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

  • Got 1 of the 10 annual Global Leadership Awards at Ivey Business School!
    2 years ago
    Getting an MBA in Canada has been a long time goal. However, I was really anxious about how I would be able to afford it. With Maria's help, I was able to present my best application possible which allowed me to obtain a significant scholarship (nearly half tuition). Maria's editing of my resume and essays was done professionally and efficiently, pointing out any opportunities to improve the format, include features of my profile I might have left out unintentionally, and mostly providing important feedback that made me felt like she was sitting right next to me discussing my application in person.
    Class of 2018 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Indian applicant, over age 30, IN at COLUMBIA
    3 years ago
    Getting an MBA from an Ivy League school was a long term dream of mine and thanks to Maria's Applicant lab that I just graduated in May 2017 from Columbia Business School ! I wanted to do an MBA after getting a considerable experience and so I put it off till I had had 5 years of experience. Too my surprise I learnt later that even with a 720+ GMAT score it was tough for applicants over the age of 30 years and specially for an Indian Male Engineer like me. Thankfully I learnt about Maria and Applicant lab from a friend of mine who had gotten into London Business School with a profile similar to me. I signed up at Applicant lab and was ...
    Read the full review
    - vav.jiit@gmail.com
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Accepted to my top choices! Full Scholarship to Kelley!
    3 years ago
    Maria's guidance helped me get a full ride to Kelley. I especially appreciated how Maria provided her edits through video recordings, which helped uncover my most powerful stories and explain my career vision in a persuasive way.
    - amosgmat@gmail.com
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • In to first choice with $$$ in Round 3! 1 of only 3 Chinese accepted out of hundreds applied!
    3 years ago
    I was first interested in Maria's ApplicantLab online tool, but during the further phase of the application I needed some customized 'touch up' to my essay and help me with mock interview, it was no brainer that I picked Maria's hourly consulting service. Maria's tool saved a lot of time, so when I did hire her, because of all the files I saved on the website, Maria had already go through my detail background from my online profile, so I did not have to spend nearly as much time explaining my information, and the consulting session thus become extremely efficient--I only used 3 hours of consulting time overall for my essays and mock interviews and achieved all my goals. Maria's essay really brings out the ...
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    Class of 2019 Anonymous
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Reapplicant, Accepted to Columbia with a Fellowship!
    3 years ago
    Maria is phenomenal to work with. She is extremely efficient in editing documents and works closely with you to elevate the cohesiveness of your application, ensuring the various parts complement one another. Working with her helped me refine my post-MBA goals and clearly articulate how business school represents the perfect bridge between them and my previous experiences. Moreover, she challenged me to think differently about my goals, ensuring that I used the application process not only to get into my dream school but also as an opportunity to engage in candid self-reflection. Doing so with the help of a long-time admissions officer who has had many of the professional experiences towards which prospective business school students often aspire--from executive to startup founder--was invaluable. Maria has ...
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    Class of 2019 Anonymous
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • I *loved* the Lab & Maria!
    3 years ago
    ApplicantLab and Maria were total game changers for me. The Lab helped make the application process far less overwhelming and expensive than it could have been, and I was admitted to two top programs - MIT & HBS! Contained within the Lab were some of the best resume, essay and interview advice that I found during the entire application process and the Lab gives you one place to house all of your application materials and brainstorming. I cannot recommend purchasing access to the Lab highly enough. I definitely cannot imagine doing the application process without the Lab!
    Class of 2019 Anonymous
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.