|All Reviews > Square One Prep Reviews|
Joined: Dec 31, 2018
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When I was looking for an MBA admissions consultant, I set up multiple successive intro calls so I could do my due diligence before making my decision. Kathryn from Square One was my first call but before the conversation was over, I'd already made up my mind to work with her and her company. She was kind, considerate, let me ramble on about my uncomfortable life story (taking up MUCH longer than the free 30 min consultation!). But she took the time to understand me and my objectives, and was very honest about my chances of getting in given my unique context . I emailed the other consultancies as soon as I hung up and told them I’d be happy to keep the appointment but in order to be respectful of their time, I wanted to let them know that I'd almost surely decided to work with someone else and it would be hard to change my mind. They all kept the calls, and to be honest, all of them were fantastic and gave great insight so would have been a no-brainer had I not already met Kathryn. But I had already met her and she’d set the bar far too high for them to pass it!
Choosing Square One Prep was the best decision I made. You're a person to them, not a number. They know you, they know your story, they will challenge you and push you to be a better version of yourself and to present a better version of yourself that authentically represents who you are to the adcoms.
Anxiety is a huge part of this process and Kathryn appeased my anxiety about the process from that first call. Her entire team is phenomenall - I once had a stressful morning when I learned of some info that may affect my chances of being considered at some of the schools I was applying to given my unique context. Bailey (the amazing Chief of Staff) ) emailed me right away to let me know that she would spend the morning PERSONALLY CALLING each of my ~10 potential target schools to discuss the situation and clarify. So II went into my morning meetings reassured that she was on top of it and came out a few hours later with a vert clear answer and path forward. This isn't really part of any package, but just an example of how Square One will go above and beyond to make this process as easy as possible for you!
And after choosing SOP, I suggest LISTENING to their advice them~ Kathryn tried to warn me about some of the mistakes she could see me about to make, but I thought I could push myself, as I’d always had, and could do it all anyway. But I had an incredibly stressful job that was unsupportive of my application to B-school and my optimistic plans were prone to chaos, as they always are - things can go wrong, stress increases your propensity to sickness, sacrificing sleep = sacrificing quality of output, etc. All culminated to an incredibly stressful time where I had to deal with a full time job, made sure my personal life didn’t implode and finish the MANY things required to finish a stellar application. But once again, Square One Prep was there for me every step of the way.
Another piece of advice - start engaging with them early! It may seem like you'll only need a few months but the truth is, the more you build in time to reflect and introspect, the better things will be. Some of the essays are quite personal and if you need to reflect on challenging and difficult times in your life and how they’ve shaped yo, it can be psychologically exhausting and emotional experience that will further exacerbate the stress. But having the fantastic Square One team by my side, ready to answer any question, ready to appease my anxiety, encouraging me and supporting me every step of the way, made ALL the difference!
Tl, Dr: Square One Prep is your personalized coach, buddy, confidante, mentor. I knew exactly what I needed to do and when, they were with me through every step of the way, they challenged me to write better and think deeper, and they were there to check it twice. If you have no idea where to start or you think you know exactly what you need to do, you need Square One. You have no idea how hard this process is going to be, but THEY do and they will guide you and support you every step of the way!
Joined: May 28, 2019
I went into the application process feeling overwhelmed about having to craft tailored essays and other materials for several schools, while also balancing work and volunteering. Kathryn, Rahul, and the team were very helpful in keeping me organized and sharing their deep understanding of the nuanced differences among all the schools to which I applied. Their guidance around how to write, rewrite, and edit essays seems stressful at the time but worth the gain in the end. I am grateful for the team at SOP for guiding me through crafting my narrative, keeping me on track, and making sure my submissions were of the highest quality!
Joined: Apr 04, 2019
If there is one thing I have learnt in the three years of applying to US B-schools is that, no one understands the application process and each school’s requirements as well as Squareone prep does. I was frustrated of not being able to land admission in a top school despite of having a 720 in my GMAT and considerable international experience.
My first call with Kathryn put me at ease and made me believe that I could get into a top school. Squareprep one totally changed my perspective and approach towards the application process. The process of developing a career narrative with Kathryn & Wendy in the most intense , thought provoking part of the application process. This process sets the tone of the entire application and helps you greatly in the school interviews.
My advisor, Matteo was patient, supportive and right kind of strict with me. He would respond back to me on very short notices. My work was very hectic during the applications and Matteo was very understanding of that and helped meet the deadlines despite of me signing up very close to the
deadlines. Kathryn and Matteo helped me review my earlier applications and find out my areas of improvement. I would recommend SOP to anyone who is nervous about the application process and wants put their best B-school application forward.
Joined: May 11, 2018
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I am very pleased with Kathryn and her team at Square One Prep! When I began my application process, I had significant time commitments at work and tight application deadlines. I needed an MBA admissions consultant who could provide candid advice, help me work quickly and efficiently, and bring out my strongest qualities. Kathryn, Teresa, Bailey, and Wendy delivered! They are very knowledgeable about the admission process and their work is extremely thorough. Rest assured they will challenge your work through as many iterations as necessary to make your application strong and convincing. Throughout the process, I was impressed by how responsive and supportive Kathryn and her team are. This was important to me given my tight deadlines. I highly recommend Square One Prep. Jump on a call with Kathryn for your free consultation and you will quickly see how Square One Prep stands out from other consultancies.
