Jessica Shklar

Senior Consultant


    
Number of reviews [39]


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.

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


Jessica Shklar's Reviews
Zero to HERO
February 28 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: October 5, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  N/A
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Jessica Shklar
A former Captain in the U.S. Air Force, I was skeptical (not to mention clueless!) about entering the competitive MBA space. With an undergraduate degree in engineering, a masters, and extensive project engineering experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe, my stories were endless. But where would I start? Could I be effective in telling my whole story? How could I ensure my trials and tribulations caught the AdCom’s eye?

In walked Jessica Shklar. A distinguished graduate from HBS, Jessica was also accepted into Stanford, Kellogg, and Yale. Her resume spoke for itself but I wondered, “Could she help me”? The moment of truth came during my free 30 minute consultation. Starting at 5 pm, our conversation was an interactive and intense self-analysis. In just 30 minutes Jessica gave me a critical but uplifting review of my candidacy – all for the price of FREE. She didn’t pressure me to pay for her services; she only provided incredible feedback and outlined a plan for my future. Why? Because she cares. That’s her priority. Jessica, first and foremost, wants you to succeed. She will challenge you and she will drive you, all in the name of excellence. The moment you sign her is the moment you start your journey towards business school acceptance.

It should come as no surprise that Jessica is the best at what she does. Jessica has helped potential MBA candidates like you get into their dream schools for seven years. Jessica was an expert at pulling experiences from my past and highlighting my goals. Throughout my essays she helped me articulate key points that kept my stories concise yet relevant. Are you wondering how you’ll ever convey your total life experience in two 500 word essays? Stop wondering – hire Jessica. Are you wondering if your resume can compete in a highly competitive environment? Stop wondering – hire Jessica. Are you wondering if your essays in fact answer the essay question? (many don’t!) Stop wondering – hire Jessica.

Why am I writing this? Because Jessica transformed my voice; she was my consultant and my friend. I used Jessica’s services for three schools but I didn't submit any applications. A less than stellar GMAT score coupled with a few personal issues hindered my application. Who guided me through these troubles? Jessica. Who offered alternatives, advice, and still helped me complete three stellar applications for 2015? Jessica. You’re not just hiring a consultant for getting into business school. You’re hiring a lifetime mentor who just happens to be the best in the business at helping MBA candidates gain acceptance into the school(s) of their dreams.
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Jessica Shklar Saved My Applications-Hire Her Now!
February 23 | 2015

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       By JM53 joined: February 23, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Jessica Shklar
I started the MBA application journey quite blind to the process and would have been lost without the help of Jessica Shklar from mbaMission. I first met Jessica on the recommendation of a friend who was just admitted to HBS and quickly scheduled a free consultation with her. In this consultation we discussed my background and career aspirations with her giving me tips on target schools and ways to improve my profile before admissions season began in earnest. I knew the moment I hung up the phone that this was the person I needed to get me where I wanted to go. I purchased the start-to-finish package with Jessica and it was the best decision I could have made.

Jessica is incredibly knowledgeable on the MBA admissions process and after filling out a brainstorming document at the start of the process she was able to package my life story far better than I could hope to. Perhaps the greatest benefit of hiring a consultant of Jessica’s caliber is the ability to tie together all of the wonderful and sometimes disparate accomplishments of your life into a coherent and logical path that leads directly through your dream school to your dream job. Jessica and I conducted brainstorming sessions on all the essays from the schools I was applying to. Her ability to quickly cut to the essence of what I needed to articulate on each essay was incredible and provided a much needed starting point to avoid writer’s block. After I tailored my brand and story to each school’s brand and choice of essay I could count on Jessica to quickly respond to each draft in an astoundingly quick manner, providing the feedback I needed to hear on each. She enabled me to articulate my point in a succinct manner, saving valuable space on my word count to tell more of my story (in fact if she had reviewed this post it would already be over). Jessica was able to ensure what I wrote fit not only my brand and the school’s, but also that it answered the question of the essay. Not satisfied with just two sets of eyes on my essays, Jessica would seek out the advice of her colleagues on my essays, who would invariably provide another selling point of my existence that I had not thought of. I cannot stress enough the importance of a consultant’s role as another set of eyes on each revision. For those thinking of going it alone realize how easy it is to become wedded to your hard work on an easy that does not land in the same manner with the adcom. Jessica was there for me through countless revisions each essay, each time giving me immediate feedback that made the essay a little bit better. You are not just purchasing a consultant, but also a network. Jessica provided me with former clients at each school I was applying to. Each one was more than willing to talk over their experiences at the school and their own takes on the admissions process which proved immensely helpful.

