When you first log in to Applicant Lab, you are asked to complete a diagnosis, which gives you a sense of where you stand. While this first module helped me validate some of my strengths, it also shed light on some of the weaknesses in my profile. Looking at my report, being accepted to a top MBA program felt almost impossible. Yet today, I have offers from my two dream schools: Columbia and Harvard.
The secret is realizing that no one is perfect, that we all have our flaws, but also have something to offer. We all have distinct journeys, and the Lab truly enables you to create an authentic, compelling, and unique story to share with Admission Committees.
The platform is organized in an intuitive way that accompanies you throughout the application process, breaking it down into phases from personal profile dissection to interview preparation. As a result, rather than jumping right into drafting the essays, the initial modules encourage you to take a step back and think about who you are, what you have done so far, and what you aspire to do. While this might seem daunting, the Lab is filled with helpful recommendations and insights to guide you. I was surprised by the level of detail and specificity of the suggestions offered, which varied by topic and school.
The Lab is a tremendous tool. If you are starting out your application process, I do not think there is a better service out there – clear, relevant and comprehensive. In some instances, the platform can even be enough to get you into top MBAs. However, in my case, although it helped me organize my thoughts and detail my experiences, I owe a bigger part of my success to Maria, the brains behind Applicant Lab.
She is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to the various MBA programs and what they are after – Something that is reflected throughout the Lab. She is sharp and critical during discussions and is a fervent defender of a no BS policy, when she reviews essays, which forces you to focus on what matters. Her inputs proved valid repeatedly, and so, I ended-up trusting her wholeheartedly (and rightfully so!).
And while all of these qualities are invaluable, what sets Maria apart from other MBA advisors is her inherent enthusiasm and genuine nature. She was blunt, supportive, kind, and fully invested in my story and journey, which spanned over two years. I even sought career advice from her, when I struggled to choose between different professional paths! It was so much more than I could have expected from a MBA advisor and I honestly cannot imagine this whole process without her in the equation. She pushed me, believed me – She was like a coach, only 8,000 miles away, and for that, I will always be grateful.
Applying to graduate school is challenging. You will want to have the right support and tools at hand, and if I were you, I would bet on Applicant Lab. I did and look where it got me!
Thank you Maria.