|All Reviews > Stacy Blackman Consulting Reviews|
Joined: May 23, 2017
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Consultant Chris (SBC)
I worked with Chris Van Nostrand on my Kellogg application. At first I thought he had done a good job challenging me on both broader topics and specific anecdotes in my essays. He was prompt and direct with his comments, which I appreciated. We also did a mock interview over the phone that was enjoyable. When I had my on-campus interview in R1 I felt well-prepared.
Ultimately, however, I was rejected from Kellogg in R1. Perhaps the biggest disappointment in the entire process wasn't that I was rejected from my dream school despite a 780 GMAT score and otherwise competitive profile but that I received zero follow-up from Chris or the SBC team after my rejection. No condolences, no sympathy, nothing. The last thing an applicant needs when juggling rejections and waitlists and figuring out R2 applications as the holidays approach is radio silence from their consultants.
I was accepted at a T10-15 school and will be matriculating there this Fall, but I did that application entirely on my own in R2 and without the help of any consultants. Bill Chionis of SBC actually told me not to apply to the school that I'm going to now and I'm glad I went against his advice, otherwise I would have come up completely empty. Overall I felt ripped off by the entire admissions consulting process and consider it a waste of time and money. It was extremely poor client management to ghost an applicant after they are rejected.
Joined: Jun 19, 2017
I have nothing but great things to say about Erika with Stacy Blackman Consulting. She helped me tell my story in a unique and creative way that brought admissions success. The admissions process is undoubtedly stressful, but Erika is familiar with the process and helped provide internal deadlines that brought clarity and organized the chaos. I ended up getting into all three schools that I worked with Erika on, and the insights she provided also helped with schools outside of my SBC package. She turned things around quickly and provided comments that helped me reflect on the story I wanted to tell. The all in package took me from blank page through the interview (and post interview reflection) and helped reduce stress along the way.
Joined: May 28, 2019
I was very lucky to work with Erika at SBC on my HBS application this year and couldn’t be more pleased with the process.
I’m sure each applicant struggles with information overload when applying to MBA programs – there are many (and often conflicting) opinions available online that can over-complicate the application process.
I found Erika’s approach to be extremely thorough yet efficient, which was particularly valuable given I was applying from a finance job that didn’t leave a lot of time for second guessing my application materials and approach.
Erika has a gift for quickly internalizing your “story” and nuanced qualities of your overall applicant profile and helping you highlight elements that you may otherwise overlook or take for granted. This fresh, focused perspective really helped me to communicate what was most important through the various components of the application and submit with confidence.
Finally, I found SBC’s database of application resources to be extremely helpful in keeping my application process focused and saved me going down “rabbit holes” searching through discussion forums for answers.
Joined: May 14, 2019
I had the pleasure of working with Erika from Stacy Blackman Consulting throughout my business school applications process. Erika is a professional writer and HBS graduate which means she has both the common sense to let you know what the right applications strategy is and knows how to coach you such that your personality shines through in your writing style. She gives meticulous feedback on each of your essays and leverages a decade of past admissions consulting experience to help you understand how to craft your story to match both who you are as well as the school you're applying to. As a bonus, she's also pretty hilarious. MBA applications are stressful and having someone with a sense of humor to coach you through the process can take a lot of that unnecessary stress away which will ultimately help you better communicate who you are in your application. I would highly recommend Erika to any student who comes from a nontraditional employment background (like myself, PM in tech) because she helps you eliminate the subject specific nomenclature and communicate the value you provide so that anyone can understand it. Thanks to Erika, I'll be attending Wharton this fall :)
Joined: Apr 22, 2019
Consultant DC (SBC)
Applying to business schools is a daunting, and frankly, overwhelming task. As a non-traditional applicant, my b-school network was extremely limited (I only knew one person that had even gone to business school). I did not even know where to start. Fortunately, my one contact happened to be an HBS grad, and recommended me to SBC.
From the start, the entire SBC was very genuine about understanding me not only as an applicant, but also a person. Only after completing the application process do I fully understand and appreciate the importance of finding the right fit in both the firm, and the consultant. SBC is very thoughtful about pairing the applicant with the right consultant. After a few informational discussions, I was ultimately paired with DC- and wow did I luck out! DC has been an amazing resource, guide, and ultimately, has truly become a friend. DC was able to ask meaningful, thoughtful, questions that encouraged introspection on who I am and my goals- and pushed me to develop those ideas further.
DC’s methodical approach truly made me more confident in articulating my story- she honed in on aspects of my profile that I initially thought to be inconsequential, but were ultimately areas I highlighted in essays and interviews. Not only did DC provide immediate feedback to any question or thought I had, but also connected me with past clients and other individuals to gain a better understanding of the application process. SBC’s additional resources to help you throughout the application process, including past essays, interview transcripts, and mock interviews, proved to be invaluable.
The “numbers” (test scores, undergraduate institution, etc.) portion of my profile was far from stellar. With the help and guidance of DC and the entire SBC team, I was able to craft my applications in a way that highlighted my strengths. I applied to five schools. Ultimately, I received three acceptances, including full scholarships to two top 10 schools. There’s no doubt in my mind that I would not have had the outcomes I did without the encouragement and support of DC and the entire SBC team. I cannot recommend them enough!
Joined: Apr 22, 2019
Consultant Caryn (SBC)
Caryn was absolutely instrumental in my journey towards getting into Wharton and Kellogg! I decided in late September to apply to round two, and shopped around several consulting firms before deciding on SBC due to the candidness & accessibility of their consultants. I applied to 4 schools with Caryn, and she created a timeline that helped me stay accountable through the application process.
