Maria Wich-Vila

Founder

ApplicantLab

United States

Consultant Bio

The only admissions service endorsed by Harvard Business School’s student newspaper, ApplicantLab was launched to level the playing field, providing access to world-class advice at an affordable price. I started volunteering with the HBS admissions office when I was getting my MBA, helping organize events for prospective students.  At those events, I’d invariably be asked: “Applications are due soon, and I’m stressing out, but I can’t afford a consultant! Can you help me?”.  Always happy to have an excuse to procrastinate from reading cases, I agreed.

That was over a decade ago, and I’ve been providing admissions advice ever since. My approach is very pragmatic, and I work best with people who are independent self-starters.  I advocate using a story-based approach as “evidence” to the admissions committees that you possess the very qualities they are looking for.

I help with all aspects of the process, from strategy, to brainstorming, to writing – not only the essays, but also resumes and recommendations too. My almost 20 years of experience as an alumni admissions interviewer for Princeton has made my mock interviews a particular client favorite.

I’m a member of AIGAC, and I have partnered with non-profits aiming to expand access to MBA programs for lower-income or under-represented groups. I am proud to partner with the Forte Foundation and the Riordan Fellows program. I am also a partner of Prospanica (the organization formerly known as NSHMBA), and am on the Board of its Los Angeles chapter, where I routinely hold admissions strategy events.

Company Information

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!

Menu of Services and Associated Costs

ApplicantLab’s step-by-step series of interactive exercises teach you how to win the admissions game.

Here’s how it works:

– For $299, get a step-by-step interactive platform that walks you through everything you need to craft a strong application (essays, resume, recommendations, and interviews).

– If, after going through the exercises, you’d still like more help, you can hire me for additional services. I still charge less than the going market rate for these services, because if you’ve gone through the exercises first, I know I won’t need to repeat myself and thus I can be efficient with my time. Not having to repeat myself makes me happy, so I charge less.

 

