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Stacy Blackman Consulting
Net Promoter Score: 10
Amy received her MBA from UCLA – The Anderson School (top 10% of her class) and her BS in Accounting from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Amy was a part of the admissions committee for the Fully Employed MBA program at UCLA – The Anderson School for four years. In that capacity she evaluated more than 300 applications for the program. In addition to her MBA admissions consulting work Amy has also worked as the Assistant Vice President of Development for Raleigh Enterprises, a privately held real estate development and management company. In that role she served as Director of Finance and Marketing for the Wine Division. Amy also has international experience, having worked abroad for two years in a management development program for a natural resources company.
Since 2001, Stacy Blackman Consulting clients have been admitted to every top business school worldwide, often with merit scholarships. Stacy Blackman Consulting (SBC) delivers results, as shown through its record of the highest number of online reviews across multiple MBA admissions ranking and review sites. Our online track record includes #1 on MBAinsight, BeattheGMAT, ClearAdmit, and #1 out of 11 firms for our team caliber by PoetsandQuants.
We begin with meticulous matchmaking before we begin an engagement or accept payment. We recommend a primary consultant only after evaluating your candidacy strength and differentiating qualities; we respect your investment and the trust you place in us. We offer a high-touch, limited client-per-consultant experience.
Contact us to request a free MBA advising session with an SBC Principal. Just give us 15 minutes.
SBC is the only consulting firm in the industry who has on our team a complete panel of former MBA Admissions Officers from the top US programs and European programs. No other firm has this complete talent. 75% of our MBA consultant team hails from the top seven US MBA programs as MBA graduates and/or former MBA Admissions Officers, including from Harvard and Stanford. The SBC team has MBA expertise at every top school, has graduated from elite MBA programs and understands career paths in every industry, traditional and non-traditional.
Over 1/4 of SBC’s consultant panel is of minority background, and SBC has five consultants who identify as and specialize in LGBTQ+ applicants. This reflects the company’s mission to further diversity in the MBA applicant pool. No other established MBA admissions firm has a team that is as diverse.
We know what’s going on, and we know it first. We have former Admissions Officers (AdCom) from every top MBA program who are informing us of the current internal program priorities, best practices, unusual dilemmas, successful essay strategies, and interview standards. We have tremendous insight as to what is currently keeping the AdCom up at night and what values they are looking for from their current students.
As one SBC client explained, “What really sets the SBC team apart, however, is the breadth and depth of knowledge; any time that my consultant and I were wondering how to approach a school’s application better, there were numerous former admissions officers from those schools that we could draw on.” Another client said, “I appreciated how the team uses all their former AdCom members to make sure you feel like you’ve put your best foot forward in the application process.”
The SBC System™ has eight core modules and is the most robust of all firms.
SBC offers unlimited time with a carefully selected primary consultant, who will be dedicated to understanding you authentically, creating a winning strategy, and defining your unique story for each school. Your primary consultant will be your creative and strategic guide, helping you to create materials that are provocative, informative, school-specific and ultimately effective in resonating with each of your target MBA programs.
Your primary consultant will engage in multiple iterations of brainstorming, development, outlining, and applied review across all MBA application touchpoints—resume, online application form, recommender letters, essays, short answers and more –to eliminate blindspots and optimize every detail so that your story shines and reflects deep knowledge of each of the MBA programs.
SBC also believes in checks and balances, as it has the Flight Test™ which is a complete review by a former AdCom. This structured feedback from a former AdCom mimics a real AdCom review and helps to ensure that a candidate’s application is most compelling to the target audience.
We also include free access to THE VAULT, SBC’s Resource Center with over two decades of sample essays, recommendations, resumes, school overviews, interview transcripts and more. A recent client shared, “The large SBC database was priceless, especially when understanding the differences between schools and when preparing for interviews.”
GET STARTED WITH SBC
SBC deeply values mentorship within its client engagements and limits the number of clients for each consultant. We engage with clients only after evaluating candidacy nuances and deciding that we could be successful together.
