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Graduate: 14 Years
Undergraduate: 14 Years
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
Brand Management and Development
School Admissions or Administration
Ernst & Young
Net Promoter Score: 10
Melissa Blakeslee earned her MBA, with a focus on marketing and strategy, from the Kellogg School of Management and her BBA in accounting from the University of Michigan. Before attending Kellogg, she worked on the Assurance Services team at Ernst & Young, during which time she obtained her CPA, and as an analyst at Accenture. Melissa then joined Ford Motor Company, where she conducted financial analyses and made recommendations on product development decisions. While at Kellogg, Melissa was an active member of the Marketing Club, and she helped lead student orientation during her second year. After graduating, she accepted an associate brand manager position with The Coca-Cola Company and led the development and launch of a new line of fruit drinks for the education channel. It was during this time that Melissa conducted alumni interviews for Kellogg and discovered her passion for admissions work. Before joining mbaMission, she served as executive director of admissions at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. During her 11-year tenure there, Melissa provided strategic direction to the admissions team, reviewed thousands of applications, and read more than 20,000 essays. She possesses expertise in understanding what drives admission committee decisions and how an applicant can craft a compelling and unique story.
mbaMission is the world’s leading MBA admissions consulting firm and the only one exclusively recommended by Manhattan Prep and Kaplan GMAT. Our dedicated, full-time Senior Consultants work one-on-one with business school candidates to identify and showcase their strongest attributes in their applications.
When applying to an elite MBA program, you need elite experience on your side. mbaMission’s full-time consultants are highly skilled communicators with comprehensive knowledge of the MBA admissions process, and helping you navigate that process to your fullest potential is our sole priority. You can be confident of having our undivided attention, because admissions consulting is our exclusive focus. In pursuing your MBA, you are making an important investment in yourself, so choose a firm whose singular objective is helping you achieve your goals.
Our full-time team includes MBAs from all the top programs. Although you work exclusively with one dedicated consultant at mbaMission, you benefit from the experience and input of our entire team. Our consultants intercommunicate constantly, sharing information, ideas, feedback, and recommendations. We also conduct semimonthly meetings, require ongoing training, and hold an annual full-company conference, where we gather to discuss best practices and continue improving our skills and knowledge base. More than 20 full-time admissions experts combine their know-how and experience to advance your cause. We know that our being at the top of our game means you have the greatest chance of success, and together, our team will find the best ways to strengthen your application.
One-on-one consultation services, comprehensive admissions and school-specific guides, a robust blog, free eBooks, essay analyses, and other valuable resources—visit our Web site to find all that mbaMission offers.
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Texas, United States
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I cannot emphasise enough how much I recommend Melissa as an MBA admission consultant. Working with her was an absolute game-changer! Her expertise, dedication, and support played a crucial role in my admission to all three programs during the final application round. Melissa truly took the time to understand my unique story, aspirations and goals by deep diving into my background and experiences and ensure it was effectively communicated in every aspect of my application. Melissa’s warm, thoughtful and genuine approach created a safe space where I felt super comfortable sharing my ideas or concerns throughout the process. Her insightful advice were absolute gold. Melissa provided invaluable feedback, helping me refine my ideas and craft compelling narratives that truly demonstrated my unique story. Melissa’s commitment to time is unparalleled. I was working on an extremely tight timeframe for the final application round and she always ensured that we stayed on track. Her prompt responses to my inquiries and availability for calls provided me with a sense of reliability that was very comforting. Melissa genuinely cares, her dedication and belief in my abilities instilled me with great confidence and enthusiasm (especially during interviews) that were instrumental to my success. This is truly one of the best decisions you can make!
I had the absolute privilege of working with Melissa during a time of immense turmoil in my life, and her unwavering support and expertise proved to be instrumental in my journey towards securing a place in a top 20 business school. I got the 6-school package and from start to finish, she exceeded my expectations and I cannot recommend her enough.
I met Melissa through a former client who was a friend/professional connection who had nothing but incredible things to say about her. After our intro call, I knew that she was going to be perfect for me. Her personality, capabilities, and experiences were exactly what I was looking for in someone to guide me through this process.
One of the standout qualities of Melissa was her exceptional ability to craft a compelling narrative that effectively showcased my strengths and unique experiences. Her experience as former Admissions Director at Rice Jones means she knows what schools want and how to package yourself to best market yourself to admissions committees. I had good scores and grades from undergrad but my work experience was meaningful but I hadn’t worked traditionally in years as I had been at home working for family as a loved one suffered from health issues. While I KNEW this experience was the right thing to do I felt that I had undermined my chances of success by taking such a risk so early in my career. Melissa being the narrative genius that she is, however, took the time to understand my personal and professional background, and her insights helped me articulate my story in a way that resonated with admissions committees. Her guidance was invaluable, ensuring that my application still stood out among fierce competition while remaining authentic to myself and my story.
It is easy to forget that Melissa is a dedicated Mother and an extremely popular consultant. She delivered feedback and edits well ahead of schedule, allowing me ample time to review and make necessary revisions. Her organization and attention to detail instilled a sense of confidence and peace in me throughout a process that can be discouraging and hectic. I never once felt that I was competing for her attention or that her focus was anywhere else but on me during our times of working together. Her recommendations were never generalized and instead all felt like they were tailored for my personality and situation. It was easy to remain calm knowing Melissa was sweating the details as much as I was
What further sets Melissa apart from others is her ability to create a safe and non-judgmental environment. Despite the insecurities and self-doubt that accompanied this process, she never made me feel judged or inadequate. Her warm and supportive approach made it easy for me to open up and share my ideas or concerns. What is great about Melissa is that she is also going to tell you exactly what you need to hear even if it isn’t what you want at the time. It’s tempting to think your first draft of an essay or initial answer to a practice interview question will be perfect but it is often not and far from it. And Melissa helped ensure only the very best essays and answers to interview questions will be presented when the time comes. Because of our trust and the relationship we developed it was very easy to absorb the message without feeling a need to be defensive. You can TELL just through both her actions and words that she genuinely cares about your success and worked tirelessly to help me achieve my goals.
Working with Melissa was an absolute pleasure, and I cannot recommend her highly enough. If I had to repeat this process I’d hire her all over again without a second thought!
I started my MBA application process with little direction and little confidence. I was unsure about where to apply and how to differentiate myself from a competitive pool of applicants. That rapidly changed after meeting Melissa!
I ultimately purchased a two-school comprehensive package with MBAMission after interviewing 6 different services. I had a 30-minute intro call with Melissa and knew immediately that she was the right coach (and worth every single cent of the financial investment!). Melissa is an excellent communicator, incredibly intelligent, and a huge cheerleader for all of her clients.
