|All Reviews > Square One Prep > Premium Service Reviews|
Joined: Jan 22, 2020
I approached Kathryn after I was rejected in the earlier application cycle. My GRE was low, and many consultants refused to even speak with me until I raised my score. This was NOT the case with SOP! Since our first call, Kathryn was very supportive, and told me I was not delusional about applying to some of the top schools in the world. Within minutes, she pointed out where I went wrong in my past written applications, highlighted my professional accomplishments, strengths, and community involvement. She knew I was working hard to improve my GRE, and she explained how she typically does not take clients with my score, but knew she could help me craft a strong, compelling story.
I signed up for a 4-school package, and my first application deadline was due in one month. Kathryn warned me that it would be very intensive, but if I was up for it, SOP was ready to go. She sent me a few day-to-day advisor profiles that she felt would be ideal with my career goals and personality. I hopped on a call with two of them, and it was an incredibly hard decision to choose between both – but I continued with Ram.
The first month was incredibly intensive, but within 2 weeks, I felt more confident about my career goals than I felt before. The key is in the details, and I experienced a lot of clarity after I completed this process with Wendy, my Career Narrative advisor, Ram and Kathryn.
During the school selection process, make sure you consider Kathryn’s advice, especially when she tells you to apply to other top schools that are also aligned with your personal goals and overall applicant profile. She encouraged me to apply to Fuqua as it was closely tied with my career goals, and was a great fit with my personality.
I was accepted to Fuqua (with scholarship) – which would not be possible without the constant support and advice from the SOP team!!! I was also waitlisted at Tuck and was told by admissions to try improving my GRE scores, which I am, while SOP is helping me craft a compelling waitlist letter. I’m now waiting to hear back from the other two schools I applied to in R2. I know for a fact that SOP has helped me craft the best narrative to highlight my strengths.
My day-to-day advisor was Ram, who worked with me every step of the way and spent countless hours on the phone and over email to learn about my background and experiences, while providing insights for individual schools/essays. He’s honest, compassionate, and 100% committed to your success (not only for the applications, but in life)! He makes himself available at any time, gives prompt responses, and his way with words is unlike others. He has consistently encouraged me to be more reflective and introspective, and when coupled with his phenomenal writing skills, has helped me craft an authentic story.
Ram will encourage you to explore different perspectives and continue to dig deep until you arrive at something that can differentiate your candidacy. His interview preparation is excellent! His advice made me feel confident every step of the way, and know it will help me in the future as well.
Overall, working with the SOP team has been a wonderful experience, and every member of the team is accessible and genuinely invested in your success! Bailey and Jenny will make sure you are on track for your applications, while your career advisor, day-to-day advisor and Kathryn will help create the best application for you! You won’t regret working with SOP, especially if you want individualized attention from an intelligent and empathetic team.
Joined: Apr 11, 2021
Heading into the MBA application process I knew I had some gaps in my profile and could use all the help I could get. I spoke with all the top admissions consulting firms and ultimately settled on Square One Prep. I had an initial consultation with Kathryn to discuss my interest in pursuing an MBA. She was inquisitive, provided feedback on my candidacy, and addressed my concerns - employment gap, no professional managerial experience, and slightly below average GMAT. She walked me through their services and process. At no point did she pressure, make it feel like a sales pitch, or make me feel like I had no shot. Following the call, Bailey followed up with detailed information on their process as well as a sample application task timeline. What sold me was their structured team of experts and flexibility to add additional schools later in the process.
When I decided to partner with SOP, they connected me with two advisors, and both were great. It was a tough decision, but Kathryn helped me think through and narrow down my choice. I ultimately decided to work with Matteo Rattighieri. We held a kick off call where I comprehensively discussed my background and he educated me on the application journey and SOP process. Additionally, I had a call with Kathryn to go through school selection and my risk tolerance. I purchased the multi-school package and had SOP work with me on what I considered my "super reaches".
The first two items were the resume and career narrative. Matteo was very prompt with his responses and feedback. He provided numerous revisions and helped me better articulate my experiences. For the career narrative, Wendy drove this process, but Kathryn and Matteo were also involved, providing a dynamic balance. I was initially scattered and didn't have a defined goal, but the team helped me narrow it down and tie my interests with my background. The team asked the hard questions to make sure my story made sense and teased out details that connected the dots from start to finish. Afterwards they prepared me to confidently recite my goals. It was a lot of work, but at the end of the day it solidified my ability to articulate my story. The career narrative served as the base for short-term and long-term goals essays and interviews.
Next was recommendation preparation. SOP has a process that guided my recommenders to save time and filled in the pieces to my application puzzle.
