Admissions Consulting

Stratus Admissions Counseling Hourly

Joined: Feb 26, 2020
Purchased Course: Aug 23, 2018
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Meridith/Stratus were Amazing!

February 26, 2020
  • Teacher: Meridith Dennes
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I had the chance to work with Meridith/Stratus on my application for business school. I chose the 3 class package however only applied to one school - Stern, mainly because I knew I was going to go to a part time program in NYC, but also wanted to get the experience of networking/camaraderie.   For the essay writing process, Meridith/Stratus had a very detailed rubric that they ask the candidate to fill out which forced me to dig deep into my past and why business school was right for me now. Through the process, Meridith was available around my schedule to help me formulate some of those reasons. She was able to extract details that I forgot I had, which later proved to be a crucial part of my essay. Given that it was only 500 words, I needed to make sure that my framework was concise, yet detailed enough to give the adcom color around why I was a great candidate. Meridith was able to keep me on point and paint a picture of my background that gave Stern the most transparent clarity into "why me".   This rubrik took around 3-4 weeks to complete as there were 5-6 iterations and sections. While it seemed onerous at the time, it gave me the chance to extract the necessary details that eventually made it into my essay.   I couldnt recommend Meridith any more highly than I do. I don't think that I couldve written the essay in a manner that was fit for Stern that wouldve put my best foot forward. This is partially because of the amount of details that are important that I didnt realize were.   For anyone looking to apply - working with Meridith will position you to standout from other applicants in ways you didn't know were possible.

Joined: Feb 17, 2020
Purchased Course: Aug 6, 2019
Country: United States
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I had the best experience with Emily!

February 17, 2020
  • Teacher: Emily Moskowitz
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I worked with Emily in help preparing for my applications. I had already taken the GMAT, but needed serious help in terms of crafting my goals and articulating my story. The admissions process is extremely long and tiresome and I highly recommend having someone like Emily in your corner. When I first came to Emily, I was not confident in my goals or even my candidacy as an MBA applicant. Emily not only encouraged me that I was qualified to be applying but she also encouraged me to reach higher and that I was initially setting the bar too low for myself.  Through Emily's continual support and countless revisions of essays, I was able to get into 4/5 of the schools I applied to and am more than thrilled to be attending Booth next year! What is most amazing about this is that Booth was not initially on my list of schools, but the more Emily learned about the more she thought I would love it there. I am beyond grateful to them for her help and highly recommend her service to anyone!

Joined: Aug 22, 2019
Purchased Course: Oct 10, 2018
College: University of Southern California
Major: Mathematics
Industry: Consulting
Country: Spain
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Enthusiastically Recommend Stratus & Lisa Cummings

August 22, 2019
  • Teacher: Lisa Cummings
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

The admissions process is long and demanding. As a foreigner and quite older than the average applicant, it was clear to me that contracting an admissions counselor was an investment, not an expense. I evaluated carefully different admission consultants: Stratus stood out among all due to their personalized approach and their substantial expertise. I feel they really listened to my personal needs and concerns; for example, I requested to interview my potential counselor to provide my approval before starting the engagement and they were happy to accommodate it.

I finally signed up for the two schools package and was paired up with Lisa Cummings as my primary advisor. I could not be happier! Lisa went the extra mile to understand my background and goals, and ensured I presented my best self through the application package.

Lisa?s expertise and outstanding commitment were key to successfully navigate through Stratus sound methodology that supports the entire process - from school / program search to decision - and to take full advantage of the excellent support materials, including timelines and templates for essays.

The pieces of Stratus methodology that I valued the most are the introspection and the strategy exercises. They helped me uncover my own personal key background themes / strengths / motivations and define the best personal strategy to differentiate myself and put together a coherent and strong application.
I found this work to be not only helpful for the application but also for my future job search. I was assigned a strategy advisor as well to work on that piece with me and Lisa. My strategy advisor was Susan Cera who in my opinion did an excellent job not only with the strategy definition but also boosting my confidence.

Lisa also went the extra mile diligently and untiringly keeping my application package aligned to strategy, improving my writing, proofreading my essays and resume, coordinating additional proofreading by other experts, keeping the schedule to meet the deadlines, turning around work faster than committed to give me extra time for my own reviews and last but not least, giving me peace of mind throughout the process since I felt I was working in the right direction together with the best support there is.

