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Working with Square One Prep was the BEST decision I ever made. Kathryn and her consultants were a
tremendous resource and help in each and every step of the way. From explaining the application
process/interview procedures, etc. to providing tailored advice regarding essays and fit with each school.
Their expertise and dedication to my success paid off. I am truly grateful for everything they have helped
me with and here are 3 reasons of many why I'd recommend them:
1. Full dedication and availability - Even though I was halfway across the world, they were there 24/7 full
of energy and support with sound advice, whether it was about my goals, my essays, my overall story,
even my tone of voice in my mock interview, you name it. I actually started my work with Square One
Prep with one of Kathryn's consultants, who was amazing. Then she left Square One Prep unexpectedly.
Kathryn didn't give me to another consultant even though it would have been fine for her to because I'd
just finished my resume, hadn't started essays or LORs yet. Instead, she surprisingly stepped in to guide
me the rest of the way. It was first class service.
2. Someone to keep you focused and on track/schedule - Although at times, I really didn't believe I could
make the application deadline, Kathryn's push and motivation helped make this goal a reality.
3. Experience with other international applicants - She knew what to look out for and exactly how I could
make my application distinct from other applicants from South East Asia.
Kathryn, I can't thank you enough!!! I could not have gotten into Columbia without you!!!
Joined: Nov 07, 2014
720 Q43 V47
The business school application process was, without doubt, one of the most stressful and agonising periods of my life. But I’m sure that it would have been a hell of a lot worse and less successful without Kathryn’s help.
When I began researching application consultants, what made Square One stand out was the fact the “free, 30 minute consultation” that all of the consultancies offer lasted about an hour and a half with Kathryn. Unsurprisingly, I was deeply impressed by this level of dedication before I had even decided to commit to Square One.
Although the relationship I had with the consultant that I selected was disappointing, Kathryn was always available to talk to and was extremely quick to step in and offer to be my consultant when I shared my concerns (which led her to let go of that consultant). From then on it felt like I had a full time consultant who was always on call. With her help, I was able to complete all of the applications I wanted to. No mean feat, since I applied to seven schools and had just over a month to do them all, which was made even harder as it was over the festive period. One particular highlight (or lowlight, depending on your point of view) that summed up Kathryn’s commitment was working with her on Christmas Day on one of my applications.
As the interview stage came into view, there was little doubt that I was a truly awful interviewee who needed a whole lot of extra practice. Kathryn was not going to let me go into my interviews until I was truly ready. We must have spent a good 6-8 hours on the phone preparing for my various interviews, which, fortunately, had the desired effect and I came out of each of my interviews feeling confident that they had gone well.
Finally, when I had been put on the waitlist of a couple of schools and had given up virtually all hope, Kathryn refused to let me be defeated and helped me draft letters that finally led to me being offered a place at INSEAD.
In short, I have little doubt that I would not be starting an MBA at INSEAD this fall without Kathryn and Square One’s help. No matter what it took, Kathryn was always there to help. I can’t thank and recommend her enough
I spoke with 8 MBA consulting firms before finally deciding to go with Kathryn. Why? Kathryn was very generous with her time in explaining my MBA options and application strategies to me, even before I became her client. She is friendly, patient, knowledgeable about what the different schools look for in an application, and extremely organized. Kathryn was always on top of things and would make sure you are too, this was important to me especially during essay writing and managing my recommenders, which was both time-consuming and labor intensive. Above all, the part that really made Kathryn stand out was that, unlike most MBA consultants who recommend applicants to apply to certain reach schools, a few realistic schools and a few safety schools based on a 5-minute glance at your GMAT, GPA and your unpolished resume during your first phone consultation, Kathryn encouraged me to never curb my potentials to apply to great schools based on what programs others think you can get into, which was critical in me ultimately getting into Columbia.
Joined: May 01, 2015
Dear Prospective Student,
You are so lucky you found Square One Prep. I called them, along with many other consultancies, when I first considered business school. I was unclear about what I really wanted to do, but thought it was the logical next step. Square One Prep stood out because they were the one company that encouraged me to find clarity in my mission and objectives--they inspired me to think before I act. Ultimately, with their help, I decided I wasn't ready for b-school. They put my readiness above their profits, and that didn't go unnoticed by me. A year later, when I felt ready to pursue an MBA, Square One Prep was the only company I reached out to.
With their guidance, I beautifully transformed my resume and essays. My consultant knew exactly what the admissions committees wanted to see. By asking insightful, probing questions, she guided me to truly discover my passion and purpose. She then helped me create the right language to convey those messages, which led me to get accepted into my top choice program!
Congratulations of your decision to pursue an MBA. Trust me when I say that your next decision should be to work with Square One Prep. They will inspire you just as they did me. Their investment in you will lead you to succeed with this most daunting process, just as I did!
