|All Reviews > Stratus Admissions Counseling Reviews|
Joined: Aug 21, 2019
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Consultant Susan Cera
After taking the GMAT at the beginning of September, I decided to move up my MBA time-frame a year and apply R2 for Class of 2022. Surfing through various websites, I scheduled a couple of free consults. The first was with the associate of a popular admissions consultant. I am happy with direct feedback and tough love, but referring to their clients as 'kids' turned me off massively and soured the idea of an admissions consultant altogether. However, I had already lined up my consult call with Susan and figured it was in my interest to speak with her. Oh my god. What a difference. Susan and I clicked on SO many different things and we flew way over the scheduled 30 minutes. The moment that call ended I knew if I were to use a consultant, it would be Susan. I ended up going with the 4-school package to diversify my options, but targeted Fuqua from the get-go (another plus for Susan given her wealth of experience in admissions there.)
My undergraduate was in a foreign language, and I've worked in sales (not very strategy / corporate business-savvy role or group of people) in Asia. Zero healthcare experience, despite that being my target industry post-grad. Susan had me lay out all of my stories from birth to present, highlighting overarching stories to keep in mind throughout the entire process. While Susan was my main point of contact, Jennifer Jackson (another Stratus consultant - fantastic too btw) also popped in to give an unbiased opinion. Ultimately we nailed stories down to clearly show why a move into healthcare is logical for me.
Alongside the above, we made a robust resume, pulling on my work-stories, tweaking to highlight any sort of leadership (formal or informal).
Tackling essays was very structured. I connected with students (often times Susan connecting me with previous clients at my target schools) to get info on each school. Using those notes and my own research, I created templates for each essay. Templates got a couple of edits from Susan, and a final look-over from Jennifer. The actual essay drafts were then super easy to write. Having the foundation of the outline, it was easy to knock out the writing. Susan was super fast with her edits, all of which I accepted without hesitation as she knew (and knows) my voice. Any questions I had on edits we talked it out quickly and efficiently. All essays were read over a school-specific advisor, who often gave very helpful insight that I used to tweak each essay. Finally, essays got proofed by a formal third party and were ready to submit.
With the bulk of the application done, Susan looked over my final applications and caught any stupid mistakes I may have made.
The comprehensive process for multiple schools helped me also tackle other schools confidently. Interviews began rolling in. Susan provided me a list of practice questions, compiled by all of the Stratus consultants. She took the time to do mock interviews with me, giving really helpful feedback (especially given I had to do Skype interviews from Asia.)
End result? I got into Fuqua, my dream school, with a merit-based scholarship coming in at just under half tuition. Thinking things through objectively at the moment, but everything is looking to come up Duke in the end. Without Susan, Jennifer, and the rest of the Stratus team behind the scenes, I would not have achieved this result.
Anyone looking to use an MBA consultant, I highly recommend the Stratus team, and especially Susan.
Joined: May 01, 2012
I was accepted into Kellogg Round 3 and without Donna, it would not have happened. I chose the hourly package, as I was in a few MBA prep programs, but without Donna, I would not have been accepted. Donna truly cared about me as an individual and not just a number. She was very candid, but warm at the same time. Her adcom experience is invaluable and she will give you the insights you need to improve your application. I felt very prepared for the video essay and my interview because of my time with her. She was so positive and encouraging it really helped to calm my nerves. I am forever thankful I chose to work with Donna. Well worth the investment.
Joined: Jan 16, 2020
Consultant Jennifer Jackson
I came into the MBA process looking to make a career change. I applied during R2. The story I wanted to convey was kind of nebulous and I had a hard time definitively describing why exactly I was making the career change and was pursuing an MBA. Jennifer quickly helped me construct and clear and compelling narrative. The team at Stratus really was thorough with helping edit my essays and they all came out remarkably polished. I could not recommend Jennifer enough as with her help on a 2 school package, I got into both schools with scholarships! I don’t think I would have gotten the scholarship without their guidance throughout the application process – from the interview prep to the essay corrections, to the overall brainstorming sessions to construct the application narrative. My sister who went through the MBA application process with the Stacy Blackman firm and remarked that Stratus was much more accessible, responsive, and had more resources than what she got. Overall I could not be more thrilled with my choice of Jennifer and Stratus, and with the scholarship, it was an investment that paid huge dividends!
Joined: Feb 18, 2019
Consultant Meridith Dennes
I had the chance to work with Meridith/Stratus on my application for business school. I chose the 3 class package however only applied to one school - Stern, mainly because I knew I was going to go to a part time program in NYC, but also wanted to get the experience of networking/camaraderie.