Melissa helped me pare down my list of schools not only based on academic reputation and rigor but also based on what schools would be the right social fit for me. I loved Melissa’s realistic and targeted approach, especially given limited time and finite resources (between working full-time, GMAT studying, essay writing, and wanting to maintain a general quality of life!). She encouraged me to think about schools based on where I thought I would be happy and encouraged me to engage in a lot of self-reflection so that I could hit the ground running with purpose and direction when I was ready to draft applications. Her knowledge about top business programs is extensive, and her honesty and candor were so appreciated. I especially liked her calm and systematic approach because the application process is stressful – she kept me grounded and at ease throughout! Additionally, there was not a single question that I asked her that she did not have a thoughtful and thorough answer for!
Throughout the application process, Melissa provided invaluable feedback in a respectful and timely manner. My stats (GMAT score and GPA) were on target for top business schools, but I was lacking in the extracurricular / volunteer aspect of applications. She helped me craft essays that highlighted my previous accomplishments in the best possible light (while “camouflaging” weakness), and she put in the extra effort to ensure that I was 100% satisfied with where the essays ended up.
I was ultimately accepted to 3 of the 4 top business schools that I applied to. I am confident that Melissa’s assistance was key to my acceptances!
Melissa exceeded all my expectations of what an MBA admissions consultant is supposed to be. If you’re looking for a sign to connect with her, this is your sign. After doing interviews with 4 or 5 different consultants, I knew Melissa was different right from our first contact.
Melissa truly took the time to get to know me deeply as a person, which is invaluable and critical to the essay writing and interview prep process. Her experience as an adcom member was also evident in the quality of edits and direction. Because she knew me so well, I was able to finely tailor a narrative about my life and career plan for every school.
Melissa also understood the emotional rollercoaster that happens during this process and was a great listener, advocate, and advice giver for any and all less tangible MBA questions.
I got 4 full scholarships, including two M7s, which I have no doubt wouldn’t have been possible without Melissa.
I don’t have enough words to thank her, and I highly recommend anyone looking for an admissions consultant to connect with Melissa. She is a true professional that cares deeply about her clients, and I think that those traits are reflected in the results of working with her.
Hire Melissa. It’ll be the best decision you make. As another reviewer mentioned, Melissa is in a class of her own. I’m going to Kellogg because of her!!!
After reading reviews of 40+ consultants and interviewing 9 different consultants, I did not hesitate to hire Melissa. She combines her direct work experience of leading an MBA admissions committee at Rice (Jones) with her lived experience as a Kellogg alum. Additionally, after going through the whole process, I can tell you that her approach is incredibly distinct, not just something off the MBAMission shelf. It was clear from the start that Melissa saw me as a person with a distinct and important story, not just another client.
Most consultants told me to apply to 6-8 schools because my GMAT was below average, and I was an older applicant. Melissa worked with me to avoid the “spray and pray” approach, but instead, helped me select schools that aligned most closely with my personal narrative/preferences. We ended up selecting four top-10.
From there, the writing process flowed very naturally. Her feedback was always on time and to the point. She successfully identified when I was drifting from my story or adding “fluff” that makes adcoms fall asleep. Being able to write essays alongside Melissa was a complete gift. Without going into too much detail, Melissa helped me discover parts of myself that will impact my life far beyond the application process. And for that, I am beyond grateful.
To wrap up, I ended up getting into my dream program (Kellogg’s MMM program) and will be headed up to Evanston this year!
Melissa is one of the best consultants to work with in this business. She understands the process, communicates great, and most importantly takes the time to learn about the client to understand their strenghts/weaknesses and to develop a plan accordingly. Her experience in this field over the years is evident and she truly cares that each one of her clients succeeds. As I was working through my essays and thinking about ways to craft my story, I not only received quick feedback but also honest feedback – even if it wasn’t always what I wanted to hear. I can’t thank Melissa enough for her help and support during this process and I would highly recommend her as someone to work with if you are considering an MBA!
I got accepted to both Booth and Kellogg’s part-time MBA programs. Without Melissa’s support, I wouldn’t be successful.
My case was a little bit unique since I didn’t have high GMAT. Despite my efforts with two attempts, my GMATs were at the low end of the acceptable ranges for both schools. That made me feel very nervous, but Melissa calmed me down and advised me to take EA which I wasn’t aware of at that time. It was the best recommendation ever! the EA wasn’t that hard and was suitable for my working circumstance.
The process wasn’t stressful at all. Melissa explained the whole process to me thoroughly. That made me feel much more comfortable by understanding steps by steps I needed to do and knowing that she would be there for me at every step in the journey. For example, she got back to all my questions and documents review within a day and not later than 2 business days writing essays isn’t my strength, but with Mellissa’s active listening and incredible storytelling skills, I was able to transform my stories into the next level. With the strong collaboration and Mellissa’s prompt responsive timing, we were able to finish all requirements earlier than scheduled.
In general, the consulting investment is the best one ever I have made in life because I got into my dream b-school- BOOTH with a SCHOLARSHIP. So, don’t worry if your profile is not strong. As long as you are determined to pursue your dream b-school and put 100% yourself in, you can do it, AND working with mbaMission and particularly Melissa will increase your acceptance probability tremendously.
After talking with a few consultants, I was immediately drawn to Melissa’s kind nature and holistic approach. From the beginning of my MBA application journey, I knew I would have someone who would be honest with me throughout while giving me the encouragement I needed to make it through this long process.
Melissa was extremely helpful through all facets of the application. Her essay reviews provided thought-provoking comments that pushed me to bring out the best parts of my story, and I really appreciated how detail-oriented she was for short answers and resume building. With her advice on the best ways to communicate and provide examples of my past work, reaching out to my recommenders felt like a breeze. I also felt very supported by her when taking the GMAT/GRE, which can be quite taxing when balancing all other aspects of the apps. Melissa didn’t stop there and was an incredible mock interview partner and confidante in the final decision process.
The best part was that the whole way through I knew Melissa was genuinely interested in getting to know me and seeing me succeed. My admissions results (5 out of 6 school admissions, including 3 M7 schools and 3 scholarships) are a testament to her amazing partnership! I can’t thank her enough and am so excited to attend HBS next fall!
If you are looking for someone to help you take your profile to the next level, look no further than Melissa! The energy and care that she brings to her role are obvious from the very first meeting. She takes the time to really get to know you and understand your story and goals at the outset of the relationship. This pays dividends throughout the process, as she is adept at helping her clients present themselves authentically and holistically and is quick to push back on anything that doesn’t live up to this standard.
Melissa is highly responsive in her communications, especially as deadlines approach. She was quick to answer any question or concern I had, no matter how small.
Looking back on the process now, I can’t imagine going through it without Melissa’s guidance. She helped me see the through line in my own story and ensured that I was able to put my best foot forward when it came time to apply. At the outset of our time working together, I would have been happy just to gain acceptance to my target schools. With Melissa’s help, I was able to achieve not only that but, in some cases, receive substantial scholarship money as well.
TLDR: Melissa is a consummate professional who will take the time and go the extra mile to understand you and your story. If you are looking for an admissions consultant, then look no further. Absolute A+, 5/5.
Throughout the application season, Melissa made herself available to help me with any aspect of the application that I felt uncertain about. She was always able to sense my uncertainty and provide immediate advice and feedback.
