Jessica Shklar

Senior Consultant


    
Number of reviews [32]


Company: mbaMission
Packages: * School Packages   Mock Interview Sessions   Hourly Services   MBA Student Services  
After graduating from Harvard College with a degree in anthropology, Jessica Shklar worked in nonprofit education, first doing curriculum development for an adult education center and then in the admissions office of a small university in Los Angeles, where she advised applicants to both the undergraduate college and several graduate programs, including business school. While there, she developed and delivered workshops around the country on Selecting the Right College and How to Write an Effective Application Essay. Having been accepted to every business school to which she applied, including Stanford, Kellogg and Yale, Jessica ultimately chose to attend HBS, where she completed her MBA with distinction (graduating in the top 10%). After starting work, she volunteered in the New York City public school system, helping high school seniors with their college applications. She has worked at several Fortune 100 companies, including American Express and JPMorgan Chase, where she was the quality leader and a senior vice president for Chase Home Finance. Jessica is also a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, with specific expertise in Six Sigma deployment and initialization.

Jessica Shklar's Reviews
Jessica Shklar: A++ consultant for the non-traditional MBA applicant
October 22 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: October 22, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  No
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Jessica Shklar
Jessica Shklar is someone you absolutely need on your team throughout your MBA application process. Although I only applied to one (top 10) school, got an interview, but in the end, was not accepted, there's nothing I would change about my decision to work with Jessica and mbaMission.

I must admit, I was quite intimidated by Jessica initially! She has a very impressive professional and academic background, understanding of the nuances of each school/program, and communicates with an incisiveness I would equate to Sheryl Sandberg's. Having worked with her the last 6 months, I can attest to her caring, genuine and down to earth nature, and consider myself very lucky to have had Jessica as my MBA consultant this year.

Jessica made a stressful period manageable - she was available to speak anytime, answered emails nearly immediately and was never late (but typically early) for her promised turnaround period. She provided unbiased opinions and advice, which was extremely valuable during a process requiring intense self-reflection, and was very supportive when I received the news I was not accepted.

For anyone like me - on the younger side for the average MBA applicant, not a banker/consultant, previous work experience doesn't fit many 'career tracks' or appear on drop down lists, might not project the most self-confidence or take ownership for all your professional accomplishments (yet) - working with Jessica will not only boost your odds at acceptance to a top MBA program, but also strengthen your ability to clearly, present your background and 'story' to potential employers, mentors, and/or colleagues...

After explaining the projects I'd led professionally over our brainstorming call, I sent my first CV and essay drafts to Jessica. She quickly responded with feedback, encouraging me to take more ownership for the accomplishments I described on our call, in my writing. She helped tweak my language and portray my experiences in a new light that anyone could relate to or understand, while never completely revising or editing the original content.

Jessica's guidance on how to best present my professional/academic background, and explain my short/long term career ambitions, has been extremely beneficial professionally and personally - I now take ownership for my work, confidently embrace my non-traditional path, and recently landed a dream job because of it.

Had I not worked with Jessica, I highly doubt applying to bschool and not being offered admission, would've been nearly as productive of a process in the end.

You absolutely won't regret your decision to invest in a consulting package with Jessica Shklar...even if you don't get in :)
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Could not have gotten into a top 5 school without her!!
September 29 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: January 21, 2013 | 0 | 5 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Jessica Shklar
Background: 730 GMAT; 4 years experience at a boutique investment bank; 3.4 GPA at a state school

When I decided to apply to business schools in the first couple months of 2013, I reached out to a few MBA application consulting firms for free consultations, and I immediately clicked with Jessica Shklar from mbaMission. During our 30-minute call, she was able to point out parts of my resume that I was understating and suggested a few schools that she thought would be good fits for me.

I signed up for mbaMissions start-to-finish package and once essay questions began to be released, my first brainstorming session with Jessica was a complete success. Even though my brainstorming document was about half the length of typical clients, she was able to ask all the right questions about my background and experiences to piece together a coherent and compelling "story" for me that I never would have thought of on my own.

