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Anyone use admission consultants?

This topic has 1 expert reply and 96 member replies
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pantherpride12 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
02 Apr 2016
Posted:
6 messages
Post Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:35 am
I chose Stratus Prep for two reasons:
• They put a lot of thought into pairing clients with appropriate counselors.
• Their service extends all the way through negotiating scholarship money.

Working with the right counselor was important to me. While I knew that I had a compelling professional story to tell, my 3.5 GPA and 680 GMAT were weaknesses that I needed to offset elsewhere in my application in order to gain admission to a top MBA program.

Stratus vowed to match me with the appropriate counselor, and they made good on that promise when they matched me with John Buckingham. John was excellent at all aspects of his role as an admissions counselor. He kept me accountable, challenged me to dig deep every step of the way, and he left no stone unturned as we worked to build an application that leveraged each of my differentiators as a candidate.

Additionally, John's commitment to his clients is second to none -- I hones tly don't remember ever waiting more than hour for a response regardless of the time of day. It truly felt like a team effort every step of the way with John equally committed to my success as an applicant.

Ultimately, I received interviews at two of my top choices, Duke and Berkeley, and with John’s support I walked into both interviews completely prepared. Following the interviews, John helped me to negotiate scholarship money.

As a result, I am incredibly pleased to be attending Duke next year!

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pantherpride12 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
02 Apr 2016
Posted:
6 messages
Post Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:35 am
I chose Stratus Prep for two reasons:
• They put a lot of thought into pairing clients with appropriate counselors.
• Their service extends all the way through negotiating scholarship money.

Working with the right counselor was important to me. While I knew that I had a compelling professional story to tell, my 3.5 GPA and 680 GMAT were weaknesses that I needed to offset elsewhere in my application in order to gain admission to a top MBA program.

Stratus vowed to match me with the appropriate counselor, and they made good on that promise when they matched me with John Buckingham. John was excellent at all aspects of his role as an admissions counselor. He kept me accountable, challenged me to dig deep every step of the way, and he left no stone unturned as we worked to build an application that leveraged each of my differentiators as a candidate.

Additionally, John's commitment to his clients is second to none -- I hones tly don't remember ever waiting more than hour for a response regardless of the time of day. It truly felt like a team effort every step of the way with John equally committed to my success as an applicant.

Ultimately, I received interviews at two of my top choices, Duke and Berkeley, and with John’s support I walked into both interviews completely prepared. Following the interviews, John helped me to negotiate scholarship money.

As a result, I am incredibly pleased to be attending Duke next year!

pantherpride12 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
02 Apr 2016
Posted:
6 messages
Post Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:35 am
I chose Stratus Prep for two reasons:
• They put a lot of thought into pairing clients with appropriate counselors.
• Their service extends all the way through negotiating scholarship money.

Working with the right counselor was important to me. While I knew that I had a compelling professional story to tell, my 3.5 GPA and 680 GMAT were weaknesses that I needed to offset elsewhere in my application in order to gain admission to a top MBA program.

Stratus vowed to match me with the appropriate counselor, and they made good on that promise when they matched me with John Buckingham. John was excellent at all aspects of his role as an admissions counselor. He kept me accountable, challenged me to dig deep every step of the way, and he left no stone unturned as we worked to build an application that leveraged each of my differentiators as a candidate.

Additionally, John's commitment to his clients is second to none -- I hones tly don't remember ever waiting more than hour for a response regardless of the time of day. It truly felt like a team effort every step of the way with John equally committed to my success as an applicant.

Ultimately, I received interviews at two of my top choices, Duke and Berkeley, and with John’s support I walked into both interviews completely prepared. Following the interviews, John helped me to negotiate scholarship money.

As a result, I am incredibly pleased to be attending Duke next year!

pantherpride12 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
02 Apr 2016
Posted:
6 messages
Post Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:35 am
I chose Stratus Prep for two reasons:
• They put a lot of thought into pairing clients with appropriate counselors.
• Their service extends all the way through negotiating scholarship money.

Working with the right counselor was important to me. While I knew that I had a compelling professional story to tell, my 3.5 GPA and 680 GMAT were weaknesses that I needed to offset elsewhere in my application in order to gain admission to a top MBA program.

Stratus vowed to match me with the appropriate counselor, and they made good on that promise when they matched me with John Buckingham. John was excellent at all aspects of his role as an admissions counselor. He kept me accountable, challenged me to dig deep every step of the way, and he left no stone unturned as we worked to build an application that leveraged each of my differentiators as a candidate.

Additionally, John's commitment to his clients is second to none -- I hones tly don't remember ever waiting more than hour for a response regardless of the time of day. It truly felt like a team effort every step of the way with John equally committed to my success as an applicant.

Ultimately, I received interviews at two of my top choices, Duke and Berkeley, and with John’s support I walked into both interviews completely prepared. Following the interviews, John helped me to negotiate scholarship money.

As a result, I am incredibly pleased to be attending Duke next year!

MC301 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
05 Apr 2016
Posted:
1 messages
Post Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:01 am
I had the pleasure of working with Richard Cheng from Stratus Prep throughout my business school application process.

As an applicant from a top undergraduate school with only an average GPA and decent GMAT score, I knew that getting into a top-ranked business school was not necessarily a certainty. I came into the process with a decent idea of what I wanted to highlight in my essays, but lacked an overall vision.

As early as our first conversation, Richard demonstrated himself to be very knowledgeable about what each of top schools are looking for in their applicants. He was able to help me identify my strengths and carefully narrate a story for each school that enabled my personality to shine through.

