MBA Admissions Counseling Packages Reviews
    Number of reviews [82]
    Average Rating:       (4.6/5)
With this package your Admissions Counselor will guide you through every step of the admissions process from school selection and choosing/coaching recommenders to outlining/editing essays and preparing for interviews. Pay by the number of schools to which you are applying.
AVOID. TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE.
March 24 | 2015
9 out of 10 people found the following review helpful
     By Anonymous 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

No

1) 0 Value add. They were useless on my essays (I had to correct the proof reading that they did). They even lost one of my reviewed essays. No urgency, timetable, guidance, or anything helpful. Their answer to any questions was "do what you are comfortable with"

2) Sales pitch - they are good at selling - but the reality is that their head honcho - who probably is good spends 90% of his time selling. He was completely not involved in the process. He made it sound like with my stats I had a great chance everywhere...

2) Lies: They claim 80% Wharton Acceptance. I highly doubt that. I had +750GMAT, +3.7GPA from top 25 school, Investment Banking -> Venture Capital / PE (4 years); strong extra curricular and still got reject from all M7 Schools.

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Comments [10]
1 Commented by saugagmatter on May 27, 2015   Edited on May 27, 2015
I 100% agree with this, I had a very similar horrible experience with them last year and didn't end up applying at all.
2 Commented by JD55 on June 06, 2015   Edited on December 20, 2015
Ok
3 Commented by gnod on June 28, 2015
JD55, do you mind sharing your experience? I was pretty close to speaking with them
4 Commented by noni1 on July 30, 2015
@JD55 and saugagmatter, do you mind sharing your own experiences?
5 Commented by bankybanker on February 24, 2016
I totally agree with this - I had a very bad experience as well. Most of the positive reviews on here for them are fake.
6 Commented by UTWrestler on March 06, 2016
I am a first year MBA student at a M7 MBA program and I used Stratus prep to help me get in. I posted a very positive review of stratus prep because I had a very positive experience with them. In my review I stated that I do not think I would have gotten into an elite program without them and I still believe that. If you doubt my review then please send me a private message and I will email you proof of my student status. Good luck to everyone applying to business school, it is an amazing experience that is absolutely worth the hard work it takes to get in.
7 Commented by StratusPrep on March 07, 2016
We are sorry that you were not happy with your experience working with Stratus Prep. Just like any other company, these experiences do happen but are rare. We’re constantly working to improve the quality of our services to ensure our clients’ success. We would love to make things right. Please email our Client Relationship Manager Josh.Gonzalez@Stratusprep.com to continue the conversation.

GMAT Club independently verifies everyone who posts a review on the site to ensure authenticity. Please feel free to reach out to GMAT Club directly to learn more about their policies. Most candidates choose to remain anonymous when writing reviews on open forums to protect their privacy and not impact their candidacy or employment status. Many of our clients who have posted reviews are more than happy to have a reference call. If you would like to speak with one of them, we are more than happy to make the introduction.
8 Commented by bb on March 07, 2016
@bankybanker - please share your experience as well.

Also, on the review verification side, please PM me if you have concerns about specific reviews. I don't think your argument is quite sound. If all positive reviews were fake, then there would be a lot more negative ones here... which again reminds me that you should submit a review. When you do that, you will see that we have a verification process to ensure the reviews that are submitted are by real customers and neither customers nor prep companies fake their reviews. You will see that most reviews have a verification tag. The reason some don't is that we have allowed all reviews in the past to be published but 6-12 months ago, stringent verification has become mandatory. Learn more here: http://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-club-review-verification-are-they-fake-209438.html

Thank you.
9 Commented by cumulonimbus on April 09, 2016
I 100% agree with what the commentator had to say. I had horrible experience with Stratus Prep too...

1) 0 Value add. They were useless on my essays (I had to correct the proof reading that they did). They even lost one of my reviewed essays. No urgency, timetable, guidance, or anything helpful. Their answer to any questions was "do what you are comfortable with"

2) Sales pitch - they are good at selling - but the reality is that their head honcho - who probably is good spends 90% of his time selling. He was completely not involved in the process. He made it sound like with my stats I had a great chance everywhere...

2) Lies: They claimed I had a good at top 10.
10 Commented by merkenyon on April 19, 2016
I completely disagree with this review and had a totally opposite experience. I was a stratus customer and they provided tremendous value. I would not have gotten my fellowship at a top program without them. I felt like they were truly involved and cared about my success.

