Kelly, Northwestern Kellogg MBA

August 18, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Kelly, Northwestern Kellogg MBA I’m so glad I found Hillary! She was an extremely valuable resource and so supportive throughout my business school application process. Hillary will invest in your success and push you hard to craft and refine your applications in order to tell the most compelling stories. With Hillary’s feedback and guidance, I ended up at the perfect program for me. - Kelly (Denver, CO)

Nicole, MIT Sloan MBA

August 15, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Nicole, MIT Sloan MBA I applied to a whopping 7 schools and worked with Shine on 2 of them. Because the MBA application process is demanding and unpredictable, I sought a trusted partner to think through application strategy, test prep, essays, etc. with me. Although the financial investment is significant, I knew that I only wanted to go through this process once and do it right – without any regrets or what-ifs. I interviewed several MBA consultants and chose to work with Hillary, who a friend recommended, because of her willingness to put in meaningful time with me and her unrelenting commitment to my success. Even beyond her amazing guidance on my applicants, I found that she gave me an unexpected gift: confidence. I applied to schools that I thought were beyond my reach and will ultimately attend one! Despite a just-ok test score, I was invited to interview at 6 of the 7 schools and was accepted to 4 of them (with a scholarship). The foundation she set for me on 2 school applications helped me create strong applications for the other 5 schools. I am absolutely overjoyed with the results. Thank you, Hillary! - Nicole (San Francisco, CA)

Dan, Berkeley Haas MBA

August 07, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Dan, Berkeley Haas MBA Hillary took me from a candidate skeptical of MBA programs in general, to one who couldn’t be more excited about his next step at Haas, or his career plans thereafter. Working with Hillary did more for me than just help me get into a great program, it also helped me crystalize what it is I want to do with my career, and how best to achieve my goals. - Dan (San Francisco, CA)

Sara, Northwestern Kellogg MBA

August 02, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Sara, Northwestern Kellogg MBA My dreams of attending Kellogg would not have been possible without the help of Hillary and Shine. Throughout the course of the application process, I really felt like Hillary truly got to know me and helped guide me to submit the strongest applications possible. Hillary also acted as a wonderful sounding board and cheerleader. I am so thankful I chose to work with Shine and so grateful for their support! -Sara (San Francisco, CA)

Lisa, Yale SOM MBA

May 19, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Lisa, Yale SOM MBA I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started applying for business school! Thankfully a co-worker told me about Shine. Hillary guided me in tailoring my “why I want to go to business school” into a clear and focused message before I put one word on an application. She was honest and realistic when my first GMAT score didn’t come in where I was hoping, and provided solutions for how I could improve my score to be a realistic contender for the schools I was considering. Despite having a very busy client schedule, she always made time for either her or Sonia to proofread my essays or answer any questions I had throughout the process. They were instrumental in making sure my essays conveyed the message I wanted to get across that would also reflect my best self (without overtly bragging!). They also provided school-specific resources that helped me prepare for interviews at each program. As a result, I got in to my first choice, top 10 business school with a full tuition scholarship! I’m confident this result was due to my work with Shine. I could not be happier with the outcome! - Lisa (Bentonville, AR)

Leveraging MBA Tours To Your Benefit

April 29, 2017  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Leveraging MBA Tours To Your Benefit It’s MBA fair season: a great opportunity for prospective MBAs to attend admissions panels and get tips on the admissions process, pick up GMAT/GRE advice, talk face-to-face with admissions directors, and figure out which schools are right for you. It also gives adcomm a chance to hear questions directly from applicants and make connections with future MBAs who may be a fit for programs. Here are 5 tips to ensure you make the most of these MBA events: Every touch point with a school reflects upon you as a candidate, be it with the Director of Admissions or the receptionist.  Smile, offer a confident hand shake, show your enthusiasm, and be professional with whomever you speak. Do your homework.  Nothing shows your interest in a particular program more than asking thoughtful questions beyond what can be found online.  Ask about an intriguing topic, campus initiatives, or an aspect of the curriculum reflecting your interests. Show genuine curiosity, rather than simply a desire for face time.  Book one-on-one sessions whenever possible.  Some programs offer a chance to reserve a time slot to meet with adcomm privately or in a small group.  Don’t miss this opportunity to make a positive impression and build a ...

Andre, Wharton MBA

April 04, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Andre, Wharton MBA The best investment I made for my business school application process success was hiring Shine to help me get into Wharton, my dream school. The experience and attention to detail throughout the resume and essay reviews definitely made my application stand out. Also, specific guidance I received on my Wharton group interview pitch really shows the breadth and depth of the company’s knowledge of the process. - Andre (Los Angeles, CA)

Sonya, UCLA Anderson MBA

March 29, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Sonya, UCLA Anderson MBA I absolutely could not have gotten through the admissions process without Hillary. She gave me incredibly thoughtful, meaningful feedback every step of the way; her guidance gave me the confidence to apply to reach schools I wouldn't have considered on my own. The personal attention you get with someone at her level of expertise really sets her apart from other agencies, and I would recommend her with great confidence to anyone starting the daunting journey of applying for MBA programs. - Sonya (Los Angeles, CA)

Daniel, Chicago Booth MBA

March 29, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Daniel, Chicago Booth MBA Working with Shine was a stellar decision. I came from a STEM background rather than a business one. Hillary enhanced my chances of getting into school by getting to know me and by helping me build a story that led me to seek an MBA. While I would have been the same person with our without Shine, I certainly would not have produced the high-quality, concise application that gave me an opportunity at a top school. She gave me critical feedback and challenged me to show the best version of me that I could. I could not have asked for more out of an MBA consultant. -Daniel (Denver, CO)

Nick, Penn Wharton MBA / Harvard Kennedy School MPP

March 29, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Nick, Penn Wharton MBA / Harvard Kennedy School MPP Shine is hands-down the most helpful, in-depth, caring, and strategic service I can imagine to guide an applicant through the process. Hillary takes above-and-beyond steps to get to know every client so she can most effectively advise their goals and approach to each school. Additionally, her perspective for every application is smart and strategic, revealing nuances and ideas that applicants certainly haven’t thought of. Plus, Hillary also is so committed to each client and their happiness and success that she takes the additional steps of ensuring they can make the right decision if they are fortunate to be accepted to a school. For any friends or colleagues applying, I would say that using Shine is a must and should be considered as early on in the process as possible. - Nick (New York, NY)

Griffin, UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA

March 29, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Griffin, UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Hillary makes you think more about yourself than any other application process you’ve been through. Her organization and client materials were instrumental in helping me get into my number one choice b-school. Thank you Hillary for all of your help! - Griffin (San Francisco, CA)

