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Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
Brand Management and Development
School Admissions or Administration
Stacy Blackman Consulting
Net Promoter Score: 9
Caryn received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and her BBA from the University of Michigan, with distinction.Before working as an MBA application advisor, Caryn worked as an Admissions Officer for Kellogg where she read and evaluated written applicant essays and recommended admission to Kellogg. She also conducted numerous applicant interviews assessing candidate fit and future potential at Kellogg and beyond. Preceding her time at Kellogg, Caryn was a Senior Marketing Manager for Gatorade, leading Gatorade’s efforts to a variety of consumer targets. Concurrently, she co-led all of the Kellogg recruiting efforts for the PepsiCo Chicago office. Prior to receiving her MBA, Caryn worked in corporate finance and public accounting as well as obtained her CPA certification.Outside of SBC, Caryn sits on the North Shore Medical Research Junior Board of Children’s Memorial Hospital and is active in volunteering in her children’s schools. An avid reader, Caryn also enjoys Pilates, yoga and playing tennis, as well as spending time with her two young children.Caryn has an exceptional success rate and is particularly good at helping clients define ambiguous career goals and develop a personal story. She has assisted clients with every top business school around the globe.
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
Illinois, United States
10=Without Hesitation, 1=I would advise against it.
Select "N/A" if you are a career coaching client only.
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I had the pleasure of working with Caryn during my application process. She was amazing from the start. I knew going into this that the M7 was going to be a long shot (it is for everyone, but given my on-paper stats in particular, I knew every single element needed to be absolutely perfect to give myself the best possible shot).
Caryn was always on top of ensuring that I kept all deadlines in mind – quite a challenge given multiple simultaneous apps along with full-time work. She would also tell things as they were (no sugarcoating!) because she knew I needed to hear them.
During the interview prep, Caryn was instrumental in guiding me through being comfortable with the interview in a digital setting and offering different strategies tailored to my personality.
Ultimately, I got accepted into my dream school (T3!!), which I would never have previously thought possible!
I could not have been matched with a better consultant! I highly recommend working with Caryn!!!
I had the absolute pleasure of working with Caryn Altman during my MBA application process. I did the all-in package, and Caryn seamlessly navigated me through the entire process of my school selection, essays, interviews, and decision day. I applied to 8 schools and received 7 interviews, with acceptances to top schools with generous scholarships. I now have the luxury of choosing between two M7 schools.
Caryn replies to emails promptly, is always there to lend either constructive criticism or her perspective, and truly keeps the client’s best interest at the forefront.
She is the guiding light throughout the chaotic application process and really understands what the adcomm boards are looking for in applicants. She’s been featured in numerous articles and podcasts and is always straightforward from the beginning of the process.
Esther, the person you will immediately meet upon coordinating with SBC, is extremely knowledgeable and matches client personalities and goals to the consultants’ backgrounds perfectly. She is very responsive and clear. My flight test point of contact, Beth, another consultant at SBC, was also very knowledgeable and helpful when providing a second opinion. Understanding how thorough SBC is and how structured their program is is ultimately what drew me to commit to their program, as well as knowing how well-versed the consultants are in the MBA world, as they are all former adcomm members.
I most definitely would not be in the incredible position I am in now without the help of SBC, and specifically, Caryn! 10/10 recommend their services– worth every penny!
10/10. I got the All-In package with Caryn Altman to tackle my list of target schools.
Caryn was absolutely fantastic to work with. She really understands the application process on a granular level and helped me execute a strategy that highlighted my profile’s best attributes. She was fantastic in identifying the spots of my application that were weak and really helped me focus on rethinking and improving those areas. Her wisdom and guidance, from essay editing to letter of recommendation support, were nothing short of stellar.
With Caryn’s support, I got accepted to Kellogg’s (MMM program) and Chicago Booth with a scholarship. I am extremely thankful and truly grateful for Caryn and the entire SBC team!!
I know it’s extremely difficult choosing among all the different MBA consultants, but candidly, I don’t think there’s a better person to support you than Caryn. She made the daunting application, truly seamless. I knew immediately that we were a good personality match and that she would be easy to work with; what I didn’t know was how sharp, thorough, and thoughtful she was on the end-to-end adcom process. As a generally disorganized person, she kept me motivated and on track. With her guidance and the SBC team, I was admitted to 4 top ten MBA programs with scholarships and a full ride.
After having initial screenings with several other consulting firms, I picked SBC and specifically wanted to work with Caryn – am incredibly glad I made that decision! I was admitted to 3 of my top choice M7 schools thanks to Caryn helping me differentiate myself despite being in an over-represented minority pool with a cookie-cutter background.
Right from the get go, Caryn was incredibly supportive and encouraging and invested time to truly understand my background and goals. She led me through the whole process seamlessly right from initial strategy discussions to school selection, essays, data form, and interviews – making sure I was bringing my best to each portion of the application. She brings tremendous experience and a deep understanding of how adcoms think and what they are looking for – which helps craft a compelling application. She is also very transparent and direct with reliably quick turnaround times of ~24 hours!
Looking back, I 100% made the right decision in working with Caryn and would highly recommend in a heartbeat!
I could not have imagined that applying to business school would have been fun! And super successful! I worked with Caryn on my MBA applications to HBS, MIT, CBS, and Wharton – and was admitted to all four schools! Caryn and I started working together in April of the year I was applying (R1). Caryn led me throughout the way and ensured I was not overlooking any piece of my application or missing an opportunity to shine, pushing and encouraging me as needed. She has tremendous experience, both in the MBA industry as well as a consultant, and it showed! She provided a detailed preparation plan and timeline, which meant I was not overworked or overloaded and actually enjoyed the process (even with a very busy job)! She helped me find my story and curate it for each school. She provided very tactical guidance and was always available to review my work and provide feedback (with incredible turnaround time). Her guidance did not stop after the submission of my application, but rather she helped me get ready for my interviews and debriefed with me once I had my offers in hand. Looking back, I could not be happier with my decision to work with SBC and Caryn – I strongly encourage anyone applying to work with her!
I started working with Caryn from Stacy Blackman from the very beginning (early 2021) on the “all-in” package. My background is very untraditional which typically makes the application process a lot more difficult. When I reached out to SBC, Esther was kind enough to match me with Caryn and provided all the support needed for the onboarding process.
My MBA application process had many ups and downs. However, with the continuous support, help, and guidance I got from Caryn, nothing was impossible! I applied to 4 of the M7 schools, got interview invites in 3m, and ultimately got accepted to Wharton and MIT Sloan.
To say that Caryn is a superstar would be an understatement! Caryn helped me through every step of the process and spared no comments, recommendations, or constructive criticism when necessary. She was always very nice and gentle, but pushed me hard and challenged me through every step of the way, and I truly believe that’s what makes her special. I was particularly impressed by her turnaround time (less than 24hrs)!
Overall, I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Caryn and the entire SBC team! I would recommend her to anyone thinking of pursuing an MBA!
I really can’t say enough good things about Caryn and the entire team at SBC! After researching a ton of different firms and speaking with more than a few other consultants, I started to have decision paralysis because everyone seemed so similar. What separated SBC for me, however, was the team-based approach they took to my application. From my very first screening call with Bill, my strategy sessions with Caryn, and the flight test/interview prep I took part in with other consultants, SBC gave me access to 4-5 MBA consultants / ex-admissions officers who all gave me unique perspectives and advice for improving my candidacy.
Caryn in particular completely exceeded all of my expectations. Because I had a job with long hours, one of my biggest concerns was how I’d get all my apps done in time but Caryn handles everything with a laser-focused efficiency that kept me on track and moving at a steady pace throughout the 6 months I worked with her. She was always responsive (within a day), gave clear/detailed instructions and comments, and even followed up with me whenever I got behind (which was often..). She also helped me take disparate parts of my resume and finance-heavy background and craft a narrative that clearly articulated my career transition goals and all-important why MBA response.
With Caryn’s (and the whole SBC team’s) help, I received admission to HBS, Wharton and Kellogg (with a scholarship) and I could not be more thrilled with the outcome! While hiring a consultant was a big investment, I knew that getting an MBA would be an even bigger one so I wanted to make sure I gave myself the best possible chance of getting into my dream schools. I really don’t think I could’ve gotten into the schools I did without Caryn’s help and would highly recommend SBC to anyone who’s considering applying.
Tl;dr: Caryn Altman is an expectational person to have on your team. I started in January 2021 with low test scores as a non-traditional candidate. After several people told me I was shooting way above my league, Caryn instilled a calm confidence. I was introduced to her by Ester, SBC’s consultant match-maker. Caryn took the time to get to know me as a person and helped me craft a business-school-worthy story. I ended up with admission to Tuck and Ross, my top choice, with the Forte Fellowship and a scholarship.
I am convinced Caryn pulled nothing short of a miracle with me. I decided to go all-in with her after a two-hour introductory call where she took the time to get to know me and my very non-traditional background. She was both optimistic about what my applications could be and also very real about my weaknesses. She mapped out a plan to get me on the right path with three main parts: strategy, applications, and interviews.
The strategy work started imminently by identifying my main weaknesses; mainly my standardized test scores, need to research the schools, and need to bump up my extra-curricular, and she provided guidance to work on all three. The first thing we worked on was a strategy document that outlined my short/long-term goals and created an overall narrative to build from. I enrolled in a GRE-prep course getting my scores up and volunteered with an after-school program.
From there, we went to essays. Caryn would provide a guide and key narrative to write from. We worked through many drafts until my essays were perfect. A quick note: while Caryn is a warm and caring person who wants you to succeed, she does not hold punches. She has no problem telling you that your essay is missing the mark and to go back to the drawing board, sometimes going back and forth with 15+ drafts until it is right. She is the ultimate cheerleader, but won’t get your hopes up with false praise. You have to put in the work.
After confirming we were on the right path with my flight test and submitting my applications, we focused on interview prep when the largest challenge of my application showed up: I lost my job the day before my first interview. Through tears and panic attacks, she talked me through addressing that in my interviews. She remained positive and reassured me that this would be a bump in the road and we’d get through it. In the end, we did.
