Comprehensive Service Reviews
    Number of reviews [80]      Average Rating:       (4.9/5)
Stacy Blackman

We have a unique and systematic process that provides clients with several layers of support, draws on extensive resources and ultimately, leaves no stone unturned in helping to craft winning application packages.


Thank Goodness for Caryn!
July 16 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: April 23, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Caryn Altman
I am so grateful to have worked with Caryn on my business school applications. I was a completely naive applicant before Caryn clued me in to all the nuances of MBA applications I would never have known otherwise. I began working with Caryn several months before applications were due and thank goodness, because it took a very long time for us to develop and refine my career goals, but with Caryn's help, they eventually evolved to be well structured and consistent with my past experiences. We went through many many revisions of my resume, essays, and data forms, and Caryn was attentive and helpful throughout the entire process. I especially appreciated her honesty regarding my selection of schools. She made sure I had a good range of schools from stretch to safety, and that I picked only schools I'd be happy attending.
Mostly, I appreciated having Caryn available for all the random, minute questions that constantly popped through my head during the process. Caryn always had a good answer and her knowledge of the process and insight into adcom helped keep my anxiety down and allowed me to focus on the goal. Thank goodness for Caryn!
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Great working with Kevin & SBC
July 15 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: July 15, 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:  Kevin Rockmael
I was extremely uncertain and stressed going into the b-school app process. While I thought that using a consultant might be a waste of money, I quickly realized that I was getting overwhelmed from the irrelevant info on countless internet blogs and friend's opinions. I also realized that I did have anyone close to me (colleagues, family, etc) that were very familiar with the b-school process. I had some conversations with a few consultants and found Kevin to be professional, honest and easy to talk to (this was very important).

I purchased the all-in-one package for a single school and the money turned out to be extremely well spent. SBC did a fantastic job. I found their consolidated program information as well as sample essays to be critical in my success. Kevin was very calm, gave me detailed information on the schools that would have been difficult to track down via other means, and guided me through the whole process. When I didn't think that I was good enough to go to Stanford, he told me that I should definitely apply. He told me exactly where to put my energy so that I didn't try to do too many things at once or waste energy on things that weren't as important. He helped me pick some of the best stories to make me shine. His mock interview with me was extremely necessary in getting my head in the game for the real interviews. This sounds silly, but the single most important part of the package is that he consistently gave me pep talks to help calm me down and focus my energy....in the end I got into GSB (dreams do come true!!). I would recommend SBC and especially Kevin to anyone in the application process.

One final note -- no admissions consultant will be a miracle worker. They can't change your scores or give you experiences that you haven't had -- but they can help you to better sell/market experiences you do have...I would highly recommend speaking with multiple consultants (before you spend any money) to find someone that you really "fit" with.
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An investment that paid off
June 19 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: June 18, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Bridget Bradley
I lucked out when I was matched with Bridget at Stacy Blackman.

Over the many months we worked together, Bridget was honest, encouraging, and methodical in the way she supported me through the MBA admissions process. She made a commitment to review any admissions content I sent to her within 24 hours; she stayed true to that, and most of the time provided feedback to me within a few hours. When I hit writer's block, she coached me through it. When I needed motivating pep talks, she was right there with me on the phone. When my work schedule jammed up, she was always willing to meet with me, no matter how late or early it was.

Bridget was also critical to the high quality of my letters of recommendation. She interacted with my recommenders independently, preserving the confidentiality honor code and providing them feedback from a third party's point of view. As someone who could read all of my recommendations and essays--who also didn't know me prior to being matched with me--she had a holistic and impartial point of view. I believe that is a huge benefit of having a consultant. No coworker, friend, or family member could have offered the same expert, unbiased, and evaluative opinions that Bridget and Stacy Blackman Consulting offered to me.

