Who We Are: Testimonials

Reviews for Harshad Mali

It has been amazing working with Harshad Mali from mbaMission! The quality of the service I received went above and beyond my expectations. I was very tentative about working with a consultant initially for two main reasons - cost of the service, and I was concerned that the application would get heavily influenced by the consultant’s writing style and personality. But these concerns were put to rest from the time I started working with mbaMission and Harshad Mali. The first big breakthrough happened in the Brainstorming session. Harshad made me talk about my story starting from early childhood, patiently listening for the most part, but every now and then asking me questions to make me think about why I reacted the way I did, and highlighting important values that I had clearly failed to see. Through my conversations, Harshad was able to point out my leadership style and also guide me to pick my best experiences to share in my applications. Following the brainstorming session, my resume and essay writing became much more simple. I was also happy that my essays were my own, and Harshad’s contribution was to pick out the meat from my essays by cutting out extraneous information, so as to help me hit my word limit. Harsahd also brought his school expertise, and shared with me valuable information on labs, clubs, and activities. Because of his help and guidance, I was able to put forward a strong application, and in the end, received an acceptance from both Booth and Kellogg! I’m extremely pleased with my work with Harshad, and would recommend him to anybody wanting to put forward a strong MBA application.

Chicago Booth and Kellogg Admit (via GMAT Club)

From the very beginning of the experience, mbaMission treated me with exceptional courtesy and respect. After the free 30 minute consultation, I did a “fit call” with Harshad Mali- that call confirmed to me that Harshad was the exact right consultant for me. Things to know about Harshad: 1) Harshad has detailed knowledge of school statistics, and an understanding of broad admissions trends. Harshad helped me get my game plan together to apply to four schools in short order and provided me feedback on historical trends of acceptance rates by round, by school. He even gathered other consultant opinions on my resume; 2) Harshad will push you until you have a cohesive product that is the best representation of you and your story. Just a week before the deadline, together Harshad and I started my Ross essay over from scratch because my previous version was not developing strongly enough. This was the best possible thing he could have guided me to do, rather than moving forward with a weak concept; 3) Harshad seamlessly understands scheduling, priorities, and the “admissions tempo”. Harshad ALWAYS provided great feedback on my deliverables and questions within 48 hours or less. On New Year’s Eve, we exchanged essay versions by the hour. He knew when we had to push to hit key productivity gateways, and let me have time to breathe between each of my applications, with consideration to the ones on which we were not partnered. When a hurricane destroyed my car and residence, Harshad was completely empathetic to my situation, urging me to focus on my life adjustments, and was encouraging throughout. He genuinely cared; 4) Harshad was a true partner in the process. Throughout the essay-writing journey, he gave me his edits to ensure that my voice was not lost before further editing/trimming was done. I had ultimate stylistic control, though Harshad proved to be the master of grammar! Also, when at the last minute I decided to partner on Harvard instead of Stanford, Harshad was in complete support and immediately started focusing our efforts on that best possible essay and short answers; 5) Harshad’s candid feedback, support, and knowledge will give you confidence in the entire process, from choosing schools to after the interview, and receiving offers. Harshad was with me every step of the way. The price tag on the school packages is a hefty one, but my experience with Harshad and mbaMission exceeded my expectations and helped me bridge the gap and translate my military career into something of value to the admission committees. Applying to an MBA program and making the transition can be grueling and daunting, so don’t do it alone. I recommend Harshad to anyone.

Ross Admit (via GMAT Club)

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.

MIT Sloan Admit (via GMAT Club)

I really appreciated the detail Harshad went into, the actionable feedback he suggested, and also his flexibility.

B-School Applicant

Harshad Mali is incredible. With so many moving parts, I started my MBA journey scattered minded and overwhelmed. Honestly, I did not know where to start so I decided to get a consultant. After checking out the tops 3 firms, I settled on mbaMission because they showed a genuine interest even though I had a low GMAT score, which I significantly increased before applying to any school. During the consultation call Harshad and I hit it off and started immediately.

Within one call we had a clear path to my goals. Harshad’s work on my essays, resume, and all the typical material needed to complete an application was top notch, as expected, but what really stands out is the support Harshad provides that one can’t merely read about; building my confidence, being available 24/7 during crunch time, digging deep into my stories, and outstanding insight into each program. In fact, that insight played a huge role when I decided on which program to attend. Those are only a few of the many examples, but I think you get the gist.

Financially, at this point in my MBA journey, my decision to work with Harshad has been the most critical, however, it has already paid itself back in exceptional dividends. I received scholarship for a few reasons I’m sure, but the offer letter stated one being leadership abilities. In my opinion, I would not have been able to display this ability without Harshad’s dedication to showing my intrinsic strengths via essays.

Punctual, brilliant message conveyor, organized, high level of empathic intelligence, transparent, honest, easy going, hardworking, has a holistic application approach, and is an all-around nice guy. Just an overall astute consultant.

I highly recommend any driven applicant, who wants to win, to schedule a consultation with Harshad.

Post script: I can’t help to think while writing this post that Harshad is going to read it and think to himself “Man, I could have said the same thing in half the words.”

B-School Admit (via GMAT Club)

Harshad’s analytical reasoning, friendly, and genuine personality is what separates him in the sea of consultants out there!

B-School Applicant

Signing up with mbaMission was very straightforward and I’m lucky I got paired with Harshad Mali. From our first 30 minute intro call, Harshad gave valuable insights to my overall profile. As an Indian Applicant, it is quite challenging to differentiate yourself from the applicant pool. I have a diverse background and in many different industries but Harshad understood my story right off the bat and really helped me come up with a coherent narrative that highlighted my strengths and uniqueness.

