Who We Are: mbaMission Reviews

Reviews for Susan Kaplan

I did the Start-to-Finish Package for two schools with Susan, Stanford and Harvard. Coming from an engineering background and as an applicant to deferred MBA programs, I was unsure of how to approach the MBA admissions process and wanted to be sure to convey my story authentically. Ultimately, I was admitted at Stanford and, as a result, did not apply to Harvard.

Susan is able to identify your greatest strengths as a candidate, and enables you to craft an application that truly shines with these characteristics. She is completely honest and meticulous with you throughout the essay editing process instead of taking the easy route and approving of your essays once they’re in “good enough” shape.

I came to Susan for help with my applications only 2 months before the deadline, and even with our condensed timeframe I was able to take the GMAT, construct my essays, and polish them to a great quality. There were times even 2 weeks before the deadline (due to my condensed 2-month timeline) where I was not sure my drafts would come together, yet I was able to secure admission to my dream MBA program, Stanford GSB.

Needless to say, I highly recommend Susan. To any applicants who work with her in the future who are on a similarly condensed timeframe, I offer two pieces of advice: 1) Especially if you are not sure of an essay draft, send your edits back to Susan within one business day. Susan will always give in-depth comments to help you progress through a rough patch in the editing process. 2) Leave double the amount of time you think you need for the essay editing process. Susan is extremely thorough, and you will want to take advantage of it!

Stanford GSB Admit

I worked with Susan on 4 schools, targeting a Round 1 deadline (and only starting ~2 months ahead of deadlines). Susan was an incredible partner in guiding me through a daunting process.

Susan did a fantastic job in pushing me to put forth my best to really enhance my applications. She was always extremely punctual with her feedback on my essays and other deliverables. Her feedback would be tough at times, but it was exactly what I needed to really excel in the process. She was able to pair her knowledge on each of the programs with my story and background to help craft a great narrative for each of the schools I applied to. I really appreciated her effort to truly get to know me in order to provide the best personalized counseling for my process.

Finishing all of my applications in such a short time frame was difficult, and I know I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Susan. But with her help, I was admitted to HBS, Wharton, Booth, and Kellogg. I am very grateful to have worked with Susan throughout this process, and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a consultant.

HBS, Wharton, Booth, and Kellogg Admit

When I began working with Susan, I was skeptical I could get into an M7 business school on my first try. I had a good GMAT score and a reasonable GPA but at 24 years old and with only 3 years as a Deloitte consultant, I felt I needed real help to stand out.

From the get go, Susan pushed me to look into why I wanted to go to B-School and to dig into my post-MBA career goals. The process was extremely organized, clearly cut out, very well tailored for people like me who have slight OCD and a touch of anxiety and need to know exactly what will be expected of them. Susan had a wealth of experience, recommended I apply to MIT Sloan based on my criteria and communicated a wealth of material so I could adequately do my research. She reviewed each of my essays about 7 times and minutely went over each aspect of my application. In the end, I got interviews to HBS, CBS and MIT Sloan, all 3 schools I had applied to [in] Round 1!

After the interview, I ended up not getting into HBS but I was accepted to CBS and MIT, MIT with an 100k scholarship. The outcome was unreal. Thank you, Susan, so much for your help and support during this process, 10/10 recommend for a very professional and successful B-School consulting experience.

CBS and MIT Admit

I worked with Susan on the Start-to-Finish Package for 4 schools, was admitted to 3 of them, and used all of the self-reflection and tools that Susan provided me with to apply to and get accepted at 3 additional schools.

I didn’t have many friends who had applied to business school, nor did I have a great understanding of the application process, and Susan was a true partner and guide throughout the whole process. I tend to be quite verbose as a writer and sometimes I struggle to concisely make a clear point. While I knew why I wanted an MBA and what in my past experience made me qualified, I was having trouble articulating it clearly in my essays. Susan was a tough critic, and pushed me to write at a much higher level than I would have on my own. I appreciated that she didn’t just say “good job” when my applications were “good enough”; she pushed me to the next level, and I don’t think I would have as many acceptances and scholarships to top programs without her!

Despite her pinpointed and sometimes tough feedback, Susan was a warm and caring coach who truly cared about my journey and who was rooting for me throughout the process. She made me feel proud of my accomplishments and was such a great cheerleader. With her help, I was admitted to Kellogg, Tuck, Columbia, Darden and Yale SOM, all with scholarships, and to Wharton as well! I can’t recommend Susan enough!

