Erika

Consultant

Stacy Blackman Consulting

United States

Net Promoter Score: 9

Consultant Bio

Erika received her MBA from Harvard Business School, where she also served as an HBS Admissions Ambassador. She earned her BBA (with high distinction) at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and spent the first two years of her undergraduate studies in University of Michigan’s Honors College, where she was named an Angell Scholar. In the spring of 2011 she was invited back to the Ross campus to help judge the undergraduate investment competition.

In addition to her admissions consulting work, Erika is a freelance writer who has written everything from corporate web site copy for design firms, to white papers and PowerPoint presentations for mutual fund corporations, to social media content and movie reviews for national DVD retailer Redbox. She is a board member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and attends movie screenings each week alongside the likes of Richard Roeper. What’s more, her first book, Zero-Sum Game: The Rise of the World’s Largest Derivatives Exchange, was published by Wiley in late 2010. It’s about the stranger-than-fiction multibillion-dollar bidding war that erupted for the Chicago Board of Trade while Erika was a Managing Director there. Erika’s thoughts on the exchange industry and mentions of her book have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Reuters, The Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and several other publications.

As the Managing Director of Marketing at the Chicago Board of Trade, Erika was not only taking down notes for her eventual manuscript, but also responsible for the exchange’s heavily trafficked web site, a multimillion-dollar advertising budget, and all product marketing materials. Further, she was selected by the CEO to be part of a small team dedicated to integrating the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s operations after the two companies agreed to merge.

Before joining the Board of Trade, Erika was the Vice President of Communications, Programs and User Experience at JPMorgan Chase. In this role she was responsible for the Commercial Banking division’s web site, as well as all marketing communications for Internet-based products and the company’s first-ever ethnographic customer research effort.

Prior to graduate school, Erika was an Internet strategy consultant and worked with clients in the financial services and pharmaceutical industries. She oversaw a five-continent, ten-country customer research project and opened the Chicago office for her Seattle-based firm.

Company Information

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 TEAM

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 top EU 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 US and EU school, has graduated from the 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+ candidacies. 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.

OUR KNOWLEDGE

SBC’s reach, contacts, and connections converge to benefit our clients. 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. 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.

OUR MODEL

SBC’s engagement model of a dedicated consultant with additional review by our AdCom team is the most robust of all firms. SBC offers unlimited time with a carefully selected Primary Consultant, allowing for full accountability and dedication. A candidate’s identity and character is best captured with one consultant completely responsible for success. SBC also believes in checks and balances, as it has the Flight Test which is a complete review by a former Admissions Officer. 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 a database of successful essays and interview questions and online guides.

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.

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 consultation with an SBC Principal.

Menu of Services and Associated Costs

The SBC All-In Service

The majority of our clients select our comprehensive package because they recognize that the competitive admissions process requires an application set that is stellar and strategic on all levels. The essays, interview, school visits, recommendation letters and resume are informed by an integrated strategy that is managed within our All-In service by one dedicated and accountable consultant.

SBC’s comprehensive “All-In” engagement includes:

  • Kickoff meeting to identify Client’s strengths and weaknesses and to develop the unique approach to Client’s application process.
  • Telephone consultations to discuss strategy issues, challenges, and questions.  Telephone consultations can be arranged as needed at Client’s discretion but must be scheduled with the consultant in advance.
  • Written document review, including essays, resume and other communications with target schools.
  • Assistance with general questions that arise throughout the process.
  • Interview coaching and one mock interview.
  • One AdCom Flight Test™ with prior admissions committee member.
  • Post-application consultation to work through issues such as interviews, waitlist and deferral strategy and school selection.
  • Assistance with recommendations – advice on selection and preparation of references and high-level review of recommendation letters to provide feedback on general approach.

Hourly First Services

Start with 2-3 hours for strategy work a la carte and the candidate can then roll up into the purchase of an All-In package. SBC also allows a client to add hours to a comprehensive engagement with the same consultant.

Hourly Services

Hourly services can include any or all of the below:

  • Initial Strategic Planning
  • Background Assessment/School Selection
  • Resume Review
  • Recommendation Counseling – selection, prep, review
  • Essay Review – one draft of set of essays
  • Waitlist Strategy & Communications
  • Ding Analysis
  • Career Coaching

All-In Interview Prep

Leverage our video platform for unlimited practice, self-assessment, and a professional review. Work with a dedicated consultant one-on-one for one hour to gather interview prep tips and then put them to the test in a live mock interview, followed by detailed feedback and coaching.

Plan Ahead 

For candidates who are a year or more out from submitting applications, we recommend Stacy Blackman Consulting’s Plan Ahead package.

