Pre-MBA industry: Strategy Consulting
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 9
GMAT/GRE score: 740
Undergraduate GPA: 8.13/10
Graduate GPA: 3.4/4.0
Admitted to: Columbia, INSEAD
As an older applicant, applying late in the cycle, I knew the MBA application process was going to be quite challenging for me. Further, I have significant writer’s block. Even though I spend a lot of time putting together client presentations as a consultant, writing is quite stressful for me. But working with Square One Prep made the whole essay writing process – actually the entire application process – a rather enjoyable experience.
When I first approached Square One Prep, I had just turned in my applications for two schools and was looking for a quick second set of eyes before starting on my next two applications. While I was expecting a high-level critique, Square One Prep did a thorough review of my essays and provided a detailed red-lined assessment. I was blown away by the number of things I approached incorrectly in my essays and resume. In a nut shell, Square One Prep’s feedback was that my essays sounded like an extended version of my resume and that there was no way the ad-com could know who I was as a person. It was clear that my essays were rather pedestrian and showed a lack of self-awareness.
To remedy this critical mistake, my consultant took the time to understand who I am. She and I worked together to review my life experiences and identify stories that would make my essays come to life. She helped me develop my first drafts into finished essays that really conveyed who I am in a way I never could have done on my own, in a way I never would have thought to do on my own.
Working with Square One Prep made me realize that essay writing is more of a self discovery process – I learned to look at my life experiences from childhood to now and identify the situations/events/influences that make me who I am. With Square One Prep leading the way, I learned how to then communicate that in a simple and interesting way.
Further, the application needs you to look ahead, identify your goals and build an argument for why the MBA with a particular school is the right thing right now. Square One Prep was immensely helpful here in making sure that my I had a rigorous but straightforward logic.
In short, if you are looking for an intelligent and compassionate group to work with, one that knows what the ad-com want and can help you structure a compelling case that gets results, as I got offers from both Columbia and INSEAD, then Square One Prep is your consultant!