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

  • Applicant Lab – An Invaluable Partner On My MBA Application Journey
    4 months ago
    When you first log in to Applicant Lab, you are asked to complete a diagnosis, which gives you a sense of where you stand. While this first module helped me validate some of my strengths, it also shed light on some of the weaknesses in my profile. Looking at my report, being accepted to a top MBA program felt almost impossible. Yet today, I have offers from my two dream schools: Columbia and Harvard. The secret is realizing that no one is perfect, that we all have our flaws, but also have something to offer. We all have distinct journeys, and the Lab truly enables you to create an authentic, compelling, and unique story to share with Admission Committees. The platform is organized in an intuitive way ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2021 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • 7 Interviews, Full Rides At YSOM/Fuqua/McCombs - Thank You ApplicantLab!
    4 months ago
    Applied to 8 MBA programs in R2 of the 2018-2019 cycle and used ApplicantLab to craft my essays. From the essay-drafting to the interview prep, ApplicantLab was INCREDIBLY helpful. Maria's advice was spot-on for each essay and I literally followed her recommendations on what types of things to focus on for each essay. I was extended 7 interviews and received two full rides to T10s, a full ride to a T20, and 80k at a T15. I'm thrilled with my results and would recommend ApplicantLab and Maria to anyone.
    Class of 2021 Applicant
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Admitted To Harvard, Stanford, & Wharton
    4 months ago
    As a non-traditional applicant who doesn't know many people with MBAs or who are applying to business school, ApplicantLab was incredibly helpful in crafting my story, making sure all the details made sense and knowing what to emphasize for each school. "Human" consultants were out of the question for me because of the cost, and in hindsight, I cannot believe they would have been worth the money. ApplicantLab has a module about you, your past, your goals, strengths and weaknesses and how to sell your story, and asks very detailed questions to be able to give you personalized advice based on your responses. The module guides you through the process of crafting everything you need before you actually start writing, and it actually feels like ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2021 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • HBS Admit
    4 months ago
    ApplicantLab has been crucial for getting me accepted into my top schools. By the time I signed up, I already had my story crafted but AplicantLab helped me making it more cohesive and linking my background and previous experience with my future goals. Knowing that I had access to Maria for 1:1's when I needed extra help was also important for me as it provided me with clarity and peace of mind. Maria was extremely helpful with mock interviews. I felt more confident and prepared after our session. I'm very excited about the journey ahead and grateful for finding AplicantLab in my MBA application journey.
    Class of 2021 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • ApplicantLab Is The Real Deal
    4 months ago
    In December 2017, I was chewing over an admit to the Forte MBALaunch program and whether I was really cut out for top business school programs. After all, I had a 3.2 GPA and wasn't a manager--could I really apply to T25, let alone HSW? ApplicantLab made it happen. Not all of us are current MBB or IB with cash to burn on expensive consultants. Thanks to Maria's incredible product, I was able to apply to EIGHT (YES, EIGHT) top programs in R1. I received seven interview invites (one to HSW!) and four admits, three with scholarship offers. The program was unbelievably easy to use, even as I was losing my mind over eight separate apps. I recommend ApplicantLab to everyone I meet who is ...
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    Class of 2021 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • ApplicantLab Is The Best Thing That Has Happened For MBA Applicants
    4 months ago
    I have used two services for my MBA admissions 1) ApplicantLab 2) Blind interview with Maria 1) The Lab – first of all, she has put all her passion and love in this lab, so how can it not be so Awesome as it is!!! Those of you who are going to get started with this research lab will not take more than a few minutes to start realizing the same. This tool is the best thing that has happened for MBA applicants. The beauty of this invention is that it keeps guiding you to keep you on the right track and you get to learn, research, and explore your stories all by yourself. It was fun for me because I found the lab like experiential ...
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    Class of 2021 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Straightforward Wealth of Information!
    4 months ago
    As someone who didn’t have any insight into the process before applying, ApplicantLab caught me up quickly. The platform logically walks through the application process, providing general career focused advice as well as school-specific guides that are a wealth of information. I was continually impressed To see how frequently the information in the modules was updated. It is clear that this product is getting better with time. Similarly, Maria and her staff were always very quick to respond to any questions I had along the way. I know that I would not have had the success I did if it weren’t for ApplicantLab!
    Class of 2021 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Great Platform & Service!
    4 months ago
    The ApplicantLab platform is fantastic for helping you think through the different aspects of your application and getting school-specific advice for essays and interviews. I also greatly appreciated that they were responsive to my emails with specific questions about the platform/process. I am very impressed with the whole platform and I recommend ApplicantLab to any prospective MBA applicant. I ended up getting into Haas with a significant merit scholarship and am beyond thrilled to start there this fall. :)
    Class of 2021 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • ISB Admit Guidance
    4 months ago
    Applicant Lab has immensely helped me in finding my MBA story and crafting my essay to the level of perfection that I got an interview and ultimately an admit to my dream college, Indian School of Business.
    Ritika Siraj
    MBA
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Yale & Ross Admit With Full Scholarships
    4 months ago
    I cannot say enough good things about Maria and the ApplicantLab software. The software gives very detailed advice and really helps you navigate what AdComs are "really" looking for in their questions. I did not have a stellar GPA or GMAT but thanks to ApplicantLab and Maria's reviews of my essays, I was able to leverage my strengths and got full scholarships to Ross and Yale, got interviews at ALL the schools that I applied to (including MIT Sloan) and will have all my school decisions in by April. Maria truly cares about the success of her clients, and I know I could not have done this without her! Especially if you are unfamiliar with the MBA process and need detailed guidance, ApplicantLab is a ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2021 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.