Jessica Shklar
Senior Consultant

    
Number of reviews [97]


Company: mbaMission
Packages: mbaMission * School Packages   mbaMission Mock Interview Sessions   mbaMission Hourly Services   mbaMission MBA Student Services  
After graduating from Harvard College with a degree in anthropology, Jessica Shklar worked in nonprofit education, first doing curriculum development for an adult education center and then in the admissions office of a small university in Los Angeles, where she advised applicants to both the undergraduate college and several graduate programs, including business school. While there, she developed and delivered workshops around the country on Selecting the Right College and How to Write an Effective Application Essay. Having been accepted to every business school to which she applied, including Stanford, Kellogg and Yale, Jessica ultimately chose to attend HBS, where she completed her MBA with distinction (graduating in the top 10%). After starting work, she volunteered in the New York City public school system, helping high school seniors with their college applications. She has worked at several Fortune 100 companies, including American Express and JPMorgan Chase, where she was the quality leader and a senior vice president for Chase Home Finance. Jessica is also a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, with specific expertise in Six Sigma deployment and initialization.

Source: http://www.mbamission.com/about/?display=team&name=jessica-shklar


Jessica Shklar's Reviews
Jessica is Outstanding
April 30 | 2018
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     By nixx89 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

I cannot express how deeply grateful I am to Jessica for supporting me through the entire MBA process – from the brainstorming sessions, to the essays, and interviews and perhaps more importantly, the life changing conversations. If there is one thing that I can say for certain it is that applying to an MBA program is a journey and not a destination. What Jessica excels at is really allowing you to find your story and craft your journey. There were multiple points in this process where I had to deeply reflect on what my deepest priorities were and Jessica was masterful in helping me through this thinking. In addition, she is an exceptional writer who really simplifies complexity, whilst preserving the integrity of your thinking. As i reflect on my time working with Jessica, I am confident that she has made me a better story teller, but I am as grateful for her endless curiosity, desire and commitment to stretch my thinking, find my deepest values and express them with clarity.

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Best in the business!
April 28 | 2018
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     By logan395 2
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

Going into the application process, I honestly felt like my profile was fairly mediocre for the schools I was targeting. As a white male from the finance industry and working at a largely unknown company, the competition was abundant/tough and my numbers weren’t anything special. Like many, I was initially reluctant to use a consultant because of the cost; there’s no doubt it’s a big decision. But a good friend referred me to Jessica and told me she was the best in the business and that I had to work with her. The opportunity to go to a top b-school is once in a lifetime and I’d seen it open incredible opportunities for others, so I figured I’d give it my best shot and try to get any edge I could in the application process. After all, I’d already committed to the idea of leaving the workforce for two years and spending my life savings (plus some) on school itself – so might as well do it right.

Now at Columbia Business School, I’m still pinching myself because just a few years ago this didn’t seem like a possibility. And I can say with great certainty that it wouldn’t have been without Jessica’s help. Jessica helped me tell my story in a way that took my borderline profile and made it a standout one. She’s passionate about getting the best out of her clients, and she understands the application process and the perspective of admissions committees better than anyone. Always a straight shooter, she’ll constantly push you and tell you exactly what you need to hear. It wasn’t always fun or comfortable, but I wouldn’t have wanted to do it any other way because it resulted in the best possible application. She’s truly as invested in your success as you are at each and every step of the process – she was just as excited as I was when I got accepted to Columbia. In retrospect, I can’t believe I ever considered going through the application process by myself. If your dream is to attend a top business school but you think it might be a bit of a stretch, then I can not recommend Jessica enough.

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Jessica Shklar - mbaMission
April 25 | 2018
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     By DC21 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

Jessica was beyond helpful and words cannot describe my appreciation for her. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. She was incredibly responsive, thoughtful, and held me accountable throughout the entire process. She knows exactly when to push and when to encourage. Her talent, experience, and genuine care for my success were all worth every penny. There is so much more that goes into the entire admissions process than I realized, and Jessica does a fantastic job of breaking down each portion into a manageable, organized timeline. Looking back, there is absolutely no way I would have made it into the schools that I did without her.

