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ApplicantLab On-Demand Admissions Guidance Tool Reviews
    Number of reviews [24]
    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.

6 out of 6 people found the following review helpful
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     By mbastudenttx87 9 5

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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5 out of 5 people found the following review helpful
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     By Rohit6 236 45

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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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!
Engineer, in at HBS!
July 14 | 2017
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     By skdt7 0 0

I used ApplicantLab for my R1 applications last fall, and was admitted to HBS. ApplicantLab was an incredible help throughout the application process, and I couldn’t have gotten in without it.

I had a somewhat non-traditional background with non-traditional career goals, so it was difficult for me to find relevant application advice either from my network or online. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous going into the application cycle and I knew I needed help understanding the admissions game. However, I knew I couldn’t afford the thousands of dollars that other admissions consultants charge (especially with more debt to come once I started school!). I heard about ApplicantLab and knew I needed to try it.

Every part of the online tool is easy to use and extremely helpful, and takes you through the entire application process from initial strategy to essay brainstorming and writing to interview prep. What initially sold me on ApplicantLab was the “essay mapping” portion of the tool, which helps you brainstorm all of the stories you might want to use in your essays and allocate them effectively across schools and essays. (For an example, start around 0:47 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Av5yVlJYBw). The visual organization really helped me make sense of all of my stories and pull them together into cohesive essays.

In addition to the essay section of the tool, I think the resume and interviewing sections were so helpful. At the start of the application process, I just had my “engineer” resume, which was entirely too long and full of boring technical details. ApplicantLab helped me turn that resume around completely into one that showcased the highlights of my career in a concise way. The interviewing section was just as helpful, and was full of great videos of Maria answering common interview questions. She really helped me get a sense of what the interviewer was looking for with each question.

Overall, ApplicantLab was absolutely fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone looking to apply. I encourage you to try the free trial!

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     By Bel&thebeast 0 0

Applying for business school is a long and expensive process. Between test prep courses, taking the GMAT a couple of times, books, and materials, I easily spent around $2500. So, by the time I got around to actually applying for school, I was really reluctant to spend any more money, especially not on an admissions consultant. It was a few weeks before the Round 3 application deadline, I had pushed my GMAT to the last possible second and my window to produce a few quality essays was quickly closing. I had written 40 versions of my personal statement when I realized I really needed some additional guidance. I briefly flirted with the idea of applying fresh for Round 1 next year, when I remembered hearing about an online format that could potentially help with the application process. I had listened to a podcast with the founder of Applicant Lab and made a mental note of it a while back, but since I had decided that I wasn't going to pour any more money into the application process I hadn't really pursued it. One night, after I had written the 87th version of my essay, I decided to sign up for Applicant Lab. I justified spending the $300 because that would be the same price that I would pay for an hour with a consultant through my test prep company.

Well, Applicant Lab turned out to be one of the better decisions I had made throughout the application process. After a few minutes on the platform, I realized that the direction I was trying to take with my essay in, made me a "high-risk" applicant. I totally scrapped what I had and started anew. The interface was really user friendly. Maria has posted some great informational videos. The platform itself was well worth the $300. It offers guidance and really organizes all the thoughts floating around in your head. You can save versions of your essays for multiple schools. It actually already has the essay prompts from each school saved. Maria, herself, was also a tremendous help. She was kind enough to do a document review in video format for me, which was great because I could refer back to it whenever I needed it. The site has great info and really guides you to help brand yourself. The night before the round 3 app deadline, Maria and I were emailing back and forth until midnight! (I'm not sure if this is just because she took pity on me, but she really came through for me. Maria comes off as a genuinely helpful person...she's also really quirky which is nice when you're stressed out of your mind!

I did end up getting in to my first choice, UCLA Anderson. It took a lot of hard work and dedication on my part, but I believe Applicant Lab also played a huge role. I don't even want to think about what would have happened if I had gone with my original essays! I highly recommend Applicant Lab to anyone who doesn't want to sell a kidney to pay for a decent admissions consultant!!!

