GMAT Club
Hourly Service Reviews
    Number of reviews [26]
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Square One Prep Reviews
If you are seeking targeted assistance and want to set the agenda, or you have a limited budget and need us to help you decide how to best use it on your applications, partner with us in this capacity. We help clients on many objectives in this manner and can help you too.

Interview Prep for HBS
January 09 | 2018
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     By anon1028 0 0
This review is for: Square One Prep Hourly Service
Consultant: Amalia della Paolera

I contacted Square One Prep a few days before the application deadlines. I was really stressed and confused on whether I should be giving the GMAT again, what part of my story should I highlight, how should I best convey my post-MBA goals. I had a first one-hour chat with Kathryn and she really helped me clear out most of my queries. Unlike a lot of other firms, she critically analyzed each aspect of my profile, even though this was a free consultation. When I (unexpectedly) got a call from HBS, I decided to take their services to prepare for an interview. I approached them just 3 days before the interview, but Kathryn was kind enough to quickly set up a session for me. More than help with answers, I was looking to get comfortable with the format and stay confident. Amalia did just that. She gave me really valuable insights into how I could convey more in a short span of time. Being an HBS alum herself, she helped me understand what the school focuses on. While she talked about her experience there, I got even more motivated to make sure I ace my preparation for the D-day.

I cannot thank Square One Prep enough for their prompt help, insightful suggestions and friendly attitude. I would highly recommend them for interview prep!

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     By swatih 0 5
This review is for: Square One Prep Hourly Service
Consultant: Kathryn Lucas

I got into Duke this year in the early decision option. And it wouldn't have been possible without Kathryn's impeccable guidance and expertise.

I know you must be baffled by the process and need some help around it and that's why probably you are reading this testimonial. Be assured , everyone goes through this phase.

Like you, even I interacted with different counsellors but with Kathryn, it was very personalised and warm from the start. One distinguishing factor is the fact that she understands the story very quickly and can help you build more around it or pitch it in a very fascinating way in no time. This is the crux of any B school application and with square one prep, you are guaranteed to have one.

The way square one works is outstanding. It is very personalised and detailed.I took Kathryn's help for my interview prep and it totally transformed me. I was able to have a clear thought process and the interaction with her really helped me build my confidence. It was a very intense discussion but Kathryn pointed out the nitty gritties and gave my answers a great structure which helped me pitch it in a better fashion and also built my confidence. I can't think of getting the admit without her help and guidance.

If you are looking for an admit in a top B school, square one is the place to go and I would highly recommend it to you.

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     By Sak2016 5 3
This review is for: Square One Prep Hourly Service
Consultant: Melissa Chan

I worked with Melissa from the Square One Prep team for hourly services on 3 applications in Round 2 (Booth, HBS, Kellogg). She was meticulous in her work and gave guided inputs. I enjoyed working with her. She exceeded my expectations. We did most of communication through e-mails which was very effective. I got interview calls from Booth and Kellogg. I also did practice interview sessions with her. The whole process was a learning experience for me as well. She was helpful and at the same time pointed out my mistakes and kept correcting me.

I would surely recommend her and services of Square One Prep.

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Great Support
June 23 | 2017
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     By krishks 22 5
This review is for: Square One Prep Hourly Service
Consultant: Julia Kurnik

Square One Prep has been phenomenal in helping me understand how to structure my supplemental material to get off the waitlist for Haas and Anderson. I reached out to them after being rejected from 3 schools, and waitlisted for 3. After hearing about my situation, Kathryn quickly jumped into the tactical questions about where I would want to attend between the schools I was waitlisted at. We eliminated one school to focus on the schools that were higher priority. After listening to me share my story, she talked with me in detail about what I should address in my letters and what else I could do to compel the adcoms to take another serious look at my applications. After this, she suggested that Julia would be a great mentor to help me through the process - and she was not wrong.

Julia quickly got up to speed about my status and understanding which parts of my application were lacking and helped me brainstorm of ideas to make them my strengths or address them in an appropriate way. Within 2 weeks we had an action plan, supplemental letters completed, and submitted. With Julia's and Kathryn's help and contributions, I will be attending Haas.

Square One Prep helps tailor the application based on the individual and his/her circumstances - and that is what makes them unique and you - the applicant - successful. I would highly recommend SOP to anyone - preferably starting at the beginning of the application cycle rather than when you're on the waitlist/rejected.

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     By mbabound61519 0 0
This review is for: Square One Prep Hourly Service
Consultant: Kathryn Lucas

Square One Prep was the only firm I wanted to partner with through the MBA application process. Their personal and tailored approach to working with candidates was exactly what I needed.

