Jessica Shklar
Senior Consultant

    
Number of reviews [53]


Company: mbaMission
Packages: mbaMission * School Packages   mbaMission Mock Interview Sessions   mbaMission Hourly Services   mbaMission 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.

Source: http://www.mbamission.com/about/?display=team&name=jessica-shklar


Jessica Shklar's Reviews
reviewer identity verified by school email address
     By PP5678 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

I was unfamiliar with the MBA application process and decided to choose mbaMission (Jessica) to guide me from start to finish. I evaluated several consultants at the time and, after talking with Jessica, I felt that she was the right person! In the 30-minute free session, Jessica tried to help me as much as she could within the time limit. If you have a chance to evaluate many consultants, you will certainly know that the free session is actually the marketing session. However, this is not the case for Jessica. I bought 5 school start-to-finish package and eventually got interview at HBS (post-interview waitlisted and dinged), Wharton (admitted), and Booth (admitted). So in this review, I would like to tell you 3 key points about Jessica that eventually led to my successful applications.

1. Identification of Meaningful Personal Stories

In my case, I was able to list out personal stories that really shaped my life but, at first, connection among them was relatively weak. Hence, I was so tempted to write about my job, initially. Jessica was an expert in identifying meaningful personal stories and she would keep asking you to explain those stores in details. During the process, you would start to realize by yourself how much impact those events were. In the end, a few personal stories represented the core part of my essays and were used for 4 schools (out of 5) and accounted for at least 70% of word counts. I wrote only 1 paragraph about my job for each essay and its role was to support my personal stories.

2. On-Time Delivery and Perfection

Jessica always commented my drafts, on time, and she would not stop doing it until the essays are perfect. She would ask you to write as much as possible up 50% more than maximum word counts and gave you tons of comments that, sometimes, took me a week or so to address. This is a very efficient process. You overwrite it first and then remove certain parts, one by one, so, in the process, you will see the big picture and force yourself to consider each point in depth. You would likely run out of energy before she does. On each school, I worked with her at least 8-12 drafts. And even my final draft sometimes still had her pending comments that I needed to remove because of limited space.

3) Genuine and Authentic

My essay got me an interview at HBS so it was great, although I couldn't convert the interview to the offer. The essay question was "Introduce yourself to classmates" and was the great opportunity to show your personality so I wrote it in a very personalized and funny way, while mentioning some of my achievements but not too many (imagine you brag for 10 minutes. How could that be interesting to your classmates?). Before I submitted my essay, I sent the essay to my boss (and my recommender) for review. And he said "this essay is so authentic. It feels like you are speaking to me..... It's alive". Jessica helped me set the tone for my essay and, in my opinion, I like HBS essay the most.

So in my opinion, I strongly recommend Jessica. You need experts who can look into your stories and express independent opinions. During MBA application, you will burn out. So better invest now and get the best shot.

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

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

I chose mbaMission and specifically Jessica on the recommendation of a friend who applied to business school the year before me and thought that mbaMission was the reason that he was able to get into a great school and complete his applications on time, and I could not agree more.

I was extremely impressed with Jessica from the start of my consultation and have recommended her to friends already. The consultation is a free 30 min session and I assumed that she would mainly sell me on mbaMission. However, she did so much more than that. I did my consultation 6 months prior to starting the application process and I asked her what I could do to strengthen my application. Because she had spent time looking into my resume and activities, she gave me actionable items which I did over the next 6 months that really strengthened my application with tangible examples – and that was even before I hired her!

I decided to apply to 6 schools and I do not believe that I could have done it without Jessica. The ability to send an essay off to Jessica and have her look at it with fresh eyes and a different and honest perspective was so valuable. Not only did it help me stay on track with timing throughout the process, but she also had a different perspective and would point out when I said something that didn’t make sense due to company/industry terminology, didn’t answer the school’s question or was not my best work.

