Get a top-rated Mini-MBA Certificate for $199 $49 (till 29th Feb)

MBA admissions consulting reviews

MBA Admissions Consulting Reviews

Success stories for low GMAT / GRE score, bad academic grades, higher age, career break, reapplications, second MBA & more

Credibility is at its best when the message is not promoted via paid marketing. And that is precisely why MBA Crystal Ball hasn’t spent a single dime in promoting its admission consulting services, since inception.

We’ve relied on testimonials, reviews and word-of-mouth publicity to stay in business for over a decade. We’ve helped MBA candidates realize their potential, often when they doubted their own capabilities.

Their testimonials and referrals add a level of cogency that is so needed by MBA hopefuls, drowning in the tall promises of dubious & fraudulent MBA consultants teeming the internet and the world outside it.

In this article, we have compiled the best MBA consulting service reviews from our clients, to help you get a deeper insight into our methodology, effectiveness, and partake in the delight of the success stories that have come about in our association.

For readers who have found us online, without personal references, we hope these reviews help to make an impression.

Even if you are not planning to hire a consultant, read on. You will find tips, ideas and strategies that you can use in your journey into a top MBA and beyond to get admits, scholarships and lucrative jobs.

Whether you have a low GMAT/GRE score, less-than-stellar academic grades, a career break, ‘average’ over-represented profile, reapplication concerns, you’ll find a story on our site that’ll resonate with you. Here’s a short list of candidates who managed profile, career and application concerns to get admits into top MBA programs.



Selected reviews of MBA Crystal Ball Consulting services

The number of reviews you see here are only a small subset of the success stories we’ve helped with over the years. While some folks are happy to share their accomplishment and joy with the whole (cyber) world, others prefer to celebrate in private. So consider this only as a representation of the variety of profiles.

We will begin with a MBA Business School location classification, and drill down to the various sub categories of first time/re-applications, MBA type, and candidates with scholarships. You may find a story or two that you can connect with.

MBA Applications in the United States & Canada


First Time Applicant Reviews

Admitted to: Mays Business School at Texas A&M University
After trying to bell the CAT (his words) several times, Samim Riaz switched to GMAT, with his heart locked on Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. Here’s how Samim found his home at Mays with scholarship and in-state tuition.
Scholarship: Partial
Admitted to: Carlson School of Business at University of Minnesota
Cost was a concern for Santosh Rai, with dreams of joining an NGO, post MBA. With a 100% scholarship, he is certainly not complaining. Getting your low cost strategy to work for you – Santosh Rai’s story.
Scholarship: Full 100%
Admitted to: Schulich, Georgetown and others
What do married couples, with joint MBA aspirations, do? Well, read this story about Ali & Asha who managed to secure not one, not two, but THREE admissions in the same MBA program and with scholarships too! Like a Bollywood plot but with a much happier ending.
Scholarship: Partial, for both
Admitted to: Olin Business School (University of Washington at St. Louis). Also acceptances from Kenan Flagler (University of North Carolina), Carlson School of Management (University of Minnesota), and Smith School of Business (University of Maryland).
What does 4 failed CAT attempts mean? Certainly not a reason to give up. Meet Mukund who turned 4 failed CAT attempts to 4 admissions with scholarships!
Scholarship: Olin (50%), Kenan Flagler (30%), Carlson (50%) and Smith (50%)
Admitted to: Owen Business School at Vanderbilt University
Bhaskar Purohit shares his story about his journey around the world, and into Owen’s front doors, with a scholarship. Bhaskar’s MBA story.
Scholarship: Partial
Admitted to: UCLA Anderson & Berkeley Haas
When you can’t afford a career break, you have to find the right program that can fit into your career development. Pankil Shah managed to keep the best of both worlds – a job and two prestigious part time MBA offers from UCLA Anderson (FEMBA) and Berkeley Haas. Here’s his story.
MBA Type: Part Time
Admitted to: MIT Sloan
Down with the smarts but scared of the dreaded MBA essays, Shahid Azad looked to us for editing help. This highly selective applicant applied to only three schools and made it to one of the most ambitious programs ever – MIT’s Sloan. Here’s Mr. Azad’s experience.
Admitted to: Kelley at Indiana University & Merage at University of California at Irvine
Following the unconventional path, Vijay decided to pursue a full two year MBA and not the usual 1 year MBA that highly experienced candidates do, in India. He landed Kelley and Merage with scholarship and graduate assistantship. Yes, we call that a good call! Mature applicant’s successful MBA admission story.
Scholarship: Full with Graduate Assistantship
Admitted to: Kenan Flagler (Accepted). IIMA PGPX, IIMB EPGP, ISB, Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper with 40k scholarship.
Age is but a number, you’d think. But when you have a candidate pool of younger applicants, Abhinesh’s mature age with 9 years of work seems worrisome. He didn’t let that deter him. Here’s his story of getting a free MBA at Kenan Flagler!
Scholarship: Full 100%
Admitted to: Smeal Business School at Penn State University
What’s better than an MBA? An MBA with a dream post-MBA job and zero debt! After three GMAT attempts, with an average score, he transformed his applications to a 4:9 success ratio. With a full scholarship, and graduate assistantship, Srinivasan landed a job at Amazon, after his MBA. Read about Srinivasan’s MBA success.
Scholarship: Full with Graduate Assistantship
Admitted to: Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto
14 is a charm for Rohit Hora. After trying 13 MBA consultants, he turned to us for a Healthcare Marketing MBA admissions assistance. He converted two with an enviable dilemma between India’s ISB and Canada’s Rotman. Read about Rohit’s journey to Rotman with a scholarship.
Scholarship: Partial
Admitted to: Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto, Goizueta Business School at Emory University, Kelley at Indiana University, Kenan Flagler at University of North Carolina, and ISB.
Rashima Vatnani may have had a profile similar to many MBA applicants, but what sets her story apart is her success with admissions. With 5 top B-School offers and two more in wait list, she was also in their scholarship radar. Read her tale of 5 offers here.
Scholarship: Rotman (10%), Goizueta at Emory (63%), Kenan Flagler (50%), Kelley (50%)
Admitted to: Wharton School of Management at University of Pennsylvania
An Ivy League degree, in the hospitality sector, raised Priya’s expectations for her MBA school. But with a low GMAT score, and the intensity of an MBA application, she turned to us for guidance. With a strong determination, stemming from her awareness of her strengths and weaknesses, she got admits from Wharton, Cornell and Georgetown with a wait list in Ross. Here’s her incredible story- from low GMAT to elite schools.
Admitted to: University of Chicago Booth School of Business
An architect going for an MBA? Well, that’s what this candidate wanted and that’s what she got – offer from the reputed University of Chicago Booth School of Business Part Time MBA, ranked second in the world. From architecture to MBA.
MBA Type: Part-Time Executive MBA
Admitted to: Georgetown McDonough School of Business
Typical Indian IT Male, as he calls his profile, Ashim Agarwal’s worries with his average candidature and GMAT score translated into an offer from a top ranked B-School. From low GMAT to a top offer.
Admitted to:Chicago Booth
Mechanical Engineer who had managed to move up in Investment Banking sought help and made it into an M7 b-school (Chicago Booth) for his MBA. From Sales & Trading to top M7 MBA.

