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I am very lucky to have Angela Guido as my LBS application consultant. I applied LBS in round 3 with a very tight timetable, but got admitted with a scholarship fully covering first year tuition. Without Angela's strong help, sincere encouragement and infectious enthusiasm, I could never achieve that.
Angela was very engaged in my whole application process. She is more like a friend and mentor, who genuinely wanted me to have the best and spared no efforts to help me to attain that.
Angela is very very nice yet never hesitated to give me candid and honest feedback. I applied for two other schools in round 2 before working with Angela and got no interview invitations then. I wanted MBA this year very much and began to be a bit panic but didn't know what was going wrong in those applications until my thirty minutes free consultation with Angela. She listened to my previous application strategy carefully and pointed out that my weakness in career planning (Angela is also career consultant at mbaMission and gave me constructive feedback and advices on how to leverage my past experience to break into a new industry and then finally achieve my LT goals. She did that with solid placement statistics, broad knowledge in various industry and quick but sound analysis of my specific case).
Among other things, I especially appreciate Angela in below areas:
1. Her insights. I didn't find my edge during my previous applications, and thus while my applications had a complete and cohesive story, I cannot be remembered by adcom with a simple statement. But Angela helped me find my competitive advantage (balanced creative and logic capabilities) in our brainstorm stage after I complete a long list of questions. I really appreciate that because to me, MBA is not just about school application, but also self-reflection and self-exploration. Angela is so smart and experienced that she easily identified my strongest areas and I feel like she knows me for a long time and knows me better than myself.
2. Her encouragement. Essay writing and editing is a long and exhausting process. Sometimes I struggled to find the right angle to tell the story, while other times, I was not satisfied with what I wrote or had no idea about how to further improve it. Angela gave very specific comments about how to improve and she can always find my shining point or good paragraphs to cheer me up. It is extremely important when I was frustrated because of the time constrain. Angela believed in me which gave me a lot of confidence and inspired me to find something important of my experience I neglected previously.
3. Her knowledge. Angela really knows what makes a great essay and how to have your essay be remembered by adcom. After selecting the most impactful stories to tell, as an experience screenwriter, Angela taught me a lot on how to develop a story, how to make it more personal and how to convey the passion between lines. It is super helpful not only in terms of mba application, but also writing and presentation in general and to master the technique of storytelling really has a lifelong benefit. Besides, her golden advice of interview really helped me excel in two interviews.
4. Her dedication. Angela worked very hard to help me on my essays, letter of recommendations, short questions, resumes and scholarship essays. Personally, I am not very disciplined. However, I faced a very tight timeline. Angela helped me come out a feasible timetable and structured the whole application process which forced me to work in a very efficient manner. Angela was there for me during the entire process which really beyond her job descriptions - I greatly appreciate her advice on scholarship bargaining, school decision, career development and arts (my interest) around school.
Together with Angela, I achieved something marvellous that I could not achieve otherwise. I am beyond thankful!
Joined: Mar 05, 2013
I was applying for schools while living abroad, so the hourly service was the best way for me to receive the support I needed while halfway across the world. John really helped me shape my story from the beginning, making it more logical and concise. He also challenged me in areas of my application that needed to be challenged. Moreover, I am happy that I elected to do the hourly services, because once I had the initial direction I was able to apply to my remaining schools on my own (I was admitted to both schools). My only qualm would be that it was sometimes hard to rectify stylistic differences via email, which due to our geographical limitations was my only means of communication. Overall, John was a great help and I would recommend him and mbaMission to other prospective MBA students.
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I worked with Jessica from July 2014 until March of this year. I purchased a 5 school all-inclusive package. With an overrepresented background, consulting, and a very hectic schedule, I wanted guidance as well as a “project manager” of sorts as support throughout the entire process.
Jessica is fantastic, if you are lucky enough to get her while she still has room, pay your initial deposit immediately and process everything later – she is the best. I met with other firms, and none of them even come close to what I found with Jessica. Other firms used scare tactics, like “oh you went to a state school, so we’ll address that” to “you are on the younger side so we can use this as a trial run.” On the other hand, Jessica never did this; she reviewed all the materials I submitted and listened to what I had to say and immediately saw what should be capitalized on my applications. Instead of saying state school, Jessica said, “with such a strong GPA and your M&A experience it will be easy to highlight.”
