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Joined: Jul 26, 2022
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I had my initial consultation with Melisa in May 2021. Choosing a consultant wasn’t easy, but from our first conversation, I felt that Melisa was wholeheartedly invested in my success as an applicant.
Melisa was extremely generous with her time. There was never a limit on the number of emails I could send or questions I could ask, on top of our weekly update calls. She was instrumental in shaping my essays, and she guided me by drawing on her success with previous applicants. When It came time to interview, Melisa ensured that I was prepared for beyond just the schools we were working together on and provided valuable feedback that I took across various interviews.
When R1 decisions were released, I was unfortunately waitlisted at my dream school. I was ready to throw in the towel, but Melisa encouraged me to keep my options open for R2 and remain actively engaged as a waitlist candidate. Melisa helped me write strong waitlist updates as I juggled applying to additional schools. Even when I wasn’t sure if the extra work was being noticed by the school, Melisa remained thorough in her advice and feedback.
In May 2022, I received an acceptance from my dream school. With Melisa’s help, I was among the first batch of applicants to convert from the waitlist. It took a year to reach the goal that I had set out to achieve, and there were many unexpected ups and downs along the way, but Melisa was there for me at every step of the journey.
I have no doubt that I made the right choice in hiring Melisa as my admissions consultant, and I would strongly recommend her to anyone considering her services!
Joined: Jun 02, 2021
I initially was not going to use an admissions consultant given the high cost but decided that it’d be worth the investment if I was going to go all in on the MBA admissions process. I met with many consultants from different firms but went with Melissa because she instantly put me at ease and was really warm and easy to talk to, and never made me feel like I wasn’t good enough for the schools I was targeting. We worked together starting June 2021 and she did so much more than just help me with my applications. I was also navigating a major organizational change at work, applied for a new job at a different company, and received an offer. She provided a ton of support and advice on how I should talk to my new employer about my b-school apps and they ended up being so supportive about it! Beyond that, we spent a solid few months just getting to know everything about my background and what my story would be, while staying truly authentic and never trying to be someone I wasn’t. She helped me with every stage of the application and was always so responsive, patient, and kind, especially through the several breakdowns I had along the way! She made sure I was super prepped for all the interviews, and after receiving the decisions, helped me navigate waitlists and negotiating scholarships.
I ultimately was admitted into my dream school, and 4 out of the 6 schools I applied to. Melissa was incredibly supportive throughout the entire process and really encouraged me to bring my true self to the applications. I’m happy with the results and I would recommend her to anyone!
Joined: Mar 11, 2018
Choosing a consultant is a daunting task, given the number of options. However, if you care about having someone with plenty of experience, many success stories, and a personality that fills you with optimism and energy, then look no further than Melisa. I chose Melisa because of how enthusiastic she was in our first meeting and how well she made me feel about my prospects. MBA applications are daunting, and there are many things that you need to navigate, so having a structured process and someone experienced to lean on is remarkably uplifting and comforting. If you are looking for a consultant, you must be in the same boat as I was - confident that you qualify but not sure whether you can tell a cohesive and convincing story. Melisa is so skillful at recognizing the different pieces of your story and helping you put them into a captivating application that you will gain a new appreciation for your accomplishments. Thanks to Melisa, I ended up with a few options to choose from and a merit scholarship that sweetened the deal. I did not expect to receive a significant amount in scholarship, but Darden offered 1/3 and Cornell Johnson over 1/2 of the tuition, which made me choose Johnson. Whatever your dream school is, Melisa will ensure that you put your best foot forward. No one can guarantee admission to Harvard or MIT, but if you want to stand a chance and feel confident that you will have options to choose from, I encourage you to let Melisa guide you. You will not be disappointed!
Joined: Apr 27, 2022
Do yourself a favor and work with Melisa! As a nontraditional applicant I had many fears about the admission process. I chatted with a few other consultants but within the first 10 minutes of my intro call with Melisa it was clear that she could help me achieve my goals. With Melisa’s support I was able to receive full-rides at 4 of my top programs!
From the very first day Melisa took the time to truly understand my story, help craft my narrative, identify my strengths and put together the best possible applications, all while encouraging me to be my most authentic self throughout the process - she even provided guidance on identifying the best target schools when I was indecisive. Not only did she provide guidance but she was always one email away. I knew I could reach out to her with anything and she’d provide me with a thoughtful response in a timely manner.
Melisa went above and beyond in helping me edit my essays and preparing for my interviews. When everything seemed to pile on in the last few days leading up to submitting apps Melisa was so incredibly supportive and flexible with her schedule. I was lucky enough to have received interviews at all of the programs I applied to and even though I had not purchased packages for all of the schools Melisa went out of her way to ensure I was prepared for each of them. She was extremely generous with her time and proved to be genuinely invested in my success.
I know for a fact that I would not be in the position that I am in right now without Melisa’s support. I am beyond thankful to have worked with someone as genuine, dedicated, and knowledgable as her! If you are looking for a consultant who will not only provide results, but also encourage and motivate you throughout the process, you have to work with Melisa!!
Joined: Aug 15, 2021
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Melisa was beyond amazing to work with, and I’m confident that my application was the best it could be after working together! I went back and forth on deciding to hire an admissions consultant but ultimately decided it was worth the upfront investment, and it more than paid off since I’ll be going to Booth with a $100K scholarship!
