GMAT Club

Lara Avsar Reviews

Company: Square One Prep


5.0 /5 Average Rating
Based on 9 reviews
June 06, 2019
krn705

Joined: Feb 26, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
720 Q47 V42

Great experience with Lara and the SquareOne team

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I spoke to several admission consultants before signing up with one and chose to go with Square One. Kathryn spent more time than the stipulated 30 mins, and didnt spend a single minute hardselling her firm or badmouthing the competition, but rather understanding me as a person and my motivations / story. She actually asked me hard questions to rethink the reason for doing an MBA, and I only signed up some 6 months later when I was more informed of the path I was choosing.

I worked closely with Lara Avsar, and it was an absolute pleasure working with her. We hit it off from the first call itself, because of some common elements in our backgrounds and experiences. Lara took time to thrash out the story with me, and often pulled out elements that I would’ve downplayed or overlooked. She did a great job pushing me to think deeper and also meeting deadlines, in order to get the essays out on time. We did the application set for 4 schools in 4-5 weeks and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to have worked within such tight deadlines. Interview prep was also very useful since Lara pointed out very specific areas of improvement before my final interview.

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June 04, 2019
gmatprep12345432

Joined: Dec 31, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

You need the Square One prep team - you just don't know it yet!

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When I was looking for an MBA admissions consultant, I set up multiple successive intro calls so I could do my due diligence before making my decision. Kathryn from Square One was my first call but before the conversation was over, I'd already made up my mind to work with her and her company. She was kind, considerate, let me ramble on about my uncomfortable life story (taking up MUCH longer than the free 30 min consultation!). But she took the time to understand me and my objectives, and was very honest about my chances of getting in given my unique context . I emailed the other consultancies as soon as I hung up and told them I’d be happy to keep the appointment but in order to be respectful of their time, I wanted to let them know that I'd almost surely decided to work with someone else and it would be hard to change my mind. They all kept the calls, and to be honest, all of them were fantastic and gave great insight so would have been a no-brainer had I not already met Kathryn. But I had already met her and she’d set the bar far too high for them to pass it!

Choosing Square One Prep was the best decision I made. You're a person to them, not a number. They know you, they know your story, they will challenge you and push you to be a better version of yourself and to present a better version of yourself that authentically represents who you are to the adcoms.

Anxiety is a huge part of this process and Kathryn appeased my anxiety about the process from that first call. Her entire team is phenomenall - I once had a stressful morning when I learned of some info that may affect my chances of being considered at some of the schools I was applying to given my unique context. Bailey (the amazing Chief of Staff) ) emailed me right away to let me know that she would spend the morning PERSONALLY CALLING each of my ~10 potential target schools to discuss the situation and clarify. So II went into my morning meetings reassured that she was on top of it and came out a few hours later with a vert clear answer and path forward. This isn't really part of any package, but just an example of how Square One will go above and beyond to make this process as easy as possible for you!

And after choosing SOP, I suggest LISTENING to their advice them~ Kathryn tried to warn me about some of the mistakes she could see me about to make, but I thought I could push myself, as I’d always had, and could do it all anyway. But I had an incredibly stressful job that was unsupportive of my application to B-school and my optimistic plans were prone to chaos, as they always are - things can go wrong, stress increases your propensity to sickness, sacrificing sleep = sacrificing quality of output, etc. All culminated to an incredibly stressful time where I had to deal with a full time job, made sure my personal life didn’t implode and finish the MANY things required to finish a stellar application. But once again, Square One Prep was there for me every step of the way.

Another piece of advice - start engaging with them early! It may seem like you'll only need a few months but the truth is, the more you build in time to reflect and introspect, the better things will be. Some of the essays are quite personal and if you need to reflect on challenging and difficult times in your life and how they’ve shaped yo, it can be psychologically exhausting and emotional experience that will further exacerbate the stress. But having the fantastic Square One team by my side, ready to answer any question, ready to appease my anxiety, encouraging me and supporting me every step of the way, made ALL the difference!

