|All Reviews > Stacy Blackman Consulting > MBA Admissions Hourly Services 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: 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: Jan 30, 2016
Consultant Margaret (SBC)
I talked to other admission consultants and I had a feeling it was about the money in the end. I had a different feeling when I talked to Esther Magna. She listened carefully to my needs, talked to the consultant, and gave me the response based on what they can do for me.
I had an amazing experience working with Margaret Strother. My deadline was 6 days away because I spent weeks trying to overcome anxiety and start writing my essays. She provided step-by-step instructions and made the process very easy. She went beyond to help me meet the deadline, prioritizing my emails to decrease response time and responding within hour even when she was off desk.
As I could afford only 5 hours of consulting, she was kind enough to help me with 2 SOPs for Master of Science program, and also gave recommendations to improve my CV. As a result, I completed two 500 word SOPs in 5 days when I spent weeks forcing myself to write something.
She also gave detailed feedback and further suggestions to improve my essays that already looked good. Her guidance helped to make this process as smooth as possible.
Working with Margaret was a pleasure – it was a genuine desire to help me as a fellow human being. Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and I am very happy that I had a chance to work with SBC.
Thank you, SBC team!
Joined: Mar 24, 2019
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When I engaged SBC, I had already completed the majority of my application and wanted someone with admissions experience to review my materials and overall strategy. I was paired with Anthony (former Wharton admissions), and throughout our time working together he was able to provide helpful tips and unique, additive insights that helped me get comfortable ahead of my final application submission. I was wary about the cost of the service, but Anthony did a great job of managing our time together and getting the most out of every minute. I was ultimately admitted to Wharton and would highly recommend working with Anthony to anyone who wants an insider's perspective on their application process.
Joined: Mar 01, 2019
Consultant Joey (SBC)
After negative experiences working with an independent consultant on the first draft of my application, I reached out to Stacy Blackman for advice. I was confident in my work experience, GPA, recommenders, and community involvement; however, I knew that my below average test scores and over-represented background would require a standout application. I was receiving cookie-cutter advice, and I started to panic.
Instead of trying to mold my application into a predictable form that 'works best,' we worked together to create an application that was wholly authentic, pithy, and creative. In particular, Joey helped me overhaul the chronology of my essay, exposing redundancies and intricate language in the process, and making my anecdotes and messages more impactful. Joey's blunt, yet humorous, approach was refreshing, and as a former MBA student at HBS, he provided me with an added layer of first-hand insight. Joey also went above and beyond by accommodating my condensed timeline via quick turnarounds, and made himself available over phone and email on very short notice. Joey was an integral part of my HBS application success, and I sincerely recommend him for application consulting!
Joined: Dec 16, 2018
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Consultant Christine (SBC)
I am extremely satisfied with the services offered by SBC and namely, my consultant Christine Hawkins, who did an amazing job helping me craft my story.
I had devoted a considerable amount of time preparing for the GMAT and researching schools, however due to some personal issues, I found myself with very little time (less than a month) to work on the applications of two highly selective schools. After doing a thorough research, I decided to approach SBC for support and I quickly realized that I had made the right decision.
Christine promptly managed to get to know my strengths/weaknesses and my story as a whole. Together, we laid out a strategy (which included guidance on the resume, essays, interviews and other crucial factors) that eventually led to two well-rounded applications that perfectly demonstrated my appeal as an MBA prospect to the adcom. Throughout the application process, Christine was very responsive and approachable, providing constructive feedback on various aspects of my application that helped me refine and systematize my seemingly "rugged" story.
In the end, I got admitted to both of the schools I applied to, with about a 80% scholarship from my top choice. I could not have been happier with Christine and SBC and I highly recommend their services to anyone considering a top MBA!
Joined: Jan 02, 2019
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Consultant Carrie - SBC
To be honest, I was extremely hesitant about hiring an admissions consultant. It seemed like an expensive investment for services that had a somewhat high likelihood of not panning out successfully (what with low acceptance rates). That being said, I'm glad I decided to give it a shot and work with Stacy Blackman. Carrie was a fantastic resource and gave solid, actionable advice. She was prompt in her responses and got back to me within 24-48 hours whenever she reviewed my essays / resume. In addition to all of the help she provided, she was super friendly; once she found out that I was applying to her alma mater, she offered continuous support through the grad school process.
