Stratus Prep Admissions Consulting Reviews
    Number of reviews [82]
    Average Rating:       (4.6/5)
Stratus Prep MBA Admissions Counseling Packages [75]
Stratus Prep Hourly Services [7]
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
You Get What You Put In
April 30 | 2016
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     By Gator2011 0 0

Coming into the business school admissions process as a non-traditional candidate (healthcare professional), I know I wanted counseling services that would help me structure my story in a way that would be appealing to the b school adcoms. After speaking with John Buckingham who had come from a sciences background as well in addition to his HBS pedigree, I immediately felt comfortable with his perspectives on the process. I appreciated the holistic process that SP encourages that forces you get to your deepest truth about why you want to go to business school and what makes you unique from every other student. John was always available and willing to bounce any and all ideas around with me. I would highly recommend working with him as it gives this somewhat nebulous process a bit more structure. With his help, I settled on the right narrative for me which appealed to a lot of the M7 schools from the number of interviews and admits I received. I was ultimately happy that I chose to go with SP and John. I equate hiring an admissions counselor to hiring a personal trainer: you will definitely get out what you put into it. I ended up with admission to a top 5 school with an amazing scholarship and can thank John and the rest of the staff at SP for helping me get there. While admissions counseling may not be necessary, if you can afford the cost it will definitely help facilitate and elucidate this somewhat daunting and exhaustive process.

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     By svik88 0 0

I worked with Stratus Prep for my MBA apps (R2 for MBA'15 and R1 for MBA'16). The former was not successful and the latter was successful- my experience with Stratus also mirrored the same.

R2 for MBA'15 was a last minute decision to apply and I put together my application in about 30 days. Mid way through that though, my stratus consultant disappeared. Quite literally, he stopped replying to mails, calls went unanswered and the other consultants were buried with other applications. Working out of Asia with him in US - this led to a lot of panic and felt extremely unprofessional. I still did get a couple of interview calls but never made it to any school. I did sign up for their school guarantee, so they worked with me again for no further charges.

I prepared much more in advance for R1 MBA'16 and Stratus was very helpful this time around. We drew out a strategy more clearly and started the process over. I worked with Santosh and he walked me through the entire process. He started by drawing out a fine grained plan (I was largely always behind it) and kept me motivated throughout those couple of months. His responses were very quick through the various stages of the application - all the way up to preparing me for the interviews.Sam really got to know me and my applications -- and as a result I think my applications were much stronger because I worked with Stratus.

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     By NY12 0 0
This review is for: Stratus Prep Hourly Services
Consultant: Santosh (Sam) Prasad

I took my GMAT on December 31st, and then decided to apply to 5 schools by January 7th. Without much of an idea where my test score would end up, I had barely started my applications.

I am a white male with a 700 GMAT (with an incredibly low quant score), so I knew I had my work cut out for me. I decided I could use some help, so I did a 30 minute consultation with Stratus Prep. I talked with Zach Klein, who was really open to working with me the way I felt would be best, rather than pushing me into a package.

I was paired with Santosh Prasad, who was an incredibly helpful editor and advisor during my mad dash of basically doing an application a day. His line edits were specific and clear. He had been on the admissions committee at the MBA program he attended, so he was able to give me insight on what would be helpful, what would stand out, and what would be looked down on. Moreover, Santosh was really responsive and would go through multiple drafts a day, sometimes sending me last minute edits or answering application questions at 11 PM. The response time and communication was above and beyond what I expected.

I received interviews from 4 of the 5 schools for which both Zach and Santosh helped me prepare. Santosh took time out on a Saturday to help me prepare for an interview on Monday. When I had last minute questions, I was able to turn to Zach and Santosh and get speedy, decisive answers.

After interviewing on campus at four schools, I was admitted to 3 and waitlisted at one. I was thrilled to be accepted into my first choice school.

I don’t recommend anyone try and prepare 5 applications in 7 days. It was a stressful week, but ultimately was successful in large part thanks to Stratus Prep's help.

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Quick, responsive service
April 25 | 2016
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     By national01 6 0
This review is for: Stratus Prep Hourly Services
Consultant: John Buckingham

John gave a very responsive, quick service and I felt like I could email and call at anytime to ask even the smallest of questions.

He acted as a source of wisdom and council at what can prove to be a challenging and stressful time. For this I was very grateful.

However, I don't think anything in my application materially changed as a result of the service (the feedback on my essays was not much more than, "this is good", "I like this" etc.). Instead, it was more a case of John giving me confidence that I was a credible candidate.

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Money Well Spent!
April 08 | 2016
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     By merkenyon 0 0

I had an amazing experience with Stratus Prep. Although I experienced serious sticker shock at how much admissions consultants cost, I ended up with a full ride to my perfect school so that investment paid off 20 fold!

I worked with Susan Cera who I cannot say enough good things about. I was initially matched with her because she understood my athletic background and I was considering programs like Fuqua (where she went and worked as an AdCom). She responded to emails almost always within 24 hours, even when I gave her a ton of items to review. I got emails back on nights and weekends very regularly and she worked with my schedule as needed.

I knew vaguely what I wanted to do with my career but was so lost about how to craft my story. We jumped through dozen of possible career paths and she helped me not only write my story, but also discover what I am really passionate about and how I can apply that to my career. By walking through it SO MANY times with Susan, I had my elevator speech down to a science when asked why am MBA and why now!