Re-Applicant Reviews

Admitted to: Smeal Business School at Penn State University
After spending 1 lakh on a consultant, with zero admits for 10 applications, Kumar Pushkal found us. And this time he got admitted to Smeal Business School with 100% scholarship and a stipend as the icing on the cake. Smeal Application with full scholarship and stipend.
Scholarship: Full
Admitted to: W P Carey of Arizona State University
After 100% rejections from his first attempt at MBA, with the help of another admissions consultant, Ajay Karajgikar found us. His second attempt culminated in not one but two prestigious acceptances – W P Carey & Fisher Business – with him taking on Carey for his MBA. Here’s his enviable story.
Scholarship: 100%
Admitted to: Tepper at Carnegie Mellon University
Having gone through total rejection, in his first application cycle, Ritwik Verma was determined to make it into MBA, two years later. Problem was, he didn’t know his fit. With some help from us, he turned his previous heartbreak into a happy ending with Tepper taking him on with open arms. Ritwik’s second coming.
Admitted to: Columbia Business School
Don’t get carried away by marketing savvy, big money international MBA consultants, is the lesson Arindam learnt the hard way in his quest to reach for the ivy league programs. After spending $7000 and multiple rejections, he tried again the next season, this time with us. The rest is a happy history. Arindam’s Columbia to McKinsey success story.
Admitted to: MIT Sloan
11 years of work experience and an existing MBA may become a shortcoming when it comes to full 2 year MBA programs. Rahul beat those odds and made it into MIT’s Sloan with full scholarship. Read Second MBA at Sloan.
Scholarship: Full
Admitted to: Ross School of Business at University of Michigan (Accepted). Tepper at Carnegie Mellon with scholarship and Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.
Sometimes a high GMAT and unique & differentiated profile are not enough to crack top B-Schools. Ask Jyoti! After multiple rejections from her applications the year before, she sought us to help her the next year. With her never give up attitude, she managed to bag top schools – Ross, Tepper and Fuqua! Read her story of converting the big ones after rejections.
Scholarship: Partial scholarship at Tepper.
Admitted to: Ross School of Business at University of Michigan
Second MBA applicants usually don’t want to settle for anything less than a top B-School. Read how Kartik Gupta made his career shift to marketing from HR, with a prior MBA on his resume.
Admitted to: Georgetown McDonough School of Business
A differentiated profile is a plus but a profile that is too different may also be a challenge. Kashmira’s profile – with a background in book publishing, independent marketing consultancy, NGO soft skills training and marketing consultancy – had become somewhat disjointed. With rejections, in spite of a good GMAT score, she turned to us for her next attempt. Read how this freelance marketing consultant bagged a top B-School with $60,000 in scholarship.
Scholarship: $60,000 as a Forte Fellow

