Hourly Services Reviews
    Number of reviews [74]      Average Rating:       (4.9/5)
mbaMission
For those who have identified specific needs and require focused advisory services, we offer "A la Carte" services.

Team Eric
March 02 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: March 2, 2015 | 0 | 5 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - got into all
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  Eric Hollowaty
Going into the Business School application process, I wanted to concentrate on strengthening my applications through my essays to make up for my ok, but not great, GMAT score.

I had participated in mbaMissions’s free online workshops, and decided to sign up for their free consultation. I chose to work with Eric Hollowaty based on his past experience and its relation to my work experience. Eric listened to what my goals were, and instead of trying to alter my goals he accepted them and helped me become the best applicant for my target schools.

When I started working with Eric, I had already formulated my “story” for the most part, so I didn’t feel the need to purchase the full school package. I instead opted for the hourly option and used Eric to help fine tune my essays for the three schools I ended up applying to in Round 1. Our process was pretty seamless and while we only technically worked together for 3 hours, Eric’s feedback on my essays helped me shape the other parts of my applications and prep for my interviews.

I worried that using a consultant would change the voice of my essays and sound disingenuous, so I did thorough self reviews of my essays before sending them to Eric. From there, Eric helped me highlight and extract aspects of the essays that I might not have realized were important pieces of my experiences and character. I really appreciated that Eric acknowledged both the effective areas of my essays as well as the areas that needed improvement. He worked efficiently within the time constraints I set for each essay review (3 hours goes by really quickly!) and returned my edited essays to me ahead of schedule every time.

I think the best part about working with Eric was the enthusiasm and excitement he showed when I was accepted to the three programs I applied to. He was very supportive throughout the entire process, and was just as thrilled about my acceptances as I was. Thanks Eric!
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Fantastic Experience Working with Katy Lewis
February 17 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: April 7, 2014 | 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:  Katharine Lewis
Katy Lewis is a total rock star in my book. I started the MBA application process with no intent of hiring a consultant, as I felt that I had a good grasp on my career goals and was afraid that an advisor would take the authenticity out of my application. I just plainly didn’t think an advisor would be worth the cost.
My mind was opened when a close friend, who is now a first year at HBS, told me about what a fantastic experience she had had working with Katy. Looking back now, I am so glad that my mind was changed - Katy truly made all the difference in my application process. She is undeniably brilliant and has incredible emotional intelligence. As such, she made very tangible contributions in several areas which I still feel that, no matter how much time and effort I exerted, I would not have been able to do nearly as well on my own:
- Story development:
o This is where she really amazed me. She is an incredibly good listener, and was really good at connecting the dots between various parts of my childhood/background and personal characteristics/values/goals, in ways that were often amusingly and surprisingly insightful. She was also incredibly helpful in determining which details to keep (of course, they all seemed relevant to me), not only to stay within word counts but also to make my story more clear and impactful. At the same time, I really appreciated that Katy was very aware of not over-editing, ensuring my essays were still (despite her many edits) completely “in my own voice”.
- Big picture guidance:
o Personally, a big value add from Katy was the comfort I took her level of experience. I had not ever read a “successful” (or any) MBA application, and it put me very much at ease to know that she really knew what an “ok” versus “good” versus “stellar” application looked like.
- Insightful knowledge of MBA programs:
o I relied heavily on Katy’s deep knowledge of the programs I was considering (Harvard, Stanford, UVA Darden). She not only attended two of these schools herself but has clearly made it a priority to stay well informed of the pros/cons/changes/course offerings/etc at each –from the perspective of “what it takes to get in” as well as what students are a best fit for each program. When ultimately choosing a school to attend in the end, I really valued her nuanced thoughts and guidance, particularly given how well I felt she knew me.
A few other points that I wanted to quickly make are:
- Efficiency / value:
o I hate to bring up money so blatantly, but can’t help but comment on the cost side of things. Clearly working with an MBA advisor is not an inexpensive decision, however I can very honestly say that Katy never once made me feel as though she was doing something to bill more hours. In fact, I felt much the opposite – on many occasions, I was shocked by the relatively little time she recorded spending on some incredibly helpful feedback (I still don’t think she could has possibly have done several of these that quickly…).
- Dedication:
o Katy is undeniably dedicated to her clients and its clear she does it out of a deep and authentic desire for each of them to succeed. This was evident from certain things such as her quick response time and late nights (in the week leading up to a submission deadline, she was pulling hours that would intimidate a young i-banker!), but I was most impressed by the extent to which she was clearly working this hard because she really cared. She was always very focused on providing the above-and-beyond emotional support that most determined applicants are bound to need in what is, at many times, a taxing and stressful process. For me she went above and beyond by hopping on the phone last minute and providing un-prompted updates on interesting from-the-grapevine intel. She even made a point to meet me in San Francisco on her own time when I was in the area one weekend.
Above and beyond these things, Katy was also just incredibly enjoyable to work with. She very quickly became more of a mentor and friend than an MBA advisor. She has an extremely compassionate and giving spirit which comes through in how much she cares about each of her clients. The MBA application process was overall a great personal reflection opportunity, and Katy definitely made it all the more rewarding and enjoyable.
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Applied to One Program, Accepted! Thanks, Katy!
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:  Katharine Lewis
I highly recommend Katherine (Katy) Lewis from mbaMission for her warmth, clarity and insider understanding of the admission process. Here is a little bit about how I found Katy - and how she helped me land a seat in the Berkeley Haas EWMBA program:

