Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. SME Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55 (as per WES paid service)
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare PE
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Military Quant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Kellogg | Mr. Concrete Angel
GRE 318, GPA 3.33
Kellogg | Mr. Maximum Impact
GMAT Waiver, GPA 3.77
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Ms. Interstellar Thinker
GMAT 740, GPA 7.6/10
Harvard | Mr. Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Female Sales Leader
GMAT 740 (target), GPA 3.45
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Gay Techie
GRE 332, GPA 3.88
INSEAD | Mr. Product Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 63%

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



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P&Q Consultant Reviews

  • Huge Thanks to Maria!! Got into HBS, Stanford GSB, & MIT Sloan!!!!
    2 months ago
    Coming from the most over-represented applicant pool, INDIAN-MALE-ENGINEER, I realized the need for professional consulting. Then I came across ApplicantLab by Maria, and after reading its great reviews, I took the trial. It immediately made me feel confident that I also can MAKE TO MY DREAM SCHOOL. Step-by-step, I then subscribed to all the services that Maria offers. The ApplicantLab is definitely the best one-stop portal for anything you need regarding any top business school. Maria has done a fantastic job of organizing her knowledge and experience on an online platform that you can use at your own pace. I particularly liked the “Why MBA & Career Vision” section, as it helped me lay a strong foundation essential for a winning application. Also, a unique virtual ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Applicantlab is The Best Tool at an Outstanding Price!
    2 months ago
    Accepted to Ross($), Cornell, UCLA, and Tepper ($). I used ApplicantLab after having a bad experience with one of the top consultants who had charged their usual hefty fee. I used ApplicantLab's videos/essay advice, resume review, essay review, and mock interview services. Maria went above and beyond those paid services by responding super-quick and going the extra mile throughout the application process. I cannot recommend her highly enough, even if she were to double the price of her services! I come from an over-represented applicant pool (Indian, Engineering background) and wanted to make sure my application stood out. Other consultants had told me that the application process can only be completed by spending 6 months to 1 year on it. I did not have the luxury ...
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    Class of 2020 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Amazing Person & Product- Helped Me Get Into CBS With Scholarship!
    2 months ago
    These reviews helped me so much when I was going through the admissions process and I vowed to pay it back when I was done. So, here I am. Just a few months ago I was in your shoes reading each and every review to make sure I wasn't drowning more of my savings into a pipe dream. After scouring this site and many others, I decided to give ApplicantLab and Maria a shot. My only regret was not finding her earlier in my admissions process. What Maria has done is a breath of fresh air. She’s basically offering you outstanding consulting services for a fraction of the price. It’s time these larger admission firms get a real competitor in the space. ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Completely Different (+Better) Product Than Consulting
    2 months ago
    Used ApplicantLab in conjunction with other consulting services. And the platform was just as valuable as what any of them provided but so much cheaper! The $ you spend is totally worth it for the materials that you get. I found it particularly helpful for my Booth interview short responses (separate essay they send you that has to be completed on short notice). One caveat is that the videos should be used as a guide/tool and if you disagree with some advice ApplicantLab, you should look at it with perspective and be honest with yourself. I would say I used about 95% of the advice they provided but went 'against the grain' on some other things she said. Overall, the only school I got into was ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • A One-Stop-Shop To Get Into Your Dream School!
    3 months ago
    TL;DR: Some of the best money I have ever spent. If you are looking for a one-stop-shop where all info for each school is aggregated, and where you can craft a winning school-specific essay for every application, look no further. Don't let skepticism hold you back! If you are reading this it's probably because you are skeptical – as I was when I was in your shoes – of how a product could somehow deliver the same results as a traditional admissions consultant. I honestly could not afford a full package from any of the consulting agencies, so I decided to give it a shot. After all, it costed about the same as one hour of most consulting services. Boy, did I make the right choice! The ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • ApplicantLab & Maria Got Me Into HBS + Wharton!
    3 months ago
    If you're still wondering if you should work with ApplicantLab and Maria- I beg you to please give it a try. It will save you ~10K USD for the best-in-class admission help! In my application journey, I started with an hourly package with another consultant and I was not really happy with the limited tips I got from these expensive $350 per hour consultation and slow turnaround time. Then my friend referred me to the ApplicantLab and it was a game-changer for me! I wish I could have met ApplicantLab much earlier so I wouldn't even need to pay for those expensive hourly rates! The strategy section on the Lab was so intuitive that it allowed me to build a strong set of career goals ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Maria & ApplicantLab Helped Me Prepare For MBA Essays In One Month
    3 months ago
    I learned about ApplicantLab from a friend who got into Wharton with the help of Maria. I started the application process very late: finished the GRE test at the end of October, and did not start researching and preparing for the essays until mid-November. Additionally, I decided to apply for 10 business schools which means that there were over 20 essays to write. At first, I was a little skeptical about how much a website could help with my application, so I did not pay for the premium version. Two days later, I realized researching for each school's programs, clubs, defining value was extremely time-consuming and there was no way I would finish all of them before the deadline. I contacted my friend for advice ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Applicantlab is the best guide to the MBA Admissions process
    6 months ago
    Maria gives clear information about the MBA admissions process. The Applicantlab "coursework" helps you understand where the many pitfalls of the admissions process are and helps you prepare for the frantic application season. Most importantly the questions she asked helped me put my best foot forward by helping me think about my past experiences and which ones I wanted to share in my essays.
    Class of 2022 Admit
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.
  • Accepted into dream school (Wharton) + Chicago Booth, CMU Tepper in R2
    1 year ago
    Thank you for creating such an incredible tool! I fully recommend, even if you are using a consultant (which I didn't, except for an essay review for 1 of my 5 applications), because ApplicantLab allows you to organize your application holistically and experiment different dispositions of your stories, background, and future contributions to the community. I got accepted in all the 4 programs I applied to in R2 (except NYU Stern, because I withdrew my application after being invited to interview for NYU Stern - I had my Chicago acceptance and would've needed to travel overseas to NYC to interview). I decided not to apply to Stanford GSB, HBS or Columbia, so I don't know how that would have gone, but I'm super happy with my first-year ...
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    Leonardo Rolim
    MBA Class of 2020 Admit
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  • Indian, IT, Female - Tepper + McCombs + Marshall + KF Admit + Anderson Invite @ 720
    1 year ago
    Short on funds, a negative outlook from traditional consultants for your dream schools, consultants talking in a language you think is nonsense - if any one factor out of these resonates with you, read on! I got to know about ApplicantLab through a GMATClub scheduled webinar Maria was giving wherein she talked about how and what of the MBA preparation. The moment I started listening to her, the candid nature of her advice made a difference to me. I thought I cannot afford this, coming from India and this being a running experiment (I only had one chance at this before everyone got me married, right?) I was just half-listening like I had to put my attendance to the session. My ears got perked up ...
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    Nandita Jaya
    All reviews are independently verified by Poets&Quants staff.