|All Reviews > Stacy Blackman Consulting Reviews|
Joined: Jan 01, 2019
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Consultant Christina (SBC)
With Christina and SBC’s help, I received offers from 5 schools with scholarships totaling over half-million dollars and an admit from HBS, 6 out of 7 of all schools I applied to. Coming from an over-represented population and industry, I felt really thankful for the results, and therefore it's my great pleasure to share my story with Christina and SBC and to hopefully inspire other people with similar goals.
During our free 30-minute free consultation, which Esther arranged immediately after I reached out, Esther's being down-to-earth and transparent won me over. Unlike other consultants, she encouraged me to pursue the very top schools and quickly pointed out my weakness with action items even if I haven't purchased their services. Esther then matched me with Christina based on my background, which was a true blessing for me. Christina and I had an introduction call and she just impressed me with her insights, personalities, and work ethics. Feeling the click that Christina and SBC will help me succeed, I didn't even talk to other consultants and decided to work with Christina on 4 schools – every of which led to an offer with scholarship.
Among all wonderful things about Christina, I want to highlight three aspects that make her a perfect consultant for me - 1) She knows what schools care about and how to most strategically "brand" me. Based on my past experiences, she helped me define my winning strategy from the beginning and gave me actionable advice to strengthen my profile and story in a couple of months leading to the application season. She encouraged me to pursue a few relevant leadership activities, which ended up being the core component of my application. 2) She is incredibly hard-working, has super high standards, and has great attention to detail. In editing my essays and application form responses, she didn’t just switch words or phrases. She’d structurally improve my essays with top-notch writing skills. I was awed every time my essay was returned with a full screen of edits. From months of reading and working through Christina’s feedback on my essay, my writing skills certainly improved as well. 3) She is a genuine person and cares about my applications more than I do. While I worked with her on only 4 schools, she’s always generous in giving me feedback on my other three school applications. Her advice and overall strategy played a critical role in my two other offers even without her direct help. Whenever I felt “slacking”, she always motivated me to bring out my best self.
I also want to call out the team support from SBC in addition to Christina’s amazing work. Lisa, as my flight tester, provided honest and reassuring feedback on my application two months before the submission and left me with plenty of time to act upon. Anthony, the observer of the complimentary Wharton’s TBD, helped us get comfortable with the TBD format and shared useful tips. SBC’s repository of past successful essays, included in the package, was also handy and helpful!
Joined: Dec 05, 2017
Consultant Bill (SBC)
I started off the search for an executive MBA program knowing little about the process. During the search, I was overwhelmed, intimidated and confused when I looked at various school rankings and admission process. This is what prompted me to explore various executive MBA admission-consulting firms. I spoke with consultant from a few reputable companies but SBC’s approach, quality stood apart from the others. Particularly, Bill's reviews on various MBA websites motivated me to go for a complimentary profile assessment with him.
Right from the get go, Bill was very candid and friendly in his approach—a combination that I think is rare in most consultants. He patiently listened to my background and immediately pointed out areas of strengths and weaknesses. He was genuinely interested in my success and made a cogent argument on long-term value of an executive MBA. In fact, Bill was the one who suggested an hourly package rather than a comprehensive package based on my profile. I signed up for hourly consultation with Bill to help me with school shortlisting, essays, and interview preparation.
I had many questions about shortlisting schools. Bill was very patient, thorough and knowledgeable about the executive MBA admissions process for Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia, MIT and several other top business schools. His advice helped me eliminate a ton of hours of research and zero in on a few schools. He also pointed out schools I should focus on and the ones that may not be a good fit. This helped me strategically invest time in schools where I had the best admission chances.
Throughout the 12+ months of our interaction, Bill was a pillar of support for my application process. Perseverance and motivation are two key ingredients needed to put up a strong application for a top business school. Bill's methodical approach, no-nonsense feedback and gentle nudges (☺) were really helpful in making sure I stay focused on my goal. As Bill and I spent several hours (and emails :)) strategizing on my story, all parts of my application logically flowed from the unified strategy. My essays, recommendation letters and interviews had a common theme and complimented each other. As a result, I felt very comfortable during the interview process and was optimistic about my chances. I was elated to hear about my admit into Wharton and profusely thanked Bill soon after.
When you are evaluating executive MBA consultants, choose someone who can be honest about your candidature and can specifically tell you what s/he can do to help enhance your profile (and what aspects cannot be mitigated). This will level set your expectations and help you get into the best business school that fits your profile. Overall, I am so glad that I chose to work with Bill and SBC. Their professionalism, thoroughness and customer focus are top notch. Thank you Bill!
Joined: Jul 15, 2020
Consultant Stephanie (SBC)
I had a fantastic experience working with Stacy Blackman Consulting and highly recommend their services to prospective applicants. My consultant Stephanie went above and beyond to shepherd me through the process. Believe it or not, I actually had fun while applying! As a former admissions officer at Fuqua, Stephanie has a deep understanding of what the top MBA programs are looking for. She helped me tailor my narrative in a way that highlighted my strengths and unique qualities.