My essays were very personal in nature, and Jessica took this seriously, considering the sensitive nature and the personal side this revealed on my applications. Every essay for every school was different, even if the questions were nearly identical. I so appreciate Jessica’s time and thoughtfulness with the countless reviews. Jessica helps you describe your most important themes in the most concise and direct manner. Jessica knows the personalities of every school and ensures each client presents their best story at each school.
When you sign up with Jessica be ready for direct and honest feedback. It is something that I so appreciated with her, but it isn’t always an easy process. Jessica always remains professional and believes in everyone she works with.
Outside of just the application materials, Jessica was invaluable during the interview process. I received interviews at every school and Jessica was on point with the questions she used in each of our prep sessions. In addition, Jessica’s advice was a necessity in navigating the relationships that are made at each school, from post-interview notes to job changes during the admissions process.
Jessica is one of a kind, she helped me craft my admissions story to be one that allowed me to choose from two of the top three MBA programs.
Joined: Oct 16, 2012
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After completing my GMAT in late August, I decided to work with a consultant for my application, and was referred to mbaMission by a couple friends.
I started off with a 30-minute call with Jeremy, the founder, who didn’t really provide much insight on my profile, only to mention most of the consultants are fully booked so I better act fast.
Based on availability and reviews, I chose to work with Helen and signed up for a 2-school package, and subsequently followed with another 2-school package at a later stage.
Here are a few things that I think Helen does best:
- Helen’s turnaround time is quick, often ahead of the 2 business day turnaround timetable stated officially. She also responds to emails quickly, provided that it requires a short response.
- Helen is direct and will tell you upfront your ideas doesn’t work
- Helen is very passionate in helping her clients, you can sense it in her voice, her tone, and by the number of edits she made on an essay to make sure that the end product is at its best shape
- She does a good job in refining the content in my stories and shining the light on the appropriate details, while keeping my original tone in it
- She pays attention to the small details – when we were preparing for a video essay, she made comments on the lighting, background, webcam angles, my smile – things that I wouldn’t pay a whole lot of attention to normally
With Helen’s help, I was able to create a very good application piece for Stern and Booth, which led to interviews/admits subsequently. She was also able to help me edit 2 essays that I struggled with mightily and just did not have the most-fitting experience. To my surprise, I was admitted to that school as well.
Helen also did a great job in preparing me for interviews in terms of giving me feedback on my answers, my tonality, and my presentation.
Overall, my experience with Helen was great. She is a true professional, and I would definitely recommend her to anyone considering working with a consultant.
Here’s also a couple remarks/caveats to anyone that considering a consultant
- Since I did a fair amount of thinking on my essays, my profile positioning, and my school choices prior to using mbaMission, my experience working with Helen primary consisted of running ideas through her, essay edits, interview preparation, and reviewing the application as a whole. Adding to the fact that I completed my GMAT relatively late with only a 1-2 months until the first deadline, I couldn’t comment on the earlier stages in an application such as candidacy positioning, strength and weakness analysis, etc.
- While working with a consultant will enhance your story and maximize your chances, it is up to you to provide them with good raw materials, i.e. experience, to work with.
- While you might have 5+ applications to work on, a consultant will have just as many applications multiply by the number of clients they have. So it is the responsibility of the applicant to plan ahead of the deadline and inform the consultant that they plan to submit the application after this edit or a certain rounds of edits, taking consideration of the turnaround time.
After feeling disappointed after my first GMAT test, I decided to take a break and learn more about the mba admission process and I was unsure whether I should apply this upcoming year. I decided to attend a free webinar session with mbaMission which was led by Jessica Shklar. I was immediately blown away by all the examples and testimonies about how to “tell your story” effectively. After the free webinar, I quickly requested Jessica to try out the 30 minute consultation. We met immediately the next day and she went over my profile, resume, and scores. Just within that first session, she told me I had a very unique and interesting background and said I had a great story to tell.
I had done some free sessions with some other consultants but Jessica’s thorough analysis, honesty, and encouragement was what sold me. I was only going to apply to 2 top-tier part time mba schools so I wanted to make sure my applications were solid the first time. Throughout the whole process, Jessica has given me the ability to successfully craft my story in a way that delivers effectively and creatively. She is able to pinpoint and highlight strengths you would not have thought of. I even crammed a last minute second application in less than 5 days and Jessica was able to guide me through it all - and the best part of it all, I got in! From the brainstorming sessions to our daily communication, Jess has been prompt, responsive, and critical in each step of the way. I ended up getting into one of the 2 schools that I applied to but I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to apply this year if it wasn’t for Jess. I would highly recommend investing in mbaMission and request her if you can!
