|All Reviews > Kathleen Danoher > Kathleen Danoher Reviews|
Joined: Jul 28, 2019
I am grateful to Square One team for their help in my lengthy process of MBA preparations. The process is built in such a way that, as a candidate, you are going through a deep phase of guided introspection, which helps you to calibrate your goals and expectations and lay out in essays your absolute best. You will first select a primary advisor out of a very talented pool, who will be 100% dedicated to you and your case, - you will work with the advisor on each an every element of your application until its almost perfect - then a pool of senior advisors steps in to ensure your papers stand the test of constructive criticism and address all the tricky questions that adcoms may have. I found the process challenging - in a way that the questions raised by Square One team made me think very deep inside my story and into what I want to do and where I want to be - without such guidance I would not have been able to go that far in my writings and probably would have sooner surrendered and accepted just 'good enough’ drafts - but which would not probably have allowed me to get into my school. Special thanks to the Chief of Staff who relentlessly kept on track every due date in my application process and sent friendly reminders which gave me a feeling of the entire team backing, and allowed me to focus on the needed aspects of my essays.
Joined: Dec 20, 2014
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I was not sure about using an admission consulting service at all. I have had quite basic previous free 30 min calls and the hefty price tag could have been a deal breaker. Also, as an ambitious under represented minority (African educated guy working abroad) with some level of pre-MBA quality experiences, I was (in a hindsight) somewhat confident that I was top B-School material enough and underestimated the amount of work I had to do.
Following a recommendation of a friend who had just been admitted into 2 top 10 B-Schools, I decided to register for a call with Kathryn.
Our discussion has been a game changer : (i) Kathryn took the time to understand as much as she can about who I am, my current level of self-awareness and my understanding of my personal statement (from a scheduled 30 mins we spent around 1h45) and (ii) her remarks were incisive and more elaborate than those I received in others free calls.
From this moment till the reception of my acceptance letters (admitted to two top Bschools with above average scholarships), Kathryn and her consultants (Joey and Kaitleen) provided really strong support in helping me going through my ideas and presenting them in an effective way.
Particularly, Joey has been critical to this journey. His personality, impressive track record and professionalism were catalyst into how well and how deep I walked through my past experiences to reflect about them and to determine how these experiences could highlight specific set of skills. Last but not least, Joey has solid practical post MBA experience in my field of interest and was therefore quite eager to pinpoint some broken understandings I had. He has been extremely instrumental in my self reflection part of this MBA application process.
Obviously, I strongly recommend SOP work.
• Application strategy
• Availability (phone or mail)
• Post MBA industry insights
• personal statement and brand definition
• Ability to bring my personality into the multiple essays and application parts
• Essay editing
• Emotional support
• Diverse point of views on application work (key phases of essay work assessed by your consultant, Kathryn and -possibly- another SOP member)
• School selection
• Management of a transition when Joey and SOP
• School tailored interview preparation
• Deepen the interview strategy (depending on the type of interview and the business school, what axis and what potential shortfalls a school might want to stress test, which aspects of one's application should one try to bring forth?)
Joined: Apr 04, 2019
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I worked with Kathleen/ Kathryn on applying to Harvard and Stanford. I can speak very highly of the team on how they handled the entire process. In retrospect, a few aspects stand out:
1. They were knowledgeable about the application/ admissions process: I came to the process without a lot of knowledge of the application process, and through the Square One team's help, was able to find which programs really interested me and what would be required in preparing for the applications.
2. They challenged my application to make it stronger: throughout the process, whether it was the application essay or the interview, they constantly challenged with questions and comments, to make the story stronger and succinct.
3. They were responsive and punctual: in the life of a busy New York professional, managing the Business School application process was not easy. Thanks to Square One team, it felt a lot more manageable and ultimately achieved an outcome that I wanted.
Joined: Mar 31, 2019
I am so grateful to the Square One team for supporting me through my MBA process. I cannot recommend Kathryn and the Square One team more highly.
I began the process on my own but my narrative and application was really transformed when a good friend introduced me to Kathryn at Square One. From the very first conversation I had with Kathryn, I felt supported and confident in their process. Kathryn and my individual Square One advisor helped me craft a narrative that remained so authentic to who I am, while also highlighting specific areas of my background, my work and my goals that would be attractive to the admissions departments. I particularly appreciated my conversations with the Square One Career Coach, who helped me think through my short and long term goals and how an MBA would help me achieve them. This was an invaluable exercise for me as I clarified my own thoughts, and the work we put into our career narrative sessions really shone through in my applications.
