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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:

151 Reviews
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March 02, 2017
gmatgmatgmat889

Joined: Mar 17, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
570 Q44 V25

Stratus Prep: Road to Success

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Traci Thibodeaux and the Stratus team are amazing, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made and it is well worth it. They are well engaged and strive to help you succeed, at many times more engaged than you are yourself, they are seasoned professionals who have gone through the process. I learnt so much about myself and although it may sound cliche, self-reflection is truly needed during the application process. The coaching is so valuable that it reassured me and gave me the confidence I needed in proceeding further. Choosing to apply to bschool is a huge decision and a big investment and I would take countless hours consuming all the free webinars available (which was still great help) but it did not get me to where I needed and I am glad I took the dive and worked with Stratus. I'm writing this review because I feel so blessed to be accepted that this is the only way I know how to say thank you and pass on the greatness I experienced.

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February 11, 2017
riegelw

Joined: Feb 11, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

The best money that you will ever spend

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When I look back at all the purchases I have made throughout my life, I can say with absolute confidence that my Stratus Prep package was the best money I have ever spent in my entire life. They took an extremely stressful and intimidating process and broke it down into something that was do able. The results speak for themselves: I got into my top choice.

Their approach to constructing your application is all about selling yourself and what makes you unique in an authentic way. Everything ties back to the core characteristics that are identified and agreed upon at the start of the process. Those characteristics thread their way throughout your application. When it comes to the essay portion, your essays are reviewed by both your consultant and an independent party so that as many eyes as possible review your story.

I can’t recommend this service highly enough.

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February 07, 2017
Wigglestar

Joined: Dec 30, 2015

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Self-reported Score:
730 Q51 V37

I would recommend Stratus to anyone!!

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In short, Stratus has helped to me to get into my dream school, a top top MBA program.

My primary counselor is Donna, and my senior strategist is Susan. I initially signed up for the four school package. Then I added three more schools in R2.

Reasons why I really enjoyed working with Donna

1)She was extremely responsible and fully committed to my success. Her average turnover time was about 24 hours. She was incredibly responsive even throughout the holiday seasons.

2)She took the time to get to know me as a person. I felt that I was being treated as a friend or a family member. One example to demonstrate that, she actually suggested that I should not waste my money to apply to the seventh school on my list (which was another safe school) when I was accepted by my dream school, even though she would make less money as a result. I also met her in person when I was visiting UNC. She showed me around town and bought me lunch before my interview.

3)She is remarkably knowledgeable about UNC and Kellogg. If you are specifically interested in these two great schools, she is the person to go to. She had worked on the admissions team at UNC for many years. Nobody knows UNC better than she does. As a Kellogg alum who had interviewed applicants in the past, she knows how to prepare you for anything.

Reasons why I am glad I chose Stratus

1)Their 4+ school guarantee made me feel secure about spending this amount of money, even though I was lucky not to end up using it.

2)The secondary viewer was particularly helpful at helping me identify possible weaknesses that I had missed.

3)My senior strategist Susan knew about every school inside and out. Even though I did not work with her directly, she helped me to build the framework in my every essay.

4)When I was accepted into a school, I was personally congratulated by everyone on the team


I also want to let you guys know that I had contacted five admissions consulting companies in total. Here are my experience at the other four companies:

Company A: Very fast response and I was able to schedule 30 minutes Skype call with a consultant for free evaluation. The consultant whom I spoke to was professional and knowledgeable. The only concern I had was that he did not have any experience working on the admissions team.

Company V: The person I spoke to said that I could not talk with one of their consultants because they have to “protect” them. I was offended by this statement. I am here to give you a chance to convince me to give you my money, why would you need protection?? You need to be protected from what?! What was also really annoying about this company was that they called my cell number and Skyped me at least seven times after I clearly said that I would contact them if I decided to use their services.

Company P: They replied to my request for profile evaluation two weeks later. At that time, I had already signed up with Stratus.

Company S: The lady I spoke to was typing the whole time during our 10 minutes conversation. She also said something about “you better sign up now because we are almost full.” I just did not like the way I was treated.

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February 15, 2017
susancera

Thanks so much for your words of support. Donna is genuinely committed to the success of her clients and has outstanding knowledge and insight about UNC and Kellogg.

February 16, 2017
StratusDonna

Thanks so much for this thoughtful review! I truly do try to treat my clients like family and I think about what is in their best interest! I also appreciate the highlighting of the team approach at Stratus as this helps clients to get the best from not only their counselor but the whole Stratus team and this is what sets Stratus apart! Susan is one example of the very strong team at Stratus and we all work very well together to get the best results for our clients!

