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ApplicantLab On-Demand Admissions Guidance Tool Reviews
    Number of reviews [48]
    Average Rating:       (5.0/5)
  Applicant Lab
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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     By Rohit6 238 50

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 :)

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Comments [2]
1 Commented by Thestral on August 07, 2017
Hi Rohit,

Congrats on making it to Kellogg!

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!

Regards,
Madhuri
2 Commented by aznaggie on August 15, 2017
Hey Madhuri,

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!
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     By mbastudenttx87 10 6

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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ApplicantLab was Crucial
April 12 | 2018
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     By azhao000 0 0

ApplicantLab was the only tool I used when I applied for R2 this year and was instrumental in helping me get accepted to Wharton, Yale and Darden in the end.

Long story short, I decided very late to apply for business school last year and only had 1 month in December to prep both for the GMAT and to write essays. I had no interest in shelling out US$4-5K for traditional consultants and also had no time to meet with them. By some miracle I stumbled upon ApplicantLab and signed up to give it a shot; this was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. The ApplicantLab tool was very systematic in outlining the crucial components of a good MBA application and then provided great guidance in helping me flesh each of these components out. The tool was easy to use and well-designed; I mixed and matched ideas across modules and it really helped me to brainstorm and finally to form my "story" in a tight timeframe.

The tool was not just helpful for the brainstorming phase of the process, it also gave very insightful advice on how to tackle each school's essays specifically. For example, I wrote the essays for an M7 school in 2 days with minimal prior knowledge about the school. I was able to do this because the Lab laid out all of the "unique" aspects of the school (i.e. school motto, reputation, special clubs, interesting leadership ventures, etc.) in one place. Not just that, sometimes the Lab even provided in-depth analysis on changes in essay topics between years to try to really get at AdCom's psyche.

One more thing, the Lab really is a all-in-one tool. When I received interview invites (or even before them), I read up on the interview tips module. ApplicantLab provided detailed advice on almost every interview question I could imagine and more. What was more impressive was that it also offered school-specific advice for team-based interviews that were only done at a few schools; this really helped with the Wharton interview.

Overall, if you don't want to spend US$4-5K on a traditional admissions consultant that very well may not get you in, ApplicantLab is your best bet. There was no "fluff" in what it offered.

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Help me achieve my Dream
April 09 | 2018
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     By abhimahna 3356 1425

I was not very confident about how would a tool help me write essays or get me into top business schools. I was like "Are you really serious? This is just a tool Man!".

I must admit today I laugh at myself when I think what I used to think about this tool. Since it was just for a few bucks, I thought let's go for it. I bought the tool and started working on it. I showed my last years Resume to a couple of people and everyone was like "Hey, did you really apply to Business schools with this resume?". I was highly embarrassed. Come on, I paid so much for this and now you are laughing at me on this resume?

Trust me: I got awestruck when I saw Maria's advice on how to build a resume for MBA school. At that time, I wanted to punch my consultant too badly. I mean how dare he made me make a resume that was the worst resume in the world. Maria has made a comparison on what a good resume is and how badly you can make your resume. And all the qualities of a bad resume were there in my old resume. It was a BS.

I worked on my resume again and followed the advice that was provided on the tool. I felt a bit confident that atleast I have made something better this year than what I did the previous year. This also made me realize that some of the "big" consultant companies are using their big names to get the business but are hiring low quality consultants to provide services.

I started working on other modules of ApplicantLab. Initial modules brainstorm you alot by asking you to think alot and answer alot many questions. I felt a bit less confident on how boring it was. But I realized its worth once I started writing my essays. I felt that whatever the questions were asking was already brainstormed by the tool in the initial stages. It got so easy to just pull the information/answers I already wrote and plug them in the essays to make a story. There are many sanity checks that ensure that you are adding the information that the essay is looking for. The best thing is you have very specific information for every school.

I even realized that my previous consultant was not even providing me any direction or ideas to write my essays. He was just asking me to remove this and add something better. But ApplicantLab has very well explained videos for every school. Maria has provided alot many ideas/examples for you to think and has provided right directions to help you get further ideas.

Feeling more confident now, I started working on my first essay and this way I ended up submitting 10 applications within 30 days.

It was Diwali night (A North Indian Festival) when I received my two interview invites within a span of 30 minutes. I got excited and opened the interview module of ApplicantLab and started preparing for interviews. My experience with interview module was again awesome. All the general and behavioral questions are very well explained and they guide you to generate many ideas to talk about. This went in my favor. I prepared well and started receiving interview calls from a couple of more schools in the mean time. My interviews went awesome.

I ended up spending less than what I spent last year and got admitted to 3 schools with huge $$$s.

It was 2 weeks after the interview of one the schools that I came to know I got admitted and that too with unexpectedly high scholarship.

I have added my detailed story here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/stepping-into-my-10-years-long-dream-thank-you-applicantlab-262884.html

Happy learning!

