GMAT Club

Caryn (SBC) Reviews

Company: Stacy Blackman Consulting

Caryn worked as an Admissions Officer for Kellogg where she read and evaluated written applicant essays and recommended admission to Kellogg. She also conducted numerous applicant interviews assessing candidate fit and future potential at Kellogg and beyond. Caryn holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

Preceding her time at Kellogg, Caryn was a Senior Marketing Manager for Gatorade, leading Gatorade’s efforts to a variety of consumer targets. Concurrently, she 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.

Outside of SBC, Caryn sits on the North Shore Medical Research Junior Board of Children’s Memorial Hospital and is active in volunteering in her children’s schools. An avid reader, Caryn also enjoys Pilates, yoga and playing tennis, as well as spending time with her two young children. Caryn has an exceptional success rate and is particularly good at helping clients define ambiguous career goals and develop a personal story.

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

5.0 /5 Average Rating
Based on 68 reviews
February 15, 2021
dspiritos

Joined: Jun 10, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
750 Q49 V44

Caryn / SBC - Highly Recommend!!

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I worked with Caryn and SBC for class of 2023 applications. Working with Caryn and the rest of the Stacy Blackman team / resources was an absolute pleasure and I found Caryn’s support indispensable as I navigated the challenging and intensive process. Ultimately, the decision paid off as I was accepted into Wharton, my top choice, as well as Booth and Kellogg!
I kicked off my process in late June, which was a little late given my desire to submit all my applications for the Round 1 deadline. Caryn quickly designed a schedule that would push me appropriately to stay on pace. Early in the process, she helped me think through my story and application strategy to best differentiate me, especially with my background in an over-represented group (male in finance). Caryn was incredibly responsive in iterating essay drafts and helping position myself in the best possible light. Post-essay process, SBC offered a flight test to review my overall application, which provided a tangible review of my materials and overall candidate profile from one of the other consultants, Lisa. Upon receiving interview invites, I conducted interview prep with Caryn and, for Wharton, attended a virtual, team-based discussion mock interview hosted by SBC. Overall, SBC offers all of the resources that one would need through the process.
I originally reached out to Stacy Blackman and discussed my background with Esther. Once I solidified my plans to apply to business school, I requested Caryn and Esther connected me with her directly. My brother used Caryn and Stacy Blackman with his successful MBA application process a couple years ago, so it was a natural selection for me. I also received recommendations from a few others at my company who went through the process, and many of them had used Stacy Blackman. Overall, Caryn’s experience as a former MBA Admissions Officer and her expertise in advising clients was evident. I’m very happy with my decision and would highly recommend Caryn and Stacy Blackman to anyone looking to succeed in the MBA admissions process.

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February 02, 2021
cjsands95

Joined: Feb 02, 2021

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Stacy Blackman Review

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One of the best decisions I made during the MBA program application process was to work with Stacy Blackman Consulting, specifically, Caryn Altman. From the very beginning, it was all hands on deck. My emails were always returned within 24 - 48 hours, which was so important as I had so many questions in terms of timing, school selection, essay ideas, etc. I had decided to go with the All-In-Package, which for me made the most sense. Caryn’s insightful questions, ideas and general knowledge of the schools made it so much easier for me to focus on coming up with ‘my story’. Importantly, while it took several rounds of edits, etc. Caryn was always patient with my initial, verbose essay drafts, helping me to determine the important ideas as I worked to craft final essays which best answered the questions asked and also conveyed who I am as an individual. Given that applying to business schools can be a stressful process, it was so helpful to know that I had someone of Caryn’s caliber in my corner. The results speak for themselves, I was accepted to Wharton, Kellogg, Tuck, and Ross with multiple scholarships including 2 full-rides. I also was able to work with multiple members of the Stacy Blackman Staff including Esther, always very responsive to questions, and others to do my ‘flight tests’ and practice for interviews, including a mock team-based interview to prepare for different schools. I strongly recommend working with Caryn and the Stacy Blackman Team!

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February 02, 2021
danieltong

Joined: Mar 18, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 5

Verified score:
760 Q50 V41

Best MBA consulting firm

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My dream came true and I was admitted to HBS and MIT after working with Caryn on 5 applications.

I am from Brazil and this was a very challenging season, specially for international students, due to soaring applications and deferrals.

I was very diligent on selecting my consultant, talking to other 3 top firms, but it was SBC that stood out for their expertise and service. Esther was my guide and matchmaker and took me step-by-step through the whole process. I ended up asking for Caryn directly because of her outstanding record as a U.S. top 10 consultant and background as former admissions officer.

