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Stefanie Barlow spent some solid time during her post-MBA marketing career daydreaming of ways to leave the office. Even at creative companies like Disney, Viacom and Time Inc., it was tough for this avid hip hop dancer and amateur kickboxer to stay in one place all day! The burning desire to run around the city coupled with the news that she was expecting her first child inspired her to join the NYC real estate scene, and last year, Stefanie closed over 100 transactions, joining Corcoran’s esteemed Silver Council. That means in their top 5%, and that means…homegirl does DEALS.
Stefanie consistently closes deals that “couldn’t be done” through tenacity, keen business knowledge, and proven ability to bring people together. She brings that same knowhow and friendly, energetic style when helping prospective MBAs navigate the application process.
Born and raised in the Big Apple, Stefanie graduated from college when she was 19 (majoring en espanol). She kept the Spanish theme alive by pursuing marketing and international business at Stern for her MBA, jetting off to Barcelona for a semester at ESADE.
Stefanie currently lives in New York City with her husband David and two daughters, Zoe (age 8 and an aspiring fashion designer) and Delilah (age 5 and future cowgirl).
What’s the COOLEST place you’ve ever visited?
I’d have to go with Morocco. It’s the only place I have been with such rich history AND camel rides. If you haven’t done it, camels are a lot taller than you would think!
If you could only eat one thing for the next month, what would it be?
Belgian waffles with no syrup.
Joined: Jul 05, 2020
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I signed up for Admissionado after consulting 4 domestic agencies. Admissionado’s team-approach and systematic process of working with both an MBA strategist and editorial specialists is part of what makes the firm stand out from peers. That is, a tailor-made team consisting of Stefanie Barlow who is in the real estate industry as well with 7 years’ mentor experience and the professional editing team has successfully guided me to develop sharp, memorable applications through uncountable rounds of reviews. As I look back on my choice now, I can guarantee that the whole package and the experience are priceless.
Stefanie Barlow, my senior consultant, is so approachable, humorous, inspirational and endlessly supportive. Stefanie always delivers the prompt reply within 2 days even during the outbreak of COVID-19 and gives the strategic suggestions in time. For instance, she navigated me on how to categorize b-schools by type of essay questions to make full use of 3 Deluxes package and evaluating risks of Kellogg application for the extended R3 round. More importantly, teaching one to fish is better than giving him fish. I must mention that working with Stefanie is a life-changing experience because she has taught me how to present in a most productive and efficient way and how to make the content more relevant to the theme. “Instead of merely telling us what the challenge is, the adcom really wants you to SHOW us. ” Stefanie usually reminds me in the essays. Excellent writing skills are essential weapons to succeed in the business world. When we had a mock interview, she told me that I expressed myself beautifully compared with the initial free 45-min call. Stefanie is 100% credited with the tremendous progress I have made in the presentation which I think is the most rewarding part during the long application journey.
Besides, I must stress that the editing team is incredible as well. Editors help enhance the beauty and readability of my stories and make every line of story count. Also, Claudia spares no effort to answer my questions and Rose sends her blessings and congratulations all the time. Yes, you are not alone because the amazing team will support you from Day 1. To sum up, it is such a delightful and enlightening process, thanks so much to Stefanie and whole Admissionado team! The best part is that I have had the best teamwork experience here that maximizes the individual strengths of every team member to bring out our best. I am pretty sure that Admissionado will exceed your expectations as your MBA/Master consulting firm.
Joined: Aug 10, 2019
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A little background about me: I'm an Indian with 3 years of work ex at matriculation, 2.7 GPA, and 710 GMAT. I worked with Stefanie on 3 schools - Darden, Cornell, and UNC.
I signed up with Admissionado after talking to 3-4 consultancies. I had a few reasons for this - their essay style which felt inherently 'me', their feedback style which I felt most comfortable with, and most importantly, their cheerful approach toward the process (which helped me feel excited about it).
Stefanie was great at easing me into the process. I was a ball of anxiety at the beginning, but later, seeing how the essays were shaping up, I started to relax. Stefanie and I drew up an action plan initially which was great while fleshing out the outlines for each of the essays. She had great pointers and was lightning quick when it came to replying. Even though their official turnaround time is 3 days, Stefanie sent my essays back to me in 2 and they were thoroughly dissected, just as I'd expected and hoped. What I loved most was how her comments did such a great job at directing me toward what I had to write.
The editing part, although stressful, was a really fun process because of the way she gave feedback. I also loved how the only time they went dark was during Christmas, and that was only for a day. They were available on all days and did a superb job of adhering to the deadlines, always delivering before.
All in all, it was a lovely experience and I wouldn't have believed it two months ago, but I genuinely enjoyed the whole process, thanks to Stefanie & Admissionado!
