Julia Kurnik Reviews

Company: Square One Prep

4.8 /5 Average Rating
Based on 6 reviews
April 10, 2019

Joined: Jan 24, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:

Thank You!


Square One did an excellent job in framing each stage of the application process and laying out the marching orders. They were thorough, responsive, and great in helping to paint my story in the best light!

I found that outlining my career narrative with Square One saved me significant time in writing essays and presenting my application holistically. They were also excellent in helping me narrow the content of my essays to fit the specs while maintaining the essential content.

They also did a good job in helping me navigate the waitlist process for one of my top schools, where I ultimately got accepted and matriculated.

Overall, I'd recommend Square One if you are looking for a service to help keep you on track throughout the application process without feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

Read More

This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
August 29, 2018

Joined: Apr 09, 2013

Posts: 39

Kudos: 81

Self-reported Score:
750 Q50 V41

Full-ride after a dozen rejections


After two failed attempts (12 submissions over 2 years) at getting into a top-10 business school working with another admissions consulting firm, I almost gave up on my business school aspirations. Every time I spoke with an admissions consultant about my candidacy, I was given the same diagnosis… Your story is compelling! Your scores are incredible! Any business school would be lucky to have you! But, no one could give me a concrete reason I was rejected without interview at every single school I applied to - only that the top schools are all extremely competitive and it is sometimes just luck. When I came to Square One for their thoughts on my previous applications, I expected the same response. And then I spoke to Kathryn.

My initial 30-minute consultation turned into an almost 2-hour long conversation about every part of my application. She gave me 3 specific areas where my previous applications went wrong, and unlike the other consultants, Kathryn said she could see why I was rejected. She was direct and didn’t sugar-coat any of her thoughts. Everything she said was spot-on and I appreciated her candor about how I needed to improve my applications. I was sold. Kathryn paired me with one of her consultants, Julia, to rush out round 2 schools after my round 1 rejections. Julia was supportive, creative, and pushed me to dig deeper on every aspect of my applications. She helped me finish 5 school applications in less than a month (even through the holidays), and I received 4 interview invitations out of the 5 top-10 schools I applied to in round 2.

This September, I will be starting at Michigan Ross with a full-tuition merit scholarship! After 17 applications over 3 attempts, I almost lost hope, and certainly never expected to have the life-changing opportunity to go to an amazing business school debt-free. If you are looking for an admissions consultant, I highly suggest you work with Square One. I cannot recommend them highly enough!

Read More

January 22, 2018

Joined: Jan 22, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Square One Prep Review


Square One Prep made the long and stressful business school application process much more manageable and less overwhelming. It would have taken an immense amount of research to put together an application without their help – I didn’t know what a business school resume should look like, how I should interpret vague essay prompts, what to expect in an interview, etc. Square One Prep provided all of that information to me so that I could focus on putting together my application.

I worked with Julia and she was extremely helpful – from helping me brainstorm essay topics to editing my resume and prepping me for interviews, she always had valuable input and feedback. She made herself available to answer any questions, big or small. It was great to have her as a resource throughout the entire process to look at the application holistically and make sure there were no gaps.

Overall, I felt like the Square One Prep team was invested in my success and I am very happy with the outcome.

Read More

June 23, 2017

Joined: May 26, 2015

Posts: 22

Kudos: 5

Self-reported Score:
750 Q58 V53

Great Support


Square One Prep has been phenomenal in helping me understand how to structure my supplemental material to get off the waitlist for Haas and Anderson. I reached out to them after being rejected from 3 schools, and waitlisted for 3. After hearing about my situation, Kathryn quickly jumped into the tactical questions about where I would want to attend between the schools I was waitlisted at. We eliminated one school to focus on the schools that were higher priority. After listening to me share my story, she talked with me in detail about what I should address in my letters and what else I could do to compel the adcoms to take another serious look at my applications. After this, she suggested that Julia would be a great mentor to help me through the process - and she was not wrong.

