Ask Stacy Blackman Consulting

Hi, My name is Stacy Blackman. Since 2001 my firm, Stacy Blackman Consulting, has helped clients gain admission to every top business school in the world. I am happy to answer any of your questions on the MBA admissions process and your speci…


My name is Stacy Blackman. Since 2001 my firm, Stacy Blackman Consulting, has helped clients gain admission to every top business school in the world. I am happy to answer any of your questions on the MBA admissions process and your specific applications.

In addition to consulting, I also run workshops at companies including JPMorgan and Credit Suisse and I have served on the Board of Directors at the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants. I am a graduate of Wharton and the Kellogg School of Business. If you'd like to read more information on me, I have been profiled in several publications, including Fortune Magazine, BusinessWeek and the Wall Street Journal.

If for any reason I am unavailable, a member of my team will be answering questions. I look forward to hearing from all of you and answering your questions.

Stacy Blackman

Wao , It is really great to see such renowned people like Stacy Blackman coming to PG. Its really an honour to have you guys here 😃

I have a rather general query :

While writing my application essays , lately I have been realizing that all my stories in the different questions when combined together in the overall application are not creating seamless bigger picture or a master story.
I ve tried to do that but whenever i try , the individual answers start looking a bit fake and dishonest.
Can you please guide me on what should i do?

Also I wanted to ask , in supershort essays like 300 words should one focus more on giving specific examples or should the focus be more on a more general answer?

Thank you again for this collaboration and your generous help for millions of applicants like me. I have personally gained a lot from your "tuesday tips" and your advice/tipcs have played a major role in shaping up my applications. :cheerio:

Hi Gamer,

Thank you for your post. I am happy to answer your questions.

Regarding your messages forming a larger brand message, the most important factor in presenting your brand messages is that you be authentic. If you dont provide evidence for the brand you are presenting, then there will be no reason for an MBA admissions member to believe your statements. You must be able to support your statements with, what companies such as Procter and Gamble, call reasons to believe.

Can you write what qualities you have written that do not appear to combine well with one another?

Regarding whether you should be "more specific" or "general.", you should also be able to take a broad quality, such as leadership, and say much more than "I am a leader." You should be able to do is to tell the business school admissions team why you are a strong leader and the leadership style that has served you well in the past. You should make sure to support all of your claims with examples from your experiences.

I hope this was of help. I am happy to answer any other questions you may have.

Best Regards,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team

Hi everyone,

The admissions team at the Chicago Booth Business School recently discussed their Top 10 MBA Application myths. We thought it would be of help to share these with the PagalGuy community, as many of these same points apply to other competitive MBA programs.

Myth 1: The GMAT is the most important part of the application.
There is no one admissions requirement that is more important than the other. While the results of your GMAT exam are important, they are by no means the only tool used to make an admissions decision. The Admissions Committee attempts to learn all about you in order to determine a fit between you and Chicago that goes above and beyond your GMAT score.

Myth 2: A campus visit is a must if you expect to be admitted.
We do strongly encourage applicants to visit campus at some point, but not visiting wont negatively impact your application.

Myth 3: Its impossible to be admitted during Round 3.
Booth does in fact accept students in Round 3. Round 2 sees the greatest number of applications and since we fill spots in the program as we progress through the Rounds, there will naturally be fewer spots left for Round 3 applicants.

The best advice is to apply when you believe that you can turn in the application that youre most proud of that best reflects your strengths and talents. However, we do encourage our international students to consider applying by Round 2 in an attempt to avoid potential hassles in obtaining a student visa prior to the start of classes.

Myth 4: You must have a minimum GPA or GMAT score and have 5 years of work experience to be considered for admission.
This is an easy one; there are no minimums for these factors! Anyone who has or will obtain a bachelors degree and can report a GMAT score is eligible to apply for admission to Chicago.

Myth 5: An interview with a staff member will increase your chances of admission more than an interview with a student or alum.
Regardless of who your interviewer may be, the feedback is valuable and is weighed equally in each and every case. Each year, we rely heavily on our alumni to conduct interviews with applicants all over the world. The same holds true for students here at the Harper Center and those who may be studying abroad.

Myth 6: The earlier you submit your application before the deadline, the earlier your interview invitation will come.
The interview invitation process lasts a few weeks for each round as our staff and Admissions Fellows read and review thousands of applications. The process of inviting applicants to interview is entirely random, and the point at which you hear from us is not a reflection on the strength of your application or the timeframe in which you submitted it.

And we really do extend interview invitations all the way up until 9:00 am on the mid-decision date!

