Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Oil Industry Engineering/Entrepreneurship
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 6
GMAT/GRE score: 740 (V: 38 Q: 51)
Undergraduate GPA: 95.8/100.0
Admitted to: Kellogg, Sloan, Yale
I got into my dream program with a fellowship and am very grateful for all the support I got from Crystal (my advisor), Kathryn, and the team!
When choosing a consulting service, I called at least 6 different companies but no one was confident with my choice of schools – a very well-known company even advised me to go with a (far) safer school which I’m not interested in at all. And after those initial calls, their reports are flooded with ads and pricing for their service rather than focus on my competence and the plans ahead. Kathryn is different. She immediately addressed strength and weakness based on my CV in the free, initial call, and respected my choice of schools even it could hurt their published record.
I chose Crystal as my advisor and this was an excellent match! I’m a procrastinating kind of person, and Crystal was there to push me all the time. She gave me tough love and very honest feedback during the entire process. I used to think that with a consulting service, I would find it more relaxing in applying for top schools. Right and wrong! Wrong because your advisor and Kathryn challenged you constantly to aim for the best, which means you have to spend more time researching for the career narrative, improving your LORs while working with your recommenders, or practicing your mock interviews until they are perfect. Right because it would have been impossible for me to achieve such a very high quality of work without SquareOne.
You can find all the positive feedback for SquareOne here and there, and while I certainly agree with most of the reviews praising the team for helping people get into their top choice schools, there is one thing I want to add which is totally unexpected and I’m glad I chose Kathryn’s service – that I’ve learned a lot throughout the process.
I’ve learned to think more critically about whatever I said or wrote – in the career narrative or in the essays. That’s why my writings usually have 6-7 rounds of revision with many comments like “Hai this doesn’t make sense.” I believe it will continue challenging my thinking in the business school and beyond.
I’ve learned to be more self-confident! Some people told me that if my work title isn’t “Something Manager,” my chance to a top-10 school is very slim! Through discussion, Kathryn made me believe such statement is invalid! And my leadership skills are proven through many experiences/activities that I would totally overlooked if SquareOne weren’t there evoking them.
I’ve learned to push myself harder to achieve the best result. There were many times I honestly just wanted to hand in a mediocre piece of writing, but Crystal and Kathryn were there to ensure everything submitted had to be in its best shape! And we did just that – they were both committed to my application no less than myself and I’m so grateful to have them with me.
Coming from Vietnam, a developing country, I know that it’s a lot of money for a consulting service, but trust me it’s worth it. Even before the schools’ decision dates, when I asked my wife “How if we get rejected for all schools we applied for, do you regret that we used SquareOne,” and she replied “No, I think you’ve learned a lot along the way.” Yes I’ve learned a lot in my MBA application journey, and the happiest moment of this journey was when I got the midnight call from my dream school, congratulating me for the admission and a fellowship!
Thank you SquareOne!