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Booth School of Business at University of Chicago
Bain & Company
Sr. Admissions Consultant
Net Promoter Score: 9
Carin graduated from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2008. With 15 years of experience in marketing and client management roles at companies like Bain, McKinsey, and Mattersight (a SaaS analytics company based in Chicago), she’s a strong storyteller and strategist with an eye for detail.
Carin has been working with MBA applicants since 2017 and joined ApplicantLab in early 2018.
ApplicantLab’s unique on-demand platform gives applicants all the advice they need to prepare strong applications in self-service format. After working through all of the advice modules, users who wish to receive additional help are able to schedule 1:1 reviews to receive individual feedback and guidance on how to refine and strengthen things.
Because of this setup, ApplicantLab’s optional services are extremely high value for money (since we don’t have to spend our valuable time covering the “basics” with you) and we’re able to work with a large number of applicants each year. Since joining ApplicantLab, Carin has reviewed hundreds of applications each year and has built up a strong knowledge base of what resonates with schools.
Carin is also a graduate of Northwestern University where she studied Economics and Communications and was a member of the Women’s Varsity Swim Team. She has served on the Chicago Booth Women’s Network Board and is an avid traveler – after retiring from the corporate world in 2017 she spent a year in Costa Rica teaching ESL and has been exploring the world as a digital nomad since September 2019.
ApplicantLab was created to provide world-class admissions advice at an affordable price. Founded by a Harvard MBA who used to volunteer with the HBS admissions office, our mission is to provide our clients with the frameworks and tools they need to learn how to win the admissions game.
ApplicantLab’s clients have been admitted to the world’s top business schools including: HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, Sloan, Kellogg, Haas, Columbia, Yale, Tuck, Fuqua, Stern, Darden, UCLA, Cornell, USC, UT Austin, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Kelley, Olin, LBS, INSEAD, IE, IESE, ISB, Cambridge, and many others! Often times, with substantial scholarships. We also help candidates applying to the Consortium.
On the part-time and executive MBA front, we have helped people get accepted to Stanford MSx, MIT Sloan Fellows, LBS Sloan Fellows, Ross EMBA, UCLA FEMBA, Darden…and more success stories are being added all of the time!
A key offering of ApplicantLab is its on-demand platform for admissions advice, which will walk you through every step of the process with a series of interactive exercises.
ApplicantLab’s platform won the “Audience Favorite” vote at the “HBS Alumni New Venture Competition” and was named a top ten “Education Technology Pioneer” by the SIIA.
If you’re a motivated, independent worker looking for a cost-effective way to prepare your winning admissions strategy, ApplicantLab could be a great fit for you!
ApplicantLab’s step-by-step series of interactive exercises teach you how to win the admissions game at a significantly lower cost than working with a traditional consultant!
Here’s how it works:
– For $349, get a step-by-step interactive platform that walks you through everything you need to craft a strong application (essays, resume, recommendations, and interviews).
– After going through the exercises, should you like additional guidance and 1:1 feedback, we offer a number of optional add-on services including our famous “Sanity Checks”(in which we review your resume and overall story to make sure your application “foundation” is strong), Strategic Essay Reviews, Editing Services, and Mock Interviews.
10=Without Hesitation, 1=I would advise against it.
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For context, I do not have a traditional background (Art/Animation) and did not have the highest GMAT score – I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself either. The MBA application process seemed daunting, and I wasn’t sure I’d get in anywhere honestly!
But, with ApplicantLab and Carin’s feedback and support, I secured admits at the three schools I applied to! (LBS, IESE $ and HEC)
Working with Carin, Maria and Luqzan was an absolute pleasure.
Carin’s feedback was so helpful, candid and concise. She helped me really figure out what my narrative was and how best to put my story together on paper. I had a few laughs listening to her feedback on my weaker stories, but that’s exactly what I needed to hear to make sure I was doing the right thing. She is extremely responsive (as is the whole ApplicantLab team) and compassionate. I felt like a real, down-to-earth person was reading my essays and giving me honest feedback (rather than telling me what I wanted to hear).
You can’t go wrong with ApplicantLab and Carin! Best part, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars either – everything you need is on the platform!
I booked a sanity check with Carin through Applicant Lab. Carin was very thoughtful when reading through my application and pointed out many ways to improve my thought process. I believe Carin’s review of my strategy was the main reason behind my acceptance at 6 different top MBA programs, including two M& schools (Booth and Kellogg). I highly recommend Carin as an admission consultant.
I would also recommend the Sanity check and Essay review services with Carin – the best bang for your buck you will get anywhere in the MBA admissions process.
