I first contacted Square One Prep, and specifically its owner, Kathryn, on the recommendation of a friend. I was initially skeptical as the fees seemed high especially considering that I am an Indian applicant. But after my first discussion with her, I knew, if I had to hire an admission consultant, it would have to be her. There were consultants who tell you what to write in your applications based on what you think the Adcom wants to hear (the polar opposite of what Kathryn told me to do)! Kathryn asked me to dive deep and think about why I really want to do a MBA and tell my story based on being authentic, real. She carefully listened and analyzed my profile to provide me a path ahead for my apps that actually aligned with my passions for what is happening with the automation revolution in manufacturing. Before I talked with Kathryn I was going with the "strategy consulting" angle that other consultants had told to go with even though I couldn't really create ties to my background or excitement about the direction.
Kathryn was encouraging and positive throughout my application process. The process is stressful enough and there were times I was apprehensive about proceeding ahead. But she was always just a call or mail away to support me when required.
But even after all this, I wasn't actually successful in my first attempt in R1. But she kept my hopes up even after that. She kept guiding me on my apps for R2 and constantly checking up on me. She even offered to look at several schools essays for free because she knew I couldn't afford her, but wanted me to have the best shot. She spent hours on my work - for free. My efforts and her dedication to my efforts and me finally paid off and I got into one of my target schools!
Her moral encouragement during my initial failed attempts kept my spirits up and helped me focus in R2. She went above her role as a consultant and rather acted as a guide. She made this incredibly exhausting process worth it. had she not helped me, I would not be heading to McDonough in the fall.
I suggest anyone thinking of hiring a consultant to just set-up an initial call with Kathryn and then...I trust that will be enough for you to know that Square One is not like other companies. You will find making your decision to work with them easy.