|All Reviews > Square One Prep Reviews|
Joined: Jul 14, 2015
720 Q45 V44
When I was first in the process of looking at schools to apply to, I was overwhelmed by all of the information out there, and really didn't know where to start. I didn't want to waste my time applying to schools that I had no shot at getting into, and so initially just needed that guidance to understand how I compared as a candidate. Kathryn was super helpful in going down my list of schools, listing the pros and cons, and stating why each would be a good fit or not for me, based on my desired goals.
With making the decision to pursue an MBA, the biggest and most important part of the process is having a clear and concise reason for why pursuing an MBA at this point in your career is a good step for you, and how each specific school is going to help shape the path that you see for yourself. This was the hardest part of the application as you really need to dig down deep to figure out what you are looking for and whether the path you see for yourself is realistic within the scope of your career experience so far. Kathryn, Wendy, and Garry were pivotal through this process and I went through several rounds of revisions with them really honing my career narrative. This process proved to be extremely fruitful as it provided a baseline upon which I built my essays for every single school I applied to.
Along with the narrative, the incredibly structured process with regards to the LORs and the guidance that the team was consistently able to provide was incredibly beneficial as well. I am incredibly grateful for the support and guidance the Square One team was able to provide me and am looking forward to matriculating at a top MBA program next year!
Joined: Dec 29, 2019
750 Q50 V42
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The entire Square One team has been great throughout the process including Kathryn, Wendy, and Bailey. They helped me craft every part of my application from my career narrative to through the actual applications and follow-ups. I spoke with a number of consultants and ended up with Square One because I never felt like I was being 'sold to' - they gave me a realistic assessment of my chances and I was lucky enough to be admitted to a number of the top MBA programs. I've recommended Square One to a couple of my friends also considering applying for an MBA - without them and their framework for success, I would have been much less disciplined and less successful throughout this process.
I'd like to give a special shout-out to Matteo, my day-to-day advisor. He's been a great resource and knew when to push and give me critical feedback and keep me on schedule. He was a great in providing feedback for my initial essay ideas and the interview process. I definitely appreciate all the time and effort he's put into my MBA journey and can't recommend him highly enough.
Joined: Dec 23, 2019
740 Q50 V39
My first call with Kathryn distinguished Square One Point from peers. Instead of giving enticing albeit impractical "we will get you into your dream B-school" promise, she continued to question me to make sure I truly understand why an MBA is necessary to me and what gaps I need to fill to receive my ideal offer. These questions helped me reflect deeper and analyze myself more comprehensively, creating long-lasting benefits throughout my applications.
My subsequent work experience with the team (Lee, Kathryn, Wendy and Bailey) further confirmed SOP is not “one of” but “the best” choice for MBA application consultancy. Everyone is so delightful to work with though I must say they do play devil’s advocate from time to time to push me to work harder on my preparation and craft a stronger application package. It was also because of their efficiency that enabled me to submit application to all 7 target schools one month ahead of deadlines.
Last but not least, I want to give special thanks to my consultant Lee, who not only provided instrumental help in every stage of my application, but demonstrated to me, with her own actions, that we should always never sacrifice quality for speed. She has also generously spent many extra hours with me just to make sure my application materials are as best as they could be. And the advice she has given me is not only valuable in MBA application but in life as well. I have truly enjoyed our partnership and always felt lucky to have met her at SOP.
Joined: Jun 05, 2018
750 Q50 V41
To talk about my experience with SOP I’ll have to go back to Square One.
I learned about Square One Prep from a close friend who had worked with them. I spoke with several admissions consultants but I could tell that SOP was different during my very first call - Kathryn just wanted to understand who I was and asked me questions that made me think deeply about why I wanted to get an MBA. While other consultants told me that I ought to retake the GMAT to get into my dream schools, Kathryn explained to me the importance of differentiating myself through all the other aspects of the application process. She went beyond our stipulated 30-min to explain how the process worked. At the end of the call I received a customized plan and just couldn’t wait to begin.
