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 63 reviews
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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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.
April 07, 2020
2020Applicant

Joined: Apr 07, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
Canceled

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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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 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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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 22, 2019
rg397

Joined: Apr 22, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Can't recommend Caryn enough!!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

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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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.
March 08, 2019
jm2727

Joined: Mar 08, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

100% Recommend

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I had an awesome experience in working with Caryn this past summer. I was applying to 6 schools for Round 1, and naturally was anxious to dive straight in and being writing essays. She helped me take a step back and helped me craft a thoughtful story about what I’ve done, who I am, and who I want to be with respect to my career. Nailing this story upfront was invaluable, as I was able to consistently draw from it when writing essays all the way through interviews.

The beginning of the essay portion was definitely a struggle for me, but Caryn was extremely helpful in going through no less than 10 drafts of my first essay to make sure we were getting off on the right foot. Furthermore, she was always direct and honest with her feedback, which made me trust her as I knew when she did sign off on something, it was because she truly felt it was ready for submission. Once I had some momentum going, she really helped me stay focused on one step at a time, making a daunting checklist feel far more doable.

Finally, during interview season Caryn was great with interview prep and provided some really helpful pointers after my mock interview session. I also really appreciated that she continued to check in as interview and admissions decisions were released – it showed me that she was personally invested in my success as a person, not just as a client. In the end, I received acceptances from Wharton, Kellogg, Haas, and Ross, and her help and support along the way were a significant factor in making that possible.

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March 05, 2019
bspiritos

Joined: Mar 05, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Amazing Experience... Highly Recommend

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I worked with Caryn and SBC for class of 2021 applications and found working with her incredibly valuable. The decision to work together paid off as I was accepted to Wharton which was my top choice, as well as Kellogg and UNC.

Caryn took the time to get to know me and my background first and then helped me craft the best possible story and application strategy based on my prior experiences and future goals. She then continued to provide tremendous value through all phases of the application process by providing candid and straightforward feedback and pushing me to produce my best work in my applications. After I submitted my applications, Caryn helped me prepare for the interviews and SBC also scheduled and conducted a mock team based discussion for the Wharton interview, which was extremely beneficial for me.

Caryn was recommended to me by a friend and Wharton alum, so I did not explore other firms, but I’m confident that Caryn and the SBC platform put me in the best possible position to be admitted to business school. Caryn has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the MBA application process and the SBC platform further provided an astounding amount of resources that I was able to leverage throughout the application process.

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March 05, 2019
ktr1991

Joined: Apr 18, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Dream Come True! Highly Recommend!!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I first started working with Caryn when I signed up for the MBA Process – Plan Ahead package. This option was very helpful since I didn’t know where I stood with the schools I was thinking about applying to. I knew I didn’t have the best background with a below average GPA among the top schools and a non-elite undergraduate degree so I was going to need as much help as possible. Caryn was able to determine what my strengths were and how I could address my weaknesses ahead of time while clarifying what schools would be a reach and where I would be competitive.

Later on, I signed up for the All-in-package for four schools. I didn’t have any friends, co-workers, or family that had gone through an MBA application so I knew I was going to need quality advice and guidance on the process. Caryn was able to push me to bring out my best authentic self and craft my unique story in all aspects of the application. It can be a very demanding and tough process, especially when going through multiple drafts, but Caryn always brought a positive attitude and helped me stay on track.

A couple of the unique resources SBC offers such as the flight test and interview prep helped tremendously. The flight test was the perfect tool to get a different perspective from someone who had not spent time with me going over my profile and would view the application in the same sense an ad com would read it.

When I received the news that I got into my dream school of Kellogg, I could not wait to share the news with Caryn! Not only did Caryn give me the tools to complete my best application but she also gave me the confidence that this was possible. I knew she was truly invested in my success and believed in me the entire time, which was a very important aspect to me as I picked a consultant. I cannot say enough positive things about my experience and would highly recommend Caryn for anyone applying to business school.

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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.
January 27, 2019
jm1414

Joined: Aug 17, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q46 V46

Caryn is the best!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

I worked with Caryn and SBC for c/o 2021 applications and found the service incredibly valuable. The decision to work together paid off as I was accepted to Kellogg and Ross.

As my consultant, Caryn was there to guide me through every step of the application process from honing my application strategy to interview prep. She is always straightforward and honest in her feedback and extremely responsive. Overall she was an incredible coach throughout the process, keeping me on track and calm through the pressure of the application process. She pushed me to do my best work and find my authentic, unique story. When I shared the good news with her it was awesome to hear how excited she was for me!

I looked at other firms but ultimately chose Caryn and SBC because of their wealth of admissions experience (Caryn is former admissions at Kellogg). SBC has a great approach that leverages this knowledge. For example, my application was "flight tested" by another consultant with adcom experience to identify any gaps or weaknesses from an outside perspective. I'd highly recommend Caryn and SBC!

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January 16, 2019
gmatgirl700

Joined: Dec 02, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
730 Q47 V44

Highly recommend!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

Caryn was amazing to work with! I am a young candidate with average/below average GPA and GMAT from a mid-level consulting firm, so had lots of reasons to doubt my chances at the top programs. Whenever I was over-thinking or too in my head, Caryn helped me to calm down and think clearly. She helped me bring out my unique story and non-traditional career goals. I was eventually admitted to Stanford GSB, Wharton, Booth, and Kellogg!!! I could not have gotten here without Caryn's patience and dedication, or without SBC's extensive resources! The SBC flight test helped identify holes in my application package and I was able to talk to Caryn and a Wharton team based interview expert to prepare for my interviews. As someone who did not have many friends or mentors who had gone through the MBA application process, I initially felt completely lost. But with Caryn and SBC, I felt well-informed about how to handle every aspect such as class visits, email correspondence, mentioning low grades, etc. When I got my admissions, I could tell Caryn was almost as thrilled as I was! She really believed in me and was highly invested in the process. I highly recommend working with Caryn.

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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.

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