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Joined: Apr 07, 2016
710 Q49 V38
I started my MBA apps 2 weeks before the deadline, and I decided to apply only to the Top 4 schools. This was a big risk, and I don’t think I would have been able to make this happen if I hadn’t signed up with SOP.
I spoke with many admission consultants before partnering with SOP. My initial 30-minute free consultation with Kathryn Lucas, founder of SOP, went on for slightly over an hour – I was genuinely impressed by Kathryn’s commitment and interest in my story. Kathryn helped me refine my goals in our initial conversation, even before we started working together officially. I felt assured that if I used SOP, I was not going to be disappointed …and I wasn’t!
Those 2 weeks before MBA round 2 deadlines were crazy…a lot of editing back and forth going on until late hours of the night, but Kathryn was always available and laser sharp. The difference between the initial drafts and the final products is hard to put into words.
I really enjoyed working with Kathryn – I liked her direct approach, and at times, it felt like working with an Associate on a transaction. She’s a terrific mentor!
If you want to get into a top business school, go with SOP - it’s worth it! You won't be disappointed.
Joined: Jul 08, 2015
770 Q50 V45
After losing out on my dream schools in the round 1 applications, I decided to work with Kathryn for round 2. I chose her because she was the only consultant who had predicted my round 1 chances correctly during a profile evaluation on GMATClub.
During my first skype call with Kathryn, I realized that she is not only a professional but also a very kind lady who had my best interests at heart. She encouraged me to apply to Wharton and gave me the confidence to believe that I could do it (I had lost hopes after being dinged by both HBS and Stanford without interviews in the round 1).
She played a key role in turning around my situation. She started by analysing my previous applications very closely which was a really smart thing to do. That way we could work on the parts that needed overhauling without touching the rest. I felt that Kathryn was always there to guide me no matter the time of the day.
I ended up applying to Berkeley, UCLA and Wharton and receiving acceptances from UCLA (with full fee scholarship) and Wharton (with a 40% Forte Fellowship). I could not have imagined such outcomes without SOP's help. Thank you Kathryn for your invaluable support and guidance!
To future applicants reading this testimonial, do yourselves a favour - partner with SOP and give yourselves the best chances of achieving your dreams!
Joined: Mar 31, 2016
720 Q49 V38
I am confident that Square One Prep has played a decisive role in my admission to 4 top business schools, among which Wharton and Booth.
I come from the Middle East where admission consulting services are not very popular.
My background is also diverse and I don't have the typical profile that top MBA schools usually look for. I am not a consultant and never worked in investment banking. Because of that, my confidence level was at its lowest, and everyone was discouraging me to even apply.
I had scheduled phone calls with several admission consultants from different companies, but it is the call with Kathryn (the owner at Square One Prep) that made me regain my confidence and made me believe that I could make it.
Kathryn's work was both on a professional level and a personal level: besides the fact that it was entirely tailored to my situation, her approach was motivating me and pushing me to always be at my best. She would identify areas in my personal/professional experience that even I would not have thought of, and help me use them in a way that reveals my strength and fit with the programs.
We had frequent and thorough phone discussions during which not a single area was left out.
Kathryn made herself available 24/7, and this was not easy knowing that there was a 7-hour difference.
In a way, working with her made me discover myself and she definitely helped me think out-of-the box, never settling for average quality, always aiming for the best.
This is what I think is of major importance: I constantly felt in good hands because I knew that I was getting the best advice and the most spot-on comments, and I think this has no price.
If you want to put all your chances on your side and don't feel like gambling with your applications, Square One Prep is the company for you.
Joined: Sep 14, 2010
740 Q46 V46
Around a year ago, I decided that I wanted to pursue an MBA. I had already written the GMAT and I had a good score but I had no idea where to go from there. Since I’m from an extremely competitive applicant pool (Male Indian Engineer) I decided that I would engage an MBA advisor to help run my MBA ‘project’. I remember evaluating some of the leading advisors through the free consultations they offered. At that stage – even before I had committed to engaging her services - Kathryn/Square-One spent hours on the phone with me.
