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Square One Prep Admissions Consulting Reviews

You're at square one with the application process. Partner with us to ensure your next destination is business school. We’ve helped 1,200 clients since 2009. 90% succeeded and 35% secured unsolicited scholarships. Our focus isn’t client volume or revenue; it’s you. We hope you can sense that when you read reviews.

Top business schools teach that diverse teams create the most impactful solutions. Our diverse team ensures our clients craft the most impactful applications. In addition to being the most diverse among admissions firms, our team is the most rigorous and hands-on.
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Square One Prep Admissions Consulting Reviews

Square One Prep Premium Service
 $4950  $5050
Reviews
459
Average Rating
4.9
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Square One Prep Premium Service
 $6900  $6900
Reviews
459
Average Rating
4.9
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Most Reviewed Square One Prep Consultants

Kathryn Lucas
Reviews
173
Average Rating
4.9
Lara Avsar
Reviews
17
Average Rating
5.0
Matteo Rattighieri
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17
Average Rating
5.0
Mary Winograd
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15
Average Rating
5.0
Kathleen Danoher
Reviews
15
Average Rating
5.0

Reviews:

504 Reviews
4.9 Average
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February 05, 2022
lmartinez105

Joined: Jan 28, 2020

Posts: 3

Kudos: 0

Self-reported Score:
660 Q44 V37

Completely Worth It – Be Ready to Work Hard

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

I am really happy with the process and results SOP offered. Now that I am already admitted into CBS, I can assure you that every service SOP offers is exactly the way they describe it and the execution is very methodical. I strongly recommend going into their webpage and checking the “process” chart since it is very accurate.

At the very beginning of the process, what attracted me to SOP was that they gave me the chance to have three free consultations (two with Kathryn and one with my future advisor Allison), something other firms didn’t agree to do. I already knew that I wanted to apply to HBS, GSB and CBS, and Kathryn gave me a thorough explanation of my strengths and weaknesses and described the areas I could improve to be able to get into those schools. During the first consultation, I told Kathryn I had a weak GMAT score and she honestly told me she couldn’t work with me if I only wanted to apply to those three schools. This surprised me and told me A LOT about the firm since she could have easily said yes knowing I didn’t have too many chances of success. So, after I retook the exam and got a better score, we agreed to start working together on my MBA application.

During the process I worked most of the time with my advisor Allison Nelson. What I liked about her was that she was completely to the point – no bs, no false expectations, always honest and succinct in her answers. She pushed me to write some of the best essays I ever wrote, prompting me to think about my past experiences and helping me build a strong story. She always reminded me to send the drafts back to her and kept me on track every time I was falling behind schedule. Something that caught me off guard during the process was the work I did with Luis Bellon. Luis is a master storyteller and made me think the most how I wanted to present and pitch my story. I struggled during this process because it pushed my confidence boundaries and I ended up taking more time that I was comfortable with taking.

Overall, I have to thank the three of them for giving me advice and emotional support in every single step. I recommend SOP to anyone who wants to apply to business school.

PD: I selected the three-school premium package

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June 20, 2022
Blinkimus

Joined: Jun 20, 2022

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
730 Q49 V40

A Great Experience!

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A friend referred me to Square One Prep and I cannot recommend them enough.
Telling my story took a few calls to nail down, but Cristina, Horatiu and Kathryn helped me stay on track with my applications, guiding me through the unknowns of the application process and ensuring I put my best foot forward. Our work from program selection, essay editing and interview prep to comparing offers helped me find my best fit. The team was not afraid to tell me when I was not doing my best in the process and pushed me to produce my most genuine applications.
I am very excited to be attending a wonderful program this fall with significant merit aid!
Thank you Cristina, Horatiu and Kathryn!

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June 16, 2022
luy155

Joined: Jul 18, 2018

Posts: 73

Kudos: 7

Best Consulting Services

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Thanks to Kathryn, Annie, Horatiu, and the rest of the SquareOnePrep team, I breezed through the application process for business school. Their all-inclusive approach to helping me construct my career story helped me concentrate on what was important to me and enabled me to show my best self to business school admissions committees.

What is the rationale behind SOP?

I spoke with a few MBA consultants from various companies. As far as I'm concerned, I don't want to work with someone who either overestimated or underestimated my abilities. My first conversation with Kathryn from SOP was positive, but she also pointed me what I needed to improve upon based on the results of my application. Her words of wisdom were a great boost to my self-esteem and practical in nature.

The four key components of their services are Resume, LOR, Career Narrative and Essays.

Resume: Many hours of phone calls with Annie, my academic adviser, were spent developing my résumé, and she pointed out many aspects of my academic and professional achievements that I had overlooked. In the end, the resume that was created using SOP was quite thorough and compelling in its content.

LOR: Even though I had previously applied to a master's programme and submitted a professional letter of recommendation, this LOR prepared with SOP for MBA was very striking and had a number of personal & professional tales. The SOP presented my supervisor with a wealth of information to consider when making their recommendation.