Harshad is no BS consultant and gives honest, straightforward feedback. I worked with him on polishing my resume and essays for five schools and preparing for interview at a top school. Harshad was always prompt and on-time with his reviews and there was never any delay. In fact, he often returned my essays on the same day even though mbaMission has a two day essay review policy. He often poked holes in my drafts but doing so helped me re-think what I wanted to say with more clarity and effect.

I also worked with him for interview preparation. Here too, he was direct and effective with his feedback and even took additional time out of his schedule to help me with my preparation. He was also available for Skype calls whenever I had additional questions for essays and interviews.

Working with Harshad has been very rewarding. Although we worked together quite professionally, I found him to be more like a close friend who kept my best interest his top priority. Like a close friend, Harshad often said what I needed to hear and not what I would have liked. I’m glad I trusted him with his feedback on my application.

I would recommend Harshad Mali to anyone who is serious about gaining admissions to top business schools.

B-School Applicant (via GMAT Club)

Harshad provided excellent feedback and allowed me to see angles where I have not thought about before. Highly recommended!

B-School Applicant

Harshad is your best bet to putting together the best application possible to get you into your most desired program. Here is why:

  • It was a success story for me. With his help, I got into Columbia Business School, my top choice of choice.
  • He gave realistic evaluation as to what your candidacy’s strengths and weaknesses are so that you know exactly where you should spend effort on.
  • He is great at writing, and he will help you write great essays.
  • In every step of the way, Harshad was able to provide me helpful tips and insider insights. From “How should I approach my recommenders?” to “Should I wear a black suit?”, Harshad was there for me.
  • He responded to my emails very promptly - well within MBAMission’s guideline.
Perhaps most importantly, in order to help me build the most compelling case for admission, Harshad guided me in reflecting on my past life experience as well as exploring my motivation for my future goals. This process was crucial for my application, and Harshad dug deep into some of the most impactful and sensitive moments of my life, moments that I was afraid to revisit. Not only was my application more personal and powerful as a result, I came out of the process with a deeper understanding of myself and a stronger conviction to pursuing this career path. This was truly unexpected, and I only have Harshad to thank.

Harshad is your guy!!

CBS Admit (via GMAT Club)

I was connected to Harshad by Angela Guido, another mbaMission consultant and generally amazing human being whom I’d met through the Forté Foundation MBALaunch program. I’d had my sights set on attending Chicago Booth from the time I opened my first Manhattan prep book, and I knew it would be a challenging process. I come from a social impact background, and I knew I could really only afford a couple of hours of admissions support. Although I was applying to a number of schools, I decided to devote my time with Harshad to structuring and editing my Booth essay. A Booth alum himself, Harshad was incredibly thoughtful and easy to talk to, and before I knew it I was sharing my life story with him. He helped me to choose an essay topic that felt authentic and meaningful. Notably, Harshad has a depth of expertise about the school and its philosophy, and he helped me to connect the dots between my own values and those of UofC’s “Chicago Approach.” Harshad is an expert storyteller and with his guidance I was able to shape my thoughts into a cohesive and compelling piece of writing. He is strategic and logical, and asks thought-provoking questions. Working with Harshad felt like participating in a writing workshop, and at the end of the process I was proud to submit my application.

After I was accepted to Booth in Round 2(!) with some scholarship funding, Harshad helped me to draft a respectful inquiry about possible additional funding, and the school was able to increase my scholarship package. This fall, I’ll be attending Chicago Booth with a very generous scholarship award, and I owe a great debt of gratitude to Harshad for this outcome. I would absolutely recommend working with Harshad for your MBA admissions process.

Chicago Booth Admit (via GMAT Club)

Working with Harshad was very beneficial for me. He challenged me to get introspective on my own experiences to craft a great story for my applications. Like anything else in life—to do great work is going to be hard work. Despite having average scores at best, we worked extremely hard and I was able to accomplish my goal of getting into a top MBA program. As a reapplicant, I wanted to do everything I can to put out the best product and I am lucky to have Harshad guide me. He was a sounding board when I had any thoughts or questions from school selection on through the interview process. He was always available for quick calls and random questions that come up. I highly recommend Harshad to any MBA applicant.

Georgetown and Kelley Admit (via GMAT Club)

I never planned to pay for an admissions consultant - I just wanted to use the free calls to perfect my resume.

But after many calls Harshad stood out to me. He didn’t hit me with a sales pitch, he quickly responded to an email with follow-up questions, and most importantly he demonstrated an interest in and understanding of my profile that the other consultants didn’t.

A couple weeks before the R1 deadline I realized I needed help telling my story. I reached out to Harshad and, despite being fully booked, he agreed to take me on as a client. Working with him was as advertised: his emails were always on time (usually early) and the one time we ran into technical difficulties he responded to a 10 PM text message.

The two most valuable things he did for me were 1) teach me how to tell a story and 2) give me directional edits. I kept an open mind and found his feedback to be invaluable. By working hard and doing the leg work I felt that we were able to maximize the time I paid for.

With his help, I submitted all my applications in time for R1. Although my H/S lottery ticket wasn’t drawn, I was admitted to Wharton and 100% of the M7 and T15 schools I applied to, including some significant scholarships! He even helped me draft a professional scholarship negotiation letter.

I do recommend Harshad if you’re willing to put in the leg work. My advice is to be very clear on what you want from him.

Wharton and Boot Admit (via GMAT Club)

Back to Harshad Mali’s profile