Hourly Services Reviews
    Number of reviews [13]
    Average Rating:       (4.5/5)
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.

excellent service
May 22 | 2017
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     By shilpaeV 0 0

Stratus admission counseling was great at assigning me a counselor who graduated from Chicago Booth, Santosh Prasad who helped me through the application process and answered all my school specific questions honestly. He was very insightful and knowledgeable. I learnt more about the admission process and life at Booth through the process. As I had a short timeline in completing my application, I was very grateful for the timely and valuable feedback I received from Santosh. I would strongly recommend for anyone interested in top-tier MBA school to use Stratus and ask for Santosh Prasad especially if applying to Chicago Booth.

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Highly recommend
April 30 | 2017
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     By Sloan2019 0 0

I was very happy with the help I received from Stratus Prep and my counselor, Santosh.

I applied to 3 schools in R2 and wanted help with various aspects of my application -- essays, resume, letters of recommendation, short answer questions, and interview practice. In every aspect, Santosh gave me helpful feedback and edits in a timely fashion. I can say with confidence that my applications were significantly stronger because of his feedback and our rounds of editing. It was clear he has a lot of knowledge about how to excel in the admissions process and he was always able to convey his feedback in a direct and honest manner. Given how competitive the admissions process is, I'm really glad that I took advantage of this resource to submit strong applications.

When I received my interview invitations from MIT and Wharton, Santosh and Stratus were tremendously helpful. Santosh coached me one-on-one for MIT, and Stratus also put together a group mock interview that mirrored the team-based interview used by Wharton. My experiences interviewing at MIT and Wharton were much easier because of this practice.

I'm thrilled to be attending MIT in the fall. I definitely recommend working with Stratus and Santosh if you're applying to B Schools. The extra help goes a long way.

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     By pallavvyas 0 0

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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Stratus Prep Review
March 27 | 2017
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     By bamclell 0 0

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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     By gawker36 0 0

I had a positive experience with Stratus Prep after being recommended to the company by a friend who’d used it successfully to gain admission to my single target school.

My situation was somewhat unique because I was applying only to Kellogg’s Part-Time program. I’d already applied and been rejected by another top-tier program after submitting what I thought was a pretty solid application so I wanted someone to take a critical look at my Kellogg application and help me refine it.

Thanks to my previous application I’d already assembled most of my application and had taken the GMAT, collected letters of recommendation, tweaked my resume, and written essays. I bought Stratus’ Five-Hour Consulting package, with the goal of having them review the materials I had the most control over—my essays—and help me develop an effective mix of professional and personal experience to share with the admissions committee.

I have to say that I thought my essays were pretty compelling even before I talked to Stratus because I could write about unique, genuine experiences and because I’d worked as a journalist for many years and had the skills to tell an intriguing story. That said Santosh really helped me tighten the essays up. He helped identify the most compelling experiences, put a finer point on some of the arguments I was making, and making sure I included the unspoken, but mandatory elements (familiarity with the program and goals for after graduation, for example).

He also took a look at one of my letters of recommendation and my resume. On the letter of recommendation there was relatively little feedback, which was lucky since it had already been submitted, but it did give me confidence that the letter was effective. On the resume, he provided great feedback on what an MBA resume should look like. I’ve worked in creative fields for a long time, so crafting a more formal, standardized resume wasn’t all that natural to me.

Overall, I had a good experience and accomplished what I wanted, which was getting in to Kellogg. I perhaps could have done it without Stratus, but they definitely helped refine my application and, more importantly, gave me the confidence that I was presenting a compelling application.

A few things that could probably have been better: 1) I bought an hourly package and wasn’t sure how much time I had used or had left. When I asked an account manager I learned I was down to my last hour, which was somewhat annoying. 2) Santosh was very responsive for the most part, but was sometimes obviously busy with his full-time job or other activities. 3) Santosh didn’t always keep a clear picture of who I was in mind. I think sometimes he forgot that I was an older applicant (36) to Kellogg’s part-time program. Luckily, I’m not sure this really matters too much … a solid application is a solid application, which Santosh can help you develop.

If you’re looking for someone to take a close, strategic look at your application materials, I’d definitely recommend Santosh and Stratus prep.

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     By TweetiePie 0 0

All I can say about Stratus Prep is that they want you to win as much as you want you to win. The staff is fantastic and they are committed to ensuring you get what you want out of this experience.

I had been self studying for the GMAT for months and I had gotten stuck between 590 and 600 on all of my practice tests. I was devastated. Each GMAT test that I took led to a new emotional breakdown despite my studying 3-4 hours a day. I did not work this hard to go to an average b-school. I needed a top 12 school. I needed to call in the big guns.

I figured scoring 600 meant I needed to focus on my problem areas or essentially ALL of Quant in my case. Stratus Prep has a ton of tutors from Ivy League schools who have high scores which they boast. What I learned from my experience is that not all tutors are going to be able to understand your learning style and needs. You need to find one that does if you are going to conquer the GMAT. I had to switch my tutor and it was the best decision I could have made.