After that call, I reviewed my notes and began drafting my first essay. Upon submitting my first draft, Jessica promptly reverted back to me thorough and extremely helpful comments while also making sure that I continued to write in my own voice by always being open to discuss any questions or concerns. She also kept me on track and periodically checked in on my progress given that the two schools I was applying to (HBS & Booth) had relatively earlier deadlines. Even my recommenders had nothing but compliments for her style of input. Once the time came to submit my applications, we did one final review of the entire application for each school, including all the short answers, and I was very proud of the applications I was able to produce.

If you are looking for someone that will truly make the grueling application process enjoyable and less stressful, please give Jessica a call, as she was always genuinely invested in my success all the way from school selection to essay drafting to interview prep and even post-admission advice. There was no way I would’ve gotten into Booth without her wonderful advice.
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Valuable resource during daunting process
September 18 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: September 18, 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:  Jessica Shklar
I'm really grateful to Jessica and mbaMission for helping me craft the most compelling story and for being great support during the incredibly difficult MBA admissions process. Jessica helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses as an MBA candidate, and she gave an objective opinion every time. Now that I'm in the first couple weeks of business school, I am finding that the consulting sessions are still paying dividends. The resume that I'm now using to get internship opportunities has been edited and crafted with Jessica's help. But most importantly, I continue to use the narratives Jessica helped me uncover now that I'm looking for internships.
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Highly Recommend Jessica Shklar and mbaMission
July 26 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: March 31, 2011 | 1 | 7 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - got into all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Jessica Shklar
Jessica came highly recommended from a close friend who had also enlisted her services, and she did not disappoint. Having helped the friend get into 2 top 10 MBA programs, I had confidence that I was in good hands, however, Jessica far exceeded my expectations.

When Jessica and I started working together, I was in the midst of an overseas deployment, and knew that my dealings would be a little more difficult than what she was used too - she never missed a beat. Additionally, I informed Jessica from the get-go that I would only be applying to 1 business school, at least for the first round. Where I would have expected some reservations or cynicism, given that many philosophies are to cast a wide net and if you are fortunate enough to get into multiple programs you have some high-quality problems, Jessica was absolutely willing, and even encouraged the selection of only the school I was truly interested in.

The process that mbaMission utilizes is tried and true, and I immediately saw the value-added in the organization of my resume and story into a cohesive narrative, which when completed was able to highlight the strengths and characteristics that most benefitted my application. After completing and organizing the the initial data mining, we jumped right into the essays. There was no draft limit on the number of revisions we worked with, some essays needing more work than the others, but the ability to make the story as concise and strong as possible is what I truly benefitted from. Jessica was able to weed through the chaff of my initial drafts and my finished products were 1st class essays that wasted no words. The best part of the essay editing is that while my essays were stronger because of the editing, the tone and story never changed from that of my own voice. Jessica's work was strictly edits and suggestions and never mandates or complete revisions of my thoughts. Because of this, when I submitted my final application I was proud of MY work and knew the admissions committee was meeting me as an applicant.

I highly recommend the mbaMission admissions consulting process, and if you are lucky enough that Jessica can squeeze you in as a client, don't hesitate, you will not be disappointed.
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Worth every penny
June 20 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: June 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:  Jessica Shklar
First of all, I wanted to mention that this was my second year applying and I have used three different consultation services throughout my application experiences.

I only worked with Jeremy Shinewald and Jessica Shklar of MBAMission so I only speak for these two, but I am confident that if I had ended with any other consultant within MBAMission, I would have had just as great of an experience.

In my first year applying, I utilized the help of MBA Apply and Aringo. Alex was an experienced consultant and maybe a great fit for someone already with a solid story and background, but for me, we were not a great fit. He is one of the most knowledgeable and opinionated persons about B-schools in the business, but my experience was less than stellar. So in the middle of applying, I switched to Aringo. Aringo was good as well, and Tim, in my opinion, was a better fit than Alex and we even became friends, but again, we failed to achieve a solid acceptance into any schools on my list. With Tim's help, I did get waitlisted at Johnson, but ultimately did not get in due to lack of movement on the waitlist (I applied to Columbia, Haas, Wharton, Johnson, Yale, and Stern my first year). As with any applicant who faces this kind of statistic, I was discouraged to say the least. It took a little while to dust myself off and get back on the saddle.