Myth 7: If you were not a Business major, you are at a great disadvantage in the admissions process.
Students who apply to and enroll at Chicago Booth come from a variety of backgrounds with respect to their undergraduate studies. In fact, 29% of the class of 2012 has a liberal arts background. We are always excited by the unique experiences that each students education brings to the community at Chicago.

Myth 8: Chicago Booth prefers applicants from finance and consulting backgrounds.
We value diversity in all its forms, including career industry. Many of our applicants come from finance or consulting backgrounds; but many more have work experience in other industries, including military service, marketing, education, retail, and non-profit work, just to name a few. Its not what you do that matters its how you do it and the experience youll bring to the classroom and study groups.

Myth 9: The Admissions Committee members only read the first essay in the application they disregard the rest.
Our staff, including our Admissions Fellows, reads each and every essay, recommendation letter and transcript that crosses our desks. This makes for a great deal of work but were committed to putting together the best possible class and to do so, we feel we need to get to know each applicant well. This process is a part of what makes Chicago Booth a unique place. Youve worked hard to submit your application, and we appreciate that effort.

Myth 10: A letter of recommendation from the CEO of my company/a Booth alum I met once/the Governor/the President of the United States is better than getting one from a supervisor or colleague who knows me well.
Choose your recommenders carefully! Letters of recommendation are a crucial part of the admissions process and while you may be tempted to impress the Admissions Committee with the connections youve made, youll want to work with someone who knows you and your accomplishments, talents and skills well.

I hope this was of help.

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team

As always, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have on the Pagalguy forum.

Hi Stacy,

I would like to understand your views on how to treat a wait-listed results. I have been wait-listed at Cornell while I have been invited for Assessment Day post my interview at IESE, Spain. I understand both are very good schools and even congruent to my future ambitions in Management Consulting. I would like to understand how the wait-listed results can be converted to a final admit one, as doing an MBA this year is very much a necessity for me!

Hi Stacy

Glad to see you here.. Seen your insights on GmatClub, BTG forums etc =)

I had a question abt the importance of Assessment Day at IESE.
If am unable to attend the AD but will have a face-to-face interview and exclusive alumni networking session invite from adcom.

How worried should I be abt missing on the AD


Hi everyone,

We're having a celebration for our Facebook Page: 1,000 FANS: FINAL STRETCH. We are almost at 1,000 fans and want to start celebrating early. In the weeks ahead simply answer two of our FINAL STRETCH questions and you will receive our branding guide for *free* by the end of the week. It's that simple. Once we hit 1,000, we have more surprises in store for all of our fans. So participate now and help us spread the word so we can celebrate more later.

Our Facebook Page is here at: Stacy Blackman Consulting | Facebook

I hope to see you all there.

Hi everyone,

Does anyone have any admissions questions? We'd be happy to answer any questions.


Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team

hi...not sure if the query I have is relevant here in this thread or not but considering the amount of experience, I am hoping you can guide me.
My query is not regarding admissions as I have already got an admit.
1. I am interested in majoring in Finance. But I have no prior relevant experience in Finance. How advantageous would it be for me if in addition to the MBA I get certifications in CFA or FRM or PRM??
2. And my main interest is to move to research oriented consulting either in M&As; or Risk Analytics so should I go for FRM or PRM strictly instead of CFA certification??
3. And if answer to the 2nd question is YES then my final question is out of FRM & PRM which would ber more beneficial to me as regards the work opportunities globally & not just India??
I hope you can help me out.

Hi Stacy,

Glad to see you on PG. I have been a big admirer of your work and you have been one of the sources of inspiration for my interest in the Education sector. Hope you would be able to provide some feedback on my profile.

I am a 25 year old Indian looking to apply for 2012 start.

I've graduated from India's top private engineering school with GPA of 6.14/10 (Dual Degree- BE Civil Engineering and MSc Physics). I am writing GMAT in May.

I am working in one of India's most respected companies (a big Indian brand but not highly recognized worldwide). I have worked for almost four years, have received three promotions and am currently selected as a participant in the organization's Management Leadership Program. Though the company is large, I have been associated with a joint venture (Malaysian partner organization) since its inception which has about 50 employees of varied nationalities. The work environment is similar to that of a start-up wherein you play multiple roles rather than be a specialist. I currently lead a group of five and have about 6 months of international work ex (cumulative at various instances in Qatar, Singapore and Malaysia). I am working in the Oil & Gas sector and have worked in Business Development before moving into Project Management.

