succeed, not only from a professional perspective but also personal.

Not only did Helen help me create a successful application, but I learnt a huge amount about myself from working with her. I also learnt so much about the MBA application process and what schools are looking for. I have a sub 700 GMAT score and was regarded as a ‘wild card’ for Booth. But because of Helen this wild card got accepted!

Deciding to work with Helen and MBA Mission is probably one of the best investments/decisions that I’ve ever made.
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Absolutely invaluable. Honestly don't think I would have gotten in without mbaMission.
December 11 | 2013

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       By Anonymous joined: December 11, 2013 | 0 | 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
I worked with Helen Summers as my mbaMission consultant over the summer while I applied to Harvard, Stanford and Haas (all in Round 1). I’ve been accepted at Stanford, which was far and away my top choice, and I absolutely know that I couldn’t have done it without all the help I got from Helen! I had already taken the GMAT so I mostly worked with Helen on my essays, resume and short answers. Helen helped me both with brainstorming stories and themes for my essays, as well as tons of proofreading and draft revisions.

Helen was an absolute dream to work with. Helen is extremely personable and friendly, which made me feel totally comfortable talking to her about more personal essay topics or the struggles I was having through the process. I really felt like she was genuinely invested in me and rooting for me on a personal level the whole time. She also was very efficient and organized, always getting back to me quickly and clearly, so I felt that every single minute of my consulting time was maximized. Finally, the advice she gave was invaluable. Helen was very direct and gave honest, unbiased feedback about my essays — when something wasn’t working, she wasn’t afraid to tell me, which is exactly what I needed! However, she always gave feedback in a constructive way so I felt like I had a very clear, actionable idea of what I needed to change.

When I look back at the first draft of my essays compared to the final applications I submitted, they are absolutely worlds apart, and so much of that is thanks to Helen. I recommend her and mbaMission unreservedly!
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Helen Summers- mbaMission Consultant
July 26 | 2012

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       By arutt25 joined: July 26, 2012 | 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
Helen was great in helping me with the application process. She helped me target schools in my GMAT range and provided me with assistance in writing my application essays. Helen gave me constructive criticism and helped me learn how to enhance my resume to its fullest ability as well as how to construct and interesting and informative essay. She was very quick to respond to my inquiries and was very easy to contact and work with. The turnover time in between drafts and her critique was at the most 3 business days;she was very very efficient, yet gave me an very detailed criticisms. I would highly recommend her as a consultant .
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MBA Mission is Well Worth It!
June 20 | 2012

1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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       By Anonymous joined: June 20, 2012 | 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
I was initially skeptical of working with a high-priced consultant, but MBAMission had me wowed after the one hour complementary consultation.

The consultant asked me to articulate the reasons for my “top choice” schools at the time, and then proceeded to rip them apart. After learning about what I wanted out of my experience, my background, and my scores/work experience, she was able to draft up a list of 5 schools – a couple “reach”, a couple “target”, and a “safety” program – all within the top ~15 US MBA programs. I was wowed at how quickly she was able to see through my bs reasoning and methodically select a target list for me. After doing extensive research on her suggestions, I ended up applying to 4 of the 5 programs she suggested, and using MBA Mission to help me with my application.

The consultant I initially spoke to matched me up with a senior consultant at MBA Mission with a similar work experience background to mine – Helen Summers. Helen is fantastic!! I literally cannot say enough positive things about her. Here are a few:

- Helen is a straight shooter. When she sees bs/poor logic in your essays, interview responses, etc, etc she isn’t afraid to tell you.

- Helen pushes you to think deeper. Very rarely is your first essay/short answer idea the best one. It takes iterations to find the best story to tell and the best angle to take. Helen consistently pushed you to go deeper instead of taking the superficial/overdone/unconvincing but easy to write route. The essays I ended up crafting with Helen’s guidance are some of my most poignant writing, where my personality really shines through.

- Helen doesn’t write the essays for you. You put in the hard work. She is simply a very honest sounding board and editor. This is especially important since business schools want to hear your voice, not the voice of a consultant.

- She is a perfectionist. Some of my essays were on draft 11 or more before they were considered done. She looks at word count, grammar, syntax, flow, content, how gripping the story is, etc, etc.

- Helen is great at resume assistance. I thought I was already a fairly strong resume writer, but she really helped me articulate my accomplishments in a role, rather than my responsibilities. She also helped me do it in a way that made my accomplishments clear to a reader that would not necessarily know about my industry.

- Helen does her research on the schools. She knows the trend in interview questions for a specific school/ round. This makes interview prep twice as effective.

- Helen is super-responsive. About 70% of the time, she responded to me well before the official turn-around period. Of course as application deadlines approach she’ll have more work, so budget your time accordingly.

- Finally, Helen was super invested in my success. She genuinely wanted to see me succeed. The application process is super successful and it was fantastic to her guidance and support throughout.

I opted for the all-inclusive package. It’s expensive, but for me it was well worth it. Here are a few reasons why:

- You get unlimited essay editing. I cannot tell you how beneficial this is. I would write a draft and get comments back, rewrite, and then get more comments back. Had I only been able to submit for editing once or twice, my essays would not be nearly as tightly-written.

- Having a consultant forces you to keep momentum. I am a huge procrastinator, but having manageable chunks (ie. edit v7 of my essay, edit v2 of my resume, etc) helped me not get overwhelmed and keep going.

- The package includes help with and edits of all the fields in the application. This is a huge area for minefields as you have very few characters to articulate your biggest challenge in a role, etc. Definitely take advantage of this part of the package.

- The package includes resume help, mock-interviews, and all sorts of other super-helpful guidance.

All in all, I had a very positive experience with MBAMission and Helen Summers and would recommend both highly. One final thought – if you are having a hard time justifying the price, remember that after all is said and done, b-school will cost you roughly $200k. It is a huge investment. Spending a little extra to make sure you have the strongest application possible and upping your chances of getting into your preferred programs is well worth it.
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wonderful experience
January 24 | 2012

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       By Anonymous joined: June 16, 2011 | 1 | |
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 was a little nervous in singing up for mba missions start to finish package. Most reviews I had read were from those seeking entrance to top tier institutions, whereas I was just hoping to find somewhere that would accept me and needed help in everything from school selection to navigating the entire process. With the aid of my consultant, I was able to find a school that was a perfect fit for mend get accepted, which is no small feat given my prior record in academics. Emails were always promptly returned no matter the time. I couldn't be more pleased and believe it was a wonderful investment for person's in my position as well as those trying to get into an ivy league school.
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