Caryn
Consultant

    
Number of reviews [46]


Company: Stacy Blackman Consulting
Packages: Stacy Blackman Consulting Comprehensive Service   Stacy Blackman Consulting Hourly Services  

STATS: MBA Kellogg School of Management. BBA University of Michigan with distinction. Kellogg Admissions Officer.

Caryn has immersed herself in the MBA admissions process for almost a decade. Before joining Stacy Blackman Consulting, Caryn worked as an Admissions Officer for Kellogg where she read and evaluated thousands of applications and recommended admission to Kellogg. She also conducted numerous applicant interviews assessing candidate fit and future potential at Kellogg and beyond.

In addition to her MBA admissions work, Caryn has a deep background in the corporate world with roles in marketing, strategy and finance, most recently serving as a Senior Marketing Manager for Gatorade/Pepsico, where she led Gatorade’s efforts in a variety of successful consumer programs. Long involved in both on and off-campus recruiting, she also co-led all of the Kellogg recruiting efforts for the PepsiCo Chicago office. Prior to receiving her MBA, Caryn worked in corporate finance and public accounting as well as obtained her CPA certification.

Caryn has an exceptional success rate and is particularly good at helping clients clearly define ambiguous career goals and develop a personal story. She has successfully assisted clients with every top business school around the globe.

And if Caryn looks a bit familiar, ask her what famous movie she (quickly) appeared in!


Caryn's Reviews
Well worth the investment
January 10 | 2018
reviewer identity verified by score report
     By stoneyai 0 5
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Consultant: Caryn

After having been dinged from all the schools I applied to for the class of 2019, I knew that I wanted to use an admissions consultant when reapplying for the class of 2020. After evaluating several options, I decided to go with SBC for a couple reasons: their track record and my initial conversation with Caryn Altman.

Caryn was upfront with me and did not sugarcoat things - when telling her which schools I wanted to apply to, she said that they would be stretch schools for me, but did not discourage me from applying.

Luckily for me, I got a head start working with Caryn, signing up in early 2017. Caryn and I hit the ground running; within weeks, my resume had taken shape and, per her suggestion, I became actively involved with a couple of charitable organizations around my hometown.

Caryn was always lightning quick to respond to my emails - whether they be essay draft reviews or random one-off questions, she was usually able to respond within hours. She really went above and beyond when it came to responsiveness.

Beyond working with Caryn, I benefited from working with SBC's other consultants for the flight test and mock group interview.

Ultimately, working with Caryn was great because I trusted her and benefited from her candidness in reviewing and talking about my essays and overall candidacy. All of the essays, resume, work, etc. was mine, but Caryn gave me the tools and advice needed to properly frame all of it into a successful MBA application!

In the end, I was admitted to two schools and am proud to be able to say that I am going to be at Booth (a school where I was dinged without interview last year) this fall!!

Was this review helpful to you?
   
reviewer identity verified by score report
     By haynesju 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Consultant: Caryn

I worked with Caryn to apply R1 in 2017 after having unsuccessfully applied to five schools in the first round of the previous year. Caryn was on top of every detail and made sure that we stuck to our deadlines, which was critical applying to five programs no matter how far in advance we started our planning. She absolutely has a mind for this work and was able to position my experience to fit with each individual school. Most importantly though, she helped me think through where I had been and where I really wanted to go and that made my application all the more authentic and genuine. In the end, I got acceptances from Columbia, Booth, and an interview invite from Haas that I did not move forward with due to extenuating circumstances. Thanks Caryn!

Was this review helpful to you?
   
reviewer identity verified by school email address
     By Flan1177 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Consultant: Caryn

I am very happy with my decision to work with Caryn and SBC on my (successful!) application to an M7 program. Caryn's experience in admissions was apparent from the first time we spoke. She was interested in getting to know my story and helped me craft a narrative to consistently communicate this via my application. The detailed timeline Caryn provided helped me stay on schedule while managing work and other priorities. With that said, Caryn expected my full engagement as we worked through numerous drafts of the application. She was very good at providing timely feedback, which again helped me better manage my time. One very helpful part of the process was the mock interview. Practicing in front of a mirror, or with friends/family will obviously help, but you will not get the same detailed feedback that someone like Caryn can provide. I felt very prepared going into my interview and left feeling even more confident.