Her ability to answer quick questions that would have taken me valuable time to research (and who knows if I would’ve gotten the correct answer) and help me with interview prep kept me sane through the process and helped me feel confident and prepared during the interviews.

I think that the brainstorming sessions however, were where Jessica really went above and beyond my expectations. My brainstorming doc was a total of 26 pages full of disjointed random things and stories. I was so impressed how Jessica was able to connect my work, health situation, volunteer, and family experiences all into one strong story full of rich, measurable, tangible examples. She even pulled some great quotes from my doc that I used as my intros to many of my essays! The story she helped me create really painted the best picture of me as a candidate and enabled me to get into one of my top schools which I am so excited to attend!

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     By gsb18 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

I had finished my GMAT and was in the essay-writing phase of my application when I first spoke with Jessica. I took the 30 minute trial to see if speaking with a consultant (specifically one who had helped others get into my dream school) would help me structure some of my thoughts. It did so much more.

My call with Jessica was very warm and friendly, but we actually didn't spend time "small-talking." Instead, Jessica asked how she could help and, when I told her that I needed some help organizing my thoughts for my essay, she asked why I wanted to go to school. I spoke for a few minutes (with Jessica listening intently and asking a few questions here and there). As soon as I rambled through my explanation, Jessica matter-of-factly followed with: "Okay, here's what I would do. Make your intro about X. Take this angle or that angle, whichever feels better. Follow with points A, B, and C, and conclude saying Y. That's how I'd structure it. What do you think?"

It was the most productive half hour I'd had in my whole experience applying. I ended the call action items, to-do's, feedback, and more from someone who I had just met but who knew exactly what I needed to make my application better.

I ended up purchasing more hours so that I could get Jessica's help trimming down my very long essays. She did so much more: she called out examples that seemed weak, encouraged me to elaborate on ideas that made my essays unique, and helped me clarify the main points of each of my essays. From that phone call all the way through edits of letters while I was on the waitlist, Jessica guided me in a way that was incredibly constructive and efficient.

I am so grateful that I met Jessica and had her help. She went above and beyond with my timelines and, when I eventually got in, I could practically hear her shouting in excitement with me!

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     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: Jessica Shklar

I worked with Jessica from July 2014 until March of this year. I purchased a 5 school all-inclusive package. With an overrepresented background, consulting, and a very hectic schedule, I wanted guidance as well as a “project manager” of sorts as support throughout the entire process.

Jessica is fantastic, if you are lucky enough to get her while she still has room, pay your initial deposit immediately and process everything later – she is the best. I met with other firms, and none of them even come close to what I found with Jessica. Other firms used scare tactics, like “oh you went to a state school, so we’ll address that” to “you are on the younger side so we can use this as a trial run.” On the other hand, Jessica never did this; she reviewed all the materials I submitted and listened to what I had to say and immediately saw what should be capitalized on my applications. Instead of saying state school, Jessica said, “with such a strong GPA and your M&A experience it will be easy to highlight.”

My essays were very personal in nature, and Jessica took this seriously, considering the sensitive nature and the personal side this revealed on my applications. Every essay for every school was different, even if the questions were nearly identical. I so appreciate Jessica’s time and thoughtfulness with the countless reviews. Jessica helps you describe your most important themes in the most concise and direct manner. Jessica knows the personalities of every school and ensures each client presents their best story at each school.

When you sign up with Jessica be ready for direct and honest feedback. It is something that I so appreciated with her, but it isn’t always an easy process. Jessica always remains professional and believes in everyone she works with.

Outside of just the application materials, Jessica was invaluable during the interview process. I received interviews at every school and Jessica was on point with the questions she used in each of our prep sessions. In addition, Jessica’s advice was a necessity in navigating the relationships that are made at each school, from post-interview notes to job changes during the admissions process.

Jessica is one of a kind, she helped me craft my admissions story to be one that allowed me to choose from two of the top three MBA programs.

