SBC Scoop: Telling Your Unique Story

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*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client.

Darrell had been working for a few weeks with his consultant on his application and thought he had answered all the tough questions. He knew where he wanted to go- he wanted to stay in the Northeast and in a big city, so HBS and NYU Stern were at the top of his list. He knew this was the right time in his life to pursue an MBA and he knew what he wanted to do when he completed the program. However, both Darrell and his consultant felt that something was missing from his overall application strategy.

Darrell didn’t have any glaring weaknesses. His GMAT score was a strong 720, his undergraduate GPA 3.4 from a good undergraduate business school, his work experience in finance showed increasingly responsibility as he moved from banking to private equity. In addition, Darrell even had started a tiny record label that gave him a taste of running his own business. Darrell was confident his recommendations were good. However, reading through his essays and resume he wasn’t sure his personality was coming through clearly.

Darrell and his consultant decided to run his application by another consultant with Stacy Blackman Consulting, who mentioned that nothing in Darrell’s story was creating a strong hook for his application. To find that story, Darrell’s consultant spent time working with him to determine what was driving Darrell’s underlying motivations in career and life. Unearthing a story about Darrell’s father’s career as a jazz musician and Darrell’s strong interest in financial markets, they set about rewriting his essays and restructuring his resume.

The new story connected his family background in the music business to his lifelong dual interests in music and math. Once they found the most compelling hook, Darrell felt comfortable that the rest of his application would shine rather than be overshadowed. In the end he had a spot at the waitlist for HBS but was accepted to NYU Stern immediately.


Stacy Sukov Blackman launched her MBA admissions consulting company in 2001 and has since helped thousands of clients gain admission to the most selective business schools in the world, many with merit scholarships.   Blackman is the author of The MBA Application Roadmap: The Essential Guide to Getting Into a Business School, and has published a series of online guides which contain in depth guidance on how to develop essays for top business schools.  Blackman has degrees from both the Wharton School and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.   Read  Stacy Blackman reviews to see what previous clients have said about her consulting services.

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