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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

Susan Cera
Reviews
42
Average Rating
5.0
Donna Bauman
Reviews
28
Average Rating
5.0
Melisa Prevost
Reviews
21
Average Rating
5.0
Harold Simansky
Reviews
17
Average Rating
4.9
Jennifer Jackson
Reviews
16
Average Rating
5.0

Reviews:

152 Reviews
5.0 Average
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December 15, 2017
kayyali89

Joined: Dec 15, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
640 Q42 V35

Stratus Review

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Professional, accommodating, and personable. The Stratus consultants are organized, strategic and will help you obtain your goals. I could not be happier with the services they provided. They have a very methodical approach that accounts for your needs and helps you find the programs/schools that fit, and then devise a strategy to help you be successful. Their team-based approach ensures that your application materials and strategy are looked at by different eyes, each providing their input. I especially appreciated how accommodating Melisa was. We changed the rounds that I was applying for very close to the deadlines and she would turn around essay comments and respond to questions very quickly and thoroughly. Her support shepherded me through the stressful process. Stratus is an investment that is well worth it. I highly recommend utilizing the Stratus expertise!

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November 05, 2017
aspiry16

Joined: Apr 05, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
720 Q50 V37

Columbia admit - could not have done without Stratus!

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I will be joining Columbia Business School for FT MBA in Jan’18. Susan, Director MBA Admissions at Stratus, was my MBA admission consultant and my go-to person throughout my application journey. I owe my success to her and team Stratus. I can confidently say with no iota of doubt that I would not have got this admit without her support and guidance.

My GMAT is 720(Q50 V37) and I have ~10-year work experience in oil and gas industry. I used to work for one of the leading oilfield services providers and I have worked worldwide offshore in various setups (read remote environments with limited connectivity). Susan supported me through my unpredictable work travel plans and serious network issues and remained as an immense source of encouragement and positivity. She was always an email or a call away, which helped me keep my application process on track. This particularly was more relevant in my case as I come from a non-traditional background and not many of my peers/friends have done/applied for MBA. Susan helped me craft my story in such a way that I was able to present my candidacy in the best possible manner. Having said this, I would not shy away from mentioning that “crafting” part is not a one-day or a week job at Stratus. When I started working with Susan, I had a very detailed introspection, which was formally documented. This was the most challenging part for me. The constant struggle to decide or judge which achievement is good or not good enough for MBA applications was challenging. Fortunately, I had Susan by my side. She NEVER decided anything for me. She NEVER wrote for me. Instead, she made me THINK. This was not very obvious to me sometimes but as I progressed through the other steps of the application process (writing essays, admission interviews), I realized the importance of introspection. Having done all the thinking and brainstorming upfront, I became very adept at crafting my story and presenting my thoughts in a concise and effective manner in essays and later during mock and real admission interviews.

My introspection document became my reference to pick my stories/themes. The strategists at Stratus help you revisit your life experiences and accomplishments and discover yourself, albeit from the MBA-application-angle. With a very detailed introspection by my side, I had a joint meeting with Susan and Salma (former senior consultant at Stratus). Salma brought in her expertise and along with Susan, helped me distill my thoughts and pick the best themes from my personal and professional journey to be presented and highlighted in application essays.

Stratus follows a very structured approach to writing application essays. After Introspection and later school-selection, the second step is to write the outlines for the essays. In my case, these outlines were always first reviewed by Susan followed by the reviews by other consultants (school specific). What truly impressed me was Susan’s ability to convert my raw and very rudimentary thoughts to very powerful essay content. Harold who is another senior consultant at Stratus was my second reviewer and he always brought his unique expertise to the game. I was immensely benefitted by his dissection of my outlines and essays. Once the outlines were approved, writing essays became much simpler. What appeared to be a daunting task in beginning, became a second nature to me over a couple of months. Later during the interview preparation stage, I had access to all the knowledge and expertise at Stratus. After getting mock-interviewed by school-specific consultants and receiving a detailed feedback and great suggestions to improve, I never felt the need to look outside to fetch any information. The entire application process in itself is so taxing that diverting energy in different directions can prove to be counterproductive. Thankfully, it was not the case for me at Stratus.

The team Stratus genuinely wanted me to succeed. This was very evident in every interaction and engagement I had with the team. Susan always ensured that I have the best resources to craft and present my application material. In addition to the access to other school-specific consultants at Stratus, Susan also brought in her latest knowledge about various other schools that I was targeting. This knowledge came in from attending various MBA conferences, sharing experiences of other successful Stratus clients and from her experience of being a former Adcom at Fuqua. But most importantly, Susan's positive and upbeat attitude helped me withstand the demanding journey.

Now, as I prepare to start my new journey at CBS, I can't stop thanking Susan. This is a dream come true for me. I always thought Columbia would be a long shot for me but Susan encouraged me to dream, prepare and apply to CBS. A dream that is a REALITY now!

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July 06, 2017
kxz

Joined: Jul 06, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
680 Q47 V35

Great experience with Susan!

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I owe Stratus Prep, and specifically Susan Cera, a lot when it comes to knowing how to shape my application and convey my story into the right words for each school I applied to. I ended up getting into a dream program, even with so-so GMAT scores, an average undergraduate GPA, and under 4 years of working experience. I signed up for the 4-school package and am proud to say I'm attending a top 10-15 program this Fall!

