Stacy Blackman Consulting Admissions Consulting Reviews
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    Average Rating:       (4.9/5)
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Stacy Blackman Consulting Editing [1]
    
Stacy Blackman Consulting Comprehensive Service [250]
    
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Stacy Blackman

We have helped thousands of MBA applicants reach their business school goals, and we can help you, too.

Thank you, SBC and Jen!
February 18 | 2016
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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     By Anonymous 0 0

I worked with Jen Vargo from Stacy Blackman Consulting, and I had a fantastic experience!

I am a non-traditional applicant on the less experienced side (will have 3 years of work experience going into business school), and my undergraduate GPA was not great (3.1). I was very overwhelmed by the application process, but Jen and SBC made the entire process very smooth and straightforward for me. From my first phone call, I felt that the SBC team did a great job at helping me craft my story.

Jen is extremely professional, experienced, and patient. She took the time to understand me as an applicant and as a person. She gave me honest feedback about my essays and helped me with interview preparations. She was extremely responsive - I would send her ideas or essay drafts before bed, and receive feedback from her in the morning. She helped me prepare for a "Flight Test" - where another consultant reviewed my comprehensive application as if an AdCom member would. But most importantly, she was confident in my candidacy and my application, even during times when I felt extremely stressed.

Thanks to Jen and SBC, I am headed to my top choice, Booth, this fall. I highly recommend Jen and Stacy Blackman Consulting!

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     By Anonymous 0 0

I cannot recommend Dawn Clare and Stacy Blackman Consulting more highly. Coming in as a foreign applicant with good work experience and strong grades, I knew that telling my story through admissions essays would be the crucial decider in whether I was admitted to any of the top schools. Dawn spent many hours helping me to craft my story, using language that would resonate with adcoms in the US. She was exceptionally patient, considered and thoughtful throughout the process.

Additionally the plethora of resources that SBC gave me access to were crucial when it came to interview prep and school selection.

I have no doubt that I would not have been admitted to several of the top business schools in the world were it not for the assistance of Dawn and the team at SBC.

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     By Anonymous 0 0

I worked with Hannah and the SBC team this past fall and the experience couldn’t have gone better. I signed on for the comprehensive 2-school package and ended up getting admitted to both schools!

Although I had a competitive GMAT score, I was concerned with how I’d stack up against candidates from a more traditional background, as I was coming from a non-financial background with limited quantitative experience. Beginning with our very first conversation, Hannah worked diligently with me throughout the entire process to help turn my perceived “weakness” into a strength. With Hannah’s help and insight, I was able hone my story and leverage it across all application assets (resume, essays, interview, etc) to truly differentiate myself from other applicants.

It can be difficult to discuss your own experiences and skills in your application – some things you may think aren’t important/impressive and may want to leave those out, and vice versa – but Hannah made sure I was hitting on ALL the right points. It was clear that Hannah and the SBC team knew exactly how admissions teams think and what they are looking for, and I was so happy to have them guiding me throughout the process.

Overall, I felt I was extremely prepared every step of the way and I can’t thank SBC enough. Hannah, in particular, was super accommodating/flexible with various deadlines, constantly provided constructive feedback and advice, and was very personable and easy to talk to. I would definitely recommend SBC to future applicants looking to get into a top business school!

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Totally worth it!
February 08 | 2016
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     By happycorgi617 4 6
Consultant: Margaret

I was initially unsure if working with any admissions consultant would be worth the price but I'm so glad that I took a chance with SBC!
I first applied to business schools two years ago and got dinged or waitlisted at every school. This time around, I worked with Margaret to really hone my essays and polish my application. Nothing else in my application changed- same job, same extracurriculars, same recommenders and I even had a LOWER GMAT score than the first time around (first score expired). I ended up getting into 3 of the 4 schools I applied to, with fantastic scholarship offers at all of them!
Margaret was fantastic to work with, very professional and super responsive. I only signed up for a 5 hour package but Margaret was very efficient and respectful of the time (I think I got closer to 6-8 hours of help). I was an English major in college and would consider myself to be a fairly good writer so I was really on the fence about whether it was worth getting a consultant to help me with my essays. Margaret knew exactly what each school was looking for and really helped me tailor my essays appropriately, in ways that I had never considered on my own. Even if I could have gotten in, I am sure that I never would have been offered the scholarships without Margaret’s expertise. Highly recommended!