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for all of your hard work Jessica!

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     By ay13 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission Hourly Services
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

Jessica talked me through a 30-minute free consultation, and it completely changed the way I viewed the process. She helped me with school selection, ensuring that my angle and approach were appropriate and compelling, and structuring my essays. Again — all of this was in a FREE 30-minute consultation. I decided to apply quite late in the process, otherwise I would have signed up for additional hourly services. I've since been admitted to 4 of 5 programs (Michigan Ross, Berkeley Haas, Yale SOM, and UVA Darden) and waitlisted at 1 (MIT Sloan). I'm really impressed by the way Jessica helped me tailor my application, and I'm very grateful for this consultation. I highly recommend her services!

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Best Decision of My Life
April 23 | 2018
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     By kjorstad 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

I would not have gotten into Haas Business School without Jessica – period, dead stop. Her level of expertise and wisdom is unmatched. My first encounter with Jessica was during a webinar, and up until that point, I hadn’t given a personal consultant much thought. I figured I had been reasonably successful in my career and would be able to maneuver the application process myself. Having a few doubts, though, as I wasn’t the traditional candidate for a top business school, I scheduled a free 30 minute consultation. Jessica’s “presence” blew me away. She was all the things you’d want a consultant to be – intelligent, honest, succinct, great listener – but it was her passion and compassion that drew me to her. She’s the real deal, a truly authentic person. After completing my brainstorming homework, I came to our call feeling a bit defeated. I didn’t think there was anything in my story that was unique or compelling enough to get me into a top school. She disagreed and told me what she saw in my story. What she said not only touched my heart, but changed my worldview.

I could go on and on about her work. She’s efficient and quick to respond and brilliant at making sure every single word in your essay provides value. She’s stellar at listening to inarticulate ramblings and finding themes and important points. But most importantly, she’s your most valued thought partner.

To be honest, I hesitated before writing the check to mbaMission. It was a lot of money and I didn’t want to spend it if I’d be able to produce similar work on my own. What I know now is to run, don’t walk, to find yourself a consultant, and secure Jessica if at all possible. I’m in my mid-forties and she is hands down the best money I’ve ever spent. I will be forever grateful for her services.

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     By Filthydelphia 142 46
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

No matter where you are in the application process, Jessica Shklar will help you present the best and truest YOU to your dream business school.

Before using mbaMission, I applied to business schools on my own, thinking that I knew best how to present myself to admissions. After receiving only a single interview, I became worried. While I waited for a lone R1 decision, I reached out to several consulting services to see if they could help me on such short notice (R2 deadlines were fast approaching and I had not even started!). In a free one hour consultation, Jessica gave me so much great advice and really captured the essence of what I was trying to say in my application essays but in a more directed approach. Knowing that I was still waiting for a Rd1 decision, Jessica was never pushy about the services and told me she would help me on short notice as soon as I was ready.

After receiving a rejection, I called Jessica and she immediately developed a plan of action. She helped me hone in on schools to target. We had only 2 weeks to submit applications to six programs! In a whirlwind but incredibly efficient and effective afternoon conversation, Jessica helped me drill into the essays and my stories that would resonate with admissions at each school. In no way did she ever write my essays, but she helped me see the great stories that I didn't realize I had. This was especially important as a non-traditional applicant (age 33 at matriculation, worked at various blue collar jobs, military reservist). She truly will help you present the best YOU to your dream programs.

Over a busy 2 weeks, Jessica supported me and was always responsive. While I can write so many positive words about Jessica, how immensely helpful, insightful, and just plain great to talk to that she is, the results speak for themselves. My 6 applications led to 6 interviews and then 3 admits and 3 waitlists. Even with such a limited amount of time, she helped me put together my best possible applications. She is an amazing resource and a MUST for any aspiring MBA candidate!

