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Joined: Oct 18, 2019
Working with Erika and the SBC team was one of the best decisions I made. Going into the application process, I had my eyes on only one program that I felt was within my range. After talking with Erika, I decided to shoot higher for the top 5 schools. Erika's thorough approach got the best out of me for my resume, and her advice helped me convey my true self to the admissions committees. She helped me tailor my application for each school I was applying to, prepared me thoroughly for my interview, and kept me on schedule during a hectic application season with her gentle reminders. She remained in my corner as the decisions came out, including the inevitable dings, and her encouragement helped me get through the toughest parts of process.
I'm writing this review from a study room at my dream school, and I couldn't have gotten here without Erika's help and guidance. I highly recommend her to anyone looking to put their best self forward for one of the most important decisions of their lives!
Joined: Jun 19, 2017
I have nothing but great things to say about Erika with Stacy Blackman Consulting. She helped me tell my story in a unique and creative way that brought admissions success. The admissions process is undoubtedly stressful, but Erika is familiar with the process and helped provide internal deadlines that brought clarity and organized the chaos. I ended up getting into all three schools that I worked with Erika on, and the insights she provided also helped with schools outside of my SBC package. She turned things around quickly and provided comments that helped me reflect on the story I wanted to tell. The all in package took me from blank page through the interview (and post interview reflection) and helped reduce stress along the way.
Joined: May 28, 2019
I was very lucky to work with Erika at SBC on my HBS application this year and couldn’t be more pleased with the process.
I’m sure each applicant struggles with information overload when applying to MBA programs – there are many (and often conflicting) opinions available online that can over-complicate the application process.
I found Erika’s approach to be extremely thorough yet efficient, which was particularly valuable given I was applying from a finance job that didn’t leave a lot of time for second guessing my application materials and approach.
Erika has a gift for quickly internalizing your “story” and nuanced qualities of your overall applicant profile and helping you highlight elements that you may otherwise overlook or take for granted. This fresh, focused perspective really helped me to communicate what was most important through the various components of the application and submit with confidence.
Finally, I found SBC’s database of application resources to be extremely helpful in keeping my application process focused and saved me going down “rabbit holes” searching through discussion forums for answers.
Joined: May 14, 2019
I had the pleasure of working with Erika from Stacy Blackman Consulting throughout my business school applications process. Erika is a professional writer and HBS graduate which means she has both the common sense to let you know what the right applications strategy is and knows how to coach you such that your personality shines through in your writing style. She gives meticulous feedback on each of your essays and leverages a decade of past admissions consulting experience to help you understand how to craft your story to match both who you are as well as the school you're applying to. As a bonus, she's also pretty hilarious. MBA applications are stressful and having someone with a sense of humor to coach you through the process can take a lot of that unnecessary stress away which will ultimately help you better communicate who you are in your application. I would highly recommend Erika to any student who comes from a nontraditional employment background (like myself, PM in tech) because she helps you eliminate the subject specific nomenclature and communicate the value you provide so that anyone can understand it. Thanks to Erika, I'll be attending Wharton this fall :)
Joined: Jan 25, 2016
Erika was instrumental to my success. Not only did she help me with positioning, but she also guided me during the stressful application process. Erika is a great editor and the revision process helped me clearly outline my strengths and show the adcoms why I was a great addition to the programs I applied to. Her expertise with the various programs also provided valuable insights into the interview process, and helped me nail my interviews. Erika truly cares about her applicants and wants to see them succeed. My expectations were exceeded and I could not recommend a consultant any higher than Erika!
Joined: Jan 01, 2018
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I had an excellent experience working with Erika on a 4 school package. I was initially referred to SBC by a friend who also worked with Erika the previous year and was ultimately admitted to her top choice school. After hearing how great her experience was, rather than shop around at other companies, I immediately signed up for SBC.
Right off the bat, I felt that Erika's personality was a great fit for me. She was honest, had a sense of humor and made what was quite a stressful process a bit more enjoyable. Throughout the process, Erika was a great sounding board for all questions both large and small, and she provided useful feedback on both my essay content and writing style. Turnaround time was always extremely fast yet her edits were always thorough and appreciated. My flight test with Rebekah and the rest of the team at SBC also offered additional value support that can't be matched by smaller companies. Plus, the entire suite of SBC resources from interview guides to essay samples provided an additional edge that I greatly appreciated. Lastly, the mock interview with Erika was one of the most valuable parts of the process. Prior to our mock, I was experiencing severe interview anxiety and did not feel prepared. With Erika's help, I fine-tuned answers to key questions, built my confidence and truly felt like I aced my interview.