I have above average ECs at university (have served in a leadership position for a year) and decent ECs post graduation. I am also currently assisting (in the areas of business development) two startups in the education sector during my free time.

My short term goals are working in the consulting/ event management/ project management areas. My long term goal ofcourse is being an enterpreneur (Education/ Entertainment industry).

I am not fully convinced for an MBA right now, and I am also contemplating studying MS (Project Management/ Technology Management) versus getting an MBA.

I would appreciate any feedback on my profile as well some guidance on school selection.

Thanks in advance.

Hi gauravnalavade,

Thanks for posting. For school selection, are you looking to attend a program in the US, Europe, or Asia?

Have you considered taking the GMAT test?

Hope to hear from you.


Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team

Hi gauravnalavade,

What I really recommend you do now is prepare for the GMAT test. is the official GMAT website, and you can register there (and sign up for 2 free official GMAT tests).

For your work experience, it seems like you already have leadership experience, but any additional responsibilities you can take on will be helpful.

Hope this was of help! Please let me know if I can answer any other questions.


Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team

Hi Stacy,

Thanks for everything you're doing here.

I have an admit from Univ of Georgia Terry MBA and Wisconsin school of business Ops and IT mgmt program. Considering that my post-MBA goal is to be as close to the opportunities that would help me to land a Tech/Strategy consulting role...which univ provides comparatively good chances. Funding/$$$ is not a problem.Any insight is greatly appreciated.


Hi Stacy,

Glad to meet you.

I have applied to few universities in US and rejected from two.
I am planning to apply to few more in this 2 weeks.

Please suggest good B schools for MBA for my profile

GMAT 550
work ex 4 yrs as SAP Consulatnt
GPA 3.8

The only drawback in my profile is my GMAT.
Please suggest universities where there is a good chnace with my GMAT. I am looking for B schools with excellent job placement for international students after or within three months of MBA, good funding and scholarship atleat after first semester depending on my grades, affordable tuition costs and city with low cost of living.

This is the list I am left with the deadlines. Please suggest if I can go with any of these with my profile.

Madison School of Business, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Boston College (Carroll)
University of IOWA Tippie

Tulane University Freeman

If you have any other good B schools in mind for US, UK or Australia with deadlines left please suggest.

Awaiting for your reply eagerly

Thank you,
Karishma Kadivar.

Hi Stacy,
I am Saurav Bawa, Presently I am working with a Tata Group Company, I want to pursue MBA and for this purpose only , I am going to give GMAT in August. Can you please help me in selecting the right college for an MBA in Finance, as i am not intented to go to a college that general.
I will a college in India or South East Asia.

Hi sbb433391,

Can you give some more information about the type of school you are looking for? For example, would you like to study in California, New York, Chicago, etc.? Also, have you taken the GMAT test yet? There are a number of great finance programs in the US.

Hope to hear from you.


Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team

Hi thedarklard,

Congratulations on being accepted into both MBA programs. What I recommend you do is contact the career centers at both schools to see the companies that recruit from the business schools. The career centers are surprisingly very open and honest with this information, and it will provide insight into opportunities post-graduation.

Please let me know if I can answer any other questions!


Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team

Dear Stacy,

I ahve given Gmat once and i scored 710 , but i have some financial constraints, so please tell me as to what are the good B Schools in South East Asia for a course in Finance i.e in
Hong Kong

Dear Stacy,

Please evaluate my profile and let me know whether my GMAT score is enough for the targetted schools or do I need to retake

Work Experience: 7 Years, will be 8 years while joining the school (planning for the 2012 intake)

Internation Exposure: 3 years 3 months. Staying in US since 2008 Jan

Current Positions:

Soltions Consultant at IT industry. Responsible for delivering the software solutions to US based client. Being in client place US, my responsibilities include helping the businees parters to effectively identify the business requirements, assign the work to team members and and present the deliverables to business partners/Client Project Manager. Also works on pre-sales for the parent company. Managed upto 12 members team

Working (non remunerative) for a school in India as a Manager, stategy Planning and implementation. Responsible for effectively identify and build the vision for the school, create the strategy plan to achieve the goal, and implement the plan.

GMAT: 690 Essays : 4.5

Education: Electrical and Electronics Engineering from a reputed college in India

GPA : 3.4

Extra Curricular: I was in the organization committee in several college events. performed in the skits at college events. Organized several events in the school for which I am working. Organized many Indian regional events in US, also acted in several skits in those events. Designed two websites one for the school and another for small scale industry

Targetted shools: INSEAD, IMD, HKUST, ISB, IIMA, IIMB.