MBA Applications in Asia Pacific (India, Singapore)


First Time Applicant Reviews

Admitted to: IIM Bangalore
Jeffrey Alapatt was feeling stagnant in his decade plus stint in the IT mobile telecom sector, in Europe. Here’s his experience of turning to India to be admitted to IIM Bangalore EPGP One Year MBA. Jeffery’s homecoming story
Admitted to: ISB Hyderabad
After setting his eyes on ISB, Bodhisattwa Gupta realized that he had grossly underestimated the time he would need to write the three essays for his application. Here’s how GuptaJi’s drafts, with our consultant reviews, and the perfect application package was able to charm ISB. Bodhi’s journey to ISB.
Admitted to: NUS Singapore
With a background in IT, Rohit Jaggi chose to get back to school with an MBA. With 5 out of 8 applications, in his bag, he chose NUS in Singapore. Here’s Rohit’s story of beating the odds 5:8
Admitted to: IIM Calcutta
Ten years in, industry veteran Ashish Rastogi employed our services to get back to school, from the US to India’s prestigious IIM Calcutta PGPex Program. Here’s Ashish’s story.
Average GMAT score and rejections from IMD & INSEAD later, Shiv Mallya scored an enviable hat-trick. Here’s his story.
Admitted to: ISB
A differentiated profile is a big trump card for MBA applicants. Coneenika Choudhuri took it to a whole new level with motorbikes! Read why she gave up a fully funded US MBA to join the esteemed ISB MBA without scholarship.
Admitted to: ISB
Not satisfied with his life as a Chartered Accountant, Suraj Mehta was looking to develop his career in Management Consulting. With MBA as his tool, for transition, he wanted an offer from only the best schools in India. Suraj shares his story of how he managed an offer from ISB with a full scholarship.
Scholarship: Full tuition waiver
Admitted to: ISB
Jannat Bhuller had a unique profile. Having worked in Merchant Navy, out in the sea as the only female professional surrounded by 100 men, she had surely demonstrated a strong go-getter attitude to match her odds. Here is her story of how she made it ashore with a crack at the elite ISB MBA.
Admitted to: ISB Hyderabad
Not every candidate has an ideal profile. Shirin Bansal, plagued with a low academic record, needed some career counseling which he promptly sought out from us. Here’s how a non-engineer with a low percentage in college got into ISB.
Admitted to: KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research
What do you do when you have more than average experience compared to the Indian pool of CAT candidates and little less experience than the international pool of GMAT candidates. Read how Ruturaj resolved his confusion while pursuing his dreams to get into Retail Management.
Admitted to: SP Jain Global MBA
This Indian IT Male candidate went through a self realization process during his MBA application. He went on to secure the internationally famed Global MBA program offered by SP Jain Institute of Management and Research. Read his journey here.

Re-Applicant Reviews

Admitted to: ISB
Failed CAT attempts, rejections and much soul searching later, Ritesh Chopra found his calling at ISB and that too with part scholarship! His potential just needed an expression. ISB with Scholarship – Ritesh Chopra.
Scholarship: Partial
Admitted to: 1 year PGPM at SP Jain’s SPJIMR
A few MBA consultants, multiple rejections and a low GMAT score later, Nikhil employed our services to make it into Schulich, Nyenrode, Great Lakes and SP Jain. Nikhil shares his story of how he got 3 admits abroad and India with a 630 GMAT.
Admitted to: INSEAD Singapore
Low academic record, previous rejections and lack of extracurricular exposure needn’t be a recipe to give up your MBA dreams. After multiple rejections, Nihar tried our MBA application strategy to apply again, next year. Nihar’s success with INSEAD.
Admitted to: ISB Hyderabad
Essays are not to be trifled with. That’s the lesson Kalpesh learnt after a failed application year. The next time around, with more time spent in building his application package, he cracked ISB with flying colors. Kalpesh ‘s strategy paid off – with better essay, better interview, GMAT and meditation.
Admitted to: Nanyang Technological University in Singapore
4 dings in his first attempt did not stop Nitesh Dubey. He finally found his way to his calling – Nanyang’s elite MBA program. Rejection to Acceptance – Nitesh’s story.

