Admissions is a tough game; we teach you how to win it. ApplicantLab is
an on-demand series of interactive exercises that walk you through everything
you need to craft a winning application. Created by an HBS grad with almost 15
years of experience, ApplicantLab takes admissions consultants’ tools and puts
them in your hands. Learn more.
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Almost exactly a year ago (2017 October 2) I was rejected from CBS early decision, my dream school (since forever). I applied with what I thought were OK stats (e.g., 730 GMAT, 3.8 GPA from Southeast Asian Uni, MBB + PE). Dinged without interview.
So I did what any rational re-applicant would do and immediately hone in on a higher GMAT score (which I was able to bump to a 750). The NEXT thing I did was go on these forums and find myself an MBA admissions consultant.
At this point - we're practically on the same boat - and I found that Applicant Lab seemed to fit my needs (low risk $-wise, self-paced, school-specific help). I ALSO looked at these reviews myself (and thought that there was NO WAY these reviews were LEGIT). Funnily enough, upon writing this review, I realized that you had to submit a valid GMAT score to even WRITE a review (so yeah, these reviews must be largely legit). Now that we're past the whole fear of 'fake reviews', you have to believe that this is LEGITIMATELY THE BEST MONEY I HAVE SPENT ON MBA ADMISSIONS.
The lab (which is practically a web-based application dashboard) really sorts everything out for you from start to finish (YES, INCLUDING THE INTERVIEWS). The videos that accompany each stage per school were very insightful and really put things into perspective.
For me, the most useful part of the Lab was the interview preparation part. It combines external tools (where to find the likely questions) with internal tools (like what things would which schools be concerned about) and how to position your story to address those questions. It ensures that you have an excellent framework for dealing with the entire gamut of questions you can be asked.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Literally no one in my entire family has EVER attended an MBA program. In my country, only 10-15 people go to a top 15 MBA program EVERY YEAR. So there is almost NO ONE to ask advice from. Hence, almost everything in the Lab was news to me. I realized some very specific things that I would never have figured out in my lifetime (e.g., leave a lot of the point-blank bragging for the recommendation letters - so at least it's someone else saying you're the world's best at X; or don't focus on a SINGLE STRENGTH throughout your application).
I swear to God the Applicant Lab really fixed my re-application package. really fixed my interview prep. really helped me FINALLY get in CBS.
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Full Disclosure: I am a first gen college student, first gen grad student. This entire process was something I had no prior resources to leverage.
The first step when thinking about grad school is getting a sense where you stand. First instinct is to check school sites, and at most you can see GMAT/GPA/Work experience. After asking students I enrolled, I learned that that doesn’t pain the whole picture. I knew my GPA, my work experience, and was in the process of studying for my GMAT. I was afraid of going into the application process without all the facts.
It was a tough pill to swallow when I did research and saw that most resources were several thousand dollars to get that “secret insight”. I was fortunate enough to hear about Applicant Lab during my time in the Riordan MBA Fellows Program. I spent an entire afternoon inputting my background, and the feedback really transformed my entire trajectory. It grounded me with proven information as to where I stood, what things I could do to improve my application, and help me frame a game plan. I had planned to apply to school the following year, but with the insight provided to me by ApplicantLab, I felt confident to do so that very year, and I was blessed to be accepted into several top 10/15 schools.
The greatest resource that Applicantlab is the customized, and simple to use portal that provides meaningful feedback for a fraction the cost. Missing math in undergrad, low community service, etc any issues that you may face, Applicant lab has the answer. Logistically, it also helps keep everything together. Once you have many drafts of essays and deadlines going, having a portal to circle back to and stay on track of things makes a world of a difference.
Control your own path, with the help of the Applicantlab tour guide. Don’t let your dreams hinder on not being able to afford thousands of dollars for someone else’s advice.
I am usually not the person who takes time to review services; however, I couldn’t stop myself from sharing my amazing experience with ApplicantLab and Maria.
I have a competitive GPA and GMAT score in addition to strong international and diverse work experience. I didn’t think I needed help with my MBA applications and applied to my first choice MBA program on my own. I was rejected in the first round. It caused me frustration and disappointment. I didn’t know what I did wrong and started looking for advice. After researching about several MBA admission consulting services, I decided to go with ApplicantLab to help prepare my application for my other choices. In the first few minutes of using ApplicantLab, I knew exactly why I didn’t get in before.
