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730 Q50 V39
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!!
720 Q47 V41
mbaMission's experience and insight is invaluable.
- Did you enjoy the process?
Let's be honest, this is not a fun process. If you were going hiking into unfamiliar territory, you had to navigate the terrain and obstacles, communicate with the locals, and were already committing $150k and two years to the journey, why would you not spend the additional $5k to hire a guide?
This was hands down the best decision I made. My only regret was not doing it earlier in the process.
- Was it stressful?
Yes. I wasn't comfortable sharing personal information with the business school but my consultant pushed me outside my comfort zone and I am sure that is part of the reason I was accepted.
- Were they helpful?
Unbelievably. Their insight and advice is invaluable.
- Did they meet your expectations? Why or why not?
I had no idea what to expect but I worked incredibly hard, laid all my cards out on the table and was able to gain admission.
- Would you recommend them? Why or why not?
It would be unwise not to hire mbaMission.
I've heard other consulting agencies are not worth it. mbaMission is not one of those agencies. Do you yourself a favor and speak with their team to learn more.
710 Q48 V41
I had an incredible experience with mbaMission. When I first signed up with the company, I was just looking for someone to just proofread my essays. They paired me with a former grad of my target school (Columbia) named Dan Richards. Dan was really great - he thoroughly went through my essays not only scanning for content and delivery but also in helping to think in the eyes of the admissions officer. He also spent time prepping me for the interview. While I'd say that the interview was informal in nature, it was definitely helpful having the formal prep time - and Dan was able to prepare me for a number of the questions that were asked. Throughout the entirety of the experience, Dan was always informative, professional, and punctual. All in all, was a great experience and outcome. I would highly recommend to all.
Angela was a great teacher and friend while I prepare the application. I applied for about ten schools, and Angela tried her best to help me prepare all schools. I am from Asian country, and I strongly recommend Angela to all candidates including international students who are not good at English. Angela has several years of working experience in Korea, so she understands Asian culture very well and cares international student well. She perfectly understood what I intended to say and write even though my English was poor, and taught me right direction. I can definitely say that her experience and careful advice will be very helpful.
Preparing my essays and resume, I talked a lot to Angela and could know myself better. She helped me to make simple, but powerful resume. I had fixed and changed my resume eight times while discussing about my performance and resume with her, and I was satisfied with my resume. It was focused on my real contributions and performance in my companies. I had received consulting from local consultant before I met Angela, and Angela’s advice was much much much greater and more useful than that of a local consultant in my country.
Angela was a wonderful essay teacher. She advised me to show myself genuinely with better expression. We talked a lot about my experience, and I could find my strengths and weaknesses that I did not realize. I could understand better about myself, find good topics, and write good essays using my strengths and even weaknesses. I usually wrote and revised one essay at least five times while discussing about it with her. She sent back my essay and resume very quickly, usually within one and half day from I sent my essays and resume to her. When I received back my essays, they were filled with reviews and questions written in red.
When I prepared interviews with six interview invitations, I also received great care from Angela. My English conversation was poor. However, she encouraged me, kindly corrected my errors, and taught me how to speak more logically with my words. It worked great.
My time zone was different from Angela's, but there was no difficulty in preparing my applications with her. She sacrificed herself even on weekend when it was urgent, and I always received what I needed on time.
I could get admissions from several schools including top ten schools that I dreamed, and I know that Angela contributed a lot. Her effort and insight was the best, and I sincerely recommend Angela.
Joined: Aug 12, 2015
For my MBA application, I consulted with John on a hourly basis and he provided excellent guidance on my essays and resume.
John gave me great advice on how to improve my resume and make my essays more focused. Additionally, John was very prompt as I could email him whenever and he always got back to me within a day.With John's help, I got admitted to the MBA program of my choice. To anyone considering mBA mission I would highly recommend John Sisk because he is very knowledgeable and he will help you get into your dream business school
I didn't know about MBA consulting service till I went to a conference in September and encountered a different MBA consulting service company. I did my research and decided to go with mbaMission.
I would say Helen's biggest asset would be her ability to play with words. I am not a writer, so I needed a lot of help on my essays. I knew what I was trying to convey, but somehow I couldn't translate onto paper. Helen was able to make my story to the point, add more color, and make it flowed.
I paid a little more for the 5 schools package because I wanted to play it safe and have a range of schools. However, some of the schools have similar essay prompt, and you can probably do okay with 3 schools package.
I first consulted Katy over the summer as I was debating whether or not to take the GMAT again (my score was significantly below the average) and apply to business school this past fall. I’m on the younger side of applicants and was on the fence about applying this year, but had been sponsored by my company to attend. Katy was very honest and rationale, laying out the pros and cons for me to consider. I decided to apply this fall anyways, despite not having enough time to retake the GMAT for a higher score and not being able to apply Round 1 due to work commitments. It was definitely a risky move given I aspired to apply to only top 10 schools without a “safety”, though Katy was 100% supportive of what I wanted to do.
Over the course of the next few months, Katy not only helped me lay out a detailed timeline to draft and complete my applications in order to accommodate my crazy work schedule, she also took the time to really get to know me personally, which substantially helped the development of my story. Through our brainstorming sessions and consistent email exchanges, she enabled me to really self-reflect and think about what has made me who I am today that I had otherwise not thought of before. This was instrumental to getting to the root of my goals, why I want to go to business school, and ensuring that I applied both professional and personal examples from my life to ground my applications.
As I began to write my essays, Katy was incredibly responsive and thorough in her feedback as I iterated on drafts and even went back to the drawing board over a few weeks. She was very honest and challenged me when needed, and at other times told me not to change a thing. I would not have been able to apply to the schools I did without her help and guidance. She made me feel at ease when I was feeling the pressure, and helped me think logically about the fact that I could always reapply given my age.
