Melissa Chan
Admissions Consultant

    
Number of reviews [4]


Company: Square One Prep
Packages: Square One Prep Premium Service   Square One Prep Hourly Service  
Melissa Chan's Reviews
reviewer identity verified by school email address
     By Sak2016 5 3
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: Square One Prep Hourly Service
Consultant: Melissa Chan

I worked with Melissa from the Square One Prep team for hourly services on 3 applications in Round 2 (Booth, HBS, Kellogg). She was meticulous in her work and gave guided inputs. I enjoyed working with her. She exceeded my expectations. We did most of communication through e-mails which was very effective. I got interview calls from Booth and Kellogg. I also did practice interview sessions with her. The whole process was a learning experience for me as well. She was helpful and at the same time pointed out my mistakes and kept correcting me.

I would surely recommend her and services of Square One Prep.

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Review
April 25 | 2017
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     By lilah 16 2
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: Square One Prep Premium Service
Consultant: Melissa Chan

I worked with Kathryn Lucas and Melissa Chan for my 2017 R1 bschool applications. I would recommend them to anyone hoping to succeed with the demanding application process.

INITIAL CALL - Unlike some other admission consultants who basically snoozed through the 30-minute initial assessment call, Kathryn dedicated over an hour listening to my “story” and providing feedback. A few weeks later, when I abruptly lost my job and was unsure if applying to bschool 2017 R1 cycle was even possible, Kathryn spent the next few months answering several emails and fielding calls from me as I tried to figure my life out. She was there for me every step of the way as I recruited for jobs and helped me assess if the job was a right fit for me and my post-MBA goals. She also did all this free of charge.

RESUME – Melissa and Kathryn helped me restructure my resume so that it was layman friendly and captured a bigger story about myself. Bschool resumes aren’t job-hunting resumes, and so they needed to be written to highlight certain things that a regular resume wouldn’t highlight. This fact gets easily missed, and SOP was very helpful in educating me about this and guiding me through recrafting my resume.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION – Letters of recommendation are a tricky thing to handle due to sheer amount of work you’re asking other people to do for you. A lot of applicants struggle with streamlining this process. SOP’s LOR framework is AMAZING. There are a lot of tricks and nuances to the LOR process that would be lost on the usual applicant; working with SOP definitely opened my eyes to all those nuances.

ESSAYS – This area is where Melissa was most invaluable. I’m not an inexperienced writer, and I have friends who are good writers. One would think that by leveraging the skills and network I already had, I could churn out decent essays. Wrong. Bschool essays are a special beast. Not only do you need to get the mechanics correct, but what kind of story you tell and the way you tell it is very hard to nail down correctly. Melissa asked thought-provoking questions that helped me draw out interesting and personal aspects of my story, while pushing me to be disciplined about editing out extraneous information that didn’t add to my application. I went through over a dozen drafts of each essay, and when I was flailing about navel-gazing, Melissa helped me forcibly steer the essay back on track. A lot of Melissa’s critical feedback was on-point. Melissa was also good about letting my essays reflect my voice. I have a particular writing style and voice, which Melissa recognized, and she didn’t try to force me into writing in a way that wasn’t me.

INTERVIEW – Doing a comprehensive run through with Melissa was helpful because it illuminated areas I needed to practice. For interviews, I would also recommend applicants to reach out to people at the schools they’re interviewing at to practice school-specific questions.

END RESULTS – I applied to 4 schools, admitted to 1, and waitlisted at 1. I’ll be working with SOP through the waitlist process and figuring out next steps. I am relieved and excited because I really questioned my chances when I embarked on this process.

SUMMARY (the tldr version) – I think almost every bschool applicant could benefit from engaging with a good admissions consultant. I have friends at all the top bschools, who went through the application process, and their feedback/advice was nowhere as comprehensive and nuanced as what I received from working with Melissa/Kathryn. Just on the essay part alone, the revisions I received from friends were completely lightweight relative to the revisions I received from Melissa. Also, no friend is going to work with you through a dozen drafts of essays, resumes, etc. (or maybe I need better friends). That being said, Square One Prep goes beyond merely good to superb. They’ll help you towards success, and through the process, you’ll learn a lot about yourself, personally and professionally.

If you’re applying to bschool, call Square One Prep. Your first call with Kathryn will be illuminating and will tell you that you’re in capable hands.

[4/25/17 UPDATE] - I got off the waitlist at my waitlisted school the same day that R2 decisions were released. Melissa/Kathryn were instrumental in helping me craft the letter that ultimately moved the needle on the waitlist decision. They shared with me a portfolio of previous successful waitlist letters, which pointed me in the right direction of how to approach letter-writing. Most importantly, after I submitted my first letter draft, Melissa/Kathryn gave me a very blunt assessment that the draft was not up to par and would not suffice. I had to go back to the drawing board and rework my entire letter. When I was spinning circles (again), Melissa really pushed me to dig in deep about why and how I (emphasis on I) could contribute to and benefit from the school. This ultimately helped me come up with a letter that did the job. I'm very thankful for Melissa/Kathryn being frank with me, and not letting me slide. If they had not, I would probably still be languishing on the waitlist right now.

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Great support!
April 23 | 2017
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
reviewer identity verified by school email address
     By Sak2016 5 3
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: Square One Prep Premium Service
Consultant: Melissa Chan

I worked with Melissa from the Square One Prep team for 4-5 b school applications across Round 1 & 2. I was working under a strict deadline for my Round 1 applications and thanks to Melissa, we could turn around quality essays and applications in time. She was strict and constantly kept pushing me to improve my essay writing and to deliver on timelines. I was especially happy about the fact that she didn’t just give me the “ideal” answers/essays that I should write in my application. She actually pushed me to think what I really wanted to do and come up with my own story that actually helped me relate better to what I wrote and made it easy to justify during my interviews. Further, the material we worked on in the first few applications, I could re-use later for my other applications as well. I am finally heading to NYU Stern and really excited about it. I would surely recommend them.

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Admitted!
April 05 | 2017
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     By gluegunned 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

This review is for: Square One Prep Premium Service
Consultant: Melissa Chan

I interviewed several admissions consultants and Kathryn immediately stood out for how much time she took to get to know me and the insightful questions she asked in our initial call. These questions (describe one of your happiest moments/describe one of your saddest moments) were key in setting the tone for the self-reflection that informed my business school application process. She also gave me the confidence to apply for my dream school, HBS, with her frank assessment.

I worked with Melissa on applications to Wharton and HBS. Melissa gave thoughtful feedback and kept me on track despite illness/crazy work. Melissa was instrumental in helping me clarify my story and reason for applying to business school through the MANY drafts we did of my Wharton essays. I am not an inexperienced writer, but her feedback and revisions made my essays truly shine and took them to the next level.

The thing that stood out to me most about Square One was their care. I decided not to apply to Lauder very late (mid-Dec - after finalizing my essays!), and both Kathryn and Melissa took time to understand my thought process and for me to feel 100% comfortable in my decision even though this meant completely revising my application for Wharton.

I'll be attending HBS in the Fall and am very grateful to Kathryn and Melissa for their help in getting me there.

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