I would highly recommend Carrie for anyone looking to review their application with a focus on refining your theme or answering the question in an effective manor.
Joined: Dec 31, 2018
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Consultant Alex - SBC
For context, I'm coming from a technology background, have an average GPA from a good undergrad school, and decent test scores.
I started reaching out to various consulting services at the beginning of my application process (~late this past summer) in order to maximize any chance of getting into a top 10 MBA program. After reaching out to a few other companies w/ no response, I found SBC. Immediately after reaching out, I was able to set up a productive phone call with someone at SBC (Esther), who was able to clearly highlight the strengths & weaknesses in my application story and offer a few recommendations. I felt that conversation was honest, efficient, and helpful, so I committed to SBC. I chose the hourly option because I wanted to spread my effort out across multiple schools.
I was paired up with Alex, who went to GSB and had a similar background as I did. We spent the first couple of hours at a high level finding the "right" story for all of my applications - one that would both make holistic sense in the context of a MBA application and fit my interests/ambitions. From there, we went back and forth on revisions of my resume, essays, recommendation letters, etc...
Throughout this process, Alex was direct & honest with me while also encouraging me to offer constructive feedback to him. He was able to recognize strengths & weaknesses in my application (e.g. strong extracurriculars, weak essay writing style) and effectively communicate how to make up for those weaknesses. I believe he had unique insights which materially helped my application (e.g. talk about collegiate athletic career @ school X because they value that type of team-based experience) and which I would not/could not have recognized on my own. He was timely in all of his communications and was efficient, which helped to make the most of our hourly sessions. This helped ease any additional time pressure and allowed me to submit all of my applications ahead of the initial deadlines without sacrificing quality.
All in all, I would highly recommend working with SBC. Everything was just easy - finding the right consultant, making payments, communication, etc... - and I think that's important in this process. I would also highly recommend working with Alex. Whether or not I got into any schools, I believe working with Alex gave me the BEST possible opportunity to get into a school of my dreams. Fortunately for me, I did! I'll be attending CBS next year and am truly excited.
Joined: Mar 20, 2014
Consultant Bill (SBC)
I would highly recommend William(Bill) Chionis for his expertise in understanding and crafting essays and interview preparations for the Kellogg's EMBA program. Bill understands the program well and informed me of my probability of success up front. I was in touch with Bill for over 4 years before we submitted an application. This speaks volumes about how Stacy Blackman and Bill works. Bill stayed in touch with me through that time to help me develop my career and when it came time to submit an application, he guided my essays without eliminating my own voice. My essays were uniquely mine, but so much more polished and better in every way. The interview at the school felt like I had gone through it before when Bill took me through the interview questions beforehand. We rehearsed this twice and I breezed through the interview. I was ecstatic to get the call from my dream school and know that this would not have been possible without Bill and Stacy Blackman's excellent, customer focused way of operating. I highly recommend them and when my wife is ready to apply, we will enlist Stacy Blackman's support for sure! Thanks Stacy and thank you Bill. You guys rock!!
Joined: Jun 17, 2018
Consultant Amy (SBC)
I was very interested in several schools in California, including UCLA, where Amy was a former adcom. Her insight into the admissions process was invaluable, and I was not only accepted but offered a 50% scholarship. As a non-traditional applicant, I felt Amy’s advice was essential in helping me craft my story in a way that highlighted the positive aspects of my experiences.
I found Amy very responsive, she would review materials sent in even in the evenings/weekends and send feedback promptly, which is very helpful for someone working full time. Also critically important was her assistance on the interview process, we did numerous mock interviews and prepared for every question and scenario, but Amy also helped me understand the different schools philosophy on interviewing. Helping me understand what each school was really screening for made for a very successful interview process, with ¾ offers of admission and one waitlist from the schools where I interviewed.
Lastly, Amy was also a huge help on the resume, helping me translate technical information and industry jargon into a resume an adcom would resonate with. All in all, I was very satisfied and would highly recommend Amy and SBC as an admissions consultant!