Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Consulting/Non-profit Program Management
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 6
GMAT/GRE score: 760 (V: 50 Q: 41)
Undergraduate GPA: 7.31/10.00
Graduate GPA: 3.42/4.00
Admitted to: INSEAD
Service Type: Premium
It will be an understatement to say that Square One Prep was extremely pivotal in my application journey.
I made up my mind to apply to a select number of schools and was looking for the right partner to help me through this arduous and nerve wracking process. I spoke with 20+ consultants across the world, but my first conversation with Kathryn was good enough to convince me that SOP would be the ideal organization to help me see through this period – Kathryn spoke with me for an hour when the original slot was for 30 minutes, giving me golden advice on how to navigate the application process even though I had not signed up with SOP. I signed up within a day, and in hindsight that was one of the best decisions I made regarding my overall application strategy.
I must tell you that working on your B-school applications is a hard process (especially when you have to balance taking your GMAT/GRE, doing your full time jobs, and managing other life commitments). SOP was super comprehensive throughout the process – choosing the right schools (in my case, it was helpful to cross-check if my choices were suitable/apt), crafting a career vision, creating a robust resume, writing endless essays, and finally preparing for the interview stage! The orderliness with which SOP manages these distinct parts of your application helps you feel at ease – they truly acted as equal partners in the process and were fully invested in my success. And in the whole process, Kathryn was very actively involved in making sure that we collectively put the best applications forward, responding to even the silliest of queries I had in my mind.
I had the privilege of working with Amalia as my SOP advisor, and I couldn’t have asked for a better guide. Amalia spent COUNTLESS hours with me on all of my application material – hearing my story, building a resume that would reflect my journey effectively, brainstorming essay ideas, helping me craft and express my story in the most impactful manner, preparing me for my interviews (in a manner where I could show my best self and be fully authentic) and so much more. Not only is Amalia one of the most intelligent guides I’ve ever met, but she also acts as your true cheerleader in the WHOLE process. She was available 24*7 over the many months we worked together, answered my endless list of questions with utmost detail and patience, and matched my ambition/aspirations with her unbounded wisdom! Amalia is a rockstar – You will be lucky if you get a chance to work with her.
SOP even understood my ambition to apply to different programs (including dual degrees). Not even once did I feel that my spirit/aspirations were inhibited by the process. Kathryn and Amalia showed extreme patience and generosity throughout the whole process. Infact, they balanced my optimism and fears with top grade pragmatism and professionalism. I felt safe and confident following their advice (after all, B-school experiences can be life altering experiences). One part of the process that people don’t speak about is rejection – when I did not get an interview invite from one of the schools I applied to, Kathryn and Amalia gave me the courage to march on in that phase and work with full force on the other schools on my list. For some of the schools we worked together on, I changed the format of our engagement from comprehensive to hourly – but it did not change the seriousness or depth with which both of them helped me prepare the best applications possible!
Out of the schools I applied to, I got interview invites from Wharton Lauder and INSEAD, and got an admit from INSEAD (where I’m headed off to in coming months). These invites and my INSEAD admit would not have happened without SOP! Thank you, Amalia and Kathryn, for helping me realize my B-School dream 🙂