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Stratus Admissions Counseling Admissions Consulting Reviews

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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Stratus Admissions Counseling Admissions Consulting Reviews

Most Reviewed Stratus Admissions Counseling consultants

Harold Simansky
Reviews
17
Average Rating
4.9
Susan Cera
Reviews
12
Average Rating
5.0
Donna Bauman
Reviews
9
Average Rating
5.0
Samantha Merton
Reviews
7
Average Rating
5.0
Melissa Prevost
Reviews
7
Average Rating
5.0

Reviews:

168 Reviews
4.7 Average
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December 12, 2018
nicholasmbellamy@gmail.com

Joined: Jun 26, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
720 Q47 V42

No MBA consultant can possibly be better than Susan

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

Working with Stratus Admissions, and specifically Susan Cera, was one of the better decisions I have ever made. Not only did they do their job: get me into one of my dream schools (Berkeley Haas), they did so much more.
Thanks to Stratus, I have reflected on my unique career and life goals in such detail that I have gone from having a vague idea about what I want to do to knowing concrete plans that I am so excited to pursue. They also helped me figure out what my resume gaps were and find ways to address the gaps. The result has been me getting more involved with the community, creating one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in recent years.
Susan is brilliant. I don’t have a bad word to say about her. She is kind, but honest. If you want to give this process 110%, Susan is the one for you. She takes the phrase “going above and beyond” to the next level. We chatted all the time and she was always available to help, whatever the question may be. She has been an incredible guiding light for me in this process and did her job perfectly. I couldn’t recommend her higher and am so grateful I found her.

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May 14, 2019
agromer

Joined: Jan 03, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Incredible working with Harold. Could not recommend more highly.

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

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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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 06, 2019
ew14

Joined: May 06, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
760 Q48 V48

Fantastic experience working with Harold! Highly recommend.

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

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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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.
May 05, 2019
beanallar

Joined: Mar 19, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

The best decision I made throughout the application process

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

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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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.
April 30, 2019
anbeuchel

Joined: Apr 30, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

I loved working with Harold!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

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.
April 19, 2019
nextstophbs2021

Joined: Apr 19, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Thank you Stratus

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

Before writing about Stratus, I’ll say it’s important to know what you’re looking to get out of an MBA consultant. I began the process with Stratus with only 40 days until round 2 submission, so not only was I looking for guidance on school selection, application strategy, resume and essay review, and interview prep, I also needed a project manager of sorts to clearly lay out deadlines and allow me to use the little non-working time I had most efficiently. I had talked to several consultants and it was clear that Stratus had the full package. When I first talked to Donna I knew we would work well together (while the Stratus process is great, your relationship and ability to work with your individual consultant is the most important piece).

As far as value add goes, I can’t praise Stratus, Donna and Cartha enough. The introspective application strategy is something that contributed greatly to my essays and I would not have gotten there on my own. By connecting me with former clients and knowing where my strengths played best, Donna helped inform my school selection. My professional resume was turned upside down into a great MBA resume. The school specific essay review, interview guides and mock interviews were dead on. And apart from their own gain from my success, they were truly rooting for me throughout the process.

To speak to results, I applied to 4 top 10 programs, was admitted to 3, waitlisted at 1. Even if I started months earlier and had a wide network of recent MBAs, I’m not sure I would have produced the same quality of applications.

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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.
April 11, 2019
AnonMBA22

Joined: Apr 11, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

MBA Consultant Services

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

Rachel, Donna, and the rest of the Stratus team were amazing. Their honest opinions and attention to detail throughout the entire process was so helpful. Rachel has a very calm presence and I never felt rushed; she was very positive and always reassured me we'd get everything done, even when I was getting stressed out. Donna was very helpful during the school selection process and her knowledge of the different programs is amazing. I got into my top program even with a very low GMAT score thanks to Stratus so I would whole-heartedly recommend Rachel and the Stratus team to anyone looking for comprehensive help with MBA applications.

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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.
March 29, 2019
akkhan

Joined: May 04, 2018

Posts: 1

Kudos: 0

AWESOME experience working with Samantha Merton of Stratus Prep

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by gmat club tests [?]