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Where do I start…
Could I have applied to an MBA program without the help of a consultant? Probably.
Would I have gotten the same results? Probably not.
Personally, I struggled to get a decent GMAT score. I am talking tons of courses/books/hours of studying. It took me years to finally break 700. So I wanted the application process to go as smoothly as possible because I spent so much time getting the score I wanted. Like many of you reading this, I spent hours sifting through the reviews of the different consultants and consulting companies. I spoke with someone from Stacy Blackman (the person I spoke with was not very pleasant) as well as many local consulting companies. I was most excited to speak with Angela Guido since I had read so many great reviews about her on GMAT club, and I knew after our 30 minutes conversation she would be the one.
Angela helped me decide which of the five M7 schools to apply to.
Once you commit to working with Angela, she sends you a brainstorming doc. This document really makes you take a HUGE step back and reassess everything that has happened in your life. People say the business school application requires a lot of self-reflection and it is true. The process helps you assess where your life has been and where you see it going. After answering all the questions in the doc, I thought that I had a pretty uneventful life. How in the world was I going to write a creative essay to get me into a top MBA program? The funny thing is that each and every one of us has an interesting story to tell because we are different, we just don't realize it. Through phone calls with Angela, I realized that I have some really unique stories to tell that I never would have considered writing about. Angela listens to your life story and then pauses and zooms in on those events in your life that can be excellent essay material. She is absolutely brilliant. Then we went through a strategy and brainstorming session for each school. You can read about the process in other people’s review.
Then I waited anxiously. I got an interview with 4 of the 5 schools and she was diligent in helping me prep for all my interviews.
Let me just say that through the application and interview process, I sent one too many emails about different questions I had on my mind. Angela was always quick to respond to my email or jump on the phone to calm my nerves. She was sincerely with me every step of the way, celebrating the good times and helping me through the stressful times.
When I got accepted into 2 of the schools and waitlisted at 1, I was ECSTATIC! I got $$$ from one school, and no money from another. Angela and I exchanged several emails and calls about what the best options were for me and my career goals. She also started her company MBA Career Coaches so she knows what she’s talking about. At the end of the day, we decided that the school I got no money from was the school for me. She was able to coach me in my conversations with the admissions staff and I was successfully able to negotiate $$$ from the other school, ***nearly $100,000 from a top 5 school!!!***
Initially, I knew this was going to be a heavy financial investment on my part. Having gone through it all, it was worth every penny, especially since she helped me secure a hefty financial package from a top 5 school! I don’t know how I could have done this without her. Angela is a rockstar and there is a reason she has the most reviews on GMATCLUB. Personally, I am not one to write reviews on anything or anyone, but I will for Angela. She is that good.
If you are looking for someone to spoon-feed you or write your essays, look somewhere else. She will guide you and work with you, but you will have to pull your weight. The dynamic and pace of the relationship is highly dependent on you, the applicant. If you are indeed set on working with a consultant, there is no better person than Angela :).
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One week after my brainstorming session, Katy said ‘I’ll be surprised if you don’t get into at least one of your preferred schools, and I am quite sure you’ll have options in that too’. I was surprised too - to hear that I would ‘have options’. But six months down the line I realized that I was wrong. From a seven out of seven dings a year ago, to getting accepted at three programs (including one M7 school) and four waitlists (including two M7 schools) ---- this is the step change that Katy brought about in six months.
I am the overrepresented South Asian Engineer with very high GMAT, average GPA, and with little work experience or global exposure.
Katy is a S.T.A.R consultant, and I mean every letter of it.
S – Succinct – Slashing a 1000 word essay down to 500 words would be extremely difficult if we also expect to preserve the gist of the story along with its details. But Katy knew amazing ways just to do that and also to teach it. What’s more, after 5 schools, I learnt the trick myself, very unusual among such consultants who ensure that they keep the core skills and abilities to themselves for repeat business. One of the best examples of editing was how Katy managed to bring down my 60+ line resume to 50 lines without leaving out a single detail. She did that by restructuring and combining lines. But even when editing my essays or my recommendations, she always made sure that the writing style was original intact. I read in many places that consultants usually suggested non-traditional recommenders to adapt to the US style of writing, but Katy said ‘no’ because it would add all the more color to my application, if they preserved their style.