MBA Applicant Survey: Win $500

March 22, 2017  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

MBA Applicant Survey: Win $500 If you've just finished applying to business school, please spare <10 minutes and take AIGAC’s annual MBA Applicant Survey. First, you could win $500!  Second, your views will be tallied anonymously and shared at our June conference, then used directly by business schools, admissions consultants and key stakeholders to shape the admissions process for years to come. We know you’ve got a lot to say - let your voices be heard! Click here to take the survey. Responses are due by April 30 to be eligible for the $500 prize. We truly appreciate your time in helping us continue to improve the MBA application process. Thanks, Your friends at Shine

April, Vanderbilt Owen MBA

March 08, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

April, Vanderbilt Owen MBA For me, the application process was stressful and incredibly defeating. I have a non-traditional background compounded with a less-than-stellar GMAT. However, Hillary encouraged me to press forward with her unrelenting positivity and unwavering support. At my breaking point, she believed in me unconditionally. She gave me the courage to try again, and in those kind phone calls may have changed my life forever. Hillary, you turned out to be exactly what I never knew I needed! Thank you so much for being there. Your support has meant so much to me over the course of this long year. – April (Casper, WY)

November Flash Sale – This Week Only!

November 01, 2016  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

November Flash Sale – This Week Only! Introducing our new Accelerated Applications offer at 15% off.  Complete your MBA applications in 6 weeks! Your winter holidays have never looked so good.  Book our services by this Friday Nov. 4th and we’ll lead you to complete up to 3 applications in 6 weeks – all for 15% off our standard pricing. You’re a great fit for this opportunity if… You’ve completed your test prep You have a good sense of your career goals and target schools You’ve researched your target schools You have sufficient bandwidth to dedicate to your applications, now Ready to gain some serious momentum?  Email us today at to set up a consultation and learn more.  Consultation times will be available on Wed. and Thurs. throughout the day and evening. Let's get it done! [Click here to learn more about our services and rates.  For additional questions, please contact us at] © Shine/ MBA Admissions Consulting, November 1, 2016, 10:22am PST  

YM, Stanford MBA

July 11, 2016  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

YM, Stanford MBA Shine came highly recommended from a dear MBA friend who had gotten into both HBS and Stanford. Hillary was particularly helpful during the early stages of my applications as I struggled to imagine how the different pieces of my application would coalesce to paint the picture of a well-rounded, living and breathing human-being with authentic dreams and aspirations, rather than one of a generic applicant. I am grateful to have come across her in my life. - YM (London, England)

Brian, Wharton MBA

May 11, 2016  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Brian, Wharton MBA Hillary was exceptional. She was passionate, professional, and truly supportive throughout the application process. I would highly recommend Hillary and the Shine team to any applicant looking to put his/her best foot forward. - Brian (New York, NY)

Researching MBA Programs: How To Find Your Perfect B-School Match

August 18, 2015  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Researching MBA Programs: How To Find Your Perfect B-School Match  The following guest blog post was written by Mansoor Iqbal of QS' An MBA is likely to be the last substantial formal education you undertake in your lifetime. It will be expensive. It will be difficult. And you’re going to be a little bit older when you’re done. (You’ll probably feel a little bit older just after applying!) Suffice it to say, you’re going to need to do your due diligence. So, how should you go about this? Here’s a rough guide to researching business schools. Establish your needs It’s hard to find something if you don’t know what you’re even looking for. So try to establish as much as possible about what you want and need from an MBA before getting started. Naturally, points you hadn’t considered will come up as you get further along. To begin though, think about career outcomes, how you like to learn, where you want to be based.  Then, realistically gauge how strong a candidate you are. Sure, it sounds dreamy to study at Stanford, but don’t waste your time if you know you won’t be able to compete. Besides, maybe you wouldn’t even be happy there; it’s all about finding the right fit. ...

Pablo, Northwestern Kellogg MBA

June 01, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Pablo, Northwestern Kellogg MBA Hillary Schubach from Shine was extremely helpful in my application process. We developed a strategy for each school I applied to, we worked on my resume and we put together a great set of essays. I was accepted in all the schools I applied to and it was thanks to Hillary’s help and guidance. - Pablo (Monterrey, Mexico)  

Chris, Berkeley Haas MBA

June 01, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Chris, Berkeley Haas MBA I chose to work with Shine knowing that personal attention would be crucial to my success in the application process. From day one, Hillary went out of her way to really get to know my story, goals and aspirations. Her persistence in pushing me one step further on each resume and essay revision undoubtedly helped me achieve a cohesive and stellar application. Today, long after the application process has been completed, Hillary remains in close touch, a testament to her personal commitment to each and every person that she works with. -Chris (Denver, CO)

Rebecca, UCLA Anderson MBA

May 04, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Rebecca, UCLA Anderson MBA Hillary and the team at Shine were invaluable to my application process. As someone who was incredibly overwhelmed during the application season, Hillary was a guiding light through multiple iterations of essays and short answers. I know the resume prep we completed was not only instrumental to my overall application, but will also help me during fall recruiting. Overall, Hillary kept me calm, collected, and focused on the task at hand. I would highly recommend her to any future applicant, and know undoubtedly that my admissions decisions would have been different without her help. - Rebecca (San Francisco, CA)

Samantha, Stanford MBA

June 01, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Samantha, Stanford MBA It was such a blast working with Hillary. She was extremely organized throughout the process, which helped to guide me to stay on top of each step during the application process, despite my crazy work schedule. Her openness and constructive feedback also allowed me to put together an application that’s true to myself, yet constantly be challenged and pushed to reach the next level. - Samantha (San Mateo, CA)

Megan, Kellogg MBA

July 09, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Megan, Kellogg MBA I couldn’t have been more pleased with my experience working with Shine. As someone looking to change career paths, she was immensely helpful in getting me to think about my past experiences and pulling out the most critical pieces to create a complete story about why I was a perfect MBA candidate for my list of schools. After getting engaged over Thanksgiving and putting off my essay drafts longer than I had planned, Hillary was nothing but understanding and put her all into editing my essays and turning them around in time for my deadlines, while doing the same for her many other students. When I was accepted to Kellogg, she was the first person I contacted, as she had been such a part of my application experience and was just as excited for me as I was. I have already referred her to my friends and will continue to do so! Thank you so much, Hillary! - Megan (Chicago, IL)

Eugenio, Columbia MBA

May 01, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Eugenio, Columbia MBA Excellent decision to hire Shine! Definitely made the difference! Eugenio (Monterrey, Mexico)

Chuck, Berkeley Haas MBA

February 25, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Chuck, Berkeley Haas MBA All five of my applications were due within a couple of short weeks of my wedding day. Hillary was a godsend in not only helping me to develop each school-specific story, but also in keeping me sane through our many essay and short answer iterations. From the onset it was clear that Hillary’s expertise extended well beyond her understanding of what each school is looking for, and really lied in her ability to draw out and sculpt the perfect story from my background and experiences.  I have no doubt that my results would have been different had I not worked with Shine. - Chuck (San Francisco, CA)