Caryn's ability to synthesize a compelling story and tread throughout the whole application is invaluable. She can clearly show you your strenghts and help mitigate your weaknesses. While the process is stressful, Caryn helped me gain confidence and reflect on my true motivations on pursuing an MBA. With all done, my flight tester was Lisa, which is also a former admissions officer and brought a fresh pair of eyes to the material, giving good insights on how to better communicate some ideas. And finally, the mock interviews were also great and prepared me very well for the real interviews.

I had a great experience with SBC and they offer the best service. If your dream is a top ten school, SBC is the right place.

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January 16, 2021
mmw8612

Joined: Jan 16, 2021

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Highly Recommend!

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I was originally referred to Caryn through a friend who had a similar engineering background and applied last year. Caryn was so reassuring yet honest in her assessment during our initial call; I knew that she would be the right person to guide me through my MBA application process. I decided to go with the all-in package and applied to 5 schools, got interviews at 4, and was accepted with significant scholarships (>50%) at Kellogg, Ross, and Fuqua.

I definitely could not have done this without Caryn’s help. She was instrumental in helping me figure out how to translate my technical background and experiences into applications in a way that would resonate with the admissions committee. Caryn was also very much an accountability partner for me, helping keep me on track in terms of timelines especially with all the craziness of the past year. She was always very prompt in her responses and went through several drafts with me, while keeping the essays and applications true to who I was as a person. In addition, the resources that SBC offers like the flight test, sample essays, and mock interviews were really important to helping at each step of the process. I could not recommend Caryn and SBC enough!

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August 13, 2020
RachelHaley

Joined: Aug 13, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

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I found out about SBC through a referral, and after my initial consultation with Esther I could tell SBC was going to be the right choice! I went for the all-in package and could not be happier with my choice! I was accepted into 3 of my 4 schools (the 4th was a waitlist), including HBS!! Something I never would have thought possible prior to going through this process.


Caryn was amazing! She previously worked as an admissions officer and had tons of knowledge, not only on the program she had worked for, but on all the schools I applied to. From the beginning, she took the time to genuinely understand me, my experiences, and my goals. She helped me figure out which schools would be the best fit and was with me through every step of the application process, helping me craft my story as a non-traditional candidate. The application process can be very intense, and having Caryn on my side made it so much better! She was always very honest, and provided very constructive feedback (with a quick turnaround) throughout the process and kept me on-track.

SBC has a ton of helpful resources and lots of officer intelligence in-house. Not only did Caryn have experience as a former admissions officer, but Beth (also fantastic), conducted my “flight test” prior to submitting my first application. I also worked with Erica to prepare for my HBS interview, and went in feeling very prepared.

I have already recommended Caryn and SBC to my friends considering applications, and will continue to do so. Absolutely fantastic experience!

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April 18, 2020
flight5788

Joined: Apr 24, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
750 Q50 V41

Wharton (w/ $$), Sloan, Kellogg, and Booth with Caryn at SBC!!

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To start with some general context, I predominantly have an engineering background and am currently in consulting. I started the application process with zero background info/tips on b-school apps and felt totally at a loss. I pretty quickly realized I needed help and I spoke with several different consulting firms and actually didn't have a great start with SBC. My intro call was with Bill who I didn't quite connect with so I asked if Caryn had availability because I had read all her raving reviews. And man, am I glad I did. After speaking with Caryn I immediately knew I had found the perfect person. You can tell she is incredibly experienced and was able to immediately put my mind at ease as she took me through her overall process, what B-schools are looking for, what she thought about my candidacy and my profile, etc.

In terms of the general application process of working through brainstorming ideas, essay revisions, etc, Caryn simply could not have been better. She helped me shape my profile to highlight all the strengths I had and paid particular attention to make sure my application as a whole worked well together. One thing in particular I liked was that whenever I had ideas that weren’t the best, she would always provide the rationale for why and she could always tell if I felt comfortable with the decision or if we needed to talk through things a little more so I felt more confident. I quickly learned to trust her which led to offers from Wharton($$), Sloan, Booth, and Kellogg! It’s been incredible and I absolutely would not have gotten into these schools without her help! Also, once my offers came in I was in a bind on where to go because of some personal factors, but she had a long conversation with me and helped me work through where to pick which I’m really grateful for.

Overall, I highly highly recommend working with Caryn. She is the kindest, most down-to-earth person who gets incredible results!

