January 29, 2017

Joined: Nov 16, 2016

Posts: 0

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Verified score:
600 Q44 V30

Harshad Mali - An Extremely Valuable Admissions Consultant


Having never applied to a program outside my country (Pakistan), let alone a top global leadership program, I had little idea about where to begin with when I started thinking about applying to a business school. My initial thoughts were that a good GMAT score was all that was needed. It was not until I took 30-minutes free consultation session with Helen Summers from mbaMission that I realized that GMAT is just part of the whole story. She broke it to me that business school application consists of many parts that tell a coherent story together. She was also very honest in telling me that my age and my experience were not going to be attractive features of my application to a full-time program. However, she didn’t discourage me and recommended that I should either apply to a full-time program that targets mid-careers (there are only three in the world by the way) or an executive program. After contemplating for some time, I decided to apply for MIT Sloan Fellows Program. I knew that a novice to admissions process like me needed guidance to produce a good quality application. So, I contacted Helen again who referred me to Harshad Mali.
Me and Harshad had an introduction over email and he gave me a bunch of documents to go through. This initial phase primarily consisted of me going through a lot of material and thinking about my own personal story. Scant guidance at this stage was by design so that originality is forced out of me. However, after the first brainstorming session, Harshad grabbed the reins of the process and started guiding it in minute details. At one crunch moment when I had lost all hope of submitting a quality application before the deadline, it was Harshad who kept encouraging me and kept giving me the right feedback till I submitted my application right on time.
Harshad is no make-you-feel-good consultant when it comes to essay reviews. He is very direct in his feedback and he makes sure that he informs of this reviewing style in the initial introduction call. And frankly speaking, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The first review of my essay came back with a scathing critique and red marks all over, making me instantly realize what was wrong with my approach. I promptly corrected myself and from then on, it was smooth sailing.
Another feature that made me feel warm was that Harshad was able to connect to my life story at a personal level. This enabled him to bring the best out of me and help me write essays that truly represented me. I felt like I completely owned everything I wrote as my personal authorship and Harshad was only guiding my efforts while he had a very good idea about what the final product would look like.
Whether requested or not, Harshad was always there whenever needed. It didn't matter whether it was day or night, weekday or weekend. We were working in completely opposite time zones. But Harshad made sure that this wasn't a hindrance in our communication.
The efforts paid off and I got invited for the interview. For a starter like me, this was a huge achievement and this wouldn't have been possible without Harshad's help. But of course, our finish line was the final acceptance. So Harshad prepared me for the interview as well. We had a mock interview one week before the actual one. Again, he was very honest in his feedback. It included coaching on things as important as how to tackle behavioral questions and things as trivial as how to keep a smiling face all the time.
I finally got admitted to MIT Sloan Fellows. This was something that I couldn't think was within my reach when I started thinking about applying to B-Schools. I can safely say that this was only made possible with Harshad's help. I strongly recommend him to any B-School aspirant. And if you are from South Asia, Harshad should be your top choice.

This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
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