Vanessa Gil


    
Number of reviews [6]


Company: Stratus Prep
Packages: MBA Admissions Counseling Packages  
Locations: Online  
Vanessa Gil's Reviews
Happy Reapplicant - Attending HBS now
May 30 | 2014

  [ What's this? ]
       By gwang2015 joined: May 30, 2014 | 1 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  MBA Admissions Counseling Packages   Consultant:  Vanessa Gil
I had the chance to work with Shawn and Vanessa at Stratus Prep last year on three applications, Wharton, HBS, and GSB. I applied for both HBS and GSB in Round 1 and was planning to apply to Wharton for Round 2 but was accepted to HBS before finishing and decided to accept.

Quickly on my background. My GMAT was 730. I worked two years in consulting at McKinsey and then launched and worked on my own company for three years prior to business school (two years at the time of my application).

Overall, I was extremely satisfied with my experience with Stratus Prep. I had applied on my own the previous year without success so I can attest to the dramatic difference Shawn and Vanessa made in getting me into HBS. More specifically the things I found helpful were:

* Shawn and Vanessa's experience in understanding which stories are both most unique to you but also resonate well with admissions counselors. Vanessa in particular had a great feel for how admissions counselors might read an essay while Shawn was terrific at structuring my whole package to ensure all my strengths (and potential questions) are addressed through my resume, essays, application, and recommendation letters.

* The quick turnaround provided for essay reviews. This was extremely valuable and important for my interview at HBS as I had a final essay that was due within 24 hours of the interview. Given I interviewed during Hurricane Sandy, it was pretty incredible Shawn and Vanessa could still support me from NYC.

* The marked improvement in the quality of my essays through iterations with Vanessa. She is a terrific writer and having access to someone like helped me craft essays that retained my voice but allowed me to convey my stories with more clarity.

I would recommend Stratus Prep to anyone who is looking to apply for business school. If I had to put a number to it, I would say working with Stratus Prep probably doubled my chances of acceptance.

Best of luck everyone!
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Happy Reapplicant - Attending HBS now
May 30 | 2014

  [ What's this? ]
       By gwang2015 joined: May 30, 2014 | 1 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  MBA Admissions Counseling Packages   Consultant:  Vanessa Gil
I had the chance to work with Shawn and Vanessa at Stratus Prep last year on three applications, Wharton, HBS, and GSB. I applied for both HBS and GSB in Round 1 and was planning to apply to Wharton for Round 2 but was accepted to HBS before finishing and decided to accept.

Quickly on my background. My GMAT was 730. I worked two years in consulting at McKinsey and then launched and worked on my own company for three years prior to business school (two years at the time of my application).

Overall, I was extremely satisfied with my experience with Stratus Prep. I had applied on my own the previous year without success so I can attest to the dramatic difference Shawn and Vanessa made in getting me into HBS. More specifically the things I found helpful were:

* Shawn and Vanessa's experience in understanding which stories are both most unique to you but also resonate well with admissions counselors. Vanessa in particular had a great feel for how admissions counselors might read an essay while Shawn was terrific at structuring my whole package to ensure all my strengths (and potential questions) are addressed through my resume, essays, application, and recommendation letters.

* The quick turnaround provided for essay reviews. This was extremely valuable and important for my interview at HBS as I had a final essay that was due within 24 hours of the interview. Given I interviewed during Hurricane Sandy, it was pretty incredible Shawn and Vanessa could still support me from NYC.

* The marked improvement in the quality of my essays through iterations with Vanessa. She is a terrific writer and having access to someone like helped me craft essays that retained my voice but allowed me to convey my stories with more clarity.

I would recommend Stratus Prep to anyone who is looking to apply for business school. If I had to put a number to it, I would say working with Stratus Prep probably doubled my chances of acceptance.

Best of luck everyone!
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Go with Stratus Prep
May 29 | 2014

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       By Anonymous joined: May 28, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  MBA Admissions Counseling Packages   Consultant:  Vanessa Gil
My experience with Stratus Prep was overwhelmingly positive. My position as a reviewer is unique because I am a re-applicant and had previously used a different admission consultant my first time around. This allows me to evaluate Stratus Prep’s capabilities and differentiating factors, compared to other admissions consultants on the market.

I worked mostly with Vanessa Gil and a bit with Shawn O’Connor – these guys are truly the best at what they do. Here are some highlights from my experience with Stratus Prep and examples of what they do differently (and what they do extremely well):

Getting to know you

In my previous experience, we dove right into brainstorming topics. It was just my second meeting and we were already throwing around essay ideas. With Stratus Prep, during my entire first month, we did nothing but go over my background. Shawn and Vanessa felt it was best to understand my experiences and personality first. This was extremely useful because not only did it force me to remember and think harder about things I’ve done, but it also allowed Vanessa to get a feel about me, as a candidate, so any advice was extremely relevant and personal.