At the start of our partnership, Melissa made sure that she understood my perspectives through countless emails and calls. Not only did she take in all my stories A-Z, but also helped immensely in shaping them to convey my strengths across applications.
It never felt like a bother whenever I wanted to ask Melissa for her opinions, rather she was always happy to extend her services to me. She consistently ensured that I was content with all essay responses and that they felt authentic. Overall, her willingness to triple-check all application components and revisit any aspects I may have changed allowed for a genuine application that I felt confident in and content with.
During interview rounds, Melissa provided very thorough prep sessions that covered all bases from response timing to structure. She helped me prep for each program individually and always asked how I felt after sets of questions – willingly devoting more of her time to helping me.
Overall, Melissa was exceedingly supportive of my thoughts. She took in every idea I had and helped me develop them into well-formed responses. I certainly recommend her services – best partnership I’ve had!
I was working on a tight deadline. With a month and a half until the submission date for my application, I got cold feet about my essay. I was applying to a top 7 MBA college and needed help with my essays.
I was directed to Melissa by a college alum, and I am glad I trusted her. She was the only consultant I contacted and by the end of the initial consultation, I knew there was no one else I would have wanted to work with.
Melissa is super popular, and she books up really fast. My application timeline wasn’t working with her schedule so I looked at reviews to look for another consultant based on the number of positive reviews from mbaMission. I literally went through every single review tallying the number of positive reviews a consultant had and guess who won that tally. Melissa!!
She was super nice in accommodating me and loved the process she had established. Her feedback was direct and poignant. The best part about her was that she made you think for yourself, which made you feel you owned the final product. She encouraged me to dig deep within myself and my past experiences to really understand myself in a deeper way.
Working with her is perfect for driven people as she sets high standards for herself and for you. I loved working with her and would go as far as to say that I wouldn’t have received an admit into my dream college without her guidance.
At first, I was hesitant about hiring an admissions consultant, given that I had already done quite a bit of brainstorming on my story and essay topics. For that reason, I opted for hourly services and had an absolutely wonderful experience with Melissa!
It was super helpful to talk through my thoughts with Melissa as an objective sounding board. I initially purchased the 5-hour package and ended up adding one additional hour for interview prep. We met once at the start to strategize major themes across both of my applications (I was applying to two M7s in R1). From there, Melissa provided timely feedback on my essay drafts and answered all of my questions in thorough detail via email so I could best position myself in my applications. In our final hour, Melissa helped me with a mock interview to prepare for my interview with Sloan – giving me feedback on each response and making me dig deeper into areas I could explore.
As an hourly client, I 10000% appreciated the time Melissa spent above and beyond what I had signed up for, to help me tie up the loose ends even after my time “ran out”.
Ultimately, I was ELATED when I received my admission to Sloan, and CANNOT WAIT to attend next fall!!!
Melissa is an absolute JOY to work with – super responsive, transparent, friendly, warm, genuine, strategic, ALL the best qualities you’d want in a consultant! It is clear that she cares deeply about her clients – I can’t recommend her enough!
Working with a consultant is truly worth all the guidance, but I did have a poor experience prior to this where I hardly received guidance. I am so glad I gave finding a consultant another shot and was lucky that Melissa had the time to take me on as a client. She was extremely understanding of my candidacy regardless of my low test scores, quick to get back to me always, and provided candid feedback. Melissa still continues to support me in my process and I would not be able to create such a great story if it was not for her help! 100% I would recommend Melissa.
There are no words to express the level of appreciation that I have for Melissa and the dedication that she put forth to my application process. Melissa went far beyond the call of an admissions consultant and approached the application process in stride with me. Her previous experience as an admissions director provides a unique and unbelievably valuable lens to the application process. Melissa helped me decompose what was a cumbersome and daunting process and compartmentalize it into digestible pieces, creating a focused and purpose-driven timeline to success.
I can say, without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, I would not have achieved the same level of success throughout the application process if it was not for her guidance, support, and level-headedness. Saying I am immensely grateful for my time with her still falls short of the appreciation I have.
If you are looking for a consultant who has the experience and expertise to guide you through what feels like a daunting journey, look no further than Melissa!
After prospecting several business school consulting firms, I had my introductory conversation with Melissa and knew right away that she was in a class of her own. I initially did not gain acceptance to any of the programs that I applied to the first time around, so I decided to hire Melissa for my reapplication process.
If I could describe her consulting style in one word, it would be a partnership. The MBA application process can be a very individualistic and lonely process, however, Melissa ensures that she is with you every step of the way. From initial brainstorming sessions, outlining essay messaging, to admissions interview prep; she provides honest and constructive feedback to best position you for the admissions process.
I would recommend Melissa to ANY prospective admissions consulting client. I am confident that I would not have gained admission to both Ross and Booth without her help.
Working with Melissa was the best decision I made throughout the whole business school application process! I had less than stellar GMAT scores and Melissa encouraged me to take the GRE, which I’m confident helped my application immensely. She was always available to do as many revs on essays or anything related to my application as I was able to keep up with. Also, coming from consulting, it was initially difficult for me to translate the impact that I had on various projects for my essays and my resume – Melissa helped me speak in less “consultant-y” terms and in a way that would resonate with the admissions committee, which was invaluable. She’s also a pleasure to work with and talk to!
Melissa really takes time to get to know me and pushes me to think deeper throughout the process, starting from the brainstorming sessions to essay editing. Melissa is great at connecting dots of my stories in ways I have not thought of. She provides detailed comments on where to improve and always turns around revisions sooner than the required 48 hours policy.
She is extremely friendly, energetic and a real cheerleader – especially during the interview prep sessions. She is very encouraging and helped me a lot with building confidence in myself. Melissa made the application process much less stressful and I would not be able to get into my dream school (Kellogg) without her. Would 100% recommend her!
Melissa is an A++++ MBA Consultant! I had about 6 introductory calls with other consultants who I was unsure about but 10 minutes into my call with Melissa I knew I wanted to work with her! She was extremely helpful even in our 30-minute intro call about how I can most effectively bring my story to life.
I was an hourly client with Melissa and the brainstorming sessions were instrumental to my business school success. Melissa provided me with guidance on what stories I should share and when. Without her help, I 100% believe I would not have been able to produce essays that got me into four of the five programs I was admitted to Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, and Wharton.
Melissa is extremely personable, friendly, and energetic!! She is professional and communicative while remaining supportive during an incredibly stressful process. I’ll be attending Stanford GSB this Fall and I can’t thank Melissa enough for her support! I 100% know I would not have been so successful without her support. Anyone would be lucky to work with her.
Working with Melissa and mbaMission was great – I would recommend the firm and Melissa in particular to anyone who looking to add a level of polish and nuance to their applications. Melissa pushed me in all the right ways but it was not hand-holding either – you have to put in the work. She helped me refine my story, my essays, and my resume to a great degree. Melissa was friendly, professional, and fun to work with. If I had to do it again – I would choose her!
