GMAT Club

Susan Kaplan Reviews

Company: mbaMission

Susan Kaplan brings to each of her clients more than a decade of experience as an MBA admissions consultant, combined with 12 years as a marketing strategist. She holds an MBA in marketing and strategy from the Yale School of Management, where she earned distinctions in marketing and negotiation and was a second-year student advisor and an active member of the Women in Management Club. At BSMG Worldwide marketing consulting, Susan advised clients on how to achieve growth in industries such as health care and financial services, and as director of corporate marketing for the National Hockey League, she spearheaded multimillion-dollar marketing programs with such global sponsors as Coca-Cola and Southwest Airlines. Earlier in her career, Susan worked for a time as a policy analyst at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC, and was a brand manager for GMAT and GRE programs at Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions.

At Kaplan, Susan found her true passion, which she now pursues as an mbaMission Senior Consultant: advising prospective students on how to strategically market themselves to their target business schools. She leverages her Career Coach Certification and bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan to connect with her clients, helping them identify their strengths and compelling stories and then communicate them to the admissions committees in a way that sets them apart from other applicants and demonstrates fit with the program.


5.0 /5 Average Rating
Based on 48 reviews
March 21, 2021
HarryStamper

Joined: May 17, 2019

Posts: 15

Kudos: 2

Self-reported Score:
730

Fantastic Experience!

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I signed up for the complete start-to-finish package with Susan Kaplan. I cannot thank her enough as her advice and help throughout the process got me into a top 7 school!

Susan and I had several hours of brainstorming sessions. These sessions were tough and intense, and Susan would often let me know that I was not digging deep enough. However, these lengthy and honest sessions helped Susan really get to know my profile, strengths, weaknesses, etc. During these sessions, we often discussed my goals and Susan's analyses of my transferable skills really helped me identify my short- and long-term goals. After these sessions, we could easily shortlist schools and build a framework for my essays.

As a (over-represented) re-applicant for some schools, I needed to ensure that my essays highlighted a fresh profile. Susan was fantastic in mining through my experiences to find thoughtful and powerful stories for the essays. Susan's feedback was always direct and her comments were very, very detailed. I had a habit of writing long pieces, and Susan was really patient and helped me convey impactful stories within the strict word counts, without diluting the narrative. Not to mention that Susan would ensure that ALL aspects of my application tied together to provide a detailed and engaging profile. Her keen eye for detail would also often help pick-up things that you would overlook.

Susan's experience and suggestions on how to tackle the interviews were life-savers. She knew exactly what the interviewer was looking for and how to hold his/her attention.

If you are looking for someone who is easily available, honest, and practical with their advice, I would really suggest that you opt for Susan. Her several years of experience will not let you down.

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February 01, 2021
jhj002

Joined: Feb 01, 2021

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q48 V44

Highly recommend working with Susan!

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I worked with Susan on mbaMission’s start-to-finish package for 4 schools (M7), targeting Round 1 deadlines. Susan was an amazing guide through the whole process, keeping me on track to putting together applications that represented me well.

Susan has a wealth of knowledge on school-specific aspects of the application and what each school is looking for in different parts of the application. She really helped me connect the dots to craft a great narrative and taught me how to market my strengths to the admissions committee.

Susan was incredibly punctual in reviewing and providing feedback on my essays, sometimes even getting back to me ahead of schedule to help me meet my timeline. Her feedback was definitely challenging, but after working through it my application looked a lot better. She was also readily available over the phone to clarify any of her comments. My interview prep session with her was also helpful - she gave me constructive feedback on the key areas that I could definitely improve on during the days leading up to the actual interview.

It was not easy to meet the R1 timeline, even though I had started quite early. When I was falling behind, Susan didn’t shy away from giving me a wake up call and pushed me through the process. At the end of the day, I’m really happy that I got accepted to one of the programs! I highly recommend Susan for anyone looking for a consultant.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
February 01, 2021
alexmbrannan

Joined: Jan 25, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Susan is Incredible - Best Growth Experience!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

