“I would say do not even think of applying to M7 schools. Duke, Ross should be fine”, said Stacy Blackman Consulting during their 30-min free evaluation call, without even listening to my “what matters most?” story for once. I was dejected.

From that moment just over a year ago to getting into Stanford GSB on a full tuition fellowship, has been an amazing journey!

Being the first one to pursue a proper college education in my family, let alone applying to a business school, I had no clue about the admissions process, and I wanted someone to guide me – and not spoon-feed me like most Indian consultants do, for exhorbitant rates! – on what the admissions team expects from applicants. And Maria (via the ApplicantLab tool)was willing to be the mentor I was looking for!

I wanted to take a DIY approach with some expert inputs along the way – something ApplicantLab offered in a unique way as Maria has listed specific advice for each school in terms of short write-ups and in-depth videos…and with a good dose of humor!

The best thing about the ApplicantLab platform is that it guides you to do a lot of “pre-work” before getting to write essays. Be it about your career journey, leadership traits, extracurricular stuff, future goals – it all comes into a matrix form once you are done with the pre-work steps. And then, it is very easy to pick and map the important points for a particular essay prompt. More importantly, this pre-work gives you enough time for self-reflection, something that eventually helped me bring out my most personal and authentic stories in the “what matters most” essay.

On the platform, the video guides for essays of all schools are in-depth and you’ll have enough guidance to write the best essays on your own – that’s what ApplicantLab stands for: “Be your own admissions consultant!”.

In all, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with ApplicantLab/Maria and would HIGHLY recommend anyone to go for it. ApplicantLab will be your best guide if you are taking the DIY approach!