I do want to share a few minor points of feedback that I hope SBC will continue to work on. Firstly, I wish we had spent more time crafting an overall strategy to my applications. In speaking with other friends who used consultants (both within and outside the SBC family), it seemed that other consultants spent more time developing a strategy of how best to position their clients and pinpointing the qualities to highlight in essays. While Erika did mention a few strong points in my background in our initial call, we did not ever circle back to these. In most cases I would write my first draft on my own and Erika would edit from there, but I would have preferred to spend more time brainstorming initial ideas together to ensure I was positioning myself best. Additionally, I sometimes felt that my doubts were not taken seriously or I was not being held to a high enough standard - being told that my essays were "fine" was not exactly reassuring as I applied to schools with sub 10% acceptance rates. To this point, I was surprised to find that my flight tester offered almost zero negative feedback and said I was an "interesting candidate" for a school to which I later did not even receive an interview (a school that I was directly told I had a solid chance of admittance at during my initial consult)
With all this in mind, I still wholeheartedly recommend working with Erika and the entire SBC team. With their support, an extremely daunting experience became manageable and I gained insider knowledge that I could not have gotten elsewhere. After a long process, I am excited to be attending Booth this fall and I could not have done it without Erika's guidance.
Joined: Mar 29, 2018
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I considered Stacy Blackman, Veritas, and MBA Mission before choosing an all-in package. I read extensively online and held phone screens with each before making my selection. After applying during the R1, I am incredibly glad that I chose Stacy Blackman. I highly recommend SBC’s all-in package and specifically have wonderful things to say about Erika.
One of the primary reasons I was initially drawn to SBC is because they let you choose your own advisor, who you work with across all schools/applications, while the advisor will thoughtfully bring-in school-specific experts when necessary. By the time you decide to apply to b-school, your job experiences, grades, and extra curriculars are all set, so the advisor’s primary goal is to help you craft your story.
Besides her impressive background, I chose Erika because one of her previous reviewers had said that she was not afraid to “tell you when you are wrong.” Throughout the process, Erika was beyond candid, letting me know when something was great or making me start from scratch when knew it wouldn’t work. Erika was always reachable and patient, often responding within hours of my countless emails, day and night. Besides having a fantastic eye for helping to craft a narrative around your unique story, she was also very good at keeping me calm and helping me prioritize during an incredibly stressful process.
Erika takes the time to get to know you as a person – asking questions that go beyond what is typical – to make sure your whole life’s story is captured throughout the applications in a way that is impressive and not redundant. The entire time I worked with Erika, I felt like I was her only client – and I felt like she was as emotionally invested in my outcome as I was. I come from an Ivy League undergraduate school with a well-known job and a high GMAT score, so I was especially focused on finding someone to help me figure out how to make my applications standout. There is no doubt in my mind that Erika was a huge factor in my outcome. After applying to seven schools in R1, I am happy to report that I was admitted to both Kellogg and Sloan. I could not have asked for a better partner in this process.
Joined: Dec 10, 2016
I worked with Erika at SBC for R1 for HBS and Stanford GSB Class of 2020. The overall process was great and I was admitted to both. It started with a conversation and document that pulled out the best stories I had to offer. It was a very holistic process where Erika provided support and motivation throughout. She was very candid throughout, not hesitating to tell me if a story was not helpful. She was always extremely responsive and the communication was great. She helped guide me throughout the process and in my professional life too. I bounced a couple of career questions off of her and she was very helpful. The flight test offered by SBC was also very helpful as it put my application in front of a real former admissions officer and gave a second opinion of my application.
Once interview season came around, Erika helped me tremendously with what to expect and interview prep questions. Even after the decisions came in, she was very helpful with thoughts about which school to pick and how to consider the question.
I highly recommend Erika as she is a great resource and very personal also. A pleasure to work with but also highly effective.
Joined: Jan 05, 2018
I signed up for an all in package with Erika. From our initial conversation, I knew Erika was going to speak her mind, hold me accountable, provide a personalized experience and allow me to put my best foot forward.
Erika is organized, responsive, and thoughtful. Her feedback on essays went beyond grammar and editing, she truly took the time to help me craft a strong narrative. She has an uncanny ability to take disjointed stories and help craft a strong cohesive essay.
It was clear that she was knowledgeable about the admission process and knew how to take advantage of each competent (resume, data forms, short questions answers). After many many iterations, my materials looks drastically different from start to finish.
Erika and SBC team exceeded my expectations. I can confidently say that without Erika's guidance and support, I wouldn't be going to my dream school in the fall!
Joined: Aug 02, 2017
I was referred to Stacy Blackman Consulting by a friend who was also going through the MBA application process. I was coming from a non-traditional background for business school and I didn’t have a lot of resources to help guide me through the process and was feeling overwhelmed and lost.
I was matched with Erika and from our very first call I knew that she would be the mentor and support system that I needed to go through this process. She was able to boil down the daunting amount of work ahead and give me insight into the most important things to work on and in what order. Erika’s brainstorming exercises helped me define by short and long-term goals, choose the strengths that I wanted to emphasize, and identify the weaknesses that I needed to explore. She helped me pull my story together cohesively and gave me important feedback that was honest and supportive. Erika was always very quick to respond and her notes on my essays were comprehensive. We primarily communicated via email, but she also made herself available to conduct a mock phone interview before my first interview which was extraordinarily helpful.
Another resource that Stacy Blackman offers that was invaluable is the video platform to practice and review interview responses for each school. Using that program made me more comfortable for Skype interviews and video essays that some schools require. The Flight Test gave me the perspective of a fresh set of eyes on my application and caught a few details that I otherwise would have missed.
I ended up getting into a top 5 school with a large scholarship, and could not be more excited! When I look back, I can’t imagine going through this process without Erika.