Julia quickly got up to speed about my status and understanding which parts of my application were lacking and helped me brainstorm of ideas to make them my strengths or address them in an appropriate way. Within 2 weeks we had an action plan, supplemental letters completed, and submitted. With Julia's and Kathryn's help and contributions, I will be attending Haas.

Square One Prep helps tailor the application based on the individual and his/her circumstances - and that is what makes them unique and you - the applicant - successful. I would highly recommend SOP to anyone - preferably starting at the beginning of the application cycle rather than when you're on the waitlist/rejected.

Read More

June 05, 2017

Joined: Jun 05, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Square One Prep is the BEST


I made a last minute decision to apply to business school in September of last year – and given how much I knew I’d have to hustle in a short time frame to get solid Round 2 applications in (I hadn’t at that point even taken or studied for the GMAT/GRE, and I ALSO knew that I only wanted to apply to my top two schools, HBS and MIT Sloan), I knew I wanted to work with a consultant to make sure that my application was as strong as it could be! I did a few free consults with a couple of other MBA admissions consultancies, but found myself very disheartened by the response I was getting; most encouraged me to spend several months studying for the GMAT/GRE and applying in the following year and seemed eager to get off of the phone and move on to their next free consult that they had lined up.

One of my good friends had used SOP the year before and encouraged me to try out a free call with Kathryn, and it was honestly the best decision I could have made for myself. During our free call (which went well over the 30 minute time limit) she asked probing questions about my background, motivations and goals, and I felt she really tried to get to know me on a personal level. We left the call with her encouraging me to start studying for the GRE, and she even recommended various study resources for me, which I found so helpful. A few days later, she sent me over a detailed timeline and schedule that I could expect if I were to work with SOP. That was the first, of many, instances in which SOP went above and beyond to put me on a track to success.

I ultimately chose to work with Julia who has a similar social entrepreneurship background to myself, and who from our first intro call I felt could help me leverage my application to be its strongest (plus I immediately liked her a lot!). She provided constructive, detailed feedback and edits on every aspect of the application, whether it was my resume, letters of recommendation, essays (for all of these, we had at least 5-6 drafts of edits before sending it along to Kathryn for final review!) not to mention nonstop encouragement along the way anytime I doubted myself. Even when I was simultaneously juggling studying 4+ hours a day for the GRE with writing essays and getting my recommendation letters sent in, Julia provided the motivation to keep on going and answered any questions I had with a super quick turnaround (and I definitely had a lot of questions throughout the process!). I was incredibly excited to get interviews at both schools – and Julia prepared me extremely well. She ensured that I researched the different aspects of each school’s program thoroughly, and helped me strike a balance between preparing for commonly asked questions, but ensuring that my responses were candid and authentic.

I hit a snag when I was waitlisted at both schools, and immediately began regretting my decision to only apply to my top two. Julia and Kathryn immediately dispelled this thought, and reminded me how impressive it is to have two top schools to be seriously considering me given the sheer number of applicants. They both immediately set up a call to discuss my waitlist strategy, including who I can have write me reference letters, and brainstorming content for waitlist reply essays. This two-month process was the most grueling in terms of the waiting game – but Julia was there to support me every step of the way, from the emotional support to really having me focus on why I wanted to attend each school and provide thoughtful responses in my essays. I am thrilled to say that I just found out that I have been accepted to Sloan, and it’s a dream come true!!

I am so grateful to SOP for their incredible help over the last 9+ months of the application process. I feel that Kathryn and Julia not only set me up to be the most successful I could be, but also pushed me to learn more about myself, my motivations, and what I really want to get out of business school. I am incredibly excited to start school in the fall and could not recommend SOP more to anyone else who wants to take this next step on his or her professional journey!

