GMAT Club

Beth (SBC) Reviews

Company: Stacy Blackman Consulting


5.0 /5 Average Rating
Based on 17 reviews
April 30, 2020
dbabin

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 [?]

MY SITUATION:

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.

EXPERIENCE:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

LOOK-BACK:

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?

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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.
April 19, 2020
Sylllll

Joined: Feb 21, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
680 Q46 V38

Got into HBS - Thank you Beth/SBC!!

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TLDR; I am attending Harvard Business School this fall, and couldn’t haven’t done it without SBC & Beth! I applied to 6 schools in total, and received acceptances to 5: HBS, Wharton (scholarship), Booth (scholarship), Columbia, NYU Stern and waitlisted at Kellogg.

For some context - after tirelessly studying for the GMAT for 1.5yrs, I couldn’t get my score above 680. I ended up switching to the GRE and got a 319 (164Q, 155V), which is pretty mediocre for the schools I was applying to. I also came from a Tier 2 consulting firm, and am Asian American, so I knew that my story would be super duper important to help me with my below avg stats. Thus, I knew an MBA consultant was important to help me with tell my story – I spoke to 3 firms: 1) SBC, 2) Menlo Coaching and 3) a smaller boutique consulting firm.

First, I spoke to Menlo Coaching and they basically told me in a nicer way that my scores were not good enough to get into the schools that I wanted, and that I should try retaking and apply a year later. I had already taken the GMAT 7 times and GRE 3 times, expressed that I think I hit a ceiling, but I got the sense that they didn’t really believe in me simply because of my scores. On top of that, they didn’t list their prices on their website, which I thought was strange. My friend spoke to them and they quoted her $20k for a package, and I wasn’t comfortable with that price considering that they gave the vibe off that they didn’t even want me as a client because of my scores.

Next, I spoke to a boutique consulting firm, and while they were very nice, I didn’t get the sense that they had the resources or array of experience as a larger consulting firm. They did seem to believe in my story, but since it was only a 2 person shop, I wanted to talk to 1-2 more firms before making a decision.

I then spoke to Sarah Tsai at SBC and raised my concern about my scores. To this day I remember her saying “Don’t underestimate the power of a good story” – telling me that they have gotten people in with all types of scores and that my biggest challenge would be writing a story to differentiate me from fellow management consultants. She gave me two consultant options, and I ended up choosing Beth because her reviews were unique in that people talked about how much she went above and beyond, and also truly cared/believed in her people. This resonated with me and I can 100% attest to these attributes.

Beth from the beginning was AMAZING!! I literally cannot put into words of how great and instrumental of a partner she was throughout this emotional journey. I honestly don’t think I would have gotten into Harvard Business School without Beth’s help, because frankly I was happy to even get into one of the M7. But to get into 5 out of 6 schools is really a testament to SBC/Beth’s help as a partner.

+ Beth goes above and beyond in how meticulous and detail-oriented she is; I believe we went through 10 revisions for some of the school’s essays, and she made sure that every word and detail, whether it was in the essay or app was flawless
+ Beth is very knowledgeable of certain school nuances, and would tell me if there were certain things I should be aware of (for ex, she told me that Columbia really cares about interest in the school and suggested that I connect with students/visit. I immediately took PTO that month and went to visit the school, which was instrumental to talk about during my app/interview)
+Beth was VERY strong at looking at my holistic story across my essays and apps; many times, she would help take a step back and make sure that my essays and apps made sense together, and would suggest edits to places that needed more meat or didn’t tie coherently
+Beth helped instill a confidence in me that I honestly didn’t know existed. There were many times when I almost had an emotional breakdown and I literally said “I can’t apply to this school because I have no idea what to write for this essay” and she would bring up things that I didn’t even think about. She would always encourage me to "toot my own horn" in certain parts of my app and make sure that I presented my true self in my essays. Even throughout interviews and school visits, she was always cheering me on, and I think her support and excitement really helped me gain the confidence while I was interviewing

A very long review – but I just wanted to really give a huge shout out to SBC and Beth for all of their great work. I’m so pumped to be starting school this fall and I couldn’t have done it without them!

