|All Reviews > Stratus Admissions Counseling Reviews|
Joined: Aug 15, 2021
740 Q49 V42
Consultant Melisa Prevost
Melisa was beyond amazing to work with, and I’m confident that my application was the best it could be after working together! I went back and forth on deciding to hire an admissions consultant but ultimately decided it was worth the upfront investment, and it more than paid off since I’ll be going to Booth with a $100K scholarship!
From the beginning, I felt Melisa genuinely cared and had my best interests in mind. We worked together for over eight months and had weekly video calls in the thick of applications! She took the time to get to know me and really learn my story, which is necessary to create strong and authentic applications. She went above and beyond in giving me her time and expert advice. Most importantly, I really enjoyed working with her and she made the daunting application process feel manageable. Melisa is the best guide, confidant, and cheerleader!
Joined: Apr 09, 2020
530 Q29 V34
Consultant Soterios Rouman
Soterios wanted my admission at least as much as I wanted it, and he did his best at every step of our work together. Even before hitting "submit," I had gained a lot from my experience with him.
For me, one of the great strengths of Soterios is his ability to get to know you well and very quickly in order to strongly support you in your personal direction. I started the application prep process a bit confused, lacking comfort in recognizing and accurately expressing important parts of my stories and future goals. But if 20 years from now, someone wants to know who I really am, what deeply matters to me in life, what has shaped me at times, and what I would like my main accomplishments and impacts in life to be, I could just share my MBA essays with him/her. Soterios guided me in a way that the final versions of my application materials so accurately reflected my truth and so precisely captured my essence. He constantly pushed me in the right direction, encouraging me to dig deeper and find the profound meaning/reasons of things. Because he got to know me very well in a short time, he helped me a lot to keep my ideas relevant and compelling. For example, when outlining my essays, he helped me a lot by reminding me of details and anecdotes from my introspection and personal MBA strategy work that I personally forgot or did not think of as good examples to use.
I quickly realized that being in line and happy with every word, every sentence, and the structure of each of my essays/answers to short questions, and even my CV, was very important to Soterios. As we were about to complete a step, he would stop and clearly ask me whether I felt good and was happy with the outcome, expecting me to actually answer and be sincere. If necessary, before moving on to the following steps, he would not mind additional iterations/revisions, always ready to jump on improvised calls. I specifically remember, for example, when I was working on my career goals, we had many iterations and at one point had a long zoom meeting that was very helpful to me as Soterios brainstormed with me and brought his own experience and field expertise, which significantly helped me clarify and find the right words for my short term and my long term goals.
Thanks to the tremendous support and incredibly genuine guidance from Soterios, from day one, I ended up submitting my applications in a serene mood, in a peaceful state of mind, very happy with everything I shared with the Adcoms because I shared my authentic self. I knew that the school or schools that would accept me would do so based on my real personality, story, and aspirations in life.
One thing worth mentioning is that when you decide to go with a Stratus MBA Consultant, you really gain a whole support system with a dedicated strategist, as many school-specific reviewers as MBA programs you are applying to, and proofreaders, all of them always present whenever necessary.
I feel fortunate and grateful to have had Soterios by my side on my application pre journey, and I recommend him 100%. Soterios will be sincerely interested in your story; he will carefully listen to you; he will push you to travel deep into your past and to take the time to seriously reflect on your career ambition in connection with your core. Once he knows you well, he will bring his expertise to guide you step by step. At the end, not only will you have very solid application materials, but also will you walk away from your collaboration with him with a better understanding of yourself, having experienced personal growth along the way. Then you will have won for your whole life, no matter where you end up. That's my case.
Joined: Mar 19, 2022
Susan was such a great partner in the MBA process! I'm so glad I worked with her as her guidance really took my applications to the next level, and she made the process less stressful for me. From start to finish, she provided me with valuable insight and helped me clarify my goals and application strategy. It was helpful having her support and more importantly, her encouragement and positivity. With Susan's help, I got into all 5 of the schools I applied to with scholarships. I would 100% recommend working with Susan for everyone thinking about applying to bschool. Thanks so much Susan!