Tl, Dr: Square One Prep is your personalized coach, buddy, confidante, mentor. I knew exactly what I needed to do and when, they were with me through every step of the way, they challenged me to write better and think deeper, and they were there to check it twice. If you have no idea where to start or you think you know exactly what you need to do, you need Square One. You have no idea how hard this process is going to be, but THEY do and they will guide you and support you every step of the way!

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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 or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
April 24, 2019
guptagupta8

Joined: Aug 28, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
750 Q49 V44

Extremely Helpful Service with Great Results!

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My process was a bit different. After unsuccessful applications in Round 1, I knew it was time to switch consultants - I must have interviewed over a dozen but Kathryn and the team at Square One prep stood out like no other. The first conversation with Kathryn was revelatory - from the length and the content of the discussion, it was obvious that Square One was invested in my success. This was a really refreshing change!

I was so impressed that I selected Square one prep even before learning of their program for candidates in need of financial support. As someone from a development background, I was so grateful when I found out that Square one offers a discount to candidates in low income brackets.

Working with Kathryn, Lara (my consultant), Wendy (my career advice expert) and the rest of the team was an incredible experience. I’d worked with a consultant before but Square one was clearly miles ahead and helped me transform my narrative, my essays and my resume! The level of responsiveness combined with the in-depth knowledge on the admissions process Square One brings to the table is truly unmatched.

With Square One’s help, I’m happy to report I was accepted into three schools of my choice (one on a full scholarship!) and now face the difficult but fortunate situation of deciding. I had a 100% acceptance rate in Round 2 of my MBA applications and I couldn’t have done it without Kathryn and her team!

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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.
April 22, 2019
MBAbound21

Joined: Apr 22, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Best Investment You Can Make!

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If you’re considering Square One, do it without hesitation! This is absolutely the best investment you can make in yourself and the process of getting into the business school of your dreams!

Let me start by sharing that the Square One team believe in me starting the second I had my introductory call with Kathryn. As a self proclaimed over achiever, I was disappointed with my test score and was told by other MBA consulting firms that I had no chance of getting into a top ten, let alone top twenty business school. Well I proved them wrong! Ultimately, I was accepted into several top ten and top twenty programs. I cried tears of joy when I was admitted to Wharton (the #1 business school in the world) with fellowship money!

I owe much of my success to Kathryn and my advisor, Lara. Lara was my rock throughout the application process, she served as my coach, mentor, friend, and therapist. She pushed me to believe in myself as we worked together to identify my unique brand. During this entire period both Lara and Kathryn were there every step of the way, providing thoughtful feedback and getting back to me EXTREMELY quickly so we could meet deadlines. Their advice and structured process was key to ensuring I had a unique and compelling application.

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April 03, 2019
miguelfsb

Joined: Mar 26, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
710 Q48 V40

My experience with SquareOne Prep

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While I dreamed about pursuing an MBA in a US university, I was aware that, with only 16 months of work experience at the time of the applications and 22 months upon enrollment, my chances of landing a place on a top-tier business school were low.

Although aware of my problem, I was still extremely skeptic about paying to admissions consultants to help me prepare my MBA applications – thinking I could easily do everything by myself -, until one friend told me to visit www.squareoneprep.com and have a 30-min call with Kathryn.

After my call with Kathryn (who gladly gave me 1 free hour instead of the classic 30 minutes), I immediately decided I was going to hire SquareOne Prep: extremely high-achiever, pragmatic and results-oriented consultants made my choice easy.

As I sit writing this testimonial and think about the journey I embarked on with Lara Avsar (in the end having been accepted by Stern and Darden), I can now gladly tell myself that going with SquareOne Prep was the best choice I made. Lara (and the rest of the team) besides intelligent and creative, was what you need in a consultant: extremely available. I always felt that Lara (and the team) was always there for me. I knew I could email Lara with every dilemma I had (regardless of its relevance) and I would get a reply from her with great advice. (in fact, I just wrote an email to Lara yesterday about a topic other than MBA applications and I got an awesome reply!).