The value from those discussions was more than enough to convince me that I would need their help. In reality, there is IMMENSE competition to get into the top programs and even with a perfect application you are only giving yourself a chance to get in. I’m glad I hired Square-One to coach me right from the Square-One assessment to bring focus to my MBA story - to CV preparation, short listing schools, building an application timeline, essay/application review and interview preparation.
Today, I’ve been admitted (with scholarship!) to a top school in Europe and a top school in the USA and I’m still talking to Square-One as I decide which school to pick. I definitely would not be here with these two amazing options without their support and I whole-heartedly recommend them to anyone who is in the position I was in one year ago.
Joined: Oct 27, 2014
After applying on my own the previous year with unfavorable outcomes, I decided to do some research into business school admissions consultants. When I reached out to Square One Prep, Kathryn spent a good hour on the phone with me, explaining their process and methodology but also hearing about what I wanted to do and my career thus far. She even looked over my materials from the year before and provided critique. I decided to engage SOP and was paired with Sarah Caputo, who advised me on my strategy and spent time with me on all the pieces of the application process. We spent a lot of time on my resume and on my essays, crafting the right story based on my wants and needs. Sarah was very patient with me and helped keep me on schedule so it was nice that I wasn’t rushing to check boxes before a deadline. I’m very glad that I worked with SOP because at the end of the day, I was accepted to all five schools that I had applied to - Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, Tuck and Fuqua.
Joined: Mar 13, 2016
630 Q40 V36
After an unsuccessful attempt at applying to schools on my own, a family friend that utilized Square One Prep with great results, recommended Kathryn and her team of advisors. My advisor, Mary, was just fantastic and helped me put down on paper what I had previously struggled to convey to admissions committees. I consider myself a good writer and have been in surgical sales for over 7 years, yet I had no idea how to sell myself successfully. What I had previously considered to be very thoughtful and thorough essays were not at all what academic admissions committee members were looking for from applicants. Mary helped me to specifically explain who I am, why I want an MBA from a school and how I fit in within their ideal pool of offered applicants. Mary and Kathryn even worked around my schedule, when I was out of the country and off the grid for over 2 weeks, and we were still able to meet all application deadlines. Mary took my calls and e-mails throughout her work day and even on many weekends, she was phenomenal. Be prepared to prepare. It is a lot of work, but knowing that there is an advisor reviewing and working just as hard as you, is very reassuring. They have the same goal as you, getting you into business school. Thank you for all of your guidance and help!
I couldn't be happier because I am not only heading to my top choice school; I also got a full scholarship!
Joined: Mar 08, 2016
710 Q49 V38
I was extremely overwhelmed when I initially started the MBA application process. I knew that I wanted to go back to school for my MBA, but I wasn’t positive exactly what I wanted to do afterwards or how I could create a cohesive story that would get me into a top program. After my initial consultation with Kathryn, I immediately felt at ease. Even though I wasn’t even a client yet, Kathryn spent over an hour on the phone with me, talking through my uncertainties and helping to boost my confidence. I was very impressed by how generous Kathryn was with her time during this pre-client phase, and as a result I decided to use Square One Prep.
After signing on with Square One Prep, it was time for me to choose the consultant that I would be working with. I will admit that I was nervous about this, as I had established such a strong connection with Kathryn; however, Kathryn was not taking on new clients at the time. Unfortunately, after a few weeks of working with my initial consultant it became apparent that we were not a good fit for each other. As a result, Kathryn made an exception to take me on as one of her clients and I am very glad that she did. Kathryn was extremely valuable in helping me to craft my story, and I noticed a significant improvement in the quality of my essays. In addition, I was very nervous for my interview and Kathryn’s mock interview was tremendously helpful in helping me to prepare. She even did a second “mini-mock” interview with me after my initial mock to make sure that I felt as confident as possible going into the interview.