Joined: Mar 21, 2020
700 Q49 V36
The MBA process is exhausting and scary; trust me, I've been there. Susan was recommended to me by a MBA admit who had worked with her the year prior. From our first consultation call, I knew that I really liked Susan. She genuinely cared about my story, my aspirations, and my goals, which was not always my impression when I talked to other consultants. I got so many great nuggets from our first call and even follow-up emails I shared with her, I knew I had to work with her.
We started in early spring with the goal of applying Round 1. We really thought through and ironed out my story and my career aspirations in the first few months. I took a month off to study for a certification for work, and Susan was so flexible and as soon as I was done, she jumped right in, not missing a beat, in our preparation. When we started our essay / short answer process, I really felt supported by Susan (and the school specific reviewers and proofreaders from the Stratus team) who really guided me in producing something that was memorable yet mine. I can seriously say I loved every essay I wrote for the MBA process, and I always felt like each application was my best work. I got interviews at all four schools I applied to, and Susan really helped me prep. When one of my interviews felt terrible, Susan was there to (1) cheer me up and (2) provide great insights and advice on how to mitigate any gaps from the interview.
Susan is fabulous and so fun to work with! If you're looking for a consultant who cares about you and takes the time to get to know you as a person, pick Susan!
Joined: May 11, 2020
730 Q48 V42
Consultant Soterios Rouman
I worked with Soterios on a comprehensive package for R1 of 2021. I truly cannot speak highly enough of Soterios and his expertise. With his guidance, I gained acceptance to three top 10 MBA programs and received ~350k in total scholarship funding across four T20 programs.
With a somewhat non-traditional background, Soterios was able to help me craft my story in a way that was consistent and compelling. He challenged me to dig deeper into my background and really understand the ‘why’ that fueled many of my decisions, and I felt that I walked away from the experience with a fundamentally better understanding of myself. He even spent time coaching one of my recommenders who is a non-native English speaker.
Stratus more broadly has some fantastic resources tailored to each school. Through their interview guides and team of school experts reviewing my essays, I was able to put forth the best fitting application for each school.
In every step of the process, I was impressed with the quality and timeliness of support Soterios provided during a hectic application season, answering my most detailed questions with kindness and clarity. He made a stressful process infinitely more manageable and I felt assured knowing I was submitting the most polished and cohesive applications I possibly could.
I'm really pleased I chose to work with Soterios, and would happily recommend his services and the Stratus team to others. With his advice, I was also able to negotiate a higher scholarship to the T10 program I’ll be attending in the fall!
Joined: Nov 03, 2021
I made the decision to pursue an MBA at an M7 school in the Summer of 2021. Prior to that, I had no friends, relatives, or even acquaintances in my circle that had went to an M7 – suffice it to say that my knowledge and understanding of the application process was lacking.
As I researched online, I quickly realized that the process was INTENSE. I eventually stumbled upon an admissions consulting ranking. Sad to admit, but I didn't even know admissions consulting was a thing haha. Susan was ranked No. 1 and had glowing reviews. Knowing an M7 was a long shot for me, I figured I might as well go with a top-ranked consultant to give me an edge.
From our first 30-minute consultation call, I immediately recognized the value that Susan brought to the table – She causally listed off programs, tips, and nuggets of information that I was completely unaware of. When we began working together, I was constantly amazed at how she could bring out the best in my personal experiences, and help me synthesize them into a strong, cohesive application. From my essays to my resume to my interview – everything was elevated as a result of Susan’s coaching. She knows what the admissions teams are looking for, and how to convey your story to show them you have what it takes. And our brainstorming sessions were essential in helping me solidify my goals.
Besides that, Susan has a TON of connections – whatever you’re pursuing she’ll have a previous client or associate that’s knowledgeable about a program and willing to talk to you. Through the course of working together, she introduced me to no less than 3 different amazing individuals that gave me invaluable insights. And even after working together she’s made it clear that she’ll always be willing to make a connection.
