Who We Are: Testimonials

Reviews for Helen Summers

Hi all! I am writing to recommend Helen with FLYING colors. Her name was sent my way by several people, both students and admissions officers who are familiar with her work. I set out to apply to one of the most competitive business school programs, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and with Helen's help I was able to apply and got accepted in Round 1!

Helen was extremely thorough. She really leveraged the brainstorming exercise to identify key elements of you application that you should highlight. She also asked the tough questions to ensure that your story is tight and make sense. She is also very straight forward and realistic. She was not afraid to point out where the weaknesses were in my application and how we could compensate. She gave me honest feedback on my essays telling me when what I wrote was just fluff. She also continually pushed me to be better saying, “This is good but I know it can be better.”

Helen is EXTREMELY experienced and qualified. An HBS alum herself she knows the process and is very blunt in letting you know what it takes. Also, she know how stressful the process can be and was very accessible when I needed her and was great about turning around feedback in very quick timing. She was also ALWAYS willing to hop on a call and talk through any questions I had on her feedback.

I can honestly say I would NOT have gotten in GSB without Helen! I hope many of you can have the same great experience I did!

Stanford GSB Admit (via GMAT Club)

I’m very excited to to say that I will be attending Wharton this fall and I couldn't have done it without Helen's help! Before working with Helen, I felt like I had a solid understanding of my answers to the major b-school application questions - why b-school, why school X, why now - and that I just needed a second opinion on my essays. Helen provided that and SO much more! She was the candid and honest voice that I needed to help my writing be genuine, clear, and impactful. She helped me dig deeper into my experiences to ensure I was bringing all relevant examples to the forefront of my application. She asked the tough questions and gave the hard-to-hear feedback when needed. And above all, she got to know me and gave me the opportunity to get to know her which tremendously benefited our working relationship that lasted a few short months. Her vibrant personality paired with her utmost professionalism made her a pleasure to work with and I hope that she continues to impact many future MBA candidates!

Wharton Admit (via GMAT Club)

About 15 months ago, I was a regular high school teacher who hardly knew what an MBA was — it was certainly never a part of my long-term plans. I had seen those three letters strung together, but I had no familiarity with the extent to which admissions was highly competitive, the opportunities this degree offered to radically transform my career, and the amount of labor that the application process would require.

After a couple of months of initial research, I knew that the MBA would be a good option for me, so I was considering whether to hire an admissions consulting service. I was at first skeptical of the value proposition and the extent to which they could ultimately improve my chances of gaining admission to my target schools. However, after an initial consultation with MBA Mission, I became certain that I wanted their help in order to maximize my chances of being admitted. Helen's background and experience speaks for itself, and the support she would give me over the following months was indispensable.

First and foremost, Helen is enthusiastic and authentic in her desire to help. During our initial brainstorming session she was warm and affable, and she really pushed me to think deeply and express myself clearly about the most subtle nuances of my personal history and experience. This primed me for success during the application process, and she would repeat these behaviors as we prepared to tackle each successive application (we worked on 4 total together).

However, do not take her kindness for weakness. Helen was a warm and enthusiastic supporter, but she never showed satisfaction when I did not deserve it. While there were some initial essay drafts for which she showed enthusiasm, there were quite a few where she frankly told me that my concept was off or my writing was inadequate. Further, she was a stickler for details — I recall one essay for which she pushed me to write nine total drafts, several times demonstrating dissatisfaction over word choice in one mere phrase or sentence.

The process was labor intensive — just as it should be. In applying to top MBA programs, I wanted to present myself as clearly and positively as possible so that the admissions officers could see the benefits of adding me to their program. I decided to hire an admissions consultant because I wanted the best possible chance of accomplishing that task. If there is someone better than Helen for the job, I'd be truly surprised. I thought that her advice and support throughout the process was top-notch and worth every penny.

As a result of her support, I gained admission to three top-10 programs (one being an M7), all of which offered generous scholarships. I am incredibly grateful for the support I received, and I would strongly encourage anyone who reads this review to consider her.

Kellogg Admit (via GMAT Club)

Helen Summers is fantastic! Helen encouraged me to dig deep and really pushed me to a level of introspection that I did not think I could ever reach. She helped me recall stories from my childhood that I had forgotten about for over 15 years which really helped me better understand my personal journey and how that journey has molded me into the person I am today and shaped my goals for the future. My first draft of my essays were horrible! Through Helen's support and constructive criticism, I got to a very polished finished product of which I was extremely proud and that was genuine, reflective of my personality, and attention grabbing for admissions officers, resulting in admission into the two schools to which I applied (HBS & Wharton). I highly recommend Helen for helping you dig deep in crafting your story and for helping to keep you organized throughout the stressful process.