Ian, Chicago Booth MBA

February 25, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Ian, Chicago Booth MBA A Google search, and lucky happenstance that Hillary and I were both in Denver, were the reasons for our initial interaction. A warm and inviting personality, a heartfelt belief in my ability to be successful when applying to top schools, and an incredible application of a diligent strategy are the reasons why I worked with and recommend Shine to others. Having Hillary involved in the application process from the beginning helped me effectively plan for the long process, think through the most appropriate schools to which to apply, and ensure consistent application of my personal story. By working directly with Hillary, being willing to listen to her suggestions, and relying on her many years of experience, I was able to gain admission to the school that is perfectly aligned with my career goals. - Ian (Denver, CO)

Christine, Wharton MBA

February 09, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Christine, Wharton MBA Working with Hillary helped me articulate and refine my personal brand so that I could use every component of the application to convey not only my experience and accomplishments, but also my personality. Hillary gave me candid and thoughtful feedback and encouraged me to be self-reflective and authentic in putting together my applications. I cannot recommend her enough! - Christine (Washington, DC)

MBA Applicant Survey: you could win $500!

February 05, 2015  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

MBA Applicant Survey: you could win $500! If you have just participated in the MBA admissions process, we hope you will take AIGAC’s annual MBA Applicant Survey.  First, you could win $500!  Second, your anonymous views will be shared at our upcoming conferences and will be used directly by business schools, admissions consultants and key stakeholders to shape the admissions process for years to come.  We know you’ve got a lot to say - let your voices be heard! Thanks, Your friends at Shine    

Anuj, Northwestern Kellogg MBA

October 13, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Anuj, Northwestern Kellogg MBA The biggest challenge while working on my business school applications was managing it along with a grueling work schedule. Hillary not only helped me build a strong case by highlighting aspects in my career most relevant to a particular school/essay but also helped me stay focused through the long and tedious process.  She is also more than willing to go the extra mile to make sure the essays are as perfect as possible and is was very accessible though phone or email.  I would highly recommend Shine/ MBA Admissions Consulting if you are looking for help writing polished B-School essays. - Anuj (Chicago, IL)

Nelson, NYU Stern MBA

August 14, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Nelson, NYU Stern MBA Shine is a valuable resource for any applicant interested in attending a top MBA program.  Hillary has a great working knowledge of each school’s admissions process and was instrumental in helping me think through how to best position my applications.  If you’re looking for a leg up in the process, I highly recommend hiring her consultancy from the very beginning.  My only regret was not working with her sooner. - Nelson (New York, NY)

Max, Emory Goizueta MBA

March 23, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Max, Emory Goizueta MBA I would recommend Shine to anyone, especially any former military officers looking to transition to business school.  Hillary was crucial in helping me quantify my military service in way that admissions committees would understand.  Her resume help was outstanding, and her help with essay writing and interview prep were essential to my application process.  She always made time when I needed her, and was a great sounding board for me during some of the more anxious times of the process.  Shine admissions is absolutely worth the investment.   - Max (Colorado Springs, CO)

Kevin, Harvard MBA

April 09, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Kevin, Harvard MBA I am extremely happy to have worked with Shine. I am a re-applicant candidate and (after not getting a single interview in my prior attempt) I got into two of the schools I re-applied to and was interviewed/waitlisted at the third. Hillary has immense experience with the admissions process and was able to clearly point out the weaknesses in my previous applications.  I also feel very privileged to have worked closely with her personally; she is very intelligent, creative and challenging in her approach. She makes you work hard but the final product is truly worth it. Additionally, the deep thinking she challenges you to do will help you learn a lot about yourself and how to present yourself to the world. Finally, as an African applicant, I was truly pleasantly surprised at the level at which she understood me individually, my background and the things I care about. I would enthusiastically encourage any international applicants to strongly consider working with her. Overall, I greatly enjoyed working with Hillary and I know that the investment paid off! - Kevin (Johannesburg, South Africa)  

Katrina, Purdue Krannert MBA

April 09, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Katrina, Purdue Krannert MBA Coming into the application process, I felt like I was drowning—I was unsure of what to do and how to go about doing it since I was starting late. I knew I was a challenging applicant coming from a non-traditional work background with less than two years work experience. After reaching out to Shine, Hillary became my lifesaver. She helped me understand how the process worked, what to do, and navigated me every step of the way. She knew exactly how to showcase my strengths while turning my weaknesses into great discussion points.  She was always reachable and willing to work around my short timetable. Beyond that though, she is very personable and works hard to understand who you are and what your desires are. She knew exactly what business schools are looking for in resumes, essays, and interviews and how to present my points in a direct, concise manner. Without her guidance, I honestly do not think I could have gotten as great of a turnout. Hillary’s support helped me garner interviews with all five schools I applied to and admission to three of them! - Katrina (San Jose, CA)

Andrew, Columbia MBA

April 04, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Andrew, Columbia MBA Hillary was my chief editor and partner for my entire MBA application process. She was always extremely happy to help throughout my year-long journey. From deciding where to apply, how to go about visiting schools and speaking to admissions, to the big-ticket items like writing my essays and prepping for interviews, she was there every step of the way. She differentiated herself from peers and mentors by knowing how the admissions teams think, and getting into the weeds working with my essays, and thinking about how to best craft my story. The thing Hillary really does best is not change an applicant's resume, life story, etc. (these things would be impossible), but highlight the best possible version of the applicant for admissions to see. There are auxiliary benefits to working with her as well; I believe my writing improved markedly after working with her on my MBA essays. Looking back to how much my application strategy changed after seeking her advice, I honestly don’t think I would’ve been admitted without her. - Andrew (New York, NY)

Amy, Dartmouth Tuck MBA

April 04, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Amy, Dartmouth Tuck MBA Hillary was exactly what I was looking for in a consultant. As someone who was feeling discouraged by a previous GMAT attempt and unsure of my overall odds of getting into a top school, I cherished the honest yet positive input that Hillary brought into the mix. She was the one person who I felt was with me throughout the entire application process, from revamping my resume to editing essays and interview prep. She had an extremely effective way of pinpointing my relevant strengths and advising me on the best way to showcase them within my essays and applications overall. I truly feel that Hillary allowed me to put my best foot forward at every step along the way and I cannot imagine what it would have been like to try to apply to business schools without her help. Through the ups and downs of this crazy process, Hillary was my voice of reason and the first person I wanted to call with good news! - Amy (San Francisco, CA)

Rufaro, Harvard MBA

April 02, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Rufaro, Harvard MBA Hillary was so helpful in my essay writing process. She made sure she really got to know me so she could ensure “my voice” and passions came through in my essays. She was always available for last minute calls and brainstorming sessions, and would help me think through my muddled ideas to make sense of it all. I can’t thank her enough for all of her help!!!! - Rufaro (New York, NY)

MBA applicant survey (win $500!)