If you are considering working with a consultant, Susan is who you want. She truly cares. She is 100% in the trenches with you, helping and encouraging every step of the way. This is someone who has found her calling and is doing something she truly loves! I ended up getting into the M7 I really wanted, and I can honestly say it was a direct result of the guidance from Susan and the rest of the Stratus Admissions Team. Without it, my application would have been ok, but we all know that ok doesn’t cut it for b-school!
Joined: Mar 04, 2022
Jennifer at Stratus was so helpful during my process. I found Stratus when looking for an admissions consultant to help me with my essays. Jennifer made sure to listen to my unique experiences and strengths and helped me articulate my goals. Stratus has a number of exploratory exercises which helped me dive deep in to my long-term goals and key development areas. The investment into the hourly package more than paid off! I was fortunate enough to be accepted to a number of top programs with merit scholarships. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Jennifer and cannot recommend her enough.
Joined: May 31, 2021
710 Q50 V36
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]
Consultant Donna Bauman
Last year (2021), I took the GMAT and scored a 730. I did not want to take any chances with my MBA applications and wanted to work with the absolute best. I must have talked to at least 35 consultants across the globe. In our first conversation from the get-go, Donna blew me away. She was the first consultant who had gone over my resume and other details that I had shared with her before the call. She told me the strengths of my application and how she can help guide me in telling my story. Our call was scheduled for 30 mins. But it lasted almost 60mins. At the end of it, I knew she was the best consultant I had talked to. So when I asked her for the charges, I was slightly hesitant because I had not budgeted that much money for the applications. I asked Donna if I should buy her hourly services. She left the decision to me, but told me that if she puts in the hours, hourly services will cost me more than the comprehensive package. I slept over this for a couple of days but then decided that I needed to be in the right hands. And so I signed up for her comprehensive package.
I cannot thank Donna enough to have helped me find my voice to write the most personalized story that I could ever tell. She and I spent the first month only on me sharing my story with her and brainstorming the exact reason why I even wanted to do an MBA. Then once we had my story and reasons for MBA ready, she got it all reviewed by Susan Cera. They both guided me to the main highlights of my achievements and my goals post MBA and helped me articulate it as well as I could. When it was time to work on my resume and my essays, Donna did not cut ANY corners at all. She believes in "tough love" because she wants the best for her clients. During the entire essay drafting phase, we had numerous calls and she must have put countless hours in reviewing each draft that I was writing. And she was giving me detailed feedback about each draft. Only when she was satisfied, she would send the essays to the school reviewers of that specific school in their team at Stratus. And then they would give more detailed feedback on how to improve the application further. Never ever did she look at the clock and tell me that she has spent way many hours on my application that she would have liked. There were so many times when I needed to get on call with her on very short notice and before I would ask her, she would set up a mutually convenient time. Sometimes within 15 mins of our email conversation. She even helped proof-read the entire application with me. She will never write the essays or the application for you. Trust me, she will teach you how to craft your story. After all my applications were submitted (6 of them), she took my mock interviews and provided me with live feedback and also a recording of the entire interview for me to watch later and make specific notes in areas of improvement. Then there were days when I used to feel low and not confident if I will make it into any of my dream programs. And she would drop me a note or sometimes get on video call to cheer me up and motivate me and ask me to stay positive. She does not believe in forecasting how many and what all admits one will get. She only believes in crafting the best application and putting the best foot forward. I can confidently say that she must have put 100+ hours on my 6 applications.
While I am still waiting on one decision, I have been accepted at an M7 program (and got accepted in another highly selective T10 program)! None of this would ever have been possible without the help from Donna, Susan, and the rest of the staff at Stratus. I cannot be more thankful to each one of them. At this point, I am confident in saying that I was truly blessed to have been referred to by GMATNinja and that the money that they charge is way less than what Donna (and the team) truly deserve. The fact that she helped me get into a dream school and has been there for me every time I needed it, is something that I cannot be thankful enough for. She is my guiding light. My angel. I am writing this review so that it could help motivate others to join her and get the best in their applications for themselves. She is the best in the business and I wish her all the luck and love and more than she expects. I wish I could give her 10 stars. :)
Joined: Feb 23, 2022
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]
For those looking for MBA admissions consulting services, look no further than Lisa Cummings of Stratus Admissions Counseling. I cannot overstate how immensely helpful Lisa was in helping me apply to business schools this fall.