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Jessica is simply the best!
April 22 | 2018
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     By mattinthehat 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

Jessica is a phenomenal admissions counselor. My working relationship with Jessica began over 5 years ago when I applied to the HBS 2+2 program as a college senior. During the initial consultation, Jessica and I immediately clicked and I knew that her knowledge and experience would be invaluable. I chose to go through my 2+2 application without any support and was not admitted. Five years later, I decided to re-apply to MBA programs. I submitted a request for another consultation from mbaMission and, to my surprise, Jessica emailed me back. During our chat, she was very optimistic about my profile and chances for admission. I interviewed seven other admission consultants just to make sure but with Jessica I felt the most comfortable. Over the course of 5 months, Jessica spent many hours helping to refine my application and make sure every aspect was perfect. I couldn’t be happier with the result – I was admitted to my top choice – HBS! Thank you so much Jessica – words cannot express how grateful I am to you. I recommend you highly!

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     By KB2020 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

If you have the opportunity to work with Jessica, I would highly recommend it - it's truly worth every penny. I was on the fence about working with a consultant - it's an expensive investment and up to that point I had done everything on my own.

I knew I wanted to work with Jessica immediately following our consultation. Jessica managed to articulate my story better than I could after just a 30 minute phone call and was also able to point out strengths and weaknesses in my application that I hadn't thought about before. I felt confident that having Jessica's years of experience and insight would help me craft a more effective and authentic narrative - and that turned out to be absolutely true.

The three things that I enjoyed most about working with Jessica are:

1.) her ability to provide quick, candid and pointed feedback - there is no tip-toeing around feedback. She gets to the point quickly and that makes every minute you spend with her very effective and valuable.

2.) her ability to see trends in your experience/background and help you craft an authentic, powerful story.

3.) her ability to be your biggest chearleader when you need it most! Jessica always made herself available when I needed to talk to her and she believed in me every step of the way. As corny as it sounds, this is so important in the application process because there are so many ups and downs and sometimes you just need encouragement and positivity.

Ultimately, I was accepted to my two top choices. Jessica was a critical in that result!

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

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

If you are applying to business school you need to work with Jessica. Jessica has intimate knowledge about the process of preparing and applying to b-schools. She is also an amazing story teller. As a non-traditional student, with a very unconventional academic and work background, I was concerned not only about the process but also finding and communicating my unique story in the best way possible to compete with other candidates and to highlight my strengths to the ADComs. After doing my research on several other firms, I decided to work with Jessica and I hired her for the complete start to finish package for each school. I knew that she was a perfect fit for me after the first phone call. She was able to help me navigate the various nuances of writing essays for multiple applications, preparing for interviews and most importantly, keeping me grounded and focused throughout a very intense process. With Jessica’s help and guidance I was admitted into a top 10 business school. I highly recommend her and mbaMission.

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Awesome consultant!
April 19 | 2018
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     By ileeeee34 0 5
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: mbaMission * School Packages
Consultant: Jessica Shklar