From the beginning, I felt Melisa genuinely cared and had my best interests in mind. We worked together for over eight months and had weekly video calls in the thick of applications! She took the time to get to know me and really learn my story, which is necessary to create strong and authentic applications. She went above and beyond in giving me her time and expert advice. Most importantly, I really enjoyed working with her and she made the daunting application process feel manageable. Melisa is the best guide, confidant, and cheerleader!
Joined: Oct 06, 2020
I got into my two top schools and could not have done it without Melisa's guidance. I was very confused at the start of the process but she was super organised and guided me meticulously through every step of the process right from choosing your recommenders to interview prep. The brainstorming exercises she gave me really made me think and present a well rounded and genuine story. Also the fact that stratus have a team based approach was another big plus! She was also very efficient with time and got back to me the next day in most cases. Highly recommend!
Joined: Jun 29, 2020
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Working with Melisa was the best decision I made. I had chatted with a few other consultants, but felt the most at ease with Melisa after our intro call. She seemed genuinely excited about working with me, and I really appreciated her energy and encouragement. Since I was only planning to apply to two programs, Melisa was very flexible with pricing and we worked on an hourly basis for my top school's application. I was able to leverage the same essays and resume for my backup program. Her detailed feedback and thoughtful suggestions helped me to highlight the most important parts of my story in the essays. Melisa is extremely knowledgeable about the process and working with her made me feel very confident about my applications when the time came to hit submit. We also worked together on interview prep, which was huge because I had not been thinking about that part of the process at all. I was admitted to both programs I applied to with significant scholarship money. After our allotted hours were used, Melisa was more than willing to respond to my calls and emails as I worked to make my final decision. She is an absolute rockstar, and it was a pleasure working with her.
Joined: Jul 25, 2019
As a first-generation college graduate, the MBA admissions process was daunting, and I was skeptical about working with a consultant. I talked to several consultants who tried to push me to apply to “safety” schools that I wasn’t interested in or tried to push me to pay for their all-inclusive packages. Melisa was the only person who not only gave me critical feedback and opinions, but also, trusted my vision.
I worked with Melisa on an hourly basis on essay reviews and interview prep. She was efficient and always provided clear and thoughtful feedback. My application included many personal experiences, and I always felt that she cared for the story I was trying to tell. The MBA admissions process requires deep reflection, and it was important to me that the people reading my stories honored them.
Now, I’m so excited to attend a top, full time MBA program with a scholarship (especially after a highly competitive application cycle) and can’t thank Melisa enough for her support. I highly recommend her, especially if you come from a similar background.
Joined: Feb 28, 2021
I would highly recommend working with Melisa and Stratus. Melisa helped me get into four of my top-choice schools, with substantial fellowships at three of them. She supported me from the beginning of my application process to the end. Melisa was always very responsive, and was available to answer any questions I had about schools and applications, no matter how trivial they seemed. She helped me shape my story and goals so well that I had a clear idea of how to approach each essay question. Her detailed advice and feedback on my resume and essays was instrumental in my admissions.
Melisa also helped me prep for interviews. I really benefited from Melisa’s experience in this area, and she helped me present my story in a way that was well-defined, but still genuine. I was admitted to every school I interviewed with, which I could not have done without Melisa’s help.
Something I really liked about Melisa was her positivity throughout the process, as it can be daunting at times. I had a non-traditional professional background, and Melisa helped me present it in the best possible way. Her encouragement, positivity, and support is what set her (and Stratus) apart from other MBA admissions consultants I’d considered, and I’m so glad I was able to work with her. Highly recommend!
Joined: Feb 03, 2021
Meeting Melisa via Stratus to help me with my admissions process to a top part time MBA program was hands down one of the most memorable experiences. Having worked with Melisa for over 6 months on my application, simply saying I found one of the best admissions counselor is an understatement. Melisa took genuine interest in not my application - making the entire process a self exploratory process about oneself. She places emphasis on the initial process which eventually makes the other parts of the application much easier to put together.
I was focussed on applying to only a single program MBA program. Coming from a technology background, I was not sure how I would convert my deep technical experience understandable to an admissions reviewer. Melisa was super insightful, taking interest into understanding my background and making me answer my own question about how my experiences might be translated to something more understandable by everyone.
Melisa was super responsive with helping me with reviews on my essays and my resume and would usually get back to me within a day or two and not only communicated with my via emails but was available to chat via phone at a time suitable to both of us. Melisa went above and beyond in getting my essays to the best version of themselves even if it meant 4-5 extra edits. Melisa spent so much time and energy into my application, make me feel confident at every step in the process and really brings out the best version of myself throughout not only the essays and the resume but the interviews as well.
Having managed to get into a top EWMBA program, I attribute an equal portion of this stepping stone to success to Melisa. I will miss is working with Melisa. I am very blessed to have gotten the opportunity to work with Melisa and the Stratus team. Melisa was not only super helpful in helping me with admissions but her wealth of knowledge and experience having gone to a top MBA school herself helped me with providing for a mentor who ensured that I made the right choices even after admissions. I highly recommend Melisa to anyone looking for an awesome person to work with, a super friendly, genuinely caring and super informative admissions counsellor.