When it came to writing the essays, Lisa continuously pushed me to uncover my personal story for WHY I wanted to get my MBA and WHAT my career goals were. She was always candid yet constructive in her feedback, something I greatly appreciated. She also returned her insightful feedback incredibly quickly; there was not a single time I felt that I could not move forward on my essays because I was waiting for a response from her.
Moreover, before I began working with Lisa, my resume was outdated and in no shape to be submitted to MBA admissions committees. Lisa's expert insight here allowed me to expand and clarify my resume where needed, while removing all of the content that was unnecessary. Similarly, when I found out that I was fortunate enough to receive interviews at several schools, Lisa went to great lengths to ensure I was prepared. Not only did she send me detailed, school-specific interview guides, but she also set aside time to conduct multiple mock interviews with me.
In summary, from essay writing, to resume updating, to interview preparation, Lisa proved an invaluable asset during my MBA application process this fall. However, what impressed me most about Lisa is that I can tell that she truly CARES about her clients. Once my interviews were done, it would have been easy for Lisa to merely wish me the best of luck and move on. Instead, she took time to talk me through the decision I was making between two MBA programs, offering very helpful advice. Overall, for those looking into MBA admissions consulting services, look no further than Lisa Cummings. I promise you will not regret this decision.
Joined: Jul 21, 2019
740 Q47 V44
I come from a technical atypical background with a lower than average GPA for M7 schools without anyone in my friends/family circle having pursued an MBA. Naturally, I the MBA admissions process was a big mystery to me so I decided to look into admissions consultants. I talked to a few but stopped the process the day I first chatted with Susan Cera from Stratus Admissions. We immediately clicked because of having similar backgrounds and more importantly because Susan seemed very down to earth and was also very honest with her assessment of my overall profile. Once I took care of the GMAT in May, off we went with our journey. Btw, Susan said she will be my biggest cheerleader throughout the day I signed up with Stratus and that could not be more true.
For the first half of the summer Susan and I met every other week and would discuss in detail my background, my stories, the big defining moments of my life and Susan would provide constructive feedback throughout these take home introspection assignments. I could tell the team at Stratus over the years have put in a lot of work by looking at the activities and questions Susan would ask me about my background. By July we essentially had crafted and narrowed down my personalized MBA strategy - essentially the why MBA, why now but tailored to me. This included an overview of some key stories, themes and arcs that I would highlight in my essays.
At this point Susan introduced Melissa from the Stratus team to take a look at my story and provide an unbiased and fresh perspective. Melissa pointed out a few areas for us to focus on moving forward.
Next came in resume building and honestly, words cannot describe how pivotal Susan was in this. Due to my technical background I essentially had to do a complete makeover and Susan's skill, or should I say, art, came in to the rescue. I could tell Susan gives in her 100% because she was not satisfied until the finished results meets her high standards.
Finally, when it came to essay writing Susan worked tirelessly with me to provide ideas, tips, and overall strategies that I should employ when writing my drafts. Her feedbacks were spot on, and more importantly if at anytime I'd get stuck during the essay writing process she would promptly hop on a quick call to help me get unstuck. Once the interviews started rolling in, she helped me prep up for those using a combination of mock interviews, themes/arcs to talk about and the do's and don't of interviews tailored to each specific school.
I applied to 6 T20 programs in Round 1, got into 2 T20s with $$, WL at 1 T10, and got into one of my top choice M7 with some $. Do not think any of this would be possible without Susan. I'm glad I went with Stratus and I'm glad I got to know Susan and what a kind, warm, wonderful and amazingly talented person she is. I would 100% recommend Stratus/Susan to anyone exploring admissions consultants.