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Joined: Jun 09, 2020
I purchased the all-in package for two schools, Wharton and CBS, and I'm so glad that I did. My consultant, Margaret, was with me every step of the way during the application process. From instructing me how to research schools I was interested in, editing essays, and reviewing my resume, Margaret was an essential resource for me. My applications were 10x stronger than they would have been on my own. I got into my dream school, Wharton, and was invited to interview at CBS ( I ended up declining as I had already been accepted to Wharton). This company really knows what they are doing! I recommend it to anyone who wants an extra push in the grueling b-school process.
Joined: Oct 03, 2018
Working with Stacy Blackman Consulting (SBC) was by far one of the best decisions I have made through the grueling application process. They were incredibly thorough with responding to my questions and concerns and assisting me with finding the best service options. Being a military candidate, I also received a discount.
For months, I struggled through a losing battle against the GMAT. Before I paid a dime, SBC scheduled an hour introduction call, l spoke to me about my background, and even recommended a list of schools that may be a good fit for me. They also recommended that I switch my focus to the GRE (in which the outcome was better than that of the GMAT). I was lucky enough to work with Margaret Strother as my primary consultant.
We held scheduled calls every other week, exchanged emails on a daily basis, and agreed on deliverable deadlines. She was incredibly thorough on her thought process and helped me phrase my story in ways I could not have imagined. She held me to very high standards and was not afraid to tell me my proposed approach within several essays wouldn't cut it. Most of my essays were completed in about 5 to 6 drafts.
I come from a State school, with a 3.2 UG GPA in Psychology, a Master's degree in HR with a 3.6. I am also a military reservist who works full time for a fortune 50 company in project management. My GRE verbal score was far below the school average but quant and writing right on the average. I applied to 6 schools, four of them within the top 15.
I was directly admitted to two programs and wait listed at another three. Margaret helped me navigate the WL process, together we were able to convert two of those WL status into admits!
Will be headed to UVA Darden in the fall! I wouldn't have been able to do it without Margaret and SBC. I would highly recommend, but be prepared to work hard and stay resilient until the end!
Joined: Dec 18, 2019
I had an excellent experience with SBC, they exceeded all my expectations:
-I was a Marine officer and I worked with SBC for HBS and Wharton, this cycle I got into HBS, Booth, and Sloan - they get results!
-Margaret was more than I could have hoped for! She showed me that she genuinely cared about me, my story, and my ambitions. She made such a big effort to get to know me and how I communicated. She made the entire process fun and was a rock to lean on throughout the entire process.
-As a military applicant without a background in business, I needed a lot of hand holding in the beginning of the process, the SBC team, especially Margaret, was there for me and helped me find a concrete footing. I asked Margaret all sorts of questions and she always was there to answer them - even the ones not fully related to my two school package. Again, she proved she was 100% on my team!
-I initially had a rocky start with SBC - I partnered with Dawn and we were not a good fit. We could not find a way to communicate effectively, I did not feel like she cared about me or my success, and I felt that she belittled me at points. When I went to SBC with my concerns, the firm came in and saved the day! They instantly went to work finding a consultant who was a better fit and I had no issues switching over. The firm as a whole proved that they cared about my experience and were dedicated to my success.
I would wholeheartedly recommend SBC to any applicant, especially military, who is serious about applying to a top-tier MBA program. They will find a good match, and ensure you put your absolute best foot forward. If you can, ask for Margaret, you will not regret it!
Joined: Jan 30, 2016
I talked to other admission consultants and I had a feeling it was about the money in the end. I had a different feeling when I talked to Esther Magna. She listened carefully to my needs, talked to the consultant, and gave me the response based on what they can do for me.
I had an amazing experience working with Margaret Strother. My deadline was 6 days away because I spent weeks trying to overcome anxiety and start writing my essays. She provided step-by-step instructions and made the process very easy. She went beyond to help me meet the deadline, prioritizing my emails to decrease response time and responding within hour even when she was off desk.
As I could afford only 5 hours of consulting, she was kind enough to help me with 2 SOPs for Master of Science program, and also gave recommendations to improve my CV. As a result, I completed two 500 word SOPs in 5 days when I spent weeks forcing myself to write something.
She also gave detailed feedback and further suggestions to improve my essays that already looked good. Her guidance helped to make this process as smooth as possible.
Working with Margaret was a pleasure – it was a genuine desire to help me as a fellow human being. Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and I am very happy that I had a chance to work with SBC.
Thank you, SBC team!
Joined: Oct 02, 2014
720 Q47 V41
TLDR: SBC is a partnership that prepares you like no other consulting firm. From the moment I joined to the moment I received my acceptance to HBS, I know I sent my best application to each school because of my relationship and partnership with SBC and Margaret.
I started by reading reviews and calling several companies, looking for the best “fit” consulting firm. After several days of research, I narrowed my search to two consulting firms: SBC and mbaMission, setting up initial consultations with both firms. My stats were slightly under the ballpark for the M7 schools, but I thought I had a compelling story. It was important to have a consulting company help me hone my unique story, a difficult task with only 300-500 words per essay. After both conversations, I felt a strong connection with the team at SBC. They exuded confidence, and took a real look at my background during the initial consult (some firms provide only minimal advice during the free consultation). SBC provides several potential consultants, and you select the one that best suits you and your background. My consultant was Margaret, who helped me excel during the application process. She became a true partner very early on and helped me reach my near impossible dream of being admitted into HBS.
