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Joined: Jan 24, 2019
760 Q49 V45
I know the first thing people balk at is the price point of the comprehensive package. However, I can say that it is definitely worth it as I got into Kellogg, my top choice for Round 2!
I specifically asked for Jen because of my sister's great experience with her, and she definitely exceeded all expectations. She quickly pinpointed my strengths and helped me develop a strong personal narrative. She was also very direct in her feedback, and always gave me her honest thoughts on my essays, which helped me present my story in the best possible way.
She was incredibly patient and responsive throughout the entire process. She always responded quickly, and would go through as many revisions as necessary until we both were happy with the final result. Finally, I could always count on her to answer my questions. In the very few cases when she didn't have an answer, she would go out of her way to ask fellow consultants to get me one.
I was thoroughly impressed by her commitment to helping me achieve my goals, and I wholeheartedly recommend Jen! It was a great experience and an extremely worthy investment!
Joined: May 20, 2018
Jen and the Stacy Blackman team were phenomenal in helping this "tough case" (I'm a bit older and have a non-traditional background compared to other applicants to b-schools). Jen helped me identify how my experience and skills could be positioned to appeal to admissions committees, and we worked on several drafts of each essay before submitting. I received five invitations to interview, and Jen was incredibly generous with her time in helping me prepare. She also helped me adjust my expectations based on what I had already accomplished and how I might appear on paper to ad comms—it takes a special school to look past their own algorithms as they choose applicants. I am exceptionally grateful for the time, support, and encouragement Jen offered me during this very intense process, and I recommend Stacy Blackman Consulting and Jen wholeheartedly!
Joined: Jun 22, 2015
My work with Jen started with a phone call and I knew right away that this was going to be very good. It's been a long but extremely productive process and I gained so much including 2 acceptance letters! I was very overwhelmed and nervous when we had our first call. Jen walked me through my background and brag sheet and drilled me on my actions, my decisions, consequences and more. It was a very draining two hour call but it made the rest of the process much better because I had core marketing tenets and great examples to back everything up.
We picked out a list schools that were a good fit for me. Jen helped me think through not just "where I could get in" but also what I wanted out of a school and what the different programs could offer me. She did not push me towards any particular school, but did help me figure out my chances and where I wanted to be.
I had to completely overhaul my resume to fit for an MBA application and I used the SBC resume guide. It was very useful with great examples and a complete step by step walk through of the differences between an MBA resume and a job search resume. Very very detailed and it was a fantastic resource for me - it truly helped a lot, along with Jen's edits and guidance of course.
One thing I greatly appreciated about Jen is that she did not try to force me into a box. This was the case with picking schools and also writing essays. Everything I wrote felt authentic. Me - just better, more strategic and more polished. For example, when we first started talking, we discussed my strengths. I listed off some strengths that she said were good but perhaps generic. After we had the discussion about my background, she suggested strengths that were completely pulled from my examples, but I just never really thought of it from that angle.
Everything Jen helped me with reflected my goals. When it came time to interview I could speak very honestly and passionately about everything in my essays, I think it really came out in the interviews that i was authentic. I was very happy with everything that I did with SBC and with the service from Jen.
Joined: Feb 10, 2017
750 Q50 V41
I used the comprehensive service for two of my dream schools. Both were definitely reach schools given that I was an early career applicant (3 years by the time I quit my job this summer) and came from an unconventional field (Oil and Gas Drilling). I got admitted to one of them (Tuck) and will be starting my MBA this fall (2017)!
Jen was very professional and succeeded in bringing the best out of me while helping me portray that on my applications . She managed to strike a perfect balance between keeping me motivated and also grounded and focused. Additionally, Jen's overall strategy kept me calm and confident that we were putting out best foot forward.
At the end of the day only so much is under our control. Jen helped me understand that but also helped me realize how I can leverage my story in the best way possible. Lastly, I used many of the tactics (intangibles) and the structure of my essays (tangibles) on the rest of my applications which were not included in the comprehensive package. I recommend using the comprehensive service on your dream and or reach schools. The advantages will overflow into the rest of your applications.
People talk about how this service is so expensive. There's not doubt that it costs a lot of money up front. However, looking back, this was definitely a worthwhile investment. Through Jen's help, this investment ended up being a small part of my overall MBA budget at my dream school!
Joined: Oct 13, 2016
770 Q50 V44
I am very happy I took the plunge to opt for a comprehensive package with SBC - I was very hesitant about the price tag but can say that it was very well worth it! I applied to two schools during R2 and got into both, including my top choice, Stanford GSB.
I came across SBC from Poets & Quants, and because I was starting the application process very late, I didn't shop around much. I had an initial call with Bill, which I honestly did not feel good about - it was a bit cold, impersonal, and rushed, but I decided to go ahead and look at the consultant profiles he sent. I chose Jen Vargo because I liked that she went to Stanford and similar to me studied engineering in undergrad. I had an initial call with Jen and was sold! She was smart, nice, & efficient, and I really appreciated her honestly on some of my questions.
