I was what you would consider an untraditional applicant - I didn't come from a business background and didn't know anyone who was familiar with the MBA process. I had no idea where to start and I really needed someone who would be there to guide me every step of the way. That's when I requested to work with Melissa Blakeslee, and it was by far the best decision and investment I've ever made.
I signed up for a seven school package with Melissa, which was a huge investment, but one that was worth every penny and every social outing I had to say no to over the summer. I didn’t have the most amazing stats (690 GMAT, 3.3 GPA) and I had no idea how to approach the essays, but Melissa placated all my worries from the start while still being honest about my candidacy. Prior to our initial brainstorming call, she had me complete an intense questionnaire/brainstorming doc that really forced me to think deeply about who I am, what makes me tick, and what I want out of an MBA. Melissa and I discussed my responses at length and even got into some of the more personal experiences in my life, which would ultimately serve as inspiration for many of the essays I would write. She was amazing at weaving my stories (professional or personal) into a cohesive narrative that got to the heart of every essay question. It was not easy at first – I had to delete and re-write a lot of things to really show the HOW and WHY, but it was so worth it when I had the finished product. It was almost addicting to see an email from Melissa with her thoughtful revisions. She is truly a word ninja – I have no idea how she does it, but she is an amazing storyteller. She’s also lightning fast and always available for help via email or phone. She sends revisions back much sooner than the 48 hour turnaround time, and I never had to worry about waiting to hear from her.
Of the seven schools I applied to, I applied to one Early Action and the rest in R1. I received invites to interview at five including my EA school (the remaining two did not release interview invites until much later), and Melissa was right by my side helping me prep for each interview. I was so scared and shy when it came to interview prepping, but Melissa was a rockstar and walked me through every question that could possibly come up for each school. She helped me gain confidence in myself and ultimately crush every interview.
By mid-October, I was accepted to my EA/top choice school with a scholarship! I immediately withdrew from the other schools, but did keep myself in the running for one super reach M7 school I applied to and another school that would have been close to family for me. Although I got dinged from the M7 school, I did get an acceptance call from my final school (Anderson) which was still extremely exciting!
Melissa was instrumental in not just helping me craft my story and guiding me from start to finish, but keeping me sane and positive throughout the entire process. She is totally dedicated to you and is the best wingwoman you could ask for. You will be doing yourself a HUGE favor by working with Melissa. Take it from someone who comes from a laid back, non-traditional industry who thought they had little chance of being admitted to b-school. Melissa is not just an amazing consultant, but she is an equally funny, non-judgmental, and wonderful human being as well. I’ll always be grateful to her and will think of her when I start at Fuqua this fall!