Unsure and overwhelmed over the application process, as well as not feeling confident in my story or candidacy strength – Melissa provided the ideal balance of support, advice, and push that I needed to be successful. I was admitted to all 3 of my R1 schools – Darden, Tuck, and Fuqua – in what was a competitive application year.
She assessed my candidacy and encouraged me to try out the GRE (after getting a semi-below-average GMAT score), which I am convinced was the push I needed that put me over the edge at my target schools (getting just above an average GRE score).
She is a natural storyteller, taking the time to understand aspects of my background outside of just work and academics to help craft my story as a compelling candidate. With her experience as an MBA Admissions officer, she helped to identify strengths and personal anecdotes that I would not have recognized to be useful in my application. Her editing tips were invaluable, helping to cut essays down to meet nearly-impossible word limits, without changing my writing. She provides advice on tricky topics too – like the appropriate amount of detail to provide re. a job gap, etc. She always turned around edits very quickly! Which helped me to plan ahead and stick to a schedule. And lastly, she was very helpful for interview prep as well!
Overall she is great to work with – personable, friendly, casual – as well as quick and efficient in her delivery of advice in our working sessions. She also genuinely cares about her clients. She was able to handle my wavering emotions with a comforting strength and grace – providing encouragement and advice on how to handle bumps in the road. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Melissa and highly recommend her as a consultant. WELL worth the investment!
Melissa was a great coach throughout the entire MBA application process! I did introductory calls with 4 different admissions consulting companies but thought Melissa was by far the best consultant I talked to. I’m so glad I chose to work with her. She is very friendly and has a really positive attitude, but will still help identify areas of weakness in the application and help you craft a great story that emphasizes your strengths in order to receive admission into your dream school. Her feedback was provided in a timely manner and she was always available to answer a quick email question as well.
I was an hourly client and in 5 hours she helped with a brainstorming session, a resume review, at least one or two revisions on the different essays and short answers for Haas and Anderson, and a mock interview where we covered both schools. While I had competitive statistics (GPA and GMAT), I had little to no extra-curriculars since starting my professional career 4 years ago and come from an over-represented applicant pool so Melissa’s help with the applications was instrumental in my success. I was even able to leverage what Melissa and I had discussed to apply to Marshall on my own, although I do think the applications I submitted with her direct help were stronger. When it was all said and done, I was accepted to Anderson and Marshall and waitlisted at Hass, receiving roughly two-thirds and one-half merit-based scholarships with my acceptances. This outcome greatly surpassed my expectations and I could not have done it without Melissa.
I highly recommend working with Melissa if you are at all uncertain in the MBA application process, as I know my applications were many times better than they would have been had I gone at it alone.
I was overwhelmed coming into the business school admission process and I didn’t think I’d have a chance based on my nontraditional professional background — even after studying for the GMAT for over a year. Melissa eased my anxiety and was positive throughout the entire process. Her coaching, editing, and advice helped me go 6/6 in a very competitive R1 with T25 schools. Melissa takes the time to really get to know you and your story and then helps craft everything in a way that’s easily understood by admissions committees. I think this skill, along with her experience as a Director of Admissions at a T25 school, is what sets her apart from the other many admission consultants out there. She’s amazing!
I was skeptical about hiring an admissions consultant when I was considering applying to business schools in 2019. I got on the phone with Melissa and she gave me truthful, candid advice that I should hold off for a year and focus on improving my profile. I was shocked that an admissions consultant, who relies on paying students, would be so honest and candid, and I ultimately held off on applying. When I came back 18 months later to revisit my application with her, Melissa was kind and truthful again, and I decided to go ahead with her. Now, I’m heading to Wharton with 85% scholarship, and I could not have done it (both the acceptance or the scholarship) without Melissa’s help. She is so genuine, kind, and responsive – it was a phenomenal experience.
I worked with Melissa for Round 1 of the 2021 intake cycle. Coming from an over-represented pool, with a median GMAT and big four Technology Consulting background, I knew I needed to stand out. But more so, I needed to remain confident in the strengths of my application.
Melissa was the pillar I relied on to stay positive and confident. Most importantly, she was “chill” and kept conversations easy and informal. This personality trait/demeanor was different from experiences some of my friends had with their consultants who were more focused on their personal admit results and coaxed my friends to shoot lower. On the other hand, Melissa encouraged me to take my shots at the reach schools while balancing with a couple of safeties. She was also open to re-working and re-editing essays that we had long seen as final (probably pretty frustrating!) until I was perfectly happy with the submitted product – as v12 and v9 of my two Kellogg essays can attest!
She often had to play the role of a coach and a cheerleader and helped quell the feelings of self-doubt that inevitably arise from reading opinions on online forums.
It also goes without saying that she was always punctual sending back edits and operated well within mbaMission’s 48 business hours turnaround policy (usually much sooner).
At the end of the day, it’s the results that matter, and I was admitted to all 3 schools I worked on with Melissa – Ross, Kellogg, and Sloan (dream school) – with a sizable scholarship at Ross and a modest scholarship at Kellogg. Moreover, I used similar stories/language on other applications as well and was admitted to 2 out of 3 of those as well.
Melissa was the absolute best coach throughout the entire business school admissions process. Her thoughtfulness, empathy, and direction are unparalleled and I LOVED working with her.
She effortlessly developed an easy, effective working relationship, diving right in to the content of my application from minute one of our hourly working sessions. I appreciated the way that she reviewed and edited material with clarity and explanations of why she was suggesting specific changes. She excels at supporting in the holistic development of an application and providing incredible feedback on written material.
Melissa represents the best combination of coach, partner, and friend and I am so grateful to have had her guidance throughout my time apply to business school. I 100% recommend Melissa. Anyone would be lucky to work with her.
Hiring Melissa was easily the best decision I made during my MBA admissions cycle. She has one of the best backgrounds one could want in an admissions consultant – prev adcom director, MBA from an M7, and real-world industry experience. Pair that background up with superb communication skills, being authentic and unapologetically honest in every interaction, genuine caring for clients’ success, less than 24 hrs returns on drafts, and just being a really nice person to work with overall – what more could you ask? This deadly combination of traits makes Melissa the absolute no-brainer MBA-consultant choice.
I was late in the process and reached out to mbaMission only after R1 deadlines. I’m from an over-represented background, with avg GMAT (for my pool) and less than avg work exp. But right from my first call, Melissa was extremely positive about my candidature. I kept doubting my GMAT score multiple times, but while Melissa did suggest some options, she instilled confidence in me that since my score was at or above the avg scores for my target schools, I should focus more on my essays and overall profile strength. I took her advice and did not get a single rejection from the 6 schools I applied to in R2. I also got into both the M7’s I applied to and am headed to one of them this fall.
