|All Reviews > Jessica Shklar > Jessica Shklar Reviews|
Joined: Mar 23, 2020
Bottom Line Up Front: Jessica turned my long-shot application into an acceptance letter from my dream school.
As a 30+ year old military applicant w/ <55% GRE and an average undergrad GPA, I had a steep hill to climb when it came to gaining admission to top MBA programs. Even though I knew my applications were a reach she always kept me focused on what mattered: bolstering strengths, mitigating weaknesses, and continuing to push through the marathon that is the grad school application process. Her people/communication skills are excellent. Whether I needed a shoulder to lean on or a swift kick in the rear, her tone and approach flexed to accommodate whatever I needed most on any given day. Critiques were always returned to me either early or on time. One night while “burning the midnight oil” on an application, I wrote her a fairly detailed question around 10pm her time. Even though it was outside her normal work window, within the hour she selflessly provided actionable feedback and never made a fuss about it.
Jessica is a more than just a competent professional that gets results. She genuinely cares about the people she works with...and it shows. If you’re looking to maximize results on MBA applications, you’ll definitely want her on your team!
A grateful client and Duke MBA Candidate
Joined: Nov 05, 2012
I used the Complete Package for one school with Jessica and really regretted buying that. I chose her because of all the amazing reviews posted here, but now I doubted how many of the reviews really came from real happy clients. I got dinged with no interview for the school I had her help with the application, but I got nearly full scholarship for the school I built the application myself. Both schools are top schools so it is somehow fair enough to compare. For anyone intends to use Jessica's service, please really consider my experience with her:
- On-time turnaround
- Helpful with 1-2 first review of the essay
- I received far less customized advice than I expected from a ~$5K package. For example, when I send the application form (not the essay), I will received the reviewed document with most of the revisions related to wording or grammar. But those wording and grammar revisions will not help me get admitted. It should be the advice such as with all the information I gave her about me, which info I should or should not choose to put in the application. Or if I showed myself as an entrepreneur, I should be aware that the valuation of my start-up is the key for the school to judge, etc. I never got her advice on the important details to make my application become a stronger one even after I tried to ask several times. All I could get was just revisions on essay, but the essay I wrote myself got me nearly full scholarship anyway so that kind of support from her was really not that helpful for me. I was very disappointed that her service is just similar to or even worse than what I got from my friends' help.
- No point using the complete package which is a big investment. I found the helpful thing she gave is mostly about 2 first reviews for my essay. For other tasks in the process, I was very disappointed. My mock interview with her is only 20 min long (and I can only have one mock interview with that package). Her comments for that was something like I did well already, no need for much improvement. That kind of comment was terrible, seriously I did not spend ~$5K for that. I found out that the mock interviews I had with other MBA students were extremely far more helpful and customized to my case than from her.
In general, I found that Jessica's service was totally not worth my investment. If you intend to choose her because of all the flattering reviews here, please be more skeptical.
Joined: Jul 03, 2019
I was referred to mbaMission by my GRE counselor a few months prior to submitting my application to Stern's part-time program. I was a bit reluctant to spend more money on my application, but I decided to sign on for a starter package, and I'm so happy I did (I ended up extending my time). My initial hope was that I would receive guidance on my essays and other components of my application. I ended up receiving indispensable counseling on most/all components of my application, but my counselor, Jessica, also helped me to prioritize tasks for my application. She was also very responsive and helped answer all of my questions regarding the application process, etc. (truly all of my questions). Highly, highly recommend this service...well worth the investment.
Joined: May 17, 2019
A year ago, I was really not sure if I could get any offer from S16 MBA programs, especially considering my low undergrad GPA and work experiences in non-traditional industries. Jessica trusted in me and helped me discover, articulate and fully utilize my unique strengths. As a result, I got full scholarship from NYU Stern, partial scholarship from Michigan Ross and an offer from Berkeley Haas.
Jessica fully captured who I really am right at our first call. This builds a very strong foundation for our collaboration afterwards. She helped me put my best steps forward by letting my most authentic self shine through while keeping in mind what the Admissions are looking for, a balance not so easy to find. The brainstorming sessions with her before I drafted my essays were very helpful—it gave me that initial momentum to get started and a clear direction which saved lots of time and efforts. What's more, her timely feedback and response was such a great gift, especially when I was under very tight schedules.
I also learnt a lot from Jessica throughout this process—her amazing writing skills, her efficiency and effectiveness, her direct communication with empathy. I am so grateful to have her as my consultant.
As far as I know, Jessica got fully scheduled by applicants quite early. So, if you are lucky and still have a chance to invite her to be your consultant, do it now!
Joined: Jul 04, 2018
Although this review is based on my personal interaction with Jessica, my goal is to keep it as objective as possible to better serve its purpose.
Before going with Jessica as my admissions advisor, I had conducted several 30-minute consultations with other consultants/companies. What made Jessica standout was twofold: (1) her ability to establish a connection with me straight away and make me feel comfortable sharing my life stories and (2) her determination to add significant value to my application process within the initial consultation even though she wasn’t sure if I was going to commit. This showed me that she genuinely loves her job and excels at it, and that she cared about the applicants she takes on.