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Life-saver!
April 02 | 2018
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     By Reyasat 0 0

Absolutely amazing! Cheap and highly effective!
Starting from how to write resume to how to get the best recommendations, ApplicantLab covers everything. The best thing is you get unlimited access and can use it to prepare the best applications for all your targeted universities. ApplicantLab (through tons of exercises and tips) also helps you to understand yourself well and develop a well-defined post MBA plan. Maria is extremely supportive and provides feedbacks that will make you a strong candidate.
I am from Bangladesh and very few people from my country apply to the top MBA programs. So there were not many people to guide me when I decided to apply for my MBA. Also, other consultants were so expensive that it was impossible for me to avail their services. ApplicantLab was a life-saver for me! Even though they provide the service at such a cheap price, their service is topnotch.
I only applied to three universities – Babson, York and Johns Hopkins. I got selected (with scholarship) to all of them. Johns Hopkins offered me 100% scholarship for their MBA program!! Babson offered $20K scholarship and York offered $10K. All of these were possible because of Maria and ApplicantLab!

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     By epfrost 0 0

ApplicantLab got me and my girlfriend get into HBS and several other top MBA programs. I honestly do not think we could have done it without the app, and I think everyone applying to business school would benefit from it.

We did not work with any traditional consultants, but having gone through the whole process, it is hard to imagine what they would offer that you cannot get from Maria and the app at a small fraction of the price.

For people who like to work on their own schedule, I actually think ApplicantLab is the better option. Maria provides detailed written and video analyses for nearly every question on each school’s application which you can consume all at once or whenever you have time. The analyses are excellent at pointing out the opportunities (and risks) that every question on the application presents--even the very small ones that are easily overlooked.

Even if you do decide to go with a consulting company, the ApplicantLab’s price point makes it a no-brainer as an additional resource. Maria is incredibly responsive to questions (not sure how she does it), and has filled the app with many years of insight and experience. Really can’t overstate how much this app helped us!

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     By smig 14 6

This is not your typical admissions consulting services. If you have the will to put in the effort, Applicant Lab will help you in every way possible.

I am a second time applicant. First time, which was over 5 years ago, I had paid over $600 to had my essays written for me. In hindsight, I realized that the consultant took no interest in knowing me. What she produced was a stereotypical file of essays and SOPs, which lacked "ME".

This time around, I was determined to not follow the rat race, but truly understand why I want to do an MBA, what motivates me, and what are my strengths/weaknesses.

After researching via GMAT Club and attending a session on Resume building from Maria through eGMAT, I bought the online Lab access.

It really helps you structure your thoughts and dig out the times when you did great at work or in personal life, but might have forgotten about it or didn't think that experience would help in your application. The Lab helps you identify your weaknesses, and then work on it to present the best version of "YOU".

I religiously worked with the lab and watched all of Maria's videos over 2-3 months. I received excellent remarks on my resume. During my interview at Ross, my interviewer was very impressed with my preparation. She was happy with the thought and effort I'd put in to know the school and how it fits with my goals.

At first, I was a little scared that the whole experience of Applicant Lab will be impersonal. I thought, it will be one advice for all, and I might get stuck again with representing myself in a stereotypical way. But I was quite impressed with the depth of options offered. Maria doesn't hand anything to you on a platter. She will present you with her thoughts, what she thinks works, and given your situation what works best - rest is up to you. If you follow the tool religiously, you'll see how it enables you to know yourself better.

If you're looking to be spoon-fed, then I won't suggest using the lab. But if you want to write your own essays, and present a genuine self to the schools you're applying to - Applicant Lab is your best bud.

By the time I completed all the modules from Lab, I knew exactly what I wanted from an MBA, why Ross and Schulich, my strengths and weaknesses, what I brought to the table - and I could talk or write about it in a precise and succinct manner.

And if you are really in doubt, and need human interaction, Maria is available at all times for help. She'd answer my emails within a day. I'd thought I will request her to do Skype interviews with me, but her interview module was so interactive that I didn't need to.

All in all, best value for your buck. Especially if you are on a budget and believe in doing things by yourself.

Thank you Maria! Your product was not only helpful in my admission process, but also has helped me find and build my perspective and gather my thoughts - and I am finding that increasingly helpful along every step of my MBA life.

