Stacy Blackman’s 2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

How is it possible that we’re already at the final day of 2018? Once again, the time is upon us to make new resolutions, push ourselves to learn and grow, and rededicate ourselves to our personal and professional goals.

With that in mind, we’d like to share the blog posts that really resonated with readers in our 2018 year in review. We selected each to help you better prepare as you journey along the road to business school.

Exercises to Help MBA Applicants Develop Their Personal Brand

Some b-school applicants balk at thinking of themselves as a product or brand. However, by taking the time to really examine your personal qualities, values and aspirations, you’ll ultimately be able to find out which MBA programs provide the best match for your unique profile.

Tackling Background Blemishes for the MBA Application

When you apply to an MBA program, particularly at a prestigious business school, the admissions committee will scrutinize every element of your background. They want to determine how well-rounded you are. Also, whether you’re up to the program’s academic rigors. Of course, not every applicant has a sterling backstory. You may find yourself concerned that something in your past will hurt your chances at your dream school.

Round 3 Insight from MBA Admissions Officers

Round 3 deadlines are nearly upon us, and while the final round is the biggest gamble of the application cycle, schools have that round for a reason and use it to admit those stellar students that add something really special to their classes. Here’s a sampling of reactions from the admissions teams at well-ranked MBA programs on whether Round 3 really is a viable option for applicants.

Do These 7 Things Now if B-School is in Your Future

You may still be in college, but it’s never too early to begin investing your time and energy into areas that will pay off big time down the line. Take a look at seven things you can do right now as an undergrad to strengthen your MBA candidacy.

B-School Research Advice for International MBA Applicants

For many MBA hopefuls, particularly those targeting multiple programs and coming from abroad, a campus visit can be a real challenge during the application phase. Whether the problem is the prohibitive expense of air travel and lodging or the time off from work required, these candidates must turn to other sources to fill in the blanks as they decide on which programs to target.

How to Pay for Your MBA

 Congratulations! You got into business school. Before you start packing, though, you’ll need a game plan for funding your MBA journey. CommonBond was started by MBAs, so we’ve been there before. Below are some tips to help you figure out how to pay for business school and everything it entails.

Should Your MBA Application Strategy Include ‘Safety’ Schools?

When coming up with a list of business schools, you must feel genuine enthusiasm about attending. This holds true regardless of whether they are dream schools, or programs you might consider a safer bet. If you would feel disappointed rather than ecstatic about advancing your career by attending a school, then do not apply. That’s a waste of everyone’s time and your money.

MBA Success Story: From 24 Apps, 19 Dings to 1st in Class at Emory

When Ed Luggen signed up with Stacy Blackman Consulting in 2015, he had received more rejections than almost anyone we had ever worked with. The fact that he wanted to persevere was a true testament to his character, his resilience, drive and problem-solving abilities.

4 Cases Where MBA Applicants Should Write an Optional Essay

To write or not to write an optional business school application essay…that is a question that concerns many MBA candidates each season. The following advice should be considered within the context of your overall strategy and target business school(s), but these areas are prime material for the optional essay.

MBA Essay Advice for Entrepreneurs

Business schools have always prepared students to launch and manage their own businesses. But over the last decade, the number of courses, centers and contests dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurship has mushroomed. Many entrepreneurs feel unsure of the best way to convey their unconventional background in an MBA application.

What Makes a Great MBA Recommendation Letter

The recommendation letter forms an integral part of your MBA application package and can make—or break—your chances of admission. Often, applicants unwittingly sabotage their efforts when they select bigwig recommenders with impressive titles, hoping to impress the adcomm. This tactic almost always backfires.

Waitlisted MBA Applicants are Still in the Game

While few candidates celebrate landing on the waitlist, don’t give up hope. First of all, waitlist status by your target school is definitely a good sign. You’re someone they would like to have in the class, but something is holding up a final decision.

Perhaps your profile is near-identical to someone who they did admit. In this case, the admissions team wants to carefully balance the class and needs to see other candidates in subsequent rounds. Or, your application might have a weakness that’s giving the admissions committee pause.  If the latter is true, there may be steps you can take to increase your chances of admission.


My goal with this blog has always been to bring b-school applicants the latest news from the schools, insightful application and essay tips, and to explore major trends affecting the future of management education.

Thank you for joining us on this 2018 year in review, and for making us a top destination for your b-school research. We hope this resource continues to serve you well as you embark on what is definitely a life-changing, career-boosting journey.

Have a wonderful holiday, and see you back here in 2019!



I have been blown away by the popularity of my 21 Day Projects! With the purchase of a 21 Day Project, you will receive one email every day for 21 days, each one directing you towards achieving one important goal, such as developing your personal brand, creating a resume, or simply getting more done! It really is possible to make a change or create something great, little by little over the course of just three weeks.

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