T – Terrific passion and commitment – I would consider myself more disciplined and organized than the usual applicant, but Katy always motivated me to ‘do more’. On days I was bogged down with other commitments, I would see ‘Checking in’ mails from Katy, and then I’d squeeze in one more draft of an essay. Then again, during the peak application season, when Katy’s workload would be highest, Katy always was flexible enough to answer my phone calls or emails (or at least give an appointment if she were in a meeting). This remained true even during her vacations. Sometimes I accidentally called her when she was on vacation, and she always replied, ‘I am on vacation but I can make time for you’. (FYI, most of the times I chose to wait until she returned to work, but there was once or twice where I HAD to get her help, and she didn’t hesitate.)
A – Attention to detail, in an uncommon way – My expectation from an MBA consultant was to find my story and word application materials appropriately. Katy probed into unusual aspects of the application making sure that I didn’t have any loose ends at all. In my Skype – mock interviews, I remember Katy suggesting minor improvements in the lighting angle, my posture, and even the height of my webcam. Most of these were ‘easily overlooked small differences, big impact’ suggestions.
R – Right stories – I vividly remember the many instances when Katy would suggest that I choose one story, which clearly I had underestimated, over the other. I understood Katy’s extent of involvement and understanding about myself (via the ‘Brainstorm doc’), her thoroughness with each school’s values and finally her ability to integrate these to best reflect ‘myself’. I was clearly able to show why the admissions committee should choose me over hundreds of other South Asian engineers, and why my future classmates would love to share the classrooms (or dorms) with me. For a person, myself, with little exposure to the US education system and culture, choosing the right story meant a lot.
Now, after almost a year after I had signed up with Katy, I don’t feel that it was a business deal. Katy has become the combination of a good mentor and a close friend who still makes time for me after I have enrolled. When I was pressed for time to get my U.S. visa to attend 2 of my interviews, Katy even offered to become my sponsor, so that the process would be easier.
Angela was a fantastic MBA coach. When I first started my business school application, I felt like my accomplishments would never measure up to my competition. Angela helped me understand how I could tie my personal strengths with my accomplishments into one cohesive and inspiring story.
Angela positioned me to stand out in the sea of finance applicants received by business schools. I ended up getting into both Booth and Kellogg with scholarship. More importantly, I was able to move into a new career that I
love. I can't thank Angela enough for all her wonderful support. Definitely reach out to Angela if you're looking for an awesome mba coach!
I’m writing to strongly recommend Katy Lewis of mbaMission. I was initially skeptical of how much I could benefit from working with a consultant on my business school applications and especially justifying the cost—however my recent experience working with Katy (and mbaMission) proved me wrong! After a lot of research, a friend suggested setting up a complimentary introductory consultation with mbaMission where I was paired with Katy Lewis. After speaking over the phone at length and explaining to her my background, current work situation, and future career goals, she was able to succinctly distill the essence of my “story”. I found her very easy to speak with, and I appreciated here honesty in identifying the strengths in my candidacy, and more importantly the weaknesses. As a follow up to our phone conversation, she provided a detailed customized email which laid out strategies for how I might deal with some of the blemishes in my application. I ultimately decided to move forward and with a start-to-finish package when applying to the school that I was most interested in, and which was also my “reach” school. During the process I ended up starting a new job which required long hours and Katy was more than accommodating to my irregular schedule, oftentimes making herself available to speak over the phone in the evenings, or over the weekends. Katy is incredible at what she does, and genuinely seemed to enjoy helping me navigate the admissions process, going above and beyond what I would've expected. I started out with a broad brainstorming exercise, and with Katy’s help managed to condense a number of themes and points that we identified together as being the most important and impactful. Katy always provided insightful well thought out feedback and was enthusiastic and happy to help no matter how many questions or drafts I sent her. She was always there to provide support and advice every step of the way, and when I recently found out that I gained acceptance to the two schools that I applied to, she was just as excited as I was! I can’t help to think that I owe a good part of my success during the application process to Katy, and I cannot recommend her more highly!
Joined: Feb 10, 2015
I cannot think of enough great things to say about mbaMission! The school package really helped me navigate the entire MBA application process from start to finish.
My consultant, John, was phenomenal to work with and exceeded all of my expectations. He provided thoughtful, constructive feedback for every element of my application, his turnaround times were always quick and he was more than patient with me, willing to answer any and all questions I had. After working with him for nearly 7 months I was accepted into my #1 school choice, something I truly believe I could not have schieved without his guidance.
If you are looking for some support during your application process, mbaMission is the absolute best way to go!