April 03, 2016

Joined: Apr 03, 2016

Posts: 3

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Susan Kaplan/mbaMission - Highly recommend!

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I started off my MBA journey pretty naive and unsure about how to approach the process. I was impressed by mbaMission from the get-go, and I was paired with Susan Kaplan who I worked with for my 4 school package (to which I added another school in the middle of the process.)

Working with Susan was, in a good way, like being in an MBA admissions bootcamp. It was not an easy process by any means. You will need to do a lot of research on your own, and as most reviewers say, the consultant will never do the work for you (which is good!) so be prepared to work pretty hard, and be rest assured that it will pay off in the end. Susan was extremely focused on helping me get to the results that I wanted, and she wasn't afraid to dish out some tough love in order to help me achieve them.

I thought I had everything figured out for my (round 1) applications. However Susan helped me understand that a major concern in my candidacy was the lack of concrete post-MBA career goals. She pushed me to research roles I was interested in (that were realistic and achievable given my current experience) and tie them back to the resources offered at each of the schools I was targeting. I poured a lot of information into our initial brainstorming session, and she was able to extract the meaningful components that I eventually used to complete the 7 essays I worked with her on. She actually helped me learn more about myself in the process.

The essays themselves were brutal, but Susan never once missed a deadline or returned my drafts late. In fact, she occasionally even returned them ahead of time so that I would have a little extra time to work on them. She was never afraid to tell me to scrap an entire section out of my essay, in which case she would provide more detailed feedback to help me get my points across more effectively. Whether it was getting an expedited review through, or adding in a school 3 weeks before its application deadline, Susan was very accommodating and understanding of why I needed the extra help. We went through almost 10 drafts for one of the schools and she worked tirelessly to help me answer the question exactly as the school would like me to.

Susan was also very proactive with my interview prep. I had 4 interviews, and even though I felt more and more comfortable with each one, she still ensured that I had a mock interview with her for each school so that I was able to handle the questions effectively.

I ended up getting into 3 out of the 5 schools I applied to (including a top 10 school), with one of the schools offering me a substantial scholarship. I am currently waitlisted at another school, and Susan has stuck by me even through the waitlist process by helping me understand what the school needed and working with me on crafting an effective waitlist update letter. She was always one of the first people I reached out to when I received every one of my decisions, and I am certainly very happy with the results.

Overall, working with Susan was hard work but very worth it. While the sensitive side of me had some difficulty with the tough love, I knew that that was what I had hired a consultant for - someone to give me the cold hard facts so I could get through this grueling process successfully.

On a more general note - I found mbaMission to be extremely focused on the client, and not so much on giving acceptance metrics or other marketing figures to draw people in. They know that you're already shelling out a lot of money for their services, and I never perceived them trying to upsell in any way. They have excellent resources (start-to-finish guide, school insider guides, interview primers), and their newsletter is actually really helpful too. Highly recommend these guys (and Susan)!

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