Helen Summers
Senior Consultant

    
Number of reviews [25]


Company: mbaMission
Packages: mbaMission * School Packages   mbaMission Hourly Services  
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.

Helen Summers's Reviews
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     By believeinurself321 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Helen Summers

When I first started the process of applying to business school I was really unsure if I wanted to use a consultant. Between GMAT prep class fees and travel expenses to visit schools, the cost of applying to business school adds up quickly and I wasn't sure if a consultant would be worth the cost. Since I knew people that had gone through the process of applying to business school, I had a solid understanding of the work needed to complete an application but I really needed a top consultant to help me craft my story and write strong essays...at least I thought that was all I needed.

Helen was recommended to me and after our first conversation, I knew I made the right choice. She helped me pull out the elements of my story that embodied who I was the most and pushed me to dig deeper whenever I got lazy in my writing. At times, I was so frustrated with the process I was ready to stop and Helen always lovingly brought me back on track and helped me create a plan to make the process less stressful. She provided edits and ideas very quickly and was always responsive whenever I got stuck. She also did a mock interview with me (with specific questions about my background) and coached me on how to give strong and thoughtful answers. Needless to say, many of the questions she asked me were exactly the questions I was asked in my real interview. Her mock interview was excellent preparation for the real thing.

In general, I saw Helen as more than just my admissions consultant, she was also my cheerleader and part time life coach. LOL I truly felt like she was invested in my success and because of her guidance and extreme talent in bringing out the best in people, I was admitted to several schools and will start at Stanford this fall. I couldn't be more excited! :)

I definitely recommend Helen as a top business school consultant. Thank you to her and the entire mbaMission team for helping me to achieve this dream!

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     By jamesdickinson 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

If you are thinking about applying to business school, and have the means to hire an MBA consultant, I would highly recommend not only choosing mbaMission, but going with Helen Summers.

As I begin my MBA application journey, I quickly realized how incredibly competitive the admissions process has become in today’s world, and I decided to hire a consultant in order to gain every possible edge. When choosing a consultant, I was looking for a few things: (1) excellent reputation, (2) full-service treatment (i.e. not only would look at essays but would review resume, recommendation letters, short answers, etc.), and (3) someone who had an MBA so they could prove that they went through the process themselves and could speak from experience. I landed on mbamission as they satisfied my first two specifications with the most highly rated reviews, and ended up working with Helen due to her familiarity with my top choice (Kellogg) as well as her excellent pedigree and the connection we quickly formed over the phone during our initial phone conversation.

Helen and I worked closely together for over 2 months on my Kellogg application. Using the “full consulting package”, we created a schedule for my application, including self-imposed due dates and regular check-ins. We did a thorough examination of my brainstorming document (a differentiator of mbamission and an extremely useful tool) and worked together on every part of my application. She was very timely and thorough with her feedback (always within the 2 day turnaround outside of holidays), and was always suggesting things that could make my application more competitive. She challenged me when she believed my writing could be improved, and her advice was very trustworthy. Above all, she was honest with me throughout the entire process. She did not sugarcoat anything, and that’s what made our relationship so sincere and cohesive.

The beauty of working with a consultant is the air cover that they provide you as well as the constant set of “well trained” eyes on your materials. Helen did this in spades and helped me achieve my goal of being admitted to my dream program. I would recommend her to anyone looking to get a thorough experience out of a MBA consulting partnership. Don’t be afraid of the sticker price…it will be worth the reward if you are willing to commit the time, energy, and enthusiasm.

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     By rlb284 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

I had the extreme pleasure of working with Helen on my Round 2 applications for 4 business schools. I chose to purchase the start to finish package for all schools, as I knew I needed tremendous support. I would highly recommend Helen to those considering hiring a consultant for the application process.

I was a non-traditional applicant with little understanding of the differences in MBA programs and the amount of work required during the application process. I hired Helen in mid-November to help me through this process. Despite having an accelerated schedule with only about 6-8 weeks to complete my applications, she really took the time to understand my background and experiences. Helen provided great advice on which schools I should be targeting given my background, stats, and interests. She was very realistic with me during my school selection phase by explaining that M7 schools would be reach schools for me, but other top 15 programs would be more reasonable (she was absolutely right).

Helen was always friendly, honest, and genuine in our interaction, especially on essay reviews. She provided great ideas during our brainstorming sessions on topics I could use in my essays and didn’t hesitate to tell me if I needed to shift the direction of an essay after I had completed a draft. She really pushed me to dig deeper and provide specific examples in my essays in order to more clearly define and convey my ideas.

