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Joined: Nov 26, 2018
I'm very glad that I worked with SOP's team that always goes above and beyond to help me achieve my goal. Kathryn and Mary helped me with any question I have and guided me along the application process. Mary is such a great consultant; she never settles for anything less than a strong application, and she helped me to push my limit. Kathryn and Mary are very experienced and able to identify key points to make one's application successful. I genuinely value Mary and Kathryn's helpfulness, quick turnaround and 24/7 dedication. I would recommend them to my friends for MBA applications.
Joined: Apr 24, 2019
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From the get go, my experience with Square One, Kathryn and Mary has been nothing short of amazing. While I was shopping around MBA admissions consultants, the thing that most appealed to me about Square One was how Kathryn displayed time and again that they would tailor their approach to best suit my needs. Kathryn went out of her way to cater to me, getting on multiple calls with me before I even signed on with them. She even allowed me to have conversations with a few advisors to ensure I would be able to find someone who matched my working style – something I didn’t experience with any other consultant that I talked to.
I had attempted to apply by myself, the previous year. The part I struggled most with was setting my career vision and goals. The experience of exploring career options in depth and bouncing ideas off Wendy, my advisor Mary, and Kathryn was eye opening not just from the perspective of MBA applications, but also in actually affecting my desired career path.
After setting my goals, it was onto creating my resume and writing the essays. Being in a full-time, demanding job, I had the habit of regularly getting sucked into work and de-prioritizing my applications. I deeply appreciate two very specific things that Square One did, that helped me keep on track. One, they published a weekly tracker that showed me where I was against where I should be on my applications, and Two, whenever I had something on my plate, Mary wouldn’t go more than a day without checking in on me, to ensure I hadn’t hit any snags or gotten sidetracked. Even though these were small things, it showed me that they were deeply invested.
Speaking of Mary, she was invaluable during the entire application process. Her turnaround times were never more than a day, with it being a matter of hours most of the time. While her exacting standards left me having to re-work entire essays sometimes, the results always made it worthwhile. However, the part that I most appreciated was that Mary did more than just review my essays. She went the extra mile to think of ways to make the essay better, suggesting themes from her understanding of my story, asking me to dig deeper for illustrative anecdotes, and even, the one time, recommending scrapping the essay we had already iterated on because she felt I could do better - and she was right!
Overall, I ended up getting 3 interview invitations of the 5 schools I applied to and got admitted into one of my dream schools. I can whole-heartedly say that I definitely would not have achieved this, without Mary and Square One Prep. I have already recommended them to my friends, and if you are thinking of getting an admissions consultant, I highly recommend you to go with Square One.
Joined: Jun 04, 2014
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As an EMBA applicant with a non-traditional career path, I wanted to make sure I was working with a team of professionals who would help me put my best foot forward. I interviewed multiple consulting firms but chose Square One Prep because of their clearly-outlined approach, Kathryn’s background (similar post-MBA industry), and the fact that Kathryn believed I was a great candidate for the schools to which I was applying.
As expected, the process was exacting and the hardest part for me– and also the most rewarding– was the Career Narrative. If you don’t know exactly what you want to do and why, Kathryn and Wendy, SOP Career Narrative Expert, will make sure you get there within a handful of phone calls. But be prepared: no one makes rapid progress without a little stress. Ultimately, crafting the Career Narrative significantly improved the quality of my essays and gave me clear direction.
I worked directly with Mary Winograd, who was fantastic. She turned around documents much faster than expected and her edits/comments always pushed me to dig deeper. She was very accessible and made sure to check in and push me the two times I fell behind. With Mary’s help, I crafted an application that I was very proud of.
In the end, I received an acceptance phone call from Columbia within a week of interviewing and I’ll be enrolling this fall. I’m not sure how it would have ended up without Square One, but I know I wouldn’t have put together as strong of an application without them. I’ll be recommending them in the future.
Joined: Nov 15, 2018
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I used Square One Prep on a seven school package (M7 - Stanford + Tuck). After an initial call with Kathryn, I was given the opportunity to "interview" 3 consultants to select from as my dedicated resource. I eventually selected Mary Winograd.
SOP was invaluable in developing my strongest candidacy. We spent hours over several calls hammering out my experiences, interests, and goals. The end product was a narrative which was consistently leaned on to develop my story and motivations for obtaining an MBA.
One thing I really valued about SOP is that they are not "yes men". They will challenge you, push you to think deeper, and call you out on things that will not pass muster. If you are looking for a "yes man", SOP is not the one for you. The entire MBA application process requires an incredible amount of self-reflection to really get at the root of who you are and what you want. As a result, feelings and egos may get stepped on, but it is never (ever!) with malice - they are trying to present you in the best possible light. The competition for a place in the most coveted business schools is fiercely competitive. I've never regretted my decision to go with SOP.
Kathryn and Mary are phenomenal and went above and beyond my expectations. I really can't put into words how much they helped me. Mary spent hours at a time reviewing my resume, essays, interview prep, etc. Inquiries via email or text were addressed within 24 hours (but usually within just a few hours). During my application process, I ran into obstacles with my recommendation letters. Mary was with me every step of the way offering guidance and emotional support.
The MBA application process is incredibly intimidating and challenging. SOP does a fantastic job at making this as smooth a process as possible, while challenging you to push deeper into your self-reflection. I can't imagine hiring another consultant to go through this journey.
Joined: May 11, 2018
Goal: Applying to EMBA programs at: Wharton, Kellogg and Booth
Before Square One - My background as I perceived: Non-native speaker, from the most competitive demographic, male, No unique work experience, No big name companies on resume; Pretty doubtful about how I could differentiate myself.
I filled an online evaluation form for Square One prep one month from deadline.
Square One was the 7th firm I talked to about supporting my application journey.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the founder of the firm, Kathryn on the phone who took 45 minutes genuinely listening to my background and goals.
She said she would be willing to take me as a client. I am an experienced professional and I could immediately tell that her evaluation is fair as she outlined the opportunities and challenges ahead in the evaluation call (free!)
The review and feedback I received on my application artifacts from Kathryn and Mary Winograd were the most valuable inputs.
They challenged me to think outside my comfort zone (on literally every idea I was presenting in my goals or resume) and this helped in presenting myself in the right light to adcoms.
But for Kathryn’s and Mary’s dedicated support (via numerous phone calls and emails), I could have never been able to elevate my story from the competition.
My application packages spoke for themselves (resume, my essays and all supporting docs were each serving a role in delivering my story)
After Square One - My background as I perceived: Unique values learned, achievements that went beyond my peers, Innovative work delivered, Conscious career paths chosen; Clear about the value I bring.
The fees I paid paled before the personal transformation I realized during the application process. I feel every business school wants its applicants to go through such experience in preparing them for the program.
Such outcome was possible ONLY due to Kathryn’s belief in my potential and Mary’s utmost dedication to my success. NO ONE could have been able to do this for me other than Square one.
After a few weeks wait, I had a different problem on my hands: Choosing among the 3 best MBA programs that accepted me - Wharton, Kellogg and Booth. ( With Kathryn’s guidance, I converted a waitlist at Wharton to admit)
Oh did I mention about the scholarship I received for my EMBA….
Thank You Kathryn, Mary. Thank You Square One.
P.S: With individual effort and support from Square One anyone (yes ANYONE!) can make it happen.