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Joined: Aug 13, 2018
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TLDR: Do yourself a favour, choose Jessica Shklar and forget everything else.
Meeting Jessica via the free consultation (4-school package for R2 apps) sold me on working with her. I had had preview sessions with two other top firms, but those felt cold and artificial compared to Jessica’s style. At the time, I was in the process of studying for my GMAT and one other firm was unwilling to start working with me until I completed the exam. I was running out of time for R2 apps, and Jessica understood that the application process more often than not is a messy and haphazard process. Coupled with experiencing her deep insight over the 30-minute call, Jessica accommodating the real-world circumstances of busy applicants was yet another mark of her competence in my opinion.
She was extremely organized which was key in knocking down 4 B-school applications to M7 schools in the period of 4 months, while also providing morale support as I studied for the GMAT. There were established rules in place to maintain the organization and flow of essay reviews, brainstorming chat etc, but when it mattered, she was willing to go above and beyond, working day and night and even with at one point with a badly sprained wrist (on her dominant hand)! And she came through more than once.
Regarding essays, Jessica is not merely an editor - she is storyteller and muse. Initially, when you do try your best to describe your own life, you realize how it pales in comparison to the final draft. This is not because it is embellished or anything like that; it’s because she helps you tease out your motivations and cogent reasons behind the key plots in your story and stitches it in a way that is amazing. I know she is a habitual reader (sometimes finishing books in a single day) and so story telling isn’t just a job - it’s part and parcel of who she is, and this benefit is reflected in the essays she helps you with.
One of the first things she helps you with is review any pre-existing school choices you’ve made. She gets to know you and then accessed for compatibility with your POST-MBA goals, your dreams and your personality. Clearly, she isn’t just trying to crank out essays, or maximize admit rates for her firm. She genuinely wants to mold your application to represent the best version of yourself. She cannot guarantee outcomes (no consultant can), but you leave with a feeling of extreme satisfaction in the effort put towards application. I got into one of them, but it was not my dream school unfortunately. But the fact that I still write this review is testament of the positive force that is Jessica Shklar. I gained more than just an elite application package; I also gained a renewed understanding of myself.