Almost everything about ApplicantLab is great – the affordable price point, the structured approach to shape your story, why MBA and the school-specific advice is amazingly detailed. Maria and her team have created an amazing product! I would highly recommend the applicant lab to anyone serious about their MBA aspirations. Out of the 7 schools I applied to (selection of M7 + LBS + Yale), I was admitted to 5! ApplicantLab is a robust, end-to-end product for your MBA admissions needs – don’t pay ridiculous amounts for an admissions consultant, please! Thank you to Maria, Carin and the team!
To put it plainly, working with Carin and the entire ApplicantLab team was absolutely fantastic. Not only do I recommend the service as a whole, but I especially recommend the additional consulting services with Carin!
I solicited Carin’s feedback on essays for two schools – Kellogg and Booth – and received offers from both. In each case, she went above and beyond to give honest, actionable feedback that I was able to immediately apply… and, in the case of my Kellogg essays, undoubtedly meant the difference between receiving an offer and not!
Since I’d used Carin for my essay reviews in 2020, when I first applied to Kellogg, it was a no-brainer to solicit her feedback again when reapplying. I struggled with the essays this time around, and it showed. Carin demonstrated “tough love,” and gave very candid feedback on my first drafts. The difference maker, however, was that she went BACK to the essays I’d sent her nearly TWO YEARS prior, and pointed out elements from those that I could re-incorporate and expound upon. She provided some rewriting recommendations, which helped me quickly identify the necessary edits, and gave some general feedback on how to make my “growth since first applying” really shine in my re-applicant essays (again, having looked at the materials I shared years prior). None of this was in the “job description,” but showed how much she really cared about steering me in the right direction. Due wholly to her feedback, I was able to completely transform my essays, and receive the offer of admission I was hoping for. This is just one of the many examples I have of Carin going above and beyond to help out.
I have no doubts that Carin’s candid feedback played a crucial role in my receiving these 2 M-7 offers. Though I know her sessions are a little more costly, I can wholeheartedly say it makes all the difference.
I started applying for MBAs around two years ago and took Carin’s help during both years of applying.
– Carin was very supportive and every piece of feedback she gave was very specific to me and my application. She was very responsive whenever I had ANY questions about anything which was very useful during stressful times.
– My mock interview with Carin was also the most effective/useful $500ish that I have ever spent with respect to MBA applications. During that 2 hour interview + feedback session I had with her, I learned more about how to speak in interviews and how to present myself to interviewers than I had ever done during the 2 years that I had worked towards getting accepted into a top MBA program.
– Carin is super candid with feedback which only helped me with my application and my interview – I really feel like without her, I wouldn’t have been successful at my application for INSEAD.
I was incredibly delighted by my outcomes (admits to Stern, Haas, LBS, Kellogg, Yale, Tuck, UCLA and McCombs—as well as generous scholarships from many of them and one full ride!) and I couldn’t have done it without ApplicantLab and Carin.
In addition to all the information on ApplicantLab’s service, the Sanity Checks and Strategic Essay Reviews I booked with Carin really helped me polish my story and make my essays shine. She was extremely helpful in helping me refine my career goals and my story, in addition to identifying target schools. She often went above and beyond to answer my questions over email and help me iterate over my career vision until I uncovered a winning strategy.
I found that her advice on one of my essays was often applicable to several of them, and she really helped me showcase my strengths and personality to the admissions committee. She was integral in helping me identify points to focus on in my application, and I truly felt like I’d put my best foot forward after working with her.
I can’t recommend her help enough—I honestly couldn’t have done it without her!
Carin gave great feedback on my Yale SOM application package which ultimately led to admission + scholarship.
Carin is an absolute professional that embodies compassion. I found ApplicantLab after reading about it online and am so glad that I did not shell out thousands for a traditional consultant. ApplicantLab and the essay reviews provided by Carin were instrumental in my admission to an M7. If you’re considering spending money on a consultant, give ApplicantLab a shot first.
During R2 of the 2020/21 cycle, I – a non-traditional, outlier, international applicant – applied to various business schools and relied on ApplicantLab’s fantastic platform to organize my narrative, stories, past experiences, and achievements. This affordable platform, which provides quality service in a fraction of the cost of its competitors, allows its users to learn how to appreciate their strengths and address their weaknesses while engaging them with the many pieces that would make each unique application (both the written portion and the interview) successful. ApplicantLab made my application process more manageable, and the level of service Maria, Carin, and the three alumni on the roster provide is exceptional.
Besides the platform, I also used some of the supplementary services in a very targeted way, working with Carin to polish my Wharton & Lauder essays before submitting them. I appreciated the level of commitment and dedication she provided throughout the process of reviewing my essays. She was highly responsive, was invested in my candidacy despite the fact we did not work extensively and even made sure to add a special slot for me so that she could make a final review of my material. Her professionalism and experience as an admission consultant were evident as well. The feedback she provided was always candid, concise, and actionable. She highlighted the strong portion of the essays and precisely what was missing to make them even more robust, referencing specific resources. Besides working with her directly on my essays, she and the rest of the ApplicantLab staff were always accessible to answer specific questions about the different applications and provided solid advice throughout the process with no additional cost.
