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Joined: Jul 29, 2017
710 Q49 V38
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]
- I strongly endorse Square One Prep
- They have a systematic approach
- They are always available and are continuously invested till you and they are satisfied with the essays/resumes
I availed Square One Prep's services and would strongly endorse them.
It never really struck me when people said that the real work begins after taking the GMAT. Square One Prep was strongly recommended by a close friend. In the preliminary assessment call SOP's founder, Kathryn, went above and beyond the 30 minutes advertised to genuinely learn about my background and aspirations. Soon my friend's glowing words resonated with me. What also was impressive is that, once I decided to go ahead with them, the time I spent with Kathryn was not lost. She maintained diligent notes and passed them on to her team.
SOP understands that there are different elements to submitting a strong application, and thus, they have experts handling each domain.
You get the opportunity to choose your daily advisor, who most likely is an experienced individual who has themself gone through the rigamarole of the MBA. My advisor was John.
You then get into a call with your advisor and Kathryn to determine your schools. I truly appreciate that Kathryn & John laid the facts in front of me and allowed me to make my decision.
After selecting the school you work with the experts to build your career narrative, resumes and finally move on to essays and application forms. For every item that you need to work on, you'll get to refer to samples created by successful candidates previously. All of them also undergo multiple rounds of review before Kathryn herself signs off on the quality.
When the time comes for interviews, the team trains you to find the genuine answers that most interviewers appreciate. You get to do a mock interview (that seems very close to the real deal) and are immediately given concrete feedback on how to improve.
Most MBA programs will at some point ask you what you intend to do. Had it not been for SOP's robust process, I would've left it to be extremely generic, and thereby uninteresting. The exercise conducted by SOP's career narrative expert (Wendy Bagdi-Durrua) will help you dig deeper into your aspirations.
I can't begin to capture the support John extended. While he took the conversation forward from Kathryn, he spent nearly 2-2.5 hours going through my details. John, in fact, kept diving deeper. Our conversation came up with things that I hadn't thought about for years. John helped me polish my resume to make it action-oriented (the evolution of which I still use at my MBA program.) My first essay draft for my first school was so abysmal that we practically had to rework it completely. John patiently helped me see how I can improve the content. The exercise helped me churn out better drafts for subsequent essays. John also prepared me for my interviews. He conducted a mock interview that allowed me to understand the format and purpose of an interview and prepare accordingly.
All In Service:
When a couple of my applications turned out to be waitlists. The Square One Prep team was prepared and invested to help me convert the offer. They even helped me with the material for my re-applications at no additional charge.
The one thing I wish Square One Prep had done was to prepare me to interact with current students. While they did convey this step, I didn't understand the gravity. I wish I spoke to more students and attended more school events, something I figured out after turning in my applications.
The work I did with Square One Prep has continued to help me. Be it the resume, or efficacy in writing, these are skills I am glad to have picked up from my interactions with them.
I opted for a 3 school package with them and applied to 7 other schools across two years.
I got material for all the schools and was waitlisted at an M7 school and a T10 school, and secured admission to 4 other schools.
Joined: Jun 03, 2021
I'm glad I chose Square One Prep for business school applications! From the start, I enjoyed Kathryn's honesty in our consultation. Coming from a background with no experience & connection to business school, I wanted a team that would be honest about my chances and how I could improve my application. Before we started on application work, Lara and I did a very comprehensive review of my experiences & resume, pulling out themes that we eventually used for the essays. We also worked with a career narrative expert, which I thought was super helpful--I always had an idea of what I wanted to do in the future, but found it difficult to put into words. The career narrative work prepared me well for that. Then, when we started work on the essays, Lara was a great thought partner. I am glad she focused most of her time on the themes and messages within the essays and not the superficial grammar & punctuation errors (although she caught and fixed those as well). For example, Lara was not afraid to tell me to toss out the entire essay and start over when I was not properly answering the prompt. Lara and Kathryn's support was integral to my acceptance to my dream business school!
Joined: Apr 06, 2021
Working with Square One Prep was essential to my admission to several business schools. From the beginning (when I was just starting to think about business school), Kathryn was always available to offer me knowledgeable guidance. It is no secret that applying to business school can be extremely stressful, and I had no idea where to start. The Square One Prep team helped me narrow down my school list, craft a compelling story about my background and future goals and prepare for my interviews. Square One Prep also provided a helpful schedule to ensure I was on track to hit application deadlines, as well as helped me with my waitlist strategy when I was unfortunately waitlisted (but was later admitted!). I had the support I needed every step of the way, not only from Kathryn, but also from my advisor Afiya Bediako. Afiya was always available to me, even for simple questions, and truly brought light to even the most challenging aspects of the application process. She was there to encourage me, while also providing realistic and useful feedback. I definitely recommend Square One Prep for anyone looking for apply to business school!
Joined: Jun 27, 2021
I cannot speak highly enough of Square One Prep and its entire team of advisors and experts.
When I first embarked on the business school application process, I was wary of working with an advisor given the cost. My mindset quickly changed when I had my first phone call with Kathryn, the founder of Square One Prep. Unlike other admissions consulting companies, which gave me, at most, 30 minutes of their time, Kathryn took two hours to walk through my professional background, discuss my interest in applying to business school, and share the Square One Prep process. I left the conversation feeling confident that Square One Prep would help me put my best foot forward in my application, particularly given that I was working under a tight timeline.
In the weeks that followed, the Square One Prep team ensured that I stayed on track to deadlines and shared resources that I never would have had access to otherwise, including examples of business school resumes, essays, and letter of recommendation packages. My advisor, Leila, struck the perfect balance of challenging me and offering guidance and reassurance when I needed it. My career narrative expert, Luis, helped me define my short- and long-term goals, which I have since used not only in the application process, but also in sparking pivotal career conversations.