The Square One Team and their process are incredible. Kathryn was available at every step of the way; she is incredibly thorough, always available (I mean ALWAYS, I don’t know when she sleeps!), and does not settle for anything less than perfection, even if it means 14 iterations on one essay. Wendy helped me build a strong career narrative by asking me pointed questions that led me to explore career paths and set ambitious career-goals that I would become truly excited about. Bailey regularly tracked my progress and updated my schedule on SOP’s excellent online portal, without which I would have never been able to stay on track as I was juggling both work and the applications. I’m also very fortunate to have been able to work with Lauren, my advisor, who was genuinely interested in my story and truly cared about my success. Lauren listened to me patiently as I narrated my experiences and gave me excellent ideas to build a compelling narrative that I believe played a massive role in my success. I’m so glad to have had America’s next great novelist as my advisor (read Lauren’s bio!)
In the end I got interview invites form all the schools that I’d worked on comprehensively with Square One. I made the interview waitlist at HBS and was admitted to Kellogg, Booth, and my dream school – Wharton – with a $120K scholarship. I can’t thank the Square One Team enough.
If you’re looking for a consultant, your search should end here, I highly recommend that you go with SOP, you simply can’t go wrong.
Joined: Jun 06, 2019
760 Q50 V41
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]
I highly recommend Square-One Prep to aspiring MBA applicants. Their structured approach to the application process made it simpler and much less stressful. Their team played a vital role throughout the entire process from working on my resume to helping me with interview preparation. Wendy (square one’s career narrative expert) and Kathryn spent time helping me form my career narrative, which was crucial to the entire process. I felt that Kathryn and Mary were truly cared about me and were invested in my success.
Mary was amazing to work with. She pushed me to work harder and go the extra mile. She was always available and was incredibly quick with her replies. After countless discussions, I feel she got to understand me and my story very well, and her input was invaluable to my essays. Her ability to make me dig deeper went a long way in helping me articulate the best version of my story. Furthermore, she also provided me with moral support whenever things got challenging.
I applied to six schools out of which I received interview calls for three and was finally admitted into two schools. I want to thank Mary and Kathryn for helping me get into my dream school, that too with a good scholarship!
Joined: Dec 20, 2019
I had worked with several different consultants who told me that my GRE score was too low to even apply to my desired schools. Kathryn and her team not only helped to build up my confidence to consider applying and improve my GRE score, they coached me through a highly organized action plan to set me up for success. Kathryn made herself available to me 24/7 to walk through any questions or concerns, and continued to fill me with positivity helping me realize my goals were within reach. They helped me feel confident throughout a rigorous process. I would recommend her a million times over.
Joined: Jun 11, 2019
770 Q50 V44
If you’re reading this then you’re likely in the same shoes I was in 5 months ago, wondering if you should partner with a consultant for your business school applications when you think you’re capable of going it alone.
Flashing forward 5 months, I was just accepted to my top school - HBS - and genuinely feel that I wouldn’t have even gotten an interview, let alone accepted, had I not partnered with Square One Prep.
I naturally did a lot of research on admissions consultants before partnering with Square One Prep, and each call only reinforced the doubt I had about hiring a consultant in the first place. I knew I was capable of getting into HBS, but most companies pushed me to apply to a lower ranked school so that I wouldn’t affect their lofty “success rate” if I didn’t get in.
When I told Kathryn that I was looking for help with my HBS application, she didn’t try to talk me into applying to a lesser school. Kathryn knows better than anybody that getting into HBS is a long shot, but she gave me an honest assessment of how I could best maximize my odds. As you’ll learn very quickly, Kathryn is brutally honest with you about every aspect of your candidacy. But in this process, you need someone like Kathryn who is simultaneously honest about the odds of succeeding yet willing to roll up her sleeves to take on the challenge.
Simply saying that S1P edited essays or conducted mock interviews undersells their services, because as ridiculous as I’m sure this sounds, I felt like I discovered the best version of myself in working with them. After having gone through the process, I truly believe that the key to getting accepted to a top school is to convey the ambitious and interesting path that you’re heading toward in the future and make each school want to be a part of your journey. The hard part of the process is discovering what that path actually is, which requires deep reflection on what makes you tick and what mark you’d like to leave on the world. These conversations felt deeply uncomfortable in the moment - especially as Kathryn is telling you that your seemingly ambitious plan isn’t ambitious enough - but you’ll appreciate them like I do when you’re done.