March 06, 2014  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

MBA applicant survey (win $500!) Calling all recent business school applicants (2013/2014): As a member of the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC), we hope you will participate in an industry-wide survey to hear your feedback on the MBA application process.  AIGAC will be sharing the anonymous results with admissions officers of the top schools  to help them better meet the needs of today’s applicants—and to help the admissions consulting community better serve our clients. To thank you, you'll be eligible to win a $500 cash prize--and you will provide invaluable perspectives that will help shape the future of MBA admissions. Make your voices heard! The survey should take 10 minutes to complete and can be accessed by clicking this link: Responses are due by March 31. (If you are interested in reading the results of last year’s survey, click here.) On behalf of AIGAC, we truly appreciate you taking this time to help us improve the MBA admissions process.

Insights from the 2013 MBA admissions conference

July 03, 2013  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Insights from the 2013 MBA admissions conference After attending our annual AIGAC MBA admissions conference in Philly—and tweeting up a storm—I stand before you armed with insights directly from the mouths of the admissions directors who’ll be reading your future applications. In attendance were Wharton, Columbia, Tuck, NYU Stern, Yale, Cornell Johnson, Texas McCombs, UNC and others—as well as representatives from GMAC, test prep companies big and small, and fellow AIGAC consultants deliberating the hot issues of today’s admissions process. Here are a few of the highlights: We first dissected AIGAC’s annual applicant survey results, administered by Huron Consulting Group and completed by this past year’s applicant pool.  Among the takeaways:  respondents spent 70-110 hours on their applications (plus another 21-30 hours on GMAT prep)!  50% scored a 700+ on the GMAT.  And 57% used an admissions consultant last year—99% of whom would recommend that future applicants do the same. Of strong interest was the issue of candidates being asked to write their own recommendations—a definite admissions mistake.  (Our recent post “Securing the strongest MBA recommendations” tells you why, and offers our advice).  38% of survey respondents faced this very ethical dilemma last year.  Be on the lookout for ...

MBA Tours: what, why, when (and how to use them to your advantage)

May 09, 2013  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

MBA Tours: what, why, when (and how to use them to your advantage) It’s MBA tour season again. And along with it comes our advice for using these events to your benefit in the admissions process. First, the what MBA tours, or fairs, are like job fairs for business school candidates.  Traveling city to city, they offer a great opportunity for you to attend panels, accumulate admissions and GMAT advice, speak 1×1 with admissions officers from your target schools, pick up brochures, and evaluate which programs are the best fits for you. In addition, it gives the admissions officers a chance to hear questions directly from the front lines, and make connections with prospective applicants. Why bother? I can just do my school research online, can’t I?  Yes, and you absolutely should.  However, attending an MBA fair can expose you to programs you may not have considered.  It enables you to hear diverse panelist perspectives on topics that will help you in the admissions process. And it gives you the unique chance to get your questions answered firsthand, demonstrate your passion for your target programs, and make a favorable impression on the admissions representatives well before you even apply. (And they will remember you.) How ...

Spotlight on Duke’s Fuqua School of Business

April 24, 2013  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Spotlight on Duke’s Fuqua School of Business Last week, in the midst of a vibrant Duke Alumni Weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time at the Fuqua School of Business. It was as if the perfect 70 degree weather and blue North Carolina skies were planted intentionally to impress, however it was my conversation with Director of Admissions Megan Lynam that shed the most meaningful light into what makes an MBA from Duke so special. Did you know: Fuqua operates on six-week terms, which means more opportunity for more classes—along with a more rapid pace of learning. If you’re the type of person who can juggle many balls in the air successfully, you’ll be primed for success at Fuqua. If not, this is a program that will teach you quickly to become adept at prioritization and time management. Fuqua students are very deeply engaged and have an important role in taking the school to the next level. Through opportunities such as the carefully-selected second-year Fellows, students can work alongside department leaders and greatly influence strategic decisions throughout the school. With campuses all over the world (London, Dubai, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, New Delhi), Fuqua is the first truly global business ...

After you’ve hit “submit”

February 20, 2013  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

After you’ve hit “submit” Often, we receive questions from MBA candidates who have completed their applications and are now wondering what to do with their time.  Is it OK to quit my job now and travel?  I was offered a new job; should I take it even though I may be leaving for business school in six months?  My company has taken a down turn; should I leave and just spend my time volunteering?  I may go into finance; should I take the CFA exam before beginning school? There’s no wrong answer here.  Here are a few tips to help you make the best decision for you: Are you certain that you’re going to business school next year? If you’re still waiting for an admissions decision, don’t quit your day job just yet!  As you know, you can’t be certain of being accepted to any top business school, even if you’re deserving, and even if you’ve been invited to interview. If you end up on the waitlist, you’ll want to show the admissions committee that you’re continuing to progress in your career.  And if you end up being rejected, it will be much harder for you to find ...

Resources for MBA applicants

February 06, 2013  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Resources for MBA applicants In addition to the insights that we provide through our blog, speaking engagements, and 1x1 MBA admissions consulting services, each year we always like to take stock of the additional resources that our clients found valuable in preparing their applications.  Whether you’re focused on nailing your GMAT or preparing for that final interview, here are some of our clients’ personal recommendations for future MBA candidates: GMAT Preparation Kaplan Manhattan GMAT Veritas Prep Princeton Review "The Official Guide to GMAT Review," by GMAC Beat The GMAT blog Admissions/School Insights Shine blog (Illuminations) School websites, admissions office blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, campus visits “How To Get Into The Top MBA Programs” by Richard Montauk “65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays,” by Dan Erck Beat The GMAT blog Business Week MBA articles GMAT Club “Calling All Applicants” threads Clear Admit blog Admissionado (formerly Precision Essay) newsletter blog Alumni/Student Conversations School admissions offices LinkedIn Interview Prep Shine blog (Illuminations) Clear Admit interview reports [For more information about preparatory resources or general MBA admissions consulting, please contact: ...

Should I apply to business school in round three?

January 30, 2013  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Should I apply to business school in round three? For most candidates, the answer is no.  However, under certain circumstances, it makes perfect sense to submit a 3rd round application.  Here are some ways to gauge whether you should apply this late in the game, or whether you'd be better off waiting until the 1st round next fall. First, the pros of submitting an application in round 3: If accepted, you get to attend business school this coming fall. Now the cons: Most of the spots in the class have been given away by this point.  For this reason alone, you’ll have a much tougher time getting in than you would otherwise. If you are not accepted, and you decide to apply again in the fall, now you’re not just a typical candidate, you’re a reapplicant.  This puts the onus on you to improve your candidacy in a significant way over the next six months.  If you were rejected once, submitting the same set of qualifications/stories will not yield a different result. People are accepted though in round 3, right?  Yes they are. The candidates with the best shots at 3rd round admission include: Those with a compelling story ...