HBS Admit (via GMAT Club)

I worked with Helen Summers as my mbaMission consultant over the summer while I applied to Harvard, Stanford and Haas (all in Round 1). I’ve been accepted at Stanford, which was far and away my top choice, and I absolutely know that I couldn’t have done it without all the help I got from Helen! I had already taken the GMAT so I mostly worked with Helen on my essays, resume and short answers. Helen helped me both with brainstorming stories and themes for my essays, as well as tons of proofreading and draft revisions.

Helen was an absolute dream to work with. Helen is extremely personable and friendly, which made me feel totally comfortable talking to her about more personal essay topics or the struggles I was having through the process. I really felt like she was genuinely invested in me and rooting for me on a personal level the whole time. She also was very efficient and organized, always getting back to me quickly and clearly, so I felt that every single minute of my consulting time was maximized. Finally, the advice she gave was invaluable. Helen was very direct and gave honest, unbiased feedback about my essays — when something wasn’t working, she wasn’t afraid to tell me, which is exactly what I needed! However, she always gave feedback in a constructive way so I felt like I had a very clear, actionable idea of what I needed to change.

When I look back at the first draft of my essays compared to the final applications I submitted, they are absolutely worlds apart, and so much of that is thanks to Helen. I recommend her and mbaMission unreservedly!

Stanford GSB Admit (via GMAT Club)

Helen Summers is amazing. When considering to use the services of an admissions consultant I was a little skeptical. I read a lot of testimonials and reviews like this very one and wondered whether the candidates behind all those with successful admission experiences actually needed a consultant to begin with. I wondered whether they were all just exceptional individuals and whether their consultant made any real difference. I now know the answer to those questions and let me tell you that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Helen is the person who got me into Booth, without her I can honestly say that I would not be heading to business school this fall. I guess the true test of Helen’s skills as a consultant and her impact on my application is whether I would use her services again. My answer is categorically YES.

Helen’s skills and contribution to my application are best represented by comparing my submitted essays with my very early attempts, particularly those that I attempted prior to working with her. The difference is massive, to the point where I am now embarrassed by my initial attempts. I put a huge amount of effort into my application and Helen matched me at every step. Helen went above and beyond what she was contracted to do. We only spent a few weeks working together but I think almost every essay had at least 10 or 11 drafts! So be prepared to work hard.

I was really impressed with how professional Helen was yet she remained so personal. She was honest, fair and not afraid to provide me with ideas and the constructive criticism necessary to improve my application. This is what really made the difference between creating an average application and the one that got me admitted. She pushed me further than I would have pushed myself, she ensured that every word of my application had meaning and maximum impact. Helen is a pleasure to work with, generous with her time and contributions. It is clear from working with Helen that she genuinely feels for her clients and wants them to succeed, not only from a professional perspective but also personal.

Not only did Helen help me create a successful application, but I learnt a huge amount about myself from working with her. I also learnt so much about the MBA application process and what schools are looking for. I have a sub 700 GMAT score and was regarded as a ‘wild card’ for Booth. But because of Helen this wild card got accepted!

Deciding to work with Helen and mbaMission is probably one of the best investments/decisions that I’ve ever made.

Stanford GSB Admit (via GMAT Club)

When I first started the process of applying to business school I was really unsure if I wanted to use a consultant. Between GMAT prep class fees and travel expenses to visit schools, the cost of applying to business school adds up quickly and I wasn’t sure if a consultant would be worth the cost. Since I knew people that had gone through the process of applying to business school, I had a solid understanding of the work needed to complete an application but I really needed a top consultant to help me craft my story and write strong essays...at least I thought that was all I needed.

Helen was recommended to me and after our first conversation, I knew I made the right choice. She helped me pull out the elements of my story that embodied who I was the most and pushed me to dig deeper whenever I got lazy in my writing. At times, I was so frustrated with the process I was ready to stop and Helen always lovingly brought me back on track and helped me create a plan to make the process less stressful. She provided edits and ideas very quickly and was always responsive whenever I got stuck. She also did a mock interview with me (with specific questions about my background) and coached me on how to give strong and thoughtful answers. Needless to say, many of the questions she asked me were exactly the questions I was asked in my real interview. Her mock interview was excellent preparation for the real thing.

