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

Provide a Candid Review

10=Without Hesitation, 1=I would advise against it.

Select "N/A" if you are a career coaching client only.

Select "N/A" if you are a career coaching client only.


The information below is for P&Q verification purposes only. It will not be published. We may email you to verify parts of your review but you will not be added to our email list. Incomplete reviews will not be published.


Please upload a pdf, png, jpg or gif file.

Please provide a valid email address

P&Q Consultant Reviews

  • Admitted to Haas with Full Scholarship
    10 months ago
    I used ApplicantLab for my application to Berkeley Haas. At that time I had not many options in choosing an MBA consultant, because my budget was very tight. After seeing the CV-making tips from ApplicantLab, I decided to subscribe. It was the BEST INVESTMENT I've ever made in my MBA journey! ApplicantLab helped me to ponder my life story and package it together to address Haas' essay prompt accurately. I also used ApplicantLab to prepare for my interview. I followed each step and was very diligent in putting together my application. As a result, Haas welcomed me with a full scholarship and fellowship!
    Chrissa da Gomez
    MBA Class of 2021 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Super helpful for a triple admit!!!
    10 months ago
    I used ApplicantLab for my applicants to Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton in Round 1, and was accepted to all 3. Private admissions consultants were so so expensive and not an option for me, so I took the leap, and could not be happier about my choice. The service is unconventional as a concept, but superbly executed by Maria and is (to me) a gamechanger. I had questions about how effective an online system would be, and am blown away by how much direction it gave my essays and my interview prep. I felt super comfortable with my essays by the end of the process, and went through so many fewer iterations than I read about from other applicants. I cannot imagine any admissions consultant service ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Best investment ever
    10 months ago
    I was a re-applicant to schools this year when I found ApplicantLab. I heard about the tool through the Forte Foundation's MBA Launch program and tried out the free trial. After just an hour working with the tool I could tell that I needed to buy it. It's a one-stop-shop for organizing all of your brainstorming and applications. Filling out the tool is actually fun because there are some great features such as writing out your stories and dragging and dropping the traits that it represents. Then, when you want to write about certain traits, you can use a filter to bring up the stories that best represent those traits. However, the absolute BEST part of the lab is that Maria makes videos where she ...
    Read the full review
    Elizabeth Visconti
    MBA
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Re-Applicant
    10 months ago
    About me: I am an Asian male working in IT consulting (but not from India). I just got admitted to Wharton in R1 as a re-applicant. Last year, I was rejected after wait list. As the school didn’t provide feedback after rejection, I was seeking any possible way to enhance my package besides English and interview practice. That’s when I came across ApplicantLab. I tried the free module and immediately decided to purchase it because it specifically pointed out the strategy for people like me who want to transition from IT consulting to strategy consulting. That REALLY surprised me because I thought such tool like many admission books in the marketplace can only provide general advice, but Maria did an amazing job making an interactive ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2020 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Helped Me Achieve My Dream
    10 months ago
    I was not very confident about how a tool would help me write essays or get me into top business schools. I thought, "Are you really serious? This is just a tool, man!". I must admit today I laugh at myself when I think what I used to think about this tool. Since it was just for a few bucks, I thought let's go for it. I bought the tool and started working on it. I showed my last years resume to a couple of people and everyone said "Hey, did you really apply to business schools with this resume?". I was highly embarrassed. I paid so much for that and now they were laughing at me on this resume? Trust me: I was awestruck ...
    Read the full review
    Abhishek Mahna
    MBA Class of 2020 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Applied to 4 schools, admitted to Yale, Oxford, LBS – still waiting for Haas!
    10 months ago
    When my friend, a Boothie, said that ApplicantLab is the single best investment he had ever made in his life, I thought he was overselling the service. A mere six months later, when I got three admits from the four schools that I applied to (still waiting for the other one school to get back), I knew he was RIGHT! Coming from a developing country of Indonesia, few of my friends have gone through the MBA admission process, let alone top business schools’ admission process. I knew that I had to take the GMAT, but I had zero knowledge on how to package my experience and “sell” my profile to the Adcom. I also knew that I could get help by paying some $5,000 money to ...
    Read the full review
    Chrissa da Gomez
    MBA
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Applicantlab helped me bag admission into INSEAD & OXFORD
    11 months ago
    My journey to securing a spot at my dream MBA schools would not have been possible without Applicantlab!!! I am a South African and was never exposed to the typical US/Europe Ivy league school application process. I had written the GMAT and scored 640 so I knew that everything would hinge on the rest of the application seeing that my GMAT score wasn’t above 700. To put it simply, I needed the remainder of my application to be extraordinary! I did my research and found that Applicantlab was the best on the market. It is extremely cost effective and very convenient because much of the work is done a pre-established platform which eliminated complexities relating to time zone and consultant availability. I was skeptical at first, ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2019 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Accepted to CBS with fellowship!
    11 months 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 ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2021 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Maria Rocks
    11 months 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
    EMBA Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • A complete MBA Application Tool - Got into HEC Paris
    12 months 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 ...
    Read the full review
    Mohit Durge
    MBA Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.