Bridget's experience working within admissions committees, studying as an alumna of a top MBA program, and being a meticulous written and verbal communicator made her an extremely important part of my admissions process. I highly recommend anyone who gets the opportunity to partner with her to accept before someone else takes her.
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Sarah Chandler - Stacy Blackman Consulting
June 18 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: March 1, 2010 | 106 | 11 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Sarah Chandler
During the 2010-2011 application season, I applied to four schools (Ross, Anderson, Marshall, and McCombs) in round 3, received an interview at McCombs, and was denied at all four schools. I worked with an admissions consultant from a company that I will not name out of respect. The consultant was nice, personable, and got my essays into top shape, but looking back I feel that the consultant was simply out to make a quick buck. If I was rating my experience with this consultant, I would give it 2 stars.
Anyway, after I was denied I spent the next two and a half years slowly working to improve my candidacy and preparing to give business school one more shot.
I initially decided to go it alone based on my last experience. After about a week of pounding my head against a wall, I realized I needed help and ultimately chose Stacy Blackman Consulting. I think this is really the key for people debating whether to hire a consultant. If you are organized and can push yourself you can probably do it alone, but I tend to procrastinate and needed someone lighting a fire underneath me. I reached out to SBC, did the intro call with a representative from the company, and was given three options for a consultant to work with. I chose Sarah Chandler after reading her bio because I felt her background would be a good match for me.
Sarah was very friendly and more importantly honest. I wanted to do the “all in” aka comprehensive package and thought about a five school deal (Ross, McCombs, Marshall, McDonough, and Kenan-Flagler) that would have cost me over $8500. I asked her straight up whether I had a chance at any them because I had several weaknesses to overcome (low GPA, older applicant, some gaps in my resume, and what I would consider mediocre work experience) and didn’t feel like throwing my money away like I did with my previous consultant. She said that I did with the exception of Ross, which would be a challenge. Ross was my dream school so I had to give it a shot no matter what she said, but her honesty was refreshing. Compare that to my previous consultant who suggested I apply to Booth, Kellogg, and Anderson in addition to Ross, Marshall, and McCombs.
Before I made the hefty investment with SBC, Sarah and I discussed a game plan. Instead of loading me up on five schools, Sarah suggested I pick three schools for round 1 and to use what I learned from her to apply to the other schools in round 2. She could have easily signed me up for all five, but she didn't and I respect that. One of the most helpful things we did was our second phone call that lasted about an hour. She grilled me on a variety of topics: my background, some of my accomplishments, what I wanted to do, stories from each of my jobs/extracurricular, a time where I showed creativity, a time where I learned something, I time where I led, the list goes on and on. She then took all of my responses and came up with five themes known as the “application strategy document”, which became the backbone of my essays. This was a really useful process. It gave my essays a clear message and gave clarity to my career goals. I didn’t do anything like this with the previous consultant.
Once Sarah got a hold of my essays, they changed completely. She pushed me much more so than the previous consultant. It was frustrating and there were times where I just wanted to be done with them, but she kept pushing and pushing and churning out multiple drafts (9 drafts for Ross, less drafts for McCombs and Marshall). Throughout the process, Sarah was very responsive and always had feedback for me within 24-48 hours. She also told me to visit the schools beforehand and to reach out to students to give my essays some uniqueness. This seems obvious but my previous consultant never mentioned it.
I ended up getting interviews at McCombs and Marshall. Sadly, Ross did not show me the love. Sarah worked with me on interview prep (included in the “all in” package) and we did mock interviews for each school. I can't say that my interview at McCombs went well (I'm not the best interviewer). My interview at Marshall went better (but wasn’t great) and I think the end results supported this since I was denied at McCombs and wait listed at Marshall.
Now, you are probably wondering why I am so positive about Sarah. It was upsetting to not get an admit after spending a lot of money, however the waitlist result at Marshall represented progress and without her help there is no way I get waitlisted. Secondly, I ended up applying to McDonough in round 2, interviewed (and had my best interview after incorporating the same techniques I learned from the mock interviews) and got admitted. Although I did not work with Sarah on my McDonough essays, they were essentially the same as my Marshall essays so I have to give her credit for that. And had I taken her advice about Ross, I would have likely applied to McDonough instead and got admitted. In the end, I did manage to get off the wait list at Marshall, so while it took a few months, my goal was achieved. Right now I am deciding on McDonough or Marshall.
Choosing the “all in” package is a big investment if you are doing 3, 4, or even 5 schools. I found some elements of the package to be extremely helpful, (the application strategy document, the mock interviews, the online resource that includes past essays from former clients), and others not so much (the flight test, which sounded good, basically your essays get read by a former admissions representative who then gives you feedback, which in my case wasn’t really different from what I was getting from Sarah and didn’t result in any major changes to my essays). I think you may be able to save some money by going ala carte and picking individual services, but if you are looking for a comprehensive package, I would highly recommend the “all in” package at SBC and I would choose Sarah to work with. I thought I could do it alone, but without her I would have been lost.
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Great service
June 17 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: December 25, 2012 | 0 | 5 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Seher Khanna
Initially, I was a bit hesitant to pick an admissions consultant, but I picked SBC after reading many of their positive reviews online.
My consultant was Seher Khanna, initially I was a bit hesitant since she was the first consultant assigned to me and I felt it’d be difficult to determine how comfortable I’d be working with her from the first few calls, and the fact that I couldn’t find any reviews about her. However, looking back I think I made the best decision.
I had a high GPA, however a <700 GMAT. Despite that Seher believed in me and my choice of schools. Seher helped me dig deep into my experiences to come up with the stories that showcase the skills and traits schools look for.
I was aiming high, top 5 schools. I was happy that I got two interviews and more happy when I got admitted to HBS. After this experience, I really believe that a good consultant is necessary to distinguish yourself out of the pool of the highly qualified applicants. Consultants will not create the experience you lack, however they’ll help you market and sell what you already have.
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SBC - patient, thorough, professional
June 02 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: June 2, 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  
After working with Stacy Blackman Consulting for 8 months I give their team my highest recommendation. I honestly *almost* enjoyed developing my applications because I felt so confident as I crafted my story and worked through each piece of my package. My consultant was incredibly patient, never making me feel badly as I experienced doubt and fear at various times. Response time was impressively fast and insights were beyond invaluable. My application came a very very long way and I truly felt that I put my best foot forward every step of the way. Ultimately admitted to 4 schools, I am going to my ultimate dream school, Kellogg, and was offered money from other programs. (Not Kellogg unfortunately). I absolutely recommend making this investment. If you want to go to the best school you should work with the best team. I do believe they are the best and worth every penny.
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Stacy Blackman Consulting Review
June 02 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: June 2, 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:  Bill Chonis
Bill Chionis with Stacy Blackman Consulting was a rock star. I was skeptical if I would be a fit for a top program. I did not have stellar grades as an undergraduate and did not have the work background of a typical executive MBA applicant. I was also extremely hesitant on hiring a consultant. Would they really provide any value?

