Margaret (SBC)


    
Number of reviews [18]


Company: Stacy Blackman Consulting
Packages: Comprehensive Service   Hourly Services   Hourly Services  
Margaret (SBC)'s Reviews
Stacy Blackman: the Best Admissions Consulting Firm
January 19 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: January 19, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - got into all
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Margaret (SBC)
I actually worked with another consulting firm (referred by Manhattan GMAT) on my round one application to HBS last year and was extremely dissatisfied with the experience, long before I wasn't accepted at HBS. He was negligent, and I didn't have anyone else at the firm to support me. The contrast between working with that consultant and working with Margaret and SBC was remarkable. Margaret put in a tremendous amount of time providing thoughtful insights about my essays, getting on the phone with me for discussions, being patient with my paranoid questions, and more. She put in a great deal of time getting to know me and was always paying attention to me. She was also always responsive, whether it was the middle of the day or the middle of the night. Any question I asked her, no matter how random or paranoid, or during what part of the process was answered quickly and thoroughly. I can't say enough great things about working with Margaret. She gets high marks all around from me, and I would HIGHLY recommend her to any other potential applicant. The support from the SBC team to make sure Margaret and I were on track was also essential. That is why I selected SBC for my reapplication. I needed the reassurance from a stellar consultant and also from the Admissions Officer review on the SBC team.
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Kellogg admit- thanks Margaret and SBC!
January 16 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: January 16, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - got into all
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Margaret (SBC)
I wanted to share a few thoughts about Margaret with you: most notably, she has a seemingly innate ability to help craft truly impactful stories for the business school application process. Just having that talent, however, isn't always enough. Margaret contributes two other vital pieces to that puzzle - first, she is tremendously engaged in the work that is being done. The entire time, I truly thought Margaret was my biggest fan...so much so that when I was accepted to Kellogg I fully expected her to come with me! This enthusiasm was strongly noted by her late night emails to me - she would work tirelessly into the night to help me perfect these essays!!

Secondly, her attention to detail and organization is supreme. Its one thing just to throw around ideas about what to put in a business school essay, but its entirely different to carefully structure those thoughts through draft after draft after draft.

Margaret does this effortlessly and always with a smile on her face (even though its the 37th time looking at one single sentence).

The additional reviews by Lisa and others on the SBC team were invaluable. Thank you!
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Highly satisfied with Stacy Blackman
January 15 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: January 15, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Margaret (SBC)
Choosing the SBC comprehensive school package was a great decision. I applied tot three schools and got into my two top choices - HBS and Wharton!

Margaret made the entire process really painless. Even though I was overwhelmed at first, she made sure to guide me every step of the way. Her feedback was trenchant and to the point - exactly why I needed! She helped me think through my goals so that I could articulate concisely my reasons for wanting to go to graduate school. She helped me focus my writing and tell the stories only I could tell. I really enjoyed working with her. I had a great experience, so I highly recommend Margaret.

Additionally, the SBC comprehensive service is very well organized. I had access not only to Margaret, but also to a social media consultant, as well as a mock interviewer for my Harvard interview and a mock group interview for Wharton. A different SBC consultant also did a final read of my application before I submitted it.
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SBC is well worth the investment
January 10 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: January 10, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Margaret (SBC)
I was initially hesitant to engage a professional consultancy. I had planned to ask my friends for tips based on what they had learned from their own application processes. I ultimately invested in the comprehensive package with SBC after a current Wharton student told me that I risked putting myself at a disadvantage otherwise. This was great advice.

I was paired with Margaret Strother, a great match for my personality and work style-- in her words, we're both "hard-assed perfectionists." Margaret's help was invaluable every step of the way, from developing my story and polishing essays to tactical questions regarding recommenders and school-specific minutiae. She exchanged hundreds of emails of the summer and she reviewed scores of drafts of my various essays, always promptly and incisively. During the long interview season in the fall, she helped to coach me on my standard responses and generally prepare me to excel in interviews. After she discovered I love cooking (which featured in my applications) we even exchanged a few recipes.