Stratus puts a lot of work onto the student, because the student is the only one who can answer those questions. It is a process of self discovery. But if you don't put in the effort, then you aren't going to get as much out of it.
4 out of 4 people found the following review helpful
     By Anonymous 0 0
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Some, but not all

I had a very mixed experience with Stratus Prep, completely based on my counselor. I was not accepted into any of the four schools to which I applied R1, and was accepted at both of the R2 schools I applied to, one of which was ranked higher than two of my R1 schools.

My counselor for R1 was Vanessa Gil, and I am shocked that she's received favorable reviews on this forum. She was incredibly insensitive in the way she communicated with me, and would go MIA for weeks at a time despite repeated emails asking for feedback on the work I sent her (including the two weeks leading up to R1 deadlines, I had to scramble and have another consultant assigned to me for the few days leading up to the deadline).

Her feedback was also incredibly inconsistent, and she would suggest changing things she had thought were "great" from previous iterations of my essays. I also felt like she never put in the effort to get to know my story, as she would consistently ask for clarifications on things that we had discussed several times before.

Reading my R1 essays (which she said were some of the best she had seen for R1) and my R2 essays, they are completely night and day, which I attribute to the difference in the consultant I worked with.

Thus, I was far from surprised to learn that Vanessa had "resigned" just after the R1 deadline.

Now, contrast that with my experience with Salma Qarnain for R2. Salma was absolutely awesome. She was incredibly timely with her feedback (I like to work fast, iterating several times), and I feel like she really took the time to know who I was as an applicant and the story I was attempting to tell with my essays. It showed, my R2 essays were much more focused, descriptive, and truly highlighted the specific traits I was trying to bring out in each essay compared to the work I had done with Vanessa.

Overall, I'm happy with my experience and the school I'll be attending in the fall, but be honest with yourself about how you feel about your consultant. I knew fairly early on the the process that I didn't like working with Vanessa, but was determined to stick with it because "I had paid for it, right?" Don't do that, had I been working with Salma all along I'm certain I would have gotten into at least one, if not all of the first batch of schools I applied to.

So, I'd recommend Stratus only if you feel comfortable and good about who you're working with, but my experience was remarkably inconsistent.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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     By ILOVEDHAAS 0 0
Consultant: Sarah

Thanks a million to Stratus Prep! I got accepted in Evening Weekend UC Berkeley MBA with only a 640 GMAT. This is unthinkable if I did it on my own. Back in the early 2010, I graduated from my under grad, and applied for 3-4 MBA program, with no success at all, no phone call, no interview. I have known my counselor Sarah since July of 2015, after I attend the MBA fair and met Shawn and determine to choose Stratus Prep. At first, I was very skeptical and unsure about how this would go, I was worry that I paid a lot of money and will get very generic comments on my essays. Now that when I go back to review my initial essay and my final draft, the comparison is day and night, all because of Sarah's fantastic editing and insightful comments. I frequently "fighting" my counselor to say that "problem-solving" is my core strength, I insist on this, but I'm glad Sarah was able to persuade me to market myself in a much more unique way. So with her suggested core strengths, I was able to identify three unique qualities that set me apart from other applicants. My counselor just keep on encourage me, although sometime I felt this is already the best I can do, she keeps asking for more from me. And because of that, I think deeper and deeper each time. All in all, please accept my deepest gratitude towards Sarah and Stratus Prep, without you guys, I won't even have 1% of chance to get in with my background and score. I appreciate all your help.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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     By deye07 5 4

To start off, I'd like to mention that I got into only one of the four schools I applied to.

However, my experience with Stratus was extremely positive. I come from a technical background and I don't really know a lot of people who went/go to business school. I was looking for "guidance" as I went through the MBA admission cycle.

Salma was great. She took the time to really get to know who I am as a person and then helped tailor my essays/applications to reflect who I am. By the end of all the apps, I felt she knew me all too well! I also felt she was genuinely interested in my success. Stratus and Salma helped me shape my "story". Also practicing interviews with Salma (several times) made me confident going into my actual interview.

While I wish I got into more than one school, I feel that with Stratus I made the best possible effort with the time I invested into the process.

Also to answer few of the FAQs questions:
- Did you enjoy the process?
Yes but it was a long hard journey.

