Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Technology
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 5
GMAT/GRE score: 770 (V: 44 Q: 50)
Undergraduate GPA: 3.78/4.00
Admitted to: HBS, Wharton
If you’re reading this then you’re likely in the same shoes I was in 5 months ago, wondering if you should partner with a consultant for your business school applications when you think you’re capable of going it alone.
Flashing forward 5 months, I was just accepted to my top school – HBS – and genuinely feel that I wouldn’t have even gotten an interview, let alone accepted, had I not partnered with Square One Prep.
I naturally did a lot of research on admissions consultants before partnering with Square One Prep, and each call only reinforced the doubt I had about hiring a consultant in the first place. I knew I was capable of getting into HBS, but most companies pushed me to apply to a lower ranked school so that I wouldn’t affect their lofty “success rate” if I didn’t get in.
When I told Kathryn that I was looking for help with my HBS application, she didn’t try to talk me into applying to a lesser school. Kathryn knows better than anybody that getting into HBS is a long shot, but she gave me an honest assessment of how I could best maximize my odds. As you’ll learn very quickly, Kathryn is brutally honest with you about every aspect of your candidacy. But in this process, you need someone like Kathryn who is simultaneously honest about the odds of succeeding yet willing to roll up her sleeves to take on the challenge.
Simply saying that S1P edited essays or conducted mock interviews undersells their services, because as ridiculous as I’m sure this sounds, I felt like I discovered the best version of myself in working with them. After having gone through the process, I truly believe that the key to getting accepted to a top school is to convey the ambitious and interesting path that you’re heading toward in the future and make each school want to be a part of your journey. The hard part of the process is discovering what that path actually is, which requires deep reflection on what makes you tick and what mark you’d like to leave on the world. These conversations felt deeply uncomfortable in the moment – especially as Kathryn is telling you that your seemingly ambitious plan isn’t ambitious enough – but you’ll appreciate them like I do when you’re done.
I also can’t recommend Square One Prep without giving a shout out to my incredible mentor, Eva. S1P lets you “interview” a couple of different mentors to find one that you click with, and I actually told Kathryn that I didn’t even need to talk to a second mentor once I met Eva. Coming from similar backgrounds with Eva having started her own company (I also ran my own company before applying to school), Eva instantly got me. I’m sure that all of the Square One Prep mentors are equally wonderful, but I’m incredibly thankful that I was able to partner with Eva. She’s simply the best.
If you’ve read this far and still aren’t convinced that you should partner with Square One Prep then I don’t know what else to tell you. But if you do move forward with Square One Prep, I’m confident you’ll be as thrilled as I am when you’re done with the application process.