GMAT Club

Harold Simansky Reviews

Company: Stratus Admissions Counseling

A graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management, Harold Simansky offers his clients more than five years’ experience as a dedicated MBA admissions consultant, in addition to several years helping his colleagues complete their business school applications. His clients have been accepted at more than 30 different institutions, including all the top U.S. and international MBA programs. Among his success stories are applicants who “ran the table” and were granted admission to every school they targeted, as well as candidates with distinct backgrounds for whom Harold found programs that uniquely suited their personalities and needs. At his graduation from MIT Sloan, Harold received the highly selective Martin Trust Community Fellowship before joining the private equity group at Bain & Company, where he worked on the largest media merger of all time. Upon leaving Bain, Harold founded a series of companies in such sectors as financial services, real estate development, green energy, online rewards, and print media. He also spent time consulting to a private equity firm in the building materials space. Outside of work, Harold has kept busy as a member of his town’s government, a Little League coach, a board member for a nonprofit organization, and father to three lively young sons.

4.9 /5 Average Rating
Based on 17 reviews
May 14, 2019
agromer

Joined: Jan 03, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Incredible working with Harold. Could not recommend more highly.

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I struggle to emphasize just how impactful working with Harold was on my MBA application process. Starting from the first meeting, to helping me choose between acceptances, Harold’s help and advice was invaluable.

I started working with Harold the June before Fall Round 1 deadlines. From the beginning he was great about taking the intimidating MBA application process and breaking it down into simple steps with an achievable timeline. Harold’s assistance in crafting my story and really honing in on my strengths and weaknesses and how they matched to my target schools set me up for success from the get go.

Harold’s impact on my application essays was extraordinary. Both in helping me with the big picture of the story I was trying to tell, and the final edits and tweaks to make the essay as specific to my target school as possible, his work was critical to my success.

Harold’s knowledge of top schools and what they are looking for in candidates in unparalleled, and this is most evident in his help with interview prep. I was invited to interview at three of the schools I applied to, and Harold was instrumental in my preparation, including offering mock interview practice.

Finally, I want to highlight the ease of working with Harold. He is always very prompt to respond to any question or request, and quick to review and provide feedback on essays. He takes great pride in his work, and truly gives person attention to all his clients.

I can confidently say that Harold’s services are worth every penny. I will be starting at my top choice MBA program this fall, and could not have done it without Harold.

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May 06, 2019
ew14

Joined: May 06, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
760 Q48 V48

Fantastic experience working with Harold! Highly recommend.

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I had a terrific experience working with Harold. I was on the fence about working with an admissions counselor once I decided to apply to business school. A friend connected me to Stratus, and I am very glad I chose to go ahead with it.

From the start, I found Harold to be very insightful and his style to be very compatible with what I was looking for. I had taken the GMAT by the time we started working together, and was focused on the personal statement. I had a very clear idea of the part of my story that I wanted to tell in my application, but felt that my early attempts were not doing it justice. Harold helped me to pull everything together, not only for the essay itself, but also more broadly as I reflected on what my narrative had taught me. In the end, I was very proud of the personal statements I wrote, and felt confident they were genuine representations of me.

Throughout the process, Harold was extremely responsive. He had a very good balance of checking in when I had not reached out in a while, but understanding when I needed to work through things at my own pace. He was there whenever needed, from reviewing drafts to talking things out. Beyond the essays, he also provided me with advice on various other aspects of the application. The result was a successful set of Round 1 applications, with admissions to HBS and GSB, the two schools I applied to. I could not have asked for a better outcome, and I am thankful for Harold’s support throughout the process. I highly recommend working with him!

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May 05, 2019
beanallar

Joined: Mar 19, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

The best decision I made throughout the application process

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From our first consultation, he made my anxiety and intimidation associated to the whole process disappear. He patiently heard about my background and experiences, and quickly identified the big themes that he could see playing in my favor. He gave me the hope and confidence (in addition to the tactical and editing support, of course), that got me into 7 highly competitive MBA programs, despite having relatively low standardized test scores. Thanks to his incredibly valuable help, I will be heading to Cornell this fall!