I had no idea how to frame my stories or what the schools are actually looking for until I went through modules in ApplicantLab. The instructions are very detailed and thorough. Maria has done tremendous research for each school and what you need to showcase to strengthen your profile for the admission committee. There was no way for me to know these details without the help of ApplicantLab. You cannot find these things on google.
I am a MBA student at University of Cambridge, Judge Business School now and I give a huge credit of me getting into this school to Maria and ApplicantLab. I wouldn’t have gotten in without using ApplicantLab. It is absolutely the best investment (and it is relatively very inexpensive) you can make towards your MBA. So, if you are struggling with your MBA applications, ApplicantLab is one-stop solution.
Did you ever feel, ' He finally heard me. Things are falling into place.' This was exaclty my feeling when I heard from Darden's admission office that I'm being offered a place in the class of 2021. You'd expect me to think of my loved ones first after hearing that. Well, quite literally yes. I thought of Applicant Lab and Maria.
Applicant Lab is want I needed. I was an MBA aspirant who wanted a shift in industry using an MBA but had no idea about admissions process. After my GMAT, I started talking to different consultants and taking free profile evaluations. The funniest part was, I couldn't get a proper genuine evaluation from any one of them. Some of them tell me I should be applying to HBS and Stanford. When I tell them I myself donot believe that I could get into HBS they start selling their service. I was fed up with everyone. But suddenly I came across someone who for the first time gave me an honest review of my profile,didn't try to sell me her product and genuinely wanted to help me. @Maria.
I came to know about Applicant lab from an e-gmat webminar. Thanks for Rajat and Payal. In my first interaction with Maria over e-mail. She clearly told me not what I want to hear but the actual scenario in admissions. She told me where I should go and not where I can go. There's a lot of difference. She only talked to me about my post-MBA goals and life ambitions and not where I want to study. She then told me how I should select my schools. I never thought I'd say this, but I started thinking, "Nah! I would choose Darden over Wharton" She recommended me no schools but taught me how I chose my schools perfectly.
This is exactly what's great about applicant lab. Applicant Lab makes you competent to say your story the best way possible. In my experience with applicant lab, forget about writing MBA essays. I learnt a lot about myself, my traits, my stories, my character, my strengths and my weaknesses. It was like a 2 month introspection into myself.
Applicant lab's process is the most streamlined I ever saw. It is as smooth as it can get and you'll never feel stressed. All the material in the lab is hand crafted specific to each school by Maria and it is amazing to see specific strategies for each essay question in each school. You'll get surprised by the amount of detail that's put into the material.
The best thing about Applicant lab is, you are doing everything. Today I have the satisfaction of writing my own essays and still getting admitted into one of the best schools. Applicant lab doesn't craft your essays. It makes you capable of writing the best essays. Applicant lab helps you choose which one of your stories to go with which essay. This will in turn make it easy for you in your interview, because you are going to be the same person on writing and in person.
Applicant Lab's greatest strengths are it's process and school specific material. I can assure you, you can never get so much information and guidance from anyone other than Maria.
For people like me, who couldn't afford a full time MBA admissions consultant for thousands of Dollars, Applicant lab is a boon. You may have to put in a little more effort than you would with a full time consultant. But for what you are saving economically and mentally, it's not even a tradeoff that you should think twice about before making.
I very strongly recommend Applicant Lab to everyone, especially those who are starting your application from scratch. Believe me, you'll never regret your decision. Applicant Lab and Maria are the best thing that happened to me in my MBA admission process.
I first applied for Fall 2018 admission to top business schools in the US. At that time, I didn't know about Applicant Lab and all the consultant services available cost thousands of dollars. So I applied solo with no help and thought I did a good job! Until the decisions came in and I didn't get into most of the schools.
I applied again for Fall 2019 and this time I found Applicant Lab. It changed how I felt about my previous years application. It's easy to think we are answering questions right but when you get the perspective provided my Maria for each and every school - you realize how all the questions could've been answered better! This time I got into NYU, Cornell, UCLA and Tuck with scholarships on some.