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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.
April 06, 2020
OnMyWayToMBA

Joined: Apr 06, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
760 Q49 V46

THIS IS WHAT A CONSULTANT SHOULD BE LIKE!!!

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Beth Tidmarsh is a FANTASTIC consultant and I couldn’t have asked for a better one! With her help, I was admitted to 5 of the 6 T10 schools I applied to; moreover, I received SCHOLARSHIP OFFERS FROM EVERY SINGLE SCHOOL ranging from 1/3 tuition to full tuition plus stipend! She also helped me strategically select which schools to apply to with her, so that I could carry over essays and other application materials to other programs on my own. As you will see below, Beth is far more than JUST a consultant, she is someone that truly cares about the people that she works with and truly desires that they be successful.

I decided to use an admissions consultant after applying unsuccessfully on my own a couple of years ago. I interviewed 4 top admissions consultancies (as ranked by P&Q) before ultimately selecting Stacy Blackman Consulting (SBC). I selected SBC because of the open and friendly nature of the people I chatted with as well as the responsiveness of everyone I spoke with (which I didn’t get from all the companies/individuals I connected with). From the opening call, SBC made it clear that they wanted to get to know me and I felt an immediate kinship with Sarah Tsai. From there, she introduced me to Beth Tidmarsh—whom I also connected with very well—and the rest is history.

From the very start, Beth was happy to work with me as much or as little as I wanted. We communicated frequently via email but, whenever I asked if we could have a call instead, she was happy to accommodate, always responding to me promptly and making herself available if something urgent came up. Beth was invaluable as a coach and confidant and I would even go so far as to call her a friend (as we still keep in touch even now that my application/decision process is over). If I missed a self-imposed deadline, Beth would send me a note checking in on me but would do so in a way that was supportive and encouraging. This helped me immeasurably. Applying to MBA programs is hard and applying to six programs is almost overwhelming, but Beth helped keep me on track and take things one day at a time, focusing on individual steps and putting together an achievable timeline which we reviewed regularly. In fact, I liked working with Beth so much that I occasionally found myself staying up late to complete a portion of my application just because I didn’t want to disappoint her. (Who wouldn’t want that kind of encouragement?!) One of Beth’s greatest attributes is her ability to help you weave your story and to feel confident that you belong in the programs you are applying to, giving you the confidence to excel in interviews and other interactions with the schools you apply to.

Beth took a genuine interest in me as an individual and helped me to select schools whose culture truly resonated with me and that met my other criteria including significant scholarship opportunities and strong ties to MBB consulting. Her previous experience as Director of Admissions for Kellogg’s Full Time MBA program was quite apparent as she helped me to (1) understand how schools thought about different facets of my application (2) consider the content of my essays and short answer questions from a holistic perspective (3) craft “my story” and prepare for each school’s unique interview process and (4) negotiate scholarship offers following admission. Beth frequently corresponded with other consultants at SBC and even occasionally asked them to review different components of my application if she felt that I could benefit from an outside opinion, which I also found to be a great asset while crafting my unique applications to each school. In conclusion, I highly recommend both Beth Tidmarsh and SBC!

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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 and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
January 02, 2020
clucas

Joined: Jan 02, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
700 Q44 V41

Cannot recommend Beth and SBC enough!

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I highly recommend Beth and the entire team at SBC. Beth was my primary partner throughout the business school application process; I was ultimately accepted to Darden, Kellogg, Stern, Ross, and Fuqua (with a scholarship!). Based upon my numbers (3.3 GPA, 700 GMAT, not a particularly strong quant background), receiving this many admissions offers at such great schools is something that I truly didn’t think was possible for me.

I was referred to SBC through a personal connection and, following an initial conversation, knew that it was the right choice for me. Beth and the rest of the SBC team struck a perfect balance between providing constructive criticism on my school choices and essays while always being immensely supportive. I was constantly impressed by Beth’s deep knowledge of the MBA application process and schools. I also appreciated SBC’s team-based approach. I always felt that I was getting the most accurate answers possible to my questions.

I was also incredibly impressed by Beth’s ability to help me to elevate my admissions essays, while ensuring that my personal voice was always coming through. We did a mock interview which was very helpful and played a large part in my success in the interviews to come. Beth also pushed me to take “Math for Management” which strengthened my application through supplementing my minimal quant background and helped me to prepare for business school next year.

