How Personalised Mentoring Led to a 100% Scholarship & Stipend

Ayushman Mathur


GMAT Score – 720

W.P. Carey School of Business


Ayushman Mathur was a budding entrepreneur working with local artisans out of a modest setup in the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan, India.

He has secured an admit into the prestigious W.P. Carey School of Business with a 100% scholarship in addition to an offer to earn a stipend by working as a Graduate Assistant.

Here’s an account of his incredible MBA journey.

When did Ayushman contact CrackVerbal?

Ayushman had known he would want to get an MBA while he was still an undergraduate student. His first GMAT attempt was in 2015, even before he had earned his undergraduate degree. He used some of the GMAT guides sold by a leading prep institute to help him figure out what to expect.

“I took my first GMAT attempt without much preparation. I scored a 660, which wasn’t so bad in itself, but my verbal score was truly disappointing for me. I only got a V29, so I already knew I’d take the GMAT test again at some point,” Ayushman recalls.

Three years later, he decided to give it another shot. Ayushman signed up for the Verbal training course offered by one of the most popular online GMAT prep services out there. He had hoped to see significant improvement after completing the online course over a period of four months.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned and Ayushman’s verbal score improved by just one point. His second GMAT attempt gave him a score of 680, with a mere 30 on Verbal even though his score on Quant was a perfect 51.

Once again, Ayushman knew he would take another shot at the GMAT.

“I found videos of Arun Sir (founder & CEO of CrackVerbal) on YouTube and I was fascinated. I was really impressed by the way he gave answers and explained his reasoning behind them. So, I signed up for CrackVerbal’s course to help me improve my verbal score,” he says.

After two months of preparation, when he took his third attempt at the GMAT, Ayushman’s score soared from 680 to 720, with a verbal score of 35.

Satisfied with his latest GMAT score, Ayushman decided to move to the next phase and start applying to B-schools around the world.

What was Ayushman’s profile like?

Ayushman Mathur had been a student of mining engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology’s Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad when he first thought of doing an MBA.

As soon as he earned his undergraduate degree in mining engineering, Ayushman jumped headfirst into entrepreneurship. He established his own startup, dealing in artificial jewellery and handicrafts that were manufactured in the capital city of the country’s largest state.

This was in 2016.

By 2018, Ayushman’s startup had 8 full-time employees working under its banner.

“I reached an impasse where I had hit a plateau in the growth of my business. I had done everything I could think of and it brought me good returns, but in early 2018, I realized that going any further would require skills and knowledge that I didn’t yet have. That’s when I knew it was a perfect time to get the MBA I had thought of getting long ago,” he says.

With a strong sense of determination and a clear purpose in mind, Ayushman set out to get his MBA.

Which services did he sign up for?

When he first approached CrackVerbal, Ayushman was looking for a way to boost his GMAT Verbal score. So, he signed up for verbal coaching with CrackVerbal.

After completing the verbal course in two months, he took the GMAT and secured a 720. When he decided to start applying to b-schools around the world, Ayushman also took another very important step.

“One of the things I’ve learned from my MBA journey is that you have to invest in yourself. It was September and I knew that I had about a month left for Round 1 deadlines in most b-schools. Since this was the first and hopefully also the last time I would be writing MBA application essays, I decided I’d give it my very best and, therefore, chose to get professional help with my applications,” he says.

Ayushman has a very specific reason for choosing to go with CrackVerbal’s MBA Application Services. The factor that got his attention was that CrackVerbal assigns a personal application mentor for every student, to guide them through the entire process.

What got Ayushman the Scholarship and Stipend?

“The way an application is structured makes a big difference to the way a b-school looks at you,” says Shreekala Kurup, co-founder and Director at CrackVerbal. She personally handled Ayushman’s applications as his mentor.

In essence, what got Ayushman the scholarship was a combination of two critical factors: a great profile and a great application.

“It is not enough to simply have the right profile, you have to be thorough in presenting your true personality through your application essays,” says Shreekala.

When he had just signed up for the application services, Ayushman thought he would discuss the essays with his mentor and then the mentor would write the essays for him. But that is not how things are done at CrackVerbal.

CrackVerbal believes that writing applicants’ essays for them is unethical. But there is yet another reason why they refuse to write essays for applicants.

In fact, this second reason may have played the larger role in getting Ayushman the scholarship:

Writing your own essays requires a certain rigorous and honest assessment of who you are, where you stand, and what you want from life. It’s only when you have a healthy amount of clarity on those fronts that you can succeed at an interview.

How did writing his own essays help Ayushman?

To put it simply, writing your own essays gives you a clarity of thought that will serve you quite well when it comes to facing the interviewers.

The first time Shreekala and Ayushman discussed his MBA application essays, she gave him some basic guidelines to follow while writing his first draft.

The five or six rounds of editing that followed helped Ayushman clear out some concepts and gain an even stronger sense of purpose than he already had.

“It helped me prepare for the tricky questions that get asked during interviews. Since I had already dealt with the whys and hows of what I want to do while writing the essays, I knew exactly what I needed to know when they interviewed me,” Ayushman says.

The Result

Putting together Ayushman’s applications took tireless work on both, his as well as CrackVerbal’s, parts.

“Shreekala was super helpful. She worked patiently with me even through Sundays. I could see quite clearly that CrackVerbal was invested in my success,” Ayushman says.

After weeks of hard and tireless work, Ayushman submitted his applications.

Another couple of weeks later, he received an admit with a 65% scholarship and Graduate Assistantship from the Michigan State University, and an admit with 100% scholarship and a stipend via Graduate Assistantship from the W.P. Carey School of Business of the Arizona State University.

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