Then in my second year of applying, I decided to utilize MBAMission after consulting with Jeremy AGAIN (I had consulted with him my first year but decided against my better judgement due to the high cost of packages - I come from a construction background so my paycheck was not even close to six figures). He was the most encouraging consultant I had met (yes yes I know they are a business and I did consider many other consultation services and came to a conclusion that I wanted to work with someone who was more positive than some consultant who wanted to pigeon hole me into a group of schools I did not want to attend). Sometimes, to draw out the inner story in someone who had lost confidence in their own profile, you need someone positive and encouraging and who is willing to listen to your whole story without interrupting you to tell you that he or she thinks that it will not work because of conditions A,B and C.

That is how I ended up with Jessica Shklar. I asked for a drill sergeant type to keep me in check and to keep me going when going got tough. Boy did I get placed with the right consultant. She not only put on the drill sergeant hat when she needed to, but being the passionate person she is, she was quick to pick up on hints and vibes and drew out the important stories that I had thought were insignificant from my previous year of applying. We were able to put together a complete story of me; and with complete confidence, I completed all seven applications. End result? I got accepted into two sweet sixteen schools with fellowships (Johnson and Anderson for $40K) and one top twenty-five school also with fellowship (USC $40K). I will note though that the first four were reach schools (MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Booth) and although I put together a kick-ass application, I knew going in that it was a numbers game.

When choosing a consultant, I cannot stress enough that you need to really explore all of your options thoroughly. Consult with as many as you can stomach before putting down your money. I sure am glad I did. Some may say that I may have had a better chance with this service or that consultant, but I am completely satisfied with the services I received from MBAMission even with the higher price tag. I got what I paid for - more specifically from Jessica Shklar for my apps and Jeremy for running a tight show and helping me find Jessica. The Good news? I NEVER EVER have to apply again. I got in. I am traveling through the Balkans waiting to attend Anderson in the fall.

I sincerely wish the best of luck to all applicants. Cheers.
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mbaMission - Jessica Shklar
June 19 | 2014

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       By chigirl24 joined: January 16, 2013 | 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:  Jessica Shklar
I would highly recommend Jessica Shklar from mbaMission for anyone considering applying to a top business school program. I spoke with a few other admissions consultants from other companies before speaking with Jessica and immediately knew after our first brainstorm session that she would take a vested interest in my application to business school. She was excited about my story, provided great insights to my various questions, and even was willing to speak to my father, who had some questions of his own.

I valued having Jessica to discuss all of the intricacies and complexities throughout the duration of the admissions process. She is extremely responsive, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and realistic about MBA programs and the admissions process. Jessica continuously pushed me to be the best applicant. Over the several months that we worked together, we developed a strong relationship and I continue to reach out to her and know that I can rely on her for her sound advice.
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Jessica is amazing!
June 17 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: April 16, 2013 | 0 | 5 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Jessica Shklar
Because of the lofty price tag on admissions consulting, on top of the brutally expensive GMAT/application process, I was skeptical about using a consultant. However, friends at top schools persuaded me that consultants were extremely valuable and a small investment relative to the cost of b-school and potential payoff from attending a top program.

I had my 30-minute free consultation with Jessica and was blown away by how much constructive feedback she was able to give me in such a small period of time. I'd done my research to learn about characteristics and experiences that top schools look for, but I quickly found how beneficial it was to have a seasoned professional help refine my application.

Throughout the application process, Jessica motivated me to thoroughly reflect on my experiences and career goals so that I was able to most effectively present myself to admissions committees. There were so many times where I thought I had written a stellar response to an essay prompt, Jessica tore it apart (in a very nice/constructive way), and then after we reached a final product I couldn’t believe I’d been happy with my first drafts. Jessica gave me feedback that I knew I could trust because of her experience, confidence, and rationale behind each suggestion she provided.

