|All Reviews > Stacy Blackman Consulting Reviews|
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 : )
Joined: Jul 28, 2019
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Consultant Sherry (SBC)
Thrilled and humbled to be admitted to multiple schools, including Duke Fuqua with an unexpected scholarship! If you are an international student dreaming to get into a T15 MBA program in the US, but new to the daunting MBA application process, then look no further than reaching out to Stacy Blackman Consulting. Also, if Duke Fuqua is high on your list, then you should really work with Sherry Holland, who is a former MBA Admissions Officer at Fuqua.
I started looking for MBA admission consultants after I have taken my GMAT. Not only was my score below the average of the schools I was aiming for, but also, I did not have a clear personal branding strategy to make my application competitive. I was also lacking outside of work involvements. In short, my profile had a number of gaps, but I was convinced that this was the right time for me to get an MBA. That was when a reliable friend referred SBC to me from her delightful and fruitful past experience. I did my due diligence first, talking to several other admission consultants (mbaMission, Admissionado, Aringo, and Fortuna), but it was clear to me that SBC was the one who was genuinely interested to learn about my stories and most passionate to help me achieve my goals.
SBC’s exceptional service lies within their team-based influence and support during the entire process, from start to finish. My first contact was with Esther, who provided the honest and realistic expectations that I needed but was willing to carefully listen to my stories and aspirations. I still remember when Esther told me that she knew who the ideal primary consultant for me would be, and until this day, I am really glad that she was able to pair me with Sherry. Sherry is simply the best! She was professional, understanding, and incredibly supportive throughout the daunting and hectic MBA application process. Though I struggled a lot with the first draft of my essays and was extremely nervous heading into the interviews, Sherry made sure that I was well prepared and confident to face those challenges. I learned a lot from Sherry and she really helped me grow both professionally and personally in many ways that I did not expect before. I still could not believe that I received interview invites from all the schools that I applied to. Along the way, I also had access to a client liaison, Bill, and also received a really helpful flight test feedback from Lisa. Essentially, a lot of admissions officer intelligence in-house ready to support you any time.
Overall, I am super grateful that I made the right decision to work with Sherry and SBC team. I am excited with the results and where I am today, and I realize that I could not achieve all this without the guidance and support from Sherry and SBC team. Highly recommend that you work with SBC too!
Joined: Jul 08, 2019
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Consultant Beth (SBC)
I applied to some of the top schools in 2018 for 2019 matriculation but didn't get invited to interview with any. I had a 3.8 undergrad GPA and 700 GMAT score (eventually earned a 760, but not in time for the 2018 applications). I thought that my statistics and job experience (5 years as an Engineer and Project Manager) were good enough to be competitive for the top schools, but that I needed to really shine in the application to have a shot.
I was INCREDIBLY skeptical about paying that much money for admissions consulting services, but I really wanted to get into a top MBA program. I justified the cost as follows: the difference in value of graduating with an M7 brand (OR a scholarship at a school outside of that range), is worth much more than the cost of the admissions consulting package. I used the same justification to take the GMAT several times and pay for tutoring, eventually earning a 760 on the test. Between the consulting services and the GMAT prep/tests, I spent around $10k, an absolutely insane amount.
I "interviewed" 3 of the consultants at SBC and chose to partner with Beth, largely because of her experience on the AdComm at Kellogg, my top choice program. Beth blew away my expectations and then some! She was incredibly organized, often starting new email threads when I tried to cram too many different topics into one thread, and always followed up multiple times to see how progress was going and if I would meet upcoming deadlines. She did a great job of pointing out places where my wording was weak, or where I didn't talk enough about my personal contributions to a project. I can't say enough positive things about my experience with Beth, and I HIGHLY recommend her as a partner if you plan to use consulting services.
I interviewed and was accepted by 3 of the 7 schools I applied to: Darden, Kellogg, and McCombs (rejected by Columbia, Harvard, Sloan, and Wharton). I was nominated for a 3rd party fellowship at Darden (full tuition plus stipend) and offered a 50% tuition scholarship at McCombs.
I can confidently say that my application package would not have been nearly as good without the guidance Beth provided. I realize in hindsight that my approach to my first round of applications in 2018 was all wrong, and I wasn't thinking like an AdComm member. I think that was one of the most insightful things I learned through the process: how to think like an AdComm member.