Susan has been on my business school journey with me for years, and I know that I would not have gotten to the end without her guidance and support. I started working with Susan as a college senior applying for deferred admissions programs. I knew I wanted to pursue an MBA but had no idea what the admissions process would require (I was definitely a little unprepared going in!). Working through the Complete Start to Finish Package with Susan was a complete gift – she helped me take a step back to understand my strengths and how all of my experiences fit together to tell that narrative but also where I was a little weaker and how we could strategically approach this aspect of my application. This established a great framework for the application and really helped to tell my story in a way that I was confident about. But, actually writing that story turned out to be incredibly hard. As an engineer, I had absolutely no experience writing essays or storytelling and it definitely showed! Susan really helped to transform my writing style. Her feedback is direct and she knows how much to push you to generate your best work – I went from writing long stories that were mostly “fluff” with no real content to understanding how to write strong narratives with concrete examples to really illustrate the topic. This is more than just a goal for business school applications; it is a lifelong skill that Susan helped me to build – one that has already benefited me in my career and will continue to do so in business school.

Although my first try at business school applications did not result in an offer, it provided a great opportunity to reflect and take the time to make my application even stronger. I always knew I would reapply to business school and throughout the next few years, Susan stayed in touch and was an amazing sounding board when I was trying to round out my experiences and strengthen my story. When it was time to reapply, I chose Susan again as my consultant because not only did she know my story, but I knew she was rooting for me and would give me the push that I needed to submit my best application and one that I was really proud of. I worked on a few different schools with Susan this time and chose schools that had every type of essay and interview possible – written, video, case interviews, etc. Like the first time, Susan’s feedback was invaluable and helped me to build interview and communication skills that are applicable in the “real world” and will propel me to become a stronger student, employee and leader. But, the thing that I benefited from the most this time around (besides applications that I am so proud of) is a strong sense of what I want to do with my career and how I can get there. The Complete Start to Finish Package gives you the opportunity to dive deep into your experiences, strengths and interests (which ultimately pointed me in the direction of what I wanted to do in my career). But, it was Susan who helped me lay the foundation of what I would need to do to get there and how an MBA at my target school was a necessary piece of that puzzle. Her insistence that I do my research to understand the industry and the skills needed for that role helped me develop not only a strong application but a plan that I am excited about. This process with Susan was personally instrumental in preparing me for business school, and I feel ready to take on all that it offers.

Susan embodies the perfect balance of support and feedback. She takes the time to really understand her clients as individuals and constantly strategizes to help them realize and highlight their unique strengths. She never wavers from her goal of pushing you to do your best work, and the result is always something that you will be proud to call your own. I look back on my time with Susan and am so thankful for all of the effort because without her, I would not be headed to London Business School (my dream school!).

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
July 03, 2020
sev933

Joined: Jan 07, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Self-reported Score:
690

Work with Susan

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I connected with an admissions consultant, Susan Kaplan, when I was preparing to apply to part-time MBA programs. I started the application process late, having only 1.5 to 2.5 months to apply to my top 5 programs. I worked with Susan to build my application for 3 schools and took the lessons learned to apply to the other two on my own. The process was stressful, intense, and sometimes frustrating, but well worth it! I was accepted into all programs and received scholarships from two of them. I'm sure I would not have had the same result applying on my own.

The process involved so much more than just filling out an application. Susan pushed me to figure out what I want to say about myself, how I want to say it, and to focus my goals. After working with her, I had a much stronger resume and stronger ability to convey how my personal story relates to my goals, in addition to strong essays for schools. I have worked with resume writers in the past, and I felt my work with Susan led to better results, even though that was not the focus of our work.

If you are serious about applying to MBA programs and feel strongly that betting into the best schools is important, then I would highly suggest working with mbaMission - they offer a wide variety of very helpful resources and are easy to work with. I would also highly recommend choosing Susan Kaplan as your consultant because she knows how to help candidates reach their goals. She will push you to work harder and do better from start to end. And your application will be better than you ever expected as a result.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
June 26, 2020
be1234

Joined: Mar 30, 2020

Posts: 2

Kudos: 2

Verified score:
760 Q49 V45

Go with Susan!

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I worked with Susan on the start-to-finish package for 4 schools, was admitted to 3 of them, and used the all of the self reflection and tools that Susan provided me with to apply to and get accepted at 3 additional schools.

I didn't have many friends who had applied to business school, nor did I have a great understanding of the application process, and Susan was a true partner and guide throughout the whole process. I tend to be quite verbose as a writer and sometimes I struggle to concisely make a clear point. While I knew why I wanted an MBA and what in my past experience made me qualified, I was having trouble articulating it clearly in my essays. Susan was a tough critic, and pushed me to write at a much higher level than I would have on my own. I appreciated that she didn't just say good job when my applications were "good enough", she pushed me to the next level, and I don't think I would have as many acceptances and scholarships to top programs without her!