I enthusiastically recommend Lisa Cummings and Stratus. I believe Lisa Cummings great empathy, commitment and expertise, and Stratus customer focus and sound methodology were key to my success.
Joined: Aug 9, 2019
Purchased Course: Jun 1, 2017
College: Baruch college
Major: Finance
Industry: Retail/Wholesale and Trading
Country: Russia
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Great decision to go with Stratus, Donna, and Susan

August 16, 2019
  • Teacher: Donna Bauman; Susan Cera
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

Admission process is complex, long, and has lots of hidden unevident aspects - getting some help from professionals would be a wise move for many prospective applicants. I would strongly recommend Stratus to anyone who needs help in applying to top-tier business schools. When it comes to succeeding in getting accepted to M7 there is simply no other company that would go above and beyond in supporting you as much as would Stratus.
Before choosing this company I have done quite a selection process of different admission consultants - Stratus stood out among all due to their sharp focus on helping me as their client and their extensive expertise.
During the whole process I have never second guessed my decision to go with them as Susan Cera and Donna Bauman did absolutely amazing job and, eventually, helped to get me admitted to Columbia Business School. As I said the process was long and, at times, tiring - Susan and Donna did absolutely fantastic job in helping me stay focused and advised extensively on different options and moves I should consider. I am beyond grateful to them for their help and highly recommend their service to anyone!
Joined: Jul 30, 2019
Purchased Course: Jun 6, 2018
Industry: Sales and Trading
Country: United Kingdom
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Highly Recommend Stratus Consulting for MBA Admission

July 30, 2019
  • Teacher: Jennifer Jackson
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

Stratus Consulting made the MBA Admissions process, which can be incredibly daunting, much more manageable - I worked closely with both Harold and Jennifer, who painstakingly reviews draft after draft of my essays, held me accountable to timelines, and were beyond patient with me during my times of frustration. From creating a personal strategy to determining appropriate individuals for my recommendations to proofreading my final draft at midnight (working across six time zones and two continents for six months), they were with me every step of the way and I certainly would not have succeeded without their guidance. I'm looking forward to attending Booth this fall, and will be forever grateful of Stratus' assistance with the process.
Joined: Jul 27, 2019
Purchased Course: Sep 11, 2018
College: Tufts University
Major: Psychology
Industry: Health Services
Country: United States
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Great experience

July 27, 2019
  • Teacher: Jennifer Jackson
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

Stratus has a variety of counselors that are great to work with. I worked with Jennifer Jackson who was a delight! She was upbeat and pragmatic throughout the process. She did not overwhelm me with her advice and did a great job of understanding my professional goals and suggesting ways in which I could incorporate them into my essays, interviews, and school search. Stratus has materials that really helped me stay organized throughout the application process, including timelines, templates for essays, and sample interview questions. They offer promotions on their packages, which I would highly recommend (vs. the hourly rate). They made it easy throughout the process. Some of the upfront work they suggested was not entirely necessary, but it is easy to get it done quickly and move on to the more important steps (i.e. essay outlines).
Joined: Jul 10, 2019
Purchased Course: Aug 12, 2017
College: Johns Hopkins
Major: Psychology
Industry: High Technology/Electronics
Country: United Kingdom
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Well Matched Advisor helped land my Dream MBA Program

July 10, 2019
  • Teacher: Erik Hom
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

Overall, I think the MBA admissions process is hard work and confusing - while the first part is inevitable my adviser from Stratus helped with the second. From the first call it was clear we were a good match from Erik's education through to his professional experience in my intended post-MBA sector.

Off the bat Erik was very good at laying the landscape of MBA programs and helped me understand the pros and cons of the schools I was looking at and some that I wasn't. It was very reassuring to have an expert view especially as a foreigner applying to B-schools in the US.

Erik gave great feedback on my essays which was very valuable and although the process was tough and from time to time I received critical feedback and sometimes email response time could be quicker but in the end I think it helped me craft better essays and Erik had a clear understanding of how to put my story across.

Possibly the most valuable thing that Erik gave which should also be considered was peace of mind. Sometimes I would get particularly anxious over a multitude of things but Erik was always willing to get on the phone and he was always funny and reassuring and really helped brighten up a difficult process.

Finally, I couldn't be happier with the end result. I got into my #1 program which was at MIT Sloan and I believe is the perfect place to take the next step before pursuing a career in technology. Right now I'm preparing to move to Cambridge and I'm very excited about starting my first year at Sloan soon!!

To give a fair review I will cover some of the negatives. The help from Stratus comes at a very steep price and depending on your situation you need to consider if its worth it.
Also, Stratus offered originally a very rigid structure on how to approach the application process. To be specific there were many exercises focused on kind of "discovering your story" which in my opinion were an unnecessary use of time when time was already a hugely limiting factor. That is not to say I don't understand why they have this process and that it has been helpful to others because I'm sure it has. In the end I switched to a more ad-hoc way of working and this was far better for myself and this is something you need to consider if you'd like to work with Stratus.

