Stacy Blackman Application Essay Guides

August 5, 2010

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Once you've reached your score goal and moved on from the GMAT, you'll likely turn your focus to the essays required for each of your business school applications. As much as any other part of your application package, these essays are a way to set yourself apart from the competition.

While many application essays fall into certain patterns ("accomplishments," "biggest mistake," etc.) each topic is distinct, especially when considered within the context of a school's values and the story you attempt to tell.

As you probably know, Stacy Blackman Consulting is a leader in the field of b-school admissions consulting. What you may not know is that Stacy and her team have produced a series of detailed essay guides to help you navigate the applications of top schools such as Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton.

Stacy recently sent me a copy of her guide to the Harvard Business School application essays. I'm impressed. The booklet is 45 pages in length, and nearly all of the content is specific to HBS. It begins by reviewing the program's stated goals, then moves on to a very detailed series of tips for each essay.

These tips--and the sample essays that accompany them--are where the real value lies. For many people, I suspect that the level of detail is such that the guides may serve the same purpose as one-on-one admissions consulting. The tips are particularly helpful for traditionally troublesome essay topics such as a "mistake" or "failure" topic.

At first blush, the sticker price of $45 per guide may seem hefty. But consider the alternative. At GMAT Hacks, I've tried to condense the benefits of GMAT tutoring (which can cost upwards of $100 per hour) into resources that are much cheaper. Compared to the hourly cost of admissions consulting, these essay guides achieve the same goal: You get a ton of information that would otherwise take hours to gain in person or over the phone.

If you are planning to apply to a top school, I think you'll find these guides to be very helpful. These programs are enormously competitive, and without great essays, you'll have a hard time standing out.

Stacy was also kind enough to share a discount code for GMAT Hacks readers. When you purchase any of the guides, enter the code TREAT10 for a 10 percent discount. Thanks, Stacy!



About the author: Jeff Sackmann has written many GMAT preparation books, including the popular Total GMAT Math, Total GMAT Verbal, and GMAT 111. He has also created explanations for problems in The Official Guide, as well as 1,800 practice GMAT math questions.

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