Despite her pinpointed and sometimes tough feedback, Susan was a warm and caring coach who truly cared about my journey and who was rooting for me throughout the process. She made me feel proud of my accomplishments and was such a great cheerleader. With her help, I was admitted to Kellogg, Tuck, Columbia, Darden and Yale SOM all with scholarships and to Wharton as well! I can't recommend Susan enough!

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May 26, 2020
vfanelle

Joined: Mar 16, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
700 Q45 V41

Susan Helped Me Get Into My Dream School

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I did the Start-to-Finish Package for two schools with Susan, Stanford and Harvard. Coming from an engineering background and as an applicant to deferred MBA programs, I was unsure of how to approach the MBA admissions process and wanted to be sure to convey my story authentically. Ultimately, I was admitted at Stanford and, as a result, did not apply to Harvard.

Susan is able to identify your greatest strengths as a candidate, and enables you to craft an application that truly shines with these characteristics. She is completely honest and meticulous with you throughout the essay editing process instead of taking the easy route and approving of your essays once they’re in “good enough” shape.

I came to Susan for help with my applications only 2 months before the deadline, and even with our condensed timeframe I was able to take the GMAT, construct my essays, and polish them to a great quality. There were times even 2 weeks before the deadline (due to my condensed 2 month timeline) where I was not sure my drafts would come together, yet I was able to secure admission to my dream MBA program, Stanford GSB.

Needless to say, I highly recommend Susan. To any applicants who work with her in the future who are on a similarly condensed timeframe, I offer two pieces of advice: 1) Especially if you are not sure of an essay draft, send your edits back to Susan within one business day. Susan will always give in-depth comments to help you progress through a rough patch in the editing process. 2) Leave double the amount of time you think you need for the essay editing process. Susan is extremely thorough, and you will want to take advantage of it!

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
May 17, 2020
MBAMt24

Joined: May 17, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

I 100% can say I would not have gotten into any business school without Susan's help. Although I have lived in the US for a few years for work, I was quite unfamiliar with the unique process of applying to US business schools when I first got started. My initial kick-off call with Susan was a bit of a "wake-up call" for me on this, as Susan was able to candidly and thoroughly explain the actions I would need to take to maximize my chances of admission.

When I first started thinking about the business school process I was only thinking about it at a macro level but not about the specific ways in which I should approach it - i.e., setting clear and actionable clear goals, developing an overall story, brainstorming application stories (applicable for both essays and interviews), and meticulous attention to detail in every single thing I wrote as part of my application submissions (down to even the 25 words or less mini essays).

Susan was exactly what I needed to get this done. She kept me focused, pushed me when I needed to be pushed, kept me on track despite a busy work schedule, travel and late hours in the office etc. I think the most valuable part of Susan's help (although there were obviously numerous aspects) was that she was 100% honest and direct in her feedback. When I think about this now, I realize that Susan was always doing this because she acts like your "first line of defence". If your essays and materials make it past Susan's review, then they'll be in stellar condition and will blow away any admissions committee reading them. That being said, I found working with Susan more of a partnership than her "spoon-feeding" you through the process. If you wan't to work effectively, you must be willing to put in the work and constantly striving to meet the standards she sets for you (just any good mentor or counselor would).

My time with Susan and what I learned with her extended beyond more than just putting together business school applications. The way she made me think about my own career goals and the self reflection she required of me (I think we spent the most time on the "brainstorming" process at the beginning of the package more than anything else, which was extremely valuable), continues to benefits me and has allowed me to be incredibly focused in my post-MBA career goals even now that the whole admission process is finished. I hands down would not have reached this point in my life and career without her.

In terms of results, Susan helped me apply to 3 schools (NYU Stern, UVA Darden and Duke Fuqua. I received 50% and 70% scholarships at Darden and Fuqua. The skills that Susan taught me about the application process made me feel so confident about it all, that I ended up applying to several other schools on my own (using Susan's mantras and approach), and was admitted to and received partial scholarships at Northwestern Kellogg and Dartmouth Tuck. ( was also admitted to London Business School. I ended up choosing to go to Kellogg and telling Susan about the great news was one of the most rewarding and proudest moments for me throughout the whole process!