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Great Tool!!
July 03 | 2017
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     By AnotherGmater 37 1

I have recently used Applicant Lab's services for my application process. We all are aware how much a normal admission consultant would charge - at least a couple grand. Unlike a normal consultant, Applicant Lab charges just a fraction of it and actually guides you to prepare your application process, this whole process actually a good experience or a good introspective session that one needs. Maria would help you if you are stuck anywhere, provide you good insight on what actually the Ad Com looks for, help you tailor-make the essays and responses for different questions that they might ask and train you for interview. Overall, I would highly recommend their tool and the process it lets you go through. Trust me it's value every buck you pay for.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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     By Newjoinee2017 1 0

I had the most amazing learning experience from ApplicantLab. The idea to curate your essays and recommendations from well thought out story ideas, which finally YOU can stitch together is invaluable! Nothing gets the adcom notice you more than a story which has 'heart'. Applicantlab tool enables just that! Writing your stories, with your structures, your tone & tenor makes your essays genuine & standout - a very crucial aspect of the application process. Maria's easy to understand tips & tricks, well structured modules 'gamifies' the otherwise mundane & exhaustive application process. Smooth structure, Super useful tips/tricks is an amazing way to get your work done!
Needless to say, in the world of Pricey admission consultants - ApplicantLab is a blessing. Exceptional service at an affordable cost!
My recommendation to fellow students will be to try it & you wont regret it. Made my admit to Stanford & INSEAD a breeze!

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ApplicantLab is great
June 20 | 2017
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     By ghpro 0 0

I have applied to 5 universities in the US and have been accepted in all of them: Berkeley, Ross, Cornell, NYU and UCLA. ApplicantLab's advice and expertise have been critical to me for 2 main reasons. First, it provided me a efficient way to lay down my life experience, and therefore, a way to rediscover parts of my life/experiences that made me shine in my essays. Second, ApplicantLab's explanation of different schools' essays helped to improve their quality and understand better what the admission committees are looking for.

Finally, I totally recommend watching the sample videos in her interview module. It really helps understand the purpose and focus of those interviews.

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     By mbaadmit2016 1 0

I was applying to business school while working for a non-profit space, so paying $8k (cost of a 4-school package from most consulting companies) wasn't feasible. However, I was worried about competing against other candidates who were taking advantage of such services, and I really needed a formal way to think through all the story ideas spinning around in my head.

I was able to go through the entire application process from resume to essays on my own time, without having to worry about scheduling calls (although after going through the module, I did end up taking advantage of ApplicantLab's editing services, which were phenomenal as well). The advice that the module provided was identical - if not more personalized in some instances - to advice I'd heard that my friends received from their consultants.

The platform provides a great way to organize all of your stories, link them to values, and pull them into cohesive essays. They will stay organized and be there waiting for you every time you need to take a brain break and come back. Such a cost effective way to de-stress the application process!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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     By hamzakhan 1 0

MBA admissions are complicated, to say the least. It isn't always a matter of being extraordinary rather extraordinarily telling your story. That is where ApplicantLab excels; it provides you a framework to put your best foot forward.
When I started my MBA prep, I availed different profile evaluations offered by top MBA consultancy. However, the result was more or less the same. They gave a general feedback and enticed me with the so called limited time discounts to avail their services. On the other hand, there is no sales pitch by ApplicantLab rather a sense of empathy. I was fascinated to see how simple it was to start the free trial. Not only this, I got a complete profile evaluation based on my ethnicity, job function, industry, future goals, etc. Needless to say, I opted to go ahead with ApplicantLab.
I honestly believe that the work Maria does for her clients is worth far more than the price of ApplicantLab. ApplicantLab without a doubt demystify the MBA admission process. It provides a framework that is thorough in its research and details. Not only this, Maria is super friendly and always ready to answer the questions. She answers each question with intent to help her clients, not for the sake of answering.
Above all, ApplicantLab is the way forward for MBA admissions consultancy. It eliminates the veneer between consultants and customers and presents a sequential framework that is intuitive and comprehensive. Not only it helped me to put my best foot forward but also allowed me to introspect and understand what I truly wanted from an MBA.
Finally, I will recommend ApplicantLab to any aspiring MBA candidate. You will not find a more dedicated and helpful consultant than Maria. I am grateful to her for allowing me to understand my strengths and secure admission in a top ten ranked global MBA program.