As you embark upon your journey towards your dream MBA, you may or may not comprehend the bewildering tasks that lie before you. When I first approached Square One Prep, I was enamored by
the idea of business school but unsure of much more beyond that. My consultant, equal parts warm and firm, skillfully cultivated my voice and narrative while keenly keeping a tactical view of the
adcoms' perspective and potential critiques . My consultant helped me delve into my past and rediscover experiences and anecdotes that I might not have touched on without her. This proved crucial in the recalibrating of my resume and the crafting of each personalized essay. Unbeknownst to me, my creative edge had dulled with the onset of a banking career, and my consultant played a pivotal role in encouraging me to explore all aspects of myself to flesh out a compelling case for admission. In addition, Square One Prep's approach to both the Letters of Recommendation (much trickier than I anticipated ) and interview made two potentially ominous parts of the journey much easier to handle.In short, Square One Prep was an invaluable guiding light through the minutia of a potentially overwhelming couple of months in my life. My consultant was always there for me, offering
encouragement, honesty, and discipline to successfully fulfill my dream. I've had a terrific time at my dream school, Sloan, and
and couldn't have done it without Square One Prep!"
–client from: Singapore/Hong Kong
–admitted to: Sloan
I don't usually write testimonials, but feel compelled to write one on this occasion. Simply put, deciding to go with Square One Prep was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I applied to London Business School during one of the most competitive rounds, less than 2 weeks before the deadline and with a lower than average GMAT score. From the first call with my consultant, I knew I had made the right choice
Working with them, I was able to turn my story, which I had previously deemed unremarkable, into something compelling that truly struck at the heart of why I wanted to pursue my MBA. My consultant truly cared and guided me through every step of the application process. I never even noticed that there was an ocean between us - the time difference was moot.
Together we experienced the highs (getting an interview), the lows (being on the waitlist) and the delirious (getting accepted).
I truly do not think I would have come this far without Square One.
It was really the initial consultation and the follow-up that sealed the deal for me to work with Square One Prep. In our first conversation, they did not pressure me to sign on with them or to apply right away. Rather, they encouraged me to take a step back, get prepared, and figure out my own timeline for applying to business school. The owner checked in periodically to see where I was with my GMAT studying and general pre-application prep, but never pestered. She really showed that she wanted me to make the right decision to apply on my own terms.
My biggest concern in applying was the seemingly incongruous nature of my past work experiences. I come from a background that included economics/finance education and work in the
telecommunications and mortgage industries and I didn't know where to begin in explaining this.
I signed on with Square One to work with them on my resume, as the owner explained that if my resume wasn't strong, the admissions officers wouldn't make it to my essays and LORs. They then drew out both connections and strengths in my
experiences and truly helped me craft my story. They were very direct with their guidance and edits.
My resume would be nowhere near the quality it is today without their help. The work put in on my resume paid dividends when I wrote my goals essays and when I went to my interviews - as I was able to tell my story with continuity and conviction.
Thank you Square One Prep - with your help I'm now heading to McCombs!
Square One Prep,
Can you believe it has been one year already? Yep, one year ago I contacted you about helping me win admission to a MBA program. Now in a few months, I’ll be starting at MIT Sloan. When I look back I realize I needed your advice more than I originally suspected.
While writing my essays your feedback was instrumental. As a military candidate I was not completely sure how to translate my experiences into stories the admissions committee would understand and value. You helped me reduce the amount of military jargon in my stories and also helped make my stories more clear, concise, and compelling. In addition, you always responded back in a timely manner (almost always less than 24 hrs).
I feel like you and I built a strong professional relationship, where I felt comfortable sharing very personal stories about my personal and professional life. From the very first phone consultation to the mock-interview (and every conversation in between) I could sense that you genuinely cared about my success as a MBA applicant.
Date: April 1, 2013 (Booth EMBA app is due at 11:59pm CST)
Time: 9am CST
"I was ready to submit my application to Booth, the only school I was applying to. As a final check I called Square One to request one quick review of my essays and resume. Upon reading them, Square One's owner, Kathryn, called and told me I had no chance of getting in with what I'd written. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. She asked why I had waited until the deadline to call her, saying that I failed to understand how competitive the process is and what admissions officers want. When she told me I needed to start over I was upset, but also relieved, as the deadline was still almost 15 hours away. She had other client calls that day, but cleared her calendar because she felt strongly that I could put together a strong application with her guidance. Unbelievably, for the next 14 hours she got to know me and helped me craft work that was phenomenal. The transformation my materials underwent is hard to explain. I was still telling my story, but it was so much sharper, fuller, and on-point. She worked with me up until the moment I submitted my GOLD STANDARD application one hour before the deadline. What Square One did for me that day was nothing short of amazing.
One week after submitting I was invited to interview. I did the mock interview with Square One. Once again they helped me push myself further, this time to tell even more than I was sharing in my written application. I got accepted two weeks later and know that I wouldn't have gotten that call had I not made the call to Square One!!
If you are looking for a complete analysis of your candidacy and a true partner in the process, I highly recommend Square One."
Applying to business school is a daunting and overwhelming process but I was fortunate to have Square One Prep guide me through it. First, after my consultant helped me understand my candidacy relative to the overall pool of candidates, an endeavor that took three phone calls that totaled more than 8 hours, she helped me decide which schools were the best fit for me. In fact, she convinced me to aim higher than I originally planned to aim. I was aiming really low due to my 560 GMAT score. Second, my consultant was unbelievably helpful with reviewing all of my application materials to make sure they were as strong as they could be without losing my voice and intent. Third, she was always there for me if I had any questions about the process---any questions at all. Ultimately, I was accepted to every school I applied to - Babson, Baruch, Northeastern, University of Illinois . I definitely could not have successfully gone through this process without Square One Prep's help and sincerely recommend them to anyone applying to business school. Thank you!!