The applications that I submitted were (seriously) the proudest accomplishments of my life because of the way I was able to tie each piece of the application into a story that truly highlighted the best me. Working with Jessica was such an amazing exercise in self-exploration, and I couldn’t more highly recommend her to anyone serious about applying to business school!
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mbaMission - Amazing Experience
June 16 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: September 2, 2013 | 0 | 5 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  Mock Interview Sessions   Consultant:  Jessica Shklar
I worked with Jessica on my interview preparation and she was one of the first two people I contacted after receiving my dream school acceptance call – my email subject line was “HAAS!!! :) We did it…speechless.” Despite living almost 8,000 miles from me and never meeting me in person, Jessica had a commitment and a sincere desire to see me succeed that I have only experienced with family.
After investing countless hours into the GMAT and my essays (also through mbaMission), I finally had three interviews. The pressure of crossing the finish line led to a “shocker” of a practice interview. Jessica’s advice was not a simple “you need to relax and be yourself” but rather she worked with me to develop the tools to let my personality shine through and for me to enter the “zone”. Going into my final and most important b-school interview, I trusted Jessica when she advised me not to look at my interview notes in the week leading up to the big day. Every interview was a success and…I had fun in those interviews.
Jessica’s positive energy kept me going during the demanding interview process, and her experience and advice allowed the best version of me to come through at every interview. A testament to the positive experience I had with Jessica and mbaMission is that my wife will be working with Jessica on a “start-to-finish” mbaMission package this year!
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Thank you Jessica!
June 08 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: June 8, 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:  Jessica Shklar
My decision to work with Jessica Shklar was probably the best decision I’ve made in recent years. Although the process entailed a lot of work, I am extremely happy with the outcome as I have been admitted to my top choice school.

Prior to deciding to work with Jessica, I scheduled assessment calls with most of the well-known MBA admission consulting firms. It quickly became apparent to me that Jessica was the most experienced and knowledgeable. She was also the only one that I connected with on the personal level. And when Jessica could not take me on as a client in R1, I decided to apply in R2 just so I can work with her.

Here is a summary of what I found most helpful in working with Jessica:

1- She is straightforward. She won’t sugarcoat her feedback

2- She was really invested in the process. I felt she cared about the final outcome just as much as I did. And when I felt satisfied with my application, Jessica kept pushing me to go deeper. At the end, I emerged from this experience a better writer and a storyteller.

3- She is exceptionally skilled in formulating and synthesizing ideas into a story. Combining this with her unmatched coaching skills, Jessica proved to be the ultimate resource, helping me prepare my winning application.

The value of working with Jessica goes beyond the application process. Her support and guidance during my interviews was invaluable. I simply cannot recommend Jessica enough.
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Jessica Shklar (mbaMission) - Well Worth the Investment!
June 04 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: December 29, 2011 | 0 | |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Jessica Shklar
Choosing Jessica Shklar (and mbaMission) as my admissions consultant was the best decision I made in my application process.

After researching many admissions consulting firms, mbaMission rose to the top for two reasons: 1) the numerous outstanding reviews I read on admissions websites/ blogs 2) the recommendation from Manhattan GMAT, a company I trusted after success with their course. I combed numerous websites, and found many mbaMission testimonials that touted Jessica, so I set up my free consultation with her. I had previously completed free consults with other prominent firms, but after spending 30 minutes with Jessica, I knew I wanted to work with her. Jessica came very well prepared, having carefully studied my resume prior to our initial meeting. I was impressed by how personal she was and how she carefully tailored all her questions/ comments/ advice around the nuances that were important to my story.

Jessica’s credentials are impressive and reviews from her former clients were exceptional, but what made her distinctly valuable to my applications was her ability to help me capture who I am on paper. After brainstorming with me and reviewing some of my drafts, Jessica encouraged me to write one of my essays about a very tricky subject – my faith – because it’s a very important part of who I am. Working with a delicate topic, Jessica helped me compose a deeply personal essay that was not offensive yet remained true to what I believe. Without Jessica, I wouldn’t have even attempted to write on my faith. Yet with her help, the essay I eventually produced was outstanding because it was uniquely me. The essay Jessica helped me craft added immense depth to my application and helped me come alive from a ‘flat’ file.

The result: I was accepted – and am matriculating – to Chicago Booth with a half tuition scholarship. A year ago, I would have considered myself to be a ‘coin-flip’ decision at Wharton/ Booth/ Kellogg. With Jessica’s help, I was accepted to 2 of the 3 and waitlisted at the other.

Sure, the cost of a consultant is expensive. But against the bigger picture of spending six figures on b-school, it’s a worthwhile investment. For me, the cost of a top-notch admissions consultant like Jessica paid returns (10x), as I’m convinced I wouldn’t have received the large scholarship I did without her.

Without reservation, I highly recommend Jessica Shklar to any applicant considering a top business school.
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