Please do yourself a favor and try this service as early as possible in your application process and you wont regret it. The value is outstanding and the price point is just ridiculously cheap when you compare other consulting services!
To give you some context, I applied to a bunch of schools last year with the help of a traditional admissions consultant. I ended up with a total of 8 rejections (7 without interview, 1 after interview & waitlist). The bad part of my profile - Indian, male, 4.5 years of work experience. No great brand names or real feeder companies on my resume. Fairly mediocre grades for an Indian (6.6ish GPA). The good part - Slightly diverse work experience and background, lots of ECs and community involvement.
After I was rejected last year, I contacted Maria and offered to pay her for a "ding analysis." I had already bought the tool, but figured a ding analysis would help me figure out what went wrong. Maria responded to my email and refused. She said that I should go through all the modules, and I'll be able to figure out exactly why I was dinged. She said that if I couldn't, I could get back in touch and pay her to get it, but she didn't believe I would need it if I finished the modules within the Lab. She was right. I not only figured out where my application fell flat last year, but also knew exactly what parts of my background to highlight this time around. The Lab has a section on how to address potential weaknesses (I obviously had a lot! :) ). Additionally, the career module of the Lab is pure gold. It really forces you to think through your story, how realistic your goals are and what you want out of business school. I'd say that my entire narrative going into applications this year was due to the career module on the Lab. Absolutely fantastic stuff.
The Resume section is pretty amazing. It had the characteristics of a "bad" resume, and my previous year's Resume seemed to fulfill all these characteristics. I ended up making my own Resume format based on the advice given here and it worked wonders for me. The school-specific and essay advice is incredibly detailed and useful. Maria really walks you through what the school/question is really looking for, what resources you should touch on and how to make your essay strong and genuine. Each essay question has a video of Maria walking you through all these details. The effort she's put in is fairly obvious, absolutely nothing is superficial.
I could probably go on and on about ApplicantLab, but the best way to see if its right for you is to sign up. It is a fraction of the cost of a traditional consultant. Buying it is a no-brainer if you want world-class admission help without the heavy price tag.
P.S - Just wanted to add that I got into Tuck and some other schools this year with ApplicantLab, but my traditional consultant last year told me not to even bother applying there. She felt that I did not stand a chance at all at Tuck and actually refused to work with me on that application. This should tell you enough.
After coming off an unsuccessful application season, I wanted to make sure I utilized all avenues to not repeat my mistakes this time. After hearing some positive word-of-mouth, I signed up for Applicant Lab to see for myself. I used the Lab in addition to working with actual real-world consultants, and it turned out to be an immensely useful guiding tool through the application journey.
I must say that Applicant Lab was the most value-for-money item in my entire MBA application expense list. Maria's inputs and ideas often were the starting point for all my school essays. I did 8 applications in the entire season and utilized the Lab for all of them. Maria has a great understanding of the entire process and freely shares her knowledge through the Lab. Its almost like having a close friend who you can bank on in this stressful journey.
For the two additional questions posed by Booth after interview invite, the Applicant Lab team (hello Carin!) was quick to update the portal with their thoughts. Overall, I highly highly recommend this tool to everyone, even those working with consultants on full packages. The additional perspective, tips & guidance is worth much more than the cost.
I got accepted by ie business school in 2017 because of Applicantlab, and I’d like to share my fantastic experience. Before I purchased her service, I’d done a lot of researches and saw a millions of great feedback about Applicantlab. However, I had a concern which was actually the unique application process used by my target school, ie business school. As you may know, ie's admission process is quite different than the other schools and you are tasked to create video content on top of an essay to answer questions provided by the school. Although I had the concern above, many good reviews had me purchase the service and it turned out to be the best service I've ever bought.
The well automated algorithm she created is indeed perfect. I was skeptical as to how it worked, but it’s very intuitive to go through all the required processes such as brainstorming, preparing for essays, and interviews. She embedded her own video explaining everything step by step in order for users to understand what to do on the tool. What amazed me the most was she also put her video specifically for each school including ie business school. There are more than 10 questions that ie asks you to write about (you need to choose 3 of them) and she basically covered everything in the multiple video. She even advised that which questions I should answer and shouldn't, and most importantly why I should answer them.