The other factor I'd like to say is that I had another adviser before Erik but it was a bad match and we did not work well together. However, Erik was great and I am very happy that I got to work with him as he helped me achieve something which will affect my entire career -and for that I'd say its worth the price!
Joined: May 17, 2019
Purchased Course: Mar 25, 2019
College: Wake Forest
Major: Finance
Industry: Incubator
Country: Colombia
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Empathy and Efficiency

May 17, 2019
  • Teacher: Susan Cera
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

While working in a foreign country, I had unexpected visa issues which dramatically accelerated my MBA timeline. I completed 3 MBA applications in one week which would not have been possible without Susan's support. I had an hourly engagement with Susan and Stratus. She and her team were not only incredibly responsive on such a tight timeline, but more importantly they were deeply invested in my story and candidacy. The introspection activities, essay outlining/reviewing, and interview prep that Stratus provided me led to an acceptance at a top 5 MBA program, waitlist at a top 3, and a rejection at another top 10 program, all applications in the more competitive Round 3. As the headline suggests, Susan and Stratus go the extra mile to put themselves in the candidate's shoes while being thoughtful and respectful in their guidance. Highly recommend!
Joined: Aug 2, 2018
Purchased Course: Jun 29, 2018
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Incredible working with Harold. Could not recommend more highly.

May 14, 2019
  • Teacher: Harold Simansky
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I struggle to emphasize just how impactful working with Harold was on my MBA application process. Starting from the first meeting, to helping me choose between acceptances, Harold?s help and advice was invaluable.

I started working with Harold the June before Fall Round 1 deadlines. From the beginning he was great about taking the intimidating MBA application process and breaking it down into simple steps with an achievable timeline. Harold?s assistance in crafting my story and really honing in on my strengths and weaknesses and how they matched to my target schools set me up for success from the get go.

Harold?s impact on my application essays was extraordinary. Both in helping me with the big picture of the story I was trying to tell, and the final edits and tweaks to make the essay as specific to my target school as possible, his work was critical to my success.

Harold?s knowledge of top schools and what they are looking for in candidates in unparalleled, and this is most evident in his help with interview prep. I was invited to interview at three of the schools I applied to, and Harold was instrumental in my preparation, including offering mock interview practice.

Finally, I want to highlight the ease of working with Harold. He is always very prompt to respond to any question or request, and quick to review and provide feedback on essays. He takes great pride in his work, and truly gives person attention to all his clients.

I can confidently say that Harold?s services are worth every penny. I will be starting at my top choice MBA program this fall, and could not have done it without Harold.
Joined: May 6, 2019
Purchased Course: Mar 7, 2018
Country: United States
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Fantastic experience working with Harold! Highly recommend.

May 6, 2019
  • Teacher: Harold Simansky
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I had a terrific experience working with Harold. I was on the fence about working with an admissions counselor once I decided to apply to business school. A friend connected me to Stratus, and I am very glad I chose to go ahead with it.

From the start, I found Harold to be very insightful and his style to be very compatible with what I was looking for. I had taken the GMAT by the time we started working together, and was focused on the personal statement. I had a very clear idea of the part of my story that I wanted to tell in my application, but felt that my early attempts were not doing it justice. Harold helped me to pull everything together, not only for the essay itself, but also more broadly as I reflected on what my narrative had taught me. In the end, I was very proud of the personal statements I wrote, and felt confident they were genuine representations of me.

Throughout the process, Harold was extremely responsive. He had a very good balance of checking in when I had not reached out in a while, but understanding when I needed to work through things at my own pace. He was there whenever needed, from reviewing drafts to talking things out. Beyond the essays, he also provided me with advice on various other aspects of the application. The result was a successful set of Round 1 applications, with admissions to HBS and GSB, the two schools I applied to. I could not have asked for a better outcome, and I am thankful for Harold?s support throughout the process. I highly recommend working with him!
Joined: May 5, 2019
Purchased Course: Oct 17, 2017
College: Tufts University
Major: Economics
Industry: High Technology/Electronics
Country: United States
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Working with Harold was the single best decision I made throughout my MBA application process.

May 5, 2019
  • Teacher: Harold Simansky
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

From our first consultation, he made my anxiety and intimidation associated to the whole process disappear. He patiently heard about my background and experiences, and quickly identified the big themes that he could see playing in my favor. He gave me the hope and confidence (in addition to the tactical and editing support, of course), that got me into 7 highly competitive MBA programs, despite having relatively low standardized test scores. Thanks to his incredibly valuable help, I will be heading to Cornell this fall!

From the first call with him, I felt I had a team ?someone with deep industry knowledge and experience that would be rooting for me in every step of the process. And, as the months went by, his work surpassed my expectations in every possible way. Not only did he help me explore my background to craft my story, but he was able understand my motivations and goals, and help me connect all the points together with a level of clarity that I would have been able to achieve on my own.

I booked Stratus Admissions? 5-school deal because, after I spoke with him, I could not imagine doing any of my ?top choice? schools on my own. Harold and his team were so committed to my success, that they went above and beyond to help me with those schools as well as with reviewing my final essays for a few other schools. He always answered my emails in less than 24 hours and made me feel like every question was a valid one. Not only did he review versions of my outlines, drafts, and final essays, but he also gave me advice on how to handle school visits, he read over some of my ?thank you? emails, and was there to support me in absolutely any aspect I needed.

