GMAT Club

Helen Summers Reviews

Company: mbaMission

Before joining mbaMission, Helen Summers served as the director of MBA Programs at Management Leadership for Tomorrow—a national nonprofit that guides underrepresented minorities through the business school application process—where she developed curriculum and programming for nearly 1,000 fellows. Helen’s passion for business school admissions began when she was earning her MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS). In recognition of her significant involvement in admissions efforts and outreach there, Helen received the HBS Student Association Award and the Bert King Fellowship. Before attending business school, Helen was a senior financial analyst with Johnson & Johnson (J&J)—during which time she earned her CPA—and began her five years with the company as part of the Financial Leadership Development Program (FLDP). She gained valuable experience through rotations in finance and accounting, managing Motrin Franchise marketing expenses and analyzing the financial impact of new initiatives in the production process of cardiac catheters and stents. As a graduate of FLDP, Helen returned to J&J’s corporate headquarters, where she helped develop a new financial reporting system and managed the $160M budgets of the company’s CEO and CFO. She is a former Division I scholarship tennis player and has completed two Chicago marathons in recent years. Helen now enjoys exploring vegetarian and vegan cooking.

5.0 /5 Average Rating
Based on 41 reviews
May 29, 2019
claiacona4

Joined: May 29, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

I couldn't have done it without Helen!

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I decided very late in the game to apply for business school. I was hoping to apply in round 1, but after struggling to get the GMAT score I desired, I suddenly found myself with only 6 weeks to complete my round 2 applications. I knew I was a competent candidate with a strong professional background, but I was worried about overcoming my below average undergraduate GPA and GMAT score for the schools I was targeting (M7). I had some reservations about working with a consultant due to the cost, but when I considered the value of getting into a top school, I decided it was worth my while. I am so thankful I decided to move forward with Helen at mbaMission, because I was able to overcome the obstacles in my application and get into my dream school!!!

Helen is someone who tells it like it is. She can be your toughest critic, but your greatest cheerleader. I really appreciated this quality because it meant I was always putting my absolute best foot forward with the schools I applied to. I worked with Helen on my resume, essays, interviews, and even my scholarship reconsideration letters. She helped me decide which schools to apply to, and ultimately which one to attend. With her help, I got into 5/7 schools I applied to (one of which was my dream school). I owe it all to Helen, and can't speak more highly of the experience. If you want to put your best foot forward, I strongly recommend working with Helen!

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March 25, 2019
sonias315

Joined: Mar 25, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Couldn't Have Done it Without Helen!

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After deciding to use an admission consultant service for 2 of my R1 applications (HBS, Wharton), I did my research to identify both the company and the consultant that would be the best fit for my needs. Having taken the Manhattan Prep GMAT class, the mbaMission services came highly recommended through my instructor, previous students, and the Forté Program. I chatted with 3 other consultants prior to connecting with Helen, and Helen was by far the most lively, energetic and genuinely excited consultant I had met. From the first day we chatted through the end of our time working together, Helen was genuinely interested and passionate about telling my story and was not afraid to share harsh, direct criticism or review the same essays 6+ times to ensure we had the perfect word choice and flow. She helped me to dig deep from the very beginning, pulling out the stories and interesting tidbits about myself that would truly help me stand out among my peers. She makes herself extremely available, offering to set up phone calls or communicate over email, and is very upfront about expectations to ensure a good working relationship. Helen and I worked on Wharton and HBS together and while I was rejected at HBS, I did receive good news from Wharton & even some money! If you're in the market for a consultant - look no further!

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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.
February 21, 2019
Hoos20

Joined: Feb 21, 2019

Posts: 1

Kudos: 1

Verified score:
640 Q37 V40

Helen Summers

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I was skeptical about working with an admissions consultant at first but a colleague of mine strongly recommended Helen Summers.

I figured my resume was already polished and I knew how to brainstorm and write essays but Helen really helped bring my application to the next level. The detailed brainstorming process was extremely helpful and after establishing the essay framework for my first school it was very easy to modify my story for other applications. Helen challenged me to be more thoughtful and concise which allowed me to highlight a more holistic view of my background. It was also a big advantage to be able to set up mock interviews with the mbaMission team.

I was accepted to all three schools I applied to and would definitely recommend Helen and mbaMission to other applicants.

One consideration for future applicants is that I felt the start-to-finish package for 1 school was sufficient to get me through my other applications.

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January 15, 2019
mbastudent191987

Joined: Jan 15, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Highly Recommended Program and Consultant

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I worked with Helen Summers at mbaMission for a two-school Complete "Start-to-Finish" Package and was accepted into my top choice. I recommend MBAMission, and HIGHLY recommend working with Helen Summers.

The MBAMission program is comprehensive and guides the applicant through a series of brainstorms and reflections. It keeps the applicant moving along the application process and completing critical tasks (like the school application, personal statement, interview prep...etc.). I was very pleased by how thorough and rigorous the program was and felt well-organized and prepared throughout the process.