Gratitude during the MBA admissions process

November 21, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Gratitude during the MBA admissions process With Thanksgiving upon us, this seems a perfect time to think about all of the people who have helped you in the MBA admissions process thus far. Very often, in the throes of essay writing and interview prep, we get lost in your own heads.  We’re sleep-deprived, focused on our own deliverables, balancing full-time jobs on top of it all.  Perhaps we’ve even felt the heartbreak of receiving disappointing news from one of our dream schools. We’re likely not thinking about too many other people right now. However, it’s never too early, or too late, to show your appreciation to those who have given their time and support to you through the admissions process. First and foremost, your recommenders.  They’ve spent hours upon hours hearing your story, preparing their write-ups, glowing about you, and doing everything within their power to help you get accepted to business school.  Secondly, your friends and family.  The ones who’ve diligently proofread your essays, encouraged you to aim high, listened to you complain, and missed spending time with you as you holed up with your computer.  Thirdly, all of the alumni, students, and faculty members you may ...

Mastering part one of your MBA application

October 03, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Mastering part one of your MBA application Did you finally finish writing your business school essays--excited that you were at the “end” of your MBA application--only to discover that Part One was actually chock full of enough short-answer questions and mini-essays to put you into a deep depression. Fortunately, you discovered this before the day your application was due.  And fortunately you had enough guidance to do yourself justice on this portion of the application, rather than detract from the value of the beautiful set of essays you’d just poured your heart into creating for Part Two. Here are a few tips to make Part One of your application as strong as possible: Characters vs. Words First the basics: follow the instructions.  We’ve seen plenty of people share with us their 250 word answers to a question calling for 250 characters.  Read the question carefully.  Determine whether “characters” includes or excludes spaces.  Test your theory by filling the data form with Xs, cutting and pasting it onto a MS Word document, and then running your character counter. Resume Redundancy If you’ve already done an outstanding job with your resume, there’s no reason that you can’t repeat the same language ...

Developing an MBA application with impact

August 14, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Developing an MBA application with impact Essays get the lion’s share of the attention when it comes to business school applications.   They're the scariest beast to tackle, and they take the most time.  You might even believe that they hold the most weight, though they actually do not.  An MBA application is truly a package deal:  resume, data form, essays, recommendations, transcripts, test scores, interviews—the admissions committee has it all in front of them, and it all matters.  Your grand vision should be the combined impact of all of those items, not just the essays.   With plenty of blog posts to choose from about writing strong essays, here are a few thoughts on the rest of the application: Resume First, the resume.  Take the time to make it the strongest possible reflection of all of your professional and academic accomplishments.  Use this opportunity to highlight your extracurricular activities, community involvement, certifications and memberships, special skills, and even your personal interests.  Feel free to read our earlier blog post on what makes a strong MBA resume.  The point is, you’ve got valuable real estate in the resume to communicate items that you can’t otherwise fit into your ...

Overcoming MBA essay writer’s block

July 31, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Overcoming MBA essay writer’s block It’s time to start outlining your business school essays, and your mind is a blank.  What do I wish I had done better?  What matters most to me and why?  What has fundamentally transformed the way I think?  Where should you begin? Here are a few tips to jumpstart your writer’s engine and get those creative juices flowing: Ask your friends and family Get the input of people close to you. What is their perception of what makes you tick?  How would they describe your values, attributes, and opportunities for improvement?  What are you doing when they see your eyes light up the most? You’d be surprised how an outsider’s input can inspire a seedling of an idea that ultimately blossoms into your best essay. Find creative inspiration Go to the local book store and flip through one of those “essays that worked for the top business schools” books.  There are plenty of them.  You might be moved by the unique approaches others have taken to an otherwise straight-forward question.  Think outside the box.  There’s no rule that says your essays should be conservative (and dare I say boring)  in tone.  The admissions committee loves ...

Pilar, Wharton MBA

July 30, 2012  |   Featured,Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Pilar, Wharton MBA I approached Shine after they came highly recommended by my employer. I was one of those applicants that did not know exactly what I was looking for and where I should apply. I asked Hillary to help me put together some ideas of schools given my interests and to help me formulate my "story."  Hillary provided some wonderful insight and was actually the one to suggest applying to Wharton, where I will begin this fall.  She not only helped me put together my resume but also a fabulous outline of the various qualities, traits, and experiences she thought I should focus on. Hillary takes a sincere interest in all of her clients and works to help each and every one of them in a personal and professional manner. I am so thankful to have found Shine. - Pilar (Dallas, TX)

Erin, Stanford MBA

July 12, 2012  |   Featured,Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Erin, Stanford MBA Hillary's expertise as a marketer coupled with her knowledge of  business school admissions makes her an excellent adviser in the challenging MBA application process. She is excellent at identifying areas within an applicant's essays that can be positioned to appeal to the top schools' adcomms with additional detail and nuance. Hillary is patient, trustworthy and devoted to helping people get into the schools of their dreams. Thanks, Hillary for helping me get into every school I applied to! - Erin (Denver, CO)

International MBA insights

July 10, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

International MBA insights How much do you know about the top European business schools? At our 2012 AIGAC conference in Spain last week, we asked admissions directors from several top European business schools to tell us “three great things” about their MBA programs. Not surprisingly, every one of them highlighted the tremendous diversity of their student populations.  The number of nationalities represented, by both students and faculty, is incomparable at these programs – and makes for a truly global experience.  Programs like IESE and INSEAD also offer campuses on multiple continents, and many also offer exchange programs and partnerships with US business schools. Here are the other two “great things” they described: Cambridge Judge “The people and Cambridge,” says Conrad Chua, head of  MBA Recruitment & Admissions.  Judge is a highly collaborative program, and with such a small class size, anonymity is not an option.  Every student is active and involved, including their participation in 3 major team projects.  As for Cambridge, the university environment emanates excellence, and Judge values students showing potential to be inspired and make a difference in the world. ESADE “Personalization and Creapolis,” according to Christina Sassot, Director of Admissions.  After nine months, ESADE students can decide whether they’d like to finish in 12, 15 ...