To all aspiring candidates of the top Global MBA programs

Regardless of how good you are at writing essays/ high GPA & GMAT/ etc. trust me a 5 hour counselling package from a top MBA counselling firm such as Stratus does not guarantee but can significantly increase your probability of admission. The amount you will spend vs. the ROI of getting into a top school is intangible. I must also thank my friend Tanwee for highly and I mean highly recommending Samantha Merton of Stratus Prep.

My MBA applications would not be anywhere near as strong without Samantha’s input. She really enabled me to dig deep and table my best personal/professional story. She also knew a great deal about what each specific school was looking for in a candidate. I can safely say that my 8 hours with her has made me better at expressing my ideas/thoughts concisely and has made me a stronger writer overall which will pay dividends beyond the MBA application process.

Think of the process as a gruelling boxing match that lasts 12 rounds. Having her always in my corner as a coach throughout this marathon was hands down one of the best decisions I have made. The speed at which she responded to my emails every time (even during holidays!) really made my life easier and allowed me to meet my target deadlines. I got interviews from all 3 schools I applied to – INSEAD, LBS and IESE. The mock interview I did with her also prepared me comprehensively for the actual interviews at these schools. She helped me with content, pacing, tone, brevity, etc. With one last INSEAD interview to go, I am well prepared stepping in for Round 12. She is a true professional and it has been an absolute pleasure working with her. She went above and beyond my expectations.
I do not think I can ever thank Samantha enough for all her help!

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March 26, 2019
Dreilly

Joined: Jul 28, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q49 V41

Stratus (Lisa Cummings) - Be the best “you” you can be

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

My first suggestion when looking for a consultant is to meet with as many as you need to so that you find your match. You need to not only find someone that knows your program but also one you are comfortable with. They are NOT going to write anything for you but will coach you to presenting the best possible version of yourself for that specific program. Each essay to each school needs to stand out and be different. This is the key and this is exactly what Stratus and Lisa taught me to do. I chose Lisa because of her experience with my program and her enthusiasm and genuine interest to see me succeed.

This is not cheap. But I believe it was a very important part of my process. In particular for me Lisa was constantly communicating sending edits (very fast turnaround) and reminders to keep on a schedule to achieve success. My essays would have been much more generic and my stress level would have crippled me not knowing if I was even making progress.

Stratus specifically operates slightly different. I really like that the consultants do not handle any of the money issues. That is a separate person. They are flexible and will find the package that works for you.

Do your research and good luck!

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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.
March 14, 2019
hbsadmit2021

Joined: May 28, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
770 Q50 V47

Terrific experience with Jennifer Jackson of Stratus

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]

I highly recommend Jennifer Jackson of Stratus. Although Jennifer advises some applicants from the very start of their business school application process, I engaged her after I had written self-reflections and begun drafting essays. I wanted someone to serve as a sounding board for my ideas, and to offer tips on expressing myself effectively in writing and in interviews.

First, I appreciated that Jennifer could adapt her approach to clients of all readiness levels. As mentioned, I came to Jennifer having already completed a fair amount of preparation. Instead of making me rewrite my thoughts in her templates or follow her usual process, Jennifer got to know me through the materials that I had already put together myself. Her adaptiveness saved me time and ensured that I got what I was seeking out of our sessions together.

Second, I enjoyed the advantages that came from Jennifer’s membership in the larger Stratus organization. As a few examples: Jennifer shared guidance from the most knowledgeable individuals in her network. She set up a Wharton practice group interview, led by another Stratus employee, alongside other applicants from Stratus’s clients. And I received encouraging emails from both Jennifer and Susan Cera, head of Stratus, as I went along. I believe that these advantages are distinct to organizations, as opposed to independent advisors.

Third and most important: Even as an applicant who had already done some preparation, I benefitted from Jennifer’s advice. As a sounding board for my ideas, Jennifer helped me to identify my most compelling stories, recognize areas where I could add depth, and cut color commentary. She also pointed out stylistic areas to improve in my interviewing style, and our practice boosted my confidence.

All in all, it was a pleasure working with Jennifer and Stratus. I would recommend them both to clients at any stage in the business school application process. (And I was ultimately accepted at two of the top five U.S. MBA programs first-round.)

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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.

36 Older and Non-Verified Reviews for Stratus Admissions Counseling