In general, I saw Helen as more than just my admissions consultant, she was also my cheerleader and part time life coach. LOL I truly felt like she was invested in my success and because of her guidance and extreme talent in bringing out the best in people, I was admitted to several schools and will start at Stanford this fall. I couldn’t be more excited! :)

I definitely recommend Helen as a top business school consultant. Thank you to her and the entire mbaMission team for helping me to achieve this dream!

B-School Admit (via GMAT Club)

If you are thinking about applying to business school, and have the means to hire an MBA consultant, I would highly recommend not only choosing mbaMission, but going with Helen Summers.

As I begin my MBA application journey, I quickly realized how incredibly competitive the admissions process has become in today’s world, and I decided to hire a consultant in order to gain every possible edge. When choosing a consultant, I was looking for a few things: (1) excellent reputation, (2) full-service treatment (i.e. not only would look at essays but would review resume, recommendation letters, short answers, etc.), and (3) someone who had an MBA so they could prove that they went through the process themselves and could speak from experience. I landed on mbaMission as they satisfied my first two specifications with the most highly rated reviews, and ended up working with Helen due to her familiarity with my top choice (Kellogg) as well as her excellent pedigree and the connection we quickly formed over the phone during our initial phone conversation.

Helen and I worked closely together for over 2 months on my Kellogg application. Using the “full consulting package”, we created a schedule for my application, including self-imposed due dates and regular check-ins. We did a thorough examination of my brainstorming document (a differentiator of mbaMission and an extremely useful tool) and worked together on every part of my application. She was very timely and thorough with her feedback (always within the 2 day turnaround outside of holidays), and was always suggesting things that could make my application more competitive. She challenged me when she believed my writing could be improved, and her advice was very trustworthy. Above all, she was honest with me throughout the entire process. She did not sugarcoat anything, and that’s what made our relationship so sincere and cohesive.

The beauty of working with a consultant is the air cover that they provide you as well as the constant set of “well trained” eyes on your materials. Helen did this in spades and helped me achieve my goal of being admitted to my dream program. I would recommend her to anyone looking to get a thorough experience out of a MBA consulting partnership. Don’t be afraid of the sticker price…it will be worth the reward if you are willing to commit the time, energy, and enthusiasm.

B-School Admit (via GMAT Club)

I had the extreme pleasure of working with Helen on my Round 2 applications for 4 business schools. I chose to purchase the start to finish package for all schools, as I knew I needed tremendous support. I would highly recommend Helen to those considering hiring a consultant for the application process.

I was a non-traditional applicant with little understanding of the differences in MBA programs and the amount of work required during the application process. I hired Helen in mid-November to help me through this process. Despite having an accelerated schedule with only about 6-8 weeks to complete my applications, she really took the time to understand my background and experiences. Helen provided great advice on which schools I should be targeting given my background, stats, and interests. She was very realistic with me during my school selection phase by explaining that M7 schools would be reach schools for me, but other top 15 programs would be more reasonable (she was absolutely right).

Helen was always friendly, honest, and genuine in our interaction, especially on essay reviews. She provided great ideas during our brainstorming sessions on topics I could use in my essays and didn’t hesitate to tell me if I needed to shift the direction of an essay after I had completed a draft. She really pushed me to dig deeper and provide specific examples in my essays in order to more clearly define and convey my ideas.

I interviewed at 3 of the 4 schools I applied to and Helen helped me prepare for all 3 through mock interviews. The questions and style of mock interviews were very similar to my actual interviews. Helen was very authentic with me and provided specific feedback on how I could improve my answers during my interviews.

My experience in working with Helen was fantastic and I would recommend her to those looking to get into a top business school. I would not have been accepted to any of the programs I applied to without Helen’s help.

B-School Admit (via GMAT Club)

If you want to get into your dream MBA programs, I highly recommend using Helen Summers from mbaMission. I applied to Cornell, Duke, and Darden and was accepted to all three with a full ride to Cornell and 1/3 tuition scholarship to Duke. Before working with Helen, I did not think it was possible to get into all three schools, let alone with multiple scholarship offers, and I know that would not have been my outcome if I had not worked with Helen.

Helen first encouraged me to retake the GMAT, even though I really did not want to, but I am so glad she pushed me to do so. I then had an acceptable GMAT score and strong GPA, but my work experience was very low (only 2 years).

Helen took the time to get to know me and helped me incorporate things into my essays that I would not have thought to include. She also helped me shape my story, which was very important given I only had two years of work experience and the “Why now?” question was very important to address. My first essay went through over 10 drafts, and the difference between the first draft and the final one was night and day. She also helped me with my women’s weekend essays which was a huge help.

