Maria Wich-Vila

    
Number of reviews [31]


Company: ApplicantLab
Packages: ApplicantLab On-Demand Admissions Guidance Tool  
Maria Wich-Vila's Reviews
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     By alh13 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

I was rushing to submit my applications for R1 and I only had 4 weeks to draft several compelling essays! My GMAT was a median score, so I was quite stressed and frankly overwhelmed with the amount of work to be done.. it was a slow start.

I stumbled upon Applicant Lab on the GMAT club and read good reviews. I thought I would give it a try since at this point, I had to use my time very efficiently.

Applicant Lab was very helpful in directing my energies towards productive brainstorming, drafting and final editing. There was also a diagnostic section in the beginning that assessed my profile and gave specific instructions how I can strengthen my application i.e. given a median GMAT vs. really smart people all around the world. This encouraged me and helped me craft a compelling and targeted story.

Maria is very hands-on and helpful. I loved the videos as it makes her come to life, like the 'MBA Alumni Friend' you could bother! Of course I reached our to other MBA alumni for advice on my applications, but they are obviously very busy people and I couldn't bother them on the details. Maria (through applicant lab) gave me the nitty gritty for each essay/ recommendation question on my application and wow- this was mighty helpful!

Fast forward several weeks after, I got into my top choice school - INSEAD with a FULL scholarship!! Using the applicant lab 'frameworks' and Maria's advice on my scholarship essays were a big help. I couldn't be happier and I would definitely recommend Applicant Lab in a blink of an eye. :)

Thank you Maria! You are doing amazing things.

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     By rockyrio 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

I want to say that what Maria is doing with ApplicantLab is really great as it provides excellent, easy-to-use service at an extremely affordable price. I used the standard tool service for preparation of the pack of documents to Columbia, Chicago Booth and Wharton as well as editing services for all essays to Columbia and Columbia interview preparation with Maria. I need to add that I was invited to all of the schools I applied. In my opinion, expensive consulting services do not work better than what Maria proposes, I can compare it as I tried initially one of the respectable and expensive consulting providers for Wharton, but I got a feeling that they proposed corrections to make your consulting as long as possible and to make you pay more for more hours, that's just what I had + I was really demotivated as my previous consultant was finding faults even when I did not see any. Finally, I submitted a version which contained a ton of comments from the consultant and I still got invited for an interview. Review of the essays and preparation to Columbia with Maria was a completely different experience. She was so helpful, friendly and supportive, responding to my emails really quickly. After the mock interview you will have it recorded version which is invaluable as you can listen to Maria's comments when it is convenient for you. Essay editors comments were reasonable, without this typical "I don't understand what you are talking about here..." what I had previously. I believe that there is a lot of value in using ApplicantLab and advise it to all. Finally, I was admitted to Columbia with 50k fellowship. Thank you Maria for your help!

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     By Chanishere 28 3
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

ApplicantLab is an amazing, super easy to use, highly customizable tool at a fraction of the cost of what other admissions consultant services charge.

About me - I come from one of the most over represented demographics – IME (Indian Male Engineer). Those of you who are aware of how college admissions play out would know, being part of an over represented group makes the already tough process, tougher. Unfortunately I had to learn this the hard way. After unsuccessfully applying to several schools in my first year, not to mention the hours and money down the drain, I was desperately looking to identify drawbacks and improve my profile. As a re-applicant, I also had the added onus on me to show how I have improved since last time.

Enter ApplicantLab, at this juncture!

One demo session with ApplicantLab, I found exactly what I was looking for. ApplicantLab handholds you through the entire application process by presenting a highly customizable path where you can choose amongst the numerous combinations to tailor the advice to exactly any background, any career vision and any target school. Are you a candidate from an over represented pool targeting a common post MBA career choice at an M7 school, Applicantlab’s got your back! Poor acads with limited ECs aiming to change career, Lab’s got you covered! You can think of any possible scenario and Maria has useful advice for each and every one of those.

