Hourly Services Reviews
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mbaMission
For those who have identified specific needs and require focused advisory services, we offer "A la Carte" services.

Katy is life changing
April 19 | 2015
2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
     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: Katharine Lewis

I worked with Katy on my Round 2 applications for 3 schools. By way of background, my stats are 770, 3.7, finance background but currently working in nonprofit. I was accepted at HBS and Haas and wait-listed at GSB.

I think the most impressive aspect of working with Katy was how intuitive and insightful she is in understanding me as a person. After I filled out the brainstorming questionnaire, Katy and I had an hour long call to discuss essay topics. She surprised me halfway through by saying "this is what I think matters to you" and then explaining my values to me better than I have ever been able to do myself. I found that essay topic picking was the most daunting part of this process so I was really greatful that she could help me sort my scattered thoughts out so effortlessly.

Regarding actual essay writing and editing, Katy was good at helping me cut my first draft down (it was twice as long as the limit) by helping me remove sections that weren't as impactful. She also definitely has a knack for rewording things to get the word count down. I started the round 2 process pretty early so my main Stanford/Harvard essay went through a lot of different iterations before I submitted and she definitely provided the big picture guidance that I was really looking for through those iterations.

Katy was also really helpful in prepping me for my interviews. Mbamission has a ton of data on prior interviews which was really helpful and the mock HBS interview I did with her definitely made me feel more prepared when I walked into the room on that one.

Katy also just has a lot of general knowledge about the admissions process which provided really helpful context throughout the process. She is clearly in the flow both through her personal experiences and friends at the schools I applied to, and she works with what seems to be an impressive clientele so she is seeing in real time how her clients' applications resonate with adcoms. Her follow up to our calls was always timely and professional and included materials we had discussed on the calls.

If you are considering working with Katy I would definitely at least have the free 30 minute convo with her, I got a lot of great insights from her just in that first call. Also the mbamission materials are relatively cheap and you should read all of them even if it's not exactly a beach read. Finally, I would just say that, other than being super effective and knowledgeable, Katy is just a truely lovely person who really likes working with young people who are trying to figure out what the heck to do with their lives.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
     By Anonymous 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Yes - got into all

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Katharine Lewis

Context: I applied to B-school in the fall of 2014. Due to the last minute nature of my application and lack of confidence with interviews, I sought support from Katharine (Katy) Lewis at MbaMission. I wrote to her after hearing about her from a friend and after having a mock consultation with her – which left me with a strong impression of her knowledge of the two schools I was interested in (HBS and GSB). I took the hourly package and decided to reach out to Katy for support with my essay and interviews.

Things that stand out from my experience with Katy:

1. She knows the two schools that I applied to – Stanford and Harvard – EXTREMELY well. She understands the nuances in style/focus for the two schools and helps you package your essay accordingly.

2. Her knowledge of the two schools is particularly helpful in preparing for the mock interview. I did a mock interview with Katy before my GSB and HBS interview – both of which, as I realized later, differ significantly. The questions that she prepped me with for GSB and HBS had little in common and she was unbelievably spot on with the points from my resume/essay that the interviewers were likely to talk about. She made my interviews a smooth sail.

3. She is exceptionally responsive and goes the extra mile to accommodate your needs – be it in terms of responding to requests for calls/essay reviews/scheduling a mock interview/reviewing the post-interview reflection – she is a consistent, encouraging, and reliable partner through it all

4. She gives you enough room to speak about your ideas/doubts/fears and extract all that she can from you – in terms of the story for your essay as well as the interview. She then responds with very specific feedback to package it appropriately. There were times when she told me “this is perfect, you should go ahead with it”, she won’t give you advice/suggest modifications just for the heck of it. This is immensely helpful for one to remain genuine to one’s story and style throughout the process.

Result: Made it to both Stanford and Harvard (yet to make up my mind on where to go). Immensely thankful to Katy for this. She is also helping me make my decision given her deep insights into the schools.

My advice to applicants: Be thoughtful as to what you need help with when working with a consultant. Exhaust all free resources you can get access to – friends, free consultations, etc. – and then make the decision on whether or not to take help. Things that I find value in when it comes to working with a (good) consultant – validation of your theme, packaging of ideas customized to different schools, and mock-interviews.

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     By dlas83 0 0
This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: John Sisk

I found mbaMission through its affiliation with Manhattan Prep, the company I used for my GMAT preparation. Initially, I didn’t plan on hiring a consultant since I was applying to only one school, but after spending several stressful weeks drafting my essays I decided to change course. I selected John based on the very productive 30 minute free consult I had with him.