Now that I’m on the other side of this process, I can offer the following advice/recommendations:
1) Start early. I drew this process out for a year and, though exhausting, it allowed me the time to perfect everything and not rush. I really only wanted to do this once.
2) Get Caryn (or someone like Caryn) on your team—someone who has the experience, vision, and expertise to make your applications as strong as possible. Going all-in with a consultant isn’t cheap, but as an initial investment towards my MBA, it more than paid for itself. While my applications are a true reflection of me, I could have never gotten through this process without Caryn. At every step, she was providing guidance and strength.
Overall, I can’t speak more highly of Caryn and the whole SBC team. The MBA application process is deeply reflective and overwhelming. I joke now that the two people who know me best are my boyfriend and Caryn, but it’s true. She has the heart to find what makes you and the experience to get it to shine through and into grad school.
After interviewing about a dozen MBA Admissions firms (including Fortuna, Admissionado, mbaMission, Personal MBA Coach, Ivy, and all other common firms), I had decided to go with SBC. I chose SBC because of its track record and the size of the firm. I highly advise others (if possible for your budget) to consider going with SBC.
Bill was my first point of contact with SBC. He gave me a couple of SBC consultants’ profiles to review. I thought Caryn would be a great fit for me. After my initial conversation with Caryn, I put down the deposit.
Working with Caryn was great. She was always prompt to respond (under 24hrs), willing to jump on a quick phone call to discuss some strategic decisions, and provided great guidance after the mock interview. Together, we worked on 5 schools (4 M7s and 1 T10). Due to my personal professional situation, I really wanted to maximize my odds of being admitted. I do strongly believe that Caryn’s guidance helped me accomplish my goal.
Beth from SBC, helped review my application package, as part of the flight test. Her comments on my application reassured me that Caryn and I put together a strong app.
In the end, I was admitted to Kellogg and Tuck (with some $). I am extremely happy. Working with Caryn (and SBC) was a great investment into my future.
If you are considering working with Caryn, know that she will take great care of you. She won’t do all of the work for you, that’s not what the service is about. You still need to do write essays, take tests, and etc. But she will guide your application in a direction where your odds are maximized.
Again, for me, this was a GREAT investment.
After talking to some of my friends at well-respected MBA programs, they kept mentioning Stacy Blackman Consulting as the best in the business!
I had an initial conversation with Esther who matched me with Caryn – what a great matchmaker! From my initial strategy call with Caryn, she displayed care, passion, and honesty. We worked together to apply to 6 schools for R1 and her guidance helped me tell my store through the application process.
Caryn provided me with exceptional advice for taking the GMAT/GRE, selecting the right schools to apply to in R1, and structuring each application to highlight the right experiences to the admissions boards.
After many months of hard work, I was admitted to Kellogg (with a merit scholarship), Sloan, and Tuck! I am beyond grateful to Caryn and SBC for assisting in these accomplishments. I highly recommend SBC and working with Caryn for any individual looking to start their MBA application!
I have definitely gotten the full experience with SBC and have been overwhelmed each step of the way. I worked with Caryn on my applications. Caryn is such a valuable resource when applying because she makes a very overwhelming process seem so simple. From our initial intro call, Caryn helped me layout an organized pre-application plan, advised me on recommenders and essay topics, collaborated on final essay and application versions, and answered any question that I had along the way. Caryn’s push to help me understand the “Why” of my application really made my application process smoother. It’s easy to think that “Why” is an easy question but Caryn clearly lays out how important that one question is in your application, essays, and interviews. I can promise Caryn will make your application experience infinitely simpler!
I worked with Caryn and SBC for the class of 2023 applications. Working with Caryn and the rest of the Stacy Blackman team/resources was an absolute pleasure and I found Caryn’s support indispensable as I navigated the challenging and intensive process. Ultimately, the decision paid off as I was accepted into Wharton, my top choice, as well as Booth and Kellogg!
I kicked off my process in late June, which was a little late given my desire to submit all my applications for the Round 1 deadline. Caryn quickly designed a schedule that would push me appropriately to stay on pace. Early in the process, she helped me think through my story and application strategy to best differentiate me, especially with my background in an over-represented group (male in finance). Caryn was incredibly responsive in iterating essay drafts and helping position myself in the best possible light. Post-essay process, SBC offered a flight test to review my overall application, which provided a tangible review of my materials and overall candidate profile from one of the other consultants, Lisa. Upon receiving interview invites, I conducted interview prep with Caryn and, for Wharton, attended a virtual, team-based discussion mock interview hosted by SBC. Overall, SBC offers all of the resources that one would need through the process.
I originally reached out to Stacy Blackman and discussed my background with Esther. Once I solidified my plans to apply to business school, I requested Caryn and Esther connected me with her directly. My brother used Caryn and Stacy Blackman with his successful MBA application process a couple of years ago, so it was a natural selection for me. I also received recommendations from a few others at my company who went through the process, and many of them had used Stacy Blackman. Overall, Caryn’s experience as a former MBA Admissions Officer and her expertise in advising clients was evident. I’m very happy with my decision and would highly recommend Caryn and Stacy Blackman to anyone looking to succeed in the MBA admissions process.
One of the best decisions I made during the MBA program application process was to work with Stacy Blackman Consulting, specifically, Caryn Altman. From the very beginning, it was all hands on deck. My emails were always returned within 24 – 48 hours, which was so important as I had so many questions in terms of timing, school selection, essay ideas, etc. I had decided to go with the All-In-Package, which for me made the most sense. Caryn’s insightful questions, ideas and general knowledge of the schools made it so much easier for me to focus on coming up with ‘my story’. Importantly, while it took several rounds of edits, etc. Caryn was always patient with my initial, verbose essay drafts, helping me to determine the important ideas as I worked to craft final essays which best answered the questions asked and also conveyed who I am as an individual. Given that applying to business schools can be a stressful process, it was so helpful to know that I had someone of Caryn’s caliber in my corner. The results speak for themselves, I was accepted to Wharton, Kellogg, Tuck, and Ross with multiple scholarships including 2 full-rides. I also was able to work with multiple members of the Stacy Blackman Staff including Esther, always very responsive to questions, and others to do my ‘flight tests’ and practice for interviews, including a mock team-based interview to prepare for different schools. I strongly recommend working with Caryn and the Stacy Blackman Team!
My dream came true and I was admitted to HBS and MIT after working with Caryn on 5 applications.
I am from Brazil and this was a very challenging season, especially for international students, due to soaring applications and deferrals.
I was very diligent on selecting my consultant, talking to other 3 top firms, but it was SBC that stood out for their expertise and service. Esther was my guide and matchmaker and took me step-by-step through the whole process. I ended up asking for Caryn directly because of her outstanding record as a U.S. top 10 consultant and background as a former admissions officer.
Caryn’s ability to synthesize a compelling story and tread throughout the whole application is invaluable. She can clearly show you your strengths and help mitigate your weaknesses. While the process is stressful, Caryn helped me gain confidence and reflect on my true motivations on pursuing an MBA. With all done, my flight tester was Lisa, which is also a former admissions officer, and brought a fresh pair of eyes to the material, giving good insights on how to better communicate some ideas. And finally, the mock interviews were also great and prepared me very well for the real interviews.
I had a great experience with SBC and they offer the best service. If your dream is a top ten school, SBC is the right place.
I was originally referred to Caryn through a friend who had a similar engineering background and applied last year. Caryn was so reassuring yet honest in her assessment during our initial call; I knew that she would be the right person to guide me through my MBA application process. I decided to go with the all-in package and applied to 5 schools, got interviews at 4, and was accepted with significant scholarships (>50%) at Kellogg, Ross, and Fuqua.
I definitely could not have done this without Caryn’s help. She was instrumental in helping me figure out how to translate my technical background and experiences into applications in a way that would resonate with the admissions committee. Caryn was also very much an accountability partner for me, helping keep me on track in terms of timelines especially with all the craziness of the past year. She was always very prompt in her responses and went through several drafts with me, while keeping the essays and applications true to who I was as a person. In addition, the resources that SBC offers like the flight test, sample essays, and mock interviews were really important to helping at each step of the process. I could not recommend Caryn and SBC enough!
I was referred to Caryn, and I am beyond grateful. In our first conversation, I told her I only wanted to apply to my one dream school. She understood and really pushed me along the process.
Coming from an untraditional background, I was concerned about my chances at a prominent MBA program. However, Caryn helped me every step of the way – from reviewing my resume, checking my application, proofreading my essays, and prepping me for my interviews. The most impactful part of the process was her ability to guide me to self-reflect on my past experience and my career goals. This allowed me to craft a strong narrative about myself for my essays.
Today, I’m thrilled to have been admitted to my dream school and have received a significant scholarship. Caryn is incredibly kind, willing to help, and always supportive. Highly recommend working with her!
What other emotion besides LOVE is there to describe the person responsible for my MMM Kellogg acceptance?! It’s also an apt descriptor of her style.. well…tough love. Caryn is the coach, partner, and honest friend I needed to get through this process successfully. From our first meeting, I felt completely comfortable and – critically – completely understood. Caryn quickly made sense of my various interests, passions, and experiences, and helped to weave a compelling story from the disparate bits. She is immensely knowledgable and I benefitted from her expertise and insights throughout the process – often at unexpected moments. I could not imagine having worked with someone else… and I believe the outcome would have been different. For that, I will be forever grateful and a champion of CARYN! No need to shop around. Call Caryn and get to work.
I found out about SBC through a referral, and after my initial consultation with Esther, I could tell SBC was going to be the right choice! I went for the all-in package and could not be happier with my choice! I was accepted into 3 of my 4 schools (the 4th was a waitlist), including HBS!! Something I never would have thought possible prior to going through this process.
Caryn was amazing! She previously worked as an admissions officer and had tons of knowledge, not only on the program she had worked for but on all the schools I applied to. From the beginning, she took the time to genuinely understand me, my experiences, and my goals. She helped me figure out which schools would be the best fit and was with me through every step of the application process, helping me craft my story as a non-traditional candidate. The application process can be very intense, and having Caryn on my side made it so much better! She was always very honest, and provided very constructive feedback (with a quick turnaround) throughout the process and kept me on track.