MBA Applications in UK & Europe


First Time Applicant Reviews

Admitted to: HEC Paris
With a low GMAT Score and a horrible prior MBA consultant experience, Shipra turned to us. What happened next? HEC Paris, with Scholarship! So what if you have low GMAT score – Shipra’s story.
Scholarship: Partial & selected to represent Forte Foundation Fellowship program
Admitted to: Manchester Business School
A dream that began in high school took shape in the form of a successful MBA application to Manchester Business School. From the hills of Darjeeling to the city lights of Manchester – Prashanta’s MBA application story.
Admitted to: Instituto de Empresa Business School (IE) Spain
At 35, married with two kids and with an enterprise worth over a million euro in annual turnover, Hitesh Saini decided to take a sabbatical and pursue an MBA to expand his already successful business.
Here’s Hitesh’s recap of his realization and success at getting into an elite MBA program.
Admitted to: Oxford University, Said Business School
With a modest GMAT score and an age past the average, this MBA applicant turned to us for his application, keeping his family business on hold. Read how his resume got the Oxford stamp.
Admitted to: London Business School
You may have heard of MBA after Engineering, or Bachelors. How about an MBA after an MS? Read this candidate’s story about his efforts and subsequent reward. How this candidate made it to the corner office after LBS?
Admitted to: IMD Switzerland
Rakesh Ranganathan, a former Merchant Navy Ship Captain, made an impressive jump ashore after 9 years of work experience. He shares his IMD MBA application story here.
Admitted to: Said Business School at Oxford University (Accepted), ISB and McCombs Business School at University of Texas Austin.
How many MBA applicants get an offer 3 minutes into an interview? Harsimrandeep Singh did. That too at ISB! His applications scored big with ISB, McCombs School of Business at University of Texas Austin and University of Oxford’s Said Business School, which he later accepted. Read Harsimrandeep’s on-the-spot MBA admit story.
Admitted to: INSEAD
Most MBA candidates weigh their risks and apply to multiple schools. Not Anjali. She had her heart set on ONE school and ONE school is all she applied to – INSEAD. Get inspired by her confidence and determination here.
Scholarship: Received two financial grants
Admitted to: EDHEC Global MBA
When an IT career begins to flat line, a transition to a business role looks like a surefire way to boost ones’ career. Having decided on only applying to Europe, Dipti, a similarly disillusioned IT worker, was delighted to be offered an admit to EDHEC with a 40% scholarship, despite her low GMAT score. Read her MBA application story here.
Scholarship: 40%
Admitted to: Said Business School at Oxford University
Khalid Khan was determined to make it to one of the oldest world class universities in the world. Read his application experience at Oxford’s Said.

Re-Applicant Reviews

Admitted to: INSEAD Paris
With a successful job, Dheeraj was in no mood to opt for anything but Ivy League schools, for his MBA. But after 4 GMAT attempts and multiple dings, the process turned out to be dismal. Until a year later he decided to look towards INSEAD’s prestigious MBA program – one of the most ambitious and hard to get into MBAs. Armed with the right preparation, he didn’t have to look back anymore. Here’s the story of his successful and happy turn of events.
Admitted to: HEC Paris
After two failed attempts at MBA admissions, and £2,500 pounds on an international consultant, later, Kedar turned to us and made his way into HEC Paris. International vs Indian MBA consultants – Kedar’s experience.
Admitted to: INSEAD
“Never give up”, says serial MBA applicant, MJ. That’s the lesson from multiple years of multiple applications, lined with failures and “failed successes”, having had to decline two offers, MJ made it into INSEAD, a second time, in three years. Talk about retakes! Here’s MJ’s story- a lesson in planning your finances.

MBA Applications in Australia

Admitted to: University in Sydney, New South Wales. AGSM Business School (Accepted) and Oxford University’s Said Business School.
Sometimes candidates find themselves in an enviable position of two esteemed offers (AGSM, with a scholarship, and Oxford). Rohit had to make a decision by weighing in the advantages of the countries the schools belonged to. Here’s how Rohit cracked the dreaded essays and made it into two top schools.
Scholarship: Partial (Nearly $20,000 USD)
Still unsure? Here are some more MBA success stories and MBA scholarship blogs.

We hope to see your review of MBA Crystal Ball soon

The above list of clients shows you a small snippet of the backgrounds, locations, MBA types, and the variety of MBA candidate profiles, we had the pleasure, and experience, of working with – both traditional and unconventional.

We hope we get the opportunity to add your name to this page very soon.

Take the first step. Send us an email with your profile details to this ID: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

Good luck and never stop learning!