If you, like me at the beginning, still think that hiring consultants is not worth it or that Square One is too pricey, I challenge you to hop in a call with Kathryn and, as you talk to her, see with your own eyes how good these guys are. Their work does wonders, and I recommend them to anyone who wants to pursue an MBA: SquareOne Prep is an advantage you want to have when competing with the thousands of MBA applicants every year.
(side note: I got a scholarship at Darden that itself paid for the services I hired SquareOne Prep for).

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February 27, 2019
rahulmeka

Joined: Apr 11, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Thank you

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Square One prep has been instrumental in my efforts to help me land an admission offer into a top business school program. Kathryn has amazing knowledge about all the programs and has a very quick judgment on your candidature. She's able to use the two to give critical advice on school choice, career narratives, advisor selection etc which set the tone of the process. Lara Avsar was my advisor who I worked with on a weekly basis. She is a miracle worker when it comes to telling a story. She's uncompromising and relentless in making sure your story is told in an authentic manner. I felt we had very compelling applications given my profile. Despite not landing the offer into my top choice programs, Lara and Kathryn were instrumental in picking me up and showing me my options in an objective manner. I wouldn't have gone through with the rest of my applications without their support. I was able to finally land a spot at a program that was best suited for me and am glad I had Lara and Kathryn along the way.

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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 or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
January 02, 2019
Reinadelplatanos

Joined: Dec 10, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
720 Q47 V42

Very Helpful Interview Prep

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When I got my first interview invite, I realized that I had no idea how to prepare for MBA interviews and only a few weeks to figure it out. I heard about Square One Prep through a co-worker and was so impressed that Kathryn gave me a phone consultation the very first day I reached out. I liked that Square One was willing to spend as much or as little time with me as I wanted until I felt confident in my interview skills. The feedback I got from the mock interview was so insightful. I do not think any of my friends or family members could have given me the caliber of advice I received. Square One helped me navigate four interviews in a month and come out with no rejections, including, most importantly, an acceptance from my top choice school.

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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.
July 12, 2018
KL20

Joined: Jul 12, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Highly Recommend SOP

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As I had heard many positive reviews of Square One Prep from my friends long before I started applying for my MBA, the decision to work with SOP came instinctively to me. I worked with Kathryn and Lara from the scratch - from assessing my profile and drafting my narrative to writing and proofreading the components of the application. The entire process was run by SOP in an enthusiastic, methodical and disciplined manner. Kathryn's optimistic approach with school selection instills confidence in the applicant. She has an impeccable knack of crafting tightly-knit narratives and ensuring that they are neatly reflected in the essays - She knows what the schools want. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Lara as well. She was creative, efficient, and patient throughout (we did numerous iterations!). Most of all, she is a very compassionate person because of which I could comfortably share my stories with her. During my first call with Kathryn when I asked her about my chances of making to a good business school, she told me, "You should come out of the process very happy". I most certainly have! I am grateful to Kathryn and Lara for their assistance in the process, and would strongly recommend Square One Prep to all MBA aspirants.

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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 or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
April 16, 2018
cl12345

Joined: Apr 16, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
780 Q51 V47

Square One Prep Review

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Kathryn and Lara were absolutely instrumental to my business school application process. Being somewhat late to the game, I only started to consider attending business school 4 months before the R2 application deadline. Kathryn had to counsel me through (1) deciding whether to apply this year or next year and (2) figuring out which schools to apply to. At that point, I had called 4-5 different consultants and received 4-5 different recommendations. I eventually went with Square One because Kathryn's advice made the most sense to me and I really felt like she believed in me.

Coming from a traditional investment banking/private equity background, my main concern was crafting a story that would differentiate me and make-up for my lack of post-college extracurricular activities. Kathryn and Lara were with me every step of the way, from brainstorming ideas to editing my essays for grammar. Lara, especially, had to deal with chasing me down to hit the interim deadlines, hopping on the phone at various hours of the day to troubleshoot writer's block, and responding to mildly panicked emails. She was always encouraging, patient, and responsive. I have no doubt that Square One was the reason why I got the interview and was eventually admitted to two top 3 business schools.

I was very lucky to be able to work with Kathryn and Lara and would recommend the Square One team to anyone who is considering business school.

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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.