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Joined: Jan 04, 2021
John is absolutely fantastic — I could not have gotten admitted to my top choice (HBS) without his guidance. I can confidently say that partnering with him was the best decision I made when applying to business school. He took genuine interest to get to know me, my background, and my stories well so that he could help best position my application and essays. John always provided prompt yet still thoughtful edits to my writing, bringing out my voice. I especially appreciate the fact that he was always honest and didn’t hesitate to say what needed to be said. I walked away from the process thrilled with the state of my application and essays because of John.
Joined: Nov 03, 2020
750 Q50 V41
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Let me start by saying that if I had not used a consultant, and specifically John Sisk, I would not be sitting in the fortunate position I am today with an admittance to an M7 school. I worked with John throughout 2020 on a start to finish package for three M7 schools. I am confident that his support, knowledge, and experience are what put my profile over the top.
From the very first brainstorming session I could immediately see the value John brought to the table. In our first 60 minute conversation, he was able to take my jumbled work/volunteer/leadership experience and my future goals and mold it into a cohesive story that we would ultimately grow into my story for all three applications. I gained the most value out of the multiple rounds of essay review. It was truly amazing to watch my stories in my essays become extremely polished and convey the real explanation of what I am trying to achieve through an MBA.
Lastly, John's interview prep was also immensely useful, but maybe in a less traditional sense. I am coming from a sales/BusDev work background where I frequently interact with individuals outside my organization. Being able to have someone like John, who knows this process inside and out, tell me to not stress too much because he could recognize that I was prepared and conversationally ready, helped me stay calm and articulate in the real interview.
Every step of the way, John helped take my profile up a notch and I know that without his support, I would not be in the fortunate position I am today. Thanks again John!
Joined: Feb 27, 2018
John is AMAZING, and deciding to work with him on a 3-school start-to-finish package was perhaps the best decision I made during the MBA application process. Coming from an industry where an MBA is not the usual path, I found the process incredibly daunting. My biggest concern was how to tell a compelling, cohesive story about myself to the admissions committees – especially because I was unsure of exactly what I wanted to do post-MBA.
We first met over the phone for a 30-minute “fit” call, and it was immediately apparent that John is an amazing listener who has an innate ability to understand his clients. At first, I was concerned that working "remotely" with a consultant would be challenging (John is in Chicago and I was in NYC), but this proved to be a non-issue. Throughout the process, John was thoughtful, calm, and patient; he guided me through each step of the process in a structured manner that made it as manageable and low stress as possible.
John takes the time to truly get to know his clients, their story, and what drives them; his guidance was invaluable during the essay-writing process. After reading through my initial brainstorming document, he was able to find common threads and themes that have been prevalent throughout my life, and help me craft these ideas into a message that was effective and, most importantly, truly authentic to me. He was always positive yet honest in editing my essays, and was never afraid to say if an essay needed a fifth, sixth, or seventh round of revisions, even though I knew it would be more work for him. By the end, I was truly happy with every single essay I submitted; John helped me strengthen my story and voice in a way that I didn’t think was possible.
John always goes above and beyond, whether by getting on the phone one more time because he knew I needed a pep talk before an interview, or by responding to another draft of an essay with a tight turnaround to make sure I’d be in before a deadline. He is a great champion and partner throughout the process, and makes you feel like you are his only client at all times. Thanks to John, I was admitted to HBS in round 1 (a result that I never dreamed was possible). I truly couldn’t have done it without him!
Joined: Oct 23, 2015
I was fortunate to find John early on in the process. During the introductory session, John provided me with valuable feedback on my strengths and weaknesses. I shared my desire to get into Wharton MBA with him. He explained the detailed admissions process and the typical Wharton acceptance criteria to me. He then provided me with templates and a sample of documents to prepare my information. Throughout the whole process, he was there to guide me on the essays, resume, and interview prep. I was very impressed with his knowledge and expertise in the MBA admission process and his ability to guide you to achieve your goal. I am very glad to have found him, and I thank him for his guidance. I just finished my MBA from Wharton.
Joined: May 17, 2019
740 Q50 V40
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I worked with John in 2018-2019 using MBA Mission's Start to Finish package for 5 different schools. Overall the experience was great!
John is great at brainstorming and helping you articulate your key talking points. As someone who knew almost nothing going into the process, it was very helpful to have John guide me through the process. He helped tremendously with brainstorming and editing. Also, once we got interview invites, his interview prep was particularly helpful. This was one of the most helpful features for me, because walking into my interviews I felt very calm and prepared because I had done so much practice already with John.
I come from a non-traditional background, and don't have too many coworkers or friends getting MBAs, so it was very helpful to have John's expertise along the way.
I ended up getting into Stern, CBS & Booth with John's help! I'll be joining CBS next year!
Joined: Mar 19, 2019
I worked with John using a 3 school package and I believe I would not have had the same outcomes, particularly with scholarship money, that I received if I had not worked with him. I had no idea how to frame my "story" and he came in with great ideas and excellent editing/writing abilities to help me pull my application together into a very compelling application that adcoms loved! I got into 5/6 schools I applied to, all with major scholarship money. I'll be heading to Wharton in the Fall. I think I might have gotten into some of these schools on my own, but John helped push me out of the pack and gave me an edge that led me to substantial scholarship money. He spent hours on the phone with me brainstorming ideas for essays, heavily edited essays for the 3 schools for which I was working with him (and then I rather easily transferred many of these essays to the schools I did on my own), and really helped me prep for interviews. My biggest issues with John were that he was late to almost all of our phone meetings, sometimes forgot to respond to my emails and would return essay drafts to me way after his promised deadlines. Also, there were times where I felt John lacked emotional support and was biased i.e. not congratulating me when I received scholarships to schools he didn't help me with, and when I got dinged from my top school he focused on defending himself instead of supporting me. Overall I would highly recommend John! He was not without his faults, but he definitely helped me achieve my goals and in the end that's all that really matters.