However, the most important factor in the process was Helen. From day one, Helen was passionate, friendly, helpful and innovative. I'll never forget our initial brainstorm phone call: She was well-prepared, easy to speak with, and we had an "a-ha" moment that set us off on the path towards what became my personal statement. What set her apart for me was that she helped uncover my personal story and I always felt like Helen was in the trenches with me, which was comforting when we approached the application deadlines. Helen brought her passion, experience and insights into each discussion, was always available to speak live via phone, and responded to all inquiries and draft documents in a timely fashion.

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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.
August 13, 2018
matts55

Joined: Jan 23, 2015

Posts: 3

Kudos: 6

Verified score:
710 Q47 V41

Five-Star Coach – Helen Summers

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Deciding to use a consultant:

During my 1.5 years prior to working with Helen, I secured a >700 GMAT, did extensive school research, and attended a dozen MBA networking events. Although I had an idea of what story and themes I wanted to share on my applications, I was unsure how to tell my story in the most effective manner. I began researching different admissions consulting firms when I discovered Helen’s bio at mbaMission.

Soon into my introductory call with Helen to discuss my profile, career goals, and target schools, I knew I wanted to work with her. Helen displayed her knowledge of consulting applicants in applying to top MBA programs and had experience consulting applicants with a background like mine. She was also more than ready to help me shoot for my target schools – HSW.

Essay writing:

The essay writing portion of MBA applications was my biggest challenge. I am confident in my writing abilities, however producing a common theme across multiple essays and free-form application questions requires vision and skill. This is where I needed the most help.

Helen and I held discussions to brainstorm what personal and professional experiences would be most effective to share with each school. Once we settled on a strategy, including which essays to write first and which experiences to match with what essay prompts, I began to write. Helen never once missed a turnaround deadline. In fact, I can recall more than a few occasions where she delivered one business day earlier than expected. Her comments were always detailed and constructive.

What I enjoyed most about working with Helen was how opinionated she was. When she didn’t like how a story came together, she would simply tell me why and to try again. No sugar-coating. Helen reviewed each essay, which averaged 4 – 6 drafts and provided the same rigor of feedback to my free-form application questions (an often overlooked and valuable portion of the application).

Interview prep:

Once I received interview invitations to each program, Helen quickly transitioned into mock interview mode. She conducted three separate mock interviews, each proving to be accurate simulations of what I encountered. Since one program offered a team-based interview, Helen organized for her company to conduct a virtual group interview.

Final results:

In the end, I was admitted to two programs (including my dream school) and waitlisted (and withdrew before a final decision) at the third.

If you’re looking for an experienced and talented consultant, look no further. Helen was an absolute joy to work with. I highly recommend Helen Summers.

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August 12, 2018
mba2100

Joined: Aug 12, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
760 Q49 V45

Could not have done it without Helen!!

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I could not have asked for a better person to work with than Helen Summers. She went above and beyond to help me with all aspects of my applications through every stage of the process. Whether it was helping me brainstorm, editing multiple drafts of my essays, giving me feedback on video essay recordings, preparing for interviews, and managing an incredibly long waitlist process (successfully!), Helen provided invaluable support, encouragement, and insight every step of the way.

During the writing process Helen pushed me to dig deeper and convey a message that would resonate and set my story apart. She was extremely timely with her comments and was not afraid to provide the direct and honest feedback I needed to hear. After receiving interview invitations Helen helped me practice through mock interviews and understand the different interview styles I could expect from each school.

The MBA application process is a marathon. Helen's guidance helped me navigate the process successfully and achieve results well beyond my expectations. She was there for me at every step of the way. With her help, I received interviews at all of the programs I applied to, generous fellowships from top programs, and I was admitted to my dream school!

To anyone who is hesitant about working with a consultant I would highly recommend it, especially working with Helen!!

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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 24, 2018
Priyansha.saxena@yahoo.co.in

Joined: Jul 03, 2013

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Helen is REALLY good!

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As an Indian applying to US B- Schools, I spoke to a few other consultants before deciding to work with Helen. What really caught me was her optimism and confidence in helping me put up my best foot forward in my application. While other consultants might push you to target more "safe" schools and be skeptical about targeting "reach" schools, Helen always encouraged me to go after the schools of my preference. She was EXTREMELY responsive throughout the process, which is why I never faced issues with deadlines. I also want to highlight that she will not let you put up a feeble application in any case and will keep pushing till you produce a solid output. We had hours of brainstorming calls that enabled me to really think about the experiences I wanted to present to the admission committees. I got a few admits with fellowship as a result of her efforts and have decided to attend Yale. I very strongly recommend Helen as an amazing consultant who not only will help you sail through your entire application process seamlessly, but will also constantly help you stay positive and on track.

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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.
June 07, 2018
CambridgeCapp

Joined: Jun 07, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Helen is the BEST, hands down!

