|All Reviews > Lee Kaplan > Lee Kaplan Reviews|
Joined: Apr 17, 2018
I started engaging with a number of admissions consultants a year before applying. After completing numerous 30min consultations it became evident that Kathryn and her team were the way to go. As others have mentioned, there was a degree of honesty from the get-go but what really set SOP apart for me was their willingness to leverage their expertise and impart advice before any payments were made. My initial call with Kathryn was scheduled for 30min but lasted over an hour, during which she engaged with me as if I was a client already - providing feedback and suggestions for improving my profile in the year I had before applying. When asking other consultants what I could do to better my profile, they all pitched me on some early bird package or mentioned they would be happy to provide such advise once I signed up/ paid the fee. This demonstrated the values with which SOP operated with.
Fast forward to R1: I took a four school package and was admitted to a T10; rejected after interviewing at an M7 and outright rejected at two other M7's. The quality of my application; the resume, essays, recommendations and overall narrative/ story (not to be discounted as this was crucial in the interviews) was well above what I could have crafted on my own. At the outset I definitely had my doubts given the price point of these services but in hindsight it was definitely worth it. Everyone is in a unique situation and should reflect on where they stand and what resources they have at their disposable;. For me I was an ORM coming from Finance with a 720 and a okay undergrad record, I had no close friends or family members who went through the process/ whom I could rely upon heavily. A few friends/ colleagues were attending my target schools and were great resources for learning about the programs/ culture but their time was limited for reviewing and revising materials. I knew I was also an absolutely horrible writer. As such - I believed I could greatly benefit from these services and I did.
What I liked most about working with SOP was 1. The structure 2. The Team. Starting with the structure - SOP has a well defined process that starts with a series of conversations to learn about you as a person i.e. goals, interests, career, background etc. This then evolves into a spreadsheet/ evaluation of your candidacy, with strengths and weaknesses laid out from the get--go. This is followed by career narrative development (again all written and revised numerous times by you, Kathryn, your consultant and the career narrative coach/ expert). Then comes the resume and the and recommendations and THEN each school's application/ essays. All the written materials that were actually submitted were revised 10-15 times. Second is the Team - it's not just you and your individual consultant going through the whole process. The leadership team reviews all final materials and will also make multiple revisions. This is valuable because your work doesn't just reflect the opinion/ thoughts of one person but a group of experienced individuals.
The guidance and support they provided throughout the process was also invaluable - outside of the main process Kathryn and her team were always available to talk. For me this included discussing a potential job change and how that might impact my application, dealing with rejections, strategizing about a potential R2 effort .
Joined: Dec 23, 2019
740 Q50 V39
My first call with Kathryn distinguished Square One Point from peers. Instead of giving enticing albeit impractical "we will get you into your dream B-school" promise, she continued to question me to make sure I truly understand why an MBA is necessary to me and what gaps I need to fill to receive my ideal offer. These questions helped me reflect deeper and analyze myself more comprehensively, creating long-lasting benefits throughout my applications.
My subsequent work experience with the team (Lee, Kathryn, Wendy and Bailey) further confirmed SOP is not “one of” but “the best” choice for MBA application consultancy. Everyone is so delightful to work with though I must say they do play devil’s advocate from time to time to push me to work harder on my preparation and craft a stronger application package. It was also because of their efficiency that enabled me to submit application to all 7 target schools one month ahead of deadlines.
Last but not least, I want to give special thanks to my consultant Lee, who not only provided instrumental help in every stage of my application, but demonstrated to me, with her own actions, that we should always never sacrifice quality for speed. She has also generously spent many extra hours with me just to make sure my application materials are as best as they could be. And the advice she has given me is not only valuable in MBA application but in life as well. I have truly enjoyed our partnership and always felt lucky to have met her at SOP.
Joined: Dec 19, 2019
If you are like most candidates, you are doing all the research you can and taking calls with every consultant possible. I even bought hours with consultants to test who I liked most. Kathryn and Square One Prep shined above the rest. 3 people (two from my company, one from my high school) had also recommended SOP and had stellar results. And here's why - Kathryn is the most candid, ruthless, empathetic and dependable person. Despite being the founder (who is naturally busy), she replies to every communication within minutes and gives you personal attention throughout the process.
I initially requested to speak with a few consultants who I thought would be the right fit, but those weren't a match. Kathryn graciously suggested others that may fit my personality, and soon I was excited to work with Lee Kaplan. Lee pushed me to my limits. She is an unimaginably strong writer, and compassionate partner through months of stress. Lee was very honest with me and showed me ways to highlight strengths and mitigate my weaknesses. I really respected her - she would return revisions quickly and thoroughly till the work was perfect. I think we did 18 iterations of my resume! I was also fighting against a very low Quant test score, but Lee and Kathryn packaged my application in a way that M7 schools couldn't resist.
This was all supplemented by Wendy and Bailey. I struggled with my Career Narrative work and finding my story. Wendy was patient with me as I stumbled, and she guided and nurtured my story into a work of art. Bailey ensured I was always on top of things and provided friendliness and rapport amidst the "stay on schedule" communications!
If you are thinking twice, choose SOP. You will not regret it. They work with a small, niche set of clients every year and guarantee success. I was interviewed at HBS, GSB, Booth, and Wharton. There is truly no way I could have done it without Square One. The amount of personal attention, genuine care, and relentless revising until the product is perfect is unlike any other admissions consulting firm. And now, HBS here I come!
