ApplicantLab On-Demand Admissions Guidance Tool Reviews

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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Based on 107 reviews
April 05, 2020

Joined: Oct 17, 2016

Posts: 267

Kudos: 237

Verified score:
680 Q48 V35

Well Structured and Well Thought Out Admissions Consulting


ApplicantLab is a very interesting take on MBA admissions consulting.
1. It is a very well structured and well thought out service.
2. It saves a lot of time for candidates as it does the basic school research for you, you need not waste your time going through obscure school details for your essays
3. Maria is super helpful if you think the website cannot help you
4. You have readymade comparisons of gmat scores, gpa and Acceptance rates.
5. CHEAP - at $269 (Cheaper with a gmatclub code) it is definitely a bargain.

1. You have to be incredibly self-motivated to turn up everyday to update the application

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April 04, 2020

Joined: Mar 04, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
690 Q48 V35

Stellar service!


I heard about ApplicantLab from friends as an alternative to the typical expensive MBA admissions consulting services. The low price point and solid results based on reviews piqued my interest. I ultimately used ApplicantLab for several MBA applications and obtained favorable results for three top 10 schools!

Thank you to Maria and Carin for giving my essays the extra polish. I know it wouldn't have been possible without the help of ApplicantLab's step-by-step instructions on how to structure my application. It's super easy to understand, and the additional services such as resume and essay reviews were invaluable. Thank you again for helping me reach my MBA dreams amid many headwinds.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
April 03, 2020

Joined: Feb 02, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

ApplicantLab Helped me Prepare for MBA Essays in One Month


I learned about ApplicantLab from a friend who got into Wharton with the help of Maria. I started the application process very late: finished the GRE test at the end of October, and did not start researching and preparing for the essays until mid-November. Additionally, I decided to apply for 10 business schools which means there were over 20 essays to write. At first, I was a little skeptical about how much a website could help with my application, so I did not pay for the premium version. Two days later, I realized researching for each school's programs, clubs, defining value was extremely time consuming and there was no way I would finish all of them before the deadline. I contacted my friend for advice and he explained to me how ApplicantLab has all of those for each school summarized on a single page. I signed up, and it was life-changing. With a combination of videos and text, I learned about each school in 1-2 hours and felt have a very good grasp of how I would fit into each school as well as if their offering would fit me. What impressed me the most is how much Maria knows about each school's character and culture. For example, besides schools like Haas that make their defining value explicit, Maria also discusses the implicit culture that exist in each school and what kind of candidate they prefer. This is extremely helpful because I made sure to select my stories based on each school's values. I also used Maria's personal feedback services on my first draft and my resume. Her feedback were very constructive and eye-opening. She pointed out my resume that I used for recruiting is completely different from one that should be used for MBA applications, which later proved to be very true. I did not use an MBA consulting service besides ApplicantLab, and the couple hundred spent is one of the best investment I've made. Compared to the MBA consulting services that would cost thousands of dollars, ApplicantLab is just as effective. As someone who only has three years of experience, I got into Wharton, Yale SOM, and CMU Tepper with ApplicantLab's help.

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April 01, 2020

Joined: Apr 27, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Brilliant Mentors and super efficient UI

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by gmat club tests [?]

Though I was initial sceptical, but the UI put me in a comfortable place as soon as I started. The fact that you can work on your career hook and add relevant examples helps you to enrich your essays .The reviews and guidance by Maria and Carin are spot on and extremely beneficial. They put a lot of heart in ensuring the experience is enjoyable and beneficial to the candidates.Though their reviews may sometimes be a bit harsh, but it all helps to ensure the final product is top notch.
I would recommend their guidance to all candidates and request them to give Applicant Lab a shot

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February 13, 2020

Joined: Dec 08, 2016

Posts: 58

Kudos: 57

Verified score:
750 Q50 V40

Essential to get admission to your dream B school


To be honest, initially, I was quite skeptical about any online tool for the MBA application especially because I was new to the process and had a very limited network of those who had gone through the process. So I wanted more of personal attention to know what works and what does not in the MBA application.

After having some research and connecting with those who had used it, I decided to purchase the subscription and compared to other consulting companies it costs very less so I thought why not. But today I cannot be surer that I would have gotten to the top 10 US MBA program if it had not been ApplicantLab and Maria.