After the LOR we got started on essays. SOP provided a collection of essays to familiarize me with the structure of essays that worked. Matteo was very quick to turn my drafts and provided additive edits and suggestions. He pushed me to connect the dots while retaining key elements and trimming the fat, which made my essays concise but compelling. After many iterations, leadership reviewed and provided comments to wrap it up.
I felt very confident in how my application came together. I was quick to turn drafts and Matteo was equally as quick to turn comments even when he was traveling. Throughout the process Bailey checked in to make sure I was satisfied and sent weekly schedules to make sure we remained on track.
Once the applications were submitted I was provided resources to start thinking about interviews. I waited until I heard back from schools before preparing. Matteo walked me through the interview process and core interview questions to prepare for as well as some curveball questions. During one mock interview, I wasn't in the zone, which Matteo noticed and duly suggested we reschedule. After our last mock I felt well prepared and agreed with Matteo that it was best to not overprepare and come off sounding recited.
Although my interviews went well I unfortunately didn't convert and had to push for R2. I added another super reach and we got to work on preparing materials in a fairly condensed timeline but we were able to utilize R1 materials as a framework. SOP kept rooting for my success along the way.
I was ultimately admitted into a school I considered a super reach. I don’t think I would have been able to tailor my application as strongly without their guidance. SOP kept me focused with their process and their service was well worth the value. I considered pursuing a top-level MBA a real stretch goal, but SOP helped me make it a reality. The entire application process was daunting but I’m glad to have had SOP by my side.
Joined: Apr 07, 2021
I would like to thank the entire SOP team for their support and accompany during my entire EMBA application process. I started my search for an MBA consultant around Christmas and filled in the initial free consultation request at 1am one night. Kathryn, surprisingly, reached out in just 10min and confirmed my appointment with her for the next day! The initial 30min talking with Kathryn went for an hour, where she genuinely listened to my stories and needs for an MBA consultant. I'm a bit concerned with my experience being on the "junior" side for top schools like Wharton, and need someone with EMBA application experience to help me polish my application package. Also, I need someone that's hands-on and cares for my success.
Indeed, everyone at SOP team is very approachable and dedicated to me and my goals. They also try their best to work around my schedule. Unlike other big consulting firms, my requests are always taken care of by someone within hours if not minutes. Kathryn got me hooked up with Jennice and another team member right away on Christmas eve so I can kick off asap. Jenny would check in often to make sure I'm on schedule. They also take the EMBA application process as serious as full time MBA. Wendy and Kathryn challenged me on my career plan write-ups a lot even though I thought I had a pretty clear career path in mind beforehand. Thanks to their push, my career goal essay became a lot more sounding. I also have to mention Jeannice, who's also my main point of contact during the process, is incredible. She never rushed me, and took time listening and intaking my stories, and then helped me craft essays that represent my true me. I felt comfortable talking with her on anything.
I would recommend SOP if you are looking for someone that cares about you, willing to spend time on you, and if you are willing to be challenged to get into your dream school(s)!
Joined: Apr 05, 2021
I can safely say that I would have not been able to get accepted to Anderson without the help of the
Square One Prep team.
I had the pleasure to work Amalia and the team for about 5 months and was impressed by the amount
of time and resources that was invested in order to make sure that my application was as strong as
The team took the time to get to know me on a personal level and guided me through the process with
patience, a strict schedule, and extremely helpful feedback, while always listening to my ideas.
The career narrative exercise allowed me to narrow down my short- and long-term goals, which in turn
greatly helped me craft stronger essays and applications.
Additionally, I would have not been able to ace my interview without Amalia’s help, and the interview
resources at my disposal.
I would work with the Square One Prep many times over and will continue recommending them to
colleagues and friends in the future.
Joined: May 24, 2020
Square One helped me got accepted into my top choice business schools. When I started my MBA application journey I initially had low expectations due to my subpar GPA. During our initial call, Kathryn assured me that Square One will be able to help me craft a solid application. Square One covered all aspects of my application, including how to approach my recommenders and make sure that I have well-written LORs. They provided a whole team of experts to work with me on different elements of my application instead of relying on individual consultants to do all the work. Special shoutout to Giovanni my day-to-day advisor who helped me a lot on my brainstorming process and Luis who helped me build a solid career narrative.
Joined: Jun 01, 2019
My journey with SquareOne started with an introductory call with Kathryn, who is the founder of the firm. Before the call, I've talked to many firms including the most famous ones. and they seemed to try to fit me and an application prep procedure into their formulated method. As a non-traditional background person, I thought it would not work for me. On the other hand, Kathryn and her firm's approach were tailored to my needs and on point all the time.