The way Melissa edits essays is just amazing. She didn’t spoon-feed or drastically change the story-content from her side, but rather used the knowledge she had about me from my profile and our brainstorming call, and transformed the essays into a strength for my overall profile. On multiple occasions, she not only nudged me to think harder about choosing a story but also pushed me to dig deeper into the EQ aspects that one would have not thought about. She even helped me frame my answers succinctly to application form questions and work experience descriptions. When I got interview invites/decisions from all 6 schools, I informed Melissa even before I informed my closest family and friends – that was the level of trust and confidence I had in her. Even though I had 6 interviews lined up, Melissa went through specifically tailored interview prep for each school the week before, explaining what questions to expect, how to position myself for a particular curveball question, and what kind of aspects each school was looking at. This was tremendously helpful. And not to forget, Melissa was extremely flexible with so many reschedule requests – once in the middle of our interview prep call, my boss called for an impromptu meeting and Melissa was really nice to offer to reschedule the prep that we’d already begun that day! She is totally committed to ensuring your success and I do not regret one bit my decision to work with Melissa.
Within a period of 4-5 months, she went from being a complete stranger to being a close friend and advisor to talk to. Getting into my top choice school is a dream come true and I couldn’t have done this without help and guidance from Melissa. I wholeheartedly recommend Melissa as your admissions consultant. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!
I decided to hire Melissa from mbaMission following a free initial consultation and a fit conversation. We spoke of her deep industry experience and how she could help my fiancé and I achieve our goals. Throughout the process, she was very supportive, frank and it became clear to me that she was invested in our success. The brainstorming process was a lot of work to get through, but it really laid the groundwork of what would later become my essays. Her help and guidance for the essays of each school were instrumental; we discussed ideas for each essay in-depth and these discussions were always very helpful in figuring out what to write. I often found myself reviewing essay prompts, completely stuck without a direction as to where to go, but Melissa was able to look back on my experience (from the brainstorming) and help me formulate a plan forward. Having much industry experience, she was able to help me understand what specific schools were looking for and how my experience was a fit. She was easy to work with and supportive of helping me craft compelling stories. I am happy with our outcome and with admittance to a few schools as a result. Should I have not been so fortunate, I would very much look to collaborate again with her in helping me portray compelling stories of myself.
I have been out of college for 10 years and trying to get into one of the top business schools in the world seemed like a VERY daunting challenge. I was overwhelmed when I looked through the application process and knew I needed help. I found mbaMission which led me to find Melissa. It is a lot of money and I was not sure what to expect but immediately I could tell Melissa was going to get me there! She did tell me that I would get out of it what I put into it so I spent over a month getting her all the information she needed to get the process going and WOW. She gave EXCELLENT advice, gave me beyond helpful edits on the first few drafts of my essays, and pushed me to do some online classes and other programs/ projects to make up for some of the weaknesses I had in my application. Everything she edited/ suggested is nothing that I would have done on my own. She was ALWAYS on time with giving back edits or answering emails- most of the time she even got back t o me right away! I truly felt like she was in my corner, made sure I felt heard from my point of view regarding the essays and was really fighting for me in any and every way. It was a team effort and never once did she make me feel like I was demanding too much of her time or that I was another client she had to deal with. She encouraged me when my score for the GRE didn’t raise at first and she celebrated all my small wins along the way before getting accepted. I am so happy that I was paired with her as she was my rock the ENTIRE time. I WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN MY ACCEPTANCE INTO ROSS BUSINESS SCHOOL WITHOUT MELISSA. I think the best decision you will make is signing up for this service and then asking for Melissa. You can tell she cares and genuinely is fighting with you. Melissa, if you read this, THANK YOU! You have been an integral part of my success in getting in and anywhere that Ross takes me!
From my initial consultation to preparing for interviews, Melissa was easy to work with, genuine, and always gave me the impression she really cared about my outcome.
As a foreigner entering the business school application process without any experience in the US college system, I found the whole thing intimidating to say the least – and the decision of which consultant to use even more stressful. After completing a free session with Melissa I was immediately confident in my choice; her extensive experience in the field, both in the university system itself as well as in a consulting capacity, was very evident. She was honest in pointing out the weaker aspects of my background, but also overwhelmingly positive about where we should focus to provide me the best chance.
Over time as we worked together, she was instrumental in helping me construct and communicate my narrative effectively. I found the brainstorming session particularly helpful for this. During the essay writing (hardest part for me), she provided quick, actionable feedback, which was always constructive and positive in nature, and made me feel like I was on the right path.
I was ultimately accepted into my first preference, a school I had initially thought was a big reach. I can confidently say this would not have been possible without Melissa’s amazing help, and so cannot recommend her enough to prospective business school applicants!
There is zero chance I would have made it through the application process without Melissa.
The primary internal debate I was having with myself leading up to the application process was whether or not to seek professional assistance. Due to financial reasons, I thought…..maybe I could do it myself and save some money. I could NOT have been more wrong…
During my initial 30 minute free consultation very early on in the process, Melissa came prepared and ready to help. She gave me tangible next steps so that I could maximize my time between that first call and when we would begin writing essays months later. Her advice ranged from ‘getting more involved in a volunteer organization I was already apart of to retaking the GRE to taking HBX CORe to improve my quantitative abilities’.
Hiring Melissa was the investment of a lifetime. It was my first large purchase, biggest financial sacrifice, and I am absolutely THRILLED with the outcome of our work together. And thrilled is a drastic understatement.
She gave me the confidence I needed to own and tell my story. Melissa provided truly the most candid / honest feedback I needed on every single word I put in my essays.
She mandated that I dig deeper, push myself harder, and brought out the absolute best in me – all while being an incredible mentor, friend, and support system.
In the end, I got into my #1 dream school: Darden. It was a stretch. We knew it was a stretch going in, but her unwavering confidence in me got me over the finish line. I learned that applying to business school takes a village, and I’m eternally grateful Melissa was part of my village.
Applying to business school is a stressful and challenging process that requires a lot of commitment and reflection in order to have a successful outcome. I wanted to hire a consultant that would not only support my goals but also set realistic expectations throughout the process. After an introduction call with Melissa, I felt she was the perfect fit for me. I immediately felt I was talking to a close friend. There are not enough words to describe why deciding to work with Melissa has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Melissa was honest, responsive, supportive, and motivating every step of the way.
Melissa really excelled every step of the process. Here are some observations:
Brainstorming. This is the backbone of the application process. During this stage, you have to self-reflect about every milestone in your life and write about them in a brainstorming document. Even though I drafted a very detailed brainstorming document, Melissa asked me multiple follow-up questions, genuinely showing her interest in getting to know me better and understand my story. Melissa was of great help to me when it came to deciding which program to apply to – she even proposed me to apply to a program I thought it was a reach for me (this shows her interest in obtaining the best outcome for the applicant and not in improving her personal stats).
Essays. Melissa made the essay writing easy, efficient, and fun. I really appreciated how Melissa constantly pushed me to dig deeper into the details of my story. During this stage, she was always fast at turning over reviewed essay drafts (much faster than the 48-hour stipulated turnaround). I liked that Melissa was forthcoming and honest when she felt an essay wasn’t strong enough or required a fresh start.
Interviews. Melissa and I had one-hour prep sessions before each interview. These sessions were extremely helpful as it gave me a lot of confidence and made me feel comfortable by the time I walked into the interviews. Melissa helped me prepare my answers in advance and taught me how to adapt my answers to specific questions.