SBC has a ton of helpful resources and lots of officer intelligence in-house. Not only did Caryn have experience as a former admissions officer, but Beth (also fantastic), conducted my “flight test” prior to submitting my first application. I also worked with Erica to prepare for my HBS interview and went in feeling very prepared.
I have already recommended Caryn and SBC to my friends considering applications and will continue to do so. Absolutely fantastic experience!
Caryn was awesome! She really helped me shape my essays and prepare for my interview. I did not really understand what was expected in a good MBA application and Caryn really helped me put my best foot forward and get into the Kellogg Future Leaders Program with a Merit Scholarship. She was very nice and always very clear. Highly recommend!
I am so exceptionally grateful to have had the experience this spring working with Caryn! I was originally planning to submit Fall 2021 R1, but with her encouragement was able to conquer the application process, remote testing, and other inbound hurdles that came with this year’s extended rounds for the Fall 2020 incoming class.
I was a very non-traditional candidate with a unique set of experiences and skillsets that I wanted to clearly convey in my application. With her consulting expertise, I was admitted to my first-choice school, Fuqua, with a large scholarship. I was also admitted to my 2nd and 3rd choice schools as well.
I highly recommend Caryn for anyone curious about the MBA application process and looking to target top schools. She is a rockstar!
Posted a similar review on the GMAT club as well. Want everyone to know how awesome Caryn is!
To start with some general context, I predominantly have an engineering background and am currently in consulting. I started the application process with zero background info/tips on b-school apps and felt totally at a loss. I pretty quickly realized I needed help and I spoke with several different consulting firms and actually didn’t have a great start with SBC. My intro call was with Bill who I didn’t quite connect with so I asked if Caryn had availability because I had read all her raving reviews. And man, am I glad I did. After speaking with Caryn I immediately knew I had found the perfect person. You can tell she is incredibly experienced and was able to immediately put my mind at ease as she took me through her overall process, what B-schools are looking for, what she thought about my candidacy and my profile, etc.
In terms of the general application process of working through brainstorming ideas, essay revisions, etc, Caryn simply could not have been better. She helped me shape my profile to highlight all the strengths I had and paid particular attention to make sure my application as a whole worked well together. One thing in particular I liked was that whenever I had ideas that weren’t the best, she would always provide the rationale for why and she could always tell if I felt comfortable with the decision or if we needed to talk through things a little more so I felt more confident. I quickly learned to trust her which led to offers from Wharton ($$), Sloan, Booth, and Kellogg! It’s been incredible and I absolutely would not have gotten into these schools without her help! Also, once my offers came in I was in a bind on where to go because of some personal factors, but she had a long conversation with me and helped me work through which to pick, and I am really grateful for that.
Overall, I highly highly recommend working with Caryn. She is the kindest, most down-to-earth person who gets incredible results!
I had the pleasure of working with Caryn throughout this past application cycle. After applying to five of the M7 schools, I was offered interviews at four and chose to interview at three. I ended up receiving significant scholarships from two of the schools and was waitlisted at the remaining program. Coming from an untraditional background, with issues such as gaps in my education history, I was concerned about my chances at a top MBA program.
Caryn was incredibly supportive throughout the entire process, helping me be deeply introspective when refining my career goals and reflecting on my past experiences. By using her expertise as a former admissions officer, she then helped me craft my story in a way that best highlighted these experiences, fully showcasing what I would bring to an MBA class while meeting the nuance required for each unique essay prompt across the various schools. In addition to Caryn, I received great support from the entire SBC staff and was grateful for the database of application resources SBC has available.
Prior to starting my MBA admissions process, I spent a considerable amount of time researching different admissions consultants. Ultimately, I felt that Stacy Blackman’s comprehensive services, proven track record, and a robust roster of former adcoms would help me put forth the best applications possible. I could not be happier with my decision, and I would highly recommend Caryn and SBC to anyone considering the services of an admissions consultant during the MBA admissions journey.
I worked with Caryn on my application for 2 schools, both of which were reach schools for me. She was amazing, she guided me through the whole process, kept me on track with all deadlines, and really helped me sculpt my story and brand. She was able to answer all my questions and really demystified the whole MBA application process. Also, she was incredibly attentive and responded very quickly. In addition to all the knowledge and guidance that Caryn provided, Stacy Blackman Consulting has a LOT of additional resources that are so helpful. Ultimately, I got into both programs and am very happy with my choice to partner with Caryn.
Knowing I wanted to employ a consultant in my MBA application process, I interviewed several firms and spoke with no less than 5 consultants before deciding on Caryn, who was highly ranked as a consultant already at the time. Working with Caryn, she was proactive, responsive, and I can tell her years of experience as an adcom officer lent her true expertise when it came to MBA admissions. Most importantly, she helped me to craft my story and explain my somewhat unorthodox post-MBA goals in a way that was both true to myself and worked well for the admissions process.
It was upon her suggestion that I applied to the Lauder/Wharton joint program, which we realized was an extremely good fit given my background and future goals, and where I will be matriculating this Spring (2020). Really happy with the guidance Caryn and the broader SBC team provided (including the Flight Test, and mock interviews) during this nearly year-long journey. I would highly recommend to anyone looking to apply to top programs, and are looking to craft/refine their story to stand out from the multitudes of applicants with competitive but common stats/scores/backgrounds!
At the start of my MBA application journey, I had intro calls with consultants at many of the major firms (Fortuna, Veritas, SBC, etc.). The intro call with SBC was all I needed to realize that the firm struck the perfect balance between having unparalleled resources, an outstanding track record, and a genuine interest in my success.
Instead of merely assigning me to a consultant based on my profile or target school, Bill gave me suggestions for SBC consultants who he thought would be a good fit for my working-style and application strategy more broadly. I had intro calls with numerous SBC consultants before choosing to work with Caryn Altman.
I worked with Caryn on applications for five schools and ended up getting into four of them (Booth, Kellogg, Tuck, and Fuqua – Fuqua with scholarship). I come from an overrepresented applicant pool, non-feeder firm, and have a lower GMAT score than the average of almost every school I applied to. I owe a tremendous amount of my success to Caryn who was nothing short of terrific throughout every phase of the application process. She has an imitate knowledge of what ad coms at top programs are looking for and was able to use that knowledge to help me shape my story to highlight the unique characteristics of my profile in essays, interviews, etc.
I’m so thankful for Caryn and the rest of the team at SBC for turning my dream into a reality!
I worked with Caryn a number of years ago when applying to 3 business schools. She was wonderful to work with. Caryn helped me not only with overall application messaging and essay writing but also with identifying the best-fit business school for me. She was incredibly helpful with essay editing – grammar, flow, storyline, etc. I was ultimately accepted to Columbia and Duke. I do not think I would have been as successful in the process without Caryn.
I took Caryn’s flight test service through Stacy Blackman Consulting and was thankful that she helped spot some areas where I could improve the content of my application. Caryn reviews your application just like a real admissions consultant would which means you’ll get a candid review of where your strengths and weaknesses are, how to double down on your differentiators, and how to improve. Thanks to Caryn’s flight test review, I’ll be attending Wharton this fall 🙂
I worked with Caryn a number of years ago when applying to 4 schools. She was helpful in ideating essay topics and sort of an overall message for my application- something that I found to be challenging as a broad consultant without some unique “wow” story about me. She also helped a ton in editing essays- far beyond just grammatical stuff, but truly pushing me to think about how each sentence would have an impact on the story, how to say things more concisely, etc. Definitely would recommend working with her! I ended up at HBS in the end.
I applied to 4 top schools and Caryn was my guiding light through it all. She’s incredibly meticulous charting out a plan, gives great feedback, and is very patient while calming anxieties and doubts that inevitably pop up during the stressful process. She was always so responsive and I always heard back from her within a day when I asked her a question. She demonstrates a level of confidence and faith in her clients through the process which is so important in retrospect and something I really appreciate as I placed so much trust in her. He knowledge of the schools and her feedback is really valuable as well.
Caryn was absolutely instrumental in my journey towards getting into Wharton and Kellogg! I decided in late September to apply to round two and shopped around several consulting firms before deciding on SBC due to the candidness & accessibility of their consultants. I decided to apply to 4 schools with Caryn, and she created a timeline that helped me stay accountable during the application process.
Prior to working with Caryn, I had disconnected ideas of how my past experiences had shaped me, why I wanted to go to business school, and what I hoped to achieve post-MBA, but no real connections between the thoughts. Caryn helped me link all the different ideas together into a proper story for my applications and interviews. She provided prompt and actionable advice to help me fine-tune my essays. During the interview process, she provided tips and set me up with other consultants from the SBC team for follow-up practice interviews to help me feel better prepared.
Highly recommend Caryn to anyone who’s seeking help on their MBA application journey!
Caryn really took time to get to know me from the beginning and helped me craft a clear story for my application. Even though I’m sure she was juggling numerous clients, she was always responsive to my questions and quick with providing comments on my essays. Our mock interview was very helpful, and her feedback allowed me to go into my interviews with confidence. I highly recommend Caryn!
Working with Caryn has truly changed the course of my future; if I had hired another consultant, I would not have gotten into a top tier MBA program! Going into to this application cycle, I knew I had major weaknesses to mitigate. Caryn was there with me every step of the way; from GMAT re-takes to attempting the GRE, to suggesting additional coursework to take, to strategically editing essay drafts and finally sharing in my excitement when the admits started rolling in, I could not have gotten into school without her support and matter-of-fact feedback. I highly recommend Caryn to anyone who is dedicated to getting into a competitive MBA program and facing their weaknesses head-on to do so.
I can’t say enough about Caryn. She was my Yoda getting through the MBA application process. She’s clear and concise in her feedback and helps you to define the best version of yourself. Caryn is encouraging and supportive, but also realistic. If you want the best, hire Caryn.
Caryn was a wonderful consultant. I came from a non-traditional background (small unknown bank, difficult to explain experiences) and Caryn was able to help me tell my story! I couldn’t have gone to Ross or transitioned careers without her!