To me, the most useful part of the service was “how to prepare for interviews”. Based on her advice, I prepared for all the questions, and surprisingly 80 – 90% of the questions that I was asked during the actual interview were what she told me to prepare before the interview. Interestingly enough, the interviewer even told me that all the adcoms thought my video, which I created based on Maria’s advice, was the best among all the candidates in my intake.
Again, I was a bit skeptical at the beginning but now I cannot believe she is still providing applicants with this level of service at ultimately low cost. If you get scholarship at the end, the fee for this service would be almost nothing. I strongly recommend to purchase her service before you waste money on cheap MBA consulting service.
Applicant Lab (“AL”) gives you the best bang for your buck without compromising the quality of advice that you receive. Like most applicants, I was initially hesitant to use the platform because my MBA apps were going to be one of the most important things I did for my career and I was willing to spend $ to get the best advice possible. However, AL was offering a one month free trial at that time so I thought, “What’s there to lose?”. Little did I know then, that it would be instrumental in getting my admits to M7 schools.
I think the strength of AL is that it provides you with all the guidance you need to develop a stellar application. It arms you with all the knowledge/expertise that you need without going overboard with the advice so that you can still develop an application that is unique and tailored especially to you.
The other strength is Maria herself, whose dynamic personality is very entertaining. It permeates her videos and even her written guides, which eases the otherwise serious burden of the B-school application process. She also seems to genuinely want all applicants to develop their best application possible, even if they have smaller budgets for consultants.
I think Applicant Lab is definitely a game changer because it makes top-notch admissions advice accessible to a broader base of people due to its affordability. It’s thrust of “Levelling the playing field” is quite admirable and I would recommend it to all my friends aiming to pursue an MBA. I won’t be surprised if online platforms like Applicant Lab would be the norm in the years to come.
My journey to securing a spot at my dream MBA schools would not have been possible without Applicantlab!!!
I am a South African and was never exposed to the typical US/Europe Ivy league school application process. I had written the GMAT and scored 640, so I knew that everything would hinge on the rest of the application - seeing that my GMAT score wasn’t above 700. To put it simply, I needed the remainder of my application to be extraordinary!
I did my research and found that Applicantlab was the best on the market. It is extremely cost effective and very convenient because much of the work is done on a pre-established platform, eliminating complexities related to time zone and consultant availability.
I was skeptical at first and decided to signed up for the FREE trial. After a few short sessions I felt extremely confident in the product quality and decided to take the plunge and subscribe to all services. I have never regretted making that decision.
The platform is aesthetically appealing and very user-friendly. It takes the applicant on a journey and puts him/her in the shoes of the admissions committee member to ensure that you not only develop an authentic essay that speaks to your truth but do so without losing your targeted audience.
The platform is structured in such a way that by the time you get to finally writing the essay you already have a few anecdotes and key stories to help you answer that “daunting” essay question, which was extremely helpful for me. I’m an accountant by trade, so essay writing and storytelling doesn’t come naturally to me. The good thing about the tool is that you can revisit the modules as many times as you want at no extra charge. I revisited the modules a few times before I wrote my first draft essay.
I then booked an essay review session with Maria where she went above and beyond my expectations and not only provided written guidance on how to improve my essay but include an audio feedback recording where she explained her thoughts around her written mark-ups allowing me to fully understand how to action any amendments. Her turnaround time was phenomenal, always responding to every query within 24 hours.
I submitted my essays and when I got shortlisted to the interview stage I was able to progress to the interview module at no added cost. I did a mock interview with Maria and I can honestly say she is EXTREMELY thorough. She prepared me for all kinds of questions which left me extremely confident on the actual interview day.
Honestly, had it not been for Applicantlab (and Maria’s support) I would have never been accepted to neither INSEAD nor OXFORD. She not only helped me get into these schools but helped me write the essays that resulted in me securing a scholarship for both schools.
If you’re still not sold on the many benefits of Applicantlab, I highly recommend that you signup for the free trial. You won’t regret it! I only used Applicantlab for all my applications and my ordinary GMAT score + Applicantlab = an extraordinary application package.