You can’t go wrong with Melissa. She was largely responsible for my successful outcome. With Melissa’s guidance, I was admitted to Kellogg, Booth, and Fuqua.
Coming off a zero admit season I was desperately seeking good advice and counsel for my reapplication season. As part of my search, I reviewed the list of consultants on the mbaMission website and decided to set up a 30 min complimentary call with Melissa. I was intrigued by her experience leading the admissions committee at an actual business school and wanted to get her thoughts on my candidacy and approach.
While I decided to go with an Indian consultant for a school package due to budgetary constraints, I didn’t want to miss out on Melissa’s expertise and decided to go for hourly services with her.
I loved Melissa’s direct but positive & encouraging approach to my questions, and while initially, I was apprehensive about how the whole “hourly” service will work, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of value I was able to derive from it. I used Melissa’s expertise in fine-tuning my resume, reviewing essays for a couple of schools, getting answers to miscellaneous questions, and I finished it with a mock interview. For those who may be apprehensive about spending 4-5K to get such expert advice as a full package, I’d say the “hourly service” is a great way to not miss out on some very valuable support and guidance.
Melissa’s feedback on essays and story structure was crucial (especially for Fuqua’s 25 things) and she also suggested some super edits to resume bullets which were minor changes but greatly increased the impact of the bullets. The mock interview was also very helpful as we focused on pace and tone apart from the stories. I also sought her advice on things like interviewing with alum vs on campus and it was reassuring to make those decisions knowing that I was not doing it alone.
I had final offers from Chicago Booth, Kellogg & Duke Fuqua and I have no qualms in admitting that Melissa had a material effect in ensuring these great results.
Prepping for the GMAT and GRE (I took both) was an exhausting process. I’ve always been a solid student (GPA 3.8), but I kept missing the mark on these standardized tests. I wasn’t very happy with my scores and was thinking of applying round 3, to start school in fall 2018. Melissa was instrumental in my decision to wait, get the best scores I possibly could, not rush the essays, and apply round 1, in order to start school in fall 2019. I followed her advice and will be starting school in about 6 months at USC Marshall. Her honest assessment of my candidacy was so appreciated. I’m very glad I waited to apply and took her advice.
When it came to essays, I didn’t know where to begin. I was so drained from the studying process. Melissa really helped me hone my focus, and again, her honesty was greatly appreciated. One of my essays was so far away from where it needed to be that Melissa declined to give notes on it, and instead suggested that I start over with a different approach (she specified the approach). I was paying hourly, so I’m very grateful that she didn’t waste time correcting an essay that was so poor to begin with.
Melissa is awesome in terms of communication, time management, and giving helpful, honest feedback. I would highly, HIGHLY recommend.
When facing the B-School application process I knew the cost of a consultant was significant, but if I went through the process alone and didn’t get the outcome I was looking for, I would have kicked myself for not utilizing the resource. I talked with 3 potential consultants before making a decision and during our initial 30 minute consultation Melissa understood my story the best and was very upfront about strengths and potential challenges for my candidacy without instilling fear about going through the process. She became a partner and a guide through this process.
I worked with Melissa on a 5-school package beginning in May for Round 1 helping with school selection, brainstorming, essay edits, interview prep and interactions with admissions post acceptance. Melissa took the time to get to know me, making her suggestions more meaningful and her constructive feedback easy to accept during the brainstorming/editing phase. During school selection she asked probing questions to help me come to conclusions and even put me in contact with a former client who attended one of my target schools. I was shocked at how helpful the interview prep was, since it is tailored to each school I felt very confident going into different situations.
Scheduling calls was easy and it felt like catching up with an old friend, who happened to be supporting me through this sometimes grueling process. MBA mission has a 48 hour response period, but I often heard back much faster. The best part about working with her, was knowing someone had my back during all steps of the application process. I can’t imagine going through this process or getting the results I did without Melissa’s help and support, I cannot recommend her enough.
In April, I signed up for a 3-School Round 1 package with Melissa. Melissa was amazing throughout the whole process. She wasted no time getting all the information she could from me and assigning me homework in order to get for us to get the best essay stories possible.
It is worth noting that I was also studying for the GMAT while working on my essays with Melissa, and she was very conscious and respectful of my study time. She often helped push me to study more and do better by providing words of encouragement. After I took the GMAT, she was one of the first people to reach out asking how the test went, but never applied too much pressure to make me feel as though if I didn’t do well on the test that we were in trouble.
Melissa and I worked on 3 schools together, but I applied to 6 programs in total. Melissa was a huge help when deciding which programs to apply to, whether she was going to help me with that school or not. We immediately got to work writing for my target schools, which actually was pretty fun compared to typical essay writing. Melissa always responded with in depth comments, and structural notes that really helped my essays paint a clearer picture. Communicating with Melissa is seamless. Our phone calls always felt very relaxed and natural while being extremely informative. I believe MBAMission has a 48 hour turnaround period for all materials, but Melissa usually responded to all my requests with a day, sometimes in just a few hours for random questions and asks.
After receiving my interview requests, Melissa and I would spend an hour on the phone a couple days before each meeting. I was always very nervous about these interviews, but Melissa really helped calm these fears, while also helping me prepare. I think this was a huge reason I ended up getting admitted to my programs.
Melissa is definitely worth the investment. I believe my time with her made me a better writer, and a stronger candidate. I believe she was a huge reason I ended up getting a scholarship from my school of choice, and admitted into multiple programs. Melissa really helped calm my nerves during this extremely anxious process. Melissa is a great asset to any MBA application process, and I would absolutely recommend her to any and all people looking for someone to help their application make a splash.
When I was considering business school, I had a lot of questions about whether it was the right next move. I was already working in investment banking, so I knew that for the return on my investment to work, it would have to be a top school. After doing some research, I scheduled a call with Melissa and she helped walk me through every aspect of the process and figure out if the schools I was interested in were attainable. I could tell that she really knew what she was talking about, and she definitely was on my team from day one. After our discussion, I knew that despite the somewhat off putting price tag, it was worth it given my busy schedule.
Once I was signed up, Melissa was by my side every step of the way. She was incredibly responsive and kept my application process moving very efficiently. She played a key role in helping me narrow down a list of schools into a targeted application strategy, and then craft a compelling story tailored to each program that would really highlight my strengths. I was surprised a few times when even after several months, she would recall facts or stories that I had mentioned and prompt me to work them into my apps–she made me feel like I was her only client. Melissa did a great job of pushing me to improve areas that were weak and to really focus my essays on “showing” and not “telling”. I leaned on Melissa every step of the way, and by the time I was ready to submit applications, I knew that I was putting my best possible foot forward.