Overall I am very satisfied with the services provided by Caryn and SBC. I realize, however, that this does come at a cost, and that people are in different financial positions. My view is that if you are committed to pursuing an MBA at an elite program you are resigning yourself to some level of financial burden (if only in the short term) with the expectation of future benefits. With that in mind I think this service is well worth it.

Was this review helpful to you?
   
reviewer identity verified by school email address
     By niyantha 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Consultant: Caryn

One of the best decisions I made throughout the MBA application process was the decision to work with Caryn of Stacy Blackman Consulting.

Caryn, a former Kellogg Admissions officer, was an invaluable resource to me throughout the application process. She was vital in formulating my strategy that I presented to all schools regarding my future career aspirations. Additionally, she helped me revamp both my resume and my interview responses to specifically fit the business school process.

One of her great qualities as an admissions consultant is her ability to communicate. I never had any worries about not hearing her answers to my questions or seeing her edits to my essays in a timely fashion. Her email responses were thorough, and her edits always went above and beyond. Additionally, at any critical juncture (or whenever I felt I needed guidance), she was willing to jump on a phone call. She maintained this same diligence throughout the waitlist process. When working with Caryn, it is important to reciprocate her communication style and be organized / diligent.

I believe that I maximized my potential to get into a top MBA program by working with Caryn!

Was this review helpful to you?
   
reviewer identity verified by school email address
     By rajulp2013 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Consultant: Caryn

I had the pleasure of being paired with Caryn Altman and truly know I wouldn't have gotten into two top schools (Booth & Kellogg) without her support, patience, project management skills, and ability to see how my application worked as a whole. I worked with her on 3 schools and applied to another two on my own using some of the same strategies I developed with her. Start to finish SBC was a great investment from my initial point of contact, to my flight tester (Beth who is a former adcom), to additional folks who provided a second opinion on essays for me when Caryn and I disagreed (not often!). SBC is absolutely the way to go if you're thinking about working with a consulting company. They know what they're doing and all the positive outcomes vouch for that. Thanks again for everything!!!!!

Was this review helpful to you?
   
3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful
reviewer identity verified by score report
     By bananagramlady 1
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Consultant: Caryn

I applied to four top B-schools in 2016, on my own, and was dinged from all of them without interview. After this difficult outcome, I decided to investigate consulting services to get an idea of how my application could be improved the following year. I spoke to a few other services, including the MBA Exchange and mbaMission. In the end, I decided to go with Stacy Blackman because of how helpful my free consultation call with Bill Chionis was. I did a ding analysis with Caryn Altman. Her feedback was so direct and actionable that I decided to do an all-in package with her for a number of schools.

Throughout the daunting process, Caryn's expertise and support was extremely valuable. Caryn was efficient, direct, friendly, and supportive. I applied only to top 10 programs, and stubbornly didn't add any 'safety' schools to my list, despite my scary results from the previous year. When I asked Caryn what my chances were, she candidly told me that it would be a stretch for many of them. Despite the odds, Caryn worked with me to ensure that I had a solid application and that I could showcase myself in the best possible light. She laid out a strategy which allowed me to understand how all the different parts of my application worked to tell a cohesive story.

Some aspects to my admission that I had to overcome:
- I had a pretty low quant percentile on my GMAT, which I tried to mitigate with the GRE, but in the end I still couldn't get my score up to the average of my target schools.
- I had a nontraditional background for an MBA (start-up). I was aware this could give me a 'uniqueness' advantage, but without Caryn's help I struggled to highlight the leadership experiences I had.
- Lack of focus with respect to my long term goals and how my MBA would get me there.

