Pre-MBA industry: Banking/Private Equity
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 6
GMAT/GRE score: 750 (V:42 Q:50)
Undergraduate GPA: 7.41/10.00
Admitted to: Columbia, Kellogg, London Business School
Service Type: Premium
As a re-applicant, I was tentative about going through the admissions cycle again, especially since I wasn’t clear about what went wrong the first time. I was also conscious of making similar mistakes compared to my first set of applications. This was when a friend referred me to Kathryn and I had my first introductory call with her.
From the outset, Kathryn did a great job of studying my previous application packages and pinpointing areas of weakness I hadn’t seen before. She is honest and blunt, without sugar-coating her feedback in any way for the sake of ‘winning over’ an applicant, which I really appreciated and felt a lot of other admissions consultants do not explicitly do. It also helped me build a strong trust equation with her and the team. Her open and objective approach to diagnosing problems, and providing actionable feedback also convinced me that SOP was the right partner for me as I went into the 2022 admissions cycle.
Since Day 1, the Square One team has been absolutely fantastic in terms of walking through the basics of what is a long and grueling marathon. The challenge for me felt more daunting as I was a reapplicant with a largely similar profile to the previous year, which required me to tell a more nuanced story than last time. Kathryn, Wendy, and my SOP advisor, Garry, were immense in helping me through that as well as much more. The Career Narrative is an approach unique to SOP and was hugely valuable to me as it forced me to introspect more deeply about my goals and reasons for pursuing Business School, adding a strong sense of uniformity and cohesion to all of my materials across multiple schools, which is key when building a compelling narrative. Wendy also does a great job in terms of cross-questioning your research and thought process, forcing you to iterate multiple times until you have a vision you can be proud of and talk about in great depth during interviews.
My SOP advisor, Garry, was also a constant source of calm and support throughout the entire process. Often I found myself worried about impending deadlines and work still being done on each of the essays, but Garry’s patience and clarity always helped keep things on track and helped me reach the finishing line with minimum fuss. His experience of working with a number of candidates with a similar background to mine also helped tease out the unique aspects of my own candidacy and position them in a more nuanced yet explicit manner compared to my previous applications, adding a whole new dimension to my materials. He constantly pushed me to dig deeper and was constantly available (even at odd hours!), whenever I needed to clarify any questions.
Overall, I would wholeheartedly recommend Square One Prep to anyone looking to apply to a top MBA program. Without them, I wouldn’t have received offers from multiple top schools. Their structured approach (shout out to Allison as well!) and deep expertise will never allow you to feel overwhelmed by the process, while their patient and warm approach will make you feel like you’re navigating this journey with a friend.