With the comprehensive package, I also had access to a "flight test" of my application by a former MBA admissions committee member, and after I received an interview offer from Wharton, I was able to practice their unusual group interview with other SBC applicants over Skype. My real Wharton interview went almost exactly the way it did in the practice session, which helped me to stay calm and confident despite the unusual format.

Ultimately, I was accepted to Booth with a scholarship and to my dream program at Wharton. Based on that alone, I'd say SBC is well worth the investment as a way of reducing downside risk. But I'd endorse them even if I hadn't been as fortunate in what is ultimately a capricious and subjective process. SBC's consultants act as mentors and coaches, and when it matters Margaret can be as demanding as my former investment banking bosses. I gained valuable experience and I learned practical and tactical lessons about positioning myself as a candidate, which I will apply to my post-MBA goals.
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Exactly what I needed
May 21 | 2014

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       By jortim4 joined: January 16, 2014 | 15 | 2 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  Margaret (SBC)
I was on the fence about whether or not to hire a consultant to assist me with my application process. I knew I didn't need comprehensive help with my entire application, rather just a little preliminary work to craft my story and then a few hours here and there to get my questions answered.

I ended up choosing Stacy Blackman because I immediately clicked with the gentleman I did my free 30-minute conversation with, Bill Chionis. He recommended I work with Margaret, saying that she would be perfect for what I was looking for.

She was. Margaret and I were able to pack a TON of helpful conversation into my first hour-long session--and every hour-long session thereafter. She was extremely knowledgeable (with the kind of insider information not available to the average applicant--we know what the questions say, but what are they really looking for?), respectful of my time, and most importantly, available. Sometimes you need a quick answer via email, and Margaret was very consistently available to answer.

Not to mention, I really enjoyed working with her. The application process sucks, but having a friendly person in your corner makes it a little more bearable.

I highly recommend Margaret, and frankly anyone else with Stacy Blackman, as I trust they would deliver to a similar standard.
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Margaret at SBC
March 25 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: January 11, 2013 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  Margaret (SBC)
B-school apps can be challenging, frustrating, scary, and overwhelming. At the end of the day, it really helps to have a professional by your side to guide your thought process as you think about the topics for your essays, and the overall strategy for each school. I worked with Margaret at SBC, and can say from the bottom of my heart that she did a great job in steering me in the right direction. While I didn't get into my first choice school, I ended up in a top-20 school with a FULL FELLOWSHIP, which means my entire tuition was paid for (I didn't apply for any fellowships, but was rather selected based on my application, which was a ridiculously nice surprise). As I look back, I remember second guessing the essay topics for the B-school. It seemed they were too cheesy, too personal. Margaret didnt let me stray and reassured me in every revision of the essays. I can honestly say that without Margaret I would not have written these essays and who knows whether I would have gotten the same result. If I had to do anything differently, I would have been a bit more creative and brave with the topics I chose for other B-schools. At the end of the day, SBC and Margaret were there for me to guide my own options, they could only work with what they had. SBC won't make up ideas for you, won't write the application for you, so you really have to be determined to stand out and show the school who you really are with how you write your application. SBC will however guide your thinking as you write the essays, focus the topic on important factors that we tend to skip over but the admissions committee really care about, and help you understand which topic, in which manner makes your application the strongest. Thank you Margaret and thank you SBC!
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Margaret Strother at Stacy Blackman
March 23 | 2014

3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
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       By Anonymous joined: March 21, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - got into all
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Margaret (SBC)
The MBA admissions process was more stressful and time consuming than I could ever have imagined but I was extremely fortunate to work with Margaret Strother at Stacy Blackman. Margaret exceeded all expectations I had from an admissions consultant. She took a great deal of time initially to understand my background and help me to come up with a way to explain my experience in a way that would be attractive to business schools. She then had a clear strategy for structuring, planning and then writing each essay. I was absolutely delighted with all the essays I submitted. I had my parents read through them too and they were very impressed!

Margaret's assistance went far beyond my essays, however. She kept a check on every aspect of my application - who my referees were, what they were saying, how many alumni I had spoken to for each school, how many events I was attending and what I was saying at these events. Margaret was fantastic to work with and didn't stand for any nonsense - at one point she didn't like the sound of one of my referees and was absolutely adamant that I go out and fine another!