To my surprise I went 5/5 in my interviews, including at three of the top 5 schools. Katy was incredibly helpful with my interview prep and ensuring that I kept true to myself so that I was not nervous or robotic come interview day. Though now the results are not exactly what I was striving for, I can happily say I was genuinely myself in my applications and on interview day, and that I still was admitted to two schools with scholarship funding, and waitlisted at two, despite my GMAT score and potentially more junior experience. Since, I have been admitted off the waitlist to HBS, where I will be attending this fall.
Katy was extremely helpful in navigating the waitlist process, and staying proactive. She was instrumental in helping me get to where I am now, especially with regards to personal and professional development through the application process.
Joined: Jul 09, 2015
Working with John Sisk of mbaMission made my application process manageable and extremely less stressful. John was a complete joy to work with. He is a kind, positive and intelligent person who is able to give constructive feedback in the best possible way. He made himself available to me by email and phone and I always felt like I could candidly ask him any questions. I’m glad I chose the full school package since it was able to give me unlimited hours to work with John editing my application as well as the chance to work practice for interviews. John was able to help me craft my story in the best way possible. I honestly wouldn't have been able to get into business school without John's help. I highly recommend working with mbaMission and specifically with John!
690 Q44 V41
I have to admit I was hesitant to sign up for consulting services. As a business professional I'm used to squeezing every penny possible and it felt ludicrous to pay someone to give me advice on a school application. Besides, I can write and I know what my story is. Right?
My essays were already written and I was ready to click submit, but a friend advised me that my top school would consider my essays very carefully and to make sure that they were top notch. He mentioned a consulting agency he had used to polish his application so I reached out.
I figured I had spent all this time preparing my application and studying for the GMAT, why waste it? Why not put my best foot forward and make sure my application shined?
I reached out to mbaMission and was assigned to Katharine Lewis. Having been in admissions herself at a top program, she really knew her stuff and had strong knowledge about my target program.
She recommended we spend our first hour brainstorming and going through my background. I thought I had written a pretty good essay at that point, but after spending that first hour with her realized I had missed important details and connections that would help my application shine. She was able to tease out these important connections to help me craft the best application possible.
We spent the next few hours reviewing my edits and polishing my essays into a masterpiece, which I’m confident would have been worse without her guidance and possibly cost me a chance at admission to my target school. The friends and family who had previously signed off on my essays were absolutely floored by how good they were after working her. My essays even brought a tears to their eyes in some cases (no exaggeration).
My friends and family agreed there was absolutely no way I wouldn’t get in. I’m happy to report, with the help of Katharine Lewis and mbaMission, they were right! I got into my top choice school and couldn’t be happier. If you have an opportunity to work with them, don’t pass it up.
I had purchased a 2-school package from mbaMission and requested specifically for Angela Guido, due to all the glowing reviews I had read about her. As it turns out, I had made the right choice. Angela is positive without withholding constructive criticism that I needed to hear and that was exactly what I wanted. I already had two telephone calls with other consultants and one did not show any inclination to push me, whilst the other was 40 minutes late for our call and only told me whatever I wanted to hear.
One of the things I really like about Angela is her gift for reading people. From a summary about my history and achievements, she was able to assess my personality fairly accurately. This helped greatly, when it came to writing essays. I am fairly good at writing but like most people, I am not much good at reviewing my experiences and gleaning a meaningful pattern from them or presenting these experiences in an engaging way. However, with Angela's help, I was not only able to weave a compelling narrative but one that was also unique and made sense to me. She basically gave me a voice (an interesting one). It was also especially helpful that Angela is very familiar with the Asian culture, having lived in Asia for a while. This gave Angela some insight into my history, who I am and my actions, without my having to explain it all, ultimately making it easier for both of us to work through the business school essays.
Angela was my roadmap, in respect of business school applications. Applying to business school is a lot like learning about a secret society and the coded language in which members speak. Angela taught me to understand exactly what the schools want, to promote myself without being blatant about it and to find meaning in my career progression.
Whenever Angela was not entirely certain of something (eg. whether a particular school carries out a certain practice), she would confer with colleagues who have expertise in that school and revert, ensuring that I do not put a foot wrong. As you can imagine, it was very reassuring to get advice from a whole bevy of experts, when so much hung in the balance.
Angela brainstormed with me for my essays, opined on my references and looked over my application responses, all the while cheering me on. She was my number one cheerleader, always pumping me full of positivity whenever I had doubts and nudging me along, the couple of times that I lost focus.
More a friend and mentor than just another consultant, Angela went out of her way to take me and a couple of other clients for dinner, when she was last in London for business. I was really excited to meet Angela, as her warmth really came across on the Skype calls that we had and numerous e-mails that we exchanged. There was a sense that Angela really cared what happened to my applications and that she was interested in me, as a person. In fact, Angela was so concerned about giving all her clients the best chance in their MBA journey, that at the dinner mentioned above, she got her friend in management consulting to give us advice on our career goals and business school choices. How about that for going the extra mile!
Although I was not successful in my applications to either of the two schools I chose, this was mainly down to my middling GMAT score. I had only applied to two schools but these were both in the top five schools worldwide and one of these two showed strong interest in me, encouraging me to reapply with a stronger GMAT score. Amidst all this intense competition for a top MBA programme, it was Angela who gave me such a strong chance. I am forever grateful for her patience, energy and perpetual positivity, and I do not intend to waste either of our efforts - I will be giving the GMAT another go, to do justice to Angela's guidance.