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As a reapplicant to H/S/W, I knew I HAD TO get it right the second time around (GMAT: 720 GPA:3.81 Industry: Consulting). I had worked with Stratus Prep the previous year and was disappointingly not admitted into any program. Even though Stratus offered to work with me again at no extra charge, I felt that if their standard cookie-cutter, factory produced applications didn't work for me the first time, it probably wouldn't work again. After shopping around, I chose Square One Prep because I was keen on their sharp-tongued founder, Kathryn. She was just my style - to the point, personal, and demanding. Kathryn was the most expensive counselor from Square One but I decided to make the investment because the last thing I wanted was to become a 3rd time applicant. The journey was as personally rewarding as the destination. In working with Kathryn I learned that bschool apps are not just a "process" but a creative exercise that is meant to be reflective and growing. Kathryn encouraged me to dig deeply and take risks, helping me tease out stories that highlighted my personality and unique experiences - what makes me, me. She was just as invested in my final product as I was - even providing feedback on Christimas! When I was invited to interview, Kathryn upped the game and challenged my answers with excruciating detail, sometimes even making me a bit frustrated. Ultimately, I'm glad she did because I was admitted to Wharton! I definitely recommend going with Square One Prep. The boutique style is much more conducive for personal, memorable applications than bschool factory shops, which wear an all-too-familiar style that are turning bschool schools off more and more.
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I spoke with many MBA consultants before deciding on Square One Prep. After my initial call with the owner (Kathryn), who would eventually become my personal consultant as well, I knew I had found the right partner and signed on shortly thereafter. Starting from the initial call, I could tell that she really cared about her clients’ success and went above and beyond in order to ensure it. Once I officially signed on, she took the time to really get to know me – my background, personal experiences, and future goals. When it was time to tackle essays, she pushed me on our topic calls to really get me to open up and create the best possible narrative to put forth in my application. Kathryn was also firm when it was necessary and kept me on a strict and rigorous schedule in order to make sure I would be able to get everything done by the deadlines. As I came from a unique background, Kathryn and I knew it was crucial to tell my story in a compelling way that aligned with my overall narrative; she did not disappoint in helping do that. I can say with confidence that my applications would not have been nearly as effective without the help and guidance of Square One Prep.
I have already recommended Square One Prep to several of my close friends and will continue to recommend them to anyone who asks me about hiring an MBA consultant. Take the initial call with Square One Prep and you will see what makes them different and why the decision to work with them is an easy one.
The first thing that struck me about Square One Prep was their personable nature yet efficient, no-nonsense approach! Throughout the application process, my consultant never minced words or hesitated to challenge me, be it by identifying weaknesses that I needed to address, tearing apart my
resume to showcase more impact, or going through 10+ iterations on my essays to convey the right ideas and emotions. She was always committed to helping me perfect my applications regardless of how long they took to craft!
My consultant was also a great fit for me given my working style and professional commitments I had a grueling and unpredictable work schedule, travelled 80% of the time, and was in a time zone 10.5 hours ahead of her. Despite all this, her turnaround time for essay reviews was amazing, and I often felt like I was her ONLY client! Finally, the nuanced feedback I received during mock interviews proved invaluable when I went through the real thing!
–client from: India
–admitted to: Chicago Booth
Joined: Jan 16, 2015
On paper, getting into a top 30 MBA program was….a longshot, to say the least. I had a below average GPA (3.1) and a way below average GMAT score (under 600). Nonetheless, I still thought I could have a shot at top 30 schools. I really believe that the story that I was able to tell in my essays, thanks to Square One Prep’s revisions, was a critical factor in getting interviews and being admitted.
From the beginning, I knew I needed help. I shopped around for an MBA consultant for a few days but Square One quickly became the apparent choice. Kathryn immediately set up a phone call with me to discuss my process, what I had done so far, and what still needed to be done. She was extremely knowledgeable and knew all the due dates, essay questions, and specs from all the schools I was interested in. I told her from the start what my budget was (not very much) and she was able to work with me and prepare me (by sending me previous examples of successful applications) so that I gave her my very best draft before she started to edit. This essentially reduced costs and resulted in a better product since she wasn’t starting with a very rough draft.
And, of course, her essay revisions made my words come to life. I am extremely satisfied with her services and have since recommended Square One to a number of fellow applicants.
For being so intelligent, efficient, and available, I also found Kathryn to be extremely human and feel like she genuinely cared about me being successful. She kept checking in with me long after her services had ended, and offered gratuitous advice simply because she cared. The investment in Square One Prep has been hands down the best I have made throughout the application process.
Kathryn has been instrumental in assisting me to get into two amazing schools - Chicago Booth and London Business School. I chose to go to London Business School at the end which has been fantastic and life changing experience.
With a demanding job at the big four accounting firm, I had only five days during the holidays to prepare for my mba application essays, where Kathryn helped me with the edits, now I look back her advice was great and increased my chance of being accepted.
She also helped with preparing for interviews, which help to calm me down and structure my responses nicely. Her advice was invaluable.
I am really happy i have gone with Kathryn as my MBA application coach and my MBA experiences have been memorable.