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     By souvik101990 4970 20725

As I was left with zero admits in 2017, I was scared, nervous and pretty distraught. Insecurity is a funny thing - it totally destroys your self-confidence and makes your do things you would never do if your self-esteem were intact. I was also having a terrible time in my relationship, so all in all, I was a ball of depression. Impressed by their efforts in marketing themselves, I reached out to a big admission consulting firm. I spend thousands of hard-currency-converted-dollars and it was, to say the least, the most uninspiring experience in admission consulting. I was getting really varsity inputs on my essays, and there was no strategic push (I had signed up for only two schools). Also there was only one call involved and most of the stuff were on emails, which is pretty useful, but at same time leaves much to be desired for a real conversation. The thing with big consulting firms is that it can always be a hit or a miss. You might get an incredible consultant who really likes your story and wants to help you more strategically, or, like mine, your experience could be vanilla. This consultant was [i]very[/i] prompt, super nice and cordial, but when it came to the meat of their work - the protein just wasn't there. Anyway, I was not super happy and was looking for a better experience. (Also, just FYI, I was dinged at the both the schools I used this consulting company for, despite getting interviews and admits in higher ranked schools without their help).

I was just randomly getting into calls with other consultants at the same time (hello! I was applying to 10 schools remember? I also did not have money to throw away, but I saved everything from the previous year to make sure I am financially capable of utilizing every opportunity I can possibly get). A few interesting, and a few downright obnoxious calls later, I found Maria. Maria is the founder of ApplicantLab and let me just go ahead and say it - Maria saved my 2016-all-dings-butt this year. At the risk of sounding like a promotion, I would just go on to list the things she did for me.

1. She did me a big favor by getting on a call to figure out what really happened. She was legitimately shocked at my career goal (well maybe negatively amused would be a better way to put it). She mentioned that the consulting firm I mentioned traditionally does IT roles and it would be very hard for the adcom to join the dots (note: another consultant told me to keep this consulting firm instead of MBB to show that I am not unrealistic).

2. She did a career goal overhaul and asked me what I enjoyed doing, and when I said I loved EdTech and want to try pursuing it in b school - she literally typed in caps lock "THAT MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE"

3. Once the foundation of our goal was set, I used the lab to figure out how to classify my stories according to several brand traits. ApplicantLab has many brand traits with explanations (both text and video for all you folks with different learning styles). The lab will force you to reflect and write stories from your past that would fit certain brand traits. This was incredible, because once I had 12-15 stories set up, the skeleton for almost all my essays, interviews and even short answer questions were pretty much set. DO NOT AVOID THIS STEP. A lot of folks write random stuff to move on to the essays. BAD IDEA. DO NOT DO IT. DO NOT. DON'T. STOP IT.

4. After figuring out my stories, I moved on to the essays. ApplicantLab has detailed explanations (and videos) of how to frame each essay and also which brand traits to focus for which essays. It was amazing because it is directly mapped (the aptly named section is called Mapping), to the stories I have created before so it takes the brainstorm part of writing essays out of the equation. Maria also hashes out extremely detailed explanations in her essay advice - from big picture stuff to even things like where to find what on the school website which, I guess, must have taken her hundreds or thousands of hours - well it did end up saving hundreds of hours of mine.

5. Lastly, in the interview module, she handles 15 most popular interview questions which are framed generically enough to overlap with almost the entire spectrum of business school interviews. Each section has a video from Maria where she goes on excruciating details about how to answer each question, how not to answer each question, and most importantly, how different answers make you sound/look. Brilliant stuff.

6. Also, I purchased a few additional hours for her to review my essays because I was insecure af, and needless to say they were amazing.

Could I be more resounding in narrating my experience with ApplicantLab? Probably not. But it is worth the praise it receives. Anyway, another point to note which was [i]bigly[/i] important to me is that Maria cannot function without humor. So every video she makes or paragraphs she writes she can't help but throw in a joke which always makes me chuckle. In all the stress and depression, I have been in back in September, the laughs took the edge off.

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     By fewfewerfewest 0 0

I am a DIY applicant and I strongly recommend this website to those who have no clue how to structure your essay.

My favorite part of the ApplicantLab is actually the videos, especially those in the School Mapping and the Interview preparation. The amazing walkthrough of the schools' website helped me to understand what they are looking for in each candidate. It also helped me to determine whether the school is a good fit for me. I certainly see lots of great efforts have been put on individual schools to walk people through their essay topics. These contents are updated quite often.

I definitely like watching a lively person in a video better than just read the long and tedious articles about how to write essays and how to prepare for the interview. With that being said, if people do enjoy reading, ApplicantLab has the script right underneath each video.

They have a free trial for a week. So definitely worth checking out!

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Perfect Product For Me
March 14 | 2018
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     By hudamaniam 26 3

This is what I sent Maria after receiving admission to my top school:

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! As a fringe candidate that was considered too inexperienced (2 years out of college), too young (24), and probably too dumb (2.9 GPA), I needed every ounce of help I could to craft a cohesive and persuasive story for my MBA applications. Without the ApplicantLab setup and your personal help, I probably don't receive a single acceptance. 3 acceptances later, including the Tepper School at CMU, I want to thank you a hundred times over for setting up a fantastic, intuitive, and most importantly, effective tool for MBA applications. I've referred you to everyone that will listen, and will continue to do so. Bottom line: ApplicantLab works, and it works well.

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