Stratus Prep Admissions Consulting Reviews
    Number of reviews [41]      Average Rating:       (4.7/5)
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Headquartered in New York City, Stratus Prep has served clients from across the country and around the globe. Stratus Prep was founded in 2006 by Shawn O’Connor, an honors graduate of Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School who has worked at McKinsey & Company, Lehman Brothers, and Mercer Management Consulting. Stratus Prep’s team of experts has served thousands of clients and has had numerous applicants admitted to numerous top-rated B-Schools
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Great experience
June 25 | 2015

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       By harishmu joined: June 27, 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:  Asha Banker
I am an older applicant in an overly represented category (Indian IT Male). Though my GMAT (740) and GPA (3.9) were good, i felt that my chance of acceptance was very low. I applied to Kellogg, Columbia, Wharton and MIT during the first round. I got accepted into Columbia and Kellogg, and interviewed at Wharton.

My consultant was Asha Banker. She was amazing and she was completely invested in my application process. She had genuine desire to see me succeed. I learned quite a bit from her during this time, as she was very accomplished HBS graduate. She was thorough in her feedback and didn't let even a single word or mistake slide by.
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Very Personal Touch - Helped Keep Me on Track & Get In!
June 20 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: February 28, 2015 | 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:  Salma Qarnain
Stratus Prep did a fantastic job of pairing me up with Salma Qarnain, after my initial conversations with Shawn O'Connor, the head of Stratus.

I cannot recommend Salma highly enough! She paid very close attention to the story that we were conveying, and was able to firmly guide me in the direction needed for each application. I was the type of applicant that had a lot of big ideas for each essay, and Salma provided the solid guidance that I sought.

From other friends that used Stratus - and also got into their schools - Stratus can provide smaller packages and be more hands off if you desire. For me, however, the deep dive into my background with their robust Stratus templates provided a very personal consulting experience, and ultimately helped identify what Salma saw as the most compelling aspects of my story. The interview prep once I got into the schools was also VERY helpful.

Extremely responsive, friendly but firm, and very high quality work. The full package - from picking the schools that fit, to the interview. Salma was amazing, and I would recommend her to anyone!
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Stratus Prep Review
June 16 | 2015

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       By karimtajdin joined: March 14, 2014 | 2 | 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  
Stratus Prep helped me with my MBA school applications. I got into my top choice (INSEAD) despite not having the best possible GMAT score.

I think that the part that helped me most was the introspection one. Stratus Prep helped me "find myself", and refine where I see myself going. This exercise not only helped me get into INSEAD, but also helped me shape my post-MBA career. It's always good to have a plan when you enter an MBA School (even though that plan may change multiple times while in school :)).

I also liked how Stratus Prep helped with the essays. Having 3 different knowledgeable people look over the essay definitely helps!
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Booth-bound!
June 16 | 2015

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       By julweis joined: April 7, 2014 | 10 | 6 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  Hourly Services   Consultant:  Damon Chua
I, overall, had a very positive experience with Stratus Prep. Because I am already hyper-organized and did well on my GMAT, I didn't buy a package, but rather purchases a few hours of MBA application consulting to help me define my "story" and understand what top 10 programs were really looking for in their ridiculously open-ended essay prompts.

I applied to 4 schools in R1 and got 3 dings and a waitlist. Because I ultimately started with Stratus Prep 5 weeks prior to the first R1 deadline, I blame my dings on my rush to fit in as many apps as possible into R1, at the expense of my essays - they weren't entirely fleshed out, conceptually. So with more time spent on the essays in R2 (plus a few other application boosters: promotion, accounting class, interview prep) I ended up getting into to both of my R2 schools (with fellowships!) and will be going to Chicago Booth in the fall.

I'd say the most value from Stratus Prep came from (1) the upfront time my consultant put in to talk through my personal and career history to help me identify what made me interesting and unique and (2) the school-specific interview prep for both of my R2 schools.

Response time was sometimes an issue when it came to the tight R1 deadlines, so I'd really recommend getting started early. Good luck!
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Good Advising
June 16 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: June 16, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  MBA Admissions Counseling Packages   Consultant:  Shawn OConnor
I tentatively retained Stratus for two rounds of applications--all top-tier schools, but for my profile, still aligned with the undergrad Safety-Middle-Reach framework. I did manage to get in Round 1 to my top choice school even having started the application process relatively late in the game, so I am overall pleased with the quality of the advising.

What Stratus does right: The extremely regimented introspection and school research phases of their engagement may seem tedious and unhelpful, but in retrospect, they really did make the overall application, essay writing (and even the school selection) process significantly easier.

What Stratus could improve on: If you are like me, you were contemplating two rounds of applications in case Round 1 was a bust or ended in deferral. Stratus will strongly recommend you prepay for all the schools you plan to apply to and generally does not refund these fees. Responsiveness of your assigned adviser(?) could also be improved on.