-an MBA 2012 from London Business School
Joined: Mar 23, 2011
Being an international applicant, I was seeking guidance from a professional who could help me through the challenging application process and get an offer from a top MBA program in the US. Fortunately for me I chose to work with Square One Prep. They helped me with every aspect of my application - from choosing the right schools and developing a strong resume to shaping my essays and working over mock interviews. My consultant was available every day, every hour of the day. The 10-hour time difference between us never played a role. When I was developing my resume and writing essays my consultant suggested which strengths I should emphasize and why - they changed depending on the school. She then helped me refine my ideas until my essays were as compelling as possible. When I started to get interview invitations, she gave me a very thorough 3-hour mock interview. As a result, my actual interviews with admission officers were not stressful at all.
As a result of Square One Prep's assistance I got three offers, two of which included $40K scholarships. Here too my consultant helped me choose the school that would best fit me and my goals. This summer I start my studies at Ross, and I can't thank Square One Prep enough.
"I am so grateful that I had the support of Square One Prep throughout my exhausting application process. Before starting it, I thought I would be fine putting my applications together by myself, but after working with my consultant for just a few days, I realized that she was a total game-changer.
The personalized attention she provided and her detailed understanding of the intricacies of each school’s application were crucial in helping me craft perfect applications. I can’t stress enough how valuable and self-assuring it was that she was always available, even on short notice, to provide such thoughtful advice and critique my work. She brought out the best in me and it worked - I am ecstatic to be attending Fuqua and I know I would not have had such success without Square One!"
"I can't say enough about the team at Square One Prep! Kathryn Lucas and her consultants helped me to navigate my way to being accepted by both of the schools I applied to, one with a scholarship. As a non-traditional military applicant, I didn't have the technical resume writing skills, strategic insights or creative direction required to put together a strong application. Square One Prep educated and guided me through the entire process. They helped me define my career goals, refine my essays, polish my resume, and prepare for the interviews. I felt confident at every milestone, because of the time, energy, and personal attention that I received from Square One Prep. And to top it off, they were extremely responsive and flexible, often getting back to me in minutes and always free to work around my schedule which included a deployment.
If you're looking to put together a killer MBA application and to get into one of the top schools in the world, then look no further; Square One Prep is the way to go!"
Joined: Dec 19, 2010
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I was admitted to the Ross School of Business & a few others to which I applied, thanks to Kathryn's help.
Kathryn Lucas is a wonderful admissions consultant who patiently mentored me and taught me the intricacies of the MBA admissions process. In my opinion, her most outstanding professional attribute is her ability to consistently refine and improve my applications essays (no matter how well-written they appear at first), yet allow me to stay genuine and maintain my own voice and sense of humor. Moreover, her detailed and thorough mock interviews prepared me to walk into any admissions interview with complete confidence.
One other thing I remember about Kathryn was that when she knew I was ready, she advised against any further unnecessary hourly services, even though that would've meant more fees for her. I respect Kathryn's integrity & recommend her without reservation.
Joined: Jun 01, 2012
"I have to say Square One Prep is a very special service provider, totally beyond my expectation. It's highly professional and satisfied my needs through its caring, encouraging and inspiring service. If you like the service in a tailor-made suit store, you will like Square One Prep.
Before I chose Square One Prep, I did a lot of research and spoke to many large firms. Kathryn Lucas from Square One Prep hit me on 3 things -
1st, she was professional and super efficient. Right after our first call, she sent me an impressive professional timetable which was designed for me (one of the best calendars I have ever seen in my 8 years' project management experience. I said to myself: WOW!).
2nd, I was concerned that she wouldn't know how to work with Chinese clients. She connected me with 3 former clients from mainland China. They gave not just 'good' comments, but 'surprisingly good' comments. I wondered what was the magic that made those people recommend her in such an emotional way? Now I know the reason and am happy to endorse Kathryn in the same way.
3rd, she was sincere and candid. She addressed the imperfections in me and herself/Square One Prep frankly. Someone who is willing to address flaws is one who has a strong heart and confidence.
We worked together for 5 months. 3 obstacles constantly occurred and Kathryn always got me past them.
1st, I had insecurity. Even after I chose Square One Prep, I doubted that a stranger could know me and guide me to generate impressive essays about myself in such a short time. Then Kathryn gave me an assessment that lasted five hours and was very patient, learning my story. She is a good listener, a fun reader of my mind and an experienced analyst of people. She earned my trust in that call, which became the foundation of our cooperation in the following 5 months.
2nd, a lot of matters disturbed my essay-writing plan - sudden lost inspiration, recommendation letter troubles, and poor test scores. Kathryn handled those situations. She knew when she should let me be free for days to re-pack myself, how to adjust my timeline to fit changes and when to be strict to focus me back on my goals.
3rd, I felt low in mood sometimes after I saw some applicants' profiles and their impressive experiences. Kathryn sensed my worries, encouraged me, cheered for my good qualities, successes and dreams, and inspired me to carry my special parts onto the paper.
Kathryn solved all those problems because she used her heart to guide me. She once told me why she likes her job, which seems super challenging from my view. She said: I love to help others realize their dreams.
Now I have an offer and I truly thank Kathryn for helping me pursue and get my dream. I feel lucky and highly recommend Square One Prep!"
–client from: China
–admitted to: Foster