Fadzi, Harvard MBA

July 10, 2012  |   Featured,Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Fadzi, Harvard MBA Hillary was a wonderful resource when it came to my essays. She provided great advice, which allowed me to stay true to my voice. Hillary's help even went beyond the application process, as she put me in contact with her HBS peers to help me with my career search. She is a passionate, enthusiastic counselor who is truly invested in ensuring her clients succeed! - Fadzi (New York, NY)

Stephen, Northwestern Kellogg MBA

July 09, 2012  |   Featured,Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Stephen, Northwestern Kellogg MBA Hillary was immeasurably beneficial to my applications for business school.  From my initial contact with her, she was professional, courteous, and truly excited about helping me improve my entire application, from the development of appropriate stories and explanations to the end result of writing highly effective application essays.  At first, I wasn't sure whether a consultant could be helpful to me, but soon after having Hillary review my ideas and early drafts I realized how much stronger my applications were becoming with her guidance.  She challenged me to "show her, not tell her" what I had done in my career and personal endeavors, which made my essays exciting to read and more representative of my accomplishments. She was an extremely clear communicator to me, and never let me slip a lazy sentence or boring idea past her.  With limited words with which to construct top business school essays, there is neither room for ambiguous claims nor unsubstantiated reasoning, and Hillary would immediately point out where I had made these mistakes and encourage me to push harder and to get the most positive impact from every word I put onto paper. Perhaps most helpful was her ability to guide me toward making my application ...

Securing the Strongest MBA Recommendations

June 26, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Securing the Strongest MBA Recommendations Did you know that one of the most common MBA application mistakes is making a poor choice of recommenders? Who are the right ones to choose?  Follow these guidelines to ensure that you’ve selected well, and that your recommendations work to your advantage in the admissions process, not detract from your candidacy. They know you really, really well The admissions committee favors recommendations from someone who you reported to in some capacity (formally or informally) and who has firsthand experience of your work style, attributes, strengths/weaknesses, and potential.  By far, your best recommenders are those who can speak about you in intimate detail, and can highlight their commentary with specific examples and anecdotes from their direct experience with you.  Candidates often fail by asking their CEO for a recommendation, which ends up being positive yet devoid of intimate details.  Titles don't impress, content does. They will do the writing themselves Writing recommendations for a business school candidate is a lot of work.  You may come across recommenders who tell you that they're happy to sign the form if you'll do the writing for them. If you do, thank that person generously, and then ...

How to get into the top business schools from China

June 20, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

How to get into the top business schools from China As applications to the top business schools in the US continue to increase from China, schools are forced to make difficult admissions decisions amidst this highly competitive applicant pool.  Here are four tips for Chinese applicants to ensure excellence in the application process and differentiate yourselves from others. Brand yourself Many applicants from China are academically qualified for the top schools and offer high GPAs, GMAT, and TOEFL scores.  The key for the Chinese applicant is to differentiate yourself by all of the unique experiences you bring to the table: professional, extracurricular, and personal. Share your passions, hobbies and activities.  Let them see your special skills and strengths.  Show off your personality, creativity and distinguishing attributes.  Find your personal brand, know your differentiation from others, and let it shine through in your essays. Showcase your experience Because test scores are so elevated among Chinese applicants, the admissions committees also will be eager to learn the details of your work experiences and how you uniquely excelled in those roles.  For both your resume and your essays, take great care to think through each position you’ve held (professional or otherwise!) and highlight your ownable accomplishments, ...

Spotlight on Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business

May 15, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Spotlight on Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business Last week, I was  lucky enough to spend some quality time at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business with admissions team members Kelly Wilson, Hilary Prokop, and Kristen Bautz.  On a perfect sunny Washington DC morning, I got a firsthand look at what makes this program so special. Did you know: Georgetown is a true general management program, and offers complete flexibility in defining one’s curriculum.  With no majors, and the freedom to select any combination of second year electives, the program is equally ideal for students pursuing traditional and non-traditional career paths. Georgetown is a great fit for students who understand that business is about the impact on both society and the bottom line.  Grounded in the university’s Jesuit heritage, the MBA program values principled leadership and an appreciation of diversity, tolerance, and ethics. These same values have also fostered a warm and caring culture at McDonough.  The small class size and tight-knit community leads its students to be frequently found sharing recruiting insights with one another, running study sessions for classmates, and helping each other succeed. Beyond its location in Washington DC, Georgetown’s new curriculum places even greater emphasis on the global aspect of ...

The Months Before Applying To Business School

May 01, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

The Months Before Applying To Business School So, you are planning to apply to business school this fall. Anxiously, you’re awaiting the release of the essay questions you’ll have to answer, possibly studying for the GMAT as we speak, and likely feeling a bit hopeless that there isn’t more you can do NOW.  The good news is, there is.  If you make the most of this waiting period over the next few months, you’ll not only be ahead of the game, you may strengthen your candidacy as well. Resume There’s no need to wait to update your resume.  Certainly leave room underneath your current position for additional updates, but your past positions won’t be changing.  Take the time now to think through all of your professional accomplishments, roles and responsibilities.  Remind yourself of all of your community and leadership positions, your hobbies and personal interests, your activities and committees.  It’s actually the ideal way to kick off the brainstorming needed for your applications. Recommenders Identify your target recommenders and approach them now to ask them if they’d be willing to write your recommendations.  Look at past applications to familiarize yourself with the types of questions asked, ...

Getting off the MBA waitlist

April 24, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Getting off the MBA waitlist You’ve put in your full effort, delivered an outstanding MBA application, and the disappointing decision comes back: waitlisted.  You feel like you might as well have been rejected. Don’t despair.  It’s NOT a hopeless cause.  Every year, at nearly every top business school, people are taken off the waitlist and given that long-awaited admit letter.  The waitlist spot means they already like you and would welcome you in the class, given unlimited room.  Here’s how to position yourself best for those precious last spots at the school of your dreams. Listen to your admissions committee While many admissions committees welcome additional submissions to support your candidacy, others explicitly state that they do not.  Respect their wishes, and carefully read their instructions before you begin any waitlist campaign.  You’ve come this far; you don’t want to do anything now that could potentially harm your candidacy. Let them know how much they mean to you First, write a brief letter confirming that the school remains your clear first choice, and if admitted, you would definitely attend.  (Assuming that’s true.  If it isn’t, consider letting the waitlist spot go to another candidate.)  Add any support points ...