From the first call with him, I felt I had a team —someone with deep industry knowledge and experience that would be rooting for me in every step of the process. And, as the months went by, his work surpassed my expectations in every possible way. Not only did he help me explore my background to craft my story, but he was able understand my motivations and goals, and help me connect all the points together with a level of clarity that I would have been able to achieve on my own.

I booked Stratus Admissions’ 5-school deal because, after I spoke with him, I could not imagine doing any of my “top choice” schools on my own. Harold and his team were so committed to my success, that they went above and beyond to help me with those schools as well as with reviewing my final essays for a few other schools. He always answered my emails in less than 24 hours and made me feel like every question was a valid one. Not only did he review versions of my outlines, drafts, and final essays, but he also gave me advice on how to handle school visits, he read over some of my “thank you” emails, and was there to support me in absolutely any aspect I needed.

Additionally, Harold gave me valuable insights regarding common interview questions for all the schools where I interviewed, and made sure that I could conduct mock interviews with “school-specific” experts from his team.

To be honest, I could keep going forever, but will just summarize it in three main points: (1) Harold was not just my admissions consultant, but he actually became sort of a best friend/therapist to help me deal with the stress of the process and push me forward. (2) He has an incredible amount of experience and knows all the top schools thoroughly, so he is able to give his clients the insights and actionable feedback that helps them craft their best story, and (3) he is so invested in your success, that he will be flexible in every way he can and will work with you to make sure you achieve the best outcome, not matter the circumstances.

Anyone out there trying to work with an admissions consultant, DEFINITELY speak with Harold!

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April 30, 2019
anbeuchel

Joined: Apr 30, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

I loved working with Harold!

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I loved working with Harold Simansky! He was prompt and accessible - even over the holidays, which was critical as a round 2 applicant. Harold was generous with his time, and always struck a great balance of practicality, efficiency, and effectiveness in his advice and comments. He went above and beyond in the drafting process by consulting with his colleagues and giving me honest feedback to ensure that I had the strongest application. Strongly recommend the standard package w/Harold for at least 1 school!

I also loved working with Stratus as a whole. Their process was incredibly helpful in thinking through my career trajectory and understanding what I was looking for in my MBA experience. Additionally, the depth of resources that Stratus had to offer was extremely helpful in getting my application right. Being able to receive extra reviews from school specialists and interview prep from alumni was amazing. Great to feel like you have a whole team behind you!

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
July 18, 2018
Franny123

Joined: Oct 23, 2016

Posts: 1

Kudos: 6

MY DREAM HAS COME TRUE!

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I have been admitted to one of the best MBA programs in the world, and I would like to share my decisive experience with Stratus with you – specifically with Harold Simansky and Susan Cera, who helped me made my dream come true.

First things first. If you contemplate to apply to a top MBA program, here are some questions for you:
- Are you a great test taker?
- Do you know exactly what you want to get out of your MBA?
- Do you know which school is the perfect fit for you and can you list 5 solid reasons on the spot?
- Are you lucky enough to have relatives/friends that attended your dream school?
- Do you already have a degree from a notable university?
- Are you an excellent essay writer?
- Do you have relevant work experience?

If you answered all questions with yes, you are unquestionably blessed, and you might not need to hire an admissions consultant in the first place (even though hiring one might make your life easier throughout the tedious MBA application process). In case you are not so fortunate (like me), you might want to hire someone to guide you through the whole process, and to make sure you will not only get those answers as straight as a die, but also will help you to get into your business school of choice.

MY BACKGROUND
I am an international student from Europe, female, average age, with around 5 years of work experience. I did not attend any Ivy League college, I attended a university that no foreigner has ever heard of, and I also did not exactly graduate with honors. In fact, no one in my family had ever attended any college before. I also had never written an application essay in my entire life. On top of this, I am the most horrible test taker. Yet, I had this ineradicable desire to attend a top full-time MBA program in the US.
It took me numerous attempts, plenty of prep hours, loads of money, and countless nervous breakdowns to finally hit a good result on my admission tests. I was very close to throwing in the towel a few times, and I had already given up on my dream and I had started to look for top 20-50 schools, and even gave up this dream altogether, but Harold managed to help me get back on my feed again. And guess what, I succeeded!

