Q – I want to go to HBS. How can SBC help?
A – We can share our value only after we validate that your target schools are within reach for your profile. We can’t assure for every inquiry that our partnership will produce HBS or a comparable admit. We are honest, because we know that the pursuit of the MBA is life-altering for our clients. We take that process seriously. We’d love to review your resume or Linkedin and any test scores, so we can provide tailored feedback.
Q – What types of clients do you work with? How do you match with the primary consultant?
A –The SBC client pool mirrors the diversity of the MBA student landscape. We work with consultants and financial professionals but we also work with doctors, teachers, military, entrepreneurs, athletes and rock stars. Our clients are worldwide and reflect every background imaginable. Our MBA admissions consultants guide MBA applicants, US and international, to the top business school programs, including Harvard HBS, Stanford GSB, Wharton, Kellogg, LBS, INSEAD and others and also specialized programs such as deferred admissions, joint degree, and EMBA.
SBC deeply values mentorship within its client engagements and limits the number of clients for each consultant, engaging with clients only after evaluating candidacy strength and differentiating qualities. Our matchmaking process includes criteria such as track record with target schools and proficiency with the applicant’s career path, demographic, interests and character qualities. Consultant level of interest and belief in the client is also closely monitored and honored and consultants are never automatically assigned a client. We intentionally offer a high-touch, limited client-per-consultant experience, limiting consultant capacity so that you can be assured of consultant engagement at the most critical times. This concierge matching allows SBC to activate the right fit consultant and ensure a mutually enthusiastic relationship.
Q – What is your firm best known for?
A –Our reputation as the top-quality, established MBA admissions firm. That reputation is driven by SBC’s team caliber and high-touch consultant partnership, assuring MBA applicants that they are in expert and dedicated hands during a pivotal life journey. SBC holds the #1 ranking on MBAinsight, BeattheGMAT, CrushtheGRE, ExamStrategist and we are #1 out of 11 firms for the presence on our SBC team of former MBA Admissions Officers by PoetsandQuants.
Q –Do you have a roadmap or formula for the MBA applicant?
A –Our SBC System™ has eight core modules and is the most robust of all firms. Our partnership starts with a kickoff meeting during which your consultant will dig into the who, what, how and why that form your story from all facets, including personal and professional. To inform this initial kickoff meeting, we use an introspective questionnaire called the 360° Personal Assessment & Critical Reflection. Our approach allows for a character-based MBA application strategy. Other firms may use a spreadsheet or matrix; that results in cursory and formulaic MBA applications. Our model entails a psychological approach, and that is how the interesting stories emerge. Together, we will make sure we convey a clear answer for: “Why should I accept this applicant over the other ones who look equally qualified on paper?”
“I believe it’s true that all people, and therefore all MBA admissions boards, love a great story. It’s a way to bring life to your application and show the realness of who you are during what can be a dry process,” shared a former HBS Admissions Officer on our team. To echo how we put this into action, here is a quote from a past client, “Once I signed on with SBC, we hit the ground running to assess my strategy, my weaknesses, and most importantly, my story. Following the SBC engagement model, my consultant asked penetrating questions about who I was, what was my history, and what I wanted to do with my life. Through each of these dimensions, she prompted me to reflect on “Why” and tie those answers to my applications. It was baring and bold. My SBC consultant knew more about me than many of my closest friends. ‘Leave no stone unturned,’ is the SBC way. Completing my applications was intense; the SBC system made it efficient and surprisingly cathartic as I learned more about myself through the process.”
Q – Will I work with one consultant or a team?
A – You will have unlimited time with a dedicated primary consultant, as well as access to other experts through the Flight Test™ which is a complete review by a former Admissions Officer (AdCom). This structured feedback from a former Admissions Officer mimics a real AdCom review and helps to ensure that your application is most compelling to the target audience.
Q – How does SBC’s team-based approach work?
A – SBC’s team caliber, inclusive of former MBA admissions officers (AdCom) from every top program, allows us to deliver inside intel and top quality service, which is why our results and our reputation are so strong. Our AdCom team caliber also allows us to be upfront and transparent with our inquiries, before they engage with us; we know what MBA Admissions values, and our team will only take on clients when we feel we can be successful together.
