The Team

Kathryn Lucas

In 2009 Kathryn Lucas founded Square One Prep, an MBA Admissions firm that has partnered with 550+ clients and sustained a success rate that no other firm matches.

With a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Auburn University, after which she practiced architecture for seven years, and a MBA from Wharton, Kathryn ventured into MBA Admissions in early 2003 when she became a GMAT preparation consultant at Veritas Prep. Later that year, she joined the commercial development team at Forest City Ratner to help manage the development of Atlantic Yards/Barclays Center, a $4 billion, 7 million square foot, Brooklyn-based project designed by Frank Gehry. She dedicated herself to that endeavor until June 2007, when she left the world of development to write a book, It Is What It Is, published in July 2008. Inspired by how her book motivated people to introspect, face challenges, and dream big, she then re-joined Veritas Prep as an MBA admissions advisor so she could continue to help people assess their lives and reach for their ambitions. Not long after, realizing that her approach to partnering with applicants was distinct and unusually successful, she started Square One.

Kathryn’s approach involves providing expert, hands-on advice with wit and candor, thereby making the notoriously grueling application process enjoyable for clients. In addition to providing strategic guidance to all Square One advisor/client partnerships and personally partnering with clients who prefer to work exclusively with her on their applications, she also conducts 100% of the firm’s free consults. She will frankly tell you if applying to business school is the right next move or not, as she believes it is her duty to help folks make smart decisions for their futures and spend their money wisely, even if that means urging a prospective client to understand that they aren’t ready for business school or that business school isn’t the right place for them. With expertise in creative writing, academic coaching, and marketing, Kathryn has personally guided more than 220 clients. Simply put, she loves helping folks make their aspirations come true.

Kathryn is also a member of AIGAC (Association of Graduate Admissions Consultants). When she isn’t busy helping her clients manifest their dreams she enjoys practicing yoga, traveling, dancing, and learning about new artists in the electronic music space.

Ashley Collins

Ashley Collins is an award-winning published author as well as a producer, director, choreographer and actor. She received her BA in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA from the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Ashley’s various artistic disciplines, in combination with her Ivy League pedigree, combine to create her dynamite skill of working alongside Kathryn to review Square One client work and ensure it sets our clients apart from the competition.

Ashley is the co-author (with Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Entertainment) of Produce Your Own Damn Movie! (Focal Press, 2009) and the sole author of The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Los Angeles (Globe Pequot Press, 2011), as well as the reviser and updater on The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to New York City (Globe Pequot Press, 2014), all of which received rave reviews. She is a frequent contributor to MovieMaker Magazine and The Huffington Post. Her short story, “Daddy’s Girl,” was published in the St. Petersburg Review and her short story, “Aunt Maryann Was Stolen,” won her a scholarship to the 2015 Disquiet International Literary Program. Ashley edits manuscripts and book proposals and is currently working on her next three books; two non-fiction and one fiction.

Ashley produced Chasing Taste, the 2014 Manhattan Film Festival and 2013 Burbank International Film Festival “Best Comedy” winner. She is also a co-creator of the musical comedy, Mother Eve’s Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood, recently optioned for a national tour and off-Broadway production by Hemisphere Two Entertainment. Ashley was a member of the 2015 Directors Lab at Lincoln Center Theater.

Ashley speaks conversational Russian and Spanish and has lived in Moscow. She currently resides in Harlem with her Colombian classical guitarist husband and their daughter. She is immensely passionate about travel, hiking, theater, film, yoga, biking all over Manhattan any chance she gets, cereal and hotter than hell summers.

Alana Waisbrot

Alana Waisbrot is Square One Prep’s Career Narrative Expert, drawing on her extensive experience in career management at two top tier MBA programs, Columbia Business School and The Kellogg School of Management. She loves using her expertise to help Square One clients better define their interests, skills, and career goals to ensure their applications are traction-worthy to admissions committees while also being aligned with clients’ passions.

In addition to her Square One Prep work, Alana is a Career Consultant at Columbia Business School, where she worked in the role of Associate Director of Career Education and Advising for eight years and now advises MBAs on a full range of career topics including self-assessment, strategy planning, professional branding, interview preparation and negotiation. At CBS, Alana is also an Alumni Career Advisor and teaches interview workshops. Separately, Alana is a resume reviewer for NYU's Stern School of Business.

Before joining Columbia, Alana managed the on campus recruiting program at The Kellogg School of Management with leading organizations from around the globe.  Prior to her roles in higher education, she spent several years on Wall Street in Campus Recruiting and HR at Lehman Brothers and Citigroup's Global Corporate and Investment Bank.

Alana graduated with a bachelor's degree with honors in Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and completed Masters level coursework in Psychological Counseling at Teachers College - Columbia.

Alana lives in Port Washington, NY and, when not thinking about all things career-related, enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, playing tennis and traveling.