My resume was always going to be a tricky endeavor since it was the first one I had created in my life. I entered the military right after college, and had six years of work experience that read like jibberish to the average reader. Jessica was indispensable in her ability to take each bit of jargon on my resume and turn it into something the adcom can understand and appreciate. Trust me if you are coming from a non-traditional background, just because you know what a term means that does not mean the people deciding your future will. This holds true for recommender letters as well, as Jessica will speak to anyone who is willing to guide them through the process of how their letter should read (crucial for those unfamiliar with MBA recs). Jessica will make sure the best version of you is put before the adcom. Her unremitting diligence through numerous iterations of my resume made it into something I never could have created on my own. In fact as I hit submit on my last application, the first thought that hit me was “I could have never done that without Jessica.”

After receiving interview invites, I realized that I had only won a battle and not the war. Once again, Jessica was there for me for interview prep. She gave me incredible tips on how to present myself in the interview and how not to come off as over-rehearsed. In fact her best advice was to “not over prepare,” which she told me repeatedly and thankfully I listened to. She will give you the topics you need to prep for while keeping you from becoming a robot that no school wants to admit. The package I purchased also included a mock interview for each school, with another mbaMission consultant (great to get a fresh perspective as your interviewer will not be the consultant who has known your story for 6 months on interview day). This was especially helpful for my Wharton interview, which has a unique format you will need a mock session for. As a result of Jessica’s uncanny abilities to present the best representation of my story, I was admitted to Yale, Booth, Kellogg, and Columbia while being placed on the waitlist at HBS and Wharton after interviews. I know if it were not for Jessica’s help throughout the process I would have been rejected at these and more schools.

Throughout this strenuous, stressful, and at times confusing process, Jessica was like a light that guided me through the wilderness to business school. She provided advice, encouragement, and when necessary a spur to work harder toward my goals. She became more than just an advisor but a friend. She is the best investment in your future you can make.
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Loved working with Jessica Shklar!! :)
February 17 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: December 20, 2013 | 1 | 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
For someone who usually does not write reviews, I just must write this review for Jessica - not only because she has been so super helpful, but also because this review could really help others who are trying to get into the school of their dreams!

I first spoke with Jessica when I scheduled a free 30 minutes consultation with MBA mission. At that point, I was shopping for admissions consultants and had spoken to a couple before my conversation with Jessica. After the initial 30-minute initial conversation, I was completely sure that I wanted to sign up with her. She picked up nuances of my profile that other consultants hadn't and her insights during the 30-minute conversation added so much value to the way I thought about my applications.

During my applications, Jessica was the person who kept me organized, my harshest critic and most importantly my voice of sanity. She helped me brainstorm through experiences and stories in my life that I had underestimated the value of. She worked with me meticulously, going through approx 25 drafts of essays for a single B school application (and we were working simultaneously on 4 of these schools). She would answer my silliest questions and doubts with the utmost patience. There was never a time when she was late - in fact she almost always sent me back stuff much in advance of the 2 day turnaround period, even on weekends a couple of times.

I applied to only 4 of the top schools and got interviews from 3 of these. Even during my interviews, Jessica was constantly a source of support helping me be prepared but not scripted. I must also mention that although I ambitiously decided to apply only to the top schools, Jessica never once pressured me to consider other "safer" bets. She was supportive of my decision and always told me that I should apply only to those schools that I would be happy going to.

I guess what I value most is that throughout the entire applications, Jessica made sure that my application maintained my tone and genuineness while ensuring that my voice was heard. I remember during one of my earlier conversations with Jessica, she had promised me that she would make sure I was totally happy with how my application was positioned before I hit the submit button. And the end result was that not only was I totally happy with my application, but I came out feeling like I had really gained from the application process. I got into one of the top three schools with a good scholarship and was waitlisted at another! :)

To all those who wish to truly give their B school applications the best shot, I would definitely recommend signing up with Jessica. I would suggest signing up for the 30-minute free consultation and making the judgement for yourself.
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Outstanding Service & Advice by MBAmission's Jessica Shklar!
February 12 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: February 12, 2015 | 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:  Jessica Shklar
I had an amazing experience with MBAmission and particularly my consultant, Jessica Shklar. She was an amazing thought partner and helped me get into my top choice school.

From my first meeting with Jessica (our free consultation), her advice was always on-point, honest, and very specific to the person I am / my specific candidacy. She thinks sharply about your strengths and weaknesses and helps you make the best case for yourself.

MBAmission asks you to compile a brainstorming document, and one of Jessica's greatest value-add's was helping me transform this long and unstructured brain-dump into 5 tangible ideas for an essay. For my main essay, I ended up coming up with my own unique version off of one of her ideas, but I don't think I could have gotten even close to such an incisive essay topic without her.

Jessica is also an INCREDIBLE editor. She will push you both on themes and word choice/sentence structure. One of her greatest gifts is also trimming down essays and cutting out unnecessary words.

In addition, I appreciated Jessica's help with interview prep. She ran a complimentary workshop before working with you 1-on-1 so for hourly clients like myself you can really maximize your time. In general, Jessica was very generous/lenient about how she billed me for time.

MBAmission as a whole is extremely prompt and stick to clear turnaround guidelines. During non-deadline times, Jessica often exceeded expectations in terms of these turnaround times.