Susan was always available to talk through email, phone, or Skype even though we had a 3 hour coastal difference (California to NC). She had a good, upbeat attitude and always had something constructive to say from the initial application process to the mock interviewing. I was even waitlisted and she gave me sound advice throughout the lengthy waitlist process. I would definitely recommend StratusPrep!

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June 06, 2017
Calichin

Joined: Mar 11, 2017

Posts: 1

Kudos: 29

Verified score:
550 Q35 V31

Amazing experience with Joe Farr

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I’ve had the privilege of working with Joe over the course of 9-10 months and I must say… what an incredible experience! From the very beginning, Joe identified my weaknesses and developed a roadmap to address them.

After I took the GMAT, I was upset with my score, as I was a full 100 points below the average of my target school. As the final rounds approached and given my work experience, I decided not to retake the GMAT and to proceed with my school application. As an applicant who was applying on the final round with a low GPA and low GMAT, one thing was certain, my whole application had to be stellar in order for me to even have a slight chance of getting into the school I was aiming for. With Joe’s guidance, we completely revamped my CV and we spent quite some time on the essay question. Joe responded in timely manner and he always gave constructive feedback. He definitely pushed me to my limits and brought out the best of me!

The application process was quite the journey and I am so gratefully that Joe was by my side. I can confidently say that, without Joe, I wouldn’t have been able to get into my target school. The Veritas MBA consulting service was without a doubt, the best investment I’ve made and I highly recommend it to everyone!

Thank you Joe !

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May 15, 2017
mariajt

Joined: May 15, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
700 Q44 V41

Highly Recommend Stratus!

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Working with Stratus was the best decision I made during my MBA application process. I worked with them on a five-school package, and thanks to their fantastic team and approach, I'm going to my top choice this fall.

My primary counselor, Jennifer Jackson, was wonderful to work with. She was patient, kept me on track with the timelines for each school, and gave insightful feedback that helped me draw out my best stories for my essays and interviews. She was always positive and thoughtful in our interactions, which alleviated a lot of the stress that goes along with the application process. Jennifer was also incredibly responsive and usually got back to me within 24 hours, even over the holidays.

In addition to Jennifer's counsel, Stratus' team-based approach helped me put my best foot forward in each application. My senior strategist, Susan, was a fantastic resource. She was extremely knowledgeable about every school that I applied to, and gave great feedback on how to optimize the content in my essays for each one. Having a secondary reviewer and proofreader look over my essays in addition to my primary and senior strategists was a great value-add. They identified areas for improvement and gave me peace of mind that weren't any grammatical mistakes.

I also really appreciated Stratus' commitment to great customer service. I always felt like I was their only client and that my applications were their priority. I ended up getting into four schools and within an hour of each acceptance, I got congratulatory emails from a number of team members.

Stratus is well worth the investment and I highly recommend to anyone considering an MBA.

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May 11, 2017
GCDBR

Joined: May 11, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
710 Q46 V40

Donna Bauman is amazing!

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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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June 01, 2018
bmodi

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!

June 05, 2018
susancera

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/

April 23, 2017
pallavvyas

Joined: Feb 02, 2015

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Great feedback on essays and resume!

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Melisa was wonderful to work with! She provided great feedback on resume and essays, was always willing to help, and go above and beyond. She was always prompt at responding, and would check-in anytime I fell off the wagon due to work deadlines. I worked with her mostly over email, except for the first skype call. The communication was great (even when I was traveling with a 10+hr time difference) and timely. She really helped me stay on track and submit a stellar application. I got into the school of my choice (Berkeley Haas) and Melisa's help played a huge role.

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April 08, 2017
blisteringbarnacles

Joined: Apr 01, 2014

Posts: 4

Kudos: 1

Excellent Consulting Service

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I loved working with Harold who provided me with assistance at every step of the way from helping me with structuring my essays to critiquing my cover letters.

He is a genuinely interested in making sure you go to the university that you want to and helps you make an informed decision. His greatest strength is his ability to create a conducive working environment that helped me open up to him and helped him understand what I really was looking for in an MBA program.He responds to your queries almost immediately and at the same time gives you ample time to work on your essays.

I would attribute my admission to Harold 100% and without him I know I would have had to struggle a lot more with my applications to get to where I am .

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March 27, 2017
bamclell

Joined: Jul 04, 2015

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
690 Q48 V36

Stratus Prep Review

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I had a rudimentary idea of what I wanted to write about, but working with my Stratus Prep Counselor elevated my essays to a higher level and helped me craft a unique story that wove together my passions, experiences and goals. Beyond the technical aspects, my Counselor helped me maintain sanity through the stressful MBA admissions process and gave me invaluable advice and inspiration when I needed it most. Ultimately, I was invited to interview at 7 of 8 schools and was accepted into my preferred program. I firmly believe that Stratus Prep strengthened my candidacy tremendously. I highly recommend that others consider their services!

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March 21, 2017
piro9520

Joined: Mar 21, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Harold and Stratus Prep are essential!

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I could not recommend Harold Simansky and the Stratus Prep team more for their MBA consulting services. Stratus Prep was incredibly professional throughout the entire process and Harold was extremely knowledgeable on the application processes at top business schools. Harold helped me refine and perfect my career story, objectives and overall application. Harold is an expert in helping people properly position themselves within their competitive category to maximize their chances of being admitted. He was immediately available any time I had questions or concerns, which was frequently throughout the process. If you want to put your best foot forward and increase your chances of being admitted to a top school then I highly suggest working with Harold and the Stratus Prep team.

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1 Older and Non-Verified Review for Stratus Admissions Counseling