Location: United States

Email: hello@applicantlab.com

Website: http://www.ApplicantLab.com

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P&Q Consultant Reviews

  • Accepted to CBS with fellowship!
    6 days ago
    I strongly recommend ApplicantLab to anybody considering an MBA! I come from a fairly vanilla work background and was worried about differentiating myself among applicants in my "bucket". I utilized ApplicantLab for every aspect of my application (resume, essays, interviews, recommendations, etc) as the tool has advice for anything you could think of, as well as things you may not think of! Before using the tool, I had no idea that MBA admissions committees look for resumes that highlight experiences that generally aren't the focus of traditional professional resumes. Within the ApplicantLab, you are encouraged to map out experiences in your personal/undergraduate/professional life that demonstrated key traits that MBA programs look for in strong applicants (leadership, mentoring, innovation, overcoming obstacles, etc), and then allocate those ...
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    Class of 2021, Admit
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  • Maria Rocks
    1 week ago
    Maria and her selfless service got me into my #1 choice for business school - Columbia!!!! Maria took the time to walk me through what a realistic but compelling carreer vision looks like and in many ways helped me put compelling words to things that were just thoughts in my head. She helped me see how my passions and gifts could be leveraged in different career paths that would fit my season of life. After nailing down a very compelling career vision, Maria gave me the tools I needed to write the essays that led to my interview and acceptance at CBS! I would recommend Maria and ApplicantLab to anyone considering B-School!
    Jason Pappas
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  • A complete MBA Application Tool - Got into HEC Paris
    2 weeks ago
    In short - ApplicantLab covers all aspects of an application, has personalized advice to address the weaknesses in profile and an in-depth analysis of all the essays of the school and writing advice that caters to all kinds of MBA applicant profiles. ApplicantLab is a complete product for MBA admissions - with help on brainstorming, strategizing, essay writing, resume writing and interviews. There are sections that help jog your memory to draft life stories and make your application come to life. The analysis of each of the essays is very intricate and mentions exactly what the school expects. There are video tutorials on how to navigate the schools' website to dig for material in terms of clubs, electives etc. There is a diagnosis of your ...
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    Mohit Durge
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  • Exceptional value for your money
    2 weeks ago
    Almost exactly a year ago (October 2, 2017) I was rejected from CBS early decision, my dream school since forever. I applied with what I thought were OK stats (e.g., 730 GMAT, 3.8 GPA from Southeast Asian Uni, MBB + PE). Dinged without interview. So I did what any rational re-applicant would do and immediately hone in on a higher GMAT score (which I was able to bump to a 750). The NEXT thing I did was go on these forums and find myself an MBA admissions consultant. At this point - we're practically on the same boat - and I found that Applicant Lab seemed to fit my needs (low risk $-wise, self-paced, school-specific help). I ALSO looked at these reviews myself and thought that ...
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    Class of 2021, Admit
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  • Admits (& Scholarship Money) at Fuqua & Oxford
    3 weeks ago
    With a quantitative score hovering at the 55% percentile, I knew I was going to be facing an uphill climb to convince admissions officers that I would be a good fit for the rigor of a top MBA program. Not knowing where to start, I scheduled a few free thirty minute consultations with some of the top MBA Admissions Consultants. They confirmed my worst fears, recommending I look at safe MBA programs in the Top 40 or 50. One even told me that in order to achieve my dream of a Top 25 program my applications would have to be “flawless.” Luckily, they could help... at a cool $11,000+ dollars for my five schools. As a non-profit manager, this equated to about 1/3 of my ...
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    Class of 2021, Admit
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  • Accepted into the Indian School of Business
    6 months ago
    I started at ISB two months ago. It has been an incredible two months, and this would not have been possible without Maria's help. I started using Applicant Lab to help me with my application for ISB last year. Applicant lab always had answers to all the silliest of questions that I had. To add to that, Mari'a videos were amazing and informative. Even if that were not enough, I mailed Maria for the craziest of doubts and got a reply within 4-6 hours. Her replies helped a lot to clear any sorts of confusion that I had related to my application. Her advice, be it via Applicant Lab or with her replies always always helped. I would advise anyone, just go for Applicant Lab, ...
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    - Nirvan G
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  • Applicant Lab – Helped me achieve the impossible!!!
    7 months ago
    Belonging to an over-represented applicant pool (Indian male candidate working in an IT industry) and scoring an average GMAT score (700), I very well knew that the chances of getting into a top-tier B-school were slim. Almost all the admission consultants whom I approached pretty much dissuaded me to apply to any of the top 25 B-schools. But Maria was probably the only one who said – “Lets give it our best shot” and actually encouraged me to do so. I ended up getting wait-listed in two universities and got an admit from HEC Paris (one of my top choice schools). I can safely say that the Applicant Lab and Maria were the primary reasons because of which I could get into such an ...
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    - Ajinkya N
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  • Accepted into Columbia Business School
    12 months ago
    I would strongly recommend ApplicantLab to anyone! I applied for four schools last year, spent a ton of money on admission consulting service, and didn't get one offer. This year I used the ApplicantLab throughout my whole application season. The content was amazing. Before I subscribe to the full version, I didn't expect too much from it. When I start navigating the lab, it is so much more than I expected! I can not only map my stories using the tool, but also get customized specific advice for every single program I apply for!!! That is really amazing! Maria provided such detailed insights for every single essay for every single top school!!! Watching the video for each essay in each school is always my first ...
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    Class of 2020, Admit
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  • Accepted into IE
    1 year ago
    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. 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 ...
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    Class of 2017, Admit
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  • Accepted: Haas, Yale, Tuck, Fuqua!
    1 year ago
    Working with Maria in conjunction with her online exercises was a great combination! She helped me narrow down the various "stories" I had in my head to identify short and long-term goals that told an honest story and were closely linked to my personal background. From there, she provided incredible editing on my resume, essays, and letters of recommendations. Her edits were detailed and clear, especially when paired with the video explanations that she provides. She was extremely responsive - one of my recommenders realized last minute that the application would not let her go over the suggested word limit and Maria quickly got back to me with suggestions for how to cut it back. I couldn't believe that for a fraction of the cost ...
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    Class of 2019, Admit
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