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     By mc1987 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Some, but not all

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

It’s hard to articulate just how positive of an experience it’s been working with Jessica throughout the past year. Coming from a non-traditional background and a somewhat mediocre state school education, I knew my application could easily go either way with admissions committees. When Jessica came highly recommended from two close friends who had been accepted into great schools, I jumped on the opportunity to work with her.

Jessica’s knowledge and experience were critical as I navigated the application and essay process (as well as the interview and waitlist processes). As someone who has a tendency to overshare, Jessica was direct and upfront in telling me when to include more concrete, quantitative information. In the same way she was quick to encourage when it was appropriate to share personal experiences. There’s a strange balance of blending personal anecdotes with quantifiable actions in the application process, and it’s a balance I certainly knew nothing about. Jessica’s ability to guide me through this awkward process was crucial.

In the end, Jessica helped give a voice to the work and actions I had spent the past five years building. In doing so she gave me a confidence in my story that I will forever be grateful for. In the short term I know her guidance (and curating) turned me from an average candidate to a strong and competitive applicant. However, in the long term I feel as though her direction has helped me embrace my story and use it to my advantage as I navigate school and the career to follow.

I think it’s worth noting that Jessica is personally invested in each of the individuals she works with, and she’s genuinely interested in our success as clients, students, and future business people. I can be the biggest of skeptics when it comes to wondering about ulterior motives, but working with Jessica turned out to be a breath of fresh air. She has no incentive to give her clients false praise or gratuitous encouragement. She’s honest and transparent with her feedback and suggestions, and I think that it’s because of this that she’s so good at what she does. I knew I was always getting her strongest recommendation and I was never left to wonder about underlying reasoning.

I know we’re all here to get into a great school, but working with Jessica has given me so much more than that. My time spent with her has prepared me to be a better student and businesswoman, and for that I cannot recommend her highly enough.

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     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 Hourly Services
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

When I decided to re-apply to business school, I knew what I wanted and where I wanted to go. The problem was my non-traditional background: all in fundraising for small non-profits. I knew what I wanted, but had a hard time explaining (in terms that they would use/want to hear/see) to schools why they should want me.

Jessica was the one who helped me find the words, both words that fit my voice and words and phrases that would make sense to an admissions officer.

I was frustrated by other consultants who would say, "you can't do that" or "you can't say that" or "that means nothing," but didn't provide constructive ideas for what I COULD say or how I could rephrase it. "That means nothing," was especially infuriating, because it was incredibly belittling to me and insulting to the work I had done as a professional (pro tip for anyone who wants to be an MBA Consultant, don't insult your clients).

Jessica never, ever told me my work was "nothing," and was brilliant in providing new ways to think about my story and new ways to phrase it. She listened well, asked me good questions, and helped me talk through my story in a way that made it clear and helped my inspiration and determination shine through.

Jessica was especially helpful in the planning stages of my application, when I was doing some thinking about my school list for a re-application. She had valuable suggestions about schools I hadn't considered, and pointed me to the tools and services provided by mbaMission that she thought would work best for me.

Thanks to her hard work, insight, and care, I was admitted to three of the five schools I applied to, including my dream school. Not only did she guide me in my admissions process, but she gave me a boost in preparation for when I start the program in the fall.

Thank you, Jessica!

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

Some, but not all

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

I sought out help from MBA Mission starting in Round 1 and continued through the very end of Round 2. I was particularly seeking hourly consulting services to fine-tune my essay ideas and some ad-hoc advice on resume, recs, etc with the biggest focus being on essays.

My initial 30 minute free consultation was with Jessica Shklar and I felt that in this brief session alone, I could get a sense of the depths to which I knew she could truly help me pinpoint what to focus on in my essays and how to really convey the thread of my experiences in the most powerful way possible.