I worked with Caryn back in 2011 for R1 applications and she was already a rockstar back then! Her in-depth planning process made the entire application prep as seamless as possible. From the essays and references to the interview, she ensured I was not only well prepared but was constantly building the strongest ‘story’ I could present of myself. She was full of helpful comments and tips, and once accepted into school even helped connect me with future classmates! I’m so thankful to have found Caryn and could not recommend more!
SBC’s unique Flight Test provided differentiated insight and added even more value to their highly personalized service. My Flight Tester, Caryn, identified areas for improvement in my application that would have otherwise gone unaddressed. In addition to her thoughtful, candid and deliberate consultation, she provided actionable feedback that allowed me to tighten up my essays and short answers, strengthen my final product and gain admission to 3 of the 4 schools where I applied, including Wharton.
Caryn helped me prepare my successful Kellogg application back in 2011 and since then, I continue to recommend her to MBA applicants who approach me for advice. I found her coaching to be thoughtful, straightforward, and holistic; she was able to help me tell my story tangibly better than I had when I brought her the first drafts of my essays. Working with Caryn was awesome, her advice is worth every penny, and I would recommend her without reservation.
Caryn provided me a very efficient summary of Kellogg’s admissions process. I applied to only one school. I was able to contextualize my application and spend what little spare time I had to prepare the best possible application.
Caryn worked with me as part of my applications to three MBA programs: HBS, Kellogg, and Anderson. Going with Caryn was one of the best decisions and investments I’ve ever made. My 5-star recommendation boils down to three things: she believed in me, she pushed me, and she knows this domain extremely well. Caryn’s broad domain expertise was invaluable with school selection, she effectively coached me as I crafted my story, she helped me take my resume to the next level even when I thought it was done, and she provided super valuable feedback (strategic & tactical) as I crafted my essays. She pushed me to re-take the GMAT instilling confidence in me to take a 700 score even higher, which I did. I also vividly remember our mock interview — she was tough and whipped me into shape. When the real interviews came around, they felt like a breeze. I got into Kellogg and Anderson and went to Kellogg and had a fantastic experience.
Caryn provided me with my Flight Test Review at SBC and her insight was invaluable she was able to draw on weaknesses in my application and provide guidance on how to mitigate. She was also able to give me insight on the quality of the application so I could gauge how far off I was before I could submit. Her review was integral in my application process and a value-added differentiator at SBC.
Caryn was the Flight Test reviewer for my successful application to HBS. At first, I was a little nervous to have a stranger read my essay and critique my resume, but Caryn’s comments were thoughtful, constructive, and easy to understand. She not only opined on specific aspects of the application (resume, leadership qualities, essay, etc.) but also shared her broader impression of how the pieces fit together into a comprehensive story. Overall, the flight test was a very useful tool for fine-tuning my application and gave me the confidence I needed to put my best foot forward.
I first started working with Caryn when I signed up for the MBA Process – Plan Ahead package. This option was very helpful since I didn’t know where I stood with the schools I was thinking about applying to. I knew I didn’t have the best background with a below average GPA among the top schools and a non-elite undergraduate degree so I was going to need as much help as possible. Caryn was able to determine what my strengths were and how I could address my weaknesses ahead of time while clarifying what schools would be a reach and where I would be competitive.
Later on, I signed up for the All-in-package for four schools. I didn’t have any friends, co-workers, or family that had gone through an MBA application so I knew I was going to need quality advice and guidance on the process. Caryn was able to push me to bring out my best authentic self and craft my unique story in all aspects of the application. It can be a very demanding and tough process, especially when going through multiple drafts, but Caryn always brought a positive attitude and helped me stay on track.
A couple of the unique resources SBC offers such as the flight test and interview prep helped tremendously. The flight test was the perfect tool to get a different perspective from someone who had not spent time with me going over my profile and would view the application in the same sense an ad com would read it.
When I received the news that I got into my dream school of Kellogg, I could not wait to share the news with Caryn! Not only did Caryn give me the tools to complete my best application but she also gave me the confidence that this was possible. I knew she was truly invested in my success and believed in me the entire time, which was a very important aspect to me as I picked a consultant. I cannot say enough positive things about my experience and would highly recommend Caryn for anyone applying to business school.
I worked with Caryn on four applications for round 1 (HBS, Columbia, Wharton, Stanford) and had a phenomenal experience. First, Caryn was very effective and helpful in formulating my application strategy. She took the time to understand my background and my career goals and helped me package myself to create a compelling story for admissions committees. We spent a lot of time on this up front, which provided me with a clear direction for the whole process.
Secondly, Caryn was very organized and responsive throughout the entire application process. Even though we worked on four apps, I never felt rushed or pressed for time because Caryn established a clear schedule and game-plan for finishing each piece of each application. She turned drafts around very quickly and efficiently. Also, whenever I had a question or a doubt, she was more than willing to get on the phone and talk through things with me.
Overall, the process went very well as I was admitted into both Columbia and Wharton with scholarships! I had a great experience and would highly recommend Caryn to anyone.
I had an awesome experience in working with Caryn this past summer. I was applying to 6 schools for Round 1, and naturally was anxious to dive straight in and begin writing essays. She helped me take a step back and helped me craft a thoughtful story about what I’ve done, who I am, and who I want to be with respect to my career. Nailing this story upfront was invaluable, as I was able to consistently draw from it when writing essays all the way through interviews.
The beginning of the essay portion was definitely a struggle for me, but Caryn was extremely helpful in going through no less than 10 drafts of my first essay to make sure we were getting off on the right foot. Furthermore, she was always direct and honest with her feedback, which made me trust her as I knew when she did sign off on something, it was because she truly felt it was ready for submission. Once I had some momentum going, she really helped me stay focused on one step at a time, making a daunting checklist feel far more doable.
Finally, during interview season Caryn was great with interview prep and provided some really helpful pointers after my mock interview session. I also really appreciated that she continued to check in as interview and admissions decisions were released – it showed me that she was personally invested in my success as a person, not just as a client. In the end, I received acceptances from Wharton, Kellogg, Haas, and Ross, and her help and support along the way were a significant factor in making that possible.
I worked with Caryn and SBC for class of 2021 applications and found working with her incredibly valuable. The decision to work together paid off as I was accepted to Wharton which was my top choice, as well as Kellogg and UNC.
Caryn took the time to get to know me and my background first and then helped me craft the best possible story and application strategy based on my prior experiences and future goals. She then continued to provide tremendous value through all phases of the application process by providing candid and straightforward feedback and pushing me to produce my best work in my applications. After I submitted my applications, Caryn helped me prepare for the interviews and SBC also scheduled and conducted a mock team based discussion for the Wharton interview, which was extremely beneficial for me.
Caryn was recommended to me by a friend and Wharton alum, so I did not explore other firms, but I’m confident that Caryn and the SBC platform put me in the best possible position to be admitted to business school. Caryn has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the MBA application process and the SBC platform further provided an astounding amount of resources that I was able to leverage throughout the application process.
I worked with Caryn to apply R1 in 2017 after having unsuccessfully applied to five schools in the first round of the previous year. Caryn was on top of every detail and made sure that we stuck to our deadlines, which was critical applying to five programs no matter how far in advance we started our planning. She absolutely has a mind for this work and was able to position my experience to fit with each individual school. Most importantly though, she helped me think through where I had been and where I really wanted to go and that made my application all the more authentic and genuine. In the end, I got acceptances from Columbia, Booth, and an interview invite from Haas that I did not move forward with due to extenuating circumstances. Thanks Caryn!
This past year I worked with Caryn at StacyBlackman and was tremendously satisfied with the service I received. Her advice and guidance was extremely helpful throughout my entire application process and instrumental to my Wharton admission.
As a candidate coming from an untraditional background I wanted to work with a consultant who would help me navigate the application process. After evaluating multiple firms and consultants I chose Caryn because of not only her previous adcom background and brand management career experience, but also because of how much she cared about my candidacy. While I spoke with other qualified consultants, she was the only one who I felt looked beyond our relationship being a business transaction and would be there to support me no matter what curve ball the application process threw me. This turned out to be very true, as she supported me on eight applications and advised me on multiple waitlists.
Caryn’s approach to the process was very disciplined and detailed. She would respond to my emails within 24hrs and was always patient with my questions/comments. Her comments were always honest and constructive. There is no doubt that Caryn served as an excellent sounding board for me throughout the entire application process and I am grateful for the time and effort she put in to supporting my admission to Wharton.
I had the pleasure of working with Caryn as my Flight Test reviewer. It gave me incredible peace of mind to hear feedback from a professional who has actually reviewed applications as part of an admissions committee. It was also wildly helpful to hear feedback from someone who was reading my essays for the first time!
Caryn served as my Flight Test reviewer. Caryn reviewed my application for ~20 mins (the same amount of time a member of the AdCom would spend on an application) and gave me and Beth (my consultant) some high-level, yet critical, feedback that we were able to incorporate into my applications before submitting. I appreciated the Flight Test review as it simulated an actual AdCom review and allowed for third-party feedback from an experienced MBA consultant!
I worked with Caryn and SBC for c/o 2021 applications and found the service incredibly valuable. The decision to work together paid off as I was accepted to Kellogg and Ross.
As my consultant, Caryn was there to guide me through every step of the application process from honing my application strategy to interview prep. She is always straightforward and honest in her feedback and extremely responsive. Overall she was an incredible coach throughout the process, keeping me on track and calm through the pressure of the application process. She pushed me to do my best work and find my authentic, unique story. When I shared the good news with her it was awesome to hear how excited she was for me!
I looked at other firms but ultimately chose Caryn and SBC because of their wealth of admissions experience (Caryn is former admissions at Kellogg). SBC has a great approach that leverages this knowledge. For example, my application was “flight tested” by another consultant with adcom experience to identify any gaps or weaknesses from an outside perspective.
The SBC flight test is a phenomenal service in that it provides an additional set of eyes from an experienced industry professional to review applications before final submissions. Caryn was able to assess my application and provide various tips for improvement in order to ensure I put my best foot forward before submitting the final version. She highlighted areas of my professional experience to strengthen what had not been fine-tuned enough. Often, after working on an application for so long and knowing your own story so well, it is easy to overlook certain areas of your candidacy that may be really unique. She ensured that I did not overlook any chance to show admissions committees my fullest potential. Thanks Caryn!