The best parts about working with Helen are listed below:

  1. She is extremely responsive and organized. Her turnaround time with essay drafts was often well within the 48 hour requirement (often even within 24 hours). She sometimes even worked on the weekends so if I sent something to her on Thursday or Friday I would get it back before Tuesday. She responded to emails (quick questions) even faster, typically within a few hours.
  2. She made the process much less stressful. When I was struggling with an essay topic or unsure about how to ask a question to an admissions person, I simply emailed Helen asking if we could have a quick call. She is so nice and calming, so even just hearing her voice on the other end of the line made me feel much better!
  3. She provides open and honest constructive feedback. Her comments really made me think and pull out my best experiences to incorporate into my essays. She was also very helpful in cutting out the “fluff” in my essays to help me stay within the word count. In addition, she gave my recommenders feedback on their recommendations and encouraged them to provide stronger examples which helped round out my application.
  4. She genuinely wants her clients to succeed and will do everything she can to make that possible. She 100% knows what she is doing (the process, the schools), so I completely trusted her advice and feedback.
Again, I would HIGHLY recommend Helen if you want to get into your dream business schools. She went above and beyond my expectations and is well worth the money. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about her and guarantee she will make your application much stronger.

Duke Admit (via GMAT Club)

I worked with Helen Summers and she was tremendous. She was very “on the ball” as soon as we started, and helped me keep to a tight schedule, as I applied to three schools Round 1.

A few things that come to mind when I worked with Helen:

  • Clearly understands the admissions process and how to work with the candidate to bring out the best of the person. I know she was able to use facts and stories that I didn’t think were relevant and bring them all together in my application. Her insights on my essays, short answers, and even how to interact with the various ad com’s and others were key. I was very pleased with how my essays turned out.
  • Very honest with me throughout the process, from school selection to essays and interview prep. She told it to me straight, even during the free consultation. That’s what ultimately led me to choosing her.
  • Responsive. Always met the commitment to respond within two business days and was able to accommodate other quick turn requests.
  • Easy to work with. Never made things stressful for me.
  • Overall, I am very happy that I worked with Helen, and I thought it was worth every penny.
Food for thought as you consider whether to hire a consultant or not: you are investing so much money into the admissions process, and (hopefully) investing in a two year MBA program, why not put your best foot forward on your applications? I know having someone to work with who has been through the process and understands how the Ad Com reviews an application was an invaluable resource for me. Yes it’s expensive to hire a consultant for a school package, but I got into a great program with a below average GMAT (660) because Helen helped me articulate why I would be a great candidate.

B-School Admit (via GMAT Club)

I wanted to email you to let you know that my experience with Helen greatly exceeded my expectations. Throughout the entire process Helen was great at coaching, motivating, calming when needed, and efficient in helping me make sure that I got all my applications done correctly and on time.

I truly felt like Helen really invested a lot of time, energy, and personal commitment to my success as an MBA candidate. I think the one story that sums up Helen as a consultant was that one of my recommenders, the day before my MIT application was due, notified me that he wasn’t going to get my recommendation done. Needless to say I was in a panic. I contacted Helen, and she immediately got on the phone with me and we strategized how to get the application in on time. She even worked with me to review my new recommender’s first draft late into that night. I know I’m not Helen’s only client and I’m sure she had other deadlines with other clients but it was clear to me that Helen really cared about my success. She went above and beyond what was in our contract to give me the best experience possible. There were many other times where Helen spent extra time working on essays, brainstorming ideas, and really fleshing out my ideas to make me the best candidate possible. Her style and approach was also perfect for my personality. Helen definitely expected a lot, was realistic, but also was extremely positive and gave me a lot of confidence as an applicant. I really appreciated her honest feedback, and she never compromised quality for the sake of time. Often we would need to revisit topics if we didn’t feel it was the perfect story. This was especially important for me because I felt like I had an uphill battle not coming from an Ivy League school or working for a feeder company (i.e. Goldman Sachs, BCG, etc.). She really helped me find my story that would be compelling for the MBA Adcom.

I had told Helen prior to any admission decisions that regardless of outcome I was confident that I put my best foot forward and was happy with my entire application package. I knew that by applying to only top 5 schools, it often times is hit or miss with acceptances. Fortunately, my hard work paid off and I was accepted into Kellogg (waitlisted at Wharton, so fingers still crossed there)! I know that my work with Helen and mbaMission really made me stronger as an applicant and made me feel more prepared for interviews and to tell my story. I am so happy with the end result I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. So I am very thankful for all the help Helen gave and I definitely plan to recommend her to anyone I know (or other GMAT Club users) who is thinking about hiring a consultant for the MBA Admission process.

Kellogg Admit

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