In general, Jessica was a huge ally, thought-partner, friend and moral support throughout the process. I couldn't have done it without her!
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Jessica is the best!!
February 04 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: January 23, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  N/A
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  Jessica Shklar
Jessica is an amazing person and consultant!! She is very responsive and personable, right from the initial free to the hourly consultations. At first, I was impressed by her presentation on essay writing, and she has continued to amaze me as I brainstorm with her about my profile, recommending perspectives and resources which challenge me to stretch my scope and vision. Moreover, her efficiency is always delivered with care, and she has the remarkable ability to pinpoint my areas for improvement in essay writing and communicate them to me in a way that allows me to immediately understand and address in my essays. If you can even call it a writer’s block with MBA essay writing, I have no doubt that Jessica has helped me break through them time and time again and has made me a better writer.
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Jessica Shklar - MBAMission
February 03 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: February 3, 2015 | 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:  Jessica Shklar
I reached out to MBAmission when applying for my MBA because I was concerned about some disciplinary issues that I had faced during undergrad.

I was connected with Jessica who was in a word - superb! Jessica did 3 key things that were essential to my successful application. 1) She helped me manage my anxiety by offering specific examples of MBAmissions' success with candidates like myself 2) She provided a plan of action to address the issue in my application and 3) Offered hands-on editing support to the optional essay I had prepared. Jessica set me at ease and helped me get over this daunting phase of the application process.

I was so impressed with her, that I engaged her for further assistance editing my essays and short answer questions. She was quick to reply and was very prompt in sharing her feedback. Her edits went beyond minor wording fixes, to address content, themes, and flow. Her suggestions were insightful and actionable, making the editing process productive when it could have been stressful.

After hearing back from schools, I am thrilled with my options. I truly believe I couldn't have done it without Jessica!
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Without Jessica, I would not be going off to a TOP business school!
January 25 | 2015

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       By lab1219 joined: January 25, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  * School Packages   Consultant:  Jessica Shklar
I have a non-traditional career path and was originally interested in Jessica because of her work with people like me. After my first (free) half-hour consultation, I knew that I HAD TO work with Jessica in order to help me gain admission to business school. In that first meeting she completely tore my resume to shreds, but spent the time to try and understand my motives and who I was - thereby finding a way to reconstruct my resume in a way that would positively reflect my accomplishments. I knew that without Jessica, I would be at an ultimate disadvantage.

Jessica first and foremost wants to get to know you - and from there truly helps in crafting your story in the most positive and flattering light. She doesn’t fabricate things, she just takes all of the self-doubt and self-deprecation out of your story and gives it structure. My background looked all-over the place despite my ambitions - I majored in English in college, pursued acting, then quickly began working in the non-profit sector after realizing acting wasn’t for me. I felt my past belied what I truly wanted to do and Jessica saw that and found a way to structure my past (which was true, despite my self-consciousness) in a way that was competitive and appealing to adcom committees.

Jessica works tirelessly with you - from resumes, to an exhaustive recommendation packet, interview prep, to each and every essay and short answer question. She also is a wealth of knowledge on the application process and answered my many anxiety driven questions. But she is also not afraid to utilize her network; there were times when she got second opinions on my questions or my essays from her colleagues. She gets back to you very quickly - often times within just a few minutes.

That said, Jessica doesn’t sugarcoat anything. When I got lower than expected GRE scores (quant score hovering around 70%) she frankly told me that I needed to really expand my business school search and never told me once that I would “get into” any specific school. She just made sure I crafted a well-rounded application and hoped for the best.

I applied to eight schools - all in the top 25 and was accepted to four and wait listed at one (Georgetown, UNC, Cornell, UVA, wait listed at Dartmouth). I could not have DREAMED of these results. Given my profile I was not expecting to get into any top 15 schools and was truly shocked and flabbergasted that I had a multitude of choices -with money! I COULD NOT have done this without Jessica.

I’m still waiting to hear back from Dartmouth (and Jessica is still working with me as I navigate the wait list process) but have also happily and ecstatically accepted my offer to Darden - an option I couldn’t have dreamed of six months ago, especially given my profile.

I would not be going off to a TOP business school in the fall without her. I cannot thank her enough for what she has done for me. She is a rockstar!

SIDE NOTE:

MBAmission is expensive. I spent a lot of money working with Jessica but it was worth EVERY penny. Business school is expensive but also an investment, so think of getting a good consultant as a part of this investment. If you can, why wouldn’t you try to get any advantage that you could in the admissions process?

Also, while I praise Jessica - you also have to put your work in. I worked incessantly for months with Jessica - but she won’t do the work for you. If you don’t put your all into the process she (or any consultant) won’t be able to help you - she will not write or rewrite essays for you at all. She will use what you give her and guide you, and excellently so.

And lastly - if you want to work with Jessica, book early, she fills up!
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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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