4. Scott Edinburgh of Personal MBA Coach
A newcomer to the list, Wharton MBA Edinburgh founded his boutique firm in 2008 after having worked in management consulting, travel and hospitality, financial services, consumer products, and healthcare for Deloitte Consulting, JP Morgan, and InterContinental Hotels Group. Edinburgh is also the founder, president and CEO of the International Diabetes Organization. With more than ten years of consulting experience behind him, he has helped hundreds of applicants around the world get into top MBA programs. Edinburgh claims a 96% success rate and says that last year his clients received more than $4.5 million in merit scholarships.
Five-Star Review Excerpt: “I have no words to express how grateful I am for all the guidance and support that Scott provided during the MBA application process. I was admitted into four out of eight MBA programs I applied to and received a full scholarship to the one most dear to my heart. My experience with Scott was absolutely invaluable and I know I would not have been able to succeed without him. He was there for me every step of the way. From the first moment I talked to Scott, it was obvious that he truly cares about me and was fully vested in my success. I wholeheartedly recommend Scott to anyone who is looking for an MBA consultant.” — Class of 2021 admit
5. David White of Menlo Coaching
Part of the husband-wife duo at Menlo Coaching, White has been working on MBA admissions for the past seven years since 2012. Yet, he has made all three of the most favorably reviewed consulting lists put out by Poets&Quants. Last year the admissions couple put a good deal of their know-how in a 56-page graphic novel, Admitted! Diane & Chad’s Excellent (MBA) Adventure. They are at the high end of the business, charging $400 an hour for their advice but often tend to sell out every year. Before helping MBA applicants, the Berkeley-trained engineer had racked up a 15-year career in the tech industry, with roles as a senior vice president at Travelzoo, a senior director at Yahoo, and general manager for Europe at a startup acquired by Adobe. White tied for first last year, after making his first appearance in 2017 in fourth place.
Five-Star Review Excerpt: “Having a very non-traditional background with a less than stellar undergraduate GPA as well as an average GMAT score, I was terrified to go through the MBA admissions process. How would I stack up against other candidates with amazing work experience and stats? Given these concerns, I decided to partner with an admissions consultant, and am so glad that I partnered with David. From the get-go, he was honest with me about my chances at top schools and pinpointed areas of weakness for me to address. There was nothing I could do about my undergraduate GPA, but he pushed me to raise my GMAT score. Despite my initial hesitation, I decided to move forward with the process and worked tirelessly with a tutor David recommended, ultimately bumping up my score by 50 points! I had heard horror stories from other MBA applicants about their consultants, where they would either take ages to make edits to an essay or even return edits with multiple typos. With David, I never once ran into any of these issues. David was also incredibly thorough when it came to helping me craft my personal story. Early in the process, we spoke on the phone for 2 hours, where we discussed every facet of my life, starting from my childhood all the way through where I am currently in my life. He even went so far as to speak with my partner as well as my cousin to further understand if they could provide a different perspective or fill in some of the gaps. ” — Class of 2021 admit
6. Alex Leventhal of Prep MBA
An HBS grad and philosophy major undergrad, Los Angeles-based Leventhal worked in pharma/healthcare consumer products prior to my MBA, and then post MBA worked in life sciences tech and management consulting. Before founding Prep MBA, his admissions consultancy, he had been employed by such global firms as Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, Eli Lilly, and Siebel Systems. Leventhal says writing and editing are passions of his and guarantees a one-on-one consulting experience. “There are no junior consultants or editors getting a cut of the business,” he maintains. This is Leventhal’s third trip to the top list, having placed ninth last year and tenth in 2017.
Five-Star Review Excerpt: “I applied to business schools last year with a different consultant, but got better results this year working with Alex. Alex’s assistance went far beyond reviewing essays for grammar and finer details; he helped me craft a more compelling goals narrative that tied in my personal background. He also helped me own both past successes and missteps in my applications. Alex provided honest feedback that admittedly was frustrating at times when I had to rewrite essays from scratch but ultimately led to more polished applications. Alex kept in mind the overall impression that my application would make at each school when reviewing individual application components. His high-level analysis helped me create more cohesive and memorable applications for each school. I have gotten acceptances at multiple schools (some with merit-based scholarships) and now I have a tough decision to make!” — Class of 2021 admit
7. Eli David of Ivy MBA Consulting
A one-time Air Force intelligence officer, David spent a year doing strategy consulting with Opera Solutions after getting his MBA from Dartmouth Tuck in 2008. But he also has been helping applicants ever since leaving Tuck, co-founding Ivy MBA Consulting 11 years ago. David actually wears two hats as the co-founder and managing partner of Consulting Guru which helps candidates through the highly competitive hiring process of landing a job with a management consulting firm. The firm is one of the very few which has its admissions claims audited by a top accounting firm. Last year, Deloitte verified that 92.7% of Ivy’s clients were accepted in 2018 and 47.1% received scholarship offers, totaling more than $1.8 million.
Five-Star Review Excerpt: “I worked with David on a rigorous timeline to submit my applications to Stanford GSB and Berkeley. David is extremely detailed, professional and strives toward perfection in all aspects of the application process. He accompanied and helped me every step of the way. He provided excellent feedback and guidelines during each step of the application. Moreover, he made every detail in my application shine. David helped bring the best of me to the application and the interview. David invests above and beyond in terms of time and effort, always available for questions. To me, he became a mentor and guide in this complex process. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have been able to apply to two universities in the short time frame without him. I highly recommend David – his in-depth familiarity with the process, the schools, and their required focal points are the things that made my application from good to outstanding.” — Class of 2020 admit
8. Jessica Shklar of mbaMission
Two-time honoree Shklar was what we commonly call a non-traditional MBA applicant. With a degree in anthropology from Harvard College, she had worked in non-profit education, initially on curriculum development for an adult education center and later in the admissions office of a small university in Los Angeles. But she clearly knew how to apply to an elite MBA program. Shklar was accepted to every business school to which she applied, including Stanford, Kellogg, and Yale. She ultimately chose to attend HBS, where she completed her MBA with distinction (graduating in the top 10%). She has worked at several Fortune 100 companies, including American Express and JPMorgan Chase. She has been a full-time admissions consultant with mbaMission since 2008.
Five-Star Review Excerpt: “To say that Jessica Shklar made miracles to get me into Wharton, Colombia and Yale is an understatement, I am an out-of-the-box, non-traditional applicant, to say the least. I have severe dyslexia with middle-of-the-pack scores. Jessica found the diamond in the rough, fleshed out what turned out to be an incredible story and an undeniably amazing application. It was clear throughout the process how much time she was devoting to my application as she knew my story better than me! She was so helpful, professional and kind that I am genuinely sad that the process is over. I look forward to keeping in touch with my new friend.”