I saw the difference immediately. Once I finally found the right tutor, everything began to click. I literally met with him for two weeks before my test. During the first two hour session, he taught me a timing tactic that brought my practice score up 30 points in ONE DAY! I had him for 10 hours total and it made all the difference. I went from scoring in the range for Top 50 schools to scoring in the range for Top 10.

Also, the Stratus Prep team made sure to call me and check in on me throughout my process. The first e-mail that I received after taking my GMAT was from Josh Gonzalez asking how my test went. Their support made me feel as though I wasn't in this GMAT journey by myself.

When I finally took my test and got my high score and got interviews from the top schools that I wanted. I eventually accepted an offer from the University of Michigan-Ross School of Business

One flaw that I could not ignore was their poor proprietary GMAT testing software that barely let me finish a test and did not save my scores. I believe they are moving away from this to another system but that was a huge frustration that I had. If I were you I would use Manhattan GMAT practice tests. They are most like the real tests anyway. Other than that I am really happy with my experience. Its an investment but if you don't invest in yourself, then who will?

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     By NY12 0 0

I took my GMAT on December 31st, and then decided to apply to 5 schools by January 7th. Without much of an idea where my test score would end up, I had barely started my applications.

I am a white male with a 700 GMAT (with an incredibly low quant score), so I knew I had my work cut out for me. I decided I could use some help, so I did a 30 minute consultation with Stratus Prep. I talked with Zach Klein, who was really open to working with me the way I felt would be best, rather than pushing me into a package.

I was paired with Santosh Prasad, who was an incredibly helpful editor and advisor during my mad dash of basically doing an application a day. His line edits were specific and clear. He had been on the admissions committee at the MBA program he attended, so he was able to give me insight on what would be helpful, what would stand out, and what would be looked down on. Moreover, Santosh was really responsive and would go through multiple drafts a day, sometimes sending me last minute edits or answering application questions at 11 PM. The response time and communication was above and beyond what I expected.

I received interviews from 4 of the 5 schools for which both Zach and Santosh helped me prepare. Santosh took time out on a Saturday to help me prepare for an interview on Monday. When I had last minute questions, I was able to turn to Zach and Santosh and get speedy, decisive answers.

After interviewing on campus at four schools, I was admitted to 3 and waitlisted at one. I was thrilled to be accepted into my first choice school.

I don’t recommend anyone try and prepare 5 applications in 7 days. It was a stressful week, but ultimately was successful in large part thanks to Stratus Prep's help.

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Quick, responsive service
April 25 | 2016
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     By national01 6 5

John gave a very responsive, quick service and I felt like I could email and call at anytime to ask even the smallest of questions.

He acted as a source of wisdom and council at what can prove to be a challenging and stressful time. For this I was very grateful.

However, I don't think anything in my application materially changed as a result of the service (the feedback on my essays was not much more than, "this is good", "I like this" etc.). Instead, it was more a case of John giving me confidence that I was a credible candidate.

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     By Anonymous 0 5

John Buckingham of Stratus Prep guided me through the last stages of my MBA applications, tailoring his advice for my personal background and passions. The result? I submitted 4 applications to the top US schools and a top international school, and received 3 interview invites!

I approached Stratus seeking hourly consulting to help me finalize my school essays. John was extremely accessible and very prompt. John helped me flesh out my personal story, weaving career milestones and personal interests in one cohesive presentation.

Throughout our conversations, John provided invaluable input on the idiosyncrasies of the top MBA schools. And this information even helped sway me away from applying to one school and towards applying to another. In other words, John helped focus me on schools that were a good fit for me.

I give John and Stratus Prep the highest possible recommendation.

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June 16 | 2015
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     By julweis 10 6
The reviewer was admit to the schools that they applied to:

Some, but not all

I, overall, had a very positive experience with Stratus Prep. Because I am already hyper-organized and did well on my GMAT, I didn't buy a package, but rather purchases a few hours of MBA application consulting to help me define my "story" and understand what top 10 programs were really looking for in their ridiculously open-ended essay prompts.

I applied to 4 schools in R1 and got 3 dings and a waitlist. Because I ultimately started with Stratus Prep 5 weeks prior to the first R1 deadline, I blame my dings on my rush to fit in as many apps as possible into R1, at the expense of my essays - they weren't entirely fleshed out, conceptually. So with more time spent on the essays in R2 (plus a few other application boosters: promotion, accounting class, interview prep) I ended up getting into to both of my R2 schools (with fellowships!) and will be going to Chicago Booth in the fall.

I'd say the most value from Stratus Prep came from (1) the upfront time my consultant put in to talk through my personal and career history to help me identify what made me interesting and unique and (2) the school-specific interview prep for both of my R2 schools.

Response time was sometimes an issue when it came to the tight R1 deadlines, so I'd really recommend getting started early. Good luck!

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