Though Stephanie was my primary contact, the whole team was accessible and invested in my success. After preparing my application, I was able to submit a “flight test” to another former admissions officer on the team. Having a fresh set of eyes look critically at my application before submission was invaluable.
I applied to two top MBA programs and was accepted to both, one of which offered me a scholarship. I think my partnership with Stephanie truly made a difference and I am so grateful for all of her guidance!
Joined: Jun 29, 2020
Consultant Deanna Moen
I had such a great experience working with Deanna throughout the entire application process. Working full-time, I felt Deanna helped to keep me on track and continuously motivated. Coming from a quant heavy job, I was still getting low quant scores that were not competitive for the top programs I was applying to. Deanna suggested I take an MBA class to prove my quant skills, take the executive assessment test instead of the GRE (which I took many many times), and get a tutor to help me study. She helped make other areas of my application stronger to compensate for my test scores and I got into one of my top mba programs because of her. I am so thankful to have someone with so much expertise and criticism to keep me reaching higher. The application process is so daunting at first, but SBC and Deanna really helped me navigate and simplify the process. I spoke with about 5 consulting companies, but I just felt that SBC was the most dedicated to my success. I definitely would recommend SBC and Deanna to anyone going through this process!
Joined: May 20, 2020
Consultant Sherry (SBC)
I initially engaged Sherry to assist me with applying in Fall 2020 for admission in Fall 2021 in December 2019. I was referred to Sherry by a friend who had used her previously to guide his MBA admissions. But, in late March, with the onset of COVID and the downturn in the energy industry, I found myself shifting into overdrive to file in the last rounds at 5 schools. As an operations geologist, it became apparent that my Company would lay down its rigs by the end of the second quarter and I would be laid off. Although my primary job was to steer wellbores, I had developed an interest and a body of work using analytics to streamline workflows, save money, and enhance company operations driving my desire to change industries. Given that my MBA goal was to shift to Data Analytics in the Technology industry, I felt strongly that it was imperative that I make the last round deadlines to avoid having the reduction in force confuse what I was trying to achieve-shifting from the energy to the tech industry. Sherry spent time on the phone with me reviewing my questions about accelerating my applications and then didn’t blink when we moved from a reasonably paced approach to my graduate school apps to overdrive. Sherry gave me a frank assessment of my profile including input that I needed to really hit it out of the park on my GRE and take MBA Math to make up for a lower than preferable GPA from my undergraduate studies (I have a graduate degree with a better gpa but still needed to overcome the undergraduate gpa). She helped me refine my list, gave me strong input and rapid turnaround on my essays, worked with me on how to position my story and was patient through multiple essay iterations as I found my voice. The flight test confirmed that I was in a good position as long as my GRE score came in at the level that I was achieving in practice. Although I had technical problems with the first at home GRE, Sherry provided positive feedback about what I was going to be able to achieve if my second at home GRE was at the level we knew I could achieve. And she was as pumped as I was when I hit the GRE goal I had set. I was invited to interview at all of the schools I applied to-in fact, one school reached out to schedule an interview with me on the evening of the day I filed my application-that says a lot about how the application was received. In the end, Sherry’s interview prep was very useful and she even proposed brushing up one more time before my final interview given the three week lapse in time since I had prepared with her for the first one. Although I am waiting on a final decision from one school, I have been accepted at 3 of the 5 schools I applied to. Of the 3 at which I have been accepted, I received a full-tuition and living stipend package at one and substantial scholarships at 2 of the others-and that is when most of the Adcoms were indicating on their webinars that there was no money left to award. I am looking forward to starting The University of Texas at Austin MBA program this fall. Hook ’em!
Joined: Sep 09, 2014
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Consultant Kassidee (SBC)
From my initial free consultation with Bill, through each hour working with Kassidee, it was a pleasure working with SBC. I was accepted to HBS and could not have done it without Kassidee's help!
Based on Bill's recommendation, I chose an hourly package, rather than a comprehensive one. After the initial 'get to know you' call with Kassidee, we used the rest of the time to work through essay drafts and reserved one hour for a mock interview and feedback.
Through every step in the process, she was insightful, set high standards, and was both responsive and accommodating. During the brainstorming/essay phase, Kassidee always provided thoughtful feedback within 24 hours of me sending a draft or questions. Despite a significant time difference (~12 hours while I worked internationally), she always found time for calls almost immediately thereafter. She also struck an effective balance between giving me the space to write and holding me accountable for meeting our interim draft deadlines.
Her insights into the HBS experience were invaluable in helping me strategize, fine-tune essays, and feel confident going into my interview. Throughout, she was empathetic and friendly. I highly recommend working with her.