Carrier Narrative: The nicest part about SOP is that they take 3-4 separate sessions to set short-term and long-term objectives. This encouraged individuals to look at various career objectives, companies, and the impact they had on society, and eventually a clear path post MBA short and long term goal was established.

Essays: Each of my meetings with my adviser was helpful and supplied me with a wealth of useful information, which helped me write more effective essays.

Overall, I'm glad I selected SOP for MBA consulting, and I know it would have been exceedingly tough for me to be in the place I am now if it hadn't been for their help. Thank you SOP, and thank you Kathryn!

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June 13, 2022
YB5

Joined: Jul 27, 2021

Posts: 22

Kudos: 7

Verified score:
700 Q45 V41 (Online)

Square One Prep is amazing!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

When I started my MBA application journey, I decided that getting an MBA Admissions consultant was worth the investment. I spoke to a few consultants at the large firms, and I settled with one advisor. Shortly after, I received an email from GMAT Club, and there was an ad in the email for SOP, saying that almost everyone that uses SOP highly recommends it. I was intrigued, so I checked the recommendations on GMAT Club, and they were glowing. I then explored the website, and I was shocked to find out that at SOP, a whole team looks after you - including SOP’s founder, Kathryn. This setup was unlike the large firms where the advisor you choose is the one you work with throughout the application(s). I was even more intrigued, and I decided to schedule an introductory call with Katheryn, which was unlike any other experience, mind-blowing and humbling.
Katheryn was more thorough than the several hours of calls I had already had with the other firm in just that first introductory call. She took such a deep interest in my story and knew exactly how to help me. I could tell from that first call how passionate Kathryn is about her work. I was so surprised by how she connected to me and my story in that call, and I knew right then and there that although it would be expensive to purchase a package on top of the one I had already purchased, I HAD to work with SOP. Katheryn is careful and thoughtful about the process - she even schedules a call with three different advisors that she believes will pair nicely with you/your personality/your story. This step makes so much sense, and it is entirely intuitive. The amount of work that goes into MBA applications is exhaustive, so it is great knowing that you ‘click’ with your advisor, who will be working most closely with you.

I am so lucky and grateful to have worked with Allison; she is friendly, efficient, and responsive. She pushed me to refine my work over and over. Sometimes I thought that a particular essay was good enough, but she suggested we change something to improve it.

The career narrative work with Wendy was one of the most valuable exercises that will be useful during the essay writing process, coffee chats with MBA schools, interviews… etc. I can’t emphasize how important and beneficial it is.

The editing team, the tracking system, the LOR process, and everything at SOP was efficient and yielded results. I am so grateful to Kathryn, Allison, Wendy, and the rest of the SOP team have helped me achieve a dream. Thank you so much.

After trying more than one admissions firm, I can confidently say that SOP is above and beyond. For any aspiring MBA student starting their MBA application journey reading this, I am not trying to convince you to use SOP right away, but I highly recommend you, at least, have a free consult with Kathryn - you have nothing to lose!

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May 27, 2022
aschar

Joined: May 19, 2022

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q50 V40

Square One Prep!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

Kathryn, Afiya, and the SquareOnePrep team were incredible in guiding me along my business school application journey. Their comprehensive approach to helping me craft my career narrative brought into focus what I cared about and allowed me to showcase my best self for business school. The collaboration and constructive criticism helped me hone my essays to a degree that I was humbly surprised by the essay’s strength! Lastly, and most importantly, SquareOnePrep did not give up on me even when I felt liking giving up on myself. When I really needed it, they worked with me to build a strategy for a waitlist and I eventually got into my top school.

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May 25, 2022
Take6

Joined: Oct 06, 2021

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
650 Q43 V37

Great Experience

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

Square One handheld me through the entire application process: school selection, career goal building, resume/; essay development, and interview preparation. The team was always readily available to answer my questions and helped me create a story that grabbed the attention of all my top schools. The work we created enabled the admissions committees to look past a lackluster test score, which I was very nervous would lead them to reject me without an interview. I got waitlisted at 5 top programs and an offer with a full scholarship at Darden! Because of Darden's generosity, I didn't try to covert at other schools. There is no question that my applications were more robust and that I got more traction due to Square One's guidance.

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May 18, 2022
user2022

Joined: May 18, 2022

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q50 V40

Kathryn is amazing!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

I chose Kathryn from Square One Prep for a premium comprehensive package. She is a great admission consultant who really understands how to communicate and distill stories for you to help you succeed. I would not hesitate to recommend Kathryn to you if you are serious about your applications! One thing to hightlight about Kathryn is that her help to you does not end at admission. In fact, the relationship extends beyond the admission offer letter! She also helps guide you all the way until you start school, sometimes even over a lengthy period of time to help you best communicate with the school. I highly recommend Kathryn!

