I used ApplicantLab’s platform for my application to Columbia’s August-entry MBA program and received a full merit fellowship for both years and I couldn’t be happier!! Prior to using ApplicantLab, I had a couple of calls with traditional admissions consulting firms who told me my chances at a T10 program was slim to nil, that I should aim for T15-20 programs, and that they are reluctant to help me target a T10 school. Needless to say, the dispensed advice was off-the-mark and I decided to use ApplicantLab to take a stab at the admissions process myself.

My biggest takeaway from ApplicantLab is how intuitive it is to use to flesh out your unique story – this was my first time applying to an MBA program but the platform gave me step-by-step guidance on understanding my strengths/weaknesses, school-specific advice that is peppered with funny anecdotes and useful videos created by Maria, and awesome brainstorming tools for essays. The platform also gave me the flexibility to work on the application at my own pace (sometimes I have a stretch of several hours to work on it while other times it may just be 15-20 minutes during a lunch break – regardless, the platform provided the right probing questions and advice to get my ideas flowing!).

Two oft-overlooked sections that I think really gave me the edge: the resume writing and interview prep sections. In the resume section, Maria really outlines the importance of the resume despite the short time an Adcom might spend glancing at it. She also provided an easy-to-use and adaptable template that helps frame how I wanted to tell my story in the context of the overall application. In the interview prep section, there was useful but candid advice on how to approach the common questions (why MBA, why now, why this school, etc) as well as some unique questions through written and video advice. She also has several videos explaining how to really excel in Skype interviews as well as “record yourself” interviews used in the application process by Yale SOM and others. Overall, super thorough and relevant for pretty much any school you may be looking at.

Finally, Maria responds to questions through email which was an added bonus. She is experienced and provides practical and actionable advice to really move you ahead of the applicant pool and is a super approachable and professional individual. I highly recommend ApplicantLab for anyone interested in attending the MBA program of your dreams!!