April 30, 2020

Joined: Jul 08, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 6

Self-reported Score:
700 Q47 V38
700 Q47 V38

Stacey Blackman All-In Service

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]


I applied to some of the top schools in 2018 for 2019 matriculation but didn't get invited to interview with any. I had a 3.8 undergrad GPA and 700 GMAT score (eventually earned a 760, but not in time for the 2018 applications). I thought that my statistics and job experience (5 years as an Engineer and Project Manager) were good enough to be competitive for the top schools, but that I needed to really shine in the application to have a shot.

I was INCREDIBLY skeptical about paying that much money for admissions consulting services, but I really wanted to get into a top MBA program. I justified the cost as follows: the difference in value of graduating with an M7 brand (OR a scholarship at a school outside of that range), is worth much more than the cost of the admissions consulting package. I used the same justification to take the GMAT several times and pay for tutoring, eventually earning a 760 on the test. Between the consulting services and the GMAT prep/tests, I spent around $10k, an absolutely insane amount.


I "interviewed" 3 of the consultants at SBC and chose to partner with Beth, largely because of her experience on the AdComm at Kellogg, my top choice program. Beth blew away my expectations and then some! She was incredibly organized, often starting new email threads when I tried to cram too many different topics into one thread, and always followed up multiple times to see how progress was going and if I would meet upcoming deadlines. She did a great job of pointing out places where my wording was weak, or where I didn't talk enough about my personal contributions to a project. I can't say enough positive things about my experience with Beth, and I HIGHLY recommend her as a partner if you plan to use consulting services.


I interviewed and was accepted by 3 of the 7 schools I applied to: Darden, Kellogg, and McCombs (rejected by Columbia, Harvard, Sloan, and Wharton). I was nominated for a 3rd party fellowship at Darden (full tuition plus stipend) and offered a 50% tuition scholarship at McCombs.


I can confidently say that my application package would not have been nearly as good without the guidance Beth provided. I realize in hindsight that my approach to my first round of applications in 2018 was all wrong, and I wasn't thinking like an AdComm member. I think that was one of the most insightful things I learned through the process: how to think like an AdComm member.

If you find yourself wondering whether to partner with an Admissions Consultant, I recommend asking yourself the following questions:

1) Do I REALLY know what the AdComm members are looking for?
2) Do I have the time and energy to do the research to understand what a strong application looks like?
3) Do I have a friend who is willing to review dozens of essay revisions, and is also a strong writer?
4) Is the benefit (getting into your dream program, earning a scholarship) worth the cost of the services?

This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
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