STRATUS
I came across Stratus when I watched some videos on YouTube about top MBA programs. I initially purchased some hours of admissions counselling with them, it was pretty late in the process back then, but for some reason I thought I should still give it a go. Back then, I knew I had a subpar GMAT and overall I did not believe I was the most competitive candidate. I was matched with Harold, who gave me some “homework”, which essentially required me to reflect on my whole life and my innermost ambitions. This step was one of the hardest and most time consuming ones in the whole process, but it laid the groundwork for my essays. I did not submit my application back then, and Stratus was so kind to credit the full amount of my initial purchase towards another purchase, which I almost gladly did. Yes, the fees for a school package raised my hackles, but I knew this would be an investment with a ROI beyond quantification. I knew that I needed their help, if I wanted to go to my dream business school anytime soon. I considered other companies, however, Stratus convinced me the most. Stratus’ consultants all come from top business schools across the country. Stratus has a great network, and very experienced and brainy consultants.
Whenever I brought up a school and area of interest, Harold always instantly provided me with a current student and alumni I could talk to, they all replied within a day or two.

HAROLD SIMANSKY
I perceive Harold as a very professional, ingenious and serene person. Throughout our collaboration, he was always very creative and honest. He did not sugarcoat anything at any time, which was disillusioning for me at the beginning, but it undoubtedly was vital to create my best possible application.
Harold was always very responsive and available - he often responded immediately, weekends and holidays included. I do not remember a time when it took him more than 24 hours to respond, unless he had announced it in advance. Harold also connected me with numerous people from different schools with backgrounds and experience in the field I was interested in; all of them gladly answered my questions. This was invaluable, as it was decisive in my decision to which schools I would apply at the end.
Harold is very invested, he really went out of his way to get me into the school of my dreams. In my case, it would have been much easier for him to convince me to apply to a less competitive program, however, together we managed to find and get me into the school that is the very best fit for me, and I could not be more grateful for that.

SUSAN CERA
Susan was the second reviewer of my essays and I had the chance to meet her in person to prepare for my interview. Susan is just brilliant, she is a very amiable person, very down-to-earth and yet very accomplished. She gave me many valuable insights, way beyond any information I could possibly find on the www. I really appreciated her inputs throughout the process and I cannot thank her enough for her help.

FINAL WORD
I want to stress how important it is for an admissions consultant to understand who you are and what you really want to get out of an MBA. When I stared my MBA journey, I had no idea what I really wanted. I initially wanted to apply to some M7 schools, just because. What I did not know back then was how important fit is. I probably would have never considered the school that finally became my dream school (and the absolute perfect fit for me), if Harold and Susan would not have taken the time to really get to know me, provided me with some very insightful information about that school and insisted that I take a closer look. Without Harold and Susan, I would not have already moved countries with mind-boggling elation, excited for this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

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May 04, 2018
ambuj123

Joined: Oct 16, 2014

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Thanks Harold Simansky, Salma Qarnain and the Stratus Prep team

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I was recently admitted to the MIT Sloan Fellows Programme. I am an Indian entrepreneur with 11+ years of work experience and a 740 GMAT.

Taking this opportunity to review Harold Simansky, I would like to appreciate his support through out my application process. He has the following advantages that proved invaluable -

1. Extremely quick to respond and available 24x7. He often replied to my mails within minutes.

2. Is adaptable and understands the applicant's needs and story quick. I was running on tight deadlines for completing my application. Harold was flexible in his approach and fortunately able to work within my timelines due to which I could balance the application process with my work commitments easily.

3. Has great clarity of thought and solves queries instantly. As an entrepreneur with significant experience, I had many leadership experiences that I would have liked to share. Harold was quick to give me a feedback and help me remain focused on what I wanted to convey.

In addition, I would also like to thank Salma Qarnain from Stratus Prep, who helped me introspect during the application process. It was truly a rewarding experience working with her as well.