ManhattanGMAT offered a free 30 minute phone conversation with mbaMission and I was assigned to Katy - an incredibly accomplished consultant with a background in law, management consulting and admissions, and a resume featuring blue chip names like Yale, Harvard, McKinsey, Stanford and Berkeley. Given my comparatively modest background, I was anxious - but Katy immediately put me at ease with her warmth and friendly openness. When we first connected, I instantly liked Katy and felt comfortable talking with her!

Over the 30 minutes of our call, we covered my background, goals, GMAT score and target programs. Katy was then able to share which schools she thought would best align with my past experience and future career plans - and she didn’t just share the usual stuff you can garner from marketing materials - but rather, a real in-depth perspective on what these programs are like and which types of students succeed within them. This “insider’s peek” helped me clear up a lot of the confusion and noise that I was sifting through while trying to figure out which school would be best for me.

I ultimately decided to apply to the Berkeley Haas EWMBA program. And given the success of our first call, I engaged with Katy using mbaMission’s a la carte service - about three hours worth of consulting to focus specifically on my essays.

To kick things off, Katy sent me a brainstorming document that guided me me though a series of questions about my childhood, college and professional experiences. The document’s prompts encouraged me to probe my memory and remember things from my past that had fallen off the radar - but that could be helpful when thinking about my application. I then submitted this brainstorming document to Katy.

And this is where the magic happened.

Before we even had our next call, Katy thoroughly reviewed the answers I had provided, looked up my undergrad alma mater’s website, explored the companies that I had worked for and started thinking about my personal narrative - that common thread that stitched my whole life together. When we spoke on the phone, she knew my story inside-and-out and shared the elements of my background that she thought would be compelling for my Berkeley Haas application. I won’t go into the details of my story, but to summarize, she was able to distill my accomplishments and background down to a single, spot-on word; my “personal brand,” if you will. Moving forward through the process, I tied every part of my application back to that single word. This not only made the process easier, but it kept my story cohesive and strong.

Katy's magic transformed not only my application, but frankly how I thought about my past experiences in general. It was oddly therapeutic - a bonus that I never thought I would glean from an MBA application process.

After the brainstorming session with Katy, I wrote my essays - which she helped me edit for clarity. Perhaps it’s that Harvard Law degree, but Katy really knows how to get to the heart of the story in a succinct way that ensures the most salient points shine.

But I have to say, as thrilled as I was with my essays and the story they brought to life - the real magic was brainstorming with Katy. All the editing in the world can’t replace the value of a compelling and cohesive narrative. And when it comes to finding that story, that narrative - and tying it to insider knowledge of the schools and what they are seeking - Katy simply can't be beat!
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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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Highly Recommended
February 09 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: February 9, 2015 | 1 | 2 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  John Sisk
As an applicant from a nontraditional background, I knew I needed help with my essays if I wanted to get into a top program.

MBAMission and John in particular provided excellent, concise and direct instructions and feedback on all essays. Especially since John and I came from similar professional pre-MBA backgrounds, I felt he had a true sense of what I was going through and could relate to all of my questions and concerns.

There is no way my essays would have turned out as clear and direct without his guidance and I would absolutely recommend MBA Mission to anyone who is serious about getting into a top-ranked MBA program.
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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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Katy Lewis Is Fantastic
February 03 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: May 16, 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:  Katharine Lewis
The 30-minute phone call I had with Katy for my free mbaMisson consultation completely changed my experience with business school admissions, and I am deeply grateful that it did.

I first spoke with Katy in the summer of 2013 when I was thinking about starting to put together applications. In less than half an hour, she helped me see that I was making a mistake by applying at that point in time. I had an almost perfect GMAT score, excellent grades, good extracurriculars, and fiercely devoted recommenders from the several years I had spent working in the nonprofit sector. I thought my profile seemed pretty good … but I was wrong. I had all of these boxes checked, but what I sorely lacked was the foundation of every effective application: an honest and engaging personal narrative that ties together your past and your future. In short, I had no idea why I wanted to go to business school (or, more accurately, I didn’t know how to articulate it yet). During our call, Katy suggested that I take another year before applying. She suggested that I accept the promotion I had just been offered at work, pick up a couple more extracurriculars, and above all, take the time to really reflect on what I hope to accomplish in my life and how that explains my desire to get an MBA. It was the best advice I could have been given.

For me, that piece of advice exemplifies some of Katy’s finest qualities—namely, her honesty and integrity. She had nothing to gain (and everything to lose) by giving me that advice. By suggesting that I hold off on applying, she actually risked losing a client in any number of ways—if I decided not to apply after all, if I decided to work with someone else, if I decided I didn’t need anyone as a consultant, etc. But what Katy cares most about is your success. This was evident to me from the very beginning, and it remains true today. I’m done with business school admissions, and she still checks in every now and then to see how things are going. (I’m starting at Kellogg in the fall—an outcome I’m absolutely convinced I could not have achieved without Katy’s help.)

