Pre-MBA industry: Healthcare Consulting/Strategy/Corporate Development
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 5
GMAT/GRE score: 630 (V: 41 Q: 35)
Undergraduate GPA: 3.95/4.00
Graduate GPA: 3.64/4.00
Career Gap:4 months
Admitted to: Sloan Fellows
I’d never been unable to apply to something I wanted and not get in, including multiple graduate degrees and elite jobs, until I tried B school. Didn’t get in the first time and sought an MBA consultant and wanting to be diligent, set up several calls with multiple companies. Kathryn from Square One was my first and before I even finished the conversation, I knew I wanted to work with her and her company. She was kind, considerate, let me ramble on about my uncomfortable life story, took the time to understand me and my objectives and was very honest about my chances of getting in given my unique context. I emailed the other consultancies as soon as I hung up and told them I’d be happy to keep the appointment if they wanted but in order to be respectful of their time, I’d almost surely decided to work with someone else and it would be hard to change my mind. They kept the calls, all of them were fantastic and gave me great insight – and would have been a no-brainer, had I not already met Kathryn. But I had already met her and she’d set the bar far too high for them to pass it.
Anxiety is a huge part of this process and Kathryn appeased my anxiety about the process from that first call. Her entire team is phenomenal as well – I once had a stressful morning having read something about my unique situation affecting my chances of being considered at some of the schools I was applying to. Bailey (COS at SOP) personally CALLED every single one of my schools and let me know later that morning what each had answered! I went into my morning meetings reassured that she was ON it, came out a few hours later and I had an answer.
Choosing Square One Prep was the best choice I made this year – Kathryn tried to warn me about some of the mistakes she could see me about to make, but I thought I could do more and push myself more, as I’d always had, and I went ahead anyway. But optimistic plans are prone to chaos, things can go wrong, stress increases your propensity to sickness, sacrificing sleep = sacrificing quality of output, etc. All culminates to an incredibly stressful time when you have to deal with a full time job, making sure your personal life doesn’t implode and a LOT of things to do to apply to your top schools. You’ll also need to find time to reflect and introspect on some challenging and difficult times in your life and how they’ve shaped you., which can be psychologically exhausting, and therefore exacerbate the stress. Applying to B school was such an emotional process for me and for many who go through it, and having the fantastic Square One team by my side, ready to answer any question, ready to appease my anxiety, encouraging me and supporting me every step of the way, made ALL the difference! I knew exactly what I needed to do, they were with me through every step of the way, they challenged me to write better and think deeper (thank you, Lara!!) and they were there to check it twice. If you have no idea where to start or you think you know exactly what you need to do, you need Square One. You have no idea how hard this process is going to be, but they do and they will guide you and support you every step of the way!