Our AdCom team oversees candidate questions via our teamwide daily chat, addressing questions and hot topics such as:
- What is SBC AdCom’s take on whether a client should take a quant class or retake their GRE?
- How does the SBC AdCom feel about 1 supplemental recommendation letter?
- What is SBC AdCom hearing about trends by industry: finance vs. tech vs consulting?
- Who are the readers? What are the demographics of the readers? Other Stanford GSB alumni? Do you know breakdown of ages and genders?” Does anyone have any insight into this that I could share?
Q- What are reasons for why other applicants chose SBC?
A – Here are insights in the words of 4 past SBC clients:
“Dedicated single point of contact with a consultant vs. multiple specialists (often with less MBA-specific experience) overseeing different parts of the process. Unlike some other companies, SBC also offered some network benefits since the consultants are able to speak with each other, and there’s the flight test with a former AdCom member independent from your consultant.”
“SBC consultants’ strong qualifications based on their educational and professional working experience; I also liked that they were dedicated specifically to MBA admissions as opposed to college admissions more broadly.”
“Unlimited support time, which SBC offers but I believe some of the multi-specialist model companies do not.’
“Straightforward pricing. Unlike most other companies, SBC didn’t have different tiers of pricing based on consultant or schools (e.g., HSW vs. rest). It also included interview-practice for both traditional behavioral interviews and Wharton’s team-based interview without additional charge.”
Q – How is SBC different than other MBA consulting firms?
A –Five reasons are outlined below. You can also read this helpful Clear Admit article on how to choose an MBA admissions advisor.
1) SBC is the only consulting firm in the industry who has on our team a complete panel of former MBA Admissions Officers from the M7 US programs and LBS and INSEAD. No other firm has this complete talent, as Poets & Quants described in their recent investigative overview. 75% of our MBA consultant team hails from the top seven MBA programs as MBA graduates and/or former MBA Admissions Officers.
See snapshot below and bios here:
–three former Harvard HBS Admissions Officers
–a former Stanford GSB Admissions Officer who holds a GSB MBA
–a former Stanford GSB Admissions Officer who also worked at Haas as Director of Admissions
–4 former Kellogg Admissions Officers who also hold Kellogg MBAs
–4 former Wharton Admissions officers including two from Wharton Lauder
–European school inside knowledge with former Admissions Officers from LBS, INSEAD and Oxford
2) 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 Admissions Officer (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.
3) SBC has the highest number of online reviews across multiple sites on the Internet. Google “Stacy Blackman Consulting” and check out our online reviews. This is unparalleled Internet accountability. Since 2001, SBC clients have received remarkable rates of acceptances to and scholarships from every top business school in the world.
4) SBC was chosen as the exclusive partner of the GRE test service, ETS, because of our thought leadership and team caliber. SBC’s top quality brand is the reason why we were the only firm selected for the GRE and TOEFL promotional campaign.
5) SBC’s consultants are trained consistently and overseen through quality assurance measures, including a cap of clients per round, to ensure we forge a high-touch relationship with each client. Our team is carefully screened and receives ongoing training which includes conference calls with AdCom teams from top schools, in-house training with our on boarding expert, regular team calls to facilitate sharing of best practices, online resources within our company database such as sample essays, and interview transcripts.
Q – What inside information do you offer that will give me the edge? Will hiring SBC give me an advantage over working with my friend who is an MBA grad?
A – 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. We have solid relationships with schools, media, Deans, admissions officers, professors, major media outlets and of course, thousands of students and alumni. We tap into up-to-the-minute insights: such as, “Columbia is filling up – get your application in NOW.”
Q – How does SBC support diversity and inclusion?
A – SBC is the only large, exclusively-focused MBA consulting firm that is led by a female. 10% of SBC’s consultant pool is either Hispanic or Black, 25% of its 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 and give back to the community. No other established MBA admissions firm has a team that is as diverse. SBC recently launched national partnerships with two leading nonprofit organizations serving first-generation college students, people of color, and students from lower-income backgrounds.
Q- Where can I learn more about MBA admissions consulting?
A- Check out our overview of the value of an MBA admissions partner.