Additionally, Harold gave me valuable insights regarding common interview questions for all the schools where I interviewed, and made sure that I could conduct mock interviews with ?school-specific? experts from his team.

To be honest, I could keep going forever, but will just summarize it in three main points: (1) Harold was not just my admissions consultant, but he actually became sort of a best friend/therapist to help me deal with the stress of the process and push me forward. (2) He has an incredible amount of experience and knows all the top schools thoroughly, so he is able to give his clients the insights and actionable feedback that helps them craft their best story, and (3) he is so invested in your success, that he will be flexible in every way he can and will work with you to make sure you achieve the best outcome, not matter the circumstances.

Anyone out there trying to work with an admissions consultant, DEFINITELY speak with Harold!
Joined: Apr 30, 2019
Purchased Course: Oct 10, 2018
College: William & Mary
Major: Finance
Industry: Investment Management
Country: United States
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I loved working with Harold!

April 30, 2019
  • Teacher: Harold, Donna
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I loved working with Harold! He was prompt and accessible - even over the holidays, which was critical as a round 2 applicant. Harold was generous with his time, and always struck a great balance of practicality, efficiency, and effectiveness in his advice and comments. He went above and beyond in the drafting process by consulting with his colleagues and giving me honest feedback to ensure that I had the strongest application. Strongly recommend the standard package w/Harold for at least 1 school!

I also loved working with Stratus as a whole. Their process was incredibly helpful in thinking through my career trajectory and understanding what I was looking for in my MBA experience. Additionally, the depth of resources that Stratus had to offer was extremely helpful in getting my application right. Being able to receive extra reviews from school specialists and interview prep from alumni was amazing. Great to feel like you have a whole team behind you!
Joined: Apr 19, 2019
Purchased Course: Nov 13, 2018
Major: Business
Country: United States
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Thank you Stratus

April 19, 2019
  • Teacher: Donna Bauman
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

*Disclaimer - I bought a 4 school package (beatthegmat only showed hourly consulting as an option if that shows up).

Before writing about Stratus, I?ll say it?s important to know what you?re looking to get out of an MBA consultant. I began the process with Stratus with only 40 days until round 2 submission, so not only was I looking for guidance on school selection, application strategy, resume and essay review, and interview prep, I also needed a project manager of sorts to clearly lay out deadlines and allow me to use the little non-working time I had most efficiently. I had talked to several consultants and it was clear that Stratus had the full package. When I first talked to Donna I knew we would work well together (while the Stratus process is great, your relationship and ability to work with your individual consultant is the most important piece).

As far as value add goes, I can?t praise Stratus, Donna and Cartha enough. The introspective application strategy is something that contributed greatly to my essays and I would not have gotten there on my own. By connecting me with former clients and knowing where my strengths played best, Donna helped inform my school selection. My professional resume was turned upside down into a great MBA resume. The school specific essay review, interview guides and mock interviews were dead on. And apart from their own gain from my success, they were truly rooting for me throughout the process.

To speak to results, I applied to 4 top 10 programs, was admitted to 3, waitlisted at 1. Even if I started months earlier and had a wide network of recent MBAs, I?m not sure I would have produced the same quality of applications.
Joined: Apr 11, 2019
Purchased Course: Nov 9, 2018
Country: United States
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MBA Consultant Review

April 11, 2019
  • Teacher: Rachel Nelson, Donna Bauman
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

Rachel, Donna, and the rest of the Stratus team were amazing. Their honest opinions and attention to detail throughout the entire process was so helpful. Rachel has a very calm presence and I never felt rushed; she was very positive and always reassured me we'd get everything done, even when I was getting stressed out. Donna was very helpful during the school selection process and her knowledge of the different programs is amazing. I got into my top program even with a very low GMAT score thanks to Stratus so I would whole-heartedly recommend Rachel and the Stratus team to anyone looking for comprehensive help with MBA applications.
Joined: Apr 20, 2018
Purchased Course: Aug 21, 2018
College: McGill University
Major: Economics
Industry: Real Estate Development
Country: Canada
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AWESOME experience working with Samantha Merton of Stratus Prep

March 29, 2019
  • Teacher: Samantha Merton
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

To all aspiring candidates of the top Global MBA programs

Regardless of how good you are at writing essays/ high GPA & GMAT/ etc. trust me a 5 hour counselling package from a top MBA counselling firm such as Stratus does not guarantee but can significantly increase your probability of admission. The amount you will spend vs. the ROI of getting into a top school is intangible. I must also thank my friend Tanwee for highly and I mean highly recommending Samantha Merton of Stratus Prep.

My MBA applications would not be anywhere near as strong without Samantha?s input. She really enabled me to dig deep and table my best personal/professional story. She also knew a great deal about what each specific school was looking for in a candidate. I can safely say that my 8 hours with her has made me better at expressing my ideas/thoughts concisely and has made me a stronger writer overall which will pay dividends beyond the MBA application process.