Special shout out to Claudia who was super super understanding during my payment issue and extremely helpful throughout the whole thing.
Joined: Nov 04, 2019
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I was a re-applicant, but my personal and professional circumstances had changed significantly since my first application. In that, I could only go to a top business school which could offer me a scholarship because I had to support my family. What is more, doing that with a not-so-great GMAT (710) was obviously a steep challenge. That is why, I was looking for an admissions consultant that had truly mastered the art of applying, and I am so glad to have stumbled upon Admissionado. I strongly believe that the process they diligently use to build applications (content married with storytelling) is at the heart of their repeated success with applicants. Irrefutably, I would not have made it to a top European program (with 30,000 EUR scholarship) without their help.
My consultant was Stefanie Barlow, and since the very first interaction, she was approachable, patient, attentive to details, and most important, politely honest. Every time I submitted my essay for her review, she painstakingly edited my essays and marked it up with numerous powerful questions, which in turn, triggered the responses that made for outstanding story-telling. That is when I realized how robust (and outcome-oriented) their process of application-building is.
Admissionado is a delight to work with from an administrative perspective, too. Claudia is easily one of the most responsive people I know, and was accommodating to all my requests without much fuss (so common to other all too professional admissions consulting firms). For instance, I had initially paid for their resume editing services, but soon realized that I didn't really need their help on the resume. The team agreed to use my payment towards another package without much back-and-forth because they understand the confusion and stress that most business school students endure during the application process.
Again, I reserve the highest recommendation for the systematic process and the excellent team at Admissionado (special shout out for Stefanie and Claudia, of course). I can confidently say that anyone who diligently follows their process and puts in the required hard work will emerge successful -- regardless of the school she or he may be applying to.
Joined: Jun 04, 2018
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I was introduced to Admissionado by a friend who worked with them the previous year. My first call was with Stefanie and i instantly felt a great vibe with her.
Their questionnaire was a great 1st step because it forced me to think hard about what i wanted to convey with my essays. Before starting this process i had the misinformation that all they did was "check" the essays for grammatical errors and content but it was so much more!
Stefanie had an astute sense of who i was and what were my best qualities. She dug deep into every single line of my drafts and forced me to chalk out the details and remove all unnecessary fluff. She helped me weave a thoughtful narrative and provided a structure to my words.
Although i had the most communication with Stefanie, Claudia and the rest of the team were always on hand for help. They were swift with their responses no matter the time of the day. I was so satisfied with the essay process i eventually went back for help with my interviews as well.
The best part is, the entire team is really cheering you on and want you to do your best. Stefanie was a much needed motivational boost during the whole application process.
Joined: Jun 07, 2019
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I worked with Stefanie and I can’t thank her enough. She’s brilliant at what she does. I think Stefanie is a very pragmatic professional who tells you directly what’s working and what’s not, and that’s very important, otherwise, you’ll end up wasting your precious time.
Before I started working with Stefanie and Admissionado, I contacted several prominent MBA admissions consulting firms, and I’m telling you it is a fun but daunting process – they will all seem solid, knowledgeable, experienced, they all have excellent reviews, etc., so it comes down to the quality of customer service. I loved my experience with Admissionado, and their Director of Client Relations Claudia, who always tried to understand my position and offered the best support and help possible.
I was paired up with Stefanie for my free 30-min call, which lasted for almost an hour. We had a productive chat, I could talk about all my concerns, I was struggling with preparation for the GMAT, I didn’t have any score, and then it seemed to me that I lacked community service experience/extracurriculars and leadership experience (cause I’m an international applicant). Stefanie assured me that we’d find a way and that she’d help me to bring all of that out of me. I signed up with Admissionado, and Claudia helped me with the package and pricing that suited my situation and made sure everything went smoothly.
Stefanie focused not on telling me exactly what to do and how to do, what schools to choose and what to include in my essays but on guiding me so that I could reach all the decisions by myself and be comfortable and happy about them. I’m sure Stefanie would’ve made an excellent detective had she chosen to be one. She has this ability to spot critical facts and bring the most out of them so that you could tell a whole inspirational story out of thin air. I remember how I felt during the first iterations of essays when I would have to remember teeny-tiny details of my experiences when I was amazed how significant have some of the experiences been to who I have become today and how they have shaped my character along the way. That’s how Stefanie will push you.
