Status: Third-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Business Engineering (Banking)
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 5
GMAT/GRE score: 730
Undergraduate GPA: 3.83/4.30
Admitted to: Wharton
From 0 for 5 last year to getting an offer from one of my dream schools this year.
I used another well known consultant last year and the result was disastrous – all top schools rejected me. This year I worked with Kathryn and John and couldn’t have made a better decision. I will be attending a top 5 school this fall! This is the best I could have hoped for coming from an over-represented background. From the first call with Kathryn, I knew she was different. The confidence she showed in me was unlike the consultants I spoke with.
I feel the most important part of the process is to determine your goals and why you need an MBA. Last year I did not spend enough time thinking about this and in fact the guidance I got from the consultant last year was the worst anyone could have given. The goals did not make sense at all and did not connect at all with my past. This year, we spent so much time thinking about my goals and connecting them with my past. My goals this year were ambitious and exciting at the same time and I think it made the difference.
Once my goals were set, we moved on to resume and essay writing. The resume I began with I thought was great but after working with Kathryn and John, the resume was totally transformed. I was focussing on stuff that did not matter to the adcoms. My consultant spent about 4 to 5 hours just talking to me about my background and the work I do. We then converted the content we had into bullet points and went through several iterations. The difference in the resume was day and night.
Many applicants including me think that the essays is a writing competition and so if you write great English you will get through. After working with Kathryn and John, I realized that the language isn’t as important as it is made to be, the content is the meat of the essay. My essays this year were strong not just content-wise but language wise too and they still had my voice. We started by deciding the content of the essay and then mapped that to structure the essays. We then fleshed out the details and went through several iterations.
More importantly, Kathryn is really invested in your success. She really cares about you and will go the extra step to make you comfortable. As a re-applicant, it was hard for me to trust any advice initially given the bad experience last year. Kathryn got on the phone with me often in the initial stages and was patient throughout the process, something I really respect as I was not the easiest applicant to work with.
Overall, I ended up getting invitations to interview from 4 out of 5 schools and got admitted to one of my dream schools. After last year’s results, I thought I had no chance at these top schools, especailly since I was coming from a over-represented background. But working with Square One Prep made all the difference. For anyone considering using Square One Prep, think about the investment as something that will increase your odds. If you are an Indian, the odds are against you and Square One Prep will give you the edge you need over others.