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     By Anonymous 0 0

One thing about SBC that I liked was their straightforward and honest approach. I was initially looking for a full-time program, and during a free consultation, Esther Magna, the Principal with SBC told me up-front that I was too old for a full-time program. It was a shock to me but I realized that she didn't have to be honest with me as she could very well have sugar coated her response and taken my money to 'help' me with the essays without any guarantees of an admission, but she didn't. I was sold on that honesty.

Then I had the pleasure of working with Bill Chionis at Stacy Blackman for my EMBA application to 2 top ranked schools. He is a thorough professional and a master of his craft. He was extremely helpful from start to finish. He was very patient with me and spent the time to understand my background, objectives and, strengths and weaknesses. He quickly assessed the key strengths in my profile that I could use, and also discussed how I should address the weaknesses. He even helped me identify the aspects of my profile that made me stand out from a crowded field of male engineer applicants.

He was great at compressing and streamlining my thoughts in the essays and was patient during the numerous edits I made to them. His promptness was excellent; he answered all my emails within a day. He even helped me when I completely changed the main essay for one of my schools just one day before the deadline. His second biggest help was with interview preparation. He was brutal but effective as he knew what I could do and pushed me hard on my responses. With his help, I was fully prepared for any question during the interview.

I owe him a great deal. It's because of him that I've been accepted to both the schools.

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     By Anonymous 0 0
Consultant: Bill (SBC)

A little over a year ago, I began the search for a consultant. SBC’s informative blog postings resonated with me the most, and so they were the first (and only) consultant group I had reached out to.

A couple of hours after I had filled out the applicant form, I was paired with Bill Chionis for my free consultation session. We had a great conversation. I shared with him my profile, desired career trajectory and target programs. Bill, being the insightful person that he is, was able to quickly narrow down the strengths we needed to focus on and the areas that could probably use a little more tending to, to create a strong application. In fact, he made a convincing enough case, that I decided to hold off applying for a year so I could work on the weaker areas of my application. We both agreed that if I could achieve these new targets, the best EMBA programs would be within reach.

A year later, I applied to three EMBA programs at the best business schools in the country, and was admitted to all three of them. I reached out to Bill when I was ready to work on my application. Working with Bill was edifying, pleasant and seamless. While Bill was there to guide me through every component of the application process, I relied on him the most for my essays. The essays make for an extremely important component of the application. It is where you are granted the most freedom to put forth your story and your goals. It is also an area where it becomes imperative to have another set of eyes, a sounding board. In the beginning, I tasked Bill, my family and my Harvard and Wharton MBA grad friends to review my work. About a week into it, Bill became the sole voice I relied on. I knew Bill was all I needed to get me to where I wanted to go.

Bill is sharp, responsive and thorough in his work. And to top it all, he is also an eloquent writer. Now Bill won’t be able to write your essays for you. That is your job to do. However from the tiniest interview detail to neatly weaving together my essays, Bill was on top of it. And without a doubt, he’ll do the same for you.

Good luck with this intense process, but know that there are resources out there who will work with you to present you in the best possible light! Ask for a call with Bill!

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My experience with SBC
February 03 | 2016
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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     By tonyko 18 16

I'm writing to tell you guys about how SBC helped me out - I m a successful reapplicant and will be starting my MBA at CBS in August.

Profile: male, 28, finance (m&a, pe, public equities buy-side), international, very few extracurricular activities ("MBAable type", the ones that can be easily transformed in a story)
Post-MBA goals: investment management (focus on value)
Applications prior to SBC engagement: 2nd round to CBS, Booth, Wharton
Results: 0 interview invites

I applied hastily in early January with a GMAT score of 720 (47/41) (and without a recommendation from my current employer). No one wanted to talk to me.

I realized that I needed help, and started looking for consultants. After a few test intervies, I chose SBC, 4 school pack (CBS, Wharton, Booth, MIT).

We almost immediately started working with Margaret on the basics. I retook GMAT and got 730 (49/41). And this time I asked my employer for a recommendation.