Read More

April 17, 2017

Joined: Apr 20, 2014

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Dream Come True


When I started my B school Application I had only 4 weeks time before the dDeadlines.   And I thought it would be prudent to take help of an aAdmissions consultant.   I contacted all the top aAdmissions consultants and most of them took their own sweet time getting back to me and when we talked they said they had set streams of processes that took a certain amount of time, no and were taking their own sweet time.  I needed a consultant who is nimble fast and caters to the individual needs of the client rather than one type fits all. - Assembly line type of consultation Then I called Squareoneprep after seeing some amazing Reviews about Kathryn on Gmatclub.

Most of the Free consults lasted for 30 min and everyone agreed with my story and said you I have a great story and chances to make it into your my dream school.  I always felt something amiss when I heard that. They were all too fast with their assessment. WBut when I talked to Kathryn (the talk went on for more than 80 min) she was very outright and critical of my story.  She said your my story is the same run of the mill story told by every other Indian B school applicant and pushed me to tell her what I REALLY want to do. She sensed I was holding back. 
Then I stated the real intention of my planing to join B schoolwhat I sincerely want to do with my life which and she told was the one which will work really well for megot excited for me, immediately helping me think through why I need B school and why this is the much stronger narrative. She took in great details of the game changing projtect I had done in India with all the figures statistics and results ( I still feel even my B school real interviews didn't ask so many questions). She learned so much about me, and after doing so she  
Then she suggested that I need to look into Harvard Kennedy school also along with the B Schools I was looking at.  I never thought I couldan make it to Harvard but Kathryn's suggestion made me look into it and I took the Decision to apply for HKs along with other B schools 
to it, Then she suggested I take work with Julia Kurnik as consultant foron my applications as she was HKS and MIT and Wharton graduate.  
I was apprehensive about taking using the same consultant for all my 3 school applications.  
But Kathryn knew what she was doing.
and then I started working with Julia 
Julia is one of the most patient understanding and genuine persons whopeople I will have ever meet.   She has great CV which we can only dream off.   She is an entrepreneur and innovation prize winner in MIT.   But she is so humble. I cherished working with her. and it was such a pleasure working on my applications with her . I always used to go intoften felto self doubt but Julia always kept my spirits up by saying I have a great CV and story to tell. S 
But she never overpromised but always cautioned me to be prepared for any eventuality as I was applying for only the Top 3 B schools. S
She spent lot of time understanding my rResume, my work, and My extracurricular activities, my life and my story. We had very little time to prepare my applications. But she gave me a detailed timeline to show me how we would get everything done. Even when I had personal issues that got in the way,
We had very less time 
SOP gave me a timeline 
But I had some personal issues lot of travel in midst that short time 
But Julia always persisted in getting the work done on time with me. In fact we finished all the applications well before the deadline. My resume had to be mMade into many versions of one page two page three page for different schools.  She did it with aplomb.
And tThe highlight of our application was the way she turned helped me with my essays.  I can say Sshe metamorphosed them from a caterpillar into beautiful butterfly. That is the biggest strength of Julia. Kathryn's inputs for my essays was also very crucial. She has an eye of a a business school Adcom and looks at the essays very critically. Her inputs gave me incisive inputs to change my essays and make them very powerful and strong 
Letter of recommendations was another well guided process. Julia gave me all the questions of LOR of B schools categorized into subject wise. This made it very easy for my Recommenders to write the LORs. Or else gGetting some highly placed people with so little time to write LORs for 4 schools is not a easy task. My LORs also came out well due to this process. And then we submitted the applications. Till I got the results I was very apprehensive and Julia always soothed my nerves. saying you will make it  Then I got my first interview call. The mock interview and the inputs about interview wereas so good that I didn't have any issue in doing my actual interview well.  

The most important feedback I want to give is that SOP always responded in any time of the day or week. I always think Kathyrn virtually never sleeps. And Julia has gone out of her way to respond to me calls and queries even the ones which were outside the purview of our contract. It shows the genuinine concern they have for their clients. Once she had a car break down in middle of the highway but still she didnt miss our call. And this is inspite of the fact that we had 12 hours time difference

Today I got into my dream schools, HKS and Sloan, and SOP has played a great role in achieving my dream.  

Read More