Thanks Harold and Stratus Prep for all the support !!
Ambuj

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
May 01, 2018
MBAStudent1883

Joined: May 01, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
660 Q49 V31

Amazing People at Stratus Prep - Especially Harold Simasky

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Let's be honest, getting into a top MBA programme is not easy. Perhaps the easiest bit is the grades and the GMAT. Its straight forward and you just have to study to get the right score/grades. The difficult bit is actually deciding which school to apply to, navigating through the application process and in the end, perhaps the most difficult of them all, making a selection.

I worked with Harold to apply to 6 schools. My working with Harold actually happened by coincidence. I was first matched with another consultant with whom I felt like I was not connecting very well. Stratus offered to switch the admissions consultant I was working with and paired me with Harold. This experience showed me that they really do care and want me to succeed. Stratus is really there to help any way that they can throughout the process.

Harold is very experienced at MBA Applications. He knows what schools want to hear and how you can structure your applications to stand out from the crowd. His help on my applications have been invaluable. I had so many ideas on how to structure these very short essays and I really struggled to pick which ones are the stories I should tell. Harold helped me every step of the way and explained what I should do and why I should do it. Beyond the essays, he was always there to talk to me whenever I had a question. It really was a tremendous support to have an expert by you to bounce ideas off of.

Perhaps my most memorable experience is when Harold recommended a certain MBA programme to me that was not on my radar. He found a school and a programme that had a specialization in the area I wanted to work in. School is such a good fit and my application was so successful that I got accepted into the program with a 50% scholarship despite having a GMAT score that is 40 points below the average. I must say, scholarship more than justified the fees I paid to Stratus.

In the end, I benefitted greatly from working with Harold. Not only I succeed in getting into the schools I wanted, I also learned a lot about myself and the career that I want to pursue.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
April 30, 2018
RB552

Joined: Jan 01, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
750 Q50 V41

Harold and Stratus are Amazing!

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Harold and Stratus were incredible and well worth the cost.

I began the application process early and worked with Harold for many months to begin refining my story to be as strong of a candidate as possible. Working with Harold through reflection periods were key to my success on the essays and crafting the right story to catch the admissions committee's eye. I know I would have written a completely different essay had it not been for Harold's insights into my own patterns of behavior that he identified just from speaking with me and understanding my background.

Harold went above and beyond every time - spending many hours on the phone and even meeting with me in person when I visited Boston to get a better understanding of who I was as a person and applicant.

As well, the complete Stratus package is incredibly thorough. With personalized interview assistance, multiple essay readers, brainstorming tools, etc. you are positioned for success and to be the most competitive candidate you can be. I would recommend the full package to anybody looking at business school who is willing to do thorough career and personal reflection.

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April 08, 2017
blisteringbarnacles

Joined: Apr 01, 2014

Posts: 4

Kudos: 1

Excellent Consulting Service

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I loved working with Harold who provided me with assistance at every step of the way from helping me with structuring my essays to critiquing my cover letters.

He is a genuinely interested in making sure you go to the university that you want to and helps you make an informed decision. His greatest strength is his ability to create a conducive working environment that helped me open up to him and helped him understand what I really was looking for in an MBA program.He responds to your queries almost immediately and at the same time gives you ample time to work on your essays.

I would attribute my admission to Harold 100% and without him I know I would have had to struggle a lot more with my applications to get to where I am .

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March 21, 2017
piro9520

Joined: Mar 21, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Harold and Stratus Prep are essential!

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I could not recommend Harold Simansky and the Stratus Prep team more for their MBA consulting services. Stratus Prep was incredibly professional throughout the entire process and Harold was extremely knowledgeable on the application processes at top business schools. Harold helped me refine and perfect my career story, objectives and overall application. Harold is an expert in helping people properly position themselves within their competitive category to maximize their chances of being admitted. He was immediately available any time I had questions or concerns, which was frequently throughout the process. If you want to put your best foot forward and increase your chances of being admitted to a top school then I highly suggest working with Harold and the Stratus Prep team.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.