Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Smart Operations
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Darden | Mr. Strategy Manager
GRE 321, GPA 3.5
Ross | Mr. Airline Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.73
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corporate VC Hustler
GMAT 780, GPA 3.17
Wharton | Mr. Marketing Director
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Healthcare Startup
GRE 321, GPA 3.51
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. Air Force
GMAT 610, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Poet At Heart
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Ukrainian Biz Man
GRE 310, GPA 4.75 out of 5
Darden | Mr. Former Scientist
GMAT 680, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Sustainable Business
GRE 331, GPA 3.86
Wharton | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Yale | Ms. Impact Investing
GRE 323, GPA 3.8
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Food Waste Warrior
GMAT Not written yet (around 680), GPA 3.27
Stanford GSB | Ms. Future Tech Exec
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Columbia | Mr. Aussie Military Man
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0 (rough conversion from Weighted Average Mark)
Harvard | Mr. Hopeful Philanthropist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.74
Stanford GSB | Mr. FinTech
GMAT Not Taken Yet, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Analytics Man
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1

Maria Wich-Vila



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 into IE
    2 years 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
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Accepted: Haas, Yale, Tuck, Fuqua!
    3 years 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
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Accepted Round 3 at MIT Sloan!
    3 years ago
    I applied and got accepted in Round 3 at MIT. That I got the entire process done (and eventually admitted) is a testament to Maria's superior know-how and editing prowess. I cannot recommend her highly enough. I ended up taking the GMAT too late in the game (after Christmas), not realizing that Round 3 acceptances are very rare. I also had another “red flag” in my profile that was making me feel pretty hopeless. In comes Maria, who first placated me that not all hope was lost. First things first was to come up with an angle with which I applied. Maria provided a simplified step-by-step process, also making me see the reasoning behind each part (aka - kinda like knowing how the Adcom would ...
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    Class of 2019 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Accepted by both Stanford GSB and HBS
    3 years ago
    I was accepted by both Stanford GSB and HBS. Maria and the ApplicantLab helped me so much to make my dream come true. I sincerely recommend Maria and the ApplicantLab to the future applicants. What makes Maria’s method of giving admissions advice special is not only the cost but the quality of content. Take resume editing as an example, I couldn’t find anywhere else such detailed and professional guide in writing a resume as her resume module. Then, when it was time for her to edit, she was able to do so quickly, using a video to let me know exactly what she thought and saving time. As an international student, I wanted to have a consultant who is a native speaker and went to ...
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    Class of 2019 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Wasted $10k on other "elite" consultants; Got in @MIT/Tuck w/ Applicant Lab!!!
    3 years ago
    Let me start off by saying that Maria has changed my life. I originally wasted $10k on 5-school package from a "famous" admissions consulting firm. I had seen their ads everywhere, they were very active on certain message boards, their founder had been interviewed in a ton of articles, and sadly, I mistakenly thought that was an indicator of quality. It wasn't. With Maria, I was able to pay a fraction of the price, and I got into two programs, including my dream school. Think about that: I paid a famous firm $10k and got 5 rejections; I paid Maria a tiny fraction of that, and got 2 acceptances (Tuck and MIT). She is the ideal admissions consultant for people who work long hours, people ...
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    - ajayrayasam@gmail.com
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  • Got 1 of the 10 annual Global Leadership Awards at Ivey Business School!
    3 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 ...
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    - 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.