Joined: Jun 21, 2019
730 Q47 V44
I worked with Square One Prep on an hourly basis starting about a month before my round 1 application deadlines. Kathryn is obviously a seasoned expert when it comes to business school admissions but I was most impressed with her ability to understand me and my motivations after just an introductory call. It was really easy to open up with her. The most valuable service that Square One Prep provided was career narrative help. I didn't realize how important it was for me to not only have a long-term and short-term goal after business school but also to have pretty specific details outlined. Kathryn and her team were honest and really helped me craft a narrative I used in all of my applications and all of my interviews (and even casual conversations). The narrative, importantly, was also authentic to myself and not something that we just made up to sound good to admissions. I think it will help me have a north star as I actually set out to do my MBA and surely encounter a lot of distractions/shiny opportunities. Additionally, my work with SOP definitely contributed to being offered a full-ride to Haas and a partial scholarship to Kellogg (my top two choices) which is obviously a huge plus!
Joined: Jul 29, 2019
I cannot image navigating the complex and overwhelming MBA application process without Square One Prep. From my first consultation call onward, the SOP team was able to quickly address my weaknesses and play-up my strengths. Their expertise on what matters to top business schools shaped every aspect of my applications and allowed me to identify my most impactful personal and professional experiences to present myself as a high-value, accomplished candidate. When I began my work with SOP I was unsure of my ability to receive offers from the elite programs I wanted to attend. As of a week ago I have been accepted to both schools I applied to, both of which are ranked in top 5 nationally. I can honestly say the SOP team has changed my life for the better, and will highly recommend them to anyone interested in pursuing an MBA!
Joined: Jul 02, 2012
I am very glad that I took the decision of working with SOP team. I have scheduled a free 30 min. consultation call with Kathryn. The call lasted for over 50 minutes and she did not hurry up and gave sufficient time to understand my background. I was very impressed by the in-depth knowledge that Kathryn has about the important things we should focus to make our application stand out. I have worked with Kathryn, Lee, and Louis and it was a dream team that anyone can have to reach the finish line. They were always persistent and will push you to get the best out of you. I am very thankful to them for their guidance and that helped me to achieve my goal of admission in Kellogg.
I would highly recommend SOP team for the help of your admissions. They will always be there for you in your application journey and give more than 100%
Joined: May 05, 2019
I have to say that I was lucky to met Kathryn and Lee in the late December of 2018 (approxmitely half a month before the application deadline of my dream school) after the frustrating work with another consultancy. Square One is totally different from my previous consultancy which treated me as a product and tried to package me as a typical kind of applicant for business schools. Kathryn and Lee really cared about my past experiences and were willing to know my thoughts and concerns during the application process.
As I have a quite twisted and untraditional background(law and entrepreneur), Kathryn and Lee spent great efforts to help me comb through my past experience and bring out the best part for my application. They helped me to know myself better by digging into my stories and this is especially helpful for my whole essay writing process.
Though I took hourly service from them, Kathryn and Lee did more than what should have been included in the package. They taliored a time table for me to complete applications for 4 schools within 18 days. Lee was quite considerate to adjust her time and give me response within a day as we had 12 hours time difference. Even after the application process was end, Lee shared with me insights and opportunities about the industry I pictured in my career goal.
My overall experience with Square One is super excellent, especially compared to the other consultancy I previously worked with. Kathryn and Lee are true experts on the application process and requirements of each schools. They are the persons you can totally trust and finish your business application together with!
Joined: Dec 14, 2018
750 Q51 V40
Initially I wanted to DIY my application to b-schools, but after an entire month wasted in brainstorming essays with no clue, I decided to use some professional help and my friend introduced me to SOP. The first ever call I had with SOP was with Kathryn, an amazing lady who spoke nothing but the blunt truth about my profile, my strengths and potential weaknesses. After the initial call, there was one thing that I was certain: the application process would be less daunting if I worked with SOP.
It was not an outright commitment at the beginning, as I was comparing SOP with another agency. Though I leaned towards SOP, I did not feel as much chemistry as I expected with the two advisors I scheduled free calls with. I spoke to Kathryn honestly about this, and she was fully supportive to let me speak with a third advisor, Lee. After my call with Lee, everything felt right and I signed up for SOP right away.
Lee was another truly amazing lady. I had the best application process I could ever hoped for together with Lee - though with frustration and setback at times, but more importantly with encouragement and care from Lee at each step along the way. She was always on top of my needs, correcting every version of my essays with great details, and making sure that each of those corrections did not divert from my original meaning, but instead empowered the overall delivery of my story. She was highly professional, friendly approachable and also showed great empathy. When I think of what kind of person I wanted to be after MBA, I hope I could be just like Lee.
As happy as I am to have received an offer from my dream school, I would like to give my most sincere thanks to the entire SOP team. The victory today would not have been possible without you guys, and I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and may you continue the good work to help more young people achieve their dreams!
Joined: Nov 22, 2016
640 Q44 V34
After my 30 minute phone consultation with Kathryn, I immediately knew her experience and knowledge would be invaluable in my MBA application. She was direct, straight to the point and understood the importance of application process.
Following my call with Kathryn, we would only have 4.5 days left until the application for Johnson was due. She connected me with Lee Kaplan and we developed detailed a game plan. Creating a strong application is difficult regardless of the individual and it was especially difficult with my below average GPA and GMAT score. To overcome this, Lee and Kathryn did an amazing job tailoring my resume and essays to reflect my personal character and work experiences. They were diligently over this short time period and were responsive at all times of the day.
I could not be more excited to be attending Cornell Johnson next year.