Bill quickly displaced all of my concerns. It was clear from our first conversation that he knew what he was doing and his easy-going manner would be a great fit for me. He helped me discover and express the strengths that I did possess. He provided great advice on how to approach the differing essays and was extremely patient throughout the process. Most importantly, I always sensed he believed in me.

The interview prep was spot on. Bill anticipated the questions I’d be asked and had me thoroughly prepared.

The entire experience was fantastic. I ultimately only applied to Kellogg and was accepted. I am confident this would not have been the case without the encouragement and advice I received from Bill.
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Stanford GSB Success with Dawn Clare at Stacy Blackman Consulting!
June 02 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: May 3, 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:  Dawn Clare
I was a unique candidate with several entrepreneurial ventures under my belt that don't fit within a neat box. Luckily I contacted SBC for help. Esther Magna put me in touch with Dawn Clare, and the rest is history. I was admitted into Stanford GSB's 2015 MSx Program (i.e. Sloan Program), the GSB's awesome 12-month, full time accelerated business degree for mid-career professionals.

Dawn's advice and recommendations were spot on! She helped me craft a unique application strategy tailored to the specific sensibilities of the executive level program I was applying for. The comprehensive application strategy included a custom executive resume template, recommender and essay guidance, and many email and phone strategy sessions. What stood out was Dawn's specific knowledge of the Stanford GSB, then translated into the fundamental attributes of me as a professional that should be highlighted within my application. She knew how to differentiate the GSB's MSx program from the MBA program - showing a detailed knowledge of both.

Many thanks to Dawn, Esther, and SBC!
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Thank you SBC!
May 29 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: May 29, 2014 | 1 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  Comprehensive Service   Consultant:  Caryn Altman
I had an incredible experience working with Caryn and Stacy Blackman Consulting. From the initial phone call through successful admission to one of my target schools, SBC made the process as smooth as possible. Caryn helped me structure my application strategy and always delivered helpful, constructive feedback. Caryn had a wealth of knowledge about each of my target schools and about the application process in general. The most helpful part of working with SBC was the consistent, helpful feedback. Caryn did not shy away from giving the tough feedback that I would not have gotten from family members, friends and colleagues. The MBA application process is challenging and stressful, but it was a pleasure working with SBC. I highly recommend SBC and Caryn to any prospective MBA students.
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Military to Wharton
May 23 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: May 23, 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:  Lisa Anderson
I had a great experience with Stacy Blackman Consulting and would recommend it to other prospective students. Lisa was with me every step of the way and quick to respond to my many questions. She really exceeded all of my expectations. Eventually I was accepted to my first choice (Wharton) and I know that Lisa played a huge role.

Coming from a military background, my biggest concern was translating my experiences into something that the civilian ADCOMs would understand and relate to. Lisa helped me do this incredibly well. By the end I had crafted a "brand" for myself that I was proud of.
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