Prior to working with Caryn, I had disconnected ideas of how why I wanted to go to business school, and what I hoped to achieve post-MBA, but no real connections between the thoughts. Caryn helped me link all the different ideas together to develop a cohesive story for my applications and interviews. She provided prompt, constructive, and actionable advice to help me fine-tune my essays and resume. Then during the interview process, she provided key tips on what to expect from admissions officers during interviews, and set me up with other consultants from the SBC team for follow-up practice interviews to help me be better prepared for my HBS and Wharton interviews (which I definitely was!).
Highly recommend Caryn to anyone who's seeking help on their MBA application journey!
Joined: Dec 04, 2017
Consultant Yvette (SBC)
The application process will be long and hard - my first call with Stacy Blackman made me realize just how involved it was going to be (I spoke to other consultants, but SB was the one that was most upfront about how demanding it was going to be). I was paired with Yvette due to my school choices, and I believe because of my nationality/culture.
I think some of the biggest perks of working with Yvette are:
1) No beating around the bush. She is direct with her feedback, without being dismissive, and helps you dig deeper. When you have to write about such personal matters, it's hard/awkward to really think about them and to have someone else read them - I never had this issue with Yvette. Yvette made me think through what I was bringing to the table, and helped me highlight it in my applications. She helped me by asking questions, and by providing a framework to help me think through the application questions in parts.
2) She is responsive, even if you are 1hr away from your deadline. There was never a NO to questions such as "Can you take a look one last time?", "Can you review my resume?", etc. As someone who doesn't speak English as her first language and who might have rushed the workload, it was great to always have a second pair of eyes.
3) She's a real person! (And a cool one too!) You can talk to Yvette about life, beyond the MBA, and this can help put things into perspective (just in case you get sucked into MBA vortex!)
Joined: Mar 21, 2019
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Consultant Emily (SBC)
I can't put in words how helpful Emily was throughout the application and in so many different ways!
With how much information there is on the application process, Emily was able to guide me down the right path from the get-go. From our initial call, it was evident how invested Emily was in each of her clients. I knew very little of how the business school application process worked or if I was even a legitimate candidate. After our initial discussion of my background and my aspirations, Emily set forth a comprehensive strategy that gave me the confidence that I could go through this process with her help. Emily broke down our in-depth conversations into specifics that I could highlight throughout my applications that would appeal to the schools that I was targeting.
From this point forward, Emily provided me with feedback for the essays I began assembling. She always turned around feedback quickly with clear direction and purpose with her suggestions. If anything confused me, Emily would come up with different ways to get her point across to me and ensure that I was heading down the right path. With her help, I was able to create a narrative that would hopefully appeal to business schools.
Along with her help with essays, Emily's motivational and supportive nature pushed me to stick through the process. I tried to drop out of the application process multiple times, but her words of encouragement pushed me to see the process through and ultimately be accepted to two top 10 programs - something I never could have fathomed when I first introduced myself to her over the phone. I cannot express in words how incredible an experience it was to work with Emily.
Joined: Apr 11, 2019
Consultant Beth (SBC)
I am absolutely positive I would not have received the admits I did without Beth from Stacy Blackman Consulting. While I was worried about spending money on a consultant, it was 100% worth it in the grand scheme of things. I worked with Beth on Kellogg and Yale, and I was admitted to both. I was also able to transfer what we worked on to my Stern application (goals, resume, job descriptions, etc.) and was also admitted there with a scholarship.
I looked at five other larger and boutique consulting firms. I felt like many other consultants didn’t care much about who I was as a person/what drives me. Some encouraged me to craft a story they thought the admissions committee would want to hear (for example, one consultant told me to craft my goals around ed-tech because it is hot right now). Others said to me that the schools I was interested in were out of reach, and encouraged me to only apply to second and third-tier schools. It almost felt like other consultancies would make you doubt yourself to get you to buy their services.
SBC was the polar opposite. My first call was with Sarah Tsai, who listened carefully to my needs and matched me with Beth. Beth is a former admissions officer and has an acute knowledge of the way the process works. She was direct, highly intelligent, honest, communicative, nonjudgmental, and just overall lovely to work with. She broke down the application process into manageable chunks and helped keep me on track.
Beth took lots of time to consider who I was as a person and what drives me to help me in creating an authentic, but persuasive, application. SBC was very honest with me about my strengths and weaknesses, and carefully considered how we would leverage strengths and make admissions committees feel better about my shortcomings (quant background).
It was incredibly helpful to work with a firm that has so much admissions knowledge amongst its employees. Lisa (a former admissions officer) did a “flight-test” of my application, and then I worked to revise it with feedback. I also did a mock-interview and got feedback before my real interviews. Finally, the SBC Wiki page is beneficial. I was able to read previous admits’ essays and look at banks of interview questions that other students received to help myself prepare.
I went through 12 versions of my resume and over ten versions of my essays with Beth. SBC focuses on every little detail, down to each 100-character response on the apps.
THANK YOU SBC!!!!
Joined: Apr 04, 2018
Consultant Joey (SBC)
I was initially hesitant in using an admissions consultant but having read reviews of admitted students who had used consultants I decided to do so. I reviewed a few and had initial conversations but Stacy Blackman stood out by a mile and were able to pair me up with Joey.
My experience with Joey was absolutely amazing from our first call, Joey was very easygoing and understood me well with my unique background. I also enjoyed Joey's genuine interest in getting to know me which helped the engagement. There was lots of hard work to do in preparation for the process but Joey was always available on email/ on-call.
I would definitely recommend Joey especially if you are from an emerging market, from a non-target school Joey is able to help you find what makes you unique and craft an interesting message.
Overall I am very happy with my experience with Joey and would do it all again!!!