In summary, I could not recommend Susan more highly (especially if you, like me, are someone that benefits from direct and honest feedback, as well as candid guidance and steerage if you are feeling a bit lost at the start of the whole process). I will be forever grateful for her help as it was truly life changing. Get working with her today!

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
May 06, 2020
allenea

Joined: Sep 18, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Susan is awesome.

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I purchased the full package from Susan, and I was accepted to my number one choice, Columbia Business School (CBS). I highly recommend working with Susan, and quite frankly, I would not have been successful without her. She is motivating while also empathetic, and no doubt has a wealth of knowledge about MBA schools and the MBA application process.

Susan’s knowledge about CBS and its values and criteria shaped the way I approached my application and essays – and she has the same knowledge for any school you apply to. I can’t understate how important this is. Every call, despite my hours of research online, she would bring up several points that would improve my application and essay for CBS specifically and that only someone with her experience could know.

Beyond her wealth of knowledge, my favorite thing about working with Susan was her ability to remain empathetic and motivating, at the same time as challenging me to dig deeper. By “dig deeper” I mean two things: (1) MBA applications (in particular the essays) take a lot of self-reflection. She will push you to truly understand what motivates you, and it truly comes out in the essays. And (2) while you write and own all of your essays, she works with you to ensure that everything you do and write has purpose and makes sense in layman terms, which is particularly useful if you have been in industry for several years.

I would recommend Susan without hesitation.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
April 07, 2020
anshuman203

Joined: Dec 10, 2016

Posts: 13

Kudos: 1

Self-reported Score:
720 Q51 V36

The best-in-class

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I started my MBA journey in 2018, and despite having a decent GMAT score, I got dinged by many top B-schools. Re-applying to these schools was a significant challenge before me. After a lot of deliberation and research, I zeroed in on ‘MBA mission’ to help me with my applications.

I spoke with Susan in July 2019 and felt an instant connect with her with the way she listened to my story, gave her inputs on the possible weaknesses in my application and the steps I could possibly take to improve them. She explained to me about the rigour and focus it would take to put together a strong application and instilled so much confidence in me in our first interaction that I decided to work with her and bought a two-school start-to-finish package.

The brainstorming document that she shared initially really pushed me to think through my story: strengths, weaknesses, achievements, failures. A full 1.5 hour session that followed really helped me create a concrete foundation for all my applications. She constantly encouraged me to do thorough research about the programs and school resources, learn about my fit with the school, and, most importantly, think through my story. Susan responded to my every query and would regularly schedule calls to make sure I am never stuck and always on the right track. She never shied away from giving an honest opinion and comments on my essays and provided constructive feedback to direct me towards the best version of my applications. On many occasions, I did feel all burned out and frustrated working on multiple iterations and drafts, but Susan really helped me piece together an effective and sound application.

She also helped me get the video component of the application right that one of my schools required. She made sure that I practiced it right to master this segment. I was elated when I got the interview calls from both the schools. Susan arranged mock interview sessions (and at a very short notice for Kellogg) with her that really helped me prepare for the most dreadful part (for me, at least) of the application process.

I got admitted to both the top schools (Cornell and Kellogg) that I applied to with her help. I would strongly recommend Susan to anyone and everyone who is headstrong about getting into a top B-school. I am really excited to be going to Kellogg this year and can’t thank her enough for making it possible for me.

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March 27, 2020
bpb101

Joined: Oct 28, 2015

Posts: 2

Kudos: 5

Verified score:
730 Q49 V41

Incredibly Insightful Essay and Interview Tips

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I had already written first drafts of my essays, but I wanted some professional help to edit them. I turned to Susan Kaplan, whose advice was incredibly insightful and absolutely instrumental in ultimately achieving success. She worked with me to perfect my writing while maintaining my own voice and ideas. This was what I was most impressed by with Susan - she was able to help me overhaul my essays while preserving my own identity within the writing. I also leaned on Susan for help when prepping for one of my first interviews, and her advice there was equally insightful.

I was ultimately accepted to 3 of the 4 schools Susan assisted me with, including Kellogg, Wharton, and Haas. Without Susan's help, I do not believe I could have possibly achieved these same results. I'd strongly recommend her to anyone looking for help throughout the application process.

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16 Older and Non-Verified Reviews for Susan Kaplan