Status: First-time applicant
Pre-MBA industry: Software Engineering
Years of experience at time of matriculation: 4
GMAT/GRE score: 730
Undergraduate GPA: 9.6/10
Graduate GPA: 4.0/4.0
Admitted to: Tuck
After I finished my GMAT, I started the search for an admission consultant. I had no idea about the MBA process and knew no one who had been through this process to talk to. I first called another consulting firm. I was shocked when I had my first call with them – within 10 minutes of listening to my story, the person I spoke to suggested that I not apply for an MBA this year at all. As I was from a tech background with limited experience, the lady also strongly discouraged me from applying to any of the top 30 schools. Not one to give up – I pored over online reviews and found Square One Prep. What struck me first about Square One was that a lot of people had talked about how their first call with Kathryn was so different from their calls with other consultants.
Not sure if I would be turned away, I set up a call with Kathryn. And it was nothing like I imagined – she listened patiently to my story. She showed genuine interest in me as a person beyond just my work profile and she was also confident that I should apply this year. The best advice she gave me when I asked her doubtfully if I should apply to top schools was that I would never know if I didn’t try. She spent over 2 hours talking to me to find out details about my story and encouraging me.
At the end of the call, I was sure that choosing Square One was the right choice for me. Kathryn sent me the profiles of all the advisors I could work with and set up calls with 3 of the advisors whom I chose. After talking to all 3 of them, I decided to work with Melissa. She immediately connected and saw the story from my perspective. Right in that first call itself, she offered many suggestions to help me better distill my story.
We started out with the resume. With Melissa’s insights and feedback, the engineer’s resume I started out with slowly transformed. The technical jargon was gone – instead the resume very simply and clearly conveyed all the achievements and extracurriculars. Once we had the resume nailed down – we went through my goals, working with Kathryn to come up with a strong career vision that aligned with my interest in switching to an entirely different industry. I had an idea about where I wanted to be but was unclear about the specific short and long term goals. Melissa and Kathryn gave a lot of industry specific insights and pointers to help me think through my goals. As for the essays, Melissa ensured that I was presenting the best points of my story relevant to each school. I lost track of the rewrites – we would go through as many drafts as it took me to nail the essay. One particular incident that comes to mind is the video essay we did for a school. Melissa went out of her way to share creative insights about lighting, camera set up, props and visuals. Her suggestions were invaluable – although this was the first time I was shooting a video, we had a perfect video ready to go in 3 days! At each step of this process, Kathryn reviewed all the final material and provided her suggestions for each school. It was wonderful to get valuable insights from 2 amazingly experienced people! Hence, when I hit the submit for each school, I was confident that this was the best I could put forward.
Whether it was through the mock interviews and feedback or the encouraging emails, Melissa was with me through the entire process. What really touched me was the positivity she had – even when I received rejects she encouraged me to hold on till the end. Both Melissa and Kathryn were really invested in seeing me succeed more than anything – that really made a big difference! I ended up getting into a top 10 MBA program. This was beyond what I had expected! I am sure that I couldn’t have done it without Melissa and Kathryn. I would strongly recommend their consulting services!