I truly can’t thank the entire team at Square One Prep enough for guiding me every step of the way and making my dream a reality!
Joined: Jun 15, 2021
After interviewing several MBA Admissions Consultants, I finally decided I like the unique and differentiated approach from Square One Prep. From the outset, I liked their multi-person approach to consultancy, and they delivered. After an initial call with Kathryn, I met with Lara who I knew immediately would help me best understand my story and show it to ad-coms. Applying during an ultra-busy period of work, Lara and Square One Prep helped me stay organized and on top of my deliverables. Needless to say, I couldn't have done it without them. I applied to six schools and received interviews at five of them. I was waitlisted at three of them, and I was accepted to two of them (with scholarships). They did a fantastic job and could not recommend them any more highly.
Joined: Oct 13, 2019
580 Q36 V34
The business school application journey is a whirlwind of a process but SquareOne were with me through every step. They truly try to get to know you and in the process of going through self-discovery, help bring out your strengths to show what's unique to you and ultimately build a solid narrative that helped define my application in the most concise and impactful way.
They were available for a quick call whenever needed and responsive, even at times when I felt I was struggling. Every part of the application would go through various iterations with the team to get multiple perspectives. My mentor guided me through each part calmly and provided honest feedback, truly wanting the best outcome for me. Despite the applications being extremely competitive this year due to COVID and having an average GMAT, through the partnership with SoP, we were still able to strengthen the rest of my materials, bringing out the strengths in me as a candidate and ultimately helping me get admitted!
Joined: Jun 14, 2021
740 Q51 V38
Wow. I have to say GMAT club is really strict about its review verification. It took me 30min to finally come to this page writing my review. But I hope the fact that I am willing to go through such a frictional process to share a review says how much I love them. Ok, below is the serious review.
Overall, I had a very positive experience with SOP. I am a China Chinese applicant with a sales background. The same as many applicants, I did not have a super clear short-term or long-term goal though I am very sure that I want to pursue an MBA to explore new options. I did some research about schools but still mostly care about rankings. I was totally lost when I went through all schools’ essay questions and don’t even know where to start. Kathryn and her team have been very systematic, educational and supportive through the whole process. They spent hours to understand my background and guide me to find the goals that make the most meaningful story for both me and schools. They also made good suggestion about which school to apply based on my preference of school size, industrial strength, alumni network, culture, etc. Jeannice, my main contact point, has been extremely patient and efficient about reviewing and perfecting my essays. Each one will take her hours considering I am not a native English speaker and my English expression is usually not clearest. What touched me the most is their consistent support after I was waitlisted. They keep on cheering me up and help me brainstorm the strategy to follow up with the admission. Their personal approach gave me a strong feeling of being part of a team to crack the challenge together instead of being a client that simply pay money and get the service. Though later my situation changed and I decided to decline the offers (with scholar!) and apply for some better ones in the next year, I am truly grateful for their support and would love to recommend them to anyone who needs an application consultant.
Joined: May 16, 2019
710 Q49 V38
SOP have been an absolute pleasure to work with. The MBA application process can be quite daunting at first, particularly when it needs to be managed alongside a full time job, but through a combination of excellent resources (eg a week by week planner with milestones) and supportive (and also challenging) staff, the process felt like an absolute breeze. Along the way I was really challenged to self reflect and show vulnerability in my essays, which meant I was ultimately granted admission to my top choice of school! What I love most is that SOP are really selective about who they partner with, and you really get a bespoke and tailored experience.
Joined: Jun 13, 2021
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]
Kathryn and the Square One team were instrumental in my success with business school applications. Kathryn spent 2-3 hours with me over multiple phone calls answering my questions even before I had committed to working with her company. Her willingness to go above and beyond on the front end is the reason I chose to work with her firm. Once I had officially signed up with Square One, I was on a very tight time frame for second round application deadlines. I purchased an hourly package and was advised by Matteo. With Matteo’s day-to-day guidance and Kathryn following along and diving in when needed, we successfully got three applications submitted. In an extremely short time frame during the holiday season, Square One amazed me with the fast paced and detailed feedback they gave me on my application materials. I was fielding and responding to emails and calls with Matteo on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day. Square One truly cares about their clients and makes themselves more than available at ALL times. I am pleased I chose Square One and would strongly recommend them to any business school applicant considering hiring a consulting firm.
Joined: Jul 12, 2020
570 Q35 V34 (Online)
I highly recommend Square One Prep to anyone that is in the process of applying to business schools. I initially decided to hire Square One Prep after being waitlisted by my preferred schools and decided to work with Kathryn and her team at Square One Prep to improve my chances of being accepted. During my initial consultation with Kathryn, she took the time to analyze every part of my business school applications and provided a thoughtful explanation as to why I was waitlisted. I really appreciate her candor about the weaknesses within my applications and what I needed to do to improve my chances of getting off the waitlist. One of Square One Prep’s consultants, Luis, worked with me extensively to clarify and refine my career goals and reasons for attending business school to craft a professionally written career narrative. Another consultant, Mike, worked with me for over four hours to improve and restructure my resume to make it more business school friendly. This proved to be an invaluable asset as I come from a nontraditional background (military) and had no idea how to write a business school resume. Overall, I enjoyed my time working with the entire team at Square One Prep as I found that they were all extremely friendly and dedicated, always going above and beyond to ensure I was able to drastically improve my chances of receiving a matriculation from my top choice for business school.