Comprehensive Service Reviews
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    Average Rating:       (4.9/5)
Stacy Blackman

SBC has a unique and systematic process that provides clients with several layers of support, draws on extensive resources and ultimately, leaves no stone unturned in helping to craft winning application packages.

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December 23 | 2013
5 out of 5 people found the following review helpful
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     By Anonymous 35 18
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Yes - got into all

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bill@StacyBlackman for all his advice and guidance he provided during the application process which was invaluable and instrumental to my Kellogg’s admission.

I intuitively felt the connection right after the free consultation. Bill was in fact the deciding factor for me to go with Stacy Blackman Consulting (SBC). Bill was honest with me. As mentioned by one of the previous applicants I couldn’t agree more -- “Bill was indeed a saint”. Bill not only was calm but also made me feel relaxed especially when I was getting ahead of myself.

Bill's approach towards the application process was methodical, thorough, prudent and he was extremely patient. Bill was very prompt responding to all my emails irrespective of the time, day or the week. Besides being prompt, his responses were very clear. The most important thing for me was he believed in me.Without any doubt Bill is invaluable asset SBC can have.

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Stacy Blackman Review
February 18 | 2014
5 out of 5 people found the following review helpful
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     By Anonymous 4 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Yes - school of my dreams

I am an international applicant, an older candidate and a re-applicant. Though I had a decent academic profile and GMAT score, I was unable to secure admission in my initial attempts. I was desperate and had decided that this was going to be my last attempt at Full time programs.
I decided to look for a consultant, and decipher what it was I was doing wrong. After contacting a few firms, I liked SB for their prompt and detailed response. I also had a talk with Margaret, who was my primary consultant, and felt happy to work with her. She is encouraging and straight-forward. I also liked the fact that SB and Margaret have been working in this field for a number of years, so there was some history there. I had a clear idea of the schools that I wanted to apply to, in light of my interests and age and we started from there.
I had some basic ideas for the essays which we used, but our discussions really helped emphasize the human side of my stories. We also worked on my resume, and I think we went up to 8 or 9 drafts, before it got b-school ready. All of this was really helpful, because I was able to portray a complete picture of myself.
Working with her also ensured that I was completing everything way before the deadlines. This gave me sufficient time for school research and filling out the actual electronic application, things I had neglected previously. Overall, I was very happy with the quality of my applications, and was also quite prepared for my school visits and interviews.
Of the 4 schools I applied to, I got into 2, including my top choice. I will be joining an M7 program this year, and am very happy with the outcome.
Ultimately, a consultant cannot help you gain experience. You have to do it yourself, and depending upon your candidate profile, be realistic about where you should apply. But if you have done that properly, Margaret and SB can definitely ensure that your candidacy is highlighted in the best possible manner and make sure that all parts of your application package are perfectly developed so that your application is in the best shape it can be. My only regret, I should have worked with them earlier.

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Right choice!
August 13 | 2017
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     By mg2 0 0

I want to thank Amy/SBC for helping me get into one of the top B Schools. I was bit hesitant about the price tag at first but going for full comprehensive package was indeed the right choice. I applied to 3 schools and got interview calls from ALL of them.

Amy has great listening skills and exceptional ability to bring out the best in people. I am amazed by the commitment and thoughtful approach which Amy brought forward - she ensured to strengthen the underlying story by asking insightful questions. She maintained confidence in my profile & partnered wholeheartedly to give the best shot despite time constraints. Moreover, her advice was not limited to essays but to MBA journey & beyond..

Eventually the efforts paid off :) THANK YOU Amy/SBC!!

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Great investment!
August 02 | 2017
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     By KNYC 0 5

I was referred to Stacy Blackman Consulting by a friend who was also going through the MBA application process. I was coming from a non-traditional background for business school and I didn’t have a lot of resources to help guide me through the process and was feeling overwhelmed and lost.

I was matched with Erika and from our very first call I knew that she would be the mentor and support system that I needed to go through this process. She was able to boil down the daunting amount of work ahead and give me insight into the most important things to work on and in what order. Erika’s brainstorming exercises helped me define by short and long-term goals, choose the strengths that I wanted to emphasize, and identify the weaknesses that I needed to explore. She helped me pull my story together cohesively and gave me important feedback that was honest and supportive. Erika was always very quick to respond and her notes on my essays were comprehensive. We primarily communicated via email, but she also made herself available to conduct a mock phone interview before my first interview which was extraordinarily helpful.

Another resource that Stacy Blackman offers that was invaluable is the video platform to practice and review interview responses for each school. Using that program made me more comfortable for Skype interviews and video essays that some schools require. The Flight Test gave me the perspective of a fresh set of eyes on my application and caught a few details that I otherwise would have missed.

I ended up getting into a top 5 school with a large scholarship, and could not be more excited! When I look back, I can’t imagine going through this process without Erika.

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Fantastic service
July 16 | 2017
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     By kbarlow06 0 0
Consultant: Beth

I signed up for Stacy Blackman and the service was exceptional. Beth Tidmarsh was always available, helpful and provided meaningful and useful feedback. In the end, I was able to get offers from all of the schools I had applied for. I would highly recommend the services.
The improvements on my resume, essays and pitch were all substantial and I do not believe that I would have had the success I had without their assistance.
I have said it already but the professionalism of the service was bar none and Beth adapted the process to meet my needs and requirements while also adjusting to my unique prior work experiences and credentials.

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     By titanlawi 0 5
Consultant: Beth

Like many MBA applicants, I didn't have a lot of free time to spend on my application so I needed someone that was going to be straight forward and help me to address some of my application concerns (atypical work background, poor law school performance). I did my due diligence and contacted several different consulting firms to see which I felt most comfortable with. SBC felt to me to be the most aligned with my needs.
I was paired with Beth and she was outstanding! She was direct about my opportunities within my application and very helpful in assisting me to craft my story in a way that tied my background together very well. By the end I felt very comfortable with my application, and after our conversations the interview was a breeze and I'm happy to say that I was accepted to my top choice.