I knew I wanted to work with Square One even before the end of the free 30-minute consultation. Kathryn, the founder, asked me thoughtful and prodding questions about my work experience and post-MBA goals. She had an incredible ability to immediately identify gaps or weaknesses in my story/progression that I hadn't even considered. On our call alone, she pushed me to explore the "why's" and the "how's" and wasn't satisfied with canned answers. It was the wake up call I needed before sitting down to put together a thoughtful application.

Once I started the process, I felt like I was Square One's only client. My Square One partner answered every question I had -- from the broad strokes ones to the most minutely detailed ones, the anticipated ones to the emergency-late-night-pre- submission-button-click ones. She kept me centered, motivated, and on target. She was always incredibly responsive and proactive, ensuring I was staying on schedule. Even when I realized I had overlooked something on one application and made a last minute decision to apply to an additional program, she continuously delivered the highest quality of service.

Applying to MBA programs is a mentally grueling, exhausting, and often painful process. Square One's infrastructure made the process as seamless and user-friendly as it could be. I felt prepared and supported every step of the way with a personalized schedule. From the resume, to the LORs, to the essays, it was like I had a whole "team" behind me. I write "team" because it's all of the on-demand information, expertise, and infrastructure you could ever need to support you as an applicant -- but the end product is 100% you and your voice. Square One Prep's value is ensuring that your application shines the best light on who you are, what you've done, and what you want to do. Because of my partnership with Square One, I know that my application showcased the best version of me.

I was hoping to be the last pick of each school I applied to -- the one who snuck into the accepted class. With Square One, I got a full ride to one top five MBA program and an $80,000 scholarship to another!

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Very helpful
May 15 | 2017
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     By semipy 0 0
This review is for: Square One Prep Hourly Service

I was impressed by the passion and immense help provided by Kathryn and John. Right after the initial consultation, Kathryn immediately sent strong samples of resume so I could work on my application with a strong base. And even though it was only a few weeks before the application deadlines, Kathryn and John were still very responsive to all my questions and requests, providing invaluable suggestions to my essays that definitely made a difference. I was amazed at their professionalism, experience, and thoroughness that helped me tie my stories together so vividly and fluently I otherwise wouldn't be able to. I have no doubt that every aspect of my application was as strong as it could have been. In addition, Kathryn took the time to counsel and coach me on school selection and ease any of my concerns through the process of choosing my path forward, and she did it without expecting anything in return. She has been a tremendous help and I am thrilled that I will be starting at Anderson in the fall.

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review
April 01 | 2017
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     By kmo319 2 1
This review is for: Square One Prep Hourly Service

When I first began my search for a consultant, I interviewed several companies including Square One Prep. While most consultants I spoke with kept our conversations brief and mainly told me to improve my GMAT/GRE scores, Kathryn spent nearly 45 minutes on our introductory call to provide an in-depth analysis on my candidacy and strongly encouraged me to apply to schools that were ambitious yet achievable. After our conversation, I felt that Square One genuinely cared about my success and saw much more than just a test score in my application. Despite my budget constraints, Kathryn worked with me to find a flexible option that best fit my needs and worked for me financially. She also provided a number of additional helpful resources to ensure I was set up for success.

I moved forward with the hourly option to focus on essay reviews and was paired with my consultant, John. While I had a general idea of how I wanted to share my story, John was able to help me narrow down the main points and tell it in a succinct and compelling way. He was efficient with our time and I was happy with his quick feedback and response. Thanks to John's numerous edits and reviews, I felt confident submitting my application.

I was accepted at USC (w/ scholarship), Emory (w/ scholarship), UT Austin, Foster, and waitlisted at Duke. I am thrilled to share I will be attending USC's Marshall School of Business this fall as a Consortium Fellow and with a full scholarship!

I am so grateful for Square One Prep's support throughout the application process and would recommend it to anyone looking for an admissions consultant. It was absolutely worth the investment!

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     By sidduvicster 22 10
This review is for: Square One Prep Hourly Service
Consultant: Kathryn Lucas

I first contacted Square One Prep, and specifically its owner, Kathryn, on the recommendation of a friend. I was initially skeptical as the fees seemed high especially considering that I am an Indian applicant. But after my first discussion with her, I knew, if I had to hire an admission consultant, it would have to be her. There were consultants who tell you what to write in your applications based on what you think the Adcom wants to hear (the polar opposite of what Kathryn told me to do)! Kathryn asked me to dive deep and think about why I really want to do a MBA and tell my story based on being authentic, real. She carefully listened and analyzed my profile to provide me a path ahead for my apps that actually aligned with my passions for what is happening with the automation revolution in manufacturing. Before I talked with Kathryn I was going with the "strategy consulting" angle that other consultants had told to go with even though I couldn't really create ties to my background or excitement about the direction.