Jon, Michigan Ross MBA

April 16, 2012  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Jon, Michigan Ross MBA Hillary was driven, flexible, and transformed my application process from a scary monster to one that was much less intimidating! - Jon (New York, NY)

Meghan, UVA Darden MBA

March 22, 2012  |   Featured,Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Meghan, UVA Darden MBA I could not be happier that I chose to work with Shine. I decided to use a consultant because I was applying to business schools while working full time, and I knew that having an additional set of eyes on my work would save me some stress. However, my experience with Shine was much fuller; Hillary helped me take my applications to the next level and maximize my potential. Having someone as experienced and professional as Hillary on my team was a godsend, and I know that my applications were much stronger because of Hillary’s guidance and feedback. - Meghan (New York, NY)

Writing Like a Future MBA

September 05, 2011  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Writing Like a Future MBA When you think of common business school application mistakes, I’ll bet some of the famed horror stories come to mind: the wrong-school typo, the too-personal essay topic, the inappropriate Facebook photo… What about writing ability? Not the baseline question of whether you can put an English sentence together—but the little things. The ones that aren’t deal breakers in and of themselves, but that pick away at the reader’s nerves. Things that distract the reader from the points you’re trying to make, and that make the experience of reading your application a less pleasant one than it could have been. And without meaning to, that slowly but surely begin to separate a weaker writer from other candidates in contention Before you finalize your resume or get too deep into essay writing, I wanted to share some of the more common writing-related issues I see on candidates’ applications year after year. May these suggestions help you to come out of the gate with your best foot forward: Active voice Always use active voice (“I did X”) rather than passive voice (“X happened to me”). Take credit for the choices you’ve made—particularly when they generated a ...

Seth, Duke Fuqua MBA

August 10, 2011  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Seth, Duke Fuqua MBA Working with Hillary was a very beneficial experience for me.  She was accessible, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to work with. Through working with Hillary, I was able to better craft my bschool "story" and I am confident that her guidance resulted in my bschool acceptance. -Seth (Brooklyn, NY)  

Robert, Texas McCombs MBA

August 10, 2011  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Robert, Texas McCombs MBA The MBA application landscape has become so competitive that just being a good candidate is no longer enough.  Hillary's insight and experience were instrumental in helping me market myself and build my personal brand.  She not only taught me how to put together the strongest application possible, she was able to help me determine which schools were the best fit for me personally (I recommend keeping an open mind, you might be surprised.)  Hillary takes the luck and guesswork out of the application process, and I highly recommend her to anyone who is serious about attending a top business school. -Robert, (Houston, TX)

Audrey, Georgetown McDonough MBA

August 10, 2011  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Audrey, Georgetown McDonough MBA I came to Shine MBA admissions towards the end of my MBA application process, and I regret not using their services sooner. The essay editing was detailed and thoughtful, and the suggestions for improvements did not try to stifle my voice as a writer or alter my goals for pursuing an MBA. In addition, the phone consultations proved extremely valuable because I could brainstorm effectively with my consultant Hillary, while also receiving sound advice on putting my best face forward, interviewing with schools, and the final decision making process. I am very grateful for the help I received during such an anxiety ridden and stressful period of time. -Audrey (San Francisco, CA)

When To Re-Take The GMAT

August 05, 2011  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

When To Re-Take The GMAT Raise your hands if you’ve ever second-guessed whether your GMAT score is good enough. Now, keep your hands raised if you’ve scored over 720 and wondered the same thing.  Thought so.  Hands down please. There are very few applicants who haven’t at least wondered, if not worried, whether their candidacy is at risk due to their GMAT score. Here are a few considerations to help you make this assessment for yourselves: There’s no such thing as a deal breaker Those that have attended one of my "How To Get Into The Top Business Schools" presentations can tell you that this is a dominant theme. Other than an ethical violation, there really is no one element that would take an otherwise qualified candidate out of the running. My favorite example comes from the Harvard MBA Class of 2013 profile. The GMAT range of students in the incoming class is 490-790.  490!!!  Is this a good target GMAT score for anyone applying to HBS?  No, no it is not. It does however prove that if you’re an extraordinary candidate, you are going to get your chance.  (On a ...

Wendy, George Washington MBA

July 31, 2011  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Wendy, George Washington MBA Shine was an incredibly valuable and inspiring resource to me throughout the business school application process. Hillary provided me the direction, support, and feedback I needed to perfect my resume and essays. She was tremendously helpful in creating my “personal brand,” which allowed me to more clearly define my post business school goals. She was a wonderful sounding board and mentor to me during the months we worked together and it was truly a pleasure using her services. - Wendy (Washington, DC)

Mio, MIT Sloan MBA

July 05, 2011  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Mio, MIT Sloan MBA Hillary’s commitment to the quality of the output was sincere. Especially when reviewing my resume, she taught me how to envision who I am and how I came here on a piece of paper. As for essays, she wouldn’t pass off any points where I could better demonstrate my personal brand. She also provided ample knowledge regarding my career goals and school choices. Her candid feedback and appropriate questioning helped me to reflect what I want to achieve in my career and stay true to my voice. I was very fortunate to work with Shine and be admitted to my first choice school, MIT Sloan. Thank you Hillary for all your support! - Mio (Princeton, NJ)

Dan, Wharton MBA

February 24, 2011  |   Featured,Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Dan, Wharton MBA From the moment I began speaking with Hillary, I knew I was in the hands of someone who really cared about my admissions process. She worked feverishly to get back to me in a timely fashion and always made me feel like I was her number one priority. When working with me on my resume, she really helped to spark my thinking as far as what was needed in each section and what message I wanted to get across to the school I was applying to. I strongly recommend Hillary's assistance in any part of the process as she is someone with great experience, very likable, and extremely professional. - Dan (New York, NY)

The Road To Be Traveled

October 25, 2010  |   Blog   |     |   1 Comment

The Road To Be Traveled The dreaded “career essay" What are your career aspirations and why?   Why do you want your MBA (at our school)? It’s causing you angst to no end.  Of course you don’t know 100% what you’re going to do after you graduate.  Even if you think you do, you probably don’t.  There’s a whole professional world out there to explore...isn’t that part of why you’re going to business school? Let me take the pressure off you:  the admissions committee knows this too.  And the good news is, no one will ever withhold your diploma in the end--cross-referencing your career plans with your application essays, making sure you stuck to your plan.  Unfortunately though,  in the admissions process, there’s nothing less attractive than someone who doesn’t have a clear sense of direction.  “Soul searchers” are sadly not a recognized attribute of future business leaders.  So, you just need to take a leap of faith based on everything you know today—and make the best case for your chance to explore tomorrow at the schools of your choice. Where to start Think down the road, maybe 7-10 years. Whose role could ...

What To Write About

September 10, 2010  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

What To Write About For my first ever blog entry (which I'd been putting off because I didn't know what to write about), I thought it only fitting to write about...what to write about. It's the concern I've heard most this week from the business school candidates I work with privately.  "I can't think of any good leadership examples!"  "I don't have any time outside of work for extracurriculars!"  "I can't think of a time when I really, well, failed." Let it come I conduct a number of speaking engagements, and I often begin my presentation with a section entitled: First and foremost... Slide #1 then goes a little something like this:  BREATHE.  It may not be hilarity, but it's one of the best pieces of advice I can offer.  A creative mind needs some breathing room - and the best ideas likely won't come while staring stressfully at your computer screen. Plant some seeds and sit with them for a while.  Carry a small pad with you and capture ideas while you're driving to work, out walking the dog, or laying at the pool.   Pick your mom's brain while cleaning up dishes after family dinner. ...