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     By RE86 0 0

I’m a regular guy from Latin America who wanted to pursue an MBA at a top school. After sitting for the GMAT and getting a 700+ result, I THOUGHT it was over… And then I started to get acquainted with the “admissions game”.

You can read my detailed review below, but I want to start with my conclusion: Applicant Lab is REALLY worth to use. Take my advice and use the free trial they offer: It’ll give you a sense of how powerful the system is, and after ½ hour working with it, you’ll realize that it is THE best option. I actually enjoyed a lot during the whole process working with the Applicant Lab. I promise you, you won’t regret it =).

So, let’s go to the facts. Do you have any clue of the size of the “admissions consultancy” game? I did my research, and turns out it is a 35M US$ yearly market. And the reason for this is that there are plenty of consultancy firms out there, and they all operate the same way: at first, they will “take a look at your stats”. After this assessment, IF you ROUGHLY look good enough, they will charge you A LOT of money in advance, and then start working with you. Be aware: If your stats don’t look good enough, they will tell you something such as “they have no consulting vacancies”: no one in these kind of agencies likes neither an unhappy customer nor a black spot in their records.

Your stats may not be exactly perfect (e.g., no volunteering), but you know both that you will be an unbelievably good fit for a top Business School, and that this HAS to be your next step in your professional career. So, the key question is… How will you tell your story to your dream school and be accepted if you can’t even pass the “high performance admissions consultancy firms” barrier?

Well my friends, I have good news!! María just created the perfect solution: The applicant lab. It’s really simple. It starts with a diagnostic tool: you will be asked to input information about yourself, and the Applicant Lab will tell you where you stand in the 4 pillars of your application: Academics, People Skills, Post-MBA employability and whether you can prove you have can be a “Leader”. After this assessment, it has customized advice to your actual profile. And the greatest thing is that through this advice it will not only teach you how to look into your college / work experience to find facts to counterbalance what might worry an Admissions Committee, but also why such things matter to an Admissions Committee.

This fact repeats itself all over the applicant lab advice for all portions of your application, and believe me: it makes the difference to know what an Admissions Committee is looking for. In case you get an interview, you’ll feel SO much more confident if you have used the applicant lab: you will know what the person in front of you might be thinking or may ask you based on your profile, and you’ll already know how to tackle these concerns.

It’s going to sound weird, but Applicant Lab not only taught me everything I needed to know to apply to a top business school: it actually taught a lot to me about myself. After 1 week working inside the Applicant Lab I had a clear image of what I wanted to do after Business School, what were the key “hits” of my career that could make me be accepted by a top Business School, and it broaden my spectrum of schools, i.e., after reading the applicant lab’s specialized advice for other schools that I had previously not considered, I realized that there were many other options beyond those I had considered at first.

And the best part is that everything is organized in a REALLY easy to use, on-demand tool. You can access it any time you want, it is full of videos (which not only contain the core of the great advice, but are brightened with Maria’s exceptional sense of humor), examples and explanations that will make the whole application process actually enjoyable.

I was accepted to a top 5 FT Ranking school. I met other people from my country who was also accepted to this school, and while having a drink with them and talking about each other’s road to Business School, I found out that they had used a traditional consulting firm. And guess what? They not only spent 10 times more money than I did, I actually think that the advice I got from the Applicant Lab is SO much better than the advice they received from the consulting agency they used.

The bottom line is that there’s no better alternative out there. The “value for money” ratio of the applicant lab approaches infinite. Use their free trial, and believe me, you’ll understand why I say this.

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