This time I was ready: I applied in the 1st round to CBS (ED, had to think hard between CBS and Booth for my top choice), Booth, Wharton, and MIT. I received 3 invites out of 4 (Wharton dinged me again), did 2 interviews (Booth and CBS), was admitted to CBS, and withdrew other apps.

I'm pretty sure the results I got were possible thanks to direct contribution of Margaret, and I'm super grateful for that! Enjoyed the process a lot! I encourage you to ask your consultant lots of questions - especially if you are not sure you are going the right way with your story - this will only benefit you as an applicant!

Hope this helps you choose your consultant wisely!

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Great Experience
February 03 | 2016
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     By Anonymous 0 0

I worked with Margaret on my top choice (Columbia) and, not only did I get in, I couldn't be happier with her service! I had one issue which I considered to be a major weakness of my application. Margaret immediately focused in on how we could address that weakness, while leaving the actual path up to me which ensured authenticity. She was also effective in keeping me engaged in the application process long before the apps were due which resulted in a more well-rounded resume, valuable school visits, and deeper essays. Finally, she reassured me of my initial school choices based on my personal criteria as I started to become indecisive closer to the decision.

In summary, if you think you can identify and turn any weaknesses into strengths, stay laser focused on all aspects of the application for the better part of a year, and remain unfailingly confident then don't use a business school consultant. Otherwise, use Margaret.

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     By Anonymous 0 0

I purchased SBC's comprehensive service with Bill Chionis. Even though I have good stats and work experience, I was concerned about how my candidacy would come across to adcoms because my background is in a non-traditional industry in a developing country.

Bill helped me to decide on my application strategy and how to better present my background and post-MBA goals (and decide which of the potential paths was more appropiate application-wise). Bill is very knowledgeable about MBA programs, what each program offers, what adcoms seek in an applicant, and how the adcom will most likely interpret your profile. To me, that service alone was worth the whole investment, but that is not all that the package includes.

Bill, with his super-friendly and professional style, also helped me with:

_Brainstorming, editing, and improving the essays (with the specific structure each school prefers and why they prefer it)
_Editing textbox responses in the online application forms.
_Preparing for the interview: what questions to expect, what an appropiate response looks like, and how to behave. Bill also conducted a mock interview and gave me constructive feedback.
_SBC also provided a "Flight Test" in which another consultant looks at your application cold, as a real adcom would, and then gives you a very detailed report on what areas to improve, if any, and how they think your candidacy will be perceived.

In the end, my process with Bill was very enjoyable, he was super-responsive and helpful, he listened to my needs, and responded with insightful advice. Also, I never felt anxious or alone. I think MBA applications, like many other important moments in life, should be done with someone you can fall back-on for advice and support (remember when you bought your first home or car?).

I was admitted to Chicago Booth (and will attend) while edging on the younger side of the applicant pool. Such a result more than meets my expectations. If I were to do it all over again, I would hire Bill Chionis from Stacy Blackman Consulting and not look anywhere else.

Note: I tried services from another firm before and was not impressed. Also, I am a very demanding client, specially for the amount of $ invested in these services. I can tell you that Stacy Blackman Consulting is worth your investment.

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Invaluable!
February 02 | 2016
     By Anonymous 0 0

As a R1 applicant gunning for some of the top schools, Margaret + the Stacy Blackman team were absolutely crucial throughout my entire application process.

Margaret helped me prioritize early on in the spring, so that I could knock out things like short-answer/fill-in-the-blank questions and polish up my resume before schools officially released their essay questions. When it came to essay writing, Margaret helped me bring out the best in my essay without ever losing my distinct voice. I was amazed when I compared my first drafts with my final versions - she truly has a sharp eye for how to polish any essay and bring out your unique voice on paper. Margaret was also super responsive throughout the entire process, responding at all hours of the day on weekdays and weekends.

After I received an interview with HBS, Margaret set me up with Paul (another Stacy Blackman consultant whom I would highly recommend) - I truly believe he made the difference in my interview with HBS. He provided invaluable advice on how to differentiate myself and effectively convey what I could offer to the school during my interview. For those skeptical, he has decades of interview experience for top schools like Stanford GSB.

I ended up getting into HBS and Wharton (with scholarship), and would highly recommend SBC!

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