Location: United States

Phone: 866-667-8229

Email: info@StacyBlackman.com

Website: https://www.StacyBlackman.com

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P&Q Consultant Reviews

  • The Elite Admissions Consultant
    6 months ago
    I enlisted Erika’s help for 1 H/S school application (end-to-end) and I wholeheartedly recommend her. Certain qualities of Erika particularly stand out to me: - Erika has unparalleled insight into the admissions system. I was both a conventional and unconventional applicant, with certain elements of my profile that really required some thoughtful consideration to convey. Erika was masterful in handling these aspects - she knew exactly how to communicate these to the AdCom and how they would be perceived - Erika's system of feedback via email is superb - all communication after the initial call is done via email/comments on documents. This is hugely helpful - it saves a significant amount of time, and Erika ensures all her comments are captured with rich detail. She is extremely responsive ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • A True Partner In The Process
    7 months ago
    I first reached out to Erika for help in putting together my "story". On my own, I would have been much more risk-averse in my essays, and would likely have had a very run-of-the-mill application that would go unnoticed by AdComs. Working with Erika gave me the confidence to put myself out there and tell a more genuine and meaningful story through my essays. I was able to bounce ideas off of Erika, and she'd be very direct and honest--she has no problem saying "sorry, but nope, this doesn't work". But eventually, we got to a point where she'd say "you hit on exactly what they are looking for." My essays were quite deep and personal, and something I wouldn't have felt comfortable submitting on ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Erika is Excellent- Couple Who Applied Together
    8 months ago
    We have, and will continue to recommend Erika to anyone who can afford this service. Working with her offered a real advantage in this process as she kept us organized and helped craft our application. She did an excellent job of getting to know us and providing invaluable guidance on how we tell our stories to fit what each school was looking for. A couple points to note (highlights for us): ⁃ Erika is really honest. She gets straight to the point and will not hesitate to provide direct feedback. Her feedback is always constructive. ⁃ Erika is also really kind. She invested in us and we both felt that she was pulling for our success. She engaged in our stories, both individually and as a couple. ⁃ She looks at the ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Great Experience Working with Erika!
    8 months ago
    I truly enjoyed working with Erika on my business school applications and am so glad I chose to work with her and the rest of the SBC team. Given that I was coming from an over-represented field, I wanted to work with a consultant who would take the time to help me comb through my story and help me cherry-pick the most compelling aspects of my candidacy. Erika was truly helpful in that regard. She provided invaluable advice and recommendations for the entire application process - from formatting tips to interview insights, she always had an answer for my questions, responded quickly and thoroughly, and most importantly, helped me "get out of my own head" and assemble 2 applications to my dream schools with confidence. ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Highly Recommend Working with Erika at SBC!
    8 months ago
    Coming from an over-represented career background with a relatively “blend” personal story, I knew that an outstanding personal essay would be the key component of my application package. Seeking professional help, I chatted with quite a few MBA consultants before making a decision, and Erika stood out within the 5 minutes of our first conversation. And as it turned out, my first impression of Erika was right - she was highly professional, experienced, and absolutely fantastic to work with. At the beginning of our cooperation, Erika spent a significant amount of time understanding my background and helping me look for the unique personality traits and anecdotes that could differentiate myself from other qualified candidates. This self-reflection process has proved helpful in essay brainstorming and writing ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • The Real HBS Guru!
    8 months ago
    I reached out to Erika after hearing amazing reviews from two friends who both worked with her and ultimately ended up getting into Harvard Business School. I couldn’t be happier that I did decide to touch base with her, working with Erika was one of the best decisions I’ve made! The care, guidance and attention I received from her during my MBA application process were exactly what I hoped for! She provided candid feedback throughout the process, helped me to shape and stay on a timeline, and assisted with laying out a clear vision for how an MBA would help me to achieve my long-term goals. I have absolute trust in her ability to guide candidates through the oftentimes intimidating process of applying to business ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Erika is Amazing!
    1 year ago
    Working with Erika and the SBC team was one of the best decisions I made. Going into the application process, I had my eyes on only one program that I felt was within my range. After talking with Erika, I decided to shoot higher for the top tier schools. Erika's thorough approach got the best out of me for my resume, and her advice helped me convey my true self to the admissions committees. She helped me tailor my application for each school I was applying to, prepared me thoroughly for my interview, and kept me on schedule during a hectic application season with her gentle reminders. She remained in my corner as the decisions came out, including the inevitable dings, and her encouragement helped ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2021 Admit
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  • Personable, Knowledgeable & Extremely Helpful
    2 years ago
    Applying to the top 5 MBA programs and coming from a fairly traditional financial background, I knew I would need to differentiate myself through my story in my essays. I enlisted Erika for this exact reason, and she was able to help me execute on this. Erika will push you to craft your own ideas, which allows you to take ownership of your essays, but will provide necessary commentary to turn your ideas into a thoughtful story that tactfully addresses the essay question. She was very helpful in streamlining my essays to actually get to the point, while leaving an impression on the reader. I would definitely recommend Erika to anyone applying to top MBA programs, who sometimes struggles with expressing themselves via writing! Erika ...
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    Class of 2021 Admit
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  • Thank You Erika at SBC!!!