Caryn was amazing to work with! I am a young candidate with average/below average GPA and GMAT from a mid-level consulting firm, so had lots of reasons to doubt my chances at the top programs. Whenever I was over-thinking or too in my head, Caryn helped me to calm down and think clearly. She helped me bring out my unique story and non-traditional career goals. I was eventually admitted to Stanford GSB, Wharton, Booth, and Kellogg!!! I could not have gotten here without Caryn’s patience and dedication, or without SBC’s extensive resources! The SBC flight test helped identify holes in my application package and I was able to talk to Caryn and a Wharton team based interview expert to prepare for my interviews. As someone who did not have many friends or mentors who had gone through the MBA application process, I initially felt completely lost. But with Caryn and SBC, I felt well-informed about how to handle every aspect such as class visits, email correspondence, mentioning low grades, etc. When I got my admissions, I could tell Caryn was almost as thrilled as I was! She really believed in me and was highly invested in the process. I highly recommend working with Caryn.
Caryn provided useful, concrete feedback as one of my consultants with SBC, which strengthened my application and ultimately helped me gain admission to Booth and Wharton. I’d highly recommend to anyone applying for business school who is considering using an admissions consultant.
I used Caryn for my admissions to Cornell and Michigan Ross c/o 2014. She took the time to understand the strengths and weakness of my candidacy. She was very responsive and collaborative. I can safely say I wouldn’t have been admitted to either school. I highly recommend Caryn for anyone looking at MBA. I finished the process with admissions to both schools and zero complaints about Caryn.
I couldn’t be happier with my decision to use SBC and Caryn for admissions consulting. She effectively guided me through every aspect of my admissions journey, her feedback and direction was thoughtful and informed, and she was a wonderful coach who helped challenge me to build a compelling application package.
Engaging SBC and Caryn was a bet that paid off enormously, more than I could have hoped. 5 years after completing my MBA and I couldn’t be happier with my career past, present, and future. So grateful for my decision to work with Caryn!
I applied to business school in Round II for admission to the Class of 2020, gaining acceptance to HBS, Wharton and Kellogg, with a waitlist at CBS, thanks to Caryn’s extraordinary help and guidance. I am thrilled to be attending my dream school, HBS, this fall.
Caryn, who worked at Kellogg’s Admission office before starting her career as a consultant, was a great mentor through the application process from school selection to interview prep. She truly wanted to get to know who I am and ensure the career goals expressed in my application were clear and credible. Her judgment was excellent, and I found myself relying on her feedback more than that of friends and family early on. For someone with enormous nerves about “aiming too high,” the GMAT, essay-writing, and interviews – she was a guiding light! I also appreciated her quick rounds of feedback, including several in the days before applications were due. Overall– I found her to be a warm, honest and incisive coach for the months we worked together.
I would also commend Stacy Blackman as a firm for their tremendous resources, above and beyond the consultant relationship. Esther Magna and the administrative team made on-boarding with the firm a breeze. The wiki was invaluable, especially for looking at past successful resumes and essays. The “flight test” with a top-business school alumni, in which your full application is read end-to-end, was a helpful exercise. And when interviews came, the access to a Wharton mock interview with other clients of the firm, special 1:1 coaching for HBS, practice interview with Caryn w/ feedback, and online practice tools were a lifesaver.
I think Stacy Blackman does not so much as “steer” your application as give you all the tools and answers to make you come through at your best. What I presented in my final applications was my voice and my experience, informed by the qualified feedback of numerous ex-Admissions officers. It was clearer and more confident than what I would have written without their advice. For these reasons, I’d recommend SBC and Caryn highly. Do not hesitate to request her when you give SBC a call!
I used Caryn Altman as an admissions consultant. She was brilliant! I would not have been as successful without her!
Caryn was incredibly responsive. There were days where I would send her an essay and she got back to me twice with various rounds of edits.
In addition to that, she was an incredibly valuable counselor for my overall business school application strategy approach. She was honest with me around what she thought was doable and did everything she could to help me achieve my goals!
I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone looking to solidify his or her status at a top business school.
Caryn was a great coach and helped me apply to HBS, GSB and Kellogg. I received a $100k scholarship at Kellogg which I think was largely due to Caryn’s help throughout the process. Caryn takes time to listen and understand your story to determine how to thoughtfully apply to each school and best position you as a candidate. She is a wonderful coach!
I would recommend Caryn Altman at SBC for applicants looking for the best way to showcase themselves to AdCom – I knew I was a good applicant, but needed the perspective and coaching on how to be a great applicant. I am so pleased with the guidance and support I got from Caryn that helped me get into the 4 schools I applied to – Booth, Kellogg, Fuqua, and Ross. Caryn really helped me craft my story, starting from a rocky start at undergrad to the crucial “why MBA, why now” questions. We started by nailing the resume, which is often overlooked by most applicants. This was extremely helpful to knock out within a few days of starting with Caryn so that I no longer had to worry about it. Caryn helped me address a few blemishes in my history, such as a few weak grades in my first two years of undergrad, transferring schools, and a lower quant score on my GMAT. I also really appreciated Caryn’s quick turnaround times on essays despite a significant time zone gap!
The SBC wiki resources were very helpful – specifically the examples of other students’ successful essays.
I was just another lost working professional hoping to make her way into an elite business school. As someone that attended undergrad and law school, I didn’t want to take on the extra cost of business school, unless it was one of the best. I did free consultations with other companies prior to choosing Stacy Blackman. The cost for a consultant wasn’t something I took lightly, and I wanted to make sure I was picking the best company for me. My consultations with other companies were very negative, judgmental or awkward. Additionally, I had to pick a specific person based on short profiles online. Overall, I was thinking I may just have to do this on my own.
However, when I first contacted Stacy Blackman, I was immediately impressed with their process. First, I completed a short questionnaire, which was sent to all consultants that had availability. Then those consultants that felt inspired or interested in my story would connect with me to do a free consultation. I like that the people I was talking with were really interested in me and believed in me. I felt that I couldn’t be successful if someone felt forced to work with me. I talked with a few consultants at Stacy Blackman, all of which were great. But my conversation with Caryn was very easy and made me feel immediately comfortable with her. She really touched on the weak and strong points of my application. As soon as I got off the phone, I knew I wanted Caryn as my consultant. She was friendly and helpful, but also honest and direct. Which is exactly what you need in this process.
Additionally, she helped me narrow down my list of schools. Originally, I was thinking of applying to 7 schools. It was hard for me to understand the full reach of a school that wasn’t located in my immediate area (San Francisco) and how well they would do in my desired function. All the career stats looked so great! Caryn helped me cut out schools that wouldn’t easily bring me back to the Bay Area, but also had strong marketing programs. She even recommended a school that wasn’t on my original list, but has turned out to be far and away the best option, Kellogg.
After hiring Stacy Blackman and being assigned to Caryn, the work really began. She helped me walk through my career goals, after MBA, and helped me narrow down my many ideas and industries into one concise theme that flowed throughout my application. The tools she provided me with in the beginning (career insight, templates for my recommenders, resume template and tips) were incredibly helpful to get a few easier things handled right away and my outlines and essays started. Writing essays for 5 schools within a month and a half is no easy feat. I was lucky enough to have a lull in work at the beginning of August, so I began pumping out outlines and essays pretty quickly. Caryn was always prompt to respond and send me feedback on my outlines/essays. Additionally, this is when the honest and direct part really becomes useful. Seeing where my essays started and where they ended up, it is clear that I wouldn’t have gotten into the schools I did without Caryn.
At the end of the process, I was accepted into 3 of my five schools and withdrew from one before the decision came out, as I knew I would attend Kellogg. I’m truly living a dream right now, and I know I wouldn’t have made it into Kellogg without Caryn’s help. I know the money isn’t the easiest thing to pay, however it was worth every penny to go to a great school that I love.
Choose Stacy Blackman and Caryn today!
I started working on my MBA applications quite early. I am an organized person and I had no doubt that I would be able to get all my applications together early, submitted for Round 1 without a hitch. But as I started to look at each of my schools, with all of their different requirements and essay questions, I instantly became overwhelmed. I got a 730 on my GMAT and thought that alone would get me in. But my career goals were not clear and I had no idea what to write about in my essays. I reached out to two MBA consulting firms and was immediately sold on Stacy Blackman.
From day one, the consultants at Stacy Blackman made an effort to get to know me. My consultant, Caryn, kept me organized so the application process never felt overwhelming. We had a schedule and she made sure I stuck to it. We spent a lot of time on my career goals, which made the essay process so much easier. Having her as a sounding board meant that I didn’t stress throughout the three month process – not once. And because Caryn kept me to consistent deadlines, the work I put in was never too much at once.
I applied to three schools – HBS, Booth and Kellogg. I was accepted to both Booth and Kellogg and could not be happier. I am convinced that without Caryn’s guidance I would not have been as concise and clear with my goals and that would have negatively impacted my essays and interviews. This was the best decision I made and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
I had a great experience working with Caryn. She motivated me to do my best and be on top of my work. She provided timely reviews of all my essays and excellent interview prep (especially as I was a little last minute for round 2 and was applying to 4 schools with her). She is a straight-shooter and won’t sugarcoat- which I greatly appreciated.
She was with me throughout the whole process: from brain-storming stages to when I received my acceptance.
As a non-traditional applicant with an average (at best) GPA, I don’t think I would have gotten the results I did without Caryn. Thank you!