I highly recommend Carin. Even if your essays are in good shape, she will provide you with encouragement and constructive feedback to make sure you submit the best application possible. She was over the moon when I told her that I was accepted to Wharton/Lauder with substantial fellowships to both programs, indicating how invested she was in my candidacy and how rewarding it was to work with her on some of my essays.
When I started looking into the MBA process, I was astounded by the astronomically high prices of many MBA consultants. There’s no way I can afford it – until ApplicantLab (AL) came along!
Disclosure: I got free access to the AL modules because the content was not captioned for the deaf and hard of hearing, so it was not fully accessible at the beginning. Maria was kind-hearted enough to grant me free access and then later had the videos captioned within a few days. So if you’re deaf or hard of hearing and thinking about an MBA, AL will definitely make its content accessible for you. Instead of a video review of your essays, they’ll write in notes/comments in the Word doc.
I mostly worked with Carin to craft my narrative (“sanity check”) and essay reviews, and how to shine a positive light on my lived experiences as a deaf person. I couldn’t find a deaf student or alumni at my programs of choice (M7 + T10s) to reach out for helpful guidance and information. I had questions like “How did they present themselves well?”, “how to show that we offer a lot to the community?” and “how did the employers view students with disabilities?”
However, Carin and Maria were awesome in lending their experience and perspective as hearing people to make sure I present my unique, nontraditional background and experiences well. They responded quickly to my emails and questions, including their feedback/thoughts on selecting a certain topic my video prompts.
The modules are all top-notch, highly specific, updated, and very informative in all one place – great if you’re short on time and need to churn out applications in a matter of days. I highly recommend AL for any new MBA applicants at very affordable price points for its platform and add-on services (which I did pay for).
Results? I got into Wharton, Yale SOM, and Booth for R2.
I was international applicant going through the process for the first time. To make things worse, I was working 12-15 hours a day and had very little time to work on my apps. Applying during the COVID-19 application cycle, I knew it would be extremely difficult to get into a good program. Getting Carin’s help was the best decision I made that year. Carin was extremely responsive and invested throughout the process. I got all my essays reviewed by her and received a lot of thoughtful input. It wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have been able to secure an admission to Yale SOM.
I worked with Carin via ApplicantLab this past year for my MBA applications and I can’t say enough positive things about the experience! As a reapplicant and first-time ApplicantLab user, I loved how the platform had self-guided modules so I could leverage the work I had already drafted in a cost-effective way. I did a Sanity Check and Essay Reviews with Carin and her feedback was so helpful and candid. When I finally finished my re-applications with Carin’s help, my test scores/work experience hadn’t changed at all – but the way I presented my story was different. Thanks to Carin, I was able to shape my narrative in a more unique and compelling way. And it made all the difference – this time around I got accepted to my top schools! I highly recommend working with Carin/ApplicantLab if you’re looking for a game-changing admission consulting service that won’t break your bank.
I worked with Carin through ApplicantLab, and it was easily the best decision I made throughout my MBA application process! The ApplicantLab modules were so helpful to get started on my materials (resume, essays, and the general foundation of my career vision / why MBA story), and working with Carin took it all to the next level. I worked with Carin on the “sanity check” and all of my essays for the three schools I applied to. She was super responsive, supportive, and encouraging, and her feedback was always valuable and actionable. Carin pointed out areas of my resume and essays that were unclear and provided tangible and thought-provoking suggestions to improve the flow and clarity of my writing and to ensure that my overall application materials worked together to tell a consistent story. I also really liked the video format of her feedback – I could rewatch the videos over and over on my own time, rather than trying to scribble down notes on a phone call. I am a night owl, so I usually worked on my applications late at night. It was really convenient to be able to watch the videos and work on my essays on my own schedule rather than being constrained to phone calls during business hours when I was busy with work. Also, ApplicantLab’s pricing is so reasonable! I was so glad to have an option to receive top-notch consulting services at an affordable price. I was accepted to one of my top choices (Wharton), and I know that working with Carin and using ApplicantLab made all the difference.
Prior to ApplicantLab, I was really insecure about my GMAT score and was not expecting to get into a top MBA program (or any scholarships).