Think of the process as a gruelling boxing match that lasts 12 rounds. Having her always in my corner as a coach throughout this marathon was hands down one of the best decisions I have made. The speed at which she responded to my emails every time (even during holidays!) really made my life easier and allowed me to meet my target deadlines. I got interviews from all 3 schools I applied to ? INSEAD, LBS and IESE. The mock interview I did with her also prepared me comprehensively for the actual interviews at these schools. She helped me with content, pacing, tone, brevity, etc. With one last INSEAD interview to go, I am well prepared stepping in for Round 12. She is a true professional and it has been an absolute pleasure working with her. She went above and beyond my expectations. I do not think I can ever thank Samantha enough for all her help!
Joined: Mar 19, 2019
Purchased Course: Aug 15, 2018
College: university at buffalo
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Country: United States
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Great coaching experience that kept me on track and focused on the right story

March 19, 2019
  • Teacher: Lisa Cummings
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I highly recommend Stratus overall and in particular would recommend Lisa Cummings who helped coach me through essays, resume, and interview prep. I was accepted into MIT and believe she was essential to that process. Lisa was firm in her direction and keeping me on pace, yet patient with my more nuanced questions that came up. A good consultant is not writing your essay or resume, but is ensuring you are presenting the best possible version of yourself. Lisa taught me to think of it as a branding exercise ? does your story make sense, are your themes coherent, are you speaking directly to the program of interest. I spoke with a half dozen consultants plus two at Stratus before making a decision. These types of services are not cheap so it is essential you find someone that you can work well with and understands the program you?re interested in. The staff is very flexible and responsive and have a very refreshing approach to how they handle clients compared to other services ? mainly that the consultants do not handle the sales and pricing conversations, which I found in other program often made me feel like I was buying a used car. I found a package that worked best for me and do not regret it one bit.
Joined: Mar 14, 2019
Purchased Course: Jul 29, 2018
Country: United States
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Terrific experience with Jennifer Jackson of Stratus

March 14, 2019
  • Teacher: Jennifer Jackson
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I highly recommend Jennifer Jackson of Stratus. Although Jennifer advises some applicants from the very start of their business school application process, I engaged her after I had written self-reflections and begun drafting essays. I wanted someone to serve as a sounding board for my ideas, and to offer tips on expressing myself effectively in writing and in interviews.

First, I appreciated that Jennifer could adapt her approach to clients of all readiness levels. As mentioned, I came to Jennifer having already completed a fair amount of preparation. Instead of making me rewrite my thoughts in her templates or follow her usual process, Jennifer got to know me through the materials that I had already put together myself. Her adaptiveness saved me time and ensured that I got what I was seeking out of our sessions together.

Second, I enjoyed the advantages that came from Jennifer?s membership in the larger Stratus organization. As a few examples: Jennifer shared guidance from the most knowledgeable individuals in her network. She set up a Wharton practice group interview, led by another Stratus employee, alongside other applicants from Stratus?s clients. And I received encouraging emails from both Jennifer and Susan Cera, head of Stratus, as I went along. I believe that these advantages are distinct to organizations, as opposed to independent advisors.

Third and most important: Even as an applicant who had already done some preparation, I benefitted from Jennifer?s advice. As a sounding board for my ideas, Jennifer helped me to identify my most compelling stories, recognize areas where I could add depth, and cut color commentary. She also pointed out stylistic areas to improve in my interviewing style, and our practice boosted my confidence.

All in all, it was a pleasure working with Jennifer and Stratus. I would recommend them both to clients at any stage in the business school application process. (And I was ultimately accepted at two of the top five U.S. MBA programs first-round.)
Joined: Feb 22, 2019
Purchased Course: Jun 20, 2018
College: University of Toronto
Major: English
Industry: Other Non-Profit
Country: Canada
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Best investment and truly cares about your success

February 22, 2019
  • Teacher: Donna Bauman
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I worked with Donna on a 4-school package and couldn?t be happier with the results. Donna knows the ins and outs of the process and so much more. We worked on my key themes (that become building blocks of the application), school selection, a resume revamp, and created a winning strategy. Everything was methodical yet never did I feel that the relationship was ?transactional?. Donna truly puts herself in your shoes and becomes a mentor. The perk is that you also get a team behind Donna, including other senior consultants and school-specific consultants, to provide a comprehensive impression of your application.

Amazing experience with Donna and the Stratus team. Super fast response time and always on top of things. I got into several dream schools with combined scholarships that made over 2000% return on my investment. Heading to a top 10 school. Good luck!!
Joined: Feb 6, 2019
Purchased Course: Sep 6, 2019
Country: France
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Great experience working with Stratus!