The All-In Package is quite pricey, but if you feel lost with the application process, I'd say it's worth it (recall that I had come off four brutal dings!). Especially because of my test scores, we knew that the rest of my application, especially essays, had to *really* shine. I consider myself a strong writer, but even so, Caryn had tons of feedback on my essays and was always ready to do another draft. The mock interview gave me such a boost of confidence, and when I did my first real interview I was surprised by how similar the questions were. The flight test feedback that I got from Lisa Anderson was very helpful. Another benefit to the all-in was that I could ask Caryn any general MBA questions I had (ex. interview-related etiquette, what to do when I get a confusing email during the application process, etc).

I also did a mock interview with Erika Olson for HBS, which was excellent, and helped me prepare correctly for the unique HBS interview.

I applied to seven schools in round 1, got interviews with four, and ultimately received offers of admission from two. I am happy to say that I will be attending Harvard Business School next fall. It wouldn't have been possible without Caryn's assistance - thank you to Caryn and the rest of the SBC team!

Was this review helpful to you?
   
reviewer identity verified by membership
     By garycalderon 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Consultant: Caryn

I went to SBC after two friends had a very positive experience. In fairness, I was sold on their references so did not really explore other options. No matter - I am completely happy with my selection. I was very cautious at first because it was such a big investment. I found it hard to comprehend how I could get my money's worth. But the process really helps streamline your application journey in such a smart way. I worked hard and put it a lot of hours (so did my consultant Caryn by the way) And went through all of the steps of exploring my entire background, determining strengths and weaknesses, coming up with great examples and then applying all of the stories across my various applications.
As I said Caryn worked HARD. She truly cares and adapted herself to my schedule. She made it clear that she would not be a bottle neck and she was here to serve me, not to complicate my life by jumping through hoops for her schedule! Refreshing!! She guided me through a structured but flexible process, we went through the steps to create a backbone of an application, but also spent time where I needed it most. In my case I am a fairly decent writer but needed a lot of help structuring my ideas.
I also want to point out that the flight test is a very very valuable program that is offered by SBC. The idea is that your main consultant goes through the application very carefully with you and gets to know you well. This is good, but it is different from the way your application is looked at by the schools. So the flight test actually copies the review of the schools. The reviewer does not know you, does not have any info on you, and just gets your package and goes through it quickly. Then you get the feedback and can apply it with your consultant. I liked that extra level of help and the extra look at my application before I submitted it. The feedback was useful.
Caryn and SBC as a whole were true professionals. Everything ran smoothly. I felt motivated and supported, and I knew I was getting the very best advice out there. In retrospect I cannot imagine doing this without their support - I know it made the difference for me as I am going to a top 5 school in the Fall.

Was this review helpful to you?
   
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
reviewer identity verified by school email address
     By Stevaineer 8
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Consultant: Caryn

Thank you Caryn for your instrumental role in my admission to Kellogg!

Caryn's approach to consulting is structured and efficient, yet very clearly tailored to my specific situation. During one of our first calls, she helped my craft my overarching story in a way I had not thought of that ended up being very appealing to admissions committees. We were then able to move through the essays relatively quickly (at least in my opinion!) due to the clear process that Caryn outlined. If you work with Caryn, trust this process!!

Caryn had very quick turnaround with the essays and other application documents and her comments were always perceptive and highly relevant. She helped me express myself in a far more polished and adcom-friendly way while ensuring that my unique tone and style were preserved. This is not an easy task, but Caryn is a true pro!

Caryn brings prior adcom experience to the table and was an M7 graduate herself. These experiences, in addition to her discerning approach, were invaluable as we discussed strategy and approach. This was particularly valuable when I was working to gain admittance off of Kellogg's waitlist. Without her, I don't think I'd be moving to Evanston this fall.

As for communication, I felt as though Caryn was readily available and was always willing to hop on the phone or provide a speedy response over email. She's always a super friendly person which made working together easy and even fun.

