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Since 2001, Stacy Blackman Consulting (SBC) clients have been admitted to every top business school worldwide, often with merit scholarships. SBC delivers results, as shown through the #1 ranking on MBAinsight, BeattheGMAT, CrushtheGRE, ExamStrategist and #1 out of 11 firms for our team by PoetsandQuants.
SBC is the only MBA admissions firm with a complete panel of former Admissions Officers from every top MBA program in-house. The SBC team has MBA expertise at every top MBA program, US and international, and understands career paths in every industry, traditional and non- traditional.
SBC deeply values mentorship within its client engagements and limits the number of clients for each consultant, engaging with clients only after evaluating candidacy strength and differentiating qualities. Our matchmaking process includes criteria such as track record with target schools and proficiency with the applicant's career path, demographic, interests and character qualities. We intentionally offer a high-touch, limited client-per-consultant experience, limiting consultant capacity so that you can be assured of consultant engagement at the most critical times. This concierge matching allows SBC to activate the right fit consultant and ensure a mutually enthusiastic relationship.
SBC’s engagement model of a dedicated consultant with additional review by our AdCom team is the most robust of all firms. SBC offers unlimited time with a carefully selected Primary Consultant, allowing for full accountability and dedication. SBC also believes in checks and balances, and thus developed our Flight Test, which is a complete review by a former Admissions Officer. This structured feedback from a former AdCom member mimics a real AdCom review and helps to ensure that a candidate’s application is most compelling to the target audience. We also offer an "hourly first" option for applicants who prefer to test the waters initially before engaging in our All-In service.
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Joined: May 16, 2012
Consultant Chadd (SBC)
I worked very hard to submit all of my applications in Round 1. I had help from 2 of my bosses at work who graduated from HBS and were willing to guide me. In Round 1 I submitted applications to Stanford and Columbia, and was completely burnt out. I decided to hire a consultant for Round 2. In Round 2 I worked with Chadd from Stacy Blackman. We worked on HBS, Chicago and Wharton. My results say a lot about the advantage that I gained by working with Chadd and Stacy Blackman Consulting. I was admitted only to the schools I worked on with them and also received a scholarship offer from Chicago. Needless to say I am pretty pleased with the outcome and give a lot of credit to the support and guidance I received. Although I think I was a strong applicant in many ways, it was hard for me to figure out what to write about and how to organize my thoughts. This is where the guidance was invaluable. Enough said.
Consultant Caryn (SBC)
Caryn Altman was my consultant at Stacy Blackman. She previously served on the admissions committee at Kellogg and I felt that she had many good insights from having worked on that side of things. I felt very comfortable with her from the first time we spoke which is why I selected her to be my SBC consultant in the first place. We spent a great deal of time on the phone at the very beginning, because I had a few "blemishes" that I needed to overcome. We came up with stories that felt great to me and we mapped out all of the essays in advance so that writing them became a lot easier. We went through many, many drafts of my essays. We had 14 drafts of my first set of essays, and I also used my client liaison to review a few of those essays. The next school was much easier. Caryn supported me all the way. I think by the time I got my acceptance letters I expected her to come to school with me - she was just completely part of the team. I also used the SBC essay guides and thought they were a great compliment to working with my consultant. Great tips that I could just turn to at any time when I needed inspiration. Caryn very conscientiously checked in with me all along the way when I procrastinated and went silent. She gave me pep talks and great information. I used no other resources and walked away with three admits. I am going to Columbia next year.
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Joined: May 11, 2012
Consultant John (SBC)
I purchased a 4 school package - a big investment with only a small guaranteed refund if not successful. I was skeptical and I admit a pretty demanding client. My consultant was patient and knowledgeable and proved his worth very quickly. Hardest part for me was coming up with topics for the essay questions. We spent a lot of time working on topics and outlines until we were both satisfied. In the end we knocked it out of the park with admits to every school. I am still on cloud 9 and very grateful. 5 Stars - no question about it. My consultant was awesome and Stacy Blackman Cons. was professional in every way.
Consultant Dawn (SBC)
I enlisted Stacy Blackman for hourly services after writing my first set of essays and feeling dissatisfied with the end product – I wasn’t confident they’d get me into my dream school (one of H/S/W).
