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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Let me start with emphasizing that, coming from continental Europe, I am not used to applying for universities like for jobs: essays, CVs, reference letters, standardized tests - a new world for me to accustom to.
I created my first essays and CVs without any outside help/counselling and quickly realized that it doesn't only depend on linguistic skills whether your essay/CV will shine or not, but that there is a very specific, though unwritten code, which you have to follow if you want to be taken seriously. Maria has recognized that this code can be taught - and has done a great job in showing the (surprisingly straightforward) rules of writing a good application in her online tool.
As this "code" is standard throughout business schools, it is a good idea to make the information available in an online tool, rather than explaining the whole process over and over in one-by-one sessions (this is what drives up the prices of individual counselling). Maria has chosen to provide this information on ApplicantLab -- but, of course, if you THEN have questions about your INDIVIDUAL essays/CVs, she is always there to conduct one-by-one sessions (which you can purchase additionally at a reasonable price). This makes the whole package so much cheaper than other similar offerings.
So, the bottom line is: it is not all too difficult to write a good application - as long as you know how to do it!
Maria has created an incredibly intuitive, easy to use online tool. As a reapplicant, I knew how stressful and time consuming the application process was, but ApplicantLab broke it down into bite-sized pieces that were easy to follow and allowed me to tackle the application in a principled way, on my own time.
I loved how structured the tool was, taking me through the process of articulating my goals, brainstorming the various stories that I could tell, and then figuring out how to best package that into a coherent and cohesive application. What ApplicantLab expertly did was help me truly understand what was likely to resonate with an admissions committee, and tailor my application accordingly.
Most useful were the videos that guided me along the way, providing expert advice in an easily digestible and on-demand format. Moreover, these videos were actually entertaining to watch, making an inherently stressful process more lighthearted and enjoyable. I also loved that I could contact Maria when I needed to to get additional guidance or support as I was completing my application.
I have worked for many years developing online learning environments and tools, and can attest to the fact that ApplicantLab is at the cutting edge of online learning theory. I enthusiastically recommend this to anyone applying to business school--it truly proves that you can get great service and a great product without having to break the bank.
When I first began to explore the application process, I was extremely overwhelmed. Fortunately, I found ApplicantLab, which was able to break everything down into much more manageable pieces. For example, I especially appreciated the career vision module that not only helped me brainstorm supporting evidence for my post MBA goal, but also gave me a lot of insight into how an AdComs view an application.
Learning how to strengthen my application through tools such as an "origin story" were a game changer for me. I highly recommend ApplicantLab to anyone seeking clarity on how to articulate their most powerful stories!
As someone who originally paid for a traditional consulting service and was severely disappointed with their experience, ApplicantLab was an excellent tool that saved my business school application process. It not only gave me the same advice I was getting from the traditional consultant at a significantly lower cost, but it also gave me direct step by step guidance that felt like I had a consultant with me the entire time. By following the detailed questions in each module, I was able to build an application that highlighted my strengths and got me into a Top 10 program. I would 100% recommend ApplicantLab for anyone applying to business school.
About me: I belong to an over-represented demography (Indian, male, engineer) hence I knew from day 1 that I'll need to work extra hard on my applications. I got my final GMAT early October hence I had just 8-10 weeks to submit 5-8 high quality applications for US schools in R2. I have previously worked with many top consultants, have talked to almost every major consulting firm and have wasted thousands of dollars, without any concrete result. I was impressed by Maria's expertise in the domain and decided to sign up with ApplicantLab. I'm glad I did.
About ApplicantLab: My first biggest challenge was school selection. I mailed Maria and she was kind enough to do a profile evaluation and recorded a video of her with her recommendations. I shortlisted 6-8 schools and started working tirelessly. ApplicantLab is an amazing tool for the self-starter types. Moreover, if you get stuck some where Maria is super helpful. She responded to all my queries and emails mostly within a day. Also, she has made the platform very engaging. You don't feel like reading a book, her advice examples are interesting, humorous and keeps you engaged. There are hours of videos that she has made and it's a treat to watch them. All videos are very professionally made, high quality and Maria is super intelligent and gives you a clear insight of what adcoms are looking for.
Content: The advice that Maria has put together on this platform is simply outstanding. It's a steal at the price at which it is offered. The platform can be customized and it provides advice based on your "unique" situation (such as low GMAT, over-represented group, low GPA etc.). Maria is a seasoned professional in this industry and her advice is bang-on. At times she would tell something about my profile and I would be like "why didn't it came to my mind earlier?".
When you start writing essays, she has done school by school research, essay by essay analysis for each and every school and have addressed "every" possible concern that an applicant might have. Her advice is step by step and this platform substantially cuts down your time to research on schools. I remember when I had to make a video essay for my MIT application, she had a full 1-2h tutorial on how to quickly make a video along with all useful links and tools. Superb.
Much of the content that she has put on the ApplicantLab came in handy for me during the interviews as well. She has comprehensively worked on every type of concern or question that adcom may have about your profile and how to tackle it. Another good part of ApplicantLab is that it doesn't charge you per school, as most consultants do. Applying to B-schools is a hectic process and many times you may end up applying to more/less schools than you initially planned. ApplicantLab doesn't penalize you for that.