While I debated hiring a consulting company for a couple of months, I couldn’t be happier with my ultimate decision to do so. I now think I was wrong to view it as an expense since it’s really more of an investment in yourself. My consultant, Caryn (previous admissions experience at Kellogg), was amazing from start to finish. She was extremely dedicated and responsive, with a turnaround time of less than a day most of the time. Her help on my resume, essay mapping and editing, interviews and school selection was instrumental to my success and sanity. I was accepted to 3 of 4 schools (I withdrew from the last school prior to accepting their interview invitation), and ended up attending my top choice (Kellogg!) with a 75% scholarship. I also received the full tuition Consortium fellowship to Ross. There is no way this would have ever been possible without Caryn’s help, and I mean that sincerely. I know a lot of applicants hesitate due to cost (trust me, I was one of them; also, SBC offers flexible payment plans), but at the end of day I truly believe that money was a very small investment that earned me a significant amount in scholarship money. Also, many people decide to use their friends and/or mentors for essay editing. However, Caryn knew exactly what stories would work and how to maximize them. I don’t think many people could have shaped my essays as well as she did.
I reached out to StacyBlackman consulting because even though I had an above 700 GMAT score, I did not have a single idea where to start with my overall application. I was paired with Caryn and the first thing she did was put together an application plan for me based on the number of schools I was applying to. It was high level, but it served as my framework when I built myself a schedule.
I was applying to 4 schools and on average would turn around a new draft every day/every other day. I really liked that she put so much stress on creating outlines before diving into the essay since it makes actually writing the essay so much easier. Caryn had amazing turn-around time and would give me feedback in 24 hours (though she does ask for 48 hours). She was honest in her feedback when my first essay was really not going in the right direction. No sugar-coating, which is exactly how I needed it.
She also helped in spades getting my resume up to date, since that was the one area that I really found myself struggling to perfect.
You really get what you put in. Don’t expect Caryn to come up with ideas for you, write or essays, or nag you to get things done. I have been accepted to my top school and I could not have done it with Caryn or the rest of SBC team.
I am what some would call a nontraditional applicant. Going into business school, I will be 25 and will have 3 years of work experience. I have worked for a nonprofit and a family business in real estate. I also have different personal interests than most people applying to business school and have done my share of moving around.
All this being said, from the moment I called Stacy Blackman, the staff were instrumental in putting my successes and achievements on paper and to life. Not only were they helpful, but they were honest, sincere, punctual, knowledgeable and resourceful. Specifically, I worked with Caryn Altman, a Kellogg graduate. Caryn takes her job very seriously. She treats your application as it is her own. Caryn would e-mail me daily, sometimes multiple times a day, with essay rewrites, tips, friendly hellos, etc. I should note that this is because I was very involved in the process and would constantly be e-mailing her first!
The Stacy Blackman team helps you construct the perfect application for business school. The consultants go above and beyond to give you advice on the GMAT (retaking it or not), the application, the essays, business school selection, the resume, and an in depth review of the interview process.
I am thrilled by my results. After applying to 6 business schools, I got into three of them (one being a top 5 school where I plan to attend next year). I plan to recommend Stacy Blackman (and specifically Caryn) to friends and relatives applying to business school in the future.
Thank you Caryn for guiding me and helping me get into business school. I couldn’t have done it without you and the SB team!
I was hesitant about using a consulting firm for business school applications because I was afraid of losing my personal voice and was nervous if the cost would be worth it. However, I nervously took the plunge, choosing SBC over other firms because they had a strong matching process and so many members of their team were former admissions officers with lots of experience coaching. At the end of the process I can honestly say this was the best money I have ever spent! Caryn and the whole SBC team have been incredibly valuable in the entire process. With SBC and Caryn’s coaching, I got interviews at HBS and was admitted to Wharton, Booth, Sloan and Kellogg with huge scholarships from 2/4 schools!
Caryn is particularly incredible. Her background in marketing helped her craft a strong strategy for my application. She took the time to understand my entire story and helped me craft my story without overtaking my personal voice. Additionally, Caryn is INCREDBILY detail oriented and continues to push her clients to improve. From my strategy documents to my resume to my essays and even application, Caryn and I went through at least 6-10 rounds of edits for each piece. She was strict (which I needed!) and she never let me give anything less than my best, continuing to push me to improve my essays, videos and other submissions. Until the very last detail, Caryn was there to make sure my entire application (including rec letters) was perfect. Additionally, Caryn helped me through the nebulous process of getting off Wharton’s waitlist. She helped me craft a strategy for communication that would show interest without being repetitive which eventually helped me land a spot in Wharton’s class. Finally, Caryn’s turnaround time is extremely fast. She always beat her own standards and because of this we completed many revisions and finished 6 applications for R1.
Finally, Caryn really believed in me and wants to see me succeed. She referred me to different members of the SBC community when I received interviews to make sure I was prepared. She truly believed in my application and that made all the difference!
As a non-traditional MBA candidate with sights on business school since I was an undergraduate, I’ve researched all the schools. I just wasn’t sure how to gain admission!
I had the stats to shoot for the moon when it came to top schools, but didn’t have many people I could ask to help with the nuances of the application process. I was paired with Caryn Altman at Stacy Blackman based on my background and goals, and could not have been more lucky.
Caryn was phenomenal at helping me position myself in a way that was attractive to the schools I hoped to attend. She helped me take advantage of all the unique factors that made up my candidacy, and helped me form an application that was true and consistent from top to bottom.
I give Caryn and the Stacy Blackman team a whole-hearted thank you, and believe she would be able to help many candidates in similar positions.
After working extensively with Caryn Altman of Stacey Blackman Consulting (SBC), I can honestly say that she went far above and beyond my expectations. I signed up for the ‘All-in-one’ package for 3 schools and specifically picked Caryn after reading other raving reviews about her ability to get students into their dream school and she did not disappoint! Of the four schools that I applied to, I was admitted to 3 (including my #1 choice) and waitlisted on 1 despite my low undergrad GPA and average GMAT (at best) for the top-tier schools that I was applying to. To be honest, I figured they were all reach schools when I initially started the application process however after Caryn helped me create my ‘brand,’ my confidence significantly increased. Caryn was available and responsive to emails within a day (often times within an hour) and was able to walk me through the application process each step of the way. The best part about Caryn was that she is honest, and gives it to you straight. She will not hesitate to tell you to completely overhaul an essay, and also provides invaluable advice on non-essay fields as well. Coming into the application process, I was completely unaware of the amount of hard work and dedication that would be required and Caryn’s ability to guide me until I had a seemingly flawless application greatly reduced the stress of the application process. Overall, I am 100% confident that I would not have gotten into my dream school had it not been for Caryn, and am completely satisfied with every aspect of her work. I highly encourage any prospective MBA student to work with SBC and more importantly, with Caryn Altman (but do note that she is very popular so you will need to sign-up early)!
I began researching firms after reviewing schools on my own for several months in mid-May. SBC was diligent in finding the right consultant for me regardless of my background. It was nice to see how even in the first steps, they were already on my side to succeed in applying to business school.
After a couple of profiles and a few discussions, I eventually decided to work with Caryn through a comprehensive package.
Caryn is very clear in her methods and writing process which was always comforting and reassured me that everything would be on task. She definitely pushes your writing style to the best it can be for each school and challenges your thinking when it comes to essay topics and brainstorming ideas. However, knowing she was once a MBA student and worked in admissions for a school I found that she had the knowledge of both sides and her guidance was always aimed for success.
Caryn was great at addressing my weakness of school grades and building upon my thoughts on how I was a strong candidate despite not coming from a Fortune 500 firm.
I would would recommend Caryn to anyone who wants an encouraging, thorough, and knowledgeable admissions consultant!
Working with Caryn was great. She’s provides honest feedback and is very efficient in reviewing and commenting on your essays (which for a type A person like me is IDEAL). I was nervous about my MBA prospects due to a lower than average undergrad GPA, but Caryn helped me to figure out ways to fill that gap and craft a story to showcase my successes since then.
I was drawn to Stacy Blackman Consulting after extensive research, I wanted to work with a consulting firm that only took a few candidates and really focused on providing a personalized service. Stacy Blackman Consulting definitely falls into this category. Caryn was helped me to identify the things that I wanted from my MBA experience and from that we defined a plan. After this, she worked really hard to understand what my strengths were and designed my applications in a way to best showcase these strengths. We also worked on some weaknesses in my application and she came to very realistic recommendations for those. I would definitely recommend Stacy Blackman Consulting, specially Caryn,
I had an excellent experience working with Caryn at Stacy Blackman Consulting and would 100% recommend her! I chose to work with SBC because of Caryn; her background aligned with my future goals and she seemed like the perfect fit for me. I am former college athlete (liberal arts major) with a high GMAT score, low GPA (3.3) and varied work experience. During our initial meetings, Caryn didn’t sugar coat the weaknesses in my application, but I left each meeting assured that she was as invested in my success as I was and we would create a competitive application that mitigated my weaknesses and accentuated my strengths.
I was looking for a consultant to help me figure out my “story”. Caryn proved invaluable in this pursuit. She helped me articulate my career goals, fine tune my story and create a vision that I used throughout the application process. Caryn helped me overcome my low GPA and varied work experience. She was strategic in her thinking and was very responsive to my questions. We started working together early on in the process, and Caryn never made me feel like I had used up too much of her time. She forced me to push harder in my essays, and her resume editing was incredible!
Although expensive, I chose the comprehensive package and worked with Caryn on 3 schools. I applied to 2 others on my own. I was admitted to 4 out of my 5 schools and will be attending my top choice with a large scholarship this fall. I can’t thank Caryn enough for her support throughout this process. I don’t believe I would have even been admitted to my top choice, let alone with a large scholarship, if I had not worked with Caryn. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a comprehensive consulting service! If you are hesitant to spend the money, like I was, you won’t regret it. I am attending at Top 10 school with a scholarship and this would not have been possible without Caryn and SBC
After having initial conversations with 4 other admissions consulting firms, I ultimately decided to go with Stacey Blackman. This choice was driven by a great first conversation with Esther (the initial point of contact who coordinated multiple SBC services throughout the process), fantastic reviews/referrals/results from friends of mine who had used SBC, and great fit/reputation of Caryn Altman (ultimately the consultant I chose to work with throughout the process). The level of engagement throughout the application process was spectacular, and the breadth of experience that both Caryn as well as the broader SBC organization provided was second-to-none. Things I found to be particularly helpful: 1) Caryn kept me on track throughout the process. I was a little late to the game, and decided to try and fit 5 schools (all M7) into R1. Never throughout the process did I need to question whether I’d miss any deadlines or have anything but the highest quality application. 2) I had a below average undergrad-GPA at all the schools I was applying to. After reviewing my transcript in detail with Caryn, I was able to come up with a concise, honest, authentic, and compelling strategy to address this in my additional essays. Honestly, I think this ended up being one of the strongest pieces in my application. 3) The interview practice (both for one-on-one as well as group interview) was fantastic. I felt not only much more prepared after these practice sessions (the questions asked during the mock interviews were extremely close to those in the actual interview), but much more confident going in.
