Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Financial Analyst
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 5
GMAT/GRE score: 334 (V: 165 Q: 169)
Undergraduate GPA: 3.74/4.00
Graduate GPA: 3.63/4.00
Admitted to: Darden, Said (with other schools TBD)
Having applied to graduate programs (non-business) in the past, I had no idea the added complexity of business school applications. From the start, Square One has made the process as straightforward, and painless, as possible. Starting with the free consultation, Kathryn set my expectations at a high-level and scheduled discussions between me and potential advisors. After several calls (each of which went well), I decided to move forward with Mary Winograd, who became a trusted source of information and encouragement when I hit roadblocks.
The work began with a seemingly, simple narrative exercise, which proved to be the basis for my whole application. After reflecting on my short- and long- term goals, I crafted a narrative with the help of Mary, Kathryn, and Wendy that encompassed not just my goals, but my background reasoning and pathways to achievement. As a prospective career-switcher, this included a lot of research and the SOP team provided a great springboard. Next up, the frameworks used to produce essays (while still maintaining a personal story and creativity), the resume, and LOR’s proved perfect for creating impact with each word. At times, my essay drafts (that I believed made sense) were found to easily lose the purpose or reader. The feedback and guidance SOP provided was invaluable and Mary was a great partner as she helped me focus on the salient points of each essay while making the application as a whole tell a story.
After submission, which felt worthy of a celebration, Mary conducted mock interviews using common questions across all schools and specific questions used by the school with which I was interviewing. Believe it or not, in my first interview, 60+% of the questions had been covered in my mock-interview! This gave me a great deal of confidence that I was properly prepared and that the system SOP uses works!
I also can’t say enough about the resources on the SOP portal, which include ideas for structuring essays, resumes, etc., as well as school information. Bailey was immensely helpful in digging up scholarship information and keeping track of where I stood with each school’s application. The support and essay notes from Kathryn and Wendy, while at times challenging, meant four sets of eyes were critiquing each word… not something most (if any) other firms can offer! Lastly, I’d like to commend Mary for her patience, personalization and quick turnaround (never more than 12 hours), which ensured I got my message across and put my best foot forward.
In the end, I got a scholarship to one of my target schools, which I plan on accepting, and couldn’t be happier with my decision to work with SOP! Thank you Kathryn, Wendy, and Bailey! And most of all, thank you Mary!!!