February 6, 2019
  • Teacher: Josh, Mariya
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

Working with stratus admissions has been a real pleasure from the beginning call with Josh, in depth exchanges with Mariya, and support after admissions. I am a non traditional candidate and I really needed expert help guiding me on how to most strategically position myself for business school. Stratus Admissions was very helpful from the beginning in hearing my story and pairing me with a consultant with a similar background that could provide insight into how to apply and what areas I should emphasize in the application. It was exactly the expert source that I was looking for. Mariya's comments on my essay were very helpful and it was actually a pleasure seeing how the dispersed ideas that I had from the onset became focused and powerful in the final essay. I am extremely satisfied with my overall experience working with Stratus throughout the entire process and would recommend them to anyone that is considering business school applications (especially from non-trad backgrounds)!
Joined: Dec 12, 2018
Purchased Course: Jan 25, 2018
College: university of nottingham
Major: Business
Industry: Consulting
Country: United States
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No MBA consultant can possibly be better than Susan

December 12, 2018
  • Teacher: Susan Cera
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

Working with Stratus Admissions, and specifically Susan Cera, was one of the better decisions I have ever made. Not only did they do their job: get me into one of my dream schools (Berkeley Haas), they did so much more.
Thanks to Stratus, I have reflected on my unique career and life goals in such detail that I have gone from having a vague idea about what I want to do to knowing concrete plans that I am so excited to pursue. They also helped me figure out what my resume gaps were and find ways to address the gaps. The result has been me getting more involved with the community, creating one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in recent years.
Susan is brilliant. I don?t have a bad word to say about her. She is kind, but honest. If you want to give this process 110%, Susan is the one for you. She takes the phrase ?going above and beyond? to the next level. We chatted all the time and she was always available to help, whatever the question may be. She has been an incredible guiding light for me in this process and did her job perfectly. I couldn?t recommend her higher and am so grateful I found her.
Joined: Apr 8, 2018
Purchased Course: Mar 1, 2018
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Stratus, Susan, and Donna are awesome!

November 1, 2018
  • Teacher: Susan Cera
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I worked with Donna Bauman on the MBA Early Edge for about six months and then with Susan Cera on my applications for about eight months. Working with the Stratus team is one of the best decisions I?ve ever made. At Stratus, while I had a lead mentor in Susan, so many other staff members helped me with various aspects of my application. Susan brought in different expects based on their expertise and what I needed to present my very best self.
In addition, Susan helped me craft a vision of who I am and what I want to accomplish, not just for two years in business school, but in my professional career. She asked strategic questions to bring out my true self. We developed a strong relationship and she took so much time to get to know me beyond simply my business school aspirations. She was personally invested in my success. She is also super connected with MBA students and officers. She connected me to at least one student at every school I was applying to.
Susan is also very ethical. She supported my recommenders and helped me provide them with guidance rather than simply writing the recommendations for my recommenders to submit. In essays, she provided feedback and questions and left the final decision making to me so my authentic-self shined.
From my first conversation, I knew Susan was the perfect person to help me present my best self to MBA admissions committees. She is passionate, knowledgeable, well-connected and ethical. While I am excited to be done with the admissions process, I will miss working with Susan, Donna, and the Stratus team. Susan and Donna are the best!
Joined: Sep 21, 2018
Purchased Course: Oct 13, 2018
Country: India
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Donna's advice leads to interview call

October 18, 2018
  • Teacher: Donna Bauman
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

As a PS to my earlier review, I especially wanted to thank Donna for her intuitive advice in recommending to apply and later helping me with my interview preparation for one of the top M7 school. I applied solely relying on Donna's counselling and turned out that she was right !

Donna also helped me prepare for my interview with specific tips and interview pattern for this school. Immensely thankful for her help !
Joined: Sep 21, 2018
Purchased Course: Sep 11, 2018
Country: India
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A pleasure working with Donna

September 21, 2018
  • Teacher: Donna Bauman
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I worked with Donna on my US MBA applications. Donna exemplified the most essential quality needed in a consultant ? being invested in client?s success. She worked beyond the time limits to give my application the best chance I could possibly get.

I worked with Donna on my school selection, essays and resume. Compared to many other consultants that I have met, she showed intimate knowledge of most schools (gained through school visits) and advised me on possibilities of cracking a given school keeping in mind my post-MBA career ambitions. On essays, she helped shape a compelling story in a manner, which only an experienced consultant could have done. But most of all, the killer-punch was the resume. She helped me completely reshape my ?career-resume? to an ?MBA-resume?, which I felt was an important piece of constructive feedback.

Overall I highly recommend Donna and it was a pleasure working with her.
Joined: Aug 17, 2018
Purchased Course: Sep 5, 2017
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Fantastic experience working with Melisa at Stratus

August 17, 2018
  • Teacher: Melisa Prevost
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I worked with Melisa Prevost through the hourly package and she was fantastic. Extremely responsive and supportive, she went above and beyond to provide helpful feedback on both essays and interview preparation. She is a pleasure to work with and I would highly recommend her. She is genuinely committed to your application process and wants to see you succeed. She was always extremely quick with her turnaround, and even though we worked together on an hourly basis, she came to really know and understand my background and application narrative. She is very experienced with what different schools are looking for and with the process in general. The Stratus team is responsive and invested in your success.
Joined: Aug 2, 2017
Purchased Course: Jul 23, 2017
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Cartha is amazing!