A few key parts of the process where Melissa really shined:
– School Strategy: Melissa really helped me pick realistic and stretch schools, offering insights on culture and recruiting that gave me a lot of confidence in my ultimate choices
– Brainstorming: I found it hard to translate my experiences and background into a cohesive story, and Melissa was fantastic at working with me to filter out the unnecessary parts and keep the good stuff
– Essays: Melissa was very prompt, almost always flipping drafts back to me next-day (sometimes the same day) and helping me make consistent progress
– General Support & Advice: Any time I had an application-related question (seriously, any time… I had a ton of questions), Melissa was more than happy to talk and help me work through it. She was 100% on my team, and gave me a ton of confidence in my processes
Overall, I couldn’t recommend her enough! Melissa pushed me where I needed it and supported me the entire way, and definitely played a key role in my admissions (with fellowships) to Wharton and Columbia.
In May I signed up for a 5-school Round 1 package with Melissa. After our 30-minute consultation I knew she was the perfect fit, giving me the difficult-to-hear advice while also ensuring me that hard work could put me in the position I wanted to be in. At that point I had taken the GMAT 3 times and did not have a score that would allow me to apply to the business schools I wanted to attend. To make a long story short, 5 months later I had switched tests and taken the GRE twice; applied to Fuqua, Darden, Ross, Tuck; and was accepted to all four schools! None of this would have been possible without Melissa.
Although I had gone through two full GMAT courses and many private GMAT tutoring sessions, Melissa was the first person to encourage me to switch to the GRE. I took her advice and after taking the GRE twice I got a score that was well within my target school’s ranges.
The essay writing process with Melissa was fun! Melissa took the time to really get to know me so the topics that we picked for each essay prompt truly reflected my personality, my reason for applying to business school, and my goals. I appreciated that Melissa asked me pointed questions, pushing me to dig deeper to “show, not tell” my experiences. In the end, I felt that my applications were a very wholesome story and I was very pleased and proud to submit them to my original list of target schools. In terms of process, Melissa far exceeded the expected turn around response time. From turning around essay drafts to responding to my questions on how to fill out other aspects of the application, Melissa was incredibly prompt, frequently responding to me within hours.
Melissa was very helpful in the interview prep process, spending an hour on the phone with me before each interview, critiquing my responses to her huge interview question bank. These sessions were incredibly helpful and gave me a lot of confidence walking into interviews.
Melissa is absolutely worth the investment, my process is proof. She is also a wonderful person who genuinely cares about her students, you’re not another number with Melissa. If you’re looking for someone who will get you from where you are to accepted to multiple schools by helping, guiding, and pushing you to put your best foot forward, Melissa is the best person for the job.
I signed up to work with Melissa for round 2 applications for a 5 school package with the intention of applying to 8 schools. Melissa was amazing throughout the entire process.
At first, as I was pretty clueless of the process, I quickly became overwhelmed. Melissa was always available to walk me thought the unknown and help me organize my thoughts. She advised me on which 5 schools out of the 8 she thought would be best for me to include in my package. We initially started with the background questionnaire that helped me explore every area, accomplishment and goal that would be relevant for my application.
During the essay writing process, Melissa helped me select the best experiences to use for my essays and guided me to tell these stories effectively. She was always ahead of time returning her revisions, which I truly appreciated especially during the holidays. Thanks to her dedication and quick turnaround, I was able to get through all the schools I was applying to before the deadlines.
Melissa went above and beyond to ensure I was presenting the best work. One of my essays subject was a little on the controversial side and I wanted to ensure my tone was not angry. I asked her if she thought it sounded angry. She mentioned it was difficult for her to interpret what I had written as angry because she knew me too well by then and could not read the essay impartially. She then reached out to a colleague and had her read the essay to get another person’s perspective.
Melissa was great prepping me for interviews. One of the people interviewing me even mentioned to me that I was the most prepared out of the 6 people he had already interviewed.
Melissa really was AMAZING! A true advocate. She is friendly and easy to talk to, but also honest, forthright and willing to give constructive criticism when necessary.
To the reader, I’ve sat in your shoes and faced the uncertainty of whether or not I would get any benefit from an admissions consultant after committing a lot of money upfront. I had read the horror stories online and had friends with negative experiences. I did the 30 minute free consultations with a few firms to narrow down my selection. I promise that, if you choose Melissa, you’ll have a terrific experience. I worked with Melissa on a five school package and all five schools I applied to were M7 schools. In addition I was working on a very tight timeframe – we started working together in mid-November and I hadn’t taken the GMAT. Yet with Melissa’s encouragement, support and help I was able to submit all five applications and was admitted to three M7 schools including with a significant fellowship and scholarship. I’m delighted to be attending my dream business school in the fall and Melissa was the driving force behind that. I can’t recommend her highly enough.
This is why you should hire Melissa:
1) Dedication: Melissa is completely dedicated to her clients. Given I was applying to five top schools all in the second round, Melissa and I were working right up to the early January deadlines. She was sending me edits on drafts on 26th December, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. You can ignore mbaMission’s statement that consultants reply in two days and don’t email you on holidays – Melissa replies much faster than that and is very flexible if you have deadlines. She is always happy to have calls. We had everything from two hour long brainstorming sessions to email exchanges over the wording of a 50 word short answer question. We’ve had multiple calls over school decisions and mock interviews. In short, you’re hiring someone who will partner with you through this arduous process.
2) Expertise: Her Kellogg MBA and experience as Executive Director of Admissions at Rice’s MBA program speak for themselves. She has the expertise and track record to guide you through everything from school selection to essay editing to interviewing. She will challenge you and give you frank feedback on your candidacy. She has seen it all and so can always help you.
3) Support and Encouragement: I can promise you that taking the GMAT and applying to business schools while working at a demanding job will be difficult and you will be faced with setbacks. I was concerned because I was an older candidate from a very competitive applicant pool applying in the second round to the best MBA programs in the world. Melissa gave me the encouragement and support to realise that my candidacy could stand-out and that I could be successful even on a tight timeframe. She also gave me the confidence that I didn’t need a safety school.
4) Essay Topic Selection and Editing: The essays are a key piece of the application and it’s where Melissa added significant value. She helped me select topics that showcased my unique strengths. She constantly pushed me in each mock draft I sent her to “show rather than tell” and use examples about how I could have an impact. She tailored each essay to each school I applied to. Melissa is excellent at decoding the sometimes cryptic essay questions to ensure that you’re answering in the right way.
5) Mock Interviews: Melissa is great at giving you mock interviews. I felt so well prepared going into every interview I had. Melissa even gave me a separate mock interview after a mock team based discussion to ensure I was prepared for other parts of the school’s interview. I walked out of every interview thinking I had really excelled and that Melissa had put me in a position to succeed.
In conclusion, hire Melissa. She’s going to be your best advocate in a very trying process. She has the skills and expertise to ensure you put your best foot forward. She has the dedication to meet any deadline and provide her insight on any question, no matter how great or small it is. She has the personality to encourage you to keep pushing ahead. Hiring Melissa was the best decision I made as part of the process and it will be the best decision you make.
After taking the GMAT twice, I knew I wasn’t going to score better than a 700, which was in the range of the schools that I was looking at attending but on the low end. I knew that I needed to put together the strongest application possible, so I reached out to mbaMission to work on a 4-school package.