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May 11, 2022
MBAtotherescue

Joined: May 09, 2022

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

High quality advisors and experience - Definitely recommend!!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

The SOP Team (Kathryn, Anna and the career-narrative expert) did a fantastic job in helping with my applications. I got into multiple schools and my top choice T15 school. Kathryn is an extremely dedicated, honest, empathetic and a resourceful person who has decades of experience in helping students reach their potential. I realised, it makes a huge difference to work with advisors who love their job and are truly working to help you put your best foot forward.

Kathryn is one of the best advisors - especially with her knowledge on B-Schools and what ticks in an application. You cannot go wrong working with Kathryn. Check out the other testimonials on how amazing Kathryn and her team is on advisory work, crafting the application, the thorough and structured process, the quick turn-arounds, the career-narrative process and the top-class service overall. While this is exactly what all of us, as applicants, need, I also want to highlight how SOP genuinely supported me and in the process, changed my perspective of the whole application ordeal.

I still vividly remember making the choice to reach out to SOP with exactly 4.5 weeks to go for school deadlines. As is the amazing process at SOP, after my conversation with Kathryn, I spoke to 3 advisors to choose one that I would work with for the next few weeks. The process enabled me to work with Anna, a truly amazing human being, a fellow international applicant who was in my footsteps a few years ago. She has since become a great friend for life. The next 4-5 weeks of crafting applications to 5 schools went through like the best breeze there could be, because mentally I never felt it was just ‘my’ B-school application. Anna spent countless hours – mornings and nights, and at times while she was on treks or in flights – helping me throughout the journey. I can write many pages about Anna’s work but the two things that stood out were how she equipped me with the tools and created agency, and how she was empathetic and had a strong grasp of my values. Many times, Anna would mention a couple of points below an essay prompt alluding to things she believed I could mention about my career/ life/ extracurriculars - have you ever seen an advisor like this?!

With SOP, I had an entire team to help me brainstorm, vet my drafts, my ideas, ask deeper questions in each essay draft and bring out the best side of me in my applications. Truly, to me, the application never felt like work. I’ve heard many applicants say that crafting the applications was a tougher task for them than taking up the standardized tests, but for me (with SOP by my side) it was the total opposite. I had taken the standardized tests multiple times, but after working on my applications with SOP and having conversed with Kathryn and Anna, every single day, I realised my perspective on the application and my test journey had changed - I had immense confidence in what I had to offer. I felt mentally stronger and calmer. I retook the test after submitting my application, and fared way better than the previous few times. A huge relief! I asked for strategies on sharing updated scores and waitlist updates with schools - each time Kathryn and Anna were always by my side, helping me more than I could imagine. I am truly grateful to the SOP team for their work and their presence in my life. I could not have asked for better advisors. I have a lot of respect for the amazing work Kathryn does, the company she has built and the team she has hired - Having seen first hand her commitment to her work, I’m almost certain she never sleeps :)

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May 11, 2022
vnsy35

Joined: May 10, 2022

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Amazing experience with Square One Prep

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I was late into the application process and was anxious if I could prepare a strong application in time. On the recommendation of some of my seniors who had great experiences with SOP, I decided to choose the same. Right now, with admits from both Tuck and Haas with good scholarships, I'm confident I made the right choice with SOP. I worked with Matt Hartford, who has been a great listener and advisor. He helped me peel back the layers on my many experiences and connect them to create an impactful story and a well-rounded application. I recommend SOP to anyone getting into the B-School application process. There is so much to the process than just listing out your achievements and SOP will help you realize it! My partner also worked with them, applying to only one school, Tuck. Despite the riskiness of a 1-school application strategy, I’m thrilled to say she and I BOTH celebrated offers!

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May 07, 2022
ParnikaGoyal

Joined: Dec 27, 2020

Posts: 1

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q48 V44 (Online)

Great experience working with SOP team

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

Square One Prep has played such a massive role in my entire application process. At the start of my application journey, I was overwhelmed trying to juggle my current job, GMAT prep, and multiple applications. Kathryn and I had an hour-long initial consultation where she took the time to understand me, my story, and my goals and I instantly liked her straight-forward and structured approach to work. The SOP has set up a truly comprehensive process and put a great deal of attention to every aspect of the application- I especially found the career narrative to be a complete eye-opener. Luis had me dig deep to discover my ultimate "why" and my dream career, and whilst this was very challenging, it was hugely rewarding to see the result later. I also worked with Wilson as my consultant, and I cannot recommend him enough. He was super responsive, thoughtful and completely dedicated to setting me up for success. I enjoyed having brainstorming sessions with him and he truly invested a lot to make sure we communicate the story in an interesting and authentic manner. I couldn't have asked for a better experience for my MBA applications, and there is no doubt in my mind that SOP is the reason I am going to my dream school!

If you are considering using an MBA admissions consultant, I would implore you to definitely consider working with SOP.

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83 Older and Non-Verified Reviews for Square One Prep