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Stratus Admissions Counseling Admissions Consulting Reviews
    Number of reviews [151]
    Average Rating:       (4.7/5)
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Stratus Admissions Counseling
With Stratus Admissions Counseling, you don’t just work closely with one experienced MBA admissions counselor to optimize every part of your application. You work with an entire team of specialists who provide extensive feedback throughout the application process.

From reflecting on your past experiences and identifying programs that will move you towards your goals to crafting your essays and conducting mock interviews, Stratus’ team-based approach ensures you stand out and get accepted into your dream business school. We guarantee it.*

We have clients who have been admitted to every top MBA program year after year since 2006.


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Donna Bauman is amazing!
May 11 | 2017
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     By GCDBR 0 0

To understand how good Donna Bauman is, I will first need to tell you a little bit about myself. I am from, perhaps, the most over-represented candidate pool (Indian male), and to complicate matters, I applied with a low GMAT, low GPA, middling extra-curricular activities, and (in my opinion) decent work experience in finance. With Donna’s help, I will now be attending one of H/S/W in the fall! Unequivocally, this would not have been possible without her.

I interviewed a lot of admission consultants, but what set Donna apart was her commitment, candor, and experience. Let me elaborate. Donna has a ton of experience working as an admissions committee member, and this gives her a unique sense of how best to position your story. Having been on the other side, she will be able to give you insights into how your application would likely be perceived by the admissions committee. International candidates, this is especially important for you. Donna has seen thousands of applications from international candidates. As an Indian male, I came from an incredibly competitive pool, but Donna’s insights helped me differentiate my application, and play up my strengths to help compensate for the low GPA and GMAT.

But there are other ex-adcoms in the admissions consulting biz, so what sets Donna apart? Her candor and commitment. From my first consultation call, she was honest with me. She straight up told me that H/S/W would be a very uphill climb, but that she would do everything in her power to help me achieve that goal. I respected her honesty, and continued to see it throughout the application process. In addition to her honesty, Donna was extremely supportive and provided me with a very personalized experience. Right from the beginning, she challenged me to introspect deeper. She took the effort to really get to know me – where I come from, where I want to go, what my beliefs and motivations were, in order to better help me tell my story.

Donna reviewed innumerable edits (on outlines, essays, resumes, emails) right until the very end, and went above and beyond what I expected– offering so much time to my story building, essays, navigating recommenders, and interview practice (even to schools I didn’t apply to with her). She was very patient with my million questions and edits. She would reply very promptly (same day), devoted an incredible amount of time to my application, and came up with insightful suggestions, edits and reviews to help me tell my story better and to tailor it effectively to each school.

I would be remiss to not mention my senior strategist, Harold, as well. Harold’s experience with finance candidates is invaluable. But more than his experience with finance candidates, he has an acute understanding of what each school wants to hear, and was so incredibly encouraging – especially at critical moments when I needed it. I very much appreciated his help in building my story, and his insightful comments on my essay outlines and the essays themselves, and would not have been able to turn out the applications I did without his help. Harold needs to be your senior strategist.

To summarize: Go with Donna! I am so grateful for everything she did for me. Yes, using an admissions consultant is pricey, but it is well worth getting into your dream school. I am confident that Donna will help you tell your best possible story. Not only is she an amazing admissions consultant, she is also such a great person, and I wholeheartedly recommend her to you.

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Comments [2]
1 Commented by bmodi on June 01, 2018
Hi I am an Indian male applicant as well. Have a 710 GMAT (45Q, 41V) so weak quant score and have a good GPA from a decent institution in England. Am currently working in Management consulting in a big 4 and have decent extra-curricular activities. I want to get into Columbia, Stanford, Kellog. What was your gmat and gpa and your profile, would really appreciate if you could share further details. Also, would you recommend taking Stratus or is it just a dream to hope to get into one of these schools with such a low GMAT (specifically quant). Thanks in advance!
2 Commented by susancera on June 05, 2018
Bmodi - I'm not sure that the former client who wrote the review checks for comments to be able to respond. If you are serious about putting your best foot forward when you apply, reach out to schedule a free consultation with Donna. a 710 isn't necessarily a show stopper. The fact that you have a solid undergrad and work along with decent outside activities will serve you well. It will come down to creating a compelling narrative and Donna is among the best in helping aspiring MBAs on that front.
https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com/admissions/business-school-admissions-consulting/
Worth the investment
January 14 | 2018
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     By zuperman11 27 3

As an MBA reapplicant to my dream school, I didn’t want to simply submit a similar application and cross fingers that it was going to be looked at with different eyes. I knew the areas that were under my control and the ones where I could use some help. I had an initial free consultation with Susan who helped me reassure that I could improve my application.

I got a 5 hour package (at the end I got an extra hour), where we worked on essays and interview prep. My consultant (Susan) was extremely responsive (always heard back in less than 48hrs) and she was able to put my story together in a way that I wouldn’t have thought. She was really good at pointing out certain aspects about my story that I was not considering or didn’t think they would add any value. I certainly felt I was submitting a much stronger application after hitting the submit button.