If you find yourself wondering whether to partner with an Admissions Consultant, I recommend asking yourself the following questions:
1) Do I REALLY know what the AdComm members are looking for?
2) Do I have the time and energy to do the research to understand what a strong application looks like?
3) Do I have a friend who is willing to review dozens of essay revisions, and is also a strong writer?
4) Is the benefit (getting into your dream program, earning a scholarship) worth the cost of the services?
Joined: Oct 26, 2017
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Consultant Sherry (SBC)
After talking to several admissions consultant (Personal MBA Coach, Veritas Prep, Aringo, Accepted), I decided to work with Stacy Blackman for my round 2 MBA applications due to the initial consulting session as well as the unbelievable online reviews it has in multiple respected sites. After my consultation with Bill Chionis, I asked if I could be matched up with Sherry Holland as she was a former member of the admissions team at one of my target schools.
From our very first phone call to all the other communications we had throughout the process, I just want to emphasize how great it was working with Sherry. She guided me through a step by step process on how to conquer the very stressful process of applying to business schools. Every question I had and everything I needed to know, she was always there to guide me. She knew what the admissions team will specifically look for and also advised me on what I can improve on before submitting my apps (GMAT & Quant Class). Sherry was very responsive and engaged and although I’m sure she was working with other clients at the same time, she really made it feel that my applications had her undivided attention. She was very supportive but also honest, and with this dynamic, we were able to create strong applications and a solid interview plan for all my target schools. I decided to go for the all-in-one package and without it, I can confidently say that I wouldn’t be where I am today. I can’t recommend it enough! With this package, not only did I get Sherry’s world class consulting, but I also received a flight test from Lisa Anderson (this is when I started to realize that that I had a great chance with my target schools) and all the invaluable resources that they provide to their clients (Wiki guide, school guides, interview preparation).
All in all, I applied to 5 top 15 schools, and was admitted to all of them. In addition, I received scholarship offers from all but one and equipped with that, Sherry was able to successfully help me negotiate my scholarship with my top school and increased my scholarship to 50%.
Thank you again to the whole SBC team, especially Sherry, for helping me achieve my goal of attending a top tier MBA program!
Joined: Apr 25, 2020
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Consultant Kimberly Ge
I had the pleasure of working with Kim from SBC on my business school application in 2019. I was accepted into my dream school Kellogg, with an amazingly generous scholarship and I could not have done it without Kim and the SBC team.
I decided to go for the all-in package for 4 schools and it was truly worth it. I had initial reservations for investing so much money into this endeavor, but the level of service I received was extraordinary. Months after the process, I still feel comfortable picking up the phone and chatting through decisions with Kim!
Over the course of a few months, my counselor took the time to get to know me, my story, my aspirations and helped me form a narrative to get it across to business schools in an effective manner. She was always easy to get a hold of, responsive, and gave very thoughtful feedback. She created a structure to my application process, gave me a lot of flexibility, and supported me through the rigorous and introspective experience.
I highly recommend SBC - the Test Drive feature was unique, the staff is made up of ex-admissions officers and so they know what they are talking about! My ONLY caveat would be - the marginal utility after paying for 5 schools diminishes. You can do the 6th school by yourself, or purchase an hourly package like I did!
Joined: Feb 21, 2020
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Consultant Beth (SBC)
TLDR; I am attending Harvard Business School this fall, and couldn’t haven’t done it without SBC & Beth! I applied to 6 schools in total, and received acceptances to 5: HBS, Wharton (scholarship), Booth (scholarship), Columbia, NYU Stern and waitlisted at Kellogg.
For some context - after tirelessly studying for the GMAT for 1.5yrs, I couldn’t get my score above 680. I ended up switching to the GRE and got a 319 (164Q, 155V), which is pretty mediocre for the schools I was applying to. I also came from a Tier 2 consulting firm, and am Asian American, so I knew that my story would be super duper important to help me with my below avg stats. Thus, I knew an MBA consultant was important to help me with tell my story – I spoke to 3 firms: 1) SBC, 2) Menlo Coaching and 3) a smaller boutique consulting firm.
First, I spoke to Menlo Coaching and they basically told me in a nicer way that my scores were not good enough to get into the schools that I wanted, and that I should try retaking and apply a year later. I had already taken the GMAT 7 times and GRE 3 times, expressed that I think I hit a ceiling, but I got the sense that they didn’t really believe in me simply because of my scores. On top of that, they didn’t list their prices on their website, which I thought was strange. My friend spoke to them and they quoted her $20k for a package, and I wasn’t comfortable with that price considering that they gave the vibe off that they didn’t even want me as a client because of my scores.