Even though I came to Square One just three weeks before the deadlines, the time that we spent working together was so well organized and efficient and I felt very confident in meeting all of the application deadlines. The team were responsive at all hours and got me on the right track immediately. I was accepted to one of my top three choices with a full scholarship, and I am so grateful to Square One for helping me achieve this.
Joined: Mar 22, 2018
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Reflecting back on the MBA application process, I could not have done it without Kathryn & Kathleen of Square One Prep. I’m thrilled to have been admitted to my dream school, Stanford, with their support every step of the way.
I reached out to a number of MBA admissions consultants in January, and spoke to at least a half dozen that came highly recommended from friends or had great reviews online. I found it difficult to distinguish between them all, but what stood out to me about Kathryn was her impeccable organization (that Excel application development schedule!) and willingness to drop everything to speak to me on short notice. I also liked that Square One doesn’t waste its time giving free advice via webinars and articles on Poets & Quants - that’s not what I’m paying for! I was then given a number of profiles and arranged a call with Kathleen, who turned out to be a perfect match for my professional background and career interests.
While I consider myself a rather organized person, working with Square One ensured that I did everything possible to get the application basics out of the way in the spring before essay season started in earnest. We went through school selection, recommender selection, my business school resume, and a life-changing career narrative session before most other applicants had even taken the GMAT or selected an admissions consultant. If you don’t believe in the value of MBA admissions consultants, the best money you’ll ever spend is on your career narrative and figuring out your story. Even if I hadn’t gotten into a single business school, it was a transformational experience to get that kind of coaching to formalize a career vision and figure out what would help me achieve my goals.
When essay season came around, I was also the kind of applicant who came in with preconceived notions of what I wanted to write. Kathryn & Kathleen gave me brutal feedback on my first draft, and over 90% of it had to go. We went through something like 10 drafts for some of the more difficult essays, but in the end... they were always right. Whenever there was a moment of doubt (and there are many during this stressful application process), it was infinitely valuable to be able to go to sleep at night, and trusting the professionals to guide you on your MBA journey. For a difficult essay prompt like Stanford’s or Harvard’s... I don’t know how anyone does it without help, and anecdotally I think the truth is that most of them don’t.
A last word... I was put in Stanford’s waitpool after Round 1, and I was distraught. Kathryn & Kathleen told me that it would be a battle to convert it to an offer, but they had great statistics on their side - last year they had over 50% success rate converting a waitlist decision to an offer. They never once complained that it was more work to help me with a letter of continued interest. With a number of successful letters to work off of, I had a good idea of what I needed to do and executed on those points over the course of the next few months. While there are general resources out there on what to do if you are on a waitlist, the truth is that it depends on each school’s process so seeing past examples of what worked for Stanford made a tremendous difference for me. I received an offer with Round 2, and can’t wait to attend in the fall!!
Joined: Dec 20, 2018
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At first, I was really nervous about applying to a top MBA program as I had scored a good portion lower than the average GMAT scores at the programs I was considering. I also felt that writing was not my strong-suit as I hadn’t written an essay in over 6 years.
I reached out to several firms, but none of them came across as engaging and as frank as Kathryn. With Kathryn, she took her time (our first call went over by an hour!) to understand my story, my goals, and to read through my resume etc. She then made it clear that she believed that I have a solid shot at making it to my dream programs. I was absolutely relieved to hear that, given that Kathryn based her opinion on a much better understanding of who I was (compared to the other consultants I had called).
Kathryn then put me in touch with Kathleen, an awesome consultant experienced at helping people get accepted to dream schools. The process was tough, with many repeated drafts and blunt comments that hurt to hear (but were absolutely needed). It was actually at the peak of my frustration that everything clicked and my story and essays turned into their much improved near-final form. Through these frustrations, Kathleen was my rock; she kept me steady, re-assured me, and offered me advice all throughout. It meant so much to me that she was one text, email or call away at any point.
If you want honesty and hence a real shot of putting your best foot forward, but also the emotional support to navigate the frustrating application process, seriously look no further! Ultimately, I got into HBS, GSB, Sloan, and Haas! It’s a dream come true, and I can’t end this without a big thank you to Kathryn, Kathleen, and the team at S1P!
P.S. My final essays truly feel like a finished/perfected product, and I'm sure I would look back on them with much pride even years later.