Working with Carin has exceeded my own expectations: I was recently accepted to a Top MBA program where most of my tuition will be paid for (70%)! I don’t think I’d have had the same results without her/ApplicantLab and here’s why:
1) The information on ApplicantLab is incredibly thorough. You will understand what business schools are looking for in a very honest, straightforward/easily digestible way. Every question you have is probably answered somewhere in ApplicantLab. Resources are accessible 24/7– super convenient when you’re working a full-time job– all for a few hundred bucks! You do not need to spend 10K on MBA application advice.. (in my opinion)
2) I got constructive advice from *Carin* which REALLY elevated the quality of my application and I felt SUPER confident submitting my application before the deadline. Carin is friendly but honest– she pointed out ALL the weak parts of my app and suggested ways to improve them. With Carin’s help I was also able to leverage my strengths/unique aspects of my story!
3) Having her guidance really saved me A LOT of time, effort and anxiety while writing my essays. I think my stress levels would’ve been much much higher without ApplicantLab and Carin’s guidance.
Nothing but great things to say about ApplicantLab! Such an amazing resource with GREAT people behind it.
Carin and ApplicantLab gave me tremendous help on my process. Carin’s mock interview is useful in every aspect of strategies.
Without spent $$$$ on a private consultant, only by reading and practice the resources on ApplicantLab, I received interviews from every school I applied to and admitted by one of the top early decision schools already.
I would definitely recommend Carin and ApplicantLab
Choosing ApplicantLab was the best decision during my MBA application preparation. Carin is very responsive and brutally honest. She gave me incredible insights and shaped my whole story. This was a game-changer for me. She went the extra mile to accommodate me when it was not even my slot so that I can finish my applications in due time. In a nutshell, one of my best ROI!!!
I worked with Carin through ApplicantLab and she was an incredible resource! As a deferred applicant, the MBA application process was a mystery to me. Carin really helped me hone in on my strengths and weaknesses and taught me how to leverage my nontraditional experience through my resume, career vision/story, and interview answers. Her advice allowed me to stay true to my story/background/goals while presenting a much stronger application than I would’ve been able to alone. In the end, I was accepted to three deferred programs, including Berkeley Haas, Chicago Booth, and Wharton. Carin was incredibly responsive and invested throughout the whole process and I can’t recommend her services or ApplicantLab enough!
Though I was (and am) confident in my story and motivations for pursuing an MBA, my background is very non-traditional, so I knew I wanted a knowledgeable, no-nonsense opinion of some of my application essays. Carin provided just that and really helped me accentuate and focus in on my unique strengths and experiences. I was accepted to seven of the eight schools that I applied to and received scholarship offers at more than half. Carin is great, I can’t recommend her enough!
Carin and Applicant Lab were a huge help to my application and essential for my success in the admissions process. After going 0/3 in R1, I was able to get multiple admissions to top programs in R2.
Applicant Lab provides a platform that allows you to think about your own profile as a consultant would without costing the $$$$ a consultant would. You can then request extra review (at a reasonable cost) on my story, essays, interviews, etc. I worked with Carin on my story and essays and really thought it improved my application. She was timely and on point with her feedback and brought my application to a more cohesive final product. Without her, I’m sure I wouldn’t have received the offers I have today!
ApplicantLab has been one of the best ROIs I have ever made. Carin is top-notch, she cares so much about each of her applicants and is always open to working with what you have. She can be brutally honest and points out your weaknesses, but hey, that’s what you’re looking for right? She will tailor her feedback and suggestions based on your background and each school and goes the extra mile to research and provide strategic advice to best position yourself for your target schools.
She helped bring my application to life, providing the right spices to make them more enjoyable. I wouldn’t have gotten into my dream schools without them – thank you so much!
Carin provided me a ton of useful insight and helped me get into my top choice school. She delivers suggestions in a constructive and friendly way and I have no doubt her advice was a game-changer for my applications.
Carin offered me so much help in my application process. The advice from her about my essay, career goal, and interview are very helpful. A very important thing is how she gives her advice. She is so friendly but also gives very useful advice for things that need to be improved. Within the help from Carin and ApplicantLab, I got offers from Kellogg, Stern with $$, Darden with $, and Cornell with $, a result that too good to be true for me. Thank you so much, Carin and Marie, you guys changed my life!
I can’t speak highly enough of Carin whose incredibly targeted feedback helped get me into my top MBA program. Carin strikes a perfect balance between her friendly, approachable nature and ability to give direct feedback as to when things are and are not working. On multiple occasions, her comments made me completely change the direction of my essays, overturning assumptions that I previously had about what Admissions Committees were looking for. She helped reconnect me with a narrative that spoke more to me as a person, and I can’t thank her enough for her help. The value of her service goes well beyond the price of ApplicantLab.
As an applicant lab customer, I have worked with Carin for the past months and it’s been an incredible journey.
Carin was always keen on responding to my questions and doubts about my application.
She is such a nice person and will do all her best to make you shine through your application. She does not hesitate to make you reflect on what you could have done better in your application and gives you the direction to do so.
Applicant lab + Carin has been the best choice I have made to make it to my dream schools with a huge scholarship, so thank you, Carin and Maria.
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