I got admitted to my dream school, and I know that it wouldn’t have been possible without her help. Beyond the outcome of my investment, was always very pleased with the service I received from my consultant and the Stratus team. I would highly recommend Susan and Stratus.

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Good, but a lil' messy
June 24 | 2018
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     By ambjorkenvall 0 0

Using an admissions consultant is something I would def recommend. It's expensive, but in my case it made my application much better. However, I would not necessarily use Stratus again. Initially, I had an intro call and was given a tentative plan and an estimate on how much time it could roughly take. Unfortunately, both proved to be highly optimistic. I was paired with a consultant (he’s not a bad person so I’ll leave his name out) who was pretty disorganized, didn’t really respond to questions I had, wouldn’t tell me how much time I had left on the hourly package I had bought, etc.

I was applying to two schools, and as the deadline for the second school came closer, I was asking him if we wouldn’t need to start working on the application for that second school, and he just kept on saying that everything was fine. When we finally began working on that application, it felt very rushed and I did in fact only receive his final comments 8pm the same night (the deadline was at midnight), which wasn’t tons of time to rewrite and restructure the essays and application. I was going to an admissions consultant for help with my application process, not to add additional stress to it, which is how it felt.

Throughout the process, I voiced my concern with another staff member at Stratus, and he was really super helpful and understanding, finding solutions around it and essentially saving my application. In the end, the essays luckily came out much better than I could’ve done on my own. I didn’t get accepted to the schools I applied to, but I learned a lot. I have a decent background and GMAT score, 4.0 undergrad GPA, come from an underrepresented country, but in Stratus’ defense, I applied in Round 3, so that’s always risky. Could things have been different with another consultant/company? Maybe, maybe not.

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     By jcd123 0 0

I had the chance to work with Temi as a counselor at Stratus, and I can say that her help was critical to me ultimately getting into my dream top-10 school.

I found that her guidance through preparation of my materials and the subsequent formation of an application strategy gave crucial structure and nuance to developing my candidacy for grad school.

There were times where we disagreed on content to be included, and where I initially became frustrated by our differences in viewpoint and/or opinion. However, Temi did an excellent job of listening to my frustrations when we disagreed, and then presenting her case. More often than not, I agreed with her fully articulated viewpoint.

When all was over, we managed to complete 6 applications to top tier MBA programs, and I managed to get the result I wanted: a spot at an elite MBA program.

Thanks Temi, and thanks Stratus!

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Cartha is amazing!
June 09 | 2018
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     By La242 0 0

I can’t say enough great things about Cartha and Stratus. I got into 3 M7 schools and I was worried I wouldn’t even get into a single school!

Cartha really went above and beyond while she was working with me. It felt like she was fully dedicated to me and my applications. Cartha has been doing Admissions consulting for 10+ years I believe and it shows because she is so fantastic at what she does. 100% of her clients got into at least one school this year so that says a lot about how she works. She was very responsive and I could always count on hearing back from her very quickly.

Something that I really liked about the experience was that every time I thought my essays were perfect there was another person from Stratus who would read it and give comments to help me improve my essays. I didn’t even know it was possible to do that many versions of a single essay but it paid off 10 fold because I got into my dream school!

In addition to being a huge help with my essays she also helped to work with my recommenders to keep them on track and helped me with the interviews. She gave me many of the questions that I could expect at each school and did a practice run with me.

Cartha also helped me to understand the differences in the programs and would point me to some programs that I may not have known about.

Overall, even had I not gotten into any schools I know that Cartha did everything that she could to put me in the best light. It was clear that she really cared about my applications and even has kept in touch after I already enrolled in a school. I highly recommend Cartha and would hands down work with her if I were going through the process again.

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Well Worth it
June 06 | 2018
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     By bjames 0 0

I would highly recommend the profile development services offered. I'm a fairly organized person but I know that having some external accountability and guidance is valuable which is why this service appealed to me. The great thing about Stratus is that they have a comprehensive framework that they guide prospective applicants through so that you know there isn't anything you are forgetting in terms of making sure you're presenting a well rounded self to admissions committees. This is a worthy investment and a great way to make sure you get yourself ready to apply to grad school. Your advisor will check in with you occasionally and you'll get an updated document from them showing what you've done and what you're working on by the next time you connect. If nothing else, you will be much more confident in yourself going into your applications.

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     By tex405 0 0

Working with Cartha Siddiqui was hands down the best decision I made while applying to business school. From start to finish, she went above and beyond to help me craft my story and put my best foot forward in my applications. I believe that Cartha's organization, positive attitude, unwavering dedication, and initiative were the #1 factor in me getting into my target school. I give Cartha my highest recommendation and would encourage any potential candidate to work with her. If you want to have complete confidence in your applications, give Cartha a shot. She will give you the best chance you could ask for.

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     By ambuj123 0 0

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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     By MBAStudent1883 0 0

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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     By RB552 0 0

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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