John's in-depth understanding of who our audience was, the AdCom, and what they were looking for, was a key component to the process that I would not have been able to figure out on my own. Through our discussions, I was able to create focused, well-rounded essays that told my story in a clear and concise way.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of working with John was one that I didn’t initially envision when I hired him - review of my resume. Going into the admissions process, I was pretty happy with it since I had used it on several interviews and assumed it didn’t need many modifications. John recommended I simplify the technical language so as to make it easier for a non-finance person (as the AdCom reviewers might be) to understand. Together we went about simplifying the layout and highlighting some of the more notable accomplishments of my career, which undoubtedly played a part in my acceptance to NYU Stern. I truly belive I wouldn't have gotten in without John's help.

I highly recommend mbaMission and John Sisk to anyone going through the admissions process. While the cost may seem high, I believe it’s worth every penny!

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     By lasinger 0 0
This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that without the support of Jessica Shklar and mbaMission, my journey throughout the MBA application process, and perhaps even the outcome, would have been quite different. After an “aha” moment, I decided to go full force on a very tight timeline and apply for my Global MBA at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. After speaking with the admissions office regarding deadlines and what was realistic as I pushed forward, I had only two months to complete my application materials, most importantly the two required essays, and study for and take my GMAT.

I dedicated the first month to writing my essays. Having a communications background and six years of professional, full-time working experience, I had in mind the story that I wanted to tell and knew that I could formulate my ideas well enough to get a decent outline. What I knew I would need help with wasn’t grammar or content so much as – am I really giving them what they are asking for? I enlisted the help of a friend of mine who also had success with mbaMission and is starting her MBA program in the fall 2016 at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. My friend recommended Jessica Shklar, saying “she’s the best, but you might not be able to get her because she’s in really high demand.” In a panic for this last minute help, I reached out to mbaMission, and Aimee replied back almost immediately that she would personally check with Jessica regarding availability. As luck should have it, since I only required mbaMission’s a la carte services and because I was catching Jessica slightly prior to peak season, she was kind enough to accept me as a client. During my Manhattan GMAT course, I had the pleasure of meeting mbaMission’s President and Founder, Jeremy Shinewald, when he came to speak to our class. I introduced myself and spoke very highly of my experience with Jessica, which did not at all come as a surprise to him – what did surprise him was that Jessica was able to take me on with her demanding schedule!

Jessica was attentive to my goals and sensitive to my time constraints. With only two hours of her time via electronic communication, she quickly demonstrated an understanding of my writing and my intention, and did not want to alter my story at all. She gave positive reinforcement with useful and enlightened responses that triggered my creativity throughout the writing process, enabling me to reposition significant points and highlight important areas that should have been at the forefront of my essays but were void in my initial drafts, and that were essential to truly answer what was being asked of me. Every edit that I received from Jessica included thoughtful responses, and even questions so that she could understand the story that I was trying to tell, or my thought process on a particular topic. When I would steer off in one direction, Jessica would give me objective feedback that got me back on track. All of this feedback was crucial as I continued to write and edit, and because of Jessica, I am incredibly proud of my final essays. In fact, I am making an effort to continue to embrace the valuable tools that I learned from Jessica today in my writing and communications.

I highly recommend mbaMission’s services, and if you are able to get on Jessica Shklar’s roster, consider yourself one of the lucky and privileged! If I had to do this again – and I’m glad that I don’t – I would have used Jessica’s services for the entire application process. A true professional that means business and cares!

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     By werdnala 0 0
This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Heidi Granner

Last year I applied to four top 15 programs in round one using hourly services with mbaMission's Heidi Granner.

I applied to programs last year following 7 years of work experience in the US military and government. While my undergrad GPA was high and my work experience was solid, my degree was from a relatively unknown regional school and my GRE score was below average for the schools I was targeting. I chose mbaMission because it had been recommended to me by several other veterans who had successfully navigated the admissions process.

Heidi was critical to my admission to my number one pick school. My work experience was a melange of jargon and acronyms that straddled both active duty military and reserve jobs--confusing to say the least. Heidi's unbiased outside perspective enabled me to make my work experience easier to understand for those outside the military/government, and to highlight my unique experience in my resume and essays.

To date, I have not met anyone with my background applying to MBA programs. Heidi gave me perspective on what schools I should target and which schools would be reaches. This greatly increased the efficiency in which I could complete my applications.

Early on in my search for admissions consultants I thought about reaching out to consultants (former military themselves) that specialize in military applicants. However, my personal opinion is that admissions consultants that are former military can sometimes be biased and assume certain work experiences are easily understood by others outside the military. Most adcom members and recruiters are not former military members, and I decided to use a consultant whose experience was the same as what I hoped to achieve after an MBA. Heidi greatly helped me "civilianize" my resume and make it easily understandable.

Ultimately, I got into my first choice and withdrew my other applications. mbaMission and Heidi Granner exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend them.

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     By lauragru 0 0
This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Kate Richardson

My overall experience with Kate was amazing. We worked together mostly on my essays and I can say she has such a creative out of the box way of thinking that really challenged me to make sure that I was giving it my best. I appreciated all of her feedback and felt as though she kept digging deeper to get to my bigger story and helped me unravel it all in my essays. She also is very prompt and will get back to you as soon as she can with even a small question.