For the essay writing process, Meridith/Stratus had a very detailed rubric that they ask the candidate to fill out which forced me to dig deep into my past and why business school was right for me now. Through the process, Meridith was available around my schedule to help me formulate some of those reasons. She was able to extract details that I forgot I had, which later proved to be a crucial part of my essay. Given that it was only 500 words, I needed to make sure that my framework was concise, yet detailed enough to give the adcom color around why I was a great candidate. Meridith was able to keep me on point and paint a picture of my background that gave Stern the most transparent clarity into "why me".
This rubrik took around 3-4 weeks to complete as there were 5-6 iterations and sections. While it seemed onerous at the time, it gave me the chance to extract the necessary details that eventually made it into my essay.
I couldnt recommend Meridith any more highly than I do. I don't think that I couldve written the essay in a manner that was fit for Stern that wouldve put my best foot forward. This is partially because of the amount of details that are important that I didnt realize were.
For anyone looking to apply - working with Meridith will position you to standout from other applicants in ways you didn't know were possible
Joined: Sep 09, 2019
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Consultant Susan Cera
When I decided last minute to apply for schools this year, I talked to a number of consultants before finding Susan. After the initial consult, I knew that Susan would go the extra mile to really listen to my story and find ways to bring out the best aspects of it.
As part of a multi-school package, we worked together to outline important milestones and distill my motivations down to their key elements. Her guidance was crucial to putting together a compelling narrative and bridging the gap between the career I was coming from and my plans for the future. Her insight was thoughtful, articulate, and measured; she'll tell it like it is.
When it came time to put the application together, Susan and the Stratus team were prompt to deliver feedback on resumes, essay drafts, and overall strategy. She will work with you endlessly until you have something you'd be proud to submit. Every base was covered, from developing realistic post-MBA goals to advice in approaching your recommenders to live interview prep. The result - In addition to Yale and Kellogg, I was admitted to Booth, my dream school, with scholarship! Though it's easy to speculate on the outcome without a consultant,
I'm confident that Susan and Stratus were the difference maker when it came to the scholarship.
In Susan you will find a warm and generous counselor, a trusted voice throughout the process, and a champion in your corner who will help you put forth the best application possible. She is highly recommended!
Joined: Aug 20, 2019
When I decided I wanted to pursue an MBA, I knew I was going to need help navigating the process. From the bottom of the mountain, it was a daunting task.
Enter Donna Bauman.
From our initial call, I was impressed by her professionalism, sharpness, and eagerness to get started. We discussed backgrounds, a roadmap for our journey together, and expectations going forward. Everything was well presented so there would be no surprises.
As we executed our plan, I was constantly reminded of my initial thoughts, as well as reassured that I had made a smart decision due to her level of thoughtfulness and thoroughness. I never questioned her level of commitment to my success and to leaving no stone unturned. On top of the "basic services", I feel she offered numerous hidden gems that I never would have known about had I not sought her services. I feel she went above and beyond because she cares for her clients. She has never been unwilling to schedule a quick call or reply to an email. While many services and consultants talk the talk, Donna most certainly walks the walk. Relationships are important throughout this process, and she does her best to cultivate a strong one geared toward success.
Now as I await decision, I can be confident I put forth my very best work with her assistance. I know I would not be nearly as well prepared had I attempted to walk this journey alone. She made this an enjoyable process, and well exceeded my expectations for a consultant. I have highly recommended Donna to a number of my colleagues, and will continue to sing her praises to anyone even considering an MBA.
Joined: Jul 30, 2019
Consultant Jennifer Jackson
Stratus Consulting made the MBA Admissions process, which can be incredibly daunting, much more manageable through their day to day assistance with everything from creating a personal strategy, to determining appropriate individuals for recommendations, to reviewing multiple essay drafts. I would highly recommend their services.
I worked directly with Jennifer Jackson, who was patient enough to work with me across six time zones and two continents for six months, assisting me with a total of six applications. She was incredibly insightful about the entire process and provided consistently valuable feedback, enthusiasm, and advice, even when I was starting to inevitably get tired. I can not recommend their services enough.
Joined: Jul 27, 2019
Consultant Jennifer Jackson
Stratus has a variety of counselors that are great to work with. I worked with Jennifer Jackson who was a delight! She was upbeat and pragmatic throughout the process. She did not overwhelm me with her advice and did a great job of understanding my professional goals and suggesting ways in which I could incorporate them into my essays, interviews, and school search. Stratus has materials that really helped me stay organized throughout the application process, including timelines, templates for essays, and sample interview questions. They offer promotions on their packages, which I would highly recommend (vs. the hourly rate). They made it easy throughout the process.
Joined: Jan 03, 2018
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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.
Joined: May 06, 2019
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Consultant Harold Simansky
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!