October 31, 2017
Erjan_S

Hi! Congrats on getting to top school! What school did you get to? Your profile still shows 3 schools for 2019 class - not updated?

February 06, 2017
Chhonks

Joined: Mar 25, 2016

Posts: 7

Kudos: 1

Self-reported Score:
750 Q49 V42

Stratus Prep - Harold: Great experience!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I signed up with Stratus Prep early during the admissions season (~May) this year - I was lucky to have Harold as my adviser. We followed a very structured approach towards the entire application process, having preliminary discussions on 'themes' that emerged from my personal and professional experiences, and then layering those themes on all essays.

Harold is a great adviser, who always prompted me to think differently while writing my essays, and believed in completing multiple iterations until he was satisfied with the result. He offered great insights into the culture and other characteristics of all business schools I applied to, which undoubtedly helped me write my essays better. Moreover, he's a great person to talk to, and always kept the mood light with his jokes!

I found Stratus's approach of involving a secondary 'school expert' reviewer very useful - I don't think any other consultant can possibly offer such insights. Stratus was also able to turnaround all my essays (proofreading, expert inputs) within 24 hours - which was really helpful as I submitted some applications pretty close to deadline day!

I had a great experience working with Harold and Stratus Prep, and they were instrumental in helping me get into my dream B-school - I would highly recommend working them!

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January 30, 2017
jkh19041

Joined: May 16, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Terrific Experience

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I had a terrific experience working with Harold. His advice, guidance, and support throughout the application process was quite helpful. His assistance made my application process much more manageable, and less stressful.

I applied to four schools. He offered valuable insights on how I should approach each program's application and his feedback on my essays always seems to be on-point.

I appreciated how he would push me to drive to greater levels of detail and specificity in my writing to make my essays really come alive.

He was also highly responsive. I could always count on him to get back to me with answers or feedback quickly, or to at least acknowledge that he had received my email and would get back to me as soon as he could.

I was accepted into two of the programs to which I applied, one with a scholarship. I withdrew from one of the other programs, and was rejected by the fourth program.

In short, I really appreciated having Harold on my side and I would definitely recommend him to anyone exploring MBA admissions consulting services.

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January 25, 2017
andyraina

Joined: Dec 29, 2015

Posts: 1

Kudos: 0

Stratus Prep and Harold were a huge help!

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I initially started trying to tackle MBA applications on my own. Right before Round 1 deadlines I realized my applications were not nearly the caliber they should be to get into one of my ambitious schools. I was initially very shocked at how expensive an admissions consultant could be but settled on Stratus Prep quickly after talking with some of their staff and appreciating how easy they were to talk to.

I worked with Harold Simansky and immediately we began crafting my story. His push to make me dig deeper was a tough experience, but ultimately so rewarding as we were able to create a solid framework for my strengths, story, and where I'm looking to go. The experience itself really helped me understand why I wanted an MBA and what some realistic goals were.

Harold was able to help me write and shape essays that were lightyears ahead of the essays I wrote by myself. He helped me shape each essay for what the school and prompt were looking for, and cut out any material that really didn't provide a purpose or differentiating factor. I was nervous about how quickly I would receive feedback, but always impressed by the speed and quality I received, even as I was finishing applications around Christmas time.

In the end, I got into a great program I really didn't think I had much of a chance with. I'm so grateful for the help that Harold and all the Stratus Prep team was able to provide.

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January 23, 2017
semron62

Joined: Sep 01, 2015

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
720 Q49 V38

Remarkable Assistance with Applications

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At the time of writing this review, I have not yet heard back from all of my schools. I am awaiting four and have an interview for one upcoming.

What I can confidently say is that my experience with Harold has been nothing short of extraordinary. I believe that he and I connected well right off the bat and he quickly grasped unique details about my background that could help me stand out in the selection process.

I knew Harold and I would mesh well when right away he was willing to forego initial formalities and take a unique "brainstorming" approach to my introspection - and what we established was truly remarkable and customized to my background.

Along the way, with numerous edits and iterations of essays, Harold was very direct with keeping me focused on clear answers to the essays and ensured that every inch of my essays was adding value in one form or fashion. For each school, multiple Stratus Prep counselors reviewed my essays and offered feedback - also extraordinarily insightful.