Wharton, Kellogg, Tuck, CBS, Darden, and Yale SOM Admit

I signed up for the complete Start-to-Finish Package with Susan Kaplan. I cannot thank her enough as her advice and help throughout the process got me into a top-7 school!

Susan and I had several hours of brainstorming sessions. These sessions were tough and intense, and Susan would often let me know that I was not digging deep enough. However, these lengthy and honest sessions helped Susan really get to know my profile, strengths, weaknesses, etc. During these sessions, we often discussed my goals, and Susan’s analyses of my transferable skills really helped me identify my short- and long-term goals. After these sessions, we could easily shortlist schools and build a framework for my essays.

As a (overrepresented) re-applicant for some schools, I needed to ensure that my essays highlighted a fresh profile. Susan was fantastic in mining through my experiences to find thoughtful and powerful stories for the essays. Susan’s feedback was always direct and her comments were very, very detailed. I had a habit of writing long pieces, and Susan was really patient and helped me convey impactful stories within the strict word counts, without diluting the narrative. Not to mention that Susan would ensure that ALL aspects of my application tied together to provide a detailed and engaging profile. Her keen eye for detail would also often help pick up things that you would overlook.

Susan’s experience and suggestions on how to tackle the interviews were life-savers. She knew exactly what the interviewer was looking for and how to hold his/her attention.

If you are looking for someone who is easily available, honest, and practical with their advice, I would really suggest that you opt for Susan. Her several years of experience will not let you down.

B-School Admit

After speaking with admissions consultants at a few companies, I ultimately selected Susan because of her amazing reviews on GMAT Club. I knew that she had a reputation for being tough, but that’s what I wanted, and that’s what I got. Susan helped me get into Stanford, my dream school, and I can’t thank her enough.

I’m embarrassed to think about how bad my applications would have been without Susan’s help. As a non-traditional applicant with an engineering background, I needed assistance with all aspects of my application – post-MBA career goals, school selection, resume, essays, recommendations, and interviews. Susan guided me through all of it flawlessly.

“This just isn’t working.” Susan never hesitated to tell me when something wasn’t working. When I was ready to give up, Susan pressed onward. We went through ten revisions of some essays, and Susan never missed the two-day turnaround.

Even if I hadn’t gotten into any business schools, going through the application process with Susan would have been worth it. She encouraged me think critically about my motivations, strengths, and accomplishments, and got me into the habit of asking why to drive down to the deepest levels of a decision or goal.

I have no doubt that the applications I submitted were the best I could possibly submit. At times, I thought it was overkill, that there was no way one more revision could make a difference. But Susan always found room for improvement. And it’s hard to argue with success.

Stanford GSB Admit (via GMAT Club)

I took my time choosing an admissions consultant- first, because there are so many options out there! Second, honestly, I wasn’t sure if I bought into the idea. Couldn’t I do as good of a job passing my essays around to a few friends and getting their feedback? (Short answer: no.) When I spoke with Susan, I appreciated her straightforward approach. In our initial consultation, I never felt like she was pushing anything on me, but rather giving candid feedback and giving me options to consider. In that 30 minute conversation alone, the ‘food for thought’ she provided made me realize how much I stood to gain from working with Susan, and it was easy to pull the trigger after that.

Throughout the application process- brainstorming, writing essays, preparing the resume- Susan helped me sharpen my focus. She called me out when I was trying to skirt an issue or avoid adding extra details, and pushed me to spend more time thinking through each of the components of my application (Why does this matter? Do less telling and more showing!) so that the final product was true to my best work. She NEVER gave me the answer, or rewrote things for me, which I also appreciated.

Susan helped me get into Kellogg, my top choice, and I can’t thank her enough. You have everything to gain from working with Susan, and nothing to lose!

Kellogg Admit (via GMAT Club)

I feel confident stating that I would never have gotten into both schools I applied to with Susan’s help.

A non-traditional background can be a real asset if you know which aspects of your background to highlight, and a hindrance if you focus on the wrong areas. I was completely hung up on trying to figure out how to present my story, and Susan was incredibly helpful in working with me to identify which particular skills and experiences to highlight in the various parts of my application. She also provided frank feedback when I was heading in the wrong direction.