When I took the decision to apply to a Harvard Kennedy School, a year before the application deadline, I contacted a friend of mine, alumni from this school, to get insights from him on the application process. Among the precious advice he gave me, was the fact that I should work with a consultant. American people use consultants despite the fact that they know the system and that they can get lot of information from people around them. So, to him, as a foreign student, working with a consultant was really helpful in his application process but above all, because this consultant was Jessica Shklar. He specifically explained to me that choosing to work with Jessica was also a main factor of success. I immediately requested a 30 minute call with her.
It took me 10 minutes to understand that she was the person I wanted to work with. I am very difficult client (and I told her since the beginning!) because I like to challenge people and make sure that they add value to my work when collaborating with them. I am also very motivated when I have an objective in mind and I can spend entire days and nights thinking about it… hence, bothering people about it and asking endless questions.
I started to work with Jessica around <6 months before the deadline. At that time I had not taken my GMAT test yet and was starting to study it. Working with her in advance was helpful because she provided me with an assessment of my profile and gave me advice on how to improve my weaknesses and strengthen my profile. I remember that she raised two concerns that we would work on to improve my application: quantitative abilities (because of some low grades in finance classes), unprecise professional project (I knew I wanted to have a social impact but I was unable to define a path). For each of them, she gave me guidelines and advice on how to improve the gaps for the coming months. Because I had this assessment well in advance, I was able to prepare an action plan. She looked at my resume and gave me ideas of organizations and positions I might be interested in in the future, given my previous experience and my areas of interest. She even managed to introduce me to people working in some of these organizations to get their feedback.
Thanks to a very loooooonnnng brainstorming document that she asked me to fill in, she got to know me very well. It took me many hours per day during more than a month to complete it. But It helped her a lot to understand my whole story and to provide meaningful and relevant advice during the brainstorming sessions we had.
She also gave me advice to prepare for the TOEFL and GMAT/GRE. I had taken the TOEFL once, a month before contacting Jessica and was 12 points below the required grade, 22 below the preferred one. I had also difficulties to obtain a decent GMAT score. I was scoring in the 500s! She encouraged me to keep going and told me about success stories she witnessed. That positive mind is also key to succeed. She always encourage me when I needed it. This helped me reach my target TOEFL score at the second trial. And she also helped me change my strategy from GMAT to GRE. I obtained a medium score at the latest but my performance was far above that mediocre GMAT score.
Then, we started to work on the essays. At the beginning, I applied to one school, my dream school but after discussions with Jessica, I realized that studying in a school which is not my dream school would be better than staying on my current job. I would not take risks. I decided to add two other schools to my package and we worked on the three of them together. What I like is that she provided me advice without never telling me “you should do this or this”. She will always advise me based on her experience but I will always have the last word. And whatever the solution I chose, she would always support me.
To strengthen my chances of admission, I decided to visit HKS. That time again, she provided me with advice so that I would take more benefit from this visit. She pointed out a few things she knew were important for me and ensured that I would not forget to seek information about them.
For each of the three schools, we designed different essays, with the same basis but she always ensured that we would tailor them to the schools’ specificities. She insisted every time during the reviews to make sure that we’d answer the right questions instead of telling what I wanted them to know (which is something we all tend to do).
She also reviewed my recommenders’ letters, ensuring that they’d be specifically tailored to my specific profile and that my recommenders do not write “one-fit-all” letters.
I appreciated many different things during our collaboration:
- What I like the most is the passion she has for people. Doing her job requires a lot of empathy and she always showed enthusiasm with my story. At some point, I felt like I was not working anymore with a service provider but someone who is really committed to help me succeed;
- How responsive she is: she would always react quickly to quick questions and even, in many instances, send back the essays before the contractual deadline or during her days off;
- She knows the schools: thanks to her long-time experience, she is aware of what the schools are waiting for. Hence you don’t lose time explaining to her the different specificities and requirements- the only thing I did not want was to pay a consultant and have to explain him/her things that are available online; with Jessica, you rather spend your time demonstrating how you are a good fit for the school because she has done her own research;
- She really cares about every part of the application: we worked on about 12 versions of my resume to make it fit the application requirement and strengthen the best parts of my profile and as many versions of the +15 essays I wrote;
- She knows how to set limits: she’ll always tell you when you are going too far and which things are important or not; in my case, I had a tendency to look at every little nitpicky detail of my application and she made me realize that some imperfections are also a sign of authenticity; in the same way, she will never write for you, ensuring that your essays are written in your own voice. But she would write a ton of comments for you to address;
- She wants you to show the best part of yourself but always with honesty. I had some many interesting things to include in the different parts of my application and discovered that some elements I thought to be “normal” where things that could be valued if I take the time to analyze them from different angles; she has the capacity to present your accomplishments in a way that highlights different skills;
- Additionally, she would always put herself in the perspective of an admission committee member and take a fresh look and distance on the application, which is something I appreciated; It sometimes revealed things both of us knew but that were not clear in the application.

Finally, I got admitted to the three schools I applied to, with a scholarship for one of them… and this, despite a medium GRE score and some low grades in Quant classes.
I chose to attend Harvard Kennedy School as it is my first choice.
I am sure this would never had happened without her input and I am very grateful for it. I would not hesitate to recommend her to my friends in the future. And I definitely recommend her to anyone who is interested in working with someone qualified, dynamic and able to provide meaningful and actionable advice.

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