I interviewed at 3 of the 4 schools I applied to and Helen helped me prepare for all 3 through mock interviews. The questions and style of mock interviews were very similar to my actual interviews. Helen was very authentic with me and provided specific feedback on how I could improve my answers during my interviews.

My experience in working with Helen was fantastic and I would recommend her to those looking to get into a top business school. I would not have been accepted to any of the programs I applied to without Helen’s help.

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     By prospectivemba222 2
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

If you want to get into your dream MBA programs, I highly recommend using Helen Summers from mbaMission. I applied to Cornell, Duke, and Darden and was accepted to all three with a full ride to Cornell and 1/3 tuition scholarship to Duke. Before working with Helen, I did not think it was possible to get into all three schools, let alone with multiple scholarship offers, and I know that would not have been my outcome if I had not worked with Helen.

Helen first encouraged me to retake the GMAT, even though I really did not want to, but I am so glad she pushed me to do so. I then had an acceptable GMAT score and strong GPA, but my work experience was very low (only 2 years).

Helen took the time to get to know me and helped me incorporate things into my essays that I would not have thought to include. She also helped me shape my story, which was very important given I only had two years of work experience and the "Why now?" question was very important to address. My first essay went through over 10 drafts, and the difference between the first draft and the final one was night and day. She also helped me with my women's weekend essays which was a huge help.

The best parts about working with Helen are listed below:

-She is extremely responsive and organized. Her turnaround time with essay drafts was often well within the 48 hour requirement (often even within 24 hours). She sometimes even worked on the weekends so if I sent something to her on Thursday or Friday I would get it back before Tuesday. She responded to emails (quick questions) even faster, typically within a few hours.

-She made the process much less stressful. When I was struggling with an essay topic or unsure about how to ask a question to an admissions person, I simply emailed Helen asking if we could have a quick call. She is so nice and calming, so even just hearing her voice on the other end of the line made me feel much better!

-She provides open and honest constructive feedback. Her comments really made me think and pull out my best experiences to incorporate into my essays. She was also very helpful in cutting out the "fluff" in my essays to help me stay within the word count. In addition, she gave my recommenders feedback on their recommendations and encouraged them to provide stronger examples which helped round out my application.

-She genuinely wants her clients to succeed and will do everything she can to make that possible. She 100% knows what she is doing (the process, the schools), so I completely trusted her advice and feedback.

Again, I would HIGHLY recommend Helen if you want to get into your dream business schools. She went above and beyond my expectations and is well worth the money. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about her and guarantee she will make your application much stronger.

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     By jpepe3 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Helen Summers

I can not say enough about my experience working with mbaMission consultant, Helen Summers. Helen came highly recommended from a colleague of mine and surely did not disappoint.

My goal was to gain acceptance to Columbia. I had achieved an acceptable GMAT score but knew I would need to really tell my story in a unique way via the application essays. I was aware of the solid reputation mbaMission had and was recommended to Helen by an HBS colleague of hers. I signed up for hourly services.

I do not come from the typical banking/consulting field and was concerned with how that would show through my application. Helen took the time to get to know me, and helped me to better tell my story, and how the Columbia specifically would help me to achieve my goals.

I thought I would quickly use up the hours that I had purchased but Helen was incredibly efficient in reading my essays, marking them up, and sending back with 1-2 days. She was honest and fair with her time and I actually was amazed with how valuable her feedback was, in such a small allotment of time.

She helped me to cut out the "fluff" and effectively illuminate the points I was trying to get across to the admissions team. I appreciated her candor and honest feedback, and can't say enough about her expertise around the admissions process.

I was accepted to Columbia and am incredibly grateful to Helen for all her help along the way.

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Highly Recommend
May 20 | 2016
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     By amichelle10 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

Helen Summers is fantastic! Helen encouraged me to dig deep and really pushed me to a level of introspection that I did not think I could ever reach. She helped me recall stories from my childhood that I had forgotten about for over 15 years which really helped me better understand my personal journey and how that journey has molded me into the person I am today and shaped my goals for the future. My first draft of my essays were horrible! Through Helen's support and constructive criticism, I got to a very polished finished product of which I was extremely proud and that was genuine, reflective of my personality, and attention grabbing for admissions officers, resulting in admission into the two schools to which I applied (HBS & Wharton). I highly recommend Helen for helping you dig deep in crafting your story and for helping to keep you organized throughout the stressful process.

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     By cwsmith12 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

I worked with Helen Summers and she was tremendous. She was very "on the ball" as soon as we started, and helped me keep to a tight schedule, as I applied to three schools Round 1.

