Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Politics/Fair Trade Diamond Mining
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 2.75
GMAT/GRE score: 690
Undergraduate GPA: 3.4/4.0
Admitted to: Columbia
Initially I was skeptical about hiring an admissions consultant but Square One Prep was highly recommended to me by a trusted source so I did the free consult – what did I have to lose? After my initial conversation with Square One Prep my concerns quickly faded – in fact I realized that I NEEDED an admissions consultant. I had less than 2 years fulltime experience, an okay GMAT score (690), and was applying Round 3…not a recipe for success. I didn’t know the uphill battle that I had. Trust me when I say that Square One Prep’s owner was honest with me about that battle. But its owner was also super excited about the fact that I was up to the challenge nonetheless, because she believed in me. THAT is precisely why I decided to go with them. They never sugar-coated anything, but said from the outset that they believed in me and my story. They wanted to help me succeed.
My consultant’s passion, intelligence, and work ethic were remarkable. I have a highly unorthodox background yet my consultant skillfully developed a strategy to tell my story in a nuanced and attractive manner. Our first call alone was almost six hours. Afterward, she had a better grasp of how to tell my story than I did – I kid you not. After we completely rebuilt my resume, we moved on to my essays and LORs. Every step of the way, my consultant’s input made the difference between me crafting something okay and something stellar – even if that meant she had to do some heavy lifting to help me get there. She was available and eager to help around the clock. I can honestly say that had she not given me tough love about my LORs and helped me and my recommenders understand the lay of the land as it regards LORs, my recommenders would have unintentionally submitted subpar work and I would not have gotten into my dream school.
My consultant also wasn’t afraid to give me a kick in the butt when needed. She was not hesitant to be tough on me. As a result together we crafted an application that exceeded my wildest expectations. Within a month of submitting my application I was admitted to my first choice – also the only school I applied to!
I highly recommend Square One Prep to anyone who is seriously considering B-school. Even if you may think you don’t need a consultant, I urge you to reconsider. Square One Prep provided a value perspective that I would never have developed on my own. They helped me grow into someone able to talk about my experiences in a sophisticated, holistic way that is indispensable, well beyond this process. They helped me become someone who is heading to Columbia Business School this fall! Can’t wait!