Our matchmaking process includes criteria such as track record with target schools, proficiency with your career path, demographics, interests and character qualities, and the consultant’s availability at the time you’re interested in engaging. You’ll be matched with a primary consultant who believes in your candidacy and who is truly excited to work with you. Some of our consultants have a sweet spot for non-traditional applicants while others excel with engineers. Just like you, our consultants’ backgrounds and perspectives are varied.
SBC offers a limited number of complimentary phone or email-based consultations weekly for inquiries who have been pre-screened by our tenured team.
Contact us today to request a free MBA advising session with an SBC Principal.
The SBC All-In Service
A FORMER HBS ADMISSIONS OFFICER ON OUR SBC TEAM SHARED THAT MBA ADMISSIONS LOVE A GREAT STORY AND CLARIFIED:
“I believe it’s true that all people, and therefore all MBA admissions boards, love a great story. It’s a way to bring life to your application and show the realness of who you are during what can be a dry process.”
The majority of our clients select our All-In package because they recognize that the competitive admissions process requires an application set that is stellar and strategic on all levels. SBC’s “All-In” engagement includes:
Personal Assessment & Critical Reflection. Your primary consultant will work to understand you through deeply-probing questions that reveal your authentic dimensions.
Your consultant will dig into the who, what, how and why that forms your story through our 360° Personal Orbit™. You will explore the key MBA acceptance triggers that will be central to crafting your personal story.
We will evaluate your school preferences and criteria and develop a school list according to reach, reasonable, or safer program choices that ensures you apply to programs that you’ll love attending.
We will cover career path guidance–selecting and optimizing your career goals to ensure they are ambitious, purposeful, and attainable– and also recommendation letter(s) guidance to support your story and reinforce your aptitude and potential.
You will receive a complete MBA Application Strategy written summary including your value proposition and career path evaluation, as well as deliverables and tasks with an Attack Plan & Timeline.
One AdCom Flight Test™ as described by a recent client: “After I had gotten the applications to a near-finished state, we shared my application with my flight tester, who was a former MBA admissions officer, to offer a fresh perspective of my entire package. This review was unique and insightful because the reviewer reviews the file in the same way as an admissions officer. The Flight Test ™ provides insight into how the application stands up under the realistic, unbiased scrutiny of an AdCom member versus intensely in the details as your admission’s consultant.”
Up to three formats of interview coaching. Post-application consultation to work through issues such as interviews, waitlist and deferral strategy and school selection.
Hourly First Services
Start with 2-3 hours for the initial strategy work a la carte to test the waters, and you can then roll up into the purchase of an All-In package.
Hourly services can include any or all of the below:
Initial Strategic Planning
Background Assessment & School Selection
Recommendation Counseling – selection, prep, review
Essay Review – one draft of set of essays
Waitlist Strategy & Communications
10=Without Hesitation, 1=I would advise against it.
Select "N/A" if you are a career coaching client only.
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Amy was the consummate professional right from the beginning. My biggest regret is not working with her sooner. Every single interaction I had with her was overwhelmingly positive, even when she was delivering candid feedback on my application. After just one phone call she could tell the type of applicant I was, and was very flexible in focusing on the areas that we both agreed would make the most impact as a re-applicant. She was generous with her time and always responded in a timely manner, especially as we approached various application deadlines. While my only goal was starting a FTMBA program in 2023 coming into it, I am starting at one of my top choices in just a few weeks with some scholarship money that I never expected to receive. What I appreciated most was her candor in setting expectations on my chances with each program I was applying to from the beginning, but not letting that deter us either. I had a weak GPA, and Amy made sure we were able to overcome that and now I’m eagerly waiting to get started in my program soon!
The primary hurdle I faced in my candidacy was a very low undergraduate GPA (<2.5). Furthermore, I had no close contacts who attended graduate school at all, let alone an MBA program. Lastly, I was a reapplicant who faced a previous denial after an interview.
Amy not only gave me a detailed game plan to overcome the weaknesses in my candidacy, but she also guided me through the rest of the application process and answered all of my many many questions for her. She always had time to talk with me about my concerns and I always felt that I was in the hands of an expert. When it came time to prepare for my interview, I had no idea where to even begin, but Amy helped me to prepare for all of the potential questions I could face, as well as how to sell myself as a candidate.