I’m an international applicant with a decent GMAT score and work experience, but a very weak GPA (2.9), and with no strong extra curricular work to overcome that. I decided to use a consultant to help me understand the best way to craft a compelling application given some significant gaps on paper. After speaking to a few of the most established MBA Admission consulting firms, I decided to work with Caryn at SBC because I felt that both Caryn and Esther at SBC gave me the most realistic advice in our initial conversations, and did not try to sugar coat the potential difficulties I would face in my applications (I had targeted some fairly challenging schools for my stats).
Working with Caryn was a breeze – she helped me think through my goals and stories to craft a compelling narrative, my school selection strategy, and gave me critical advice on remedying the gaps in my GPA and lack of quantitative work during my undergraduate days. She was also super quick with feedback, and would constantly push me to keep to our aggressive timeline, which I found very helpful. In addition, I found the Flight Test with Amy really helpful – and we actually rewrote an entire essay from scratch based on the feedback from that Flight Test.
I applied to 2 schools with Caryn (1 stretch and 1 target), and really used that experience to apply to a further 3 schools. I’m happy to share that I was admitted into 3 of the 5 programs (all top 15 programs), with scholarships to boot, which was really unexpected given the gaps in my application. I will now be attending a great program – and I absolutely could not have done it without the tireless support and encouragement from Caryn and the entire team at SBC. If you are looking for a highly professional consultant to enhance your chances in an increasingly competitive business school landscape – you can’t go wrong with this team.
I did a 5 school all-in package with Caryn and it was worth every dime. I received acceptances from each school I applied to (a pleasant surprise for both of us, as all top 12!) and honestly don’t think I’d be going anywhere had it not been for Caryn’s amazing help and guidance throughout the process. Caryn was honest, supportive, and I can’t recommend her enough.
Investing in Stacy Blackman’s comprehensive package was a wise decision, to say the least. I was admitted to two M7 MBA programs with significant scholarships. I do not believe that I would have been accepted to these programs without the help of Caryn and the SBC team, let alone with scholarships. Sure, I spent a lot of money on the comprehensive package and some family members thought I was crazy at first, but what I spent was less than 10% of the scholarship I was awarded and less than 5% of the total cost of business school (2-3% if you include lost wages). It was well worth it. From the start, the SBC team provided the structure, guidance, and strategy that I needed to gain admission to a top business school. At first, the application process was complex, confusing, and overwhelming – Caryn’s wealth of knowledge made it feel surmountable. From the high-level application strategy, timeline, and list of schools, to the nitty-gritty of editing essays (sometimes up to 15 times), Caryn far surpassed my high expectations. Any work that I submitted to her was edited and returned within 24 hours, she was not afraid to give harsh/blunt feedback, and she was very strategic about how to highlight my strengths based on the specific questions being asked. Throughout the process, Caryn, Esther, and the rest of the SBC team were a pleasure to work with. They were very professional and, in speaking with friends who have worked with other firms, I can confidently say that they are the gold standard in admissions consulting. One important note is that SBC will not do the work for you, but they will help you structure your time and energy and help you hold yourself accountable. If you are on the fence about hiring a consultant, I would not hesitate to set up a call with Esther and discuss your candidacy. From the very first conversation, I felt more at ease with the process and, needless to say, am very happy with the results.
I worked with Caryn at Stacy Blackman on applications to Kellogg and Ross. I wanted to use a consultant because I made a career change one year before applying to school and was concerned about telling the appropriate story. I chose Caryn because she worked with two close friends of mine who were both admitted to their top choices (HBS). I immediately appreciated Caryn’s honest and knowledgeable feedback, as well as her awareness of resources. She helped me create a timeline for my GMAT prep and application process, which was incredibly helpful as we moved along. She was frank about my GMAT score and guided me toward the right resources when I was struggling to get my score up. We did a good amount of work up front to craft my story and this made essay writing, interview prep, etc. later on much easier to manage. One of the most helpful elements of the SBC package was the Flight Test. I appreciated having another set of eyes on my complete materials and was able to incorporate the feedback from Margaret to tie a few loose ends with my undergraduate transcript and career change. I also benefitted from doing the Ross group interview prep, which helped me feel more comfortable going into that session. Caryn was a wonderful cheerleader, while always staying on top of our deadlines and keeping me on track. I always received quick responses and felt like she could accommodate my schedule as needed. I am pleased to say I was admitted to both schools, with strong scholarships at each. The result well compensated for the cost of SBC’s services.
Thank you Caryn for your instrumental role in my admission to Kellogg! Caryn’s approach to consulting is structured and efficient, yet very clearly tailored to my specific situation. During one of our first calls, she helped my craft my overarching story in a way I had not thought of that ended up being very appealing to admissions committees. We were then able to move through the essays relatively quickly (at least in my opinion!) due to the clear process that Caryn outlined. If you work with Caryn, trust this process!! Caryn had very quick turnaround with the essays and other application documents and her comments were always perceptive and highly relevant. She helped me express myself in a far more polished and adcom-friendly way while ensuring that my unique tone and style were preserved. This is not an easy task, but Caryn is a true pro! Caryn brings prior adcom experience to the table and was an M7 graduate herself. These experiences, in addition to her discerning approach, were invaluable as we discussed strategy and approach. This was particularly valuable when I was working to gain admittance off of Kellogg’s waitlist. Without her, I don’t think I’d be moving to Evanston this fall. As for communication, I felt as though Caryn was readily available and was always willing to hop on the phone or provide a speedy response over email. She’s always a super friendly person which made working together easy and even fun. In fact, we just finished up one of my favorite conversations of all time – celebrating my admissions into Kellogg! Caryn is a top tier consultant, I feel very fortunate to have been able to work with her!
After having initial conversations with 4 other admissions consulting firms, I ultimately decided to go with Stacey Blackman. This choice was driven by a great first conversation with Esther (the initial point of contact who coordinated multiple SBC services throughout the process), fantastic reviews/referrals/results from friends of mine (all got into their top choice schools) who had used SBC, and great fit/reputation of Caryn Altman (ultimately the consultant I chose to work with throughout the process). The level of engagement throughout the application process was spectacular, and the breadth of experience that both Caryn as well as the broader SBC organization provided me was second-to-none. Even though I was applying to a pretty large number of schools in a single round, and knew Caryn’s particular involvement/experience with Kellogg, I was given great, specific advice on how to approach and execute stellar applications to each individual school I was applying to (including Kellogg). The specific tips I received from Caryn were spectacular and not only instilled a great sense of confidence in me prior to submission/interviews, but undoubtedly impacted the quality of each of my applications. Things I found to be particularly helpful: 1) Caryn kept me on track throughout the process. I was a little late to the game, and decided to try and fit 5 schools (all M7) into R1. Caryn ensured that we were both on top of our deadlines, and never throughout the process did I need to question whether I’d miss any deadlines or have anything but the highest quality application. 2) I had a below average undergrad-GPA at all the schools I was applying to. After reviewing my transcript in detail with Caryn, we were able to come up with a concise, honest, authentic, and compelling strategy to address this in my additional essays. Honestly, I think this was one of the strongest pieces in my application, and I definitely would not have known how to approach this without Caryn’s advice and support. 3) The interview assistance (both for one-on-one as well as group interview) was fantastic. I felt not only much more prepared compared to other candidates (the questions asked during the mock interviews were extremely close to those in the actual interview), but much more confident going in. I am thrilled with the results, and ultimately got into multiple top business schools, including my top choice school!
After having been dinged from all the schools I applied to for the class of 2019, I knew that I wanted to use an admissions consultant when reapplying for the class of 2020. After evaluating several options, I decided to go with SBC for a couple reasons: their track record and my initial conversation with Caryn Altman. Caryn was upfront with me and did not sugarcoat things – when telling her which schools I wanted to apply to, she said that they would be stretch schools for me, but did not discourage me from applying. Luckily for me, I got a head start working with Caryn, signing up in early 2017. Caryn and I hit the ground running; within weeks, my resume had taken shape and, per her suggestion, I became actively involved with a couple of charitable organizations around my hometown. Caryn was always lightning quick to respond to my emails – whether they be essay draft reviews or random one-off questions, she was usually able to respond within hours. She really went above and beyond when it came to responsiveness. Beyond working with Caryn, I benefited from working with SBC’s other consultants for the flight test and mock group interview. Ultimately, working with Caryn was great because I trusted her and benefited from her candidness in reviewing and talking about my essays and overall candidacy. All of the essays, resume, work, etc. was mine, but Caryn gave me the tools and advice needed to properly frame all of it into a successful MBA application! In the end, I was admitted to two schools and am proud to be able to say that I am going to be at Booth (a school where I was dinged without interview last year) this fall!!
One of the best decisions I made throughout the MBA application process was the decision to work with Caryn of Stacy Blackman Consulting. Caryn, a former Kellogg Admissions officer, was an invaluable resource to me throughout the application process. She was vital in formulating my strategy that I presented to all schools regarding my future career aspirations. Additionally, she helped me revamp both my resume and my interview responses to specifically fit the business school process. One of her great qualities as an admissions consultant is her ability to communicate. I never had any worries about not hearing her answers to my questions or seeing her edits to my essays in a timely fashion. Her email responses were thorough, and her edits always went above and beyond. Additionally, at any critical juncture (or whenever I felt I needed guidance), she was willing to jump on a phone call. She maintained this same diligence throughout the waitlist process. When working with Caryn, it is important to reciprocate her communication style and be organized / diligent. I believe that I maximized my potential to get into a top MBA program by working with Caryn!