Another thing I feel obliged to mention is that Stefanie has this amazing vision or wisdom, or call it whatever you think. I applied to three schools with Stefanie and one with the experience I got with her. Two schools had very low acceptance rates and both were my top choice, the next two were in Top10 but had almost twice higher acceptance rates. I used to call the latter two as more practical schools because I believe they focus on preparing you for a real post-MBA job (like consulting, banking, general management, operations, etc.), not for crazy, unrealistic start-up jobs/goals. When I was applying I had a “practical” or “safe-goal” strategy for those two schools, like going into consulting first, getting some experience and then moving to my long-term crazy dream goal. Stefanie suggested being straight honest with every school, telling them clearly what I am and what I want and why I want it, so that the adcoms/schools decide if I fit them, if they fit me, my goals, if they can give me what I want, etc. And I am so grateful for that advice. I eventually got interview invites from three schools and ended up getting admission (the only one) to my top choice school, which had the lowest acceptance rate, and I think the reason for that is “fit”, bilateral fit, which I think the most important factor when considering schools. That school believed in me, my experience, character, principles, goals, and vision, and was confident that it can get me to where I dream to be. And if Stefanie had not given that advice, I would have not been going to the school I wholeheartedly believe in (and always dreamed of).
With Stefanie and Admissionado’s essay editors team you will be telling your best and beautiful stories. And Claudia will help you with the rest so that you could focus on more important aspects of this daunting and tiresome but supremely exciting MBA application journey. I can go forever telling about the interview prep, resume editing, strategy building and other stuff that Stefanie helped me with but this review is already too long. The package also includes a final review of the whole application by the second consultant but I couldn’t take advantage of that service due to time constraints. And oh, I panicked about the deadlines (it was already one month to Round 2 deadlines) and having no GMAT score, so I took the test and scored slightly below 700. But even with that score, we, together with Stefanie and Admissionado team, managed to secure an offer to one of the most selective MBA programs in the US/world. I wouldn't have achieved that alone, not even interview invite, I can tell that for sure.
Joined: Oct 21, 2018
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I enlisted Admissionado for a strategy session with Stefanie and additional essay development services. I cannot recommend Admissionado and Stefanie enough. After filling out the in-depth questionnaire, Stefanie provided a comprehensive action plan both on paper, and discussed over the phone in a 30-45 minute phone call. Stefanie truly analyzes the questionnaire to help you strengthen your profile and provides guidance on the best elements to highlight. I did not enlist resume editing services with Stefanie but she still evaluated my resume and gave me concrete examples for how to improve it. The action plan and conversation with Stefanie made writing my essays 1000 times easier. In addition, the responsiveness is incredible. Claudia, the Director of Operations and Client Relations, has been in constant communication throughout the whole process. Emails from her or Stefanie are often answered within the hour and essay drafts, which have a standard 48 hour turnaround, usually happen much quicker. Stefanie and Admissionado have a creative flair and dedication that stood out from other MBA consultants I researched, and I’m so glad I chose to work with them.
I also used Admissionado for to help with essay development. Their essays editors are AMAZING. I was convinced I only had it in my budget to do one school, but after seeing how much my essays improved, I added three additional schools. They provide in-depth feedback and multiple rounds of editing ranging from grammar/proofreading, to full on essay reconstruction while still maintaining 100% of your voice, word choice, and ideas. They made the essay writing process so much more manageable and my essays were much stronger as a result.
Finally, if you have budget concerns, don't hesitate to do the free consultation and find out about a la carte services! Claudia worked with me to figure out which services I needed most that worked within my budget. She didn't try and push additional services that I didn't need and I was so happy with my essays, I ended up extending my package anyways.
Joined: Jul 03, 2016
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Stefanie is the greatest gift that I have received this year. She is friendly, smart, endlessly patient and knows everything about all things MBA. I'm a nontraditional business school applicant with a decent but below-average-for-top-20 GMAT score, aspiring for the top 20 while anxiously and rather cluelessly navigating the field. I am a really tough (read: annoying) client who asks a million questions and Stefanie always responded remarkably quickly to all of my wacky queries, from volunteering questions to odd networking happenings. Even though we worked together on Stern specifically, she always answered my countless questions with a cheerful attitude, including a ton of questions about other schools. She is a treasure trove of knowledge. And her ability to answer such a broad range of questions definitely made the process a lot less stressful and speaks for her expertise. She's a problem-solver, a therapist, and an MBA superstar all wrapped in one.
I came in not knowing much about the MBA application process and thought that the Discovery package was an excellent way to narrow down schools, pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, and create an Action Plan to move forward. Of course, you can say that one can do these things on their own (and I felt that way too at first). But Stefanie helped me translate key components of my HR/law job into MBA-digestible strengths. She helped me realize that certain things that I was taking for granted at work could turn me into a unique and desirable candidate. Later, these gold nuggets came handy at my interviews. In other words, Stefanie provided an invaluable third-party perspective. She also helped me pick the MBA programs that were best suited to my strengths and goals - something I deeply struggled with.