Joined: Sep 23, 2015
760 Q50 V42
Going to business school was a goal I had set for myself as a Junior in college. For the past 5 years, I have selected jobs, extracurriculars, and more to improve my chances at attending a top business school. When it finally came to apply last Fall, I wanted to work with someone that shared my high expectations and would help make my application amazing. John helped me put together an incredible application that could have never produced myself, and helped me get into my dream school.
Throughout my application process, John was a superstar for me to have on my team. Every good team needs an MVP, and I am glad I was able to have John throughout this long journey.
John stood out in every facet of the application process. When I struggled to develop my story and post-MBA goals, John was always quick to hop on a phone for us to brainstorm with anecdotes from previous clients and templates to help me organize my thoughts. When I struggled to come up with ideas my essays, John helped provide me an outline combining my story and what winning essays look like. When I then struggled to keep to the word count of my essays, John provided incredible advice and edits to help make my essays stand out. And every time I was about to make rookie mistakes in the application process, John steered me straight.
Even more, John made the entire process thoroughly enjoyable through his calm demeanor, professionalism, and personal touch. Constantly throughout this process, I was overwhelmed and scared. However, every interaction with John helped keep me focused. Phone calls and e-mails were filled not only with constructive feedback but also humor. John not only saw me as a client, but got to know me for me, which not only made working with him fun, but also made him an amazing partner to bounce ideas off of.
Today, as I re-read my essays and entire application today, I am amazed at the final product. There is no way I could have ever gotten in to the schools I did without John. For anyone considering applying to b-school, I would not hesitate when working with John. He simply is the best there is.
Joined: Jun 25, 2018
720 Q48 V42
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John/MbaMission was the first admissions consultant company to take the time to look beyond my stats on paper and hear my story/motivations for applying.
I researched and spoke with several similar companies to gage my chances at different programs and heard I needed to readjust my expectations. My less traditional background (major/undergrad institution), and only 3 years of work experience (4 at program start) would rule out top schools. One company even told me "it doesn't matter if you score an 800 on the GMAT, you're not the type of applicant top programs are looking for." However, mbaMission was different.
John was incredibly encouraging, responsive, and attentive throughout the entire process (even just to check in during the decision waiting period). He restored my confidence and helped me tell my story which clearly articulated my personal and professional reasons for wanting an MBA. The result was a clear illustration of not just why I wanted an MBA but also everything I had done to prepare and how it would be pivotal in my career aspirations.
While I was still slightly jaded by the prior feedback I heard, I chose to only apply small number of schools (a couple M7/T5 and one T10) with the intention of waiting and applying next year if needed to a more "realistic" range. However, this was not needed because not only was I accepted (including a scholarship), but I also had a choice of programs. I am thrilled to say I will be headed to an M7/T5 in the fall! I would highly recommend John and mbaMission to anyone going through this process.
Joined: Jan 07, 2014
730 Q49 V40
TL;DR: With a somewhat scattered career trajectory, I needed someone very skilled in helping me draw out compelling career and personal narratives (the essays), and present myself in a beautiful package (the whole application). John’s previous reviews share a theme of exceptional storytelling, and he did exactly that with me. It was nice to have John as a partner who cared about the results. I was admitted to Columbia Business School!
Researching Consultants: Quantitative measures aside, the key to a successful MBA application is undoubtedly compelling career and personal narratives, which are also by far the most challenging. As I read detailed reviews of consultants, their key strengths became apparent. John’s previous reviews share a consistent theme of him helping applicants put together compelling applications and stories (he does have a journalism background after all).
Working with John: I went with the hourly package. As I think back on the application process, there were several things John did that maximized the efficiency and results:
1. With hourly services, John is very efficient with time, but most importantly, the feedback that he sends back is direct and actionable. This allowed me to make drastic improvements to my essays between each iteration. The final product was an essay that read so smooth and conveyed so, so much in 500 words.
2. John clarified how I should tackle each essay, which was so helpful given the prompts are vague and cut out the many extra drafts I would have had to do.
3. I found it super helpful to have a call with John, especially when I hit writer’s block, to bounce ideas off of him. These sessions were extremely productive in moving things along rather than spending days stuck on something.
4. Lastly, I will say that the road of an MBA application is a lonely one. John was a partner who cared about the success of my application, and his professional and calm demeanor kept me going and focused.
Result: Acceptance to Columbia Business School!
Joined: Jul 09, 2018
John Sisk is an outstanding MBA admissions consultant and a pleasure to work with. He really knows what he is talking about regarding each facet of the application process. From start to finish, John was highly professional, easy to talk to, and driven to help me succeed as an MBA applicant. Regarding essays, I could not have been prouder of the final drafts I produced under John’s guidance. John has such a great understanding of how to write in a clear, compelling manner, he was able to really bring out the best in me as a writer, and help me frame my story using parts of my background I would not have initially thought to use. Regarding application strategy, recommendations, short answers, resume, and any questions that came to mind about the admissions process, John also provided expert advice and insight. John’s calm, supportive style also significantly increased my confidence throughout the process. This was invaluable when it came time for interview preparation. John not only anticipated the exact kinds of questions my interviewers ended up asking, but also was able to get me in the right frame of mind going into the interview: to approach the process with an enthusiastic and positive attitude, which I think really came through in terms of making a great impression on my interviewers. This showed in the results. In the end, I got into my dream MBA program: Columbia Business School. I could not have done this without John’s guidance, and I highly recommend him to anyone who wants to gain admission to a top MBA program.