I started using Stratus Consulting in Spring 2017 with the goal of applying by Fall 2017 for Round 1.
tl:dr Stratus was incredibly helpful. The introspection templates, essay feedback, and school guidance gave me insight into a process I was new to. Like anything, you get what you put in, and money isn't enough. But if you are really willing to work, Stratus will take that effort and focus it into a top application for your top schools. It worked here as I was recently admitted to the Stanford Graduate School of Business with an undergrad GPA below 3.0 and a GMAT score of 710.
Stratus helped to frame my experiences in a way that not only helped me pick the best ones to share, but to craft my own goals/trends through them. Like most of you, I imagine, I am going to business school to make a specific move in my career. That move isn't coming from no where but has showed itself throughout my early career. That is easy to say but often very difficult to show in 250-750 word essays while also getting the tone, grammar, and writing style down. So firstly, Stratus was crucial in helping my instrospection process occur early and thoroughly.
Take that introspection and turning it into essays is difficult, however. Nonetheless, my Stratus advisor helped me do just that. We must have gone back and forth (I chose a package that had them help me with two schools, but ultimately I applied to 9) at least 10 times on each schools essays. She always provided helpful insight, guidance, and was not afraid to challenge my assumptions. Additionally, when the time was right, my Stratus POC gave my essays to others on her team to get additionally invaluable feedback.
For me, I tend to procrastinate and with work, personal life, and building a side business, I knew that if I didn't commit to an investment like Stratus, I would not be able to stick to a timeline to apply with high quality essays. I ultimately applied R2 (wanted/needed to get my GMAT score up) and Stratus stuck with me through the entire process. I highly recommend them to students who are ready to work, excited about business school (and other graduate schools, btw), and know they need a little fire to keep them going through the long haul.
Overall, I am happy with my decision regardless of what school I got into, but certainly ecstatic that I was afforded this opportunity to attend Stanford. My advice: if you are going to commit to this process, go all in. Commit. The worst feeling you will have from this process (worse than the long GMAT hours of studying) is realizing at the end of it that you could have done something more. Don't let that happen. Act now, organize, and make 2018 your year to do this! Good luck!
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