But this is just the beginning. ApplicantLab ties your best stories with traits that schools are looking for and helps align stories with specific schools, depending upon what each school is looking for in their candidate. For example, it may seem, most schools are just asking different variations of the same questions and there is a strong urge, given the paucity of time, to rehash the same essay. And that, my friends, would be a massive mistake. Maria’s excellent guidance on bringing out the qualities that make you a good ‘fit’ with the school would often be the deciding factor on getting and interview call or being waitlisted/denied.

Now you may ask, but what about the essays? How do I know that I have written the perfect essay that would make the admission committee sit up and take notice? Believe me, after going through the ‘branding’, ‘mapping’ and ‘pre-writing’ sections, writing the first draft would be a breeze. You can definitely take help of your friends to edit the essays and use the numerous guidance videos in ApplicantLab to refine them further. And if you are still not satisfied, and want a final touch, Maria offers an essay editing service as well.

Additionally, once you do get the interview call, ApplicantLab offers guidance on interview prep, selecting recommenders and a host of other related stuff. It basically covers end to end of the MBA application process. Some of the advice would remain extremely helpful (especially those on networking) even after your MBA app is complete.

Thus, if you want to get the best help for your application at an extremely low price, with the option of starting with the basic package and getting add-on services only in case you need it, ApplicantLab is a no-brainer. I highly recommend it and I promise that you won’t regret your choice. You can sign up for a free 15 day trial and check for yourself.

As for me, my story has a happy ending. I got admitted Duke Fuqua and with that my MBA application journey came to an end. Best of luck to you all who are thinking of starting your MBA application journey. If you have any questions about ApplicationLab, feel free to pm me.

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     By Gcakil 1 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Compared to private admissions consultant, my expectations were low for applicant lab at first. But the tool and Maria proved me wrong very soon. The process to develop the essays completely works (i got interviews to HBS and Columbia with the stories I had built using Applicant Lab). Whether you are starting from scratch or have a story on mind, I believe Applicant Lab will be extremely helpful in crafting the essays. It is like having a framework that keeps you on track while clarifying and calibrating your fuzzy thoughts and emotions.

In addition, Maria is a very impressive person. I found her videos (both for essays and interviews) to be extremely extremely helpful. She is also super responsive to emails and quick questions. I have also did a mock interview with her which was right on spot. She got many questions right for HBS!

Now looking back, I would have purchased Applicant Lab again and again for sure. If you are having second thoughts (which I had), please please remember that you end up spending so much money to random things during the application process and Applicant Lab will be one of your wisest purchases.

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     By Prasenjit84 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Applicant Lab is a great resource for Structuring the application process after you are done with your GMAT ( or you can also start early).So it is more like a automated tool that helps you groom yourself , in a self-paced model. It sets the context by helping you to identify your short and long term goals and thereby a story that then goes through a series of refinement until it reflects in your Essays in the most effective manner.
It is more like a structured guidance tool like Turbo Tax that helps you file your Tax return at the end of the year.
There are custom tailored videos for each application Essays for most of the IVY schools and loads of videos for the interview preparation that holistically covers most of the behavioral interviews and all of this comes at such a reasonable price that is currently unmatched in the Application counselling segment. It helped me crack Booth Evening and Kellogg Evening (the only 2 schools that I applied) with a below Average GMAT score of 660 and I think it was because of my overall grooming with the tool.
All the best!

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IE accepted
November 08 | 2017
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     By ryomerz 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

I just started my MBA program at IE, and I want to share how good the service Maria provides before my super busy weeks start. Before I purchased her service, I actually researched a lot. I saw so many reviews but the only concern that I had was "IE". As you may know, IE's admission process is kind of strange. You have to create a video and a slide and an essay answering the questions provided by IE. But eventually the reasonable price made me purchase her service, and it turned out to be the best thing I've ever bought.