I had my heart set on a specific program and was concerned that my quantitative score on my GMAT and my grades throughout my undergraduate program in the quantitative classes would make it difficult for me to get into an MBA program. She helped me figure out how to express my strengths and also touch on my quantitative weaknesses. I feel as though that really helped me to be able to explain these weaknesses rather than avoid them.

Kate and I also did some work on my resume and interview prep. My resume now is very clear and concise and anyone looking at it would be able to understand what I have accomplished without having to ask follow up questions. The interview prep was very helpful because it helped to calm my nerves and keep me on track.

Overall, it was a great experience and I am so excited that I was admitted into my top school! I would recommend Kate to anyone interested in an admissions consultant!

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     By NancyM77 0 0
This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Melissa Blakeslee

I was late to the application process and was applying to only one school 3rd round, shooting for the moon knowing the odds were against me. And I honestly don't think I would have gotten in without Melissa's help on my essays.

I had the "stories" of both of my essays down, but what Melissa helped me with was to consolidate and focus/expand on what I viewed as details in the story, but actually were distinguishing factors for who I am as a person and applicant, rather than the overall "story". Her point view coming directly from the seat of the AdCom is invaluable to be able to highlight these character qualities I would have glossed over, instead focusing on the overall story. For example, my original essay said: I tried new things. Melissa helped me to turn that into: swimming across shark infested beaches, traveled to several third world countries, and signed up for new running clubs. By reframing what I was trying to say and extracting these descriptive details she was able to highlight my passion for adventure, exploration, and fearlessness and show more of who I am and what I would bring to campus. She was able to extract at least three adjectives to describe me when my original sentence gave zero.

I know my essays would not have fully shown who I am as a person and what sets me apart from the rest of the application pool without Melissa's guidance and ability to more effectively demonstrate what I was trying to convey. I would recommend her to ANYONE for any part of the process and was actually excited to work with her the following year had I not gotten accepted!

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     By buck6 7 0
This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

I worked with Jessica for one of my applications for Round 1 of 2015. I initially selected her for my free 30 minute review because of the similar nature of our work backgrounds. After those 30 minutes, I was fully assured that she would help my story shine through in my essay.

Throughout our brainstorming and editing process, Jessica did a phenomenal job of explaining to me why she thought different elements of my background should or should not play a more prominent role. And, due to the potentially controversial nature of my essay, she took some of her own time to vett it with co-workers, eventually coming up with advice on how to better describe the learning experience I underwent. Her creativity throughout the process cannot be overstated.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Jessica because she had (and still has) a vested interest in my success. She enthusiastically answered questions as mundane as "Is this in line with typical interview attire?" and provided a great sounding board for assuaging my initial concerns post-interview. And though Jessica is relentlessly positive, she still remains honest. She was quick to point out areas for improvement or application faux pas I was committing.

Even though Jessica and I discussed only one of my applications, I was able to use knowledge I gleaned from our talks and apply it to my other applications. As a result of our work together, I earned admittance to four of the five schools to which I applied (including the one we focused on), while earning a place on the wait list on the fifth. I have no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't have been nearly as successful without her help.

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Review on hourly services
June 26 | 2016
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     By user1234512345 0 0
This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: John Sisk

I spent around 10 hours with John over the course of several months to work on application essays. John was fantastic during the application process. He was a great resource from providing a sounding board for essay ideas to guiding me during the interview processes.

Brainstorming: In the beginning, there were so many times when I was getting frustrated about finding a story. I knew I had a story, but I wasn't sure how to find a specific one. John was able to ask the right questions and probe my answers to help me come up with essay topics.

Essays: Since I had been out of touch with writing essays for years, he also gave me great feedback on ways to tighten my writing style and approach. I didn't think this was going to be an experience I would gain from the application process, but I learned how to communicate much more efficiently from John.

Interviews: I wish I had asked John for mock interview help, but he provided some great material on prepping for the interviews. I used those to structure my interview answers.

Waitlist: Despite my disappointment in getting waitlisted at one of the schools, John remained optimistic and helped me navigate the waitlist process. I used the tips he gave me to reach out to the admissions committee.

While we never spoke on the phone, John's response time over email was great. He usually responded within 2-3 days of my emails. John was such a huge help during the application process, and I couldn't have survived it without his support.

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Jen Kedrowski is great!
June 19 | 2016
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     By akamerow 0 0
This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Jen Kedrowski

I contacted Jen because I was experiencing a lot of uncertainty about my resume and admissions essays. Because I come from a non-traditional business background, I wanted to make sure I was working with someone who understood my position. Jen was incredibly helpful and very efficient. She is great at both line edits and general direction edits. She was glad to answer both vague and specific questions that I had. In addition to her technical expertise, I also found her to be genuinely positive. When I heard back about interviews, she was very supportive. I would not have been able to juggle all of the applications without her.

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