A few things that come to mind when I worked with Helen:

-Clearly understands the admissions process and how to work with the candidate to bring out the best of the person. I know she was able to use facts and stories that I didn't think were relevant and bring them all together in my application. Her insights on my essays, short answers, and even how to interact with the various ad com's and others were key. I was very pleased with how my essays turned out.

-Very honest with me throughout the process, from school selection to essays and interview prep. She told it to me straight, even during the free consultation. That's what ultimately led me to choosing her.

-Responsive. Always met the commitment to respond within two business days and was able to accommodate other quick turn requests.

-Easy to work with. Never made things stressful for me.

Overall, I am very happy that I worked with Helen, and I thought it was worth every penny.

Food for thought as you consider whether to hire a consultant or not: you are investing so much money into the admissions process, and (hopefully) investing in a two year MBA program, why not put your best foot forward on your applications? I know having someone to work with who has been through the process and understands how the Ad Com reviews an application was an invaluable resource for me. Yes it's expensive to hire a consultant for a school package, but I got into a great program with a below average GMAT (660) because Helen helped me articulate why I would be a great candidate.

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5-Star Product
April 18 | 2016
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     By petey584 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

Helen was a tremendous resource through the MBA application process. Throughout our time together, I always got the feeling that she was an eager friend that truly wanted to help. I always got prompt and unflinchingly honest feedback, all the while keeping the utmost standards of professionalism.

This service is not for everyone due to the high cost. In addition, I don't believe this is a service for people who want to use the consultant as a crutch to stay on task. However, if you are like me and want to "de-risk" the process as much as possible by being prepared, one can't do better than building a partnership with Helen.

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Great Essay Guidance
April 12 | 2016
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     By Dynamis12 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

I worked with Helen Summers at mbaMission on 5 school essays, all for the round 1 cycle of applications. Her guidance and input on putting my "best foot forward" with my essays was invaluable and I would highly recommend her to anyone who is considering an admissions consultant.

I was one of those MBA applicants with a unique background. I had a non-business undergrad degree and worked abroad in a non-corporate setting. However, business schools ( I have learned) are most interested in one's leadership capabilities ( still crush your GMAT though :) ), and Helen helped me showcase my own leadership skills with captivating stories. Also, the structure that Helen recommended I use for my essays made my story much more logical in terms of relating my past experiences to my post-MBA career goals.

I was admitted to my #1 choice. Without Helen I know that I would have had 5 dings to reminisce about this year. Instead, I'm on to the next chapter!

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     By TranslationLost 43 16
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Helen Summers

About 15 months ago, I was a regular high school teacher who hardly knew what an MBA was -- it was certainly never a part of my long-term plans. I had seen those three letters strung together, but I had no familiarity with the extent to which admissions was highly competitive, the opportunities this degree offered to radically transform my career, and the amount of labor that the application process would require.

After a couple of months of initial research, I knew that the MBA would be a good option for me, so I was considering whether to hire an admissions consulting service. I was at first skeptical of the value proposition and the extent to which they could ultimately improve my chances of gaining admission to my target schools. However, after an initial consultation with MBA Mission, I became certain that I wanted their help in order to maximize my chances of being admitted. Helen's background and experience speaks for itself, and the support she would give me over the following months was indispensable.

First and foremost, Helen is enthusiastic and authentic in her desire to help. During our initial brainstorming session she was warm and affable, and she really pushed me to think deeply and express myself clearly about the most subtle nuances of my personal history and experience. This primed me for success during the application process, and she would repeat these behaviors as we prepared to tackle each successive application (we worked on 4 total together).

However, do not take her kindness for weakness. Helen was a warm and enthusiastic supporter, but she never showed satisfaction when I did not deserve it. While there were some initial essay drafts for which she showed enthusiasm, there were quite a few where she frankly told me that my concept was off or my writing was inadequate. Further, she was a stickler for details -- I recall one essay for which she pushed me to write nine total drafts, several times demonstrating dissatisfaction over word choice in one mere phrase or sentence.

The process was labor intensive -- just as it should be. In applying to top MBA programs, I wanted to present myself as clearly and positively as possible so that the admissions officers could see the benefits of adding me to their program. I decided to hire an admissions consultant because I wanted the best possible chance of accomplishing that task. If there is someone better than Helen for the job, I'd be truly surprised. I thought that her advice and support throughout the process was top-notch and worth every penny.

As a result of her support, I gained admission to three top-10 programs (one being an M7), all of which offered generous scholarships. I am incredibly grateful for the support I received, and I would strongly encourage anyone who reads this review to consider her.

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13 Older and Non-Verified Reviews for Helen Summers