I also can’t recommend Square One Prep without giving a shout out to my incredible mentor, Eva. S1P lets you “interview” a couple of different mentors to find one that you click with, and I actually told Kathryn that I didn’t even need to talk to a second mentor once I met Eva. Coming from similar backgrounds with Eva having started her own company (I also ran my own company before applying to school), Eva instantly got me. I’m sure that all of the Square One Prep mentors are equally wonderful, but I’m incredibly thankful that I was able to partner with Eva. She’s simply the best.
If you’ve read this far and still aren’t convinced that you should partner with Square One Prep then I don’t know what else to tell you. But if you do move forward with Square One Prep, I’m confident you’ll be as thrilled as I am when you’re done with the application process.
Joined: Dec 19, 2019
If you are like most candidates, you are doing all the research you can and taking calls with every consultant possible. I even bought hours with consultants to test who I liked most. Kathryn and Square One Prep shined above the rest. 3 people (two from my company, one from my high school) had also recommended SOP and had stellar results. And here's why - Kathryn is the most candid, ruthless, empathetic and dependable person. Despite being the founder (who is naturally busy), she replies to every communication within minutes and gives you personal attention throughout the process.
I initially requested to speak with a few consultants who I thought would be the right fit, but those weren't a match. Kathryn graciously suggested others that may fit my personality, and soon I was excited to work with Lee Kaplan. Lee pushed me to my limits. She is an unimaginably strong writer, and compassionate partner through months of stress. Lee was very honest with me and showed me ways to highlight strengths and mitigate my weaknesses. I really respected her - she would return revisions quickly and thoroughly till the work was perfect. I think we did 18 iterations of my resume! I was also fighting against a very low Quant test score, but Lee and Kathryn packaged my application in a way that M7 schools couldn't resist.
This was all supplemented by Wendy and Bailey. I struggled with my Career Narrative work and finding my story. Wendy was patient with me as I stumbled, and she guided and nurtured my story into a work of art. Bailey ensured I was always on top of things and provided friendliness and rapport amidst the "stay on schedule" communications!
If you are thinking twice, choose SOP. You will not regret it. They work with a small, niche set of clients every year and guarantee success. I was interviewed at HBS, GSB, Booth, and Wharton. There is truly no way I could have done it without Square One. The amount of personal attention, genuine care, and relentless revising until the product is perfect is unlike any other admissions consulting firm. And now, HBS here I come!
Joined: Dec 18, 2019
When beginning to start my school applications I knew I would need all of the help I could get. I began researching admissions consultants and am so thankful I found SOP. They helped me craft a unique, authentic, and powerful brand to complement my work experience, education, and extracurriculars. Going into my applications I knew my education would be my weakest component, so I had to optimize my remaining application areas. SOP helped me do just that. Specifically, the career narrative we constructed permeated into all of the other application components. My essays were superb and my interview feedback was great! Even with lower than average GPA and GRE scores (an application killer) I was admitted to my favorite schools to include, amazingly, Wharton as well! Money well spent and praise well deserved! There is no way I would have these results if it were not for the fine folks at Square One Prep. Thank you Kathryn, Eva, Bailey, and Luis!
Joined: May 17, 2019
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Working with Square One has been a pure joy! Everyone was very personable and helpful throughout the process of gaining clarity in why business school was the right next step and how to communicate "my why" effectively, determining which schools were the best fit for me, crafting my resume' and essays, and preparing for interviews. I value their one-on-one approach and thoroughly enjoyed working with my personal coach, Afiya Bediako. She added a lot of experience and insight into the process, was very accessible, and made the process fun. Most of all, I appreciate that the team saw past the "dings" on my profile, saw my potential, and genuinely believed alongside me that admittance was possible. That said, they also did a good job of keeping me grounded in reality and helped me find ways to highlight my strengths and develop my weaknesses. After everything was said and done, our collective hard work landed me a seat in Kellogg's Class of 2022 Cohort!
I cannot adequately express how excited I am for this next chapter and how thankful I am that I chose to work with Square One!