March 13, 2015

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I applied to 4 schools last year and got zero traction. When I got my last rejection, I called consultants to understand what I could do different/better next time. In retrospect, I should have called consultants before I embarked on the whole application process. I honestly didn't think I needed to work with someone, since I had a strong Ivy League pedigree and career to date (my GMAT score wasn't great). In any case, everyone was wishy-washy with me, wanting to charge me to review my applications - charge me a lot! - except Square One. I talked with the owner of the company, who asked me to send her my applications so she could do a review. I expected that maybe she'd talk to me for 30 minutes and give me only general feedback. But nope. She offered me a 2-hour feedback call free. It was so helpful that I knew exactly what to do differently this year.

For starters, I hired Square One. They started working with me immediately last April and were my partner every day until I got my decisions this year. This time? I got into 3 of the 4 schools - Wharton, Booth, and Sloan! It never would have happened had I not called Square One.

My advisor took the time to get to know me. He then worked painstakingly with me on my resume to help rebuild it. My resume this year told a story - I didn't know a resume could do that! When it came time to work on my essays, again my advisor pushed me to introspect and think about my life in ways I never had before. It was tough, but paid off. My essays this year were more honest and thoughtful. Even my goal narrative changed this year, not drastically, just substantively. My advisor had me research the industry I want to move into. He made sure I built some general knowledge so I could be more articulate and clear when writing about and talking about my ambitions. This too was tough because my advisor played devil's advocate to test me, but all the testing was worth the effort. I felt like a different applicant this year - the same person but like I had on glasses this time. I see myself in ways I never have and I can talk about myself I couldn't before working with Square One.

It isn't a cake walk with Square One. They push hard, especially if they sense you're slacking off. But not once did I wonder if I selected the right company. Thanks guys!

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