In fact, we just finished up one of my favorite conversations of all time - celebrating my admissions into Kellogg!

Caryn is a top tier consultant, I feel very fortunate to have been able to work with her!

Was this review helpful to you?
   
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
reviewer identity verified by score report
     By amb 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Consultant: Caryn

Caryn is positive, honest, detailed, and exemplary at what she does! She was invaluable to my MBA application experience. She gave concrete advice, kept me on track with milestones, and made me feel confident throughout this process. She treated this journey as if we were in it together. Although it was an investment, it was definitely worth it. Not only did I gain valuable personal marketing, resume writing, and interview skills by working with Caryn (thank you, Caryn - I will use them next year during my MBA), but I also gained a 50% scholarship on tuition to the school I will be attending next fall (Fuqua School of Business at Duke University)! I’m ecstatic with this outcome! I attribute this success to Caryn’s advice and help throughout this process.

I came into this process as an 'older' applicant (age 30), with fragmented work experience (three jobs post-undergrad in two different industries), a yearlong gap the year after graduating, an atypical background (education), and limited quantitative coursework from my undergraduate and graduate coursework. I had just decided to pursue an MBA and was unfamiliar with the application process. I needed a lot of help, and I needed someone who was positive throughout the process.

Caryn helped me research and decide on programs, craft a compelling story, find direction for my short and long-term goals (which prior, were quite all over the place), and organize what I should be working on when through templates and example documents. Each of Caryn’s responses and feedback to my drafts was fast (within a few hours or the next day)! We worked together for over a year preparing thorough applications for four programs, as I started the process early and was working two jobs, so I could not dedicate as much time every week to the process. Caryn was such a great asset to the process, and I am so thankful for her help! Not only did she advise me to apply to the school I will be attending in the fall, but in the end, I received a significant scholarship there, something I never expected.

I had a friend who utilized other consulting services (Veritas Prep), and her consultant provided no examples, no guidance, and was very negative throughout the process. Stacy Blackman Consulting (SBC) and Caryn are experts at what they do.

It was such a pleasure working with Caryn, and I'm going to miss her advice and support! Don’t wait – contact SBC for Caryn’s help or help from another one of their talented consultants. Thank you, Caryn!

Was this review helpful to you?
   
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
reviewer identity verified by school email address
     By aprilchyeee 0 5
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Consultant: Caryn

Caryn was a huge help in my MBA applications to several schools including Tuck, CBS, Ross and HBS. I had purchased the Early Advantage package a year and a half before I began writing my apps, and Caryn was instrumental in helping me carve out a solid application strategy back then which we worked incredibly hard to execute as we moved into 2016 which was when I would be submitting my apps.

I had good work experience at a multinational firm with an early promotion, graduated from an Ivy, and had a vague idea of my career goals but my big weakness was my poor undergrad grades in freshman year. Caryn was incisive and to the point during our initial discussion, and made sure I understood that I needed to position myself uniquely so as to mitigate my grades situation.

Over the next year or so, I nailed the GMAT, refined my career goals and made sure I picked recommenders who would write great recs on my behalf - all with Caryn's advice.

When it came to writing the actual application essays, Caryn was equally on the ball and pushed me hard so that I produced work that I was proud of. I made sure to get her at least 2-3 drafts a week and she would turn them around within a day, which was an incredibly efficient process. My essays came out sounding a lot more like me than my first drafts, and I'm so thankful for Caryn's eye for detail and ability to help me figure out the key messages I needed to get across to the admissions committees in each of my essays.

I ended up getting interview invites from Tuck, CBS and Ross, and ultimately got into Ross and CBS - with a merit scholarship! I will be attending Columbia, incidentally my alma mater, this fall with a scholarship. I'm certain I would not have been able to get this far without Caryn's extraordinary help. Thank you so much Caryn!!

Was this review helpful to you?
   



25 Older and Non-Verified Reviews for Caryn