    2 years ago
    I was very lucky to work with Erika at SBC on my HBS application this year and couldn’t be more pleased with the process. I’m sure each applicant struggles with information overload when applying to MBA programs – there are many (and often conflicting) opinions available online that can over-complicate the application process. I found Erika’s approach to be extremely thorough yet efficient, which was particularly valuable given I was applying from a finance job that didn’t leave a lot of time for second-guessing my application materials and approach. Erika has a gift for quickly internalizing your “story” and nuanced qualities of your overall applicant profile and helping you highlight elements that you may otherwise overlook or take for granted. This fresh, focused perspective really helped ...
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    Class of 2021 Admit
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  • Working w/ Erika at SBC!
    2 years ago
    I was on the fence about hiring an admissions consultant. With so much information available online, it seemed like it may have been unnecessary. I ended up getting an all-in package from SBC and working with Erika and I am so glad I did. Erika did a great job of helping me tell my story in a unique and creative way that brought success. I got into every school that I worked with Erika on (HBS, Kellogg, and Wharton), and the insights she shared were helpful for other schools as well. I cannot speak highly enough about Erika, and my only regret would be that I did not enlist her help earlier in the process.
    Class of 2021 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Review of Erika & SBC
    2 years ago
    I worked with Erika on Round 1 applications for the Class of 2021. Coming from a military background, I didn’t know what schools were looking for or how to speak about my background in a way that would make sense to the admissions committees. Erika’s perspective was invaluable in helping me create a personal brand that resonated with the schools I applied to. She not only helped me translate professional jargon into a language understood by the adcoms, but she also highlighted many skills and experiences that I had but took for granted, having only worked around military colleagues my whole career. Erika was an excellent sounding board for essay ideas and gave me candid feedback on which ones to discount and which to run ...
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    Class of 2021 Admit
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  • Working with Erika at SBC
    3 years ago
    Starting the application process, I was daunted by the challenge of applying to eight schools (all top ten) while trying to figure out how to make my profile stand out in a common and competitive applicant demographic. I started working with Erika at SBC, and was immediately impressed with how efficient she made the process, and how insightful her feedback was. Erika was quickly able to help me focus on the key stories from my professional and personal experiences that would differentiate me. As we progressed through all the applications, I had peace of mind in knowing that with her guidance, I was writing essays that would resonate with the admissions committees. Ultimately, I was accepted to five out of eight schools (Booth, Columbia, Sloan, ...
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    Class of 2020 Admit
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  • Working with Erika
    3 years ago
    I worked with Erika for admission to the Class of 2020 R1. I started working with Erika in January. She was absolutely great as a resource and just a great partner to bounce ideas and issues off of. The application process is filled with self-doubt and uncertainty and she was a steady hand throughout the process. She helped me go over career decisions as it related to the MBA process. On the application side, she helped me pull the most authentic and effective stories for my essays. She was also extremely personal and gave me vacation tips when I visited Bali. She was a pleasure to work with but kept it real. If something I wrote or said was negative, she didn't hesitate in letting ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2020 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Review of Erika at SBC
    3 years ago
    I considered Stacy Blackman, Veritas, and MBA Mission before choosing an all-in package. I read extensively online and held phone screens with each before making my selection. After applying during the R1, I am incredibly glad that I chose Stacy Blackman. I highly recommend SBC’s all-in package and specifically have wonderful things to say about Erika. One of the primary reasons I was initially drawn to SBC is because they let you choose your own advisor, who you work with across all schools/applications, while the advisor will thoughtfully bring-in school-specific experts when necessary. By the time you decide to apply to b-school, your job experiences, grades, and extra curriculars are all set, so the advisor’s primary goal is to help you craft your story. Besides her impressive ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2020 Admit
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  • Review of Erika (SBC)
    4 years ago
    I worked with Erika at SBC, had a fantastic experience, and recommend her with the fullest enthusiasm! Despite feeling prepared, I wanted some support from an impartial but expert source to ensure my applications were strong. Erika provided hourly advice for my applications to 2 schools, and I couldn't be more thankful for her help. I was admitted to both schools and will be attending HBS in the fall. There are many reasons why Erika was a huge help, but I found three things to be the most helpful. 1. She will save you time and keep you on track: Having someone to be accountable to will inherently help you meet and keep deadlines. But Erika added value beyond this. First, she ensures very quick ...
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    Class of 2019 Anonymous
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  • Working with Erika at Stacy Blackman Consulting
    4 years ago
    I worked with Erika at SBC and was admitted to both Harvard and Stanford in Round 1! I spoke with many services before selecting SBC for their honesty, professionalism, and straight-forward advice. Most importantly, I felt comfortable with Erika and sharing my perceived strengths and weaknesses. The business school application process can feel like a black hole that you're stuck in for upwards of half a year. Not only do you need someone with years of tangible experience and best practices to help you position your resume, essays and recommendation letters in the best light, but you also need someone who understands the full weight of the process to keep you above water. Throughout the application process, Erika was not only a fantastic consultant who ...
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    Class of 2019 Anonymous
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