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April 07, 2020
2020Applicant

Joined: Apr 07, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q46 V47

Excellent Experience with Caryn

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I had the pleasure of working with Caryn throughout this past application cycle. After applying to five of the M7 schools, I was offered interviews at four and chose to interview at three. I ended up receiving significant scholarships from two of the schools and was waitlisted at the remaining program. Coming from an untraditional background, with issues such as gaps in my education history, I was concerned about my chances at a top MBA program.

Caryn was incredibly supportive throughout the entire process, helping me be deeply introspective when refining my career goals and reflecting on my past experiences. By using her expertise as a former admissions officer, she then helped me craft my story in a way that best highlighted these experiences, fully showcasing what I would bring to an MBA class while meeting the nuance required for each unique essay prompt across the various schools. In addition to Caryn, I received great support from the entire SBC staff and was grateful for the database of application resources SBC has available.

Prior to starting my MBA admissions process, I spent a considerable amount of time researching different admissions consultants. Ultimately, I felt that Stacy Blackman’s comprehensive services, proven track record, and robust roster of former adcoms would help me put forth the best applications possible. I could not be happier with my decision, and I would highly recommend Caryn and SBC to anyone considering the services of an admissions consultant during the MBA admissions journey.

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January 23, 2020
ez472

Joined: Jan 23, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Highly Recommend Caryn at SBC

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Knowing I wanted to employ a consultant in my MBA application process, I interviewed several firms and spoke with no less than 5 consultants before deciding on Caryn, who was highly ranked as a consultant already at the time. Working with Caryn, she was proactive, responsive, and I can tell her years of experience as an adcom officer lent her true expertise when it came to MBA admissions. Most importantly, she helped me to craft my story and explain my somewhat unorthodox post-MBA goals in a way that was both true to myself and worked well for the admissions process.
It was upon her suggestion that I applied to the Lauder/Wharton joint program, which we realized was an extremely good fit given my background and future goals, and where I will be matriculating this Spring (2020). Really happy with the guidance Caryn and the broader SBC team provided (including the Flight Test, and mock interviews) during this nearly year-long journey. Would highly recommend to anyone looking to apply to top programs, and are looking to craft/refine their story to stand out from the multitudes of applicants with competitive but common stats/scores/backgrounds!

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January 19, 2020
BrockHummus

Joined: Jun 14, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Thanks Caryn & SBC!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

At the start of my MBA application journey, I had intro calls with consultants at many of the major firms (Fortuna, Veritas, SBC, etc.). The intro call with SBC was all I needed to realize that the firm struck the perfect balance between having unparalleled resources, an outstanding track record, and a genuine interest in my success.

Instead of merely assigning me to a consultant based on my profile or target school, Bill gave me suggestions for SBC consultants who he thought would be a good fit for my working-style and application strategy more broadly. I had intro calls with numerous SBC consultants before choosing to work with Caryn Altman.

I worked with Caryn on applications for five schools and ended up getting into four of them (Booth, Kellogg, Tuck, and Fuqua – Fuqua with scholarship). I come from an overrepresented applicant pool, non-feeder firm, and have a lower GMAT score than the average of almost every school I applied to. I owe a tremendous amount of my success to Caryn who was nothing short of terrific throughout every phase of the application process. She has an imitate knowledge of what ad coms at top programs are looking for and was able to use that knowledge to help me shape my story to highlight the unique characteristics of my profile in essays, interviews, etc.

I’m so thankful for Caryn and the rest of the team at SBC for turning my dream into a reality!

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April 22, 2019
rg397

Joined: Apr 22, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Can't recommend Caryn enough!!

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Caryn was absolutely instrumental in my journey towards getting into Wharton and Kellogg! I decided in late September to apply to round two, and shopped around several consulting firms before deciding on SBC due to the candidness & accessibility of their consultants. I applied to 4 schools with Caryn, and she created a timeline that helped me stay accountable through the application process.
Prior to working with Caryn, I had disconnected ideas of how why I wanted to go to business school, and what I hoped to achieve post-MBA, but no real connections between the thoughts. Caryn helped me link all the different ideas together to develop a cohesive story for my applications and interviews. She provided prompt, constructive, and actionable advice to help me fine-tune my essays and resume. Then during the interview process, she provided key tips on what to expect from admissions officers during interviews, and set me up with other consultants from the SBC team for follow-up practice interviews to help me be better prepared for my HBS and Wharton interviews (which I definitely was!).
Highly recommend Caryn to anyone who's seeking help on their MBA application journey!

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25 Older and Non-Verified Reviews for Caryn (SBC)