If you are unfamiliar with business school admissions and don't have access to many resources recently through the process, try giving Stratus a call to feel out if it's a good fit for you.
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Best decision I’ve ever made
June 16 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: June 16, 2015 | 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:  Philip
Getting into the school of your dreams is a cumbersome task. Like everyone else here, I was determined to get accepted. I started by having free consultations with 5 different companies. After my 30 minute consultation with Stratus Prep, I was sold. I ended up choosing them for their innovative approach and strong success with other applicants. Additionally, I felt like they actually cared about my success. That would be my most important advice to all. Choose a consultant that believes in you.
I was paired with Philip. He knows the process and what admission officers are looking for. I was extremely happy with his help. He responded to every question, concern and essay draft within 24 hours. I still have my first draft and when I compare it to the final product I can’t believe how it much it changed. The quality of their services is impeccable.
If you are looking for an admission consultant call them. You won’t regret it.
PS- I was admitted to what other consultants determined to be a “reach school” for me.
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Well Worth It
June 12 | 2015

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       By w1180945 joined: August 28, 2013 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  MBA Admissions Counseling Packages  
I continue to be very happy with my decision to use Stratus Prep for counseling services.

After spending the the fall trying to improve my GMAT score (and ultimately only achieving a 690), I knew the odds of me getting into an elite school were low, especially with my other 'stats' - 3.4 GPA, predominately white male working in finance, etc. With only 6 weeks before R2 apps due and little work done on my apps, I hired Stratus, hoping that they could help me create a more compelling application to overcome my less compelling 'stats.'

I was paired with Michael R. and he was truly fantastic. He helped me frame my unique story for my apps, incorporating my personal, professional, and leadership experiences, he helped me write outstanding essays, and he was almost always available during the last couple weeks in December during crunch time (i.e. the holidays, when most people are on vacation). He also was insightful in terms of interview prep after the written application phase.

Ultimately I got into a few of the schools I applied to (2 out of 6 schools, all of which were top 12), one of which was at the top of my list - Kellogg, where I'll be going in the fall of 2015. I can say with a high degree of confidence that I would not have gotten into the schools I got into without Stratus' and Michael's help. I also commend Stratus and Michael for helping me formulate my story and create strong essays in such a short time frame. They made my application process much less stressful than it would have been otherwise.

Overall, highly recommended.
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Excellent help with personal story
June 11 | 2015

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       By terrco89 joined: June 11, 2015 | 0 | 0 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  MBA Admissions Counseling Packages   Consultant:  Salma Qarnain
I enjoyed working with Stratus Prep for my MBA admissions process and would recommend them for anyone who, like me, needed an extra push to stick to a timeline and make sure you cover all aspects of the application process.

I got the two school package. I started early in the year, before taking the GMAT and by the time I finally got the score I wanted/needed, they changed my counselor. I was not very happy but in the end it worked out very well since I got along with my new counselor much better than my previous one. She was a graduate of one of my top choice schools and was very supportive through the whole application process. She answered emails in a timely manner, was always ready to give me personalized feedback, pushed me to go the extra mile and stick to a timeline. The most helpful thing, which made it a worthwhile investment, is that they really helped me tell my story in the best light possible and in my opinion this is the most valuable thing an admission counselor can do, besides proofreading your essays.

The only reason I'm not giving them 5 stars is because I thought the level of help they provided for the interview preparation did not match the first part of the application. I had a very hard time scheduling my mock interview and the feedback that was provided was high level.
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Worth every penny!
June 10 | 2015

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       By sofia0073 joined: August 25, 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:  Philip
Best investment I've ever made! I was absolutely lost when it came to creating a consistent, well detailed story for my essay. I got two school package with Status Prep, got assigned to Phil and started to work on my application right away. Phil was very supportive through the whole application process, always ready to go an extra mile, and replied to all of my endless emails and questions even when he was out of country. After 4 months of hard work and countless edits my essay was piece of art! Long story short, I got into my dream school and could not be happier! Definitely recommend to work with Status Prep
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Got into my top choice business school, couldn't have done it without Salma
May 07 | 2015

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       By Anonymous joined: January 15, 2014 | 89 | 9 |
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:  Some, but not all
This review is for:  MBA Admissions Counseling Packages   Consultant:  Salma Qarnain
I signed up for Stratus Prep after hearing Shawn O'Connor speak at a local MBA event in San Francisco. I was a little hesitant at first because of the steep price tag, but I couldn't be happier with the service that I received.

The introspection process was very thorough and was a great way to outline my MBA goals, resume, and application profile.

I was paired with Salma after my Round 1 applications and was simply blown away by her commitment to helping me succeed. Not only was she super encouraging, but she gave me valuable constructive feedback on my essays, resume and even to my recommender.

I found the mock interviews extremely valuable as well and felt very comfortable and confident going into my actual interviews after a few rounds of practice with Salma over Skype.

Working with Stratus took a lot of stress out of a VERY stressful MBA application process. I took comfort in the fact that Salma wouldn't let me submit anything that was sub-par. And it paid off! I got into my top choice business school and will be attending in the fall!

If you go with Stratus, I highly recommend working with Salma!
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