Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling
Course
ADMISSION CONSULTING COMPANY

Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling

5 stars
(5/5) - 33 reviews
andrew.koch
Joined: May 2019
Purchased Course: Mar 2019
College: Wake Forest
Major: Finance
Industry: Incubator
Country: Colombia
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Empathy and Efficiency

5 stars
May 17, 2019
Company: Stratus Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Course: Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Teacher: Susan Cera
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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!

agromer
Joined: Aug 2018
Purchased Course: Jun 2018
Verified Real Student Review

Incredible working with Harold. Could not recommend more highly.

5 stars
May 14, 2019
Company: Stratus Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Course: Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Teacher: Harold Simansky
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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.

ew14
Joined: May 2019
Purchased Course: Mar 2018
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Fantastic experience working with Harold! Highly recommend.

5 stars
May 6, 2019
Company: Stratus Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Course: Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Teacher: Harold Simansky
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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!

beanallar
Joined: May 2019
Purchased Course: Oct 2017
College: Tufts University
Major: Economics
Industry: High Technology/Electronics
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Working with Harold was the single best decision I made throughout my MBA application process.

5 stars
May 5, 2019
Company: Stratus Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Course: Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Teacher: Harold Simansky
  • Developing an effective admissions strategy:
  • Availability and responsiveness to questions:
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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!

anbeuchel
Joined: Apr 2019
Purchased Course: Oct 2018
College: William & Mary
Major: Finance
Industry: Investment Management
Country: United States
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I loved working with Harold!

5 stars
April 30, 2019
Company: Stratus Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Course: Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Teacher: Harold, Donna
  • Developing an effective admissions strategy:
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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!

nextstophbs2021
Joined: Apr 2019
Purchased Course: Nov 2018
Major: Business
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Thank you Stratus

5 stars
April 19, 2019
Company: Stratus Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Course: Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Teacher: Donna Bauman
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*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.

AnonMBA22
Joined: Apr 2019
Purchased Course: Nov 2018
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

MBA Consultant Review

5 stars
April 11, 2019
Company: Stratus Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Course: Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Teacher: Rachel Nelson, Donna Bauman
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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.

akkhan
Joined: Apr 2018
Purchased Course: Aug 2018
College: McGill University
Major: Economics
Industry: Real Estate Development
Country: Canada
Verified Real Student Review

AWESOME experience working with Samantha Merton of Stratus Prep

5 stars
March 29, 2019
Company: Stratus Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Course: Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Teacher: Samantha Merton
  • Developing an effective admissions strategy:
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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!

dreilly
Joined: Mar 2019
Purchased Course: Aug 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

5 stars
March 19, 2019
Company: Stratus Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Course: Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Teacher: Lisa Cummings
  • Developing an effective admissions strategy:
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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.

hbs_admit_2021
Joined: Mar 2019
Purchased Course: Jul 2018
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Terrific experience with Jennifer Jackson of Stratus

5 stars
March 14, 2019
Company: Stratus Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Course: Stratus Hourly Admissions Counseling 33 reviews
Teacher: Jennifer Jackson
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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.)