Throughout the course of 4 weeks Jen helped me pull together two applications. We hit the ground running with her strategy- I thought she was spot on with the strengths to highlight (which she gathered after just one phone call!). She also helped me brainstorm essay ideas when I was having terrible writer's block. And I think her edits made all the difference - the essay contents were fundamentally mine, but her edits really pulled them all together.
She was also very responsive - I would email her work products in the late evening and I'd have a response in my inbox by the time I woke up. We primarily communicated via email, but she was also willing to talk to me in the evenings after work.
All in all it was very easy to work with Jen. My only source of stress was when I was about to click "Submit" because I didn't have a good sense of if my application was any good. My fault because I chose competitive schools to apply to and never asked for any feedback, and Jen did not give much unsolicited positive reinforcement during the process (but better than giving false hopes!)...so if I were to do it over again I would've asked her for her opinion earlier in the process! But as I mentioned the end result was fantastic, and I wholly recommend Jen Vargo & SBC.
Joined: Aug 22, 2016
730 Q48 V42
I am so excited to start at Berkeley-Haas this Fall, thanks to Stacy Blackman! Esther reached out to me for the initial phone screen, and was able to recommend a consultant, Jen, who was a great fit for my rather niche industry interest and focus on West Coast schools. Jen helped me to articulate some of the major themes in my life and career to date, and focus my story so that it was clear and realistic.
Going through the admissions process was undeniably stressful, and I was very thankful for Jen's calm guidance. She was very responsive even during the year-end rush for Round 2, and helped me stay on track. I want to give a special shout-out to her especially for the interview prep, where she gave me the confidence to go through with everything even though I didn't feel ready at all, and gave me some really great tips that unified my personal branding. Working through the process actually helped me identify some passions that I wanted to develop further, and while I didn't get to refer to them during the process, it led to some fantastic experiences the summer before b-school. Once again, thanks SBC!
Joined: May 10, 2016
Consultant Jen (SBC)
In Round 2 I was admitted the GSB, Kellogg, USC Marshall and wait listed at Haas thanks in large part to the support and skills of Jennifer Vargo from SBC. Jennifer helped me clean up my resume (it's beautiful now), went over draft after draft of my essays for all schools and most impressively made her self available as often as I needed it. Especially with the GSB question of what matters most and why it can be difficult to work with a stranger, the topic is so personal. Yet working with Jennifer was like working with a friend- she was kind and patient and critical. It was great to work with her, and it paid off! I highly recommend.
Joined: Mar 29, 2014
I purchased SBC’s comprehensive package with Jennifer Vargo, and I couldn’t be happier with the experience!
After my initial 2-hour phone conversation with Jen, she was able to help me identify important life experiences that I could write about – stories that I didn’t think was all that important. Jen was also extremely responsive, and always responded within 24 hours (sometimes at 4am in the morning!) What I really appreciated was Jen’s patience and her honest feedback, as she would at times tell me that my essay theme didn’t work or that I should try using a different example to better convey my point, and I would start over and re-write the entire essay. I had two different drafts for one of my schools (each highlighting a different personal experience), and Jen and I disagreed on which version was better. Instead of just letting me pick one, she went out of her way and asked another colleague within SBC for a third opinion. This again shows the level of dedication that Jen has to make sure that you feel the most confident with your final work. After countless versions and drafts, I was very happy with my final essays because I think they really represented who I am. I am happy to say that I got my top choice at HBS!
Aside from Jen, all the staff members at SBC were amazing! Everyone was extremely helpful and I felt that I had more than what I needed to prepare for all my essays and interviews (such as the complimentary SBC guides, the flight test, and their interview questions vault). I highly recommend SBC and Jennifer – especially if you’re looking to apply for highly competitive, top tier schools.
750 Q50 V41
I worked with Jen Vargo from Stacy Blackman Consulting, and I had a fantastic experience!
I am a non-traditional applicant on the less experienced side (will have 3 years of work experience going into business school), and my undergraduate GPA was not great (3.1). I was very overwhelmed by the application process, but Jen and SBC made the entire process very smooth and straightforward for me. From my first phone call, I felt that the SBC team did a great job at helping me craft my story.
Jen is extremely professional, experienced, and patient. She took the time to understand me as an applicant and as a person. She gave me honest feedback about my essays and helped me with interview preparations. She was extremely responsive - I would send her ideas or essay drafts before bed, and receive feedback from her in the morning. She helped me prepare for a "Flight Test" - where another consultant reviewed my comprehensive application as if an AdCom member would. But most importantly, she was confident in my candidacy and my application, even during times when I felt extremely stressed.
Thanks to Jen and SBC, I am headed to my top choice, Booth, this fall. I highly recommend Jen and Stacy Blackman Consulting!