I liked her so much after the initial call that I signed up for Admissionado's (one school) essay and resume help. And I'm completely immune to marketing gimmicks - this was all thanks to Stefanie's stellar performance! As a former lit major, I thought I could pop the essays out all on my own but Admissionado was very insightful in guiding my essays in the right direction (but never writing them - that's your job!). They know the target audience. They know what skills and experiences would make you a good candidate and how to gracefully relate the missing gaps in your knowledge/reasons you want an MBA.
I must also note that Admissionado's entire team is incredible. I also worked a lot with Claudia, who is of course very knowledgeable about the MBA world and, like Stefanie, supported my journey from day one. I've had consultations with several consulting agencies and some of them try to mold you into a boiler plate candidate that you're not. One of them told me that I had no chance at a top 20 school. But Stefanie believed in my success and made sure that my work experience resonated with adcom while carefully preserving the unique aspects of my background. In the end, I got into all three schools I applied to (Stern, Booth and Fuqua with scholarship). And the one time I had an issue, it was resolved before I could blink an eye.
In short, Stefanie is a hard-working champion for her clients. I am so grateful to have had her on my team! If this reads like a love letter to her, it's because THAT's how fantastic she is. I'd highly recommend her and the Admissionado team to anyone struggling with any aspect of the admissions process.
Joined: Jul 17, 2015
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I had profile reviews and initial consultation calls with almost 15 consulting firms before Admissionado. These firms could be classified into two categories - those which were quite certain that I should NOT apply to a top-10 school as I would be wasting my time (most were in this category), and those that were just making a sales pitch. Admissionado stood out as there was an immediate connect - they gave me the much needed confidence that my aim should be to get into the best school that I can (I loved this approach - seriously no bull approach! Furthermore, they had a PERSONALITY that appealed to me - all the beautiful ladies (Stefanie, Claudia, Lauren) were people I could talk to quite candidly, and have witty, humorous interactions (helps me be engaged).
The drill was similar to what I assume other consulting companies follow on paper, but the execution was always sincere (I think that differentiates Admissionado from the pack). There was never an issue with timelines or thoroughness of the reviews. It was great to really see that Stefanie shared my goal - to see me get into my dream school, even if that meant going beyond the contract (had multiple, lengthy telephonic discussions, more than 3 iterations on my drafts, etc.). I could see that Admissionado's advice was always genuine; in fact some of it did not even help their own business with me - I really liked the honesty. Make no mistake - the entire admissions process is tiring, frustrating, grilling! As an applicant, one needs to understand that eventually does the consultant have neither a crystal ball, nor a magic wand (contrary to what one would wish).
With Admissionado, I got a great friend to help me through this difficult journey and get me into a top tier school. I would be happy to serve as a reference.
Joined: Sep 23, 2015
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INSEAD was my dream school and unlike advised by most, I wanted to apply there first.
The idea of going through the essay process alone was however the most intimidating one: scared that I would not answer questions properly/fully, that I would not dig deep enough, or that I would leave out a what would seem insignificant yet impactful detail. To avoid all the above, I decided to get help.
I discovered consulting firms through GMATclub, and once I pocketed my GMAT (700), I decided to get in touch. The first firm I contacted was Admissionado—though it could have been any other as I was also eyeing Accepted and Stacy Blackman, the INSEAD specialist.
I started by answering the bunch of essay-like questions on the website and sending my resume to book the free consultation session with Admissionado.
I liked that the consultant assigned to me, Stefanie Barlow, was from the same industry (Real Estate). During the consultation, through skype, she pointed out what was great about my profile (to be highlighted) and what was not. I particularly liked that she shared my view about INSEAD being a great fit for me. :)
The consultation went well enough that I decided not to get in touch with other consultants. I unbundled the Deluxe package and only went for the essays, the LORS, and the Resume. I later signed up for the interview preps.
Stefanie and I did a massive work on essays, figuring out my hits and my best stories before working on the real thing. I liked the deep introspection process: action (example)/result (example)/learning (example)...
By the time I started writing my essays in July, I already had a lot to tell and during the long ping pong sessions, I concentrated on clarifying my stories and bringing in additional examples.
My recommenders also went through the same process, though to a smaller scale. That said, that was enough to make them eager to see me admitted, so that they wouldn’t have to go through the process again!
I would also add that the consultant is not there to get the job done for us. He/She will not babysit or send reminder emails to let us know that our deadlines are around the corner and that we should be editing our essays on time. He/She is there to help us produce the best version of our essays, by pointing out what we are doing right and what we are not, and making us work for every bit of it. Stefanie did that “avec brio”!
All in all, I enjoyed working with Stefanie—she was very reactive and lively, and the Admissionado team quite vibrant (Hi Claudia)! There was something bubbly about Admissionado that made the throbbing essay redaction process almost seem palatable!
I got admitted to INSEAD, with a merit scholarship based on the quality of my application ( before I finished my interviews). So I guess spending time with Admissionado was definitely worth it!
So thank you Stefanie!