Lastly, amidst the incredibly stressful and daunting MBA admissions process, Beth was an amazing partner. I feel that she truly cared about me and went out of her way to build our relationship. She has also helped me to think beyond rankings and to really ascertain my “fit” at each of the schools that I applied to.

I’m so thankful that I made the decision to go with SBC and Beth!

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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 and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
December 21, 2019
usabp9

Joined: Jun 07, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

SBC & Beth - Best money I have EVER spent!!!

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Working with SBC and Beth was hands down the best decision I could have made and completely worth the investment! Heading to Tuck next fall and am over the moon!! With confidence, I can say that I would not have accomplished this without Beth, her belief in me, and the entire SBC team!

To give some background - I applied the previous year with all rejections and was feeling so down about everything. Through networking, I realized I needed help to tell my story and decided to explore hiring a consultant. I came across SBC and four other firms, and reached out to all. Only one seriously got back to me willing to discuss - SBC. At this point, I was feeling such a lack of confidence. Sarah from SBC responded straight away and paired me with Beth to have a ding analysis done on my previous applications. Sarah really got me excited about giving this process another go.

From my initial discussion with Beth, I knew that we were a great match! She had thoughts on how I could improve my application and believed in my potential for a top MBA program. That meant the absolute world to me, and I hired her for three "All-In" packages. During the course of this journey, I actually ended up hiring her for additional hourly support to help with parts of my other applications.

Working with Beth was just FANTASTIC! Seriously, there aren't enough words to describe just how great she was to work with! She ALWAYS had my best interest at heart and spent time to understand what was important to me and what I could bring into my application. She followed up before and after ALL of my class visits, interviews and decision dates - I felt like she really cared about me and my success. She went above and beyond helping me to make my applications as good as they could be and her meticulousness was something that took my applications to the next level. Beth helped me stay on track with my timeline and was overall a great support system throughout the entire process. I felt so prepared going into my interviews and ended up getting into 3 programs - Tuck, Anderson and Tepper. I couldn't be happier!

Onto SBC - there are some products that they offer that I found to be absolute game changers. First, their flight test process is SO smart. They had another consultant on their team - Caryn - look at one of my applications to give it a fresh perspective. We ended up making a few adjustments that made my application even better! They provide a mock interview tool and have a SBC wiki page to reference. It's really well done - and all of their consultants are the best in the industry. I spoke with friends who had consultants from other firms and they were in shock when I mentioned the support SBC was providing me. It really is next level, and I can say that you won't be disappointed.

I will be forever grateful for the entire SBC team and Beth!! This journey wouldn't have been as enjoyable without them!!

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April 11, 2019
nmg46

Joined: Apr 11, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

100% worth it- thank you Beth and SBC!

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I am absolutely positive I would not have received the admits I did without Beth from Stacy Blackman Consulting. While I was worried about spending money on a consultant, it was 100% worth it in the grand scheme of things. I worked with Beth on Kellogg and Yale, and I was admitted to both. I was also able to transfer what we worked on to my Stern application (goals, resume, job descriptions, etc.) and was also admitted there with a scholarship.

I looked at five other larger and boutique consulting firms. I felt like many other consultants didn’t care much about who I was as a person/what drives me. Some encouraged me to craft a story they thought the admissions committee would want to hear (for example, one consultant told me to craft my goals around ed-tech because it is hot right now). Others said to me that the schools I was interested in were out of reach, and encouraged me to only apply to second and third-tier schools. It almost felt like other consultancies would make you doubt yourself to get you to buy their services.

SBC was the polar opposite. My first call was with Sarah Tsai, who listened carefully to my needs and matched me with Beth. Beth is a former admissions officer and has an acute knowledge of the way the process works. She was direct, highly intelligent, honest, communicative, nonjudgmental, and just overall lovely to work with. She broke down the application process into manageable chunks and helped keep me on track.

Beth took lots of time to consider who I was as a person and what drives me to help me in creating an authentic, but persuasive, application. SBC was very honest with me about my strengths and weaknesses, and carefully considered how we would leverage strengths and make admissions committees feel better about my shortcomings (quant background).

