Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Technology Product Engineering/Management
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 11
GMAT/GRE score: 710
Undergraduate GPA: 3.14/4.30
Graduate GPA: 3.18/4.30
Admitted to: Haas, Stanford MSx
1. Committing to $5,000 investment through e-mail
Yes, we live in this high-tech modern e-commerce era but bank-wire $5,000 to someone you’ve never met? Really? I guess this is where everyone, including me, is hesitant and there are reviews – I’ve read like 500 reviews of different companies on gmat club – that says some consulting firms didn’t live up to what was expected. When buying something as expensive as $100 on Amazon, people usually read the reviews to see if the product delivers and even then, the reviews are subjective by nature; from glass half-full and glass half-empty to glass no drinkable water. Unfortunately, based in Korea, I didn’t know anyone who had used an US consulting service and I had to rely on reviews. Reviews on Square One prep really seemed to come from heart of applicants and after initiation calls with 5+ consulting services, I felt Square One prep really cared – I mean really – about the applicants and that they really enjoy doing this.
2. Structured guide from experience
I’ve gotten my GMAT and TOEFL score by July and realized there were tens of thousands of other applicants with similar scores. Applying to 6 b-schools for round 1 just seemed overwhelming and I wasn’t sure if I could do it all. I leaned towards another firm because of web-based schedule and documents upload/download management system but e-mails proved to be a more efficient way with instant access through smartphones. I was worried if I was going to get enough “air-time” or structured guidance but Square One had set up their system from experience and delivered manageable packages at right timing to keep me focused and assured.
3. Hop on a call from e-mail exchanges
Sometimes, dialogue is the most efficient way to communicate and that’s exactly what we did. The whole process is based on e-mail to keep track of where we were but Skype calls were always welcome; Square One prep asked that we talk on Skype for a few minutes when we had 3-4 e-mail exchanges in a short period of time, to remove any ambiguity. I don’t remember how many times we had talked but I’m sure it was more than like 20. It was up to me if I wanted more calls.
4. Essay qualities depends on consultants not firms.
There isn’t one super-consultant or super-firm that is the best in the world. It really depends on the chemistry between the applicant and the consultant. No one can say that their essay could not have been better if they had worked with another consultant/firm. I think my results speak for the quality of work with Square One prep.
5. Highest recommendation
I am most happy with my application results and I don’t think I would be here without Square One prep. I would recommend Square One prep to my friends and family.