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Stratus Admissions Counseling Admissions Consulting Reviews
    Number of reviews [153]
    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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     By henlight 1 5

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.

More detail:
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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     By Mai2020 0 0

I worked with Melisa Prevost through the hourly package and she was fantastic. Extremely responsive and supportive, she went above and beyond to provide helpful feedback on both essays and interview preparation. She is a pleasure to work with and I would highly recommend her. Even though we worked together on the hourly package, she really came to know my background and narrative extremely well. Her turnaround time was always incredibly efficient, usually within 24 hours. She is genuinely committed to seeing you do well, and she understands the application process deeply, as well as what different programs are looking for. The Stratus team in general is responsive and invested in your success.

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MY DREAM HAS COME TRUE!
July 18 | 2018
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     By Franny123 1 6

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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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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