Applying for business school is a long and expensive process. Between test prep courses, taking the GMAT a couple of times, books, and materials, I easily spent around $2500. So, by the time I got around to actually applying for school, I was really reluctant to spend any more money, especially not on an admissions consultant. It was a few weeks before the Round 3 application deadline, I had pushed my GMAT to the last possible second and my window to produce a few quality essays was quickly closing. I had written 40 versions of my personal statement when I realized I really needed some additional guidance. I briefly flirted with the idea of applying fresh for Round 1 next year, when I remembered hearing about an online format that could potentially help with the application process. I had listened to a podcast with the founder of Applicant Lab and made a mental note of it a while back, but since I had decided that I wasn’t going to pour any more money into the application process I hadn’t really pursued it. One night, after I had written the 87th version of my essay, I decided to sign up for Applicant Lab. I justified spending the $300 because that would be the same price that I would pay for an hour with a consultant through my test prep company.

Well, Applicant Lab turned out to be one of the better decisions I had made throughout the application process. After a few minutes on the platform, I realized that the direction I was trying to take with my essay in, made me a “high-risk” applicant. I totally scrapped what I had and started anew. The interface was really user friendly. Maria has posted some great informational videos. The platform itself was well worth the $300. It offers guidance and really organizes all the thoughts floating around in your head. You can save versions of your essays for multiple schools. It actually already has the essay prompts from each school saved. Maria, herself, was also a tremendous help. She was kind enough to do a document review in video format for me, which was great because I could refer back to it whenever I needed it. The site has great info and really guides you to help brand yourself. The night before the round 3 app deadline, Maria and I were emailing back and forth until midnight! (I’m not sure if this is just because she took pity on me, but she really came through for me. Maria comes off as a genuinely helpful person…she’s also really quirky which is nice when you’re stressed out of your mind!

I did end up getting in to my first choice, UCLA Anderson. It took a lot of hard work and dedication on my part, but I believe Applicant Lab also played a huge role. I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if I had gone with my original essays! I highly recommend Applicant Lab to anyone who doesn’t want to sell a kidney to pay for a decent admissions consultant!!!