It's a highly highly recommended product for anyone applying to business schools (or even thinking about it). If any of you want to understand more about ApplicantLab and how it helped me in my journey, feel free to PM me. btw, I'm matriculating at Kellogg :)
Was this review helpful to you? 11 out of 11 people found the following review helpful
I am beginning my applications for fall 2018 and looking at my options for consultants.
You said Applicant Lab does not charge you per school. But is there a limit on the number of schools you can apply to with Applicant Lab?
Hope to hear from you soon.
Have a great term!
2Commented by aznaggie on August 15, 2017
I'm another ApplicantLab user that has successfully gotten into the school I wanted and it's an awesome product! After you sign up, you can use it for unlimited number of schools (as long as it's offered on there) and there's school-specific essay and other advice so definitely a great bang for your buck!
The ApplicantLab tool was the most helpful resource I used when planning and writing my MBA applications. I ended up applying to 6 schools and got into Kellogg & Columbia with $100K scholarships and was also accepted at Sloan and waitlisted at Wharton. The ApplicantLab online tool has so much great advice and information all in one place which really helps you get your story across throughout the entire application without wasting space by repeating information and making sure you cover all your bases. The tool goes through each part of the school's specific application and gives advice on what to include there as well as what that school specifically looks for. The tool has videos where Maria walks through examples of how she might craft her answers if she was applying again and then also has written information as well for each question and section. The tool also helps you go from the brainstorming phase of the application to writing and then proofing before you submit. I wouldn't have been able to apply to so many schools without the ApplicantLab tool and definitely credit ApplicantLab for my success in sharing my story with the schools I applied to! I highly recommend ApplicantLab for anyone going through the process and the tool is much cheaper and a way better value than a full time consultant, particularly if you are applying to multiple schools.
I was drawn to the website because the inventor of ApplicantLab--Maria graduated from Harvard MBA, and worked as an Admission Officer. So she has been in a position of both sides of the game. After watching her free videos on the website, I was convinced she's an expert.
After purchasing the full access, I really enjoyed using the website. The best part is step-by-step advice on how to write essays, brainstorm and develop a career vision, and videos on interview preparation. She also broke them down in so many different categories to fit the needs of people with different career goal and background. As a busy working professional, it was really helpful to have access to expert advice 24/7.
This tool made me feel very customized. I was very impressed that Maria made tons of videos for every single business school, and make sure the preparations are tailored with different focuses to accommodate the school culture.
ApplicantLab made the overwhelming process of applying to business school so much simpler for me. All of the pertinent content I needed was all in one place in the online tool and the process Maria outlined through the tool helped give me confidence that I was putting my best application forward without spending an arm and a leg working with a traditional admissions consultant. I ended up getting into two top schools - MIT & HBS!
I also loved how Maria's personality shined through the tool and how I still got to know her even though I was mostly just using the ApplicantLab online tool. She is truly an admissions expert and knows the best tips and tricks for making the best application!
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So I'll preface this review by saying that what ApplicantLab has created is really an incredible, easy to use tool, at a fraction of the cost of other Admissions Consultants.
i was starting to look at Business School applications and I knew that the prestigious Consortium Fellowship would be my only chance to pay for a good business school. I went on a message board, posted my "stats", and asked others my chances at winning the Fellowship, and was flat-out told by "experts" on the thread that not only would I never get the Fellowship, but that I probably would not even get accepted to these programs. Here are two of the comments I received.
"If you applied to all of the listed schools, I imagine you'd get into one or two. "
"Consulting firms probably won't interview you....As far as scholarships, normally I'd say no shot...and I don't know much about the consortium."
I was really disappointed after submitting my post. Getting an MBA was a lifelong dream and I knew I needed help but I couldn't afford an admissions consultant -- they charge so much! Thankfully, I found ApplicantLab. I applied to 7 full-time programs and was accepted to all of them; including two full-tuition scholarships and the prestigious Consortium Fellowship! I really owe it all to the easy to use and very reasonably priced ApplicantLab, especially considering the huge ROI I received! ($300 Investment ; $100,000+ return)
The Lab's amazing interactive platform took me from feeling hopeless to feeling empowered. I felt like every step of the way, I knew exactly what to do. There were videos and useful interactive exercises for every question I had along the way! I most thoroughly enjoyed the Strategy and Preparation, Essay Writing and Interview Prep!
ApplicantLab had instructions on how to approach each essay question, which stories to focus on, and even detailed preparation materials for the interview. I am 5 and a half years removed from my Undergrad, so needless to say it had been a long while since I had written any sort of essay. ApplicantLab was absolute God-send! The strategy and planning sections helped me organize my thoughts and made me think about my career and how I could show AdComs just how much value I could add to an MBA program. It looks like it worked! The interview prep was also very helpful; ApplicantLab has various questions that lets you know what to expect from your interview. Without this section, I know I would not have gotten into all of the schools I applied.
I highly recommend using ApplicantLab! The tool is truly a great value for anybody who wants to get into a top MBA program!
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