Summary: Accepted to HBS, Kellogg (with $$$), and Darden ($$$$). I used ApplicantLab’s videos/essay advice, resume review, essay review service, and mock interview. Maria went above and beyond even those paid services by taking the time to have a call with me about choosing between my options, and she went so far as to connect me with her personal friend who is a professor in a topic I’m interested in. Cannot recommend her highly enough, even if she were to triple the price of her services!
Details: I come from an over-represented applicant pool and needed to make sure my application stood out. I had applied to HBS in previous years and was rejected, so I really wanted to do it right this time. Other consultants had told me my admissions chances were very low as a re-applicant, as I hadn’t had a ton of professional changes/advancement since the prior year when I was dinged. Initially hesitant to try ApplicantLab because of the lack of personal interaction, I went for it because of the low price point and the great reviews.
I knew I made the right decision right off the bat, when I went through the modules on brand building – the insights I gained on my own work just from mapping them out as she recommended were invaluable in themselves. With her recommendations on qualities and skills to emphasize based on my background (engineering), I was able to easily identify the best stories to use in my essays and interviews.
Then came the resume review – I’ve had my resume reviewed before by former admissions officers, so I didn’t get as much value out of this, but the resume review was a pre-requisite for the essay reviews (resume review was extremely affordable).
I started off with one essay review for my HBS essay – sticking with a similar topic and structure as the year I got rejected – and Maria TORE IT APART. I re-wrote it from scratch based on her recommendations and was 10x more confident in the new essay. I am 99% certain the new essay is one of the biggest reasons I got an interview. With how valuable that review was, I bought reviews for the rest of the schools I applied to – now that I had an idea of what topics, qualities, and stories to tell, the later reviews were more about tailoring the stories to the individual school.
Mock interview: I did a mock interview with Maria for the HBS interview. With how unpredictable the HBS interview can be, I wasn’t sure if the mock interview would help, but it was undoubtedly worth the money. Many of the questions she asked were asked in my real interview, and the mock interview helped me answer them confidently and clearly. Her write-up afterwards was so useful too, and I was able to go back to review the questions I didn’t answer so well.
Afterwards: needless to say, I was thrilled with the outcome. Accepted to my dream school and two other top schools with a lot of scholarship money that made the cost of ApplicantLab one of the best investments I’ve ever made. But the icing on the cake – after emailing Maria with profound gratitude, she offered to have a call with me to talk about my options. And, while the call in itself was excellent, once she knew my career interests, she wrote an email to a personal connection – a professor in the field of study I’m most passionate about – and I’m meeting with him at a school visit this weekend. Talk about truly caring for her users!
I will forever recommend ApplicantLab to any aspiring MBA applicant, because: 1. Maria makes admissions consulting affordable to most people, not just those from lucrative backgrounds; 2. for the value she provides, she could charge just as much as the major admissions consulting firms; 3. she demonstrates true care for her users; 4. her bubbly and energetic personality makes her genuinely fun to work with! You will not regret working with ApplicantLab or Maria!