We all know how stressful the application process can be with deadlines looming right and left, recommenders to follow-up with, essays to write, resumes to fix, etc. Jessica’s organization, guidance, and help in prioritizing tasks tremendously reduced stress and anxiety levels. I felt more and more comfortable the closer deadlines approached.
In my opinion, the best way to qualify Jessica’s work is effective and efficient, in hindsight those are the best qualities for a consultant to have in an MBA application process. By effective, I’m referring to Jessica’s keen ability to link all the right dots out of ALL your life stories to sculpt the best possible story to get you into business school. By efficient, I’m referring to Jessica’s ability to come up with the best story for you in record time, saving invaluable hours to focus more on the development and refinement of the essay and on the multitude of tedious tasks involved in the process. I developed my best story with Jessica, that got me 50% acceptance into the business schools I applied to, within the first 30-min consultation!
You can’t go wrong with Jessica, thanks again for your invaluable help in achieving my goal!
Joined: May 21, 2018
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]
Applying to top MBA programs is, for most people, a stressful and worry-some process. When an applicant comes from a competitive background, the process can be even more difficult. It was for this reason that, after months of my own investigation, I decided to work with an admissions consultant. I booked a preliminary call with Jessica because her own pre-consultant professional background was similar to mine; I chose to work with her because I felt supported in a way not felt before. Jessica simplified the process for me and gave me crucial advice. She exceeded my expectations with the dedication and swiftness of her responses. I believe her greatest strength is in both listening to her client and frankness. I do recommend Jessica for clients who come from unusual, but also competitive backgrounds.
Joined: Apr 18, 2019
I’m 30+ years old. I went to a small state school. I was out of a job for 15+ months. Before my current career, I worked blue-collar jobs. My GRE quant was <65%. I had a family tragedy in the middle of the application cycle.
Despite ALL that, with Jessica’s extraordinary guidance, these are my results:
Applied: Stanford, Harvard (MBA & MPP), Wharton, MIT, Berkeley, Yale, Virginia, UCLA, UNC, Georgetown
Interview invites: EVERY. SINGLE. SCHOOL!
Outcomes: 9 admits!!! 1 waitlist & 1 ding. Candidly, both non-admits were cuz I screwed up the interviews. C’est la vie :)
Funding offered: $257K (from various schools)
Attending: Joint Stanford MBA and Harvard MPP (with amazing named fellowship)
The results speak for themselves, but I'd like to share more about Jessica.
At heart, Jessica is a storyteller. She took a block of stone (over 30 pages of my stories/vignettes and hours of phone calls), and helped me sculpt a masterpiece.
One story highlights many of her strengths: for the GSB essay, I was struggling for an opener. Jessica mentioned a short phrase I’d written in my 30+ brainstorming pages. And voila, I had an intro which tied the whole essay together.
This small story shows her eye for detail, her work ethic, and most importantly, her tradecraft of shaping narratives that both tug at the heartstrings and engage the intellect.
To me, the goal of an application -- something more subtle than the explicit goal of getting accepted -- is getting the Adcom members to be YOUR advocate. Jessica understands that. And that is exactly what we did. The amazing and humbling outcomes I’ve had were only possible with Jessica on my team.
I enjoyed working with Jessica so much that, crazy as it sounds, I actually miss the hellish application process! That speaks volumes in itself.
Joined: Dec 06, 2015
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]
Jessica was the only consultant I felt truly understood me through the innumerable free consultations I did, and she was the one I decided to go for when the time came to apply. She proved to be quite a good resource through my application process. My biggest concern was my essays, and she gave frank feedback, and really pushed me to dig deeper and introspect when necessary. She always met her deadlines and through her diligence, I developed a really good schedule for myself as well. She is a really good consultant for mbamission and I recommend her to anyone looking to get help through the application process.
Joined: Mar 03, 2019
From the first time I spoke with Jessica, I could tell that she genuinely cared about not only helping me get into a great business school but also letting my true character and personality come through in my applications. I realized immediately that I was working with a professional and I found it particularly reassuring to be receiving guidance from someone who really understands the admissions process and the expectations of the schools' admissions teams. I knew generally what I was going to write about in my applications but the advice Jessica offered on how to structure my ideas and concisely articulate my story was extremely valuable. I also have a pretty unconventional professional background and Jessica helped me to navigate this in my applications and highlight my unique work experience and qualities. By the end of this long and crazy process I was admitted to one of my top choice schools, thanks in large part to Jessica's help!
Joined: Feb 27, 2019
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I attended a mbaMission webinar about Harvard Business School's 2+2 program. It was a fairly small group (less than 10 people) and it was at 9PM but Jessica Shklar was able to keep the presentation engaging and relevant. She provided specific examples to show the differences between a strong and weak essay. She was extremely attentive to the specific group's needs by answering all of our questions.
I felt like she was able to provide immense help to my application despite the fact that I had done an extreme amount of research on the MBA admissions process at Harvard Business School, especially the 2+2 program. I decided to follow up with a 30-minute consultation with Jessica to discuss my profile. Within that half hour, she was able to help me craft a narrative for my holistic application and even provided me with structural tips on my essay - without even reading my essay. She wasn't afraid to point out the weakness of my application, which I'm glad she did because I have heard of some admissions consultants who do their best to only make their clients happy. I wanted someone who was honest and catered to my profile, which she was able to do!