She has given too much thought into building this tool. It covers everything which is required to project the best version of yourself to adcom members of top MBA programs. The tool covers everything from scratch i.e. school selection, identifying strengths and weaknesses, Why MBA, Career Vision, etc. However, the most useful thing I found about the tool and Maria was advice on each school essays. Her videos are very insightful and help one to build the right story/hook for the essay. Guide videos help one to identify which personality traits to highlights and what is best to do so.

Additionally, the tool is equally good for Interview prep and Resume writing. So I would say it is a complete package at a very very reasonable rate. However, words of caution – ApplicantLab can only help you if you are self-motivated and ready to introspect about your REAL achievements, REAL values, and REAL future goals. It pushed me to think about my aspirations and values.

My results: I ended up getting accepted to Ross and Duke Fuqua my top choices. Thank You, Maria, for creating such a great product and helping me make my dreams a reality!

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February 04, 2020

Joined: Feb 23, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
770 Q50 V44

Summary: Accepted to HBS, Kellogg (with $$$), and Darden ($$$$). I used ApplicantLab's videos/essay advice, resume review, essay review service, and mock interview. Maria went above and beyond even those paid services by taking the time to have a call with me about choosing between my options, and she went so far as to connect me with her personal friend who is a professor in a topic I'm interested in. Cannot recommend her highly enough, even if she were to triple the price of her services!

Details: I come from an over-represented applicant pool and needed to make sure my application stood out. I had applied to HBS in previous years and was rejected, so I really wanted to do it right this time. Other consultants had told me my admissions chances were very low as a re-applicant, as I hadn't had a ton of professional changes/advancement since the prior year when I was dinged. Initially hesitant to try ApplicantLab because of the lack of personal interaction, I went for it because of the low price point and the great reviews.

I knew I made the right decision right off the bat, when I went through the modules on brand building - the insights I gained on my own work just from mapping them out as she recommended were invaluable in themselves. With her recommendations on qualities and skills to emphasize based on my background (engineering), I was able to easily identify the best stories to use in my essays and interviews.

Then came the resume review - I've had my resume reviewed before by former admissions officers, so I didn't get as much value out of this, but the resume review was a pre-requisite for the essay reviews (resume review was extremely affordable).

I started off with one essay review for my HBS essay - sticking with a similar topic and structure as the year I got rejected - and Maria TORE IT APART. I re-wrote it from scratch based on her recommendations and was 10x more confident in the new essay. I am 99% certain the new essay is one of the biggest reasons I got an interview. With how valuable that review was, I bought reviews for the rest of the schools I applied to - now that I had an idea of what topics, qualities, and stories to tell, the later reviews were more about tailoring the stories to the individual school.

Mock interview: I did a mock interview with Maria for the HBS interview. With how unpredictable the HBS interview can be, I wasn't sure if the mock interview would help, but it was undoubtedly worth the money. Many of the questions she asked were asked in my real interview, and the mock interview helped me answer them confidently and clearly. Her write-up afterwards was so useful too, and I was able to go back to review the questions I didn't answer so well.

Afterwards: needless to say, I was thrilled with the outcome. Accepted to my dream school and two other top schools with a lot of scholarship money that made the cost of ApplicantLab one of the best investments I've ever made. But the icing on the cake - after emailing Maria with profound gratitude, she offered to have a call with me to talk about my options. And, while the call in itself was excellent, once she knew my career interests, she wrote an email to a personal connection - a professor in the field of study I'm most passionate about - and I'm meeting with him at a school visit this weekend. Talk about truly caring for her users!

I will forever recommend ApplicantLab to any aspiring MBA applicant, because: 1. Maria makes admissions consulting affordable to most people, not just those from lucrative backgrounds; 2. for the value she provides, she could charge just as much as the major admissions consulting firms; 3. she demonstrates true care for her users; 4. her bubbly and energetic personality makes her genuinely fun to work with! You will not regret working with ApplicantLab or Maria!

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
January 04, 2020

Joined: Jul 15, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q49 V41


I learned a lot about MBA programs and admissions from ApplicantLab. Maria walks you through all the pitfalls and really helps you understand how admissions officers think about a student. She explained every step of the process, helping me to build a foundation of knowledge and then slowly building that up until I was really happy with my submissions.