June 27, 2018
  • Teacher: Cartha
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I can?t say enough great things about Cartha and Stratus. I got into 3 M7 schools and I was worried I wouldn?t even get into a single school!

Cartha really went above and beyond while she was working with me. It felt like she was fully dedicated to me and my applications. Cartha has been doing Admissions consulting for 10+ years I believe and it shows because she is so fantastic at what she does. 100% of her clients got into at least one school this year so that says a lot about how she works. She was very responsive and I could always count on hearing back from her very quickly.

Something that I really liked about the experience was that every time I thought my essays were perfect there was another person from Stratus who would read it and give comments to help me improve my essays. I didn?t even know it was possible to do that many versions of a single essay but it paid off 10 fold because I got into my dream school!

In addition to being a huge help with my essays she also helped to work with my recommenders to keep them on track and helped me with the interviews. She gave me many of the questions that I could expect at each school and did a practice run with me.

Cartha also helped me to understand the differences in the programs and would point me to some programs that I may not have known about.

Overall, even had I not gotten into any schools I know that Cartha did everything that she could to put me in the best light. It was clear that she really cared about my applications and even has kept in touch after I already enrolled in a school. I highly recommend Cartha and would hands down work with her if I were going through the process again.
Joined: Jan 17, 2017
Purchased Course: Oct 10, 2017
College: Pepperdine University
Major: Economics
Industry: High Technology/Electronics
Country: United States
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Excellent Application Support

June 14, 2018
  • Teacher: Temitope Abereoje
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I had the chance to work with Temi as a counselor at Stratus, and I can say that her help was critical to me ultimately getting into my dream top-10 school.

I found that her guidance through preparation of my materials and the subsequent formation of an application strategy gave crucial structure and nuance to developing my candidacy for grad school.

There were times where we disagreed on content to be included, and where I initially became frustrated by our differences in viewpoint and/or opinion. However, Temi did an excellent job of listening to my frustrations when we disagreed, and then presenting her case. More often than not, I agreed with her fully articulated viewpoint.

When all was over, we managed to complete 6 applications to top tier MBA programs, and I managed to get the result I wanted: a spot at an elite MBA program.

Thanks Temi, and thanks Stratus!
Joined: Feb 8, 2017
Purchased Course: Jul 28, 2017
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One of the Best Decision I have Ever Made

June 14, 2018
  • Teacher: Donna
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I had the unique experience of working with Donna and Stratus for two application seasons. In 2016, Donna helped me get accepted by three elite MBA programs. However, unforeseeable circumstances forced me to postpone my plans to pursue an MBA. Because I had such a great experience in the past, when I was ready to reapply, I contacted Donna immediately to ask her if she was willing to help me again. This had proven to be one of the best decisions that I have ever made, as I was accepted by five elite MBA programs this year with scholarships from four of them.

During this journey, Donna was always super responsive, even during weekends and holiday seasons; the average turnaround time was around 12 hours. She managed to help me prepare seven high-quality applications within one month! She was also always thinking about what was best for me; I felt I was treated not as a client but as a friend and a family member. When things were not going as planned, she was there to encourage me and help me brainstorm new ways to improve my candidacy. When I was behind schedule, she was to push me so that we could move forward. When I was accepted by my dream school, she was there first to congratulate me. Nowadays when the application season is over, we still chat regularly to discuss my progress. I am extremely grateful for her dedication and commitment to my success.

I honestly think I could not achieve what I have achieved without the support from Donna and the entire Stratus team. I would recommend her to anybody I know who is interested in pursuing an MBA education!
Joined: Jan 22, 2018
Purchased Course: Jul 19, 2017
Verified Real Student Review

Well Worth the Investment

June 13, 2018
  • Teacher: Donna Bauman
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I recommend working with Stratus Admissions to anyone who is serious about applying to top MBA programs. I began working with my consultant, Donna, through the MBA Early Edge Package about 18 months before I applied to schools. Through the Early Edge Package, we identified opportunities to strengthen my application profile with enough time to make important improvements. Many of the improvements became core pieces of my essays and interview answers.?

Since Donna and I had already been working together for a year through the Early Edge Package, we were in a great position to hit the ground running when essays and applications were released. Donna was very responsive, genuinely interested in my success and provided excellent, school-specific feedback. Her experience as a full-time MBA admissions officer prior to Stratus allowed Donna to provided expert advice on each application and guidance navigating the stressful application process.?

