February 23, 2015

Joined: Feb 23, 2015

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I started the MBA application journey quite blind to the process and would have been lost without the help of Jessica Shklar from mbaMission. I first met Jessica on the recommendation of a friend who was just admitted to HBS and quickly scheduled a free consultation with her. In this consultation we discussed my background and career aspirations with her giving me tips on target schools and ways to improve my profile before admissions season began in earnest. I knew the moment I hung up the phone that this was the person I needed to get me where I wanted to go. I purchased the start-to-finish package with Jessica and it was the best decision I could have made.

Jessica is incredibly knowledgeable on the MBA admissions process and after filling out a brainstorming document at the start of the process she was able to package my life story far better than I could hope to. Perhaps the greatest benefit of hiring a consultant of Jessica’s caliber is the ability to tie together all of the wonderful and sometimes disparate accomplishments of your life into a coherent and logical path that leads directly through your dream school to your dream job. Jessica and I conducted brainstorming sessions on all the essays from the schools I was applying to. Her ability to quickly cut to the essence of what I needed to articulate on each essay was incredible and provided a much needed starting point to avoid writer’s block. After I tailored my brand and story to each school’s brand and choice of essay I could count on Jessica to quickly respond to each draft in an astoundingly quick manner, providing the feedback I needed to hear on each. She enabled me to articulate my point in a succinct manner, saving valuable space on my word count to tell more of my story (in fact if she had reviewed this post it would already be over). Jessica was able to ensure what I wrote fit not only my brand and the school’s, but also that it answered the question of the essay. Not satisfied with just two sets of eyes on my essays, Jessica would seek out the advice of her colleagues on my essays, who would invariably provide another selling point of my existence that I had not thought of. I cannot stress enough the importance of a consultant’s role as another set of eyes on each revision. For those thinking of going it alone realize how easy it is to become wedded to your hard work on an easy that does not land in the same manner with the adcom. Jessica was there for me through countless revisions each essay, each time giving me immediate feedback that made the essay a little bit better. You are not just purchasing a consultant, but also a network. Jessica provided me with former clients at each school I was applying to. Each one was more than willing to talk over their experiences at the school and their own takes on the admissions process which proved immensely helpful.

My resume was always going to be a tricky endeavor since it was the first one I had created in my life. I entered the military right after college, and had six years of work experience that read like jibberish to the average reader. Jessica was indispensable in her ability to take each bit of jargon on my resume and turn it into something the adcom can understand and appreciate. Trust me if you are coming from a non-traditional background, just because you know what a term means that does not mean the people deciding your future will. This holds true for recommender letters as well, as Jessica will speak to anyone who is willing to guide them through the process of how their letter should read (crucial for those unfamiliar with MBA recs). Jessica will make sure the best version of you is put before the adcom. Her unremitting diligence through numerous iterations of my resume made it into something I never could have created on my own. In fact as I hit submit on my last application, the first thought that hit me was “I could have never done that without Jessica.”

After receiving interview invites, I realized that I had only won a battle and not the war. Once again, Jessica was there for me for interview prep. She gave me incredible tips on how to present myself in the interview and how not to come off as over-rehearsed. In fact her best advice was to “not over prepare,” which she told me repeatedly and thankfully I listened to. She will give you the topics you need to prep for while keeping you from becoming a robot that no school wants to admit. The package I purchased also included a mock interview for each school, with another mbaMission consultant (great to get a fresh perspective as your interviewer will not be the consultant who has known your story for 6 months on interview day). This was especially helpful for my Wharton interview, which has a unique format you will need a mock session for. As a result of Jessica’s uncanny abilities to present the best representation of my story, I was admitted to Yale, Booth, Kellogg, and Columbia while being placed on the waitlist at HBS and Wharton after interviews. I know if it were not for Jessica’s help throughout the process I would have been rejected at these and more schools.

Throughout this strenuous, stressful, and at times confusing process, Jessica was like a light that guided me through the wilderness to business school. She provided advice, encouragement, and when necessary a spur to work harder toward my goals. She became more than just an advisor but a friend. She is the best investment in your future you can make.

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