The well automated algorithm she created is indeed perfect(I told my company's HR to mimic her brainstorming algorithm to improve employees' proficiency). I was skeptical about how it works before I started using her service, but she embedded her own video explaining everything in every section so that I didn't have any questions in each sections. What amazed me the most was she also put her video specifically for IE. There were more than 10 questions that IE asks you to write about(you need to choose 3 of them) and she covered everything in the video. She waled me through which question I should answer and shouldn't and why. In addition to that she wrote how to make slides(websites and tools) and how to make videos by quoting her own experience. I actually only applied for IE so I don't know if there is any other specific advice for other schools but probably she has videos on the website. Prior to using her service, I created some videos but I recreated all of them to follow her advice.

She also posts so many videos about how to prepare for an interview and I prepared everything according to her advice. Surprisingly an interviewer asked me 80-90% from the questions that she made me prepare.

Also my interviewer told me that all of people in the admission office gathered at one place to watch my video because it was really good! Furthermore I got scholarship that can easily cover the cost that I paid for her service.

I read this kind of post before I purchase the consulting service but I thought her friends wrote all of them and that made me doubt the quality of her service. If there is somebody like me, I can assure that she will make you get in any school that you want to get in.

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Silver Bullet for Admissions
September 20 | 2017
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     By GrantMeAdmission 311 192
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

I'm a workoholic.

Working 60+ hour weeks, two non-profits, and a side business, I needed admissions help that could operate with my schedule but still quench my thirst for details and specifics.

ApplicantLab was the perfect solution for me.

It contains amazingly detailed videos of not only what to do, but why you do it, which is really the secret sauce of admissions! The online tool walked me through the entire process of building up my MBA profile, and made sure that I thought through all of the important introspective questions that are necessary at putting together solid essays.

After building up my profile strategy, it helped me brainstorm essay topics and ultimately helped me create outlines, drafts and final versions of my essays. Finally, working with Maria via her videos on the essays were amazing. Her professionalism and upbeat attitude helped get me through a tough application schedule.

Ultimately, I got into my top choice!

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Full-ride at Columbia!!!
August 23 | 2017
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     By aznaggie 7 7
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

I used ApplicantLab's platform for my application to Columbia's August-entry MBA program and received a full merit fellowship for both years and I couldn't be happier!! Prior to using ApplicantLab, I had a couple of calls with traditional admissions consulting firms who told me my chances at a T10 program was slim to nil, that I should aim for T15-20 programs, and that they are reluctant to help me target a T10 school. Needless to say, the dispensed advice was off-the-mark and I decided to use ApplicantLab to take a stab at the admissions process myself.

My biggest takeaway from ApplicantLab is how intuitive it is to use to flesh out your unique story - this was my first time applying to an MBA program but the platform gave me step-by-step guidance on understanding my strengths/weaknesses, school-specific advice that is peppered with funny anecdotes and useful videos created by Maria, and awesome brainstorming tools for essays. The platform also gave me the flexibility to work on the application at my own pace (sometimes I have a stretch of several hours to work on it while other times it may just be 15-20 minutes during a lunch break - regardless, the platform provided the right probing questions and advice to get my ideas flowing!).

Two oft-overlooked sections that I think really gave me the edge: the resume writing and interview prep sections. In the resume section, Maria really outlines the importance of the resume despite the short time an Adcom might spend glancing at it. She also provided an easy-to-use and adaptable template that helps frame how I wanted to tell my story in the context of the overall application. In the interview prep section, there was useful but candid advice on how to approach the common questions (why MBA, why now, why this school, etc) as well as some unique questions through written and video advice. She also has several videos explaining how to really excel in Skype interviews as well as "record yourself" interviews used in the application process by Yale SOM and others. Overall, super thorough and relevant for pretty much any school you may be looking at.

Finally, Maria responds to questions through email which was an added bonus. She is experienced and provides practical and actionable advice to really move you ahead of the applicant pool and is a super approachable and professional individual. I highly recommend ApplicantLab for anyone interested in attending the MBA program of your dreams!!

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Engineer, in at HBS!
July 14 | 2017
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     By skdt7 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

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
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

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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