I talked to 2-3 potential advisors to work with (make sure to ask all questions and share your expectation on the call. I had to change mine due to an unaligned expectation. Even the changing process was smooth as Kathryn and her team listened to my concerns and solved the problem in a day). After I landed on one, we as a team dissected my strength and weaknesses over many lengthy phone calls and emails (very responsive) and built my resume first and then essay by school.
Even with my below-average GMAT score and a non-traditional background, I've been admitted to one of the top 25 MBA programs.
I highly recommend Square One Prep and Annie, my advisor (she is the best!!)
Joined: Apr 02, 2021
700 Q48 V38
I wholeheartedly recommend partnering with SOP for the MBA admissions process. I truly believe SOP helped me develop the best application I could and no other consultant would have helped me achieve admittance into Wharton, Booth, Tuck, Haas, and Stern (and waitlisted at Sloan, Kellogg, and Yale SOM).
I interviewed a number of consultants before choosing SOP and while most consultants were doubtful about my prospects, Kathryn spent an entire hour on the phone explaining her process and highlighting how we could leverage my strengths to mitigate any perceived weaknesses. I think Kathryn has developed a very effective application development strategy—starting with the resume, career narrative (thank you, Wendy!), LORs, and essays. Trust the process even if it may seem grueling at times!
Ram was my day-to-day advisor and he was amazing to work with. He spent hours on the phone and by email brainstorming ideas with me to make sure we were highlighting the aspects of my background that would most likely resonate with each school. I could sense that Ram deeply cared about my success (in the admissions process and beyond!) and I truly hope to be able to meet him in person one day.
Kathryn, Ram, Wendy, and Jenny—you guys have helped me take my career to new heights and I could not thank you enough for helping me get into my top choice! #WhartonBound
Joined: Mar 31, 2021
From the moment I got on the phone for an introductory call with Kathryn, I could see that Square One had a process that worked. There were clear steps that the team walked me through that pushed me to get to the bottom of my career aspirations and motivations for business school, resulting in an application that was far more genuine and credible than what I could have put together through independent self-reflection. My advisor, Amalia, was always willing to jump on a call to talk through countless iterations of essays and asked me questions that caused me to think deeply about how I wanted to present myself as a candidate. I am thrilled to be heading to HBS for the MS/MBA dual degree program in Biotechnology: Life Sciences and could not have done it without the support of this team!
Joined: Mar 24, 2021
710 Q48 V40
T-15 admit posting my honest thoughts about working with Square One. I didn't have a lot of guidance while making the decision to hire or not hire an admission consultant, so hopefully this will help someone else make that decision.
Initially, I was hesitant to hire a consultancy - mostly out of pride that I could do it all just as well myself (false). I ultimately made the decision based on where I was at that point in my life: I had lots of other heavy time commitments and wanted a coach to help me through it. The biggest thing that hit me right off the bat was just how unprepared I was to submit high-quality apps quickly. Obviously, any consultant would want you to think that, but when I really took a hard look at the timing for submitting to all the schools on my list I knew they were right about that.
Looking back, I’m very glad I hired Square One. Not only did Square One help me submit the strongest applications possible, they also helped me clarify and refine my career goals to the point where I felt 100% comfortable detailing my career goals and reasons behind them during interviews. In short, Square One was an invaluable strategic and logistical asset during my application process. Kathryn was an awesome motivator and usually responded within 15 minutes to any questions of mine (of which I had a lot). Mike, my advisor, was an amazing guide and I loved working closely with him throughout. I’m pleased to be heading to a T15 this fall and I know Square One was an important factor in helping me get there.
Joined: Mar 12, 2021
700 Q47 V38 (Online)
As somehow who was balancing a lot of work in a short amount of time leading up to business school applications, I truly believe that Square One Prep was the perfect choice to keep me on schedule and push me to submit my best application. Their team-based approach was very unique compared to the 10+ other services that I spoke with and is what ultimately led to my decision to chose Square One. They have experts on every aspect of the application (resume, career narrative, essays) and provide / update a detailed timeline as you begin to work through your deliverables. They will also hold you accountable to hit your deadlines which is exactly the push I needed given my busy schedule. Colin, who was my day-to-day advisor, was available to hop on the phone with me whenever I had questions or was struggling to come up with ideas. Kathryn was also very involved in the entire process, providing her detailed thoughts on every aspect of my application.
All in all, I have nothing but good things to say about Square One and truly believe they were an instrumental part of me getting accepted to Columbia. My biggest advice for any applicants who are considering, or have already chosen to work with, Square One is to trust the process. Especially during the times when you feel you may feel overwhelmed, just know that their biggest priority is making sure that you submit your best application and will do everything they can to get you there.