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 20, 2014
700 Q48 V37
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I was not sure about using an admission consulting service at all. I have had quite basic previous free 30 min calls and the hefty price tag could have been a deal breaker. Also, as an ambitious under represented minority (African educated guy working abroad) with some level of pre-MBA quality experiences, I was (in a hindsight) somewhat confident that I was top B-School material enough and underestimated the amount of work I had to do.
Following a recommendation of a friend who had just been admitted into 2 top 10 B-Schools, I decided to register for a call with Kathryn.
Our discussion has been a game changer : (i) Kathryn took the time to understand as much as she can about who I am, my current level of self-awareness and my understanding of my personal statement (from a scheduled 30 mins we spent around 1h45) and (ii) her remarks were incisive and more elaborate than those I received in others free calls.
From this moment till the reception of my acceptance letters (admitted to two top Bschools with above average scholarships), Kathryn and her consultants (Joey and Kaitleen) provided really strong support in helping me going through my ideas and presenting them in an effective way.
Particularly, Joey has been critical to this journey. His personality, impressive track record and professionalism were catalyst into how well and how deep I walked through my past experiences to reflect about them and to determine how these experiences could highlight specific set of skills. Last but not least, Joey has solid practical post MBA experience in my field of interest and was therefore quite eager to pinpoint some broken understandings I had. He has been extremely instrumental in my self reflection part of this MBA application process.
Obviously, I strongly recommend SOP work.
• Application strategy
• Availability (phone or mail)
• Post MBA industry insights
• personal statement and brand definition
• Ability to bring my personality into the multiple essays and application parts
• Essay editing
• Emotional support
• Diverse point of views on application work (key phases of essay work assessed by your consultant, Kathryn and -possibly- another SOP member)
• School selection
• Management of a transition when Joey and SOP
• School tailored interview preparation
• Deepen the interview strategy (depending on the type of interview and the business school, what axis and what potential shortfalls a school might want to stress test, which aspects of one's application should one try to bring forth?)
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: Aug 28, 2017
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My process was a bit different. After unsuccessful applications in Round 1, I knew it was time to switch consultants - I must have interviewed over a dozen but Kathryn and the team at Square One prep stood out like no other. The first conversation with Kathryn was revelatory - from the length and the content of the discussion, it was obvious that Square One was invested in my success. This was a really refreshing change!
I was so impressed that I selected Square one prep even before learning of their program for candidates in need of financial support. As someone from a development background, I was so grateful when I found out that Square one offers a discount to candidates in low income brackets.
Working with Kathryn, Lara (my consultant), Wendy (my career advice expert) and the rest of the team was an incredible experience. I’d worked with a consultant before but Square one was clearly miles ahead and helped me transform my narrative, my essays and my resume! The level of responsiveness combined with the in-depth knowledge on the admissions process Square One brings to the table is truly unmatched.
With Square One’s help, I’m happy to report I was accepted into three schools of my choice (one on a full scholarship!) and now face the difficult but fortunate situation of deciding. I had a 100% acceptance rate in Round 2 of my MBA applications and I couldn’t have done it without Kathryn and her team!
Joined: Jun 07, 2017
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It was an incredible experience working with Kathryn , Bailey, Wendy and my adviser Krasina. They are not just admission consultants, but are counsellors too.
I was introduced to them by one of my friends from Alaska who worked with them last year and got amazing results. I was unsure and hesitant initially because all the other consultants I’d talked with were blunt, telling me that it was unrealistic to apply to US schools with such a low GMAT score (580).However, after my first call with Kathryn I was able to regain some hope and was optimistic about my journey to apply to MBA schools. Brainstorming sessions with them was very helpful and worth it. The team pushed me to get deep into my research on why I want an MBA and how it’s is going to help me. That positioned me to answer such questions with great ease in my essays and during interviews. As the days went by, I gained more confidence in my journey and this happened solely because of their organised, focused, optimistic attitude towards me every step of the way.
Every day counts , which is what I have learnt from them .My adviser Krasina who is a great soul advised me to enjoy this journey instead of anxious – to trust her and the rest of the team. She worked with me on my resume, LORs, and essays. She also helped me with sites and links if I was stuck with my research during the career narrative work. I remember an incident where I pinged her on whatsapp to talk to me right away if free, and in no time she was on call with me. I truly am overwhelmed with all the efforts my adviser Krasina along with Kathryn, Wendy, and Bailey made to help me succeed with my applications.. Thank you so much everyone from the core of my heart for being there for me and help me to make my dream, which seemed to be irrational initially, come true.
Joined: Apr 04, 2019
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I worked with Kathleen/ Kathryn on applying to Harvard and Stanford. I can speak very highly of the team on how they handled the entire process. In retrospect, a few aspects stand out:
1. They were knowledgeable about the application/ admissions process: I came to the process without a lot of knowledge of the application process, and through the Square One team's help, was able to find which programs really interested me and what would be required in preparing for the applications.
2. They challenged my application to make it stronger: throughout the process, whether it was the application essay or the interview, they constantly challenged with questions and comments, to make the story stronger and succinct.
3. They were responsive and punctual: in the life of a busy New York professional, managing the Business School application process was not easy. Thanks to Square One team, it felt a lot more manageable and ultimately achieved an outcome that I wanted.