In every aspect of the application, from the intense research to the hundreds of edits, I saw tremendous growth in my essay writing and in my application package. Through SBC, I was able to shape a genuine narrative about my background and my future goals. On the day I received my HBS acceptance, I called my family and then immediately called Margaret, a testament to the strong partnership we developed during the application process.
Joined: Jun 17, 2018
This is a substantial investment and one that will only be worth it if you put in the work. Margaret did an amazing job keeping me on timeline and focused on my goal. My work schedule was about as crazy as it can get and she masterfully helped me squeeze every last bit of free time out of it to put towards my applications. As an older applicant, Margaret had many of the answers to questions such as, "how do I communicate 14 years of experience in my field to the ADCOM without sounding ancient?" In the end, my life story and reasons for pursuing an MBA were brilliantly woven into a single narrative that resonated with the ADCOM and set me apart from other applicants. The best part was that it was entirely my own! The words in my essays came from me. They weren't rewritten by Margaret. They sounded like me and ultimately they got me admitted to my 1st choice program.
The admissions process is stressful and for someone who was nearly a decade outside of the academic arena, I was rusty to say the least. Margaret and the rest of the SBC team got me ready and made me the best applicant I could be. From preparing applications to rehearsing for interviews, the all-in service was truly worth the expense. If you are a non-traditional student wanting to pursue an MBA, Margaret is your gal. Bill from SBC is also a great consultant for non-traditional students in the event Margaret is booked. If you are coming from a military background, Margaret is your ideal choice as she has extensive experience preparing military candidates. If you can afford it and are ready and willing to put in the work, the all-in service from SBC is a game changer and something I'd highly recommend.
Joined: Nov 19, 2016
Let me cut to the chase: Margaret is the consultant you will never regret to work with! Margaret is the consultant who brought me to the next level, push me further, and keep challenging me on essays while I felt exhausted after 6, 7 revisions: three days before one school’s deadline, I thought my essays are final but Margaret kept pushing me to the next level. She clearly laid out the strategic applications plan for me and a lot of the information I had never thought about even after tons of research both from online and from peers who had applied MBA programs. Down the road, because of the enormous experience she has, she even predicted the “career goal confusion” I would face after networking with too many current students and alums, and gave me advice on how to handle it. She even predicted that the strategy some schools use to give offers and I was able to get admitted after her encouragement knowing that it’s one of the strategies the school uses. I did tons of research online before I finally decided to work with Margaret, and one of the questions I asked every consultant is: “what drives you to be a consultant.” Margaret’s answer resonates with me so much: “to help others make their dreams come true is also a dream come true itself, right?” She took time to understand who I am, in order to help my strengths, uniqueness, shining through both in my application materials and interviews: really focusing on who I am. I could keep writing the good things about Margaret forever… but to sum: I was admitted at two S16 schools, with scholarship at one of them: None of this would be possible without her help. I would recommend her to anyone: I recommended Margaret to one of my close friends who is also applying this year: “she is popular and GOOD, I MEAN GOOD! and you better get on her calendar quick!”
Joined: Mar 27, 2018
I purchased a hourly package from Stacy Blackman Consulting in Oct 2017 and began working with Margaret to apply to four schools. I was a non-traditional MBA candidate and felt overwhelmed identifying "my story". Margaret was instrumental in helping me craft it. She was efficient and supportive with keen insights. I appreciated that she was also conscious of making the most of my hours - we were able to accomplish a lot with our time together. She was astute and excellent at breaking down the process into manageable steps. I am happy to report I was accepted to three schools and waitlisted at one. I highly recommend Margaret.
Joined: Sep 09, 2011
720 Q49 V40
I had an incredible experience with Margaret, and couldn't be more thrilled to be admitted to both Wharton and Kellogg (with scholarships)!
I researched several admissions consultancies and after speaking with Margaret, I knew immediately that she was the perfect fit. I opted for the 3-school all-in package. As a common applicant (male with consulting foundation), Margaret did a tremendous job helping me differentiate my story from the pack, providing candid feedback, and remaining incredibly responsive to any and all questions I had throughout the process. I never felt rushed on our calls together and she genuinely cared about getting to know me personally.
The additional SBC resources also provided invaluable admissions intel and allowed me to submit my applications with full confidence - from the Flight Test (full app read-through by a former adcom) to mock interview prep (Wharton TBD simulation moderated by a former adcom).
I couldn't have done it without them. Cheers to Margaret and the SBC team!
Joined: Feb 10, 2016
740 Q47 V44
I couldn't be happier with my decision to use Stacy Blackman Consulting! I recently gotten accepted to Wharton (with scholarship) and without question would not have been able to do it without the help of Margaret and the SBC team.
For background, I'm a white male with a consulting background. I interviewed at least a dozen different admissions consulting companies and felt like Margaret at SBC would be the best person to help tell my story. I originally wanted to do an hourly package but decided to do a comprehensive package at the end. SO happy I did! Margaret spent countless hours with me working and re-working my essays, resume and every section of my application.
When I received my interview invitation to Wharton I was connected with Rebekah, another SBC consultant and former Wharton admissions officer, who organized a mock team based discussion and gave me some personalized feedback.
If anyone reading this is considering hiring a consultant, you can't go wrong with Margaret and SBC!