Finally, Kathryn was always there for me when I needed her – I was working long hours at my job and Kathryn was more than willing to accommodate my schedule, often scheduling calls with me late at night or on the weekends. In addition, if something came up at work last minute and I needed to push back our scheduled call time, Kathryn was always understanding and flexible (but made sure that I stayed on track!)
Thanks to Kathryn, I was accepted into NYU Stern!
740 Q50 V41
I had the great pleasure to work with Square One, Kathryn specifically, during my MBA application process, and have to say success will not be possible without their help.
I reached out to Square One Prep through a friend's recommendation when I first started looking into MBA application. From the first free consultation call, I could feel that Square One's approach is different from the other consultancies I had spoken to. Kathryn really took the time to listen to me, understand my objectives, background, plan/timeline, and provided me with very objective and sincere advice - she actually advised me to apply the next year. Kathryn then stayed in touch with me during the following year, giving me advice on what early preparations I could make, which was really helpful. Remember, this was all before I made the decision to work with Square One.
Kathryn's help continued to add tremendous value in every step of my application. I think most of us applicants have an idea of what our story is. At least I did, but Kathryn really challenged me to think broader, and at the same time, to come up with more details and the most compelling and memorable stories for each essay. Thanks to Kathryn's invaluable experience and insights, I was able to narrow down and pick the best topics for each essay, some of which I previously thought were not "big" enough for MBA application materials. As an international applicant, one of the reasons I wanted to work with a consultant was to make sure my English writing delivered the messages I want to deliver in the most precise elegant and concise ways, and Kathryn definitely helped me to achieve that. The interview is another important piece in the equation. I had done mock interviews myself with friends, but Kathryn's advice after our mock session really added the most value because she understands the process, criteria of MBA interviews better than anyone, and has seen a lot of different types of applicants throughout the years. This greatly improved my interview performance. In addition, Kathryn's positive spirits, support and encouragement through the application process helped me throw self-doubt out of the window, as we all know, MBA application could be a long and tough process.
I am extremely happy about going to Columbia this fall! And I really appreciated Square One Prep's help. I would recommend them to anyone who seriously wants to get into a top MBA program.
Perhaps like many of you, I was initially very skeptical about using a consultant for my MBA applications; how much could a third-party help in crafting what should be a very personal application?
I am here to tell you that, if you are looking to get help and want to get into your #1 choice, you should definitely work with Square One Prep. I am off to Wharton in a few months and I absolutely owe this opportunity and any future accomplishments to Square One Prep. Having just attended Wharton Welcome Weekend for all new admits from R1, I am more excited and thankful than ever.
My consultant took an extraordinary amount time and effort to understand my story and helped me establish a narrative that was not only genuine but also consistent with what business schools were looking for. My consultant was honest, flexible, timely, and meticulous. She really pushed me when I needed inspiration and encouragement. Her interview simulation was a hugely helpful process. Her engaging approach to this relationship really showed that she was personally invested in my success.
Looking back, I am surprised that I even thought about doing this whole process on my own.I have absolutely no doubt that without Square One Prep’s help I would not have gotten into the Wharton.
750 Q49 V42
Having been in the tech industry for 9 years, my goal of wanting to do an MBA was very specific: I wanted to leverage my tech background and life experiences to accomplish my dream of being a tech-focused social entrepreneur. Right from the start, I knew that my case was going to be tough from a demographics perspective - an older applicant to a full-time MBA program in a highly competitive Indian male tech engineer pool. So what all this meant was that even with a 750 GMAT I needed all the help I could get to make it to a top 10 MBA program. Kathryn and Square One Prep understood my requirements very well. But what really set Kathryn apart was her unique mix of school specific insight, attention to detail, and a refreshing in-your-face approach that really helped cut to the chase in every aspect of my application. Add to that, her amazing response time consistently throughout the process meant that help and guidance was only an email, Skype chat or phone call away. I’m happy to say that my goal of making it to my dream top 10 school came true and Square One Prep played a big role in it. I’m not sure if I could’ve managed the roller coaster emotional ride that is MBA apps all on my own and having Kathryn by my side every step of the way helped both the quality of my work and my sanity. I would highly highly recommend her!