Kathryn was encouraging and positive throughout my application process. The process is stressful enough and there were times I was apprehensive about proceeding ahead. But she was always just a call or mail away to support me when required.

But even after all this, I wasn't actually successful in my first attempt in R1. But she kept my hopes up even after that. She kept guiding me on my apps for R2 and constantly checking up on me. She even offered to look at several schools essays for free because she knew I couldn't afford her, but wanted me to have the best shot. She spent hours on my work - for free. My efforts and her dedication to my efforts and me finally paid off and I got into one of my target schools!

Her moral encouragement during my initial failed attempts kept my spirits up and helped me focus in R2. She went above her role as a consultant and rather acted as a guide. She made this incredibly exhausting process worth it. had she not helped me, I would not be heading to McDonough in the fall.

I suggest anyone thinking of hiring a consultant to just set-up an initial call with Kathryn and then...I trust that will be enough for you to know that Square One is not like other companies. You will find making your decision to work with them easy.

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Exceeded All Expectations
December 22 | 2016
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     By musicality23 0 0
This review is for: Square One Prep Hourly Service
Consultant: Kathryn Lucas

The help that I received from Square One Prep transformed my application from mediocre to great in just a matter of weeks. I thought I had it covered, but minutes into my initial phone evaluation, it was clear that my application was disjointed and I lacked a vision. Immediately, Kathryn, put together an action plan outlining the steps that I needed to take to strengthen my overall application.

We started with my resume. When I look back at what I was planning on submitting to my dream school, it’s embarrassing. Not only did I lack the specificity needed to demonstrate the impact I had throughout college and my career, even the format was horrendous. Kathryn was able to share a large quantity of successful resumes (with personal information removed) so that I could understand what business schools expect. After a few revisions, my resume was ready for primetime.

She then proceeded to review my letters of recommendation and gave incredible advice on how my recommenders could make them even better. This was really critical for me because one of my recommenders had never written one before. While my recommendations highlighted that I would be a great candidate, at times the language and examples were not specific or powerful enough. She gave concrete feedback on where the letters needed to be reworked so that admissions officers could attain a better picture of my potential.

With the essays, she gave me the hard feedback on when I lacked a clear vision, was not using my authentic voice or went too far and no longer seemed practical. She also questioned whether some ideas were right for the questions I was asked to answer. Her guidance helped me be true to myself while answering the exact questions from the school.

Lastly, the interview prep was so helpful! She gave me a list of 50+ questions to practice with. After our mock phone call she provided the critical feedback I needed to hear so that I could knock the real interview out of the park. She also gave tips on how to handle certain situations should they arise on interview day.

I highly recommend Square One Prep for anyone who wants to put forth their best application. Even if you think you are covered (like I did), I have no doubt that they would take your application to the next level. Without their help I would not have gotten into my dream school (Stanford!).

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     By ravitejaiitm 0 0
This review is for: Square One Prep Hourly Service
Consultant: Kathryn Lucas

I started my round 1 prep very late - just 20 days before deadline. Although I had a lot of experiences to share, my biggest challenge was to put it in writing and weave a story out of them. More importantly I did not recognize that some of the experiences I had could be pitched in a very powerful way.

I wanted to apply to Booth and Haas in round 1. I called Kathryn to discuss which image to use for the Booth essay. She patiently listened me talk about my experiences for one hour and came up with a much better framework than what I had for the essay. We even selected a different image. I was fully convinced of the direction she gave me and started working on it. I couldn't give a lot of time for the essays as it was a very hectic period at the office. So I wrote a document that had almost 4000 words of various experiences. Nothing tied them together. Kathryn helped me greatly in editing the essay and making a sensible and convincing story. It's amazing how she internalized my entire life journey and brought out all the important elements and created a cohesive story, much better than I ever could.

Time zone difference is no barrier while working with Kathryn. I got a feeling that she was working all 24 hours.

After applying for Booth, I just had a week to prepare Haas. Unfortunately I fell sick and had to be hospitalized for 2 days. I was surprised by how much Kathryn understood my profile when I called her to discuss Haas essays 4 days before the deadline. She suggested the right stories to use even without me reminding her one bit about my background. Kathryn was as equally committed to my application as I was.

When I began working with her, I was apprehensive of the expensive pricing. But as I worked with Kathryn, I was fully confident that her output is worth every dollar spent. It was a pleasure working with her and I would eagerly recommend her to prospective MBA applicants.

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