I feel very lucky to have worked with Margaret. Not only did I get into my first choice school, but I also feel I learnt a huge amount about myself throughout the application process. Margaret taught me a great deal about selling myself, my strengths and weaknesses, and what I needed to get out of an MBA. She helped me to refine my post-MBA targets and I feel better equipped to achieve those targets having worked with Margaret. I never expected that, in addition to my successful applications. Margaret is also a real pleasure to work with and I miss our Skype calls!
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Margaret Strother
March 16 | 2014

3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
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       By Anonymous joined: March 16, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Margaret (SBC)
Margaret offered me exactly the kind of tips and advice I needed when applying to B schools. She was encouraging and supportive, but also realistic and pragmatic. She helped me identify programs that I was best suited for, which would add the most value to my post MBA goals.

European schools tend to have more essay-intensive applications and Margaret's copywriting background was very beneficial during the essay writing process. She worked with me to identify the most relevant details for each essay and present them in a manner that had the greatest impact.

I highly recommend Margaret's service for the MBA application process.
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Thank you SBC - Great experience
March 10 | 2014

3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
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       By Anonymous joined: December 1, 2012 | 12 | 5 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - got into all
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Margaret (SBC)
I worked with Stacy Blackman Consulting in 2013. My Consultant was Margaret Strother and I really enjoyed working with her over a span of five months. I was specifically interested in top European schools (only applied to Kellogg in US) and at first wasn't too sure about working with a consultant from North America. I was proven wrong over and over again by Margaret's depth of knowledge and SBC's overall support during some very tense moments of my life. Margaret and I worked closely to come up with stories that felt great to me and also positioned me as a unique candidate for my target schools. She was frank in her approach and extremely diligent in her reviews; I wrote and rewrote my essays upwards of 12 times in some instances. I was extremely impressed by Margaret's (and SBC) integrity in the whole process. It was made clear from the initial meeting that they weren't going to paint a nice but untrue story or do my work for me. While I didn't have "holes" in my application, I was considered an older candidate; Margaret was very clear on the limitations that my age might bring to my candidacy and overall application(s). However, she fully supported me all the way with even the smallest things on my applications, interviews, etc. that hadn't crossed my wildest imagination before! I was admitted to all three schools I applied to and eventually accepted the offer from IMD as it was my school of choice.
Overall, my experience in working with Stacy Blackman Consulting has been great and would not hesitate to recommend them to any interested candidate.
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Stacy Blackman Review
February 18 | 2014

3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
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       By Anonymous joined: May 4, 2010 | 4 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Margaret (SBC)
I am an international applicant, an older candidate and a re-applicant. Though I had a decent academic profile and GMAT score, I was unable to secure admission in my initial attempts. I was desperate and had decided that this was going to be my last attempt at Full time programs.
I decided to look for a consultant, and decipher what it was I was doing wrong. After contacting a few firms, I liked SB for their prompt and detailed response. I also had a talk with Margaret, who was my primary consultant, and felt happy to work with her. She is encouraging and straight-forward. I also liked the fact that SB and Margaret have been working in this field for a number of years, so there was some history there. I had a clear idea of the schools that I wanted to apply to, in light of my interests and age and we started from there.
I had some basic ideas for the essays which we used, but our discussions really helped emphasize the human side of my stories. We also worked on my resume, and I think we went up to 8 or 9 drafts, before it got b-school ready. All of this was really helpful, because I was able to portray a complete picture of myself.
Working with her also ensured that I was completing everything way before the deadlines. This gave me sufficient time for school research and filling out the actual electronic application, things I had neglected previously. Overall, I was very happy with the quality of my applications, and was also quite prepared for my school visits and interviews.
Of the 4 schools I applied to, I got into 2, including my top choice. I will be joining an M7 program this year, and am very happy with the outcome.
Ultimately, a consultant cannot help you gain experience. You have to do it yourself, and depending upon your candidate profile, be realistic about where you should apply. But if you have done that properly, Margaret and SB can definitely ensure that your candidacy is highlighted in the best possible manner and make sure that all parts of your application package are perfectly developed so that your application is in the best shape it can be. My only regret, I should have worked with them earlier.
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