I bought this product thinking it would be a cheaper way to learn about admissions but once I finished it I think it's actually better than hiring a consultant, at 1/20 of the price.

Maria and Carin (Maria's number 2) are fantastic to work with, always responsive and hard working. I couldn't recommend this enough.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
December 28, 2019

Joined: Jun 04, 2018

Posts: 699

Kudos: 532

Verified score:
730 Q47 V44

Even 10x as expensie, it would still be great value for money


ApplicantLab is an amazing tool to make sure you tick all the boxes of your application.
The amount of material and guidance is pretty breathtaking considering the reasonable price tag.

The tips offered for a large range of b-school are very specific, recent and most importantly unique. (e.g. very different guidance for Columbia as opposed to Tuck).

As a note of caution;

ApplicantLab does not do the work for you. To fully utilize the potential AL offers, you do have to put in quite some time, however, the investment will certainly be worth it.

I used the tool to apply to both Cambridge Judge and MIT Sloan and got into both schools.

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December 12, 2019

Joined: May 21, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q48 V42

tl;dr: I got into Stanford GSB using only Applicant Lab; I watched hours of videos of Maria's advice on everything from career vision to specific essay questions to interview prep - wayyy more than I would be able to afford from typical admissions consultants. ApplicantLab is a good fit for people who meet the following characteristics:
1) not trying to use your entire life savings on admissions consulting
2) want a ton of detailed info on each part of the admissions process
3) don't want/need hand-holding

Longer review: I'm currently working in int'l development work, so as you can imagine I do not have thousands of $$$ to throw around on admissions consultants. However, I knew that I'd go crazy if I tried to tackle the massive MBA application process without some guidance or advice (esp. since my initial plan was to apply to 8+ schools...). I came across ApplicantLab on one of these forums and was skeptical - even though it's much less expensive than other companies, the $270 still seemed like a pretty large commitment on my current budget. (note: I know I know, how am I going to pay for b-school? that's a problem for tomorrow...)

Despite my skepticism, I'm very glad that I chose to sign up! Applicant Lab has been super helpful at each step of the MBA admissions process. As someone who gets a little obsessive over things, Maria's hours of video advice were a godsend. She has 10-30 min. videos on every possible aspect of the application - including career vision, "why MBA?", specific school essay questions, interview prep, recommendations etc. What I appreciated most is her candor and frankness. For instance, I still remember the moment when I got to the Post-MBA Career Vision module, where I indicated that I wanted to change both industry and function. Her video response was basically like "WRONG GOAL, GET A NEW ONE" - a bit shocking at first, but it forced me to reconsider how I presented my goals, and I came out with a much better career story because of it. What you lose in individual advice, you gain in terms of breadth - I estimate I've listened to over a dozen hours of her advice, making it a pretty decent bargain. If you think you can listen to advice and figure out the implementation of that advice on your own, then this is definitely the way to go.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
November 19, 2019

Joined: Mar 10, 2013

Posts: 165

Kudos: 270

Self-reported Score:
620 Q44 V31
690 Q47 V37
610 Q47 V28
700 Q50 V34
700 Q49 V36
690 Q48 V35
750 Q49 V42
730 Q50 V39

ApplicantLab was a Lifesaver


ApplicantLab was truly a lifesaver for my MBA applications. It had all of the inside information that I needed to get into business school. One piece of information that I did not know was that the top reason qualified candidates get rejected from top schools is that their post-MBA goal is not realistic enough.

I realized that this was the reason that I did not get into CBS last year (going in now).

ApplicantLab is completely worth the money. Maria is kind, frank, humble, and knows her audience; she will tell you the truth needed to craft the best application for b-school. This will toughen you up and help you see yourself in the correct light.

ApplicantLab is for people who are self-disciplined and don't need hand-holding. You basically reap what you sow when using this tool. If you do things at the last minute, you will get
the result that comes from that decision. If you put in your best work, you will at least have no regrets regardless of your MBA decision.

ApplicantLab also has just the needed information for applying to business schools. There are no frills or bells and whistles of any kind, but the information given is gold.

One main drawback that I saw in ApplicantLab is that the interview questions given were not all asked in my interviews for CBS and Booth. I think more work could be done there.

Regardless, I will completely recommend ApplicantLab to anyone who needs low-cost but high-value MBA consulting.

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