Call me a pessimist, but before we began working together, my initial plan was to work with Amy on my number 1 school and then if/when denied, I would use the materials we made together for any other schools on my list for a later round of applications. Ultimately, I was not only accepted to my #1 but I also received a Fellowship!
From a technical standpoint, there is no doubt in my mind that Amy has the skills that can help you achieve your MBA application goals, but perhaps just as important as that, Amy actually cares about your success. Even when I was struggling with what felt like insurmountable odds, Amy was always rooting for me and I truly felt like she was just as hopeful for my success as I was. Her genuine words of encouragement kept my morale up throughout the process and went a long way toward making our partnership feel more than simply transactional.
Amy absolutely blew my expectations out of the water! If you need anything from a simple essay review to full start-to-finish application assistance and interview preparation, Amy is the professional for you!
Amy is truly the best – she held my hand through the whole process and landed me admittance into two top programs! I came to Amy in need of a ton of guidance. I wasn’t sure which schools or programs would the best fit for me. Right out of the gate it was clear that Amy really cares about her clients. Amy took the time over numerous calls to get to know me personally and professionally, which uniquely enabled her to point me in the right direction and together were able to craft the best possible application. We landed on Exec. MBA programs – it was the right fit professionally, but admittance would be a challenge as I’m on the younger side (or even below the minimum requirement). Amy was super helpful in building an application that conveyed my story and why I was a great fit to the admissions teams of my target schools. The results speak for themselves, I was admitted to two top programs and couldn’t be happier! I wouldn’t have been able to get there without Amy’s commitment to understanding me personally and her informed perspective having worked in MBA admissions previously.
I really enjoyed SBC’s process and the rest of the staff. Esther does a great job selecting the consultant that will be the best fit. The practice they build in was great – I got to run through the whole application process before actually applying through mock interviews and an application flight test. Amy and SBC are fantastic. I highly recommend!
Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin. I’m still in shock of my admit to my top choice program, UC Berkeley EWMBA! My story is unique — I have a very low undergrad GPA and thought I would never stand a chance.
Once I mustered up enough courage to give part time b-school applications a try, I called SBC. I was connected to Sarah who gave me very honest and valuable advice. I took her advice to heart and started working on my weaknesses right away. Sarah matched me with Amy as my consultant and she was such a great fit from the start.
Amy was so kind, supportive, and always gave me the reassurance I needed that my dreams of attending a top MBA program were possible with hard work and dedication. That was exactly what I needed whenever my doubts crept up in my head (and they crept up very often!). She encouraged me to take extra classes to combat my low GPA and to try the GRE instead of the GMAT. Her advice and feedback were so incredibly valuable and helpful. I was able to take 4 extra extension classes and do well on the GRE, especially the quant section.
It amazes me how much progress I made with Amy when I reflect back on the process and where I started from. I’m incredibly proud of the application we were able to put together and Amy really helped me put a cohesive story together. She was able to tie in elements from my culture, my short term and long term goals, and my explanation for the low GPA into one cohesive application that also highlighted Haas’ defining leadership principles.
Additionally, the flight test option that was included in my all-inclusive school package was also critical for me. Beth, who is a former Admissions officer at Kellogg, completed my flight test and provided great feedback for me to implement during my interview. It was also mentally reassuring to have that flight test be your one last check before submitting your application.
All in all, I 100% recommend Amy and the rest of the team at SBC! If you have a big weakness in your profile, please don’t give up before you try. I’m so glad I pushed through the uncertainty and doubt. I could not be more excited to be attending Haas this year.
Amy was amazing to work with, and I’m super happy with my outcome. I was accepted to a top MBA program (my first choice) with over half my tuition covered by scholarship. Amy really got to know me and understood my background. She helped me whip my resume into tip top shape and clarified my post MBA goals. She also did interview prep, which made me feel relaxed and confident.
Even though I attended an Ivy League school for undergrad, my GPA and GMAT left something to be desired. Amy helped me offset this by pushing me to highlight my work experience to best position myself as an applicant and offering insightful feedback on my essay.
I appreciated Amy’s honesty, thoughtfulness, and responsiveness. She was an invaluable resource, and I felt much less stressed since I could ask her questions about the application process. I would definitely recommend working with Amy!