I was assigned a consultant named Dawn Clare. Her thoughts on content changes, structure and themes were spot on and took my app to the next level. She weeded out a couple 'weaker' content topics from my successes / set-backs essays (eg, weathering the recession - like most other applicants...) and had me focus my energy on some areas unique to me that I didn't necessarily think full essay worthy but turned out to be really great subjects and my favorite essays. She was also very helpful pushing me to clean house in terms of language, making my essays very crisp and action-oriented (and below the word limits, argh!). The final product really had a bow on it - highly polished and highly unified, which I think is just what admissions was looking for.
I also used Dawn for two hour long skype sessions that were EXTREMELY useful. Several of her questions were repeated in my real interview, but it was also just a great confidence-builder to interview with a complete stranger as opposed to a friend or relative.
I was accepted round 1. I do not think I would have been accepted if I’d submitted my essays without the changes Dawn suggested or if I hadn’t felt so good going into my interview. I highly recommend Stacy Blackman Consulting to anyone and especially Dawn Clare.
Consultant Margaret (SBC)
I was skeptical at first at the value of an MBA consultant, but after going through the process I am so happy I hired Stacy Blackman. I used Margaret to help me edit my essays only (hourly service) and she was amazing. She challenged me to think through the real meaning of my essays and my story and pushed me to answer the questions in the best ways. I would send her essays which I thought were done and she was great in telling me I needed more. I don't think I could have come out with better essays.
I applied to the top 2 schools and received interviews at both. I was accepted at one and waitlisted at the other. After I told Margaret I was waitlisted she gave me her advice on how to approach a waitlist even though our hours were over.
I've had an extremely professional and positive experience with SB. I think Stacy Blackman was instrumental in helping me effectively communicate my story and would recommend them to anyone.
Consultant Margaret (SBC)
I was skeptical about using a consultant, but after speaking to a friend who attended HBS, I realized that it is too difficult to understand what not to write without advice from someone who understands the industry. I picked Stacy Blackman based on some articles that quoted Stacy in BusinessWeek.
After an initial meeting, I arranged for the comprehensive service. My consultant, Margaret, helped me to clarify my own vision and pushed me to clear up my message. Her advice was instrumental in my success. I was interviewed at 3 top 10 schools and was admitted to my top two choices. I really couldn't have done it without the guidance of my consultant. As far as the company overall, several other employees reached out to make sure I was moving along in the process and didnt have questions or concerns. At no point did I feel as though I didn't have someone to reach out to if I had a question or concern.
In terms of other reviews who mention managing your own expectations, I definitely agree. A consultant will not help you create experience that you don't have. However, mine did help me to focus my application in ways that allowed me to showcase the experience that I did have.
Highly recommend Stacy Blackman.
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Consultant Bill (SBC)
I initially inquired about an admissions consulting service because I wasn't sure how to approach my essays and there was concern about my undergraduate GPA.
After my free consultation with Bill Chonis of Stacy Blackman, I decided to work with Bill on an hourly basis. We clicked right off the bat, and yes, chemistry is extremely important for someone to have with his/her consultant. I found Bill to be extremely professional, insightful, and because of the application deadlines I had to meet, very timely and responsive throughout the whole process.
Bill had the patience of saint with me in regards to writing my essays as it took awhile for me to find my “voice.”(I never thought that Bill was trying to get more hours out of me since I was on an hourly rate. And Yes, I am a very cynical person. For the five hours I was charged from Stacy Blackman, I probably worked with Bill 6.5-7 hrs.)
On a side note, Stacy Blackman does have some great tips on a PDF that you can send to your recommenders. I would get my hands on this.
Before hiring Bill, I read many reviews on GMATCLUB of the various consulting services and although the majority of the reviews are positive for most of the consulting companies, you’ll always find a few negative ones in the bunch. I think most of the individuals who wrote the negative reviews are the ones who didn’t get into their school of choice. Keep in mind, these consultants aren’t miracle workers. Some just give you the best chance of getting into your school of choice. However, I do believe that a great admissions consultant manages the expectations of his or her client.
I am giving a five star review of Bill Chonis of Stacy Blackman Consulting. I have no idea how the other consultants are over at Stacy Blackman, but I assure you that Bill is an excellent admissions consultant. My advice is to make sure you click with your admission’s consultant before moving forward and at least talk to two different consultants before making a decision.