Next, I spoke to a boutique consulting firm, and while they were very nice, I didn’t get the sense that they had the resources or array of experience as a larger consulting firm. They did seem to believe in my story, but since it was only a 2 person shop, I wanted to talk to 1-2 more firms before making a decision.
I then spoke to Sarah Tsai at SBC and raised my concern about my scores. To this day I remember her saying “Don’t underestimate the power of a good story” – telling me that they have gotten people in with all types of scores and that my biggest challenge would be writing a story to differentiate me from fellow management consultants. She gave me two consultant options, and I ended up choosing Beth because her reviews were unique in that people talked about how much she went above and beyond, and also truly cared/believed in her people. This resonated with me and I can 100% attest to these attributes.
Beth from the beginning was AMAZING!! I literally cannot put into words of how great and instrumental of a partner she was throughout this emotional journey. I honestly don’t think I would have gotten into Harvard Business School without Beth’s help, because frankly I was happy to even get into one of the M7. But to get into 5 out of 6 schools is really a testament to SBC/Beth’s help as a partner.
+ Beth goes above and beyond in how meticulous and detail-oriented she is; I believe we went through 10 revisions for some of the school’s essays, and she made sure that every word and detail, whether it was in the essay or app was flawless
+ Beth is very knowledgeable of certain school nuances, and would tell me if there were certain things I should be aware of (for ex, she told me that Columbia really cares about interest in the school and suggested that I connect with students/visit. I immediately took PTO that month and went to visit the school, which was instrumental to talk about during my app/interview)
+Beth was VERY strong at looking at my holistic story across my essays and apps; many times, she would help take a step back and make sure that my essays and apps made sense together, and would suggest edits to places that needed more meat or didn’t tie coherently
+Beth helped instill a confidence in me that I honestly didn’t know existed. There were many times when I almost had an emotional breakdown and I literally said “I can’t apply to this school because I have no idea what to write for this essay” and she would bring up things that I didn’t even think about. She would always encourage me to "toot my own horn" in certain parts of my app and make sure that I presented my true self in my essays. Even throughout interviews and school visits, she was always cheering me on, and I think her support and excitement really helped me gain the confidence while I was interviewing
A very long review – but I just wanted to really give a huge shout out to SBC and Beth for all of their great work. I’m so pumped to be starting school this fall and I couldn’t have done it without them!
Joined: Apr 19, 2020
Consultant Alex - SBC
When you are looking for an MBA consulting firm, you want one that has a reputation which draws on the caliber of its consultants and has the expertise and experience across the schools that you are interested to apply to.
SBC demonstrated that from the beginning for me. Just speaking with Sarah for thirty minutes, she was able to provide insights and bring her expertise to bear on my application. SBC also stood out from other firms in that they cater to candidates coming in from every stage of the application process. In my case, they were willing to partner and go "all-in" with me even though I had only three weeks remaining for the R2 deadlines.
I worked with Alex L as my SBC consultant and I could not have asked for a better MBA consultant. Alex is one of the most professional individuals I have the pleasure of working with over my 12-year career. He was personally invested through the whole process and brought his considerable skills and expertise in each step of the application. His partnership helped to showcase my accomplishments and my personal story to its fullest. Even then, just by working with him, I was able to improve on my personal communication skills and bring that back to how I communicate at work and at a personal level.
Alex was a partner whom I could completely trust and rely on throughout the application process. He was responsive and would usually reply within a few hours. He worked with me on the deadlines and was available whenever I needed him. He added a personal touch as well, checking in on me and my recovery when I fell sick during the application process. Thinking back, I’m just floored by the level of effort and passion he brought in every stage of the application. Based on his dedication, I know it is not just a job to him, but a role where he is personally invested to help you achieve your goals. Alex is someone whom I am honored to partner with and hope to continue a friendship with even after my application process.
I applied to the Stanford GSB MSx program and it was a moonshot for me given how challenging it is to enter the program and how I had only three weeks to prepare the application, obtain letters of recommendations and study for the GRE. Yet, with Alex's help, I was able to overcome all these and obtain an admissions offer from the Stanford GSB. Thank you, Alex!