She got on the call prepared and ready, having analyzed my profile and what information I provided to the website. I could tell she really reviewed my background and the materials I provided, so that I didn't have to waste anytime reviewing things again in summary. Since I was worried about how much money to invest in expensive consulting services, I admit I was hesitant about buying these services because I was worried I would dish out tons of money for what might be mediocre guidance. I got off the call truly feeling the she was personally invested in my success and I knew I wanted to continue with her as a consultant. In just thirty minutes, I felt I had a MUCH clearer picture of what angle I could focus on in my essay stories.

The thought of tackling all the business-school essays gave me incredible anxiety : I was self conscious about my writing, I was concerned about being an industry-switcher and how to really prove to the admissions committee why and how I was planning to carve out my future career based on the past experiences that shaped me. I had an immediate sense of relief and clarity with Jessica because she so easily and naturally found ways that I could tell my story- in a very captivating and genuine way that never occurred to me before. And that is what you need in a consultant.

Unfortunately, Jessica had been pretty booked up with R1 clients and when I decided I wanted to buy some consulting hours, I had to pick someone else to work with at first. But ultimately, I felt that my expectations were not met by that person, and after one session, I felt unhappy with who I was left with. They just did not compare to the rapport I felt with her. I contacted Jessica and told her how I felt, what my concerns were, and if she could find a way of taking me on as a client because I was convinced I needed to work individually with her to really accomplish my goals. She was prompt in immediately addressing my concerns, not only did she find a way for the company to refund me for the consulting services I wasn't happy with, but she ultimately told me she would find a way of fitting me in as one of her R1 clients so that I could work with her instead.

Jessica worked with me from this point forward, as I applied to one R1 top tier school, and then 7 other top R2 schools. She is excellent at giving really raw feedback, directly pinpointing what you need to fix, where you're not being clear, what you do well, what you are still not doing right etc. - What I value most about her support was that she isn't afraid to be tough with you. At first, the writing critique process can feel really personal and the feedback can be painful but I cannot emphasize how important it was for me to have someone like Jessica who was not afraid to tell me her opinions on each point of my essay in the most blunt and direct way possible. At times, it hurts, but its what you really need to get your essay into the best shape possible. And this is ultimately a valuable aspect of Jessica's style because she doesn't waste your time or money - basically, she tells it like it is, and doesn't sugarcoat it for you. In this gut-wrenching process, that is exactly what you need, especially when you're going through draft after draft, competing with thousands of people, juggling with deadlines, and want to get those acceptance letters. It was critical, and it helped enormously. Because I could really see how my essays had evolved, and how I even improved the drafts I was giving her after only my R1 essays. Because I took her feedback and applied it to my thought process.

Throughout the months, Jessica was always clear and reliable about what she needed from her client group - she also reminded us about what deadlines we should be aware of and how to facilitate that with her two-day turnaround so that she could ensure we were not freaking out at the last minute and begging for a 24 hour turnaround of a final draft or needing to pay the expensive rush fee to get it back from her - she was always very clear with what she needed to be able to give the best support most efficiently. Even down to the specifics of how to write your emails to her, with what in the subject line, so that she could most efficiently get back to our requests.

In hindsight, I felt like writing essays and crafting your story for business school applications really feels like you go through therapy. And Jessica was like my therapist in this aspect! You go through a LOT of self-reflection about who you are. I was truly floored when my decision letters started rolling in. I did not get into the top 2 most competitive schools - I got into all other 5 schools (highly competitive programs), with incredible merit scholarships, and was waitlisted at 1 other. I really was overjoyed with my results. No matter what, you have to put in the best effort possible to get the best out of consulting services. Jessica was the person who got me to the level I needed to be at - I felt confident that I was submitting my best work. And my results reflected this.

I highly recommend Jessica Shklar - she was a consultant that was truly invested in my success and I have no doubt that she maintains this standard with each and every one of her clients.

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

Some, but not all

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

I worked with Jessica from October 2014 up until recently, thanks to a friend’s recommendation. Though at the time I wasn’t sure if I would hire a consultant given the price tag, I scheduled a free 30 min call with Jessica to learn more. During that call, it immediately became obvious to me why my friend had recommended Jessica. Having spoken with a few other consultants from other companies, I knew Jessica was the right fit for me. There is no consultant out there who is more professional, dedicated or hardworking than Jessica. I highly recommend working with Jessica if you are considering hiring a consultant.