Katherine, UVA Darden MBA

August 22, 2010  |   Featured,Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Katherine, UVA Darden MBA Hillary was a wonderful resource during the entire application process. She has an extensive knowledge and understanding of the top MBA programs, and with her input, I was able to create a list of target schools that met my needs. During the application process, Hillary helped me discover my “personal brand” enabling me to stand out among the other candidates. In addition helping me perfect my essays and resume, Hillary provided the encouragement and support I needed to navigate the process. I would highly recommended Hillary and Shine/ MBA Admissions Consulting to anyone thinking about business school. - Katherine (Denver, CO)

Will, HEC MBA / Tufts Fletcher MALD

August 21, 2010  |   Featured,Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Will, HEC MBA / Tufts Fletcher MALD I was put in touch with Hillary 48 hours before my business school deadline. Literally overnight, she was able to take a comprehensive look at my application and make many great suggestions on how I could improve. Even without meeting me personally, she took a competitive application and made it even stronger. I was dually impressed with Hillary's punctuality, insight, strategic thinking, and her ability to articulate thoughtful and meaningful ideas on to paper. I would highly recommend to anyone who is applying to business school to consider working with Shine/ MBA Admissions Consulting.  It is definitely worth the monetary investment, and she will help you create an application that is stronger than you thought possible. - Will (Portland, ME)

Andrea, SMU Cox MBA

May 22, 2010  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Andrea, SMU Cox MBA Hillary was exceptionally knowledgeable and thoroughly prepared me for the intense application process. She created a customized strategy and guided me in preparing and writing my essays, which ultimately led to acceptance into my program of choice! - Andrea (Denver, CO)

Steve, Wharton Lauder MBA/MA

February 20, 2010  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Steve, Wharton Lauder MBA/MA Hillary was most helpful in constructing my 'personal brand' and conveying that concisely in my essays. In working with her, I was able to portray myself, reasons for applying to business school, and post-business school goals more clearly. - Steve (Boulder, CO)

Courtney, Northwestern Kellogg MBA

February 15, 2010  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Courtney, Northwestern Kellogg MBA The application process gets intense.  Hillary kept me focused and enabled me to feel genuinely relieved versus anxious when I pressed submit. Hillary not only helped me uncover the pieces of my background that made me a unique candidate, but also  how to use each essay to highlight those aspects of my life and experiences. - Courtney (Denver, CO)

Jeremy, Drexel LeBow MBA

May 21, 2009  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Jeremy, Drexel LeBow MBA Hillary never ceased to amaze me as not only the consummate professional, but also a truly passionate, sincere, and remarkably talented individual with an unbelievable track record of always finding a way to get the job done.  More importantly, Hillary truly made me feel like more of a friend than a client.  She possesses all the knowledge, networks, and sincere desire to see all of her projects through to fruition and is never too busy to listen, understand, support, and advise in just the right way for each unique situation.  At times, I literally wasn’t sure who wanted me to get accepted more – me or her!  Without her constant patience, guidance, and persistence to identify exactly what was best for me, and lead me directly down the right path to get there, I cannot imagine ever having survived the grueling process.  I cannot thank her enough for playing such a vital role in my acceptance into my targeted program, as well as professional career advancement well-beyond just “making the grade” in the classroom. Simply put, there is just no one out there who knows more, cares more, or can always be counted on to go the extra mile and do ...

Leah, Harvard MBA

May 29, 2008  |   Featured,Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Leah, Harvard MBA More than anything, Hillary was a wonderfully inspiring, creative and calming resource throughout what was at times a very overwhelming process.  I always felt encouraged and had a renewed sense of inspiration after each of our sessions.  I cannot imagine having had a better guide than Hillary.  Together, we were able to craft a story that illustrated how my unique attributes and experiences have shaped my career vision and how they would enable me to contribute a fresh perspective in a classroom environment.  She truly did help me "shine," and I can happily say that with her guidance, I was admitted to my first choice program, Harvard Business School. - Leah (New York, NY)

Jennifer, Michigan Ross MBA

May 25, 2008  |   Featured,Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Jennifer, Michigan Ross MBA The business school admissions process was one of the most intense, time-consuming and daunting activities I’ve ever undertaken. Having Hillary there to support me and guide me through it was a tremendous help.  She provided me with her actual essays so I could see real examples of what top business schools look for in a candidate.  She also edited my essays to better craft “my story” and gave me great insight on the various top business schools that you cannot get from an MBA admissions book.  Furthermore, her energy and enthusiasm kept me going throughout - and now I have graduated from the school of my choice after experiencing the most amazing and stimulating 2 years of my life. - Jennifer (New York, NY)

Caryn, Wharton MBA

May 25, 2005  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Caryn, Wharton MBA Hillary's personal success with business school and her commitment to assisting others is a great combination for driving success for MBA candidates. - Caryn (New York, NY)

Haley, Pace Lubin MBA

May 25, 2001  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Haley, Pace Lubin MBA Hillary Schubach made such a difference in my business school experience as she critiqued my application and essays and turned them into something that really stood out from the rest.  The Lubin Business school had no choice but to accept me into their program.  I was working full time for Pepsi-Cola when I went back to school at night for my MBA.  Hillary is not only a brilliant writer, but an excellent friend and confidant! Hillary helped make the difference in my life that was necessary for me to get ahead in my career.  I was promoted 4 times after I received my MBA and now have a tremendous resume that I am very proud of! - Haley (Stamford, CT)

Andy, Northwestern Kellogg MBA

May 21, 2001  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Andy, Northwestern Kellogg MBA Hillary's overall advice and detailed editing were absolutely vital in helping me to produce quality essays that I believe were a significant reason why I was able to get into my top choice for business school (Kellogg).  Even with her extremely busy schedule, Hillary still found time to give me detailed feedback on my work, and we had numerous discussions where I felt she had by far the best knowledge and perspective of the application process versus some of my other contacts that I used to help me with the process.  She truly understood the rigor/process that it took to write a strong set of essays and I highly recommend her help for aspiring business school applicants. - Andy (Washington, DC)

Maurice, Wharton MBA

February 14, 2001  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Maurice, Wharton MBA Hillary played a critical role in the formulation of my business school essays. She brought challenge in multiple areas: the thought process, the overall flow and messaging, even the sentence formulation. We had several sessions (by phone from South America!) and the help was tremendous. It is clear that Hillary's help really moved the dial on the final output. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for structured, detailed support. - Maurice (Buenos Aires, Argentina)