I particularly valued her help on my essays - I was amazed at how quickly my jumbled first drafts turned into final products. It’s because her comments were focused and direct. She suggested places to cut out lots of unnecessary details, pointed out areas where I should elaborate more, and left me to work on improving my next draft without getting stuck running in circles.

She also really pushed me to clarify my career goals. In addition to strengthening my application, that also made me feel much more confident that going to business school was the right decision for me.

Finally, it was great to have someone in my corner who was enthusiastic and supportive any time I had news to share about interviews or acceptances.

Wharton and Yale SOM Admit (via GMAT Club)

As a nontraditional candidate from a nonprofit background, I was initially worried about applying to business school. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work closely with Susan Kaplan throughout the process. Susan not only allayed my concerns, she worked with me to clarify my goals and present them in a clear and concise manner. Through the brainstorming and writing process, Susan helped me to present my experiences creatively and in a compelling way.

Susan was a thorough and meticulous reader of my work and by working with her, I was able to hone my writing abilities and develop a clearer sense of my career goals. Beyond that, she was encouraging and very attentive throughout the process, working quickly to give me feedback.

I truly cannot recommend her highly enough. With Susan’s help I was able to get into my first choice program: Columbia.

Columbia Business School Admit (via GMAT Club)

I still go back to my 1st draft and compare with my 9th draft. It makes me laugh and I thank Susan again and again for drastically making my stories come to life. ’Do you really need to put that point across?’, ’Write one point and delve deeper into that’... many such words of wisdom echo in my ears still. Susan you are awesome! It was just not a process of application but self-reflection. I will carry the experience throughout my life. As an applicant I appreciate Susan’s turnaround time. I was pretty late in the process but Susan paced me up and bought me back right in the game. She strived to get my essays before 2 business days. As an applicant I was okay with my essays sometimes but Susan was not. So you imagine the level of perfection she demands. Her comments really pushed me to think deep and enhance my style of writing. I learned to write EFFECTIVELY.

Susan is the best! You will never go wrong in your decision.

Business School Admit (via GMAT Club)

The GMATs for me were straightforward. Study + put in the hours + practice problems galore + take the test twice = awesome score.

But when it was time to start thinking about actually applying to schools, I had no idea what I was doing. I’m naturally more of a “flowery” writer, and I strongly believed in keeping true to myself and having my voice come through. So my writing meandered all over the place and couldn’t be called “succinct” in any definition of the word.

Susan Kaplan whipped me into shape.

After getting a few free consulting calls from different companies, I connected with her the most because she showed genuine enthusiasm for helping me. Plus, her background and experience in Marketing meant a natural fit for me and my career goals.

From the outset of defining my background and career goals, Susan gently but firmly guided my writing to be more professional and concise. With each essay revision, she made detailed notes and probed with pointed questions to make me truly think about the “what” and “why” of every sentence. Even when I was on the 10th version, or when I expressed my frustration at how little progress I felt I was making, she remained positive and encouraging. In addition, it helped that I could create my own timeline and force myself to revise and finish essays because I knew Susan’s time was valuable.

Most importantly, with each essay I wrote, my next one got easier because I was learning how to answer the questions well. My latter applications were definitely stronger than my first essays, because I knew what I was doing! I would not have been so knowledgeable if I muddled through by myself. I pushed myself the harder knowing Susan was with me every step of the way.

Of course, I can’t forget the comprehensiveness of the packages mbaMission offers either. From in-depth calls, to mock videos and interviews (individual and group), to the Insider Guides and other resources, every element helped me make my application and interviews better.

After R1, I was able to get into one of my top schools, and have other schools in my back pocket.

I definitely would not have gotten as far as I did without mbaMission and Susan, and I would highly recommend both the company and the consultant to anyone!

B-School Admit (via GMAT Club)

Honestly, I would have never been able to craft my most compelling story with the same conviction without Susan Kaplan’s guidance. She was incredibly pleasant and had a knack for pushing all the right buttons to bring out the very best in me. In hindsight, I should have just purchased the entire package deal because I trusted her and sought her input every step of the way in the application process.

With Susan as my coach, my work became more efficient and targeted! And, when I strayed, she was not afraid to bring me back on point. I was so confident with the strength of my final application,and subsequent interview, that I decided to apply only to my top school and wait for a decision. I was accepted – Ivy League Executive MBA!

EMBA Admit (via GMAT Club)

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