Harold is very accessible, despite having a number of other clients, and was able to keep tabs on my working on multiple schools at once. For my last application, I decided to pursue it within a week of its due date, and without hesitation, Harold helped me make it happen with ease.

Harold was extremely genuine and honest when it came to school selection - encouraging me to apply to a couple "stretch" schools but then directing me towards schools more in a "target" range that he felt were a good fit for me. After conducting my own research of the schools he recommended, I was impressed with how right he was.

I am confident in what I submitted and in my upcoming interview(s) because of my work with Harold. I can also say that, based on feedback I received from both of Stratus' other senior consultants, that working with any of them would be incredibly helpful.

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January 05, 2017
jennahaleyk

Joined: Jan 05, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Stratus Prep Review

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I was first introduced to Stratus Prep through the MBA Tour in 2012. It wasn't until nearly three years later that I decided I wanted to apply to business school. Although I was applying in Fall 2016, I began working with Stratus Prep in early 2015 which I highly recommend. As a female living in NYC with 4+ years of work experience and a decent GRE score (I did not use GMAT scores) I felt as though I was a good business school applicant but definitely wanted help in shaping my story and putting together the best possible application - this is where Stratus Prep came in!
From the very beginning, even before I came up with a list of schools or even looked at the application, I was given work to help me fully understand why I wanted to go to business school and what my goals were. At Stratus Prep you work most closely with one advisor but every piece of work you put together - introspection, outlines, application - goes through multiple views and proofreads. From a comprehensive timeline of when each piece was due to my advisor to interview prep and every little question in between, having a team there to answer my questions and give me peace of mind was invaluable.
Although I do not yet know where exactly I will be attending school next fall, I have already been accepted to a top ranked program and I know I could not have done it without the entire Stratus Prep team, particularly my advisor Susan Cera.
The business school application process is draining and a lot of work but working with Susan and all of Stratus prep made the experience much more enjoyable and ultimately successful!

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December 19, 2016
npra

Joined: Jun 18, 2014

Posts: 1

Kudos: 0

Awesome experience!

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I applied for my MBA after only 2 years of work experience so I knew I would need help developing my story. I did initial consultations with a lot of programs but Stratus was one of the few who believed I could do my MBA despite having only a few years of work experience and a biology background.

Donna and the Stratus team helped me overcome my low work experience to not only get admitted to 3 of the 4 schools I applied to but also receive scholarships to all of them.

Donna was easily accessible via email or phone and responded to my inquiries within a few hours. With her help, I was less stressed and was able to finish applications well before the deadline. Donna went above and beyond to help me not only with applications and school choices but also with interviews. She even took the time to meet me in person before an on-campus interview and coached me in person.

I had a fantastic experience with Donna and the rest of the Stratus team. They pushed me to dig deeper and present a story I was proud of. Donna was really invested in my applications and I am so grateful for her help. Overall, Stratus Prep exceeded my expectations and I would definitely recommend them, especially Donna to anyone who is applying for business school. I’m not sure I would have gotten in without her help.

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April 08, 2016
merkenyon

Joined: Apr 06, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
720 Q49 V40

Money Well Spent!

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I had an amazing experience with Stratus Prep. Although I experienced serious sticker shock at how much admissions consultants cost, I ended up with a full ride to my perfect school so that investment paid off 20 fold!

I worked with Susan Cera who I cannot say enough good things about. I was initially matched with her because she understood my athletic background and I was considering programs like Fuqua (where she went and worked as an AdCom). She responded to emails almost always within 24 hours, even when I gave her a ton of items to review. I got emails back on nights and weekends very regularly and she worked with my schedule as needed.

I knew vaguely what I wanted to do with my career but was so lost about how to craft my story. We jumped through dozen of possible career paths and she helped me not only write my story, but also discover what I am really passionate about and how I can apply that to my career. By walking through it SO MANY times with Susan, I had my elevator speech down to a science when asked why am MBA and why now!

The introspective period is very intense and at times I ended up writing some stories for Susan to review that I thought were dumb but she ended up showing me how we could show my personality traits with little tidbits from my past woven through my essays and application. Probably the most value came from various Stratus coaches telling me when my essays were off the mark, rambling, or just nonsensical. I wrote several essays that I thought were good but Stratus pushed me to go deeper. I can say without a doubt that I would not have turned in essays that were anywhere close to as good without Stratus.

Overall, I had an amazing experience and would hire them again in a heartbeat. You only get one chance to go to business school, give yourself all the tools to go to the absolutely best program for you.

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