- Was it stressful?
The entire cycle from researching schools to getting accepted is pretty stressful for most people. Salma was always optimistic.

- Were they helpful?
Yes, but again I wish I got into at least two schools.

- Did they meet your expectations? Why or why not?
Yes...Reasons highlighted above.

- Would you recommend them? Why or why not?
Yes... Reasons highlighted above.

- What was their greatest strength?
Personable and supportive

- What was their weakest skill?
Their services was on the expensive side.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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     By shubbyaluk 0 0

I first heard of Stratus Prep in 2012, when my mother was sifting online for a company that could help me apply to law school. I had a meeting with Shawn O’Connor and thereafter contracted them to advise me on my MBA applications, which I intended to submit years later. I ultimately decided to hire them to advise me on my law school applications as well. It pleases me to say that now that I got into the business school of my choice, I have no regrets about any of these decisions.

Stratus Prep’s process was invaluable in helping me refine my business school and law school stories. Their “Introspection Process” in particular was instrumental in helping illicit experiences in my life that would contribute to an overall compelling story. Each of my advisers, Santosh Prasad and Helen Pfitzner, was always professional and incredibly responsive. The comments on my essays were very insightful, whether it came from the counsellors or the school specific directors.

In addition to the content of my applications, Stratus Prep was also key in keeping my application process on track, as they ensured that I kept to the important application deadlines amidst my work schedule. Furthermore, the company reviewed my final application before submission and provided sufficient interview practice with junior and senior counsellors, which ultimately prepared me for the interview.

I wholeheartedly recommend Stratus Prep because they have so far helped me get into the business school of my first choice.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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     By user1092 0 0

I highly recommend working with Santosh Prasad from Stratus Prep. Santosh helped me improve my resume structure & content, my application essays, and my interview responses. Santosh gave me helpful feedback, specifically pushing me to expand on topics that would answer the questions MBA admissions teams wanted to hear about. Santosh was very responsive and flexible to set up phone calls. Overall, he was a helpful advisor, supporter, and experienced guide.

I was on a bit of a time crunch and the Stratus Prep office was very quick to respond and help me sign up for a MBA Admissions Counseling Package.

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Comments [1]
1 Commented by StratusMBACounselor on June 01, 2016
Glad to see this review about Santosh and his value add in the counseling process.
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     By kathleeng 0 0

John and the Stratus team took what objectively was a weak candidate (low undergrad GPA with a film degree from two decades ago) and helped me craft my story to be both compelling and impressive.

John was always patient, quick to respond to emails and always answered any questions thoroughly and thoughtfully.

I am convinced I would have been accepted into higher ranking schools in my area, but chose Pepperdine for it's philosophy, flexibility, and yes, generous scholarship.

The admissions counseling package was well worth the money spent, and I highly recommend Stratus if you feel you could use a leg up.

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     By kluneburg 0 0

John was great to work with. He was easily accessible and was available by phone, text, and email whenever I needed him. He had a clearly outlined plan that we followed to ensure we met each deadline stayed organized. When i went into this process, Grad School was extremely overwhelming and a different process from applying to undergrad. John walked me through the process and made each step manageable. As part of his program, he passed along my essays to colleagues for additional opinions. By doing this, it ensured that my essays were the best version they could be. I couldn't speak highly enough of him, and I'm so glad I used his services!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
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     By andyraina 0 0

I initially started trying to tackle MBA applications on my own. Right before Round 1 deadlines I realized my applications were not nearly the caliber they should be to get into one of my ambitious schools. I was initially very shocked at how expensive an admissions consultant could be but settled on Stratus Prep quickly after talking with some of their staff and appreciating how easy they were to talk to.

I worked with Harold Simansky and immediately we began crafting my story. His push to make me dig deeper was a tough experience, but ultimately so rewarding as we were able to create a solid framework for my strengths, story, and where I'm looking to go. The experience itself really helped me understand why I wanted an MBA and what some realistic goals were.

Harold was able to help me write and shape essays that were lightyears ahead of the essays I wrote by myself. He helped me shape each essay for what the school and prompt were looking for, and cut out any material that really didn't provide a purpose or differentiating factor. I was nervous about how quickly I would receive feedback, but always impressed by the speed and quality I received, even as I was finishing applications around Christmas time.

In the end, I got into a great program I really didn't think I had much of a chance with. I'm so grateful for the help that Harold and all the Stratus Prep team was able to provide.

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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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