Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Investment Banking/Private Equity
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 5
GMAT/GRE score: 730
Undergraduate GPA: 3.51-4.00
Admitted to: Wharton
I was a client with SquareOne over two years after being referred from a former classmate and ultimately was accepted to one school out of the three where I applied. Given where I was in my career, I figured that I only wanted to attend b-school if I got into one of my three “dream” schools and three rejections would not be the end of the world. Since I was far from a shoe-in at any school I applied to, SquareOne was clearly a huge benefit to my candidacy, and there’s a good chance I would not be attending b-school this fall without their support.
I had an initial call with Kathryn where she walked me through the process and served up a well-needed dose of reality regarding my odds. This motivation was critical to me putting forth my best effort in my essays and application later on down the road. Subsequently, I was paired with an advisor (Joey) who I clicked with immediately given his similar background and great sense of humor. Combined with Kathryn’s regular check-ins, I always felt like I had a team supporting me and pushing me forward.
Given I had somewhat of a conventional background (top 25 school -> investment banking -> middle market private equity), I knew my biggest application hurdle would be crafting my story. Joey was absolutely instrumental in helping me create a story and essays that would resonate with the reader. Frankly, I was not sure where to even begin, but through hours of brainstorming and outlining on the phone together, my story became possibly my biggest application strength. Personally, SquareOne’s greatest value-add lies in this iterative process which focuses on your unique strengths, humanizes the voice behind your essay, and ties everything together in a way that admissions officers will get excited about.
When it came down to the wire in the month before the Round 1 application deadline, Kathryn and Joey were with me every step of the way (which is critical given the amount of stress during that time), and I’m still amazed at how much progress I made. In addition, Joey went above and beyond with me during my interview preparation which I truly appreciated. As a comparison, I had several colleagues who were also applying but had hired different consultants, and I am confident that I received the best level of service and value from my consultant out of the group.
All in all I would highly recommend SquareOne to aspiring b-school applicants. Given the level of competition for top b-schools today, hiring a consultant is essential, and SquareOne more than exceeded my expectations.