It was incredibly helpful to work with a firm that has so much admissions knowledge amongst its employees. Lisa (a former admissions officer) did a “flight-test” of my application, and then I worked to revise it with feedback. I also did a mock-interview and got feedback before my real interviews. Finally, the SBC Wiki page is beneficial. I was able to read previous admits’ essays and look at banks of interview questions that other students received to help myself prepare.

I went through 12 versions of my resume and over ten versions of my essays with Beth. SBC focuses on every little detail, down to each 100-character response on the apps.

THANK YOU SBC!!!!

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January 28, 2019
cbsmba2021

Joined: Jan 28, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

SBC Success

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Given the long, arduous, and mysterious nature of the MBA application process, I knew I had to hire a consultant - it was just a matter of which firm and which consultant.

I received a few recommendations from colleagues and friends. I made sure to do my full due diligence and spoke to 8 consultants at 4 firms. After speaking with Beth at SBC, I knew she was the perfect fit! From the get-go, Beth was a great listener, alleviated all of my concerns, and truly helped me strategize a plan to succeed in the process. Throughout our 7 months working together, Beth was there for me every step of the way.

I applied to 6 schools (I used Beth for 3), and got into one of my top choices: CBS! I am so excited to start in August!

I would 100% recommend Beth at SBC!

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January 13, 2019
meb09

Joined: Jan 13, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
710 Q42 V46

Yes, yes, and yes!

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If you are at all like I was a year ago – reading this thread and thinking – is it worth it? THE ANSWER IS YES. Stop reading and go book Stacy Blackman Consulting now. SBC was invaluable in enabling me get into my dream school.

One thing is for sure in the application process -- you are going to have A LOT of questions. Maybe even doubts or concerns. Stacy Blackman Consulting will have the answers that you can TRUST and answers that are tailored to fit your INDIVIDUAL needs/skills/circumstance. This will make all the difference in enabling you to present yourself confidently, efficiently, and effectively in your written applications and in person interviews. I was amazed by how much my consultant, Beth, brought out the best in me. I have to say if you are lucky enough to work with Beth, you have hit the jackpot. Beth was nothing short of a dream. She was relentless, professional, insightful, supportive, meticulous, responsive, and worked her tail off to teach me how to put my best foot forward. I truly felt like I had superwoman on my side through this process – there to save the day if I needed her, but all the while coaching me on how to fly on my own!

In summary, go sign up for SBC and don’t look back. Their guidance is worth every penny. When you get that acceptance call from your dream school admissions, you will be so happy you did!!

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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 and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
January 04, 2019
brianboca

Joined: Jan 04, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
730 Q48 V41

Incredible All-In Experience w/ Beth Tidmarsh

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At first hesitant to sign-up for the all-in service as an applicant getting going ~2 months before applications were due, I can't vouch enough for the value Beth provided during my MBA application mission.

Beth helped structure my story as a unique applicant (despite a traditional background), provided extensive edits throughout the essay writing process (and complete story revamps), managed my timeline to a T and made it possible to go 3/3 on M7 schools as a white male with a finance background (something that I believed had put me at a disadvantage). Beth provided realistic expectations, valuable insights based on her past experiences, and was incredibly timely throughout.

Her helpfulness as part of the all-in package for Kellogg resulted in me using some of her services (hourly) for Michigan and Wharton as well. Ultimately, I was accepted to all 3 schools, which significant merit scholarships to both 2 of the schools. I can't vouch for Beth enough

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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 and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
June 15, 2018
sunnyraochn

Joined: May 14, 2017

Posts: 1

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
770 Q50 V45

My M7 admit would not have been possible without Beth!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

Having been rejected by three M7 schools in the last application year, I was highly doubtful if I would be successful at my MBA applications this time around. My brother happened to recommend SBC and I opted for the 10 hour service. SBC then matched me with Beth and I cannot thank them enough for it. I have mentioned this numerous times to Beth and would say it again that my Booth admit would not have possible without her guidance and support. Beth’s inputs in every aspect of the application – Resume, short answers, choice of recommenders, essays, tips on video essays and inputs on how to tackle final interviews were highly valuable. One of the aspects that I loved working with Beth was she would push me further to draw my story out and shape it in the best way possible. Highly recommended!

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