The introspective period is very intense and at times I ended up writing some stories for Susan to review that I thought were dumb but she ended up showing me how we could show my personality traits with little tidbits from my past woven through my essays and application. Probably the most value came from various Stratus coaches telling me when my essays were off the mark, rambling, or just nonsensical. I wrote several essays that I thought were good but Stratus pushed me to go deeper. I can say without a doubt that I would not have turned in essays that were anywhere close to as good without Stratus.

Overall, I had an amazing experience and would hire them again in a heartbeat. You only get one chance to go to business school, give yourself all the tools to go to the absolutely best program for you.

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     By R2applicant 0 0

I had a fantastic experience working with Temitope Abereoje and John Buckingham (both HBS alumni), and was accepted at HBS, Wharton and Booth. Temi was my day to day contact, working closely with me on drafting my story, translating that into essays, and going over resume and interview preparation. John was the senior adviser and provided feedback on final versions of my essays as well as interview prep.

Highlights from my experience:
- Greatly appreciated Temi’s turnaround time and detailed feedback on my essay drafts, and any questions I had. Due to work demands I often didn’t have as long a lead time as suggested, but she still managed to review my work under tight timelines and provided clear suggestions that I really think notably improved my story / overall application
- One time I had an urgent question late at night and she made herself available immediately at 10pm to speak on the phone with me – that’s how helpful she was
- Most memorable part was how kind, thoughtful and funny she was – it felt like I was talking with a friend, she’d been through the process herself. E.g., when it came to interview prep, she helped identify subtle gesture and wording changes I should work on to strike the right impression
- John was also invaluable in providing honest, school-specific advice and improving the direction of my essays and confidence entering the interviews

Consultants may not be for everyone – I do have friends successful in their admissions process who only asked for advice and essay reviews from family, friends and bosses, but for me, it was definitely worth it to have professionals as a sounding board as it removed a significant amount of stress and uncertainty from the process. I would highly recommend Temi and John.

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     By joyandbliss 10 8

I had a fantastic experience with the Stratus Prep team's counsellor Harold Simansky. He helped me build my story authentically and comprehensively and identify my goals through introspection exercises. He helped me ensure that my experience before b school through my story was in perfect sync with my post MBA goals. Next, I was also supported through the b school search process. Considering the number of b schools and all the varied rankings available, I felt Harold's advice was invaluable during the b-school selection stage given my specific career goals and personal inclinations. Next, when it came down to the essay editing process, his support was timely and exceptional with every edit till the final essay was ready. Harold also collaborated with his team mates whenever there was a need and I must thank Vinod for his great advice during the essay editing process. During the interview stage, I got a mock interview done with Harold which was very helpful and increased my confidence immensely. I also received a lot of questions to practice with. All in all, my experience was outstanding with the Stratus Prep team and with the counsellor Harold in particular ---the result ---I got into my first choice B school with a pretty average gmat score!

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Ask for John Buckingham
March 31 | 2016
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     By pantherpride12 0 0

I chose Stratus Prep for two reasons:
• They put a lot of thought into pairing clients with appropriate counselors.
• Their service extends all the way through negotiating scholarship money.

Working with the right counselor was important to me. While I knew that I had a compelling professional story to tell, my 3.5 GPA and 680 GMAT were weaknesses that I needed to offset elsewhere in my application in order to gain admission to a top MBA program.

Stratus vowed to match me with the appropriate counselor, and they made good on that promise when they matched me with John Buckingham. John was excellent at all aspects of his role as an admissions counselor. He kept me accountable, challenged me to dig deep every step of the way, and he left no stone unturned as we worked to build an application that leveraged each of my differentiators as a candidate.

Additionally, John's commitment to his clients is second to none -- I honestly don't remember ever waiting more than hour for a response regardless of the time of day. It truly felt like a team effort every step of the way with John equally committed to my success as an applicant.

Ultimately, I received interviews at two of my top choices, Duke and Berkeley, and with John’s support I walked into both interviews completely prepared. Following the interviews, John helped me to negotiate scholarship money.

As a result, I am incredibly pleased to be attending Duke next year!

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Highly recommend!
March 28 | 2016
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     By stierney 0 0

I had a wonderful experience working with my advisor at Stratus prep, Harold Simansky. Harold not only helped me pick the best schools to fit my background and career goals, but also showed me how to tell my “story”. I got into two great schools Owen and Olin and I can honestly say that I don’t think I could have done it without his guidance. Harold always responded in a timely manner and provided the support and encouragement I needed to get through this process. Harold helped me change the course of my life and I am forever grateful.

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Great Experience!
March 23 | 2016
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     By adr1987 0 0

I used Stratus Prep both for my MBA applications, and for my Harvard Kennedy MPA application one year later. Overall the help they provided was invaluable as I am now attending both MIT Sloan and Harvard Kennedy.

Specifically for my Harvard Kennedy application, my consultant was Richard Cheng. Richard did an excellent job from beginning to end. At first we had a call where he started out by telling me about his own experience at Harvard Kennedy and what the culture at the school was like. He also suggested that given that I was at MIT, I should try to audit at class at HKS and try to meet as many students as possible. This was an invaluable piece of advice as this would later allow me to take my essays to the next level and speak about the HKS culture from an insider's perspective - in other words, I already fit in before I was in.

During the essay writing process, Richard's help was again excellent. Not only was he able to review my essays multiple times and provide me very detailed feedback, he was also kind enough to work around the busy schedule of a first year MBA student, something for which I am very grateful.

Overall my experience with Stratus and with Richard specifically was excellent and their help definitely helped me take my overall application package to the next level.

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