I took Katy’s advice and spent the next year smoothing out the edges of my application and doing the self-reflection required to craft a strong personal narrative. The following summer, I hired her on an hour-by-hour basis as a soundboard for that personal narrative and for editorial feedback on essays. In our initial brainstorming session, Katy listened to my ideas, asked questions, and offered insights that helped me solidify my story and understand how to communicate it through the application. I know this will sound like an exaggeration, but that conversation was honestly one of the best conversations I’ve had in the five years of my adult life (i.e., since I graduated from college). I left that conversation feeling like no matter what happens with business school admissions, I’ll be able to look back on the process and feel that it was worthwhile if only because I learned so much about myself along the way. The process was tremendously valuable to my personal development, in large part because of the interactions I had with Katy.

I mentioned some of Katy’s best qualities already—honesty, integrity, shared goals, commitment. On a more tangible level, the list of her redeeming characteristics is long as well. Her professional background in the admissions office at Stanford GSB allowed her to give me an insider’s perspective on key aspects of my application. Her editorial advice was always helpful—when it came to essay writing, she gave me excellent feedback on everything from school-specific topic selection to grammar and syntax. Her responsiveness and availability are also top notch. mbaMission has a 48-hour response policy, but she always does way better than that. I remember one time she went off on a wilderness retreat somewhere in the Sierra Nevadas, but she was still responding to email because she had some crazy device that brings the internet to where the internet has never gone before. There was also a time when a school wanted to interview me on very short notice, and I wanted to do a mock interview with Katy that very day. She was, of course, more than happy to accomodate the short notice, and she sent me great follow-up notes soon after our call.

Looking back at the process, I can't imagine having done it without Katy’s help. Whether you need a start-to-finish type of package or just targeted help on certain pieces of your application, look no further than Katy Lewis. Deciding to work with Katy will be the best decision you make during this whole process.
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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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Huge thanks to Liza!
January 26 | 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 - school of my dreams
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  Liza Weale
At first, I was highly skeptical about hiring a consultant because I wondered whether I would be able to get into my top choice schools without the hefty cost of hiring a consultant. Though I will never know if I could have done it on my own, since I ultimately did decide to work with mbaMission, I do not regret my decision at all!

I first spoke with Liza back in July to get a sense of a) what a consultant would be able to provide and b) what it would be like to work with Liza specifically. Though I spoke with other firms and other consultants as well, I fell in love with the concept of working with Liza right away!

During the next few weeks, Liza helped me with putting together my essays, my resume and my recommendation packets for my recommenders. She provided great insight and guidance on whether to take my story and always pushed me when she thought I had more to say or share (even when I did not know I had more!). Not only was she able to provide very tactical feedback on sentence structure, vocabulary choice, etc., she also provided big-picture thoughts (e.g., why did you choose this example? Is there something more here?). Most importantly though, Liza was at my corner, cheering me on at every single step of the way. It meant a lot to me that she cared so much about how my case would be presented to the admissions committee. Although I had other people read parts of my application, she was the only one who saw every aspect of my application (and the only one I trusted doing so, especially since some of these essays can get very personal). As my trusted advisor, she knew how all the pieces would fit together and whether or not the “true” me was coming through. Through the process, Liza became not only a mentor but a friend and without her emotional support, I do not know if I could have finished all my apps in time.

One of my proudest moments of 2014 was being to email Liza and tell her that I got into one of my top choices. I highly recommend at least looking into working with Liza—she is not only extremely smart, but also very caring and supportive.
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Liza the Great!
January 23 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: January 23, 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:  Liza Weale
I scheduled my free thirty minute consultation with Liza because of the testimonials I read online about both Liza and MBA Mission. I had no intentions, at the time, of signing up for the consulting service, but thought it would be a great half hour review of my resume and story; however, after only a few minutes into the call, it was clear that Liza was an expert – her knowledge, her insight, and her ability to jump right into business thoroughly impressed me.

I knew where I wanted to apply and the areas in which I needed help in, and thus, I opted for the hourly option. Liza took the time to get to know me through a background assessment, ensuring I highlighted my best attributes for the applications. In her feedback, Liza was honest and comprehensive, but what impressed me the most was her genuine passion and commitment to me. Liza encouraged me to find myself and be true to who I am. Her ability to remember things I said during our calls, or minute details she would bring to life, helped truly show my voice in my application.

As I was just about finished with my essays for two of the three schools I was applying to, I changed my plan of action and decided there was only one school for me. Liza was supportive and agreed it was my best fit. When I shared the good news about my acceptance, Liza’s congratulatory note made my day. Liza built a positive and sincere relationship with me, and from the other reviews I read before engaging, it is evident she does this with all of her clients.

There is no doubt in my mind that Liza is an excellent partner for Business School applicants, and I highly recommend her.
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