Stratus Admissions Counseling Admissions Consulting Reviews
    Number of reviews [129]
    Average Rating:       (4.7/5)
Stratus Admissions Counseling MBA Admissions Counseling Packages [116]
Stratus Admissions Counseling Hourly Services [13]
Stratus Admissions Counseling
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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2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
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     By Philip212 1 0

Overall I moderately impressed with Stratus’s package. I felt like they were a little conservative in their school selection (Obviously it’s to their incentive to get you into school and not risk it on a better school). I felt the packet that was provided was not very useful. Seemed too structured and one size fit all. I did get into every school I applied to so far, still waiting to hear back from one but am satisfied with at least one of the three I have been admitted to.

My personal consultant, Santosh, was very helpful and always responded quickly. He seemed very interested in me getting in and guiding my decision. He definitely would deserve a 5 star rating.

In sum Stratus is worth the money if you really need a guiding hand in the process. They are not magic workers and really don’t have any secret sauce so if you are a good planner you are probably better off just paying for review of essays by them or someone else.

I should note that they are providing me a $20 Amazon gift card for providing this review.

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     By anotherapplicant 11 7

As I began my MBA application journey almost 12 months ago, I was referred to Stratus Admissions Counselling by two of my very close friends who got into Top 10 schools with Stratus's help.

Going into the process, I had only one constraint - I wanted to go into a Top 15 school this year (2017) and was not willing to wait an extra year or two. However, I had a lot of things going against me - belonging to an over-represented demographic, sub 680 GMAT score, 3 - 3.3 GPA and 10 months of full-time experience (2yrs at matriculation). Therefore, I signed up for the 4 school senior MBA counselor package and based on my friends seamless experience with Salma, I requested to be paired with her.

Overall, I had an incredible experience working with Salma. She was very responsive (sometimes even working through weekends and holidays), acted more like a mentor than a consultant throughout the process, and really helped me dig deep to put together my life story. Apart from helping me with my story, essays, resume etc., she also kept pushing me to improve my GMAT (and eventually I did by over 70 points), suggested ways to overcome my low GPA and less than average number of years of work experience. Another thing I loved about Salma was the interview prep that I received from her - countless number of insightful mock sessions before each of my interviews.

I ended up applying to 4 top 10 schools in R1 but unfortunately was not accepted to any. Again, Salma and Josh proved to be saviors, helped me pick myself up, and as promised (the 4 school guarantee), they offered to help me with another set of 4 schools in R2 without any charge. This time around, I applied to a mix of 4 Top 10-20 schools, and have been very fortunate to be accepted into a Top 15 program - one of my top choices.

Given the things that were going against me, I am very grateful to have been accepted into a top program this year, and without a doubt, it would not have been possible without Salma and the whole stratus team - they are simply awesome. I truly believe in their process and skills to help a candidate put forward one's best foot, and hence I referred two of my other close friends to utilize their help. So, no matter which stage of the process you are in, if you are thinking about hiring a consultancy, Stratus (and Salma) are the only way to go.

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     By gmatgmatgmat889 0 0

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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     By riegelw 0 0

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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2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
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     By Wigglestar 0 0

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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Comments [3]
1 Commented by susancera on February 15, 2017
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.
2 Commented by StratusMBACounselor on February 16, 2017
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!
3 Commented by Erjan_S on October 31, 2017
Hi! Congrats on getting to top school! What school did you get to? Your profile still shows 3 schools for 2019 class - not updated?
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     By Chhonks 7 1

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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Awesome Experience
February 06 | 2017
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     By mishyneha84 0 0

Overall, i am highly satisfied with the counselling services of stratus prep. Although the prices are on higher range but you need to compromise on few things to achieve others. They provided great support at each step to review, improve and validate your MBA story. I personally recommend working with Santosh since he is highly committed towards his work and was available almost anytime you would ask. His turn around time was so quick that it was difficult for me to match but in a way it helped me wrapping up all the applications on time. Initially, when i signed up with stratus prep i was very nervous on taking up the applications and completing them on time but Santosh kept me motivated and suggested me to take one step at a time. We worked very closely in writing and reviewing each essay which kept me motivated to finish applications in piece-meal fashion.
I am full time working mom of a 3.55 year old and it became really challenging for me to proceed with MBA applications along with managing work, family, kid and social life. I have also attempted GMAT and MBA applications in the past 2 years but was never able to succeed because of other responsibilities. But this time, i decided to take counselling services from Stratus prep which kept me disciplined throughout to complete my applications. Before working with Santosh, it became so difficult for me to write an essay and send it for review to one of my friend and re-work on his reviews because every body is busy in their own life and no one really cares to respond on time. If you have time, energy and people around you to review your essays then, that's great you should avail those services. But otherwise, be bold to spend and avail counselling services if you are really serious about MBA.

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Terrific Experience
January 30 | 2017
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     By jkh19041 0 0

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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2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
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     By andyraina 1 0

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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     By semron62 0 0

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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