Flexibility

These guys are hard workers. I remember their ability to give well thought-out feedback with exceptional turnaround times (we’re talking 12-24 hours!) Due to my schedule, sometimes we would schedule meetings for Saturday morning or Friday night. Shawn and Vanessa never complained about odd meeting times and their dedication shows just how committed they are to seeing their candidates succeed.

Insightful

Shawn and Vanessa are both experts in the application game. They think logically, but are also aligned with how the school’s adcom thinks. Their suggestions are always on target and at the end of the day, it’s what the school’s perception that counts. When they originally quoted that 60% of their applicants gets accepted at HBS, I thought the number must be overstated. However, after working with Vanessa, I’m surprised it’s not higher!

Detailed and Thoughtful

Their processes are super detailed and structured. As an example, each essay goes thought 5-7 rounds of critique first. Afterwards another consultant reads it and makes comments, and then a third consultant checks for grammar and sentence structure. Lastly, Shawn reads it and makes some final comments. When it’s all over, 4 different pairs of well-trained eyes would have read your essay. This is truly remarkable and their attention to detail is a key differentiating factor.

In the end, I was admitted to Chicago Booth, my dream school. Admittedly, I did not stand a chance without Shawn and Vanessa’s help. If you want to be successful – go with these guys. I only wish I could have done my applications with Shawn and Vanessa my first time around.

Vanessa/Shawn – thanks again for all your help, it was a memorable experience working with you.
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Best Decision I Made!
May 12 | 2014

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       By ebsters6 joined: May 12, 2014 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  MBA Admissions Counseling Packages   Consultant:  Vanessa Gil
I came to Stratus Prep after both my brother and cousin used Shawn to help with admission consulting and were very pleased with their results. I'll admit I was beyond nervous about the entire process. I had not done as well as I had hoped on the GMAT and I otherwise appeared as an average MBA candidate (good work experience, not a lot of management experience, good undergrad school, average GPA). However it was very important for me to go to a top business school and in particular I had my heart set on Kellogg.

I worked with Shawn and my assigned coach, Vanessa, for about 6 months straight to get my applications in order. The best part about working with them was that they didn't make me out to seem like something I wasn't. They just brought out the best in me through my essays and interview prep. The entire Stratus Prep team was extremely responsive, hard working and encouraging. The MBA application process is in no way easy and it was great to have someone in my corner and someone to hold me to my deadlines, really think hard about what the MBA experience meant for me and how best to show that to my top schools. I applied to 6 schools - Kellogg, Stern, Columbia, Stanford, USC and UCLA. And I was admitted to all schools except Stanford (I can live with that!). I sincerely credit Shawn and Vanessa with the success of my entire process and I would highly, HIGHLY recommend prospective students work with them!
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Fantastic Service
March 25 | 2013

  [ What's this? ]
       By Anonymous joined: March 25, 2013 | 1 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - got into all
This review is for:  MBA Admissions Counseling Packages   Consultant:  Vanessa Gil
Got my acceptance letter today! Amazing, my mind is racing...

Thank you so much for all of the help! Vanessa did a great job at keeping me on schedule and guiding me along the way. And I really feel that the tag team strategy with Shawn is what makes these guys a great consulting firm. It was always great to get a second opinion as we moved along.

The team helped me map out my application process and plan my time accordingly. I put together a personal profile of myself, and worked with Vanessa to decide on what stories I wanted to tell and convey via my essays. The multiple drafts of each essay was extremely helpful and made sure I submitted my top quality work.

Thanks again!
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Thank you Stratus!
December 01 | 2012

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       By Anonymous joined: December 1, 2012 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Yes - school of my dreams
This review is for:  MBA Admissions Counseling Packages   Consultant:  Vanessa Gil
I couldn't be happier with the services I received from Stratus Prep. After studying for 3-months in a Kaplan prep course, and performing well below what I had expected on the actual GMAT, I decided to try again with a private tutor. I had consultations with a variety of companies and decided to work with Jim at Stratus Prep.

Jim provided me with support specific to my strengths and weaknesses. Rather than having me continually take practice tests, Jim taught me the content so that I would know how to approach each problem presented. I was able to increase my score almost 150 points working with Jim with a 10-hour package. Jim assigned me work to get done before each session, and I was ready to take the GMAT within 7 weeks.

I also used Stratus Prep for the admission counseling services. Shawn and Vanessa helped me to craft my application through multiple rounds of edits, and helped me prepare for my interviews. Shawn, the CEO, was incredibly involved throughout my entire application process, offering essay advice, application suggestions and moral support.

I was recently accepted into my top-choice school, Columbia. I have recommended Stratus’s services to multiple friends and family. Thank you Stratus for all your help.
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