I am very happy with my decision to work with Caryn and SBC on my (successful!) application to an M7 program. Caryn’s experience in admissions was apparent from the first time we spoke. She was interested in getting to know my story and helped me craft a narrative to consistently communicate this via my application. The detailed timeline Caryn provided helped me stay on schedule while managing work and other priorities. With that said, Caryn expected my full engagement as we worked through numerous drafts of the application. She was very good at providing timely feedback, which again helped me better manage my time. One very helpful part of the process was the mock interview. Practicing in front of a mirror, or with friends/family will obviously help, but you will not get the same detailed feedback that someone like Caryn can provide. I felt very prepared going into my interview and left feeling even more confident. Overall I am very satisfied with the services provided by Caryn and SBC. I realize, however, that this does come at a cost, and that people are in different financial positions. My view is that if you are committed to pursuing an MBA at an elite program you are resigning yourself to some level of financial burden (if only in the short term) with the expectation of future benefits. With that in mind I think this service is well worth it.
I had the pleasure of being paired with Caryn Altman and truly know I wouldn’t have gotten into two top schools (Booth & Kellogg) without her support, patience, project management skills, and ability to see how my application worked as a whole. I worked with her on 3 schools and applied to another two on my own using some of the same strategies I developed with her. Start to finish SBC was a great investment from my initial point of contact, to my flight tester (Beth who is a former adcom), to additional folks who provided a second opinion on essays for me when Caryn and I disagreed (not often!). SBC is absolutely the way to go if you’re thinking about working with a consulting company. They know what they’re doing and all the positive outcomes vouch for that. Thanks again for everything!!!!!
I applied to four top B-schools in 2016, on my own, and was dinged from all of them without interview. After this difficult outcome, I decided to investigate consulting services to get an idea of how my application could be improved the following year. I spoke to a few other services, including the MBA Exchange and mbaMission. In the end, I decided to go with Stacy Blackman because of how helpful my free consultation call with Bill Chionis was. I did a ding analysis with Caryn Altman. Her feedback was so direct and actionable that I decided to do an all-in package with her for a number of schools. Throughout the daunting process, Caryn’s expertise and support was extremely valuable. Caryn was efficient, direct, friendly, and supportive. I applied only to top 10 programs, and stubbornly didn’t add any ‘safety’ schools to my list, despite my scary results from the previous year. When I asked Caryn what my chances were, she candidly told me that it would be a stretch for many of them. Despite the odds, Caryn worked with me to ensure that I had a solid application and that I could showcase myself in the best possible light. She laid out a strategy which allowed me to understand how all the different parts of my application worked to tell a cohesive story. The All-In Package is quite pricey, but if you feel lost with the application process, I’d say it’s worth it (recall that I had come off four brutal dings!). Especially because of my test scores, we knew that the rest of my application, especially essays, had to *really* shine. I consider myself a strong writer, but even so, Caryn had tons of feedback on my essays. The mock interview gave me a boost of confidence, and when I did my first real interview I was surprised by how similar the questions were. The flight test feedback that I got from Lisa Anderson was very helpful. Another benefit to the all-in was that I could ask Caryn any general MBA questions I had (ex. interview-related etiquette, what to do when I get a confusing email during the application process, etc). I also did a mock interview with Erika Olson for HBS, which was excellent, and helped me prepare correctly for the unique HBS interview. I applied to seven schools in round 1, got interviews with four, and ultimately received offers of admission from two. I am happy to say that I will be attending HBS next fall. It wouldn’t have been possible without Caryn’s assistance – thank you to Caryn and the rest of the SBC team!
I signed up with SBC with only three months to my first deadline. I was nervous about timing but they assured that they would not cause the delays and would give fast turnarounds. Caryn and I worked on a system so that she could review while I worked and the opposite – there was no downtime for me. She was very responsive, and I always had her support even though different time zones. Caryn’s reviews went far beyond a grammatical error or re-wording of things. She got to know me very well and was very strict. Sometimes the feedback was tough. She taught me to give many examples and not answer in just a general way. There were two essays in particular that she felt was not turning out right. She worked with me through many rewrites to make sure that we sent in the best possible essay. She would not let me settle for less than perfect. I was surprised by how much Caryn got to know me and how much she cared and how hard she worked. I could not have had such good results without her and I was accepted to a first choice school. I have to say thank you to Caryn for her commitment and helping me be a competitive applicant.
I went to SBC after two friends had a very positive experience. In fairness, I was sold on their references so did not really explore other options. No matter – I am completely happy with my selection. I was very cautious at first because it was such a big investment. I found it hard to comprehend how I could get my money’s worth. But the process really helps streamline your application journey in such a smart way. I worked hard and put it a lot of hours (so did my consultant Caryn). We went through all of the steps of exploring my entire background, determining strengths and weaknesses, coming up with great examples and then applying all of the stories across my various applications. As I said Caryn worked HARD. She truly cares and adapted herself to my schedule. She made it clear that she would not be a bottle neck and she was here to serve me, not to complicate my life by jumping through hoops for her schedule! Refreshing!! She guided me through a structured but flexible process, we went through the steps to create a backbone of an application, but also spent time where I needed it most. In my case I am a fairly decent writer but needed a lot of help structuring my ideas. I also want to point out that the flight test is a very very valuable program that is offered by SBC. The idea is that your main consultant goes through the application very carefully with you and gets to know you well. This is good, but it is different from the way your application is looked at by the schools. So the flight test actually copies the review of the schools. The reviewer does not know you, does not have any info on you, and just gets your package and goes through it quickly. Then you get the feedback and can apply it with your consultant. I liked that extra level of help and the extra look at my application before I submitted it. The feedback was useful. Caryn and SBC as a whole were true professionals. Everything ran smoothly. I felt motivated and supported, and I knew I was getting the very best advice out there. In retrospect I cannot imagine doing this without their support – I know it made the difference for me as I am going to a top 5 school in the Fall.
I applied to four schools round 1 for this past year and used Caryn at Stacy Blackman Consulting. In short, she was fantastic. I felt as though she was extremely invested in my success, was very strategic and always steered by in the right direction. She was also very available and communicative. She always responded to my emails and was willing to hop on the phone when I asked her to. I got into two top schools and was wait-listed at a third. I feel really good about how the process ended up and am confident I would not have gotten to where I am without Caryn’s support. I would (and already have) recommend her to anyone looking for comprehensive consulting services for top MBA programs.
I worked with Caryn on a three school All-In Package and she helped me through the entire b-school process. I was accepted into all three programs and offered a full-year academic scholarship from one! Being relatively young, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into and would have been really lost without her help. Also facing a low score from my first GMAT which I took in college, she helped me create a strategy for how to go about handling re-taking standardized tests. She also provided me with advice about how to fill in some of the potential gaps she saw in my application e.g. extracurriculars before the application season started. When it came to the applications and essays themselves, Caryn helped me create a clear and compelling application- she was really able to see where I wanted to take my essays and helped me get there by ensuring I was focusing on the right context and communicating my points saliently and efficiently. She also ensured that every detail in all my applications were covered properly. Although I was working with a very unpredictable work schedule, Caryn was always accommodating and flexible yet at the same time ensured we were progressing on schedule so I could get all my applications in on time. Without her help, I doubt I would be in the position I am now with offers from all programs I applied to! Her guidance and counsel were truly invaluable and would absolutely recommend using her!
I worked with Caryn through a three school All-In Package and I also had Caryn edit my fourth application on an hourly basis. I was accepted to three of these schools and waitlisted at the fourth (all top 7 programs). I will be heading to my top choice, Wharton, this fall. As someone with fairly typical background and a low GPA, I knew I needed every advantage possible if I wanted to be admitted into any of top schools. After interviewing four different admissions consulting companies, I decided to use SBC because of their established track record and breadth of offerings beyond the essay help (the flight test, the practice interviews, the sample essays, etc.,). I chose to work with Caryn in particular because of her experience as a Kellogg MBA, a Kellogg admissions officer and a marketing professional. Caryn was a great choice. Caryn helped me connect the disparate points of my story and establish a clear narrative throughout my application. She even helped me find a couple more extracurriculars to get involved with to round out my resume. I appreciated that Caryn was willing harshly criticize my essays, forcing me to push myself to write the best essays I could. Looking at the finished product, I would say that my essays ended up being the strongest part of my entire application. Caryn was much more than an editor. Caryn helped me establish a timeline and many benchmarks to ensure that I got in all of my round one applications on time. Caryn provided essay feedback within 24 hours, and she was quick to answer all the nagging minor questions that pop up during this process. Caryn made this inherently stressful experience a lot more tolerable. Caryn helped ensure that I submitted the best applications possible and her unwavering enthusiasm throughout the process was equally valuable. I don’t think there’s any way I would’ve gotten into one (let alone three!) top 7 schools without Caryn’s guidance, and I would definitely recommend Caryn/SBC!
Caryn from SBC guided me through the whole Bschool application process from the beginning to the end. Without her help, I am not sure I could get such great results. I was a re-applicant this year. I worked with another consulting firm last year and got all the Dings. The consultant at that firm was not patient and the service was not at the same level with SBC at all. Caryn is very nice, patient but also a very professional consultant who knows what’s going on in the application world. I trust all her advice and she clearly pointed to me every single detail of the application. I was born and raised in China and came to U.S. for college. My written English was bad and Caryn did so much work on my basic grammar. Caryn was very assertive on the application strategy. She was also very creative on crafting a package that is totally ‘me’. For example, when I was writing the essay for UCBerkeley, I was asked to choose a song that best describes myself. I picked several, but none of them sounded right. Caryn, in the end, picked a song that fits who I am. Even my friends commented “Wow, your consultant knows you very well!” I received three rejections before hearing any good news. It was a very stressful time but Caryn always had faith in me. Applying as a Chinese citizen and competing with millions of applicants from China, I was really lucky to have worked with Caryn and SBC who helped me stand out in the pool of applicants. I will be attending Kellogg starting fall 2016! I strongly recommend Caryn, and SBC. The process was smooth. Caryn was super responsible, patient, knowledgeable, experienced and sweet!! If you are thinking of applying B school, I would definitely recommend getting consulting service from SBC and Caryn!
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