Before talking with Melissa for our free 30-minute consultation, I knew that I wanted to apply to Kellogg but I wasn’t sure what other schools would be realistically in my range. Melissa talked to me about what I was looking for in terms of class size, instruction style and culture and told me to consider Fuqua and Ross. She was encouraging yet realistic and having her help me narrow down what schools to realistically look at and prepare for was incredibly valuable.
Melissa is brilliant at helping you find your unique story to distinguish you from other applicants yet highlight your fit with the school’s mission and culture. She weaved together a narrative made up of disparate and individual stories that I had told her about, tied them together, and then packaged them in a way that appealed to the different schools I was applying to. The way she brought different parts of my life and experiences together that I never would have was creative and natural.
Other than essay writing, the most game-changing thing about working with Melissa was that she revealed the strategy to applying to businesses school in general and to each one individually and together we crafted a strategy for each school. Anyone can write the essays, do the application, and attend an interview, but it’s hard to make sure that every single interaction you have with a school is cohesive, well thought-out and intentional and Melissa helped me with that. She helps you attack the application process so that you are comfortable presenting yourself in the most authentic, confident, and appealing way.
Melissa was a godsend throughout the brutal b-school application process and if there is anything that I would advise applicants and prospective applicants to do in order to achieve the best results is work with Melissa. Throughout working together Melissa was understanding, encouraging, and realistic. At the end of the day there is luck involved in who gets admitted where, but I encourage everyone applying to schools that they think are out of their reach to apply and work with Melissa to put together the best application possible. I can’t recommend her enough!
I worked with Melissa Blakeslee on a 4-school package and it was a phenomenal experience overall. I started the process extremely early, signing up with Melissa months before essays were even released. Beginning with the free consultation, I could immediately tell that she was focused on giving me as much value as she could. I felt that we immediately clicked because of her passion, knowledge about the programs, and sincerity.
Melissa coached me through the GMAT process (I scored a 710, and one month later a 740) and was very honest about how my score would play a role in my overall application profile. Once I hit a 740 she candidly told me the time investment to score higher would not be justified for the returns it would get me and we focused our efforts elsewhere.
Throughout the school selection process we spoke at least twice a week via email (frequently more), and Melissa was always extremely responsive to phone call requests. We weighed each school’s pros and cons as they related to me and my personality. She even set up phone calls to go over each school after I visited them and learn what my impressions were. That was truly the best thing about Melissa – she took the time to learn who I was and what I wanted. And to be perfectly frank, I didn’t even know what I wanted. We figured it out together.
As we worked through essays Melissa was a fantastic resource. Her edits were concise and thoughtful. We probably went through 4-6 iterations of the first essay, and then really flew through the next ones as I learned the process. We had an hour long brainstorming session for each one (did I mention how available she was?) that really focused on crafting a compelling story for each school. Melissa has a deep understanding of what each school is looking for.
As I received interview invites Melissa also scheduled mock interview phone calls that were very helpful. I’ve always been great at interviews but she gave me tips and tricks to really hit the points interviewers are looking for. Despite those tips being a huge help, I would say the best thing Melissa did was talk me off the ledge as I got nervous beforehand. Her calming reassurances showed that she truly cared about me and my success.
I could go on and on about how great Melissa is, but just sign up with her already. The results speak for themselves. I was accepted into every school I applied to (Kellogg, Ross, Darden, and Tuck) with significant scholarship offers at all but Tuck. I’ll be attending Kellogg in the fall and could not be happier about my decision to hire Melissa. As great as she is at her job, she’s also a fantastic person that I am still in frequent contact with and consider a great friend. If you want more than just an essay editor or someone who reiterates advice you can freely find online, choose Melissa!
I can’t say enough great things about working with Melissa. I did 30 min consultations with a couple of different consultants/companies, and I instantly felt like I “clicked” with Melissa. She was so encouraging and supportive throughout the entire application process- from helping me narrow down my list of schools to apply to, edit my essays, prep for interviews, and come up with a waitlist strategy. I felt like Melissa really knew the ins and outs of the different programs, and took the time to learn my stories/strengths and how they could be applied to each individual application. I really looked forward to each conversation we had – she was such a cheerleader and advocate and truly a joy to work with. I think the results speak for themselves: out of the 6 programs I applied to, I was dinged from 1, waitlisted at 1, and accepted to 4 amazing schools (Fuqua, Ross, Stern, Anderson)! Working with Melissa was definitely the best decision I made throughout the business school application process.
Melissa was an invaluable resource for me throughout application process, from brainstorming how to tell my story, to helping me craft compelling essays, to helping me successfully navigate the waitlist process. She knows each school inside and out – I was blown away by her deep knowledge of what differentiates each program and what each admissions committee looks for as a result! When reviewing my essays, Melissa provided specific feedback from the perspective of the AC, whether calling out an experience that I did not explain in enough detail or helping me narrow my focus in shorter essays. She also helped me recognize how highlighting specific elements of my story created a more powerful explanation for “why Kellogg”. When I was originally waitlisted at Kellogg, Melissa guided me through the difficult process, providing me with tactical next steps about how I should approach each waitlist update strategically and continue to express my interest. Her advice proved to be accurate and invaluable – I was successfully pulled off of the waitlist and admitted to my dream school! The perfect balance of high level feedback on my story, detailed feedback on essay wording, and moral support through what can be a grueling process – I cannot recommend Melissa highly enough!
As I prepared for the gauntlet that is the MBA application process, I weighed the option of enlisting the services of an MBA admissions consultant. These packages, or hourly services, are a significant investment. It’s important to know what you want to achieve through hiring a consultant. One way to practically ensure you will have a good experience with admissions consulting services would be to work with Melissa Blakeslee. Melissa was an outstanding partner to me throughout the admissions process and was a critical driver of my acceptance into an M7 program. I feel it is common for top MBA applicants to believe in their own infallibility — I myself fall into this trap at times — so let me spell out specifically what value Melissa brought to my process: Melissa helped me clarify my goals. Conversations with Melissa helped me move beyond surface-level goals and drill down with specificity into what I really wanted, what schools would fit those goals, and how to spell those goals out with impact in admissions essays. Melissa challenged me. Like I said, lots of top MBA applicants have had success in their careers and believe in their own infallibility to an extent. When you come to realize the quality of talent in the applicant pool, it becomes clearer how an admissions consultant who will push you to perfect your application in all aspects can be a competitive advantage. For me, Melissa struck the perfect blend of cheerleader and coach — supportive of my progress but critical of my application where I needed it. Melissa has a keen eye toward storytelling — Her past as a brand marketer is evident in her work. She has a natural ability as a storyteller. In my opening call with her, Melissa was able to pick out unique stories from my professional and personal past and perfectly flesh them out into ideas for compelling essays. Absolutely invaluable. Beyond all this — Melissa was timely, efficient, and flexible to work with. I highly recommend her and can’t thank her enough for her role in helping me achieve this dream!
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