With Donna?s insight and the support of the entire Stratus team, I was admitted to my dream school and look forward to attending a Top 5 MBA program this year! If you are serious about attending an elite MBA program, starting with Stratus as early as possible will help achieve your goals!
Joined: Jun 6, 2018
Purchased Course: Feb 4, 2016
College: University of Southern California
Major: Economics
Industry: Health Services
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Well Worth it

June 6, 2018
  • Teacher: Susan Cera
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I would highly recommend the profile development services offered. I'm a fairly organized person but I know that having some external accountability and guidance is valuable which is why this service appealed to me. The great thing about Stratus is that they have a comprehensive framework that they guide prospective applicants through so that you know there isn't anything you are forgetting in terms of making sure you're presenting a well rounded self to admissions committees. This is a worthy investment and a great way to make sure you get yourself ready to apply to grad school. Your advisor will check in with you occasionally and you'll get an updated document from them showing what you've done and what you're working on by the next time you connect. If nothing else, you will be much more confident in yourself going into your applications.
Joined: Sep 23, 2015
Purchased Course: Sep 29, 2016
Verified Real Student Review

Fantastic experience working with Stratus!

June 1, 2018
  • Teacher: Donna Bauman
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

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.
Joined: Jun 12, 2015
Purchased Course: Dec 1, 2016
Major: Business
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Very Responsive, Available, and Managed Expectations Well

May 30, 2018
  • Teacher: Susan Cera
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

Susan and the team (other consultants who reviewed essays, etc.) did a great job:
- managing my expectations while being supportive
- helping with introspection and subsequently reviewing essays
- reaching goals both in terms of short term (application deadlines) and long term (school location preference, etc.)

Susan was very responsive to my emails and were happy to set up chats via phone or Skype whenever I needed it. Thanks Stratus!
Joined: Jan 5, 2017
Purchased Course: Jan 10, 2017
College: tufts unviersity
Major: Economics
Industry: Student
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Crucial to my success in getting into business school.

May 24, 2018
  • Teacher: Susan Cera
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

Susan was amazing to work with! From reflecting on why I truly wanted to go to business school, finding the right school for me, and the fast response to my questions (and I had a lot), I would recommend Stratus Prep to everyone!
Joined: Apr 24, 2018
Purchased Course: Jun 1, 2017
Verified Real Student Review

I had a wonderful experience working with Stratus.

May 4, 2018
  • Teacher: Jennifer Jackson
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I highly recommend working with Stratus Admissions. I had the pleasure of working with my consultant, Jennifer Jackson, beginning in June 2017. At the time (similar to many prospective applicants!), I was juggling full-time employment and GMAT studying. Facing the applications themselves seemed daunting. Working through Stratus?s introspection activities with Jennifer gave me a starting point and was an incredibly helpful way to frame my ?story? and clarify my MBA and post-MBA aspirations.

Jennifer worked with me to set a realistic timeline given the large number of schools I was planning to apply to and, while she was always flexible when work or life got in the way, was great about keeping me on track throughout the process. She was extremely responsive and knowledgeable about the programs I was applying to ? if I ever had a question about a program that she couldn?t answer, she would reach out to her peers at Stratus to help me get the needed information. I particularly recommend the comprehensive counseling package. Having the opportunity to receive structured feedback from multiple sources at Stratus, including my assigned senior strategist Susan Cera (who was also fantastic to work with!), a proofreader and a school-specific specialist for each program, ensured I was putting forth the best possible application.

Thanks to the help of Jennifer and the Stratus team, I was ultimately accepted to three top-10 programs and will be headed to my dream school this fall!
Joined: May 2, 2018
Purchased Course: Aug 8, 2017
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

A Needed Resource

May 2, 2018
  • Teacher: Harold Simansky
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

Thanks to Stratus' guidance, I recently was accepted into the Wharton MBA this year (after 2 prior rejections!). I had the opportunity to work with Harold Simansky and I couldn't have wished for a better experience. Harold takes the time to understand you as a person, professional, and MBA applicant and truly helps you form your best application that highlights your individuality and that positions you in the best manner possible. In addition to this, other Stratus' process brings along other consultants for various steps of the application process to help review and refine your application (and add another great perspective). All in all, if you are serious about applying to a competitive MBA program- I highly recommend Stratus to maximize your prospects of acceptance. Cheers!
Joined: Apr 23, 2018
Purchased Course: Oct 31, 2016
Verified Real Student Review

Highly Recommended!

April 23, 2018
  • Teacher: Donna Bauman
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

I had a really great experience working with Donna Bauman. She was exceptionally encouraging and supportive throughout my application journey. She was always willing to provide helpful, honest, and timely feedback (within 24 hours) and was able to be flexible to accommodate with our time zone differences for interview preparations. Most importantly, she really took the time to understand my unique background and aspirations and was a true advocate to ensure that I conveyed my unique story across my applications. I would highly recommend Donna and Stratus to anyone looking for an admissions consultant!
Joined: Mar 11, 2016
Purchased Course: Jun 2, 2017
College: University of Nevada - Las Vegas
Major: Hospitality Management
Industry: Retailing/Wholesaling
Country: United States