Jessica is the utmost professional. mbaMission has a 2 day return policy and Jessica often provided feedback well before that deadline. Even during crunch times, Jessica always provided comments in time, helping to keep me in check. Because I worked with Jessica, I felt that I was continuously making progress throughout this process. She kept me moving forward, and more importantly, pushed me to go deeper with my essays and applications. Jessica is also a great editor and writer. Her feedback will help you make sure that no word is wasted and that your essays are as crisp as possible.

Jessica is also direct – which is a great thing considering that this process is often very vague. Jessica won’t beat around the bush. Instead, she will give you her honest opinion and then help find you ways to get you to where you want to be. Moreover, Jessica is always happy to help and answer any question you may have (from something very minor to something more significant).

In the fall, I will be attending a top program with an amazing scholarship, and Jessica definitely played a big part in that. She helped me put my best forward and keep sane throughout this challenging and long process. I cannot recommend Jessica enough. Schedule a call with her today, you will be happy you did so!

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     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: Jessica Shklar

I heard about Jessica Shklar through several friends – all gained acceptance to their top choice schools with her help. I reached out to her early (or so I thought) for the 2015 application cycle only to find out that she was already booked solid for R1. She offered to recommend another mbaMission consultant but the opportunity to work with her, coupled with other factors specific to my situation, made the choice to hold off until R2 an easy one.

After eight years in the military and multiple deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa I had plenty of interesting stories but had no idea how to effectively tie them together into something that the admissions committees could understand and appreciate. The first brainstorming session was possibly the most important 90 minutes of the entire process for me. I started with 20 pages of notes, ideas, and disjointed stories and walked away with solid, coherent themes that I was eventually able to incorporate in every application. I also walked away with a realistic list of schools to target and a clear understanding of every step I needed to take in order to submit a successful application. From the 30-minute free consultation (I’m still amazed at how well she was able to understand my story and offer relevant advice after little more than a glance at an early draft of my resume) to the final interview prep call, Jessica made manageable what would have been an otherwise unbelievably stressful process. Most importantly, I was truly proud of the applications I finally submitted.

I applied to three schools with Jessica’s help – I was accepted to two (including my top choice) and waitlisted at the other. I honestly do not believe that I would have achieved those results if I hadn’t worked with Jessica. The service is definitely a financial commitment but if you have the opportunity to work with Jessica, do so… I promise that you won’t regret it.

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

Some, but not all

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

After feeling disappointed after my first GMAT test, I decided to take a break and learn more about the mba admission process and I was unsure whether I should apply this upcoming year. I decided to attend a free webinar session with mbaMission which was led by Jessica Shklar. I was immediately blown away by all the examples and testimonies about how to “tell your story” effectively. After the free webinar, I quickly requested Jessica to try out the 30 minute consultation. We met immediately the next day and she went over my profile, resume, and scores. Just within that first session, she told me I had a very unique and interesting background and said I had a great story to tell.

I had done some free sessions with some other consultants but Jessica’s thorough analysis, honesty, and encouragement was what sold me. I was only going to apply to 2 top-tier part time mba schools so I wanted to make sure my applications were solid the first time. Throughout the whole process, Jessica has given me the ability to successfully craft my story in a way that delivers effectively and creatively. She is able to pinpoint and highlight strengths you would not have thought of. I even crammed a last minute second application in less than 5 days and Jessica was able to guide me through it all - and the best part of it all, I got in! From the brainstorming sessions to our daily communication, Jess has been prompt, responsive, and critical in each step of the way. I ended up getting into one of the 2 schools that I applied to but I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to apply this year if it wasn’t for Jess. I would highly recommend investing in mbaMission and request her if you can!

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