Words will never be enough to describe my experience with SBC, Esther, and Susan.
I decided to be thorough in my approach to finding a consultant, speaking to several companies. I was specifically looking for a company that was established (i.e. high success rates) and structured (i.e. clear process), yet had personalized attention (i.e. are there too many people?). I concluded that there were endless companies that fulfilled only one of the criteria, but only SBC was able to meet both of them.
The next step to my process was having an initial call with Esther, who "matches" you with a consultant given your profile and goals. Esther has this rare gift of being able to assess your profile in mere seconds. What I appreciated most was that Esther gave supportive yet objective advice. Remember, you do not want to spend time and money for nothing! Thanks, Esther!
Having been "matched" with my consultant, I then had the amazing opportunity to work with Susan. As a global citizen, I particularly admired Susan's widespread work experience from the U.S. (i.e. CBS) to European markets (i.e. LBS). From this experience alone, Susan has this "automatic" credential of being able to work with diverse applicants, ranging from traditional and non-traditional career paths, to various personalities, ages, and backgrounds. I know that's what I admired most about Susan!
The biggest insight -- aside from fantastic advice in every step of the process -- was Susan's ability to complement my weaknesses without ever me recognizing or surfacing them. I'm quite organized, yet there were times wherein I didn't realize I was lagging behind in certain aspects of the application process. I also have an infinite number of ideas and thoughts, resulting in sometimes over-complicating or confusing messaging. However, Susan was quick to point out rational solutions and more importantly, the rationale behind them. I was also extremely familiar with participating in school events, yet Susan is brilliant when it comes to knowing insider information into a school's communication method, frequency, and strategies.
Most importantly, Susan can look at things holistically when you're laser focused in the process. Firstly, I was dual pathing my test re-take and application process, resulting in juggling numerous priorities. With application deadlines creeping up, Susan surfaced a modified possible test strategy with me, ultimately allowing me to realize a target score. She was the last person who messaged me before entering the test center and the first person I texted upon seeing those numbers on screen. I was also juggling interview invites in very different locations, yet Susan emphasized an optimal way to ensure I could maximize the entire interview experience.
At the end of the day, this entire MBA application process is no doubt extremely stressful, overwhelming, and complex. It takes a true mentor, someone who has your best interest at heart, someone who's passionate about making a difference in others' lives, and an expert in the process to be with you every step of the way. Susan was all those things and more; she believed in my story and credentials when no one else did. Through her guidance, I received two offers (thus far) with scholarships, which I didn't even apply for or expect. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this was all possible. And, when I get on that graduation stage, I'll be thinking of how forever grateful I'll be because of Susan.
More power to SBC and Susan!