Joined: Nov 19, 2014
As is the case with all B school applicants, I began my application journey with the difficult task of picking the right consultant and am glad I chose Stacy Blackman consulting. Right from my first call with Sarah Tsai to working with Julie, the experience was wonderful throughout. The amazing reviews and strong recommendations posted online coupled with services like application review from a former admission committee member of my target school, made me sure I wanted to work with SBC and Julie for my application and it was definitely a choice well made, I did get admitted to Kellogg!
It was genuinely a wonderful experience working with Julie. Right from our first call where we discussed my profile and story, to my interview prep and admit, she was always there to guide me. I started late in the admission cycle and had a month before round 2 deadlines and Julie supported me tremendously through this time. She not only helped me with every step of my application process but also proved to be a strong support in this taxing process, patiently answering every question and doubt I had. Her insights and recommendations were honest and precise, and she knew what the admission committee would look for (as a Kellogg graduate and alumni interviewer, her insights proved to be invaluable) and that helped me put together a strong application. Though in different time zones, she was always very responsive and I really appreciated that. I am sure I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without her guidance.
I would strongly recommend Julie and SBC! The flight test with Beth helped me further fine tune my application and was a great addition to the already strong application I created with Julie’s help. I am grateful to the entire team, especially Julie for helping me and I couldn’t have done it without them!
Joined: Oct 18, 2017
Consultant Kimberly Ge
I received quotes from 3 or 4 consulting groups and went with SBC because I felt the most comfortable with them. Though they were the most expensive, I didn't feel as though a few thousand dollars would be a big deal in the grand scheme of things, especially if it made the difference of getting into a reach school.
1. All in all, I got into my two reach schools and do not feel that would have been possible without SBC.
2. If I were to do it all again I would most likely go with the hourly package. I just felt like for the price the number of hours was not there. This is not a comment on the quality of work, I just feel it may have been more economical in hindsight.
Joined: May 18, 2020
Consultant Stephanie (SBC)
I was referred to SBC by a friend who worked with them on his successful Wharton MBA application, and I was very satisfied with my experience - everyone has been easy to work with and very responsive. I wanted to work with Stephanie as my primary consultant because she had direct experience with the admissions process and committees at my two top choice schools, Duke Fuqua and UW Foster. She not only knew how to advise on MBA applications generally, but also what my top choices were looking for specifically. And, as an EMBA candidate, I also wanted to work with someone who had experience with EMBA programs, so I chose Bill as my client liaison because he is an expert in EMBA programs. On top of all that, my Flight Tester, Beth, provided critical guidance based on her experience as an admissions director at a top MBA program. Thanks in large part to all of their collective support, feedback, and advice, I was admitted to both Fuqua and Foster.
Joined: Apr 30, 2020
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Consultant Yvette (SBC)
Yvette is masterful at helping you develop an application that both reflects who you truly are, and shows the schools what they need to see. I applied to 4 top 10 schools and got into 2 - including my top choice, HBS! And I very much doubt I would have had this success without Yvette's full commitment and incredible talent at helping me translate who I am onto the application page. You want her on your team through this process!
What made Yvette the best :) :
- Tireless - she never stopped pushing me to dig a little deeper, and push a little further to come up with material that she knew would resonate with with AdCom.
- No bs - she'll say it like it is, while always making sure you feel comfortable. This is crucial, and what you're paying for!
- Knowledgeable - she knew every one of the schools I was applying to like the back of her hand. I only went all-in for HBS, but did calls with her for my other 3 schools, and she was expert at helping me tailor my story for their culture and focus. Her knowledge was also KEY when it came to interviews - our interview prep and mock interview were huge for me. Thanks to Yvette, I walked into the HBS interview knowing exactly what to expect and how to put my best foot forward.
- Kind and cool! - Yvette is the amazing guidance counselor I never had! She really became a mentor/spirit guide/friend all at once. She is fully invested and cares so much about your success, which is obviously beneficial in terms of results, and also makes the very taxing process a lot more fun.
For context - I have very little quant background, and a strong verbal GRE score but mediocre quant score. However, I had done so much research about the schools and their admissions offices, and love to write, so was not planning on using a consultant. I was convinced I knew my story, and could figure out how to tell it on my own. I also had doubts about the integrity of the consulting process. But Yvette showed me how important it is to have an outside eye who truly understands the process, and everything about it was very above board. She was all about asking the right questions to help me piece together my story, and never stepped in to insert her own voice.
A few notes about MBA app consulting in general - SBC's 'flight test' was awesome. Highly recommend. Also, I found the all-in package to be really worthwhile. While hourly guidance is useful, the dynamic of a pay-by-the-minute setup doesn't really suit such a creative and personal process. Yvette was amazingly efficient and super respectful about making the most of my paid hours, so if you're very budget conscious, you can rest assured she has your back there. But the depth and quality of feedback will inherently be stronger with an all-in package. I know it's a lot of cash - but as I see it, school is around $200k, may as well spend a few K up front to make sure you're pouring all that money into one of your top choice schools!
In sum - if you're serious about upping your chances at your top choice schools, Yvette is the answer : )