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Working with Melissa Blakeslee was one of the best choices that I have made, playing a critical role in my acceptance at CBS ('18).
I decided to work with a consultant after failing to get acceptance from top MBA programs during the previous application cycle. In retrospect, I was too naive to think that I could put together strong applications in a span of one month for Round 2. When re-applying, I decided to invest the time and resources to work with a strong consultant who can provide me with insights to what MBA admissions look for in candidates and how I can best position my strengths to differentiate myself.
Melissa Blakeslee was the perfect fit. She has years of experience working as a senior admissions officer at one of the top US MBA programs. She also has experience in branding / marketing at a major Fortune 500 company. Combined, she knew exactly how to position my background in light of the student profile that top MBA programs seek to enroll.
To note, I spent countless hours speaking to various MBA consulting firms and their consultants. I do not settle easily, especially if I am going to invest a significant amount of my time and resources. Moreover, my situation was tricky given that I was an older re-applicant from an over-represented pool. My advice to the readers of this post is to make full use of free hourly consulting services and reach out to many people before finalizing your choices. I did, and now I have no regrets.
Asian male, 32 years old. Working in finance in Hong Kong since summer 2010. Currently at an Asia-dedicated private equity firm (buyout). Undergraduate from one of the Ivy Leagues, majoring in Economics and International Relations.
Wanted to move away from finance to search for a career in international development organizations. Applied to various schools in winter 2014; would have had 5 years of full time work experience. Dinged at my top choices hence decided to re-apply.
Searching for MBA Consultants:
Decided that it would be best to work with an MBA consultant if I wanted to maximize my chances for enrollment. Worked with several firms, starting with Ding Analysis of schools from different firms. Did not find the feedback very insightful or convincing; was too generic and lacked depth (e.g. "you have a good background, maybe your essay could have been stronger, we know how to help" type of feedback).
I was then recommended by a friend to speak to Jessica Shklar at mbaMission, who in turn, recommended me to Melissa.
Working with Melissa:
Very efficient in turning around the work, flexible to schedule calls, and most importantly, cares greatly about her clients. Took her less than 24 hours to provide comments on the essay.She provided detailed comments on her edits to communicate effectively what she was thinking. She picked out the right ideas to highlight and synthesized elegantly without being too verbose.
In the end, I could trust her to help me refine my story. I can get stubborn / strong-headed and demanding (or nagging, if you spin it differently) when working with others at work. But had no issues when working with Melissa - something that's only possible if I have full confidence in her words.
Accepted at CBS, Class of 2018! One of the top schools that I was denied from the previous year. Cannot be more happy with this outcome. Very happy with the results.
Highly recommend working with Melissa. Had full confidence when hitting the application submit button that I have put forward a thorough, well-prepared set of documents.
In closing, thank you very much Melissa for all the support! Could have not done this without you!!