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Helen is truly the best there is. Seriously!

She consistently supported me in finding my most authentic voice, and was an incredibly sharp thought-partner. As an hourly client, Helen was always cognizant of my time and I never once felt ‘short-changed’ by any of our interactions. She always pushed the extra mile to answer questions, and never hesitated to reach out to her to offer multiple perspectives when helpful. Her interview preparation was on-point and her ability to meaningfully instill confidence was unparalleled. Helen’s realness won my trust in an instant, and her thoughtful tough-love helped me to be my best.

Tactically, Helen’s speed and flexibility – even throughout the holiday season and peak R1 moments – was fantastic. With a complex international travel schedule, Helen and I always managed to find time to connect at any frequency and duration required. She swiftly answered quick questions and provided well-framed, strategic answers to more complex ones. In the chaos that is the MBA application process, Helen helped me feel in control.

Throughout this entire process, I not only got into my top choice school but also gained a true friend and champion in Helen!!

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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 29, 2018
BTone1011

Joined: Dec 17, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Helen Summers - Worth Every Cent!! Five-Star Consultant

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I will be attending the University of Michigan Ross this Fall on a fellowship, and Helen Summers was essential to this outcome and my entire business school application process. What I appreciated most was her quick turn around time for every essay draft I sent her. Seldom did I wait more than 2 days for her to turn around my essay drafts with comments. This was especially impressive given that we were working together through December/January holiday season. I also found her detailed commentary on every essay and resume draft I sent to her incredibly helpful. Helen did a fantastic job at dissecting “my story” and pointing out the flaws in my anecdotes. She challenged my writing every step of the way, and it made me better each time. Working with Helen ultimately made me more introspective about my life story and what I wanted to have come through in my application. In addition to essay reviews, I had several phone conversations with Helen throughout my process to discuss GMAT strategy and Recommendation letter strategy. It’s important to note that I signed up for MBA Mission’s Hourly Package. Because the package was based on time spent, I was extremely cognizant and aware of every minute that I used for these consulting services. That being said, I can comfortably say that I never once was concerned that any billable minutes weren’t maximized. Helen was incredibly efficient in combing through my essays and resume while giving back meaningful feedback. When it came time to purchase additional hours, more than I initially planned for, I had zero hesitation because I knew every minute spent to on my application by Helen was going to help. Although I never ended up getting my target GMAT score, Helen did a great job of keeping me focused and helping me bolster every other part of my application, including my optional essay! She will give you the “tough love” that you need, and I truly felt like she was one of my biggest cheerleaders; you can really tell that she is passionate about this stuff. If you want to get into the school of your dreams, she will best position you to do so. I also had three of my friends use Helen this past year and they all got into the schools of their dreams, schools including Wharton, HBS, and Stanford. - I would highly recommend her.

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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 25, 2018
gumbyland

Joined: Mar 15, 2016

Posts: 4

Kudos: 2

Responsive and professional - Highly recommend Helen Summers

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As a Canadian student applying to top business schools in the U.S., I had very little knowledge of the intense level of competition. I didn't know anyone in my immediate circle who has successfully applied to a top U.S. MBA, so I had no reference point either.

I started the process intent on using the DIY-way, but quickly found myself completely lost - what is a "narrative" or "story", and what matters most to me and why?

I knew I needed help. I set up 7 consultations with various companies and knew after my first conversation with Helen that she knew what she was doing. She pointed out my strengths, weaknesses, and told me some strategies to address my lower GPA. After our call, Helen sent a detailed follow-up email with free resources that I could use, regardless of whether I decided to work with her.

A few things to highlight about my experience working with Helen:

• Responsive: Helen never missed a 2-business-day turnaround deadline, and often returned edited drafts to me sooner. I started working with Helen in Mid-October with one application due in November. It was quite a short turnaround since I was very naive about the intensity of the process, but Helen's responsiveness made it more than manageable.
• Your personal cheerleader: Helen gave me her vote of confidence on my target schools and told me to go "full throttle" on the applications instead of suggesting that I apply to "safeties". While some consultants suggested that I apply to lower-ranked programs or schools that weren't a great fit, I'm glad that Helen pushed me to apply for my dream schools.
• Thorough and thoughtful: I did no less than 10 drafts for some essays and Helen always had good feedback and pushed me to push my own thinking. Even if I was happy with a draft or a sentence, she gently guided me towards a path of constant improvement.

I applied to 4 schools in total (H/S/W and a Top 10 program) and worked with Helen on 2 school packages. I was accepted at one of the schools we worked on together and one program where I did the application myself. However, even though we didn't work on that app together, I believe I wouldn't have put forward such a strong application if I didn't have all the back-end work that I did with Helen on the other application.

I'm off to my dream program this fall, and I would highly recommend working with Helen Summers and mbaMission.

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13 Older and Non-Verified Reviews for Helen Summers