Coming across Stacy Blackman’s Youtube videos on effective MBA application strategy, being captivated and deciding to hire them, and working with Amy Bergrud have drastically changed the course of my life for the better. As I write this, I will be an Incoming MBA Candidate at The Robert H. Smith School of Business at University of Maryland. I owe this once in a lifetime opportunity due to working with Amy.
Hiring Stacy Blackman Consulting and working with Amy was the best investment I ever made. My goal was attending graduate school in 2021, but due to Covid-19, I was forced to reprioritize my goals and apply to graduate schools at the last minute. To make matters worse, I did not have a stellar undergraduate GPA (2.75) and had to provide reassurance to the Admissions Committee by submitting an additional essay that my undergraduate academic performance will not be repeated.
Amy listened to my overall experience, shared challenges we needed to address and was able to provide a clear roadmap to strengthen my candidacy. She transformed my resume, MBA Professional and GPA Explanation Essays by revising these materials ensuring my background and story aligned to the MBA program’s mission. Additionally, we conducted rigorous mock interviews where she provided instantaneous feedback to make sure I aced the interview with the Admissions Counselor. With our hard work, I felt confident being the strongest MBA candidate possible, proceeded with the application process, and performed flawlessly in the interview. While implementing Amy’s feedback strengthened my application, Amy truly elevated my candidacy by encouraging and coaching me to be vulnerable and authentic to the Admissions Committee.
Upon receiving the official acceptance email, Amy was one of the first few individuals I wanted to share the great news. I remember calling Amy teary-eyed and emotional telling her how thankful I am in having her as my MBA Consultant and achieving our goal. It was a special moment for both of us and I felt Amy really cared about me not only as a client but as a human being as well. I am forever grateful to Amy and would recommend her services anyone seeking an MBA Consultant at the top of their craft and dedication to see her clients succeed.
Amy was an amazing resource for me during my application process. She went above and beyond to understand my story, and my post-MBA goals to present myself in the best way possible. I had a lot of ideas spinning in my head, and she helped me distill them to one or two overarching ideas to tell a clear, succinct, and impressive story. I not only got into my top target school but I was also awarded a scholarship. Her industry knowledge, and experience not only as a former admissions staff but also as a former MBA student, was incredibly helpful. She was genuinely engaged in my journey, and it showed during her time advising me, leading to an incredibly successful application!
I worked with Amy from SBC for all of my Round 1 B School Applications. Amy’s proactive process and working sessions helped me tremendously throughout the process. Amy and I started working together 2 months before the applications were due. This proactive timeline really set the foundation for my successful applications. We spent the first month of our time together defining my MBA story and perfecting my resume. Not only did these help my applications themselves but this time spent on refining my professional identity was irreplaceable during my interviews. As I was in the middle 80% of test scores and on the lower end of GPAs for top 20 programs, Amy partnered with me to make sure I stood out in my essays and interviews. We spent many virtual sessions unpacking significant events in my life and perfecting drafts of essays to ensure I was putting my voice and experience into each essay and interview.
After the deadlines, I was admitted to 2 of 3 of my first round schools and was waitlisted at my top choice. Amy guided me through the best ways to stand out and show the AdCom that I was extremely passionate about this top choice. After 2 months on the waitlist and many updates sent to the AdCom, I was accepted in early Round 2 to my top choice.
Amy was the ultimate professional. From the start, she took time to understand me, my background, my goals, and my why. You really get a sense throughout the process that she genuinely cares about you. From there, she planned efficiently and strategically to highlight your strengths, compensate your weaknesses, and most importantly help you craft your perfect story. I was an applicant with a below average undergraduate GPA and GMAT score for the schools I wanted, but Amy positioned me to be competitive among other strong applicants and eventually helped me get into the school I wanted. Amy is extremely approachable, and she keeps you accountable throughout the long process.
Amy helped me with my essays and interviews to get into one of my dream schools. Given my less than stellar undergraduate GPA, Amy helped me position myself by highlighting my work and life experiences in the essays to stand out. The one trait that makes Amy a really good consultant is that she is takes the time to really understand your goals and personality which she then uses to bring out and highlight as selling points in your essays. Thx Amy for helping me secure admission to one of the top 10 Part-Time programs.
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