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     By dcn37 0 0

I can't say that I "enjoyed" the process, but Erika was an incredible resource throughout my MBA application process and I'm very happy with how my applications and admissions decisions turned out.

I hired SBC only about two months before the application deadlines, so I was very concerned that I wouldn't have time to get out high quality applications while still fulfilling my responsibilities at work.

Erika guided me through the whole process. We started with an initial kick off phone call and extensive 'about me' survey and then worked on drafting the essays and application fields.

For each, we’d iterate on an outline and then she would review and mark up my drafts. Some were really easy to get done and some took a lot of turns. Regardless, it felt like Erika was willing to stick with me through as many rounds of edits as it took.

There were a few key advantages of using Erika at SBC:
Quality of Writing - She is very skilled at projecting your authentic voice, but framing your story in a way that is much more concise and refined than you possibly sound in real life

Experience with the Applications - Erika knows what works and what doesn’t. She shot down many of my bad essay ideas along the way and shaped my overall applicant story into a compelling narrative

Speed - Working with Erika, you can churn out an essay per week, which is much faster than you could ever do on your own.

Overall, I was very happy with my experience working with Erika at SBC. She definitely won’t write the essays for you, but if you’re willing to put in the effort and work with her, you’ll be impressed with the results.

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     By carlataylor 0 0

I only applied to HBS and Stanford with a plan to reapply to a bigger group of schools if I did not get in anywhere. I drafted both applications on my own and was ready to submit in round 1. I shared my essays with an older colleague at my firm who had graduated from the GSB. He did not approve but didn’t have time to really guide me. He also was not sure exactly how to help me – he just strongly felt they were not ready, and he suggested I work with a consulting firm. So I researched firms and eventually hired Stacy Blackman for just two hours, thinking that they would review and quickly edit. After my consultant reviewed my essays he basically explained that the essays were well written and might get an “A” in an English class, but did not have the content that a top MBA program was looking for. I truly connected with my consultant, Margaret, and I took a leap of faith. I upgraded to a 2 school package and postponed to Round 2. We started from scratch brainstorming and completely redid the essays. The final product was something that I was so proud of and that I never could have done on my own. Margaret had incredible insight into what an adcomm looks for and how to take my experiences and present them in an interesting way. I AM GOING TO HBS!!! Thank you SBC. Thank you Margaret. It was a rewarding journey, I learned so much about myself and could not be happier with the investment and the results.

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Not recommended
June 15 | 2017
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     By Willemk 0 0

I purchased a one-school All-in Package and was assigned to Paul as my consultant. The overall process was highly unstructured and is not at all similar to what was described in the advertising slides.

For instance, I was hoping to gain some insights from the 'Application Strategy Document' which supposed to point out my key strengths and weaknesses after our initial chat and background review. I needed to remind Paul for this and, when he sent it, the material turned out to be generic and not at all insightful. Moreover, about half of the template was not filled at all.

To be fair, Paul suggestion on the essay does help improve it. However, his communication style is extremely brief and did not spend time to expand on his thinking or help me understand the thinking of schools' admission team. I did not get a sense that he is dedicated to helping me get in.

I was able to compare SBC service with the feedback I received from others and improvements to my application I can achieve just by reading books and online material, and came to the above conclusion. Comparing to the improvements on my application, the money was not at all well spent at SBC.

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     By khush012345 0 0

I would like to give my two cents on the comprehensive package services by Stacy Blackman. I had the opportunity to work with Erika Olson as my consultant. I had signed up for a comprehensive package for two universities.

Let me give a brief background about myself. At the time of my application, I was working as a Performance Manager with Schlumberger Middle East SA. I was based out of Abu Dhabi. Prior to Abu Dhabi, I had worked in oil fields in Iraq for a year and a half. Being a female employee and working in geographically unstable locations such as Iraq in a male dominant industry such as Oil and Gas, might sound a fantastic outline for an essay for a B-School. Unfortunately, it is not. It is quite stereotypical to assume that and to be honest a bit cliche.

Yes, there are a lot of factors that the admission committee looks into prior to shortlisting you for an interview. Erika played a very big role in helping me to understand my strengths and making sure my profile stands out; she ensured my essays clearly highlight who I am, my traits and my qualities that I bring to the table. Some people work well with people who are very strategic and organized in their approach. If you are one of such person, then Erika can definitely help you bring out the best in you in your essays.

Having said that, I also strongly believe that while your consultant can help you bring out your strengths in your stories, it is important to sometimes stick to your gut feelings.

While working on my Essays with Erika, after 10 extensive and grueling versions of my essays I changed the approach of the story completely. I felt that even after 10 versions something was not clicking. That is when you expect your consultant to be patient and open to your point of view in spite of the long hours spent by her on your essays, fixing the minor details and the tone. This is exactly what I got from Erika. Although Erika disagreed with me on few things, she respected the fact that this was my essay in the end and I should feel comfortable while telling my stories.

Erika helped me with the comprehensive package for 2 universities - Kellogg and Haas. With the help of these 2 essays, I ended up applying to 7 universities and got an invite for the interview from 6 of them. I decided to work on my Harvard Business School Interview with Erika. Given her years of experience and expertise on this subject, she clearly knew what sort of questions to expect and prepared me well for the interview. I still remember her comment at the end of my mock interview - 'You are a rockstar and I am sure you'll do well'. Needless to say, I am joining HBS, my dream college this fall.

I am very thankful to Erika for her constant support and her confidence in me. This tiresome journey of getting through my dream B-School would not have been possible without her.

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