I worked with him on applications to Northwestern and Michigan. I received interviews to both and was admitted to Kellogg! Working with him was absolutely worth the investment and I would highly recommend him to anyone in the future!

merkenyon Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
06 Apr 2016
Posted:
1 messages
Post Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:04 pm
I had an amazing experience with Stratus Prep. Although I experienced serious sticker shock at how much admissions consultants cost, I ended up with a full ride to my perfect school so that investment paid off 20 fold!

I worked with Susan Cera who I cannot say enough good things about. I was initially matched with her because she understood my athletic background and I was considering programs like Fuqua (where she went and worked as an AdCom). She responded to emails almost always within 24 hours, even when I gave her a ton of items to review. I got emails back on nights and weekends very regularly and she worked with my schedule as needed.

I knew vaguely what I wanted to do with my career but was so lost about how to craft my story. We jumped through dozen of possible career paths and she helped me not only write my story, but also discover what I am really passionate about and how I can apply that to my career. By walking through it SO MANY times with Susan, I had my elevator speech down to a science when asked why am MBA and why now!

The introspective period is very intense and at times I ended up writing some stories for Susan to review that I thought were dumb but she ended up showing me how we could show my personality traits with little tidbits from my past woven through my essays and application. Probably the most value came from various Stratus coaches telling me when my essays were off the mark, rambling, or just nonsensical. I wrote several essays that I thought were good but Stratus pushed me to go deeper. I can say without a doubt that I would not have turned in essays that were anywhere close to as good without Stratus.

Overall, I had an amazing experience and would hire them again in a heartbeat. You only get one chance to go to business school, give yourself all the tools to go to the absolutely best program for you.

Nchoudh Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
30 Apr 2016
Posted:
1 messages
Post Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:47 am
I had a great experience working with StratusPrep and specifically John Buckingham. Coming into the business school admissions process as a non-traditional candidate (healthcare professional), I know I wanted counseling services that would help me structure my story in a way that would be appealing to the b school adcoms. After speaking with John who had come from a sciences background as well in addition to his HBS pedigree, I immediately felt comfortable with his perspectives on the process. I appreciated the holistic process that SP encourages that forces you get to your deepest truth about why you want to go to business school and what makes you unique from every other student. John was always available and willing to bounce any and all ideas around with me. I would highly recommend working with him as it gives this somewhat nebulous process a bit more structure. With his help, I settled on the right narrative for me which appealed to a lot of the M7 schools from the number of interviews and admits I received. I was ultimately happy that I chose to go with SP and John. I equate hiring an admissions counselor to hiring a personal trainer: you will definitely get out what you put into it. I ended up with admission to a top 5 school with an amazing scholarship and can thank John and the rest of the staff at SP for helping me get there. While admissions counseling may not be necessary, if you can afford the cost (ended up making me more in scholarship dollars) it will definitely help facilitate and elucidate this somewhat daunting and exhaustive process.

Snickers33 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
07 May 2016
Posted:
1 messages
Post Sat May 07, 2016 6:34 pm
So I used Stratus Prep, and I found it very helpful. I come from a non-traditional background as a business school applicant, and so I had little to no knowledge about the business school admissions process when I started. I knew that I seriously needed guidance from people who knew the MBA admissions game pretty well, so I started looking for consulting services. As someone who comes from a humble background, I was completely taken aback by how much consulting services cost. But, ultimately, I found the investment well worth it.

I decided to go with Stratus Prep and was assigned Richard Cheng as my consultant. I found Richard to be incredibly candid and insightful. He provided thoughtful feedback on my essays and even met with me in person several times to help me prepare for my b-school interviews. The biggest way that Richard helped me goes back to his feedback on my essays, however. He pushed my thinking in a really powerful way and I absolutely loved it. The clarity and specificity that he demanded from my essays helped me gain interviews to every one of the five top business schools I applied to. In the end, I was admitted to three schools and waitlisted at two. I honestly don't think I would have been get into such great schools without Richard or Stratus Prep's help.

That said, I highly recommend Stratus Prep if you're thinking about relying on a consultant to help you through the process.

kathleengerber Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
11 May 2016
Posted:
1 messages
Post Wed May 11, 2016 10:48 am
I went with Stratus Prep after meeting Shawn O'Connor at the MBA Tour.

After realizing that O'Connor would no longer directly be involved as a counselor, I had concerns. They were grossly unfounded.

John Buckingham was matched to me as a counselor, and things could not have run more smoothly or in my favor.

John and the Stratus team took what objectively was a weak candidate (low undergrad GPA with a film degree from two decades ago) and helped me craft my story to be both compelling and impressive.

John was always patient, quick to respond to emails and always answered any questions thoroughly and thoughtfully.

I am convinced I would have been accepted into higher ranking schools in my area, but chose Pepperdine for it's philosophy, flexibility (I am a working mom), and yes, generous scholarship.

The admissions counseling package was well worth the money spent, and I highly recommend investing in yourself and Stratus.

user1092 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 May 2016
Posted:
1 messages
Post Thu May 19, 2016 6:02 am
I highly recommend working with Santosh Prasad from Stratus Prep. Santosh helped me improve my resume structure & content, my application essays, and my interview responses. Santosh gave me helpful feedback, specifically pushing me to expand on topics that would answer the questions MBA admissions teams wanted to hear about. Santosh was very professional, responsive, and flexible to set up phone calls. Overall, he was a helpful advisor, supporter, and experienced guide.

I was on a bit of a time crunch and the Stratus Prep office was very quick to respond and help me sign up for a MBA Admissions Counseling Package.

bschoolkate Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
20 May 2016
Posted:
2 messages
Post Fri May 20, 2016 1:07 pm
Scott Edinburgh from Personal MBA Coach www.personalmbacoach.com is exactly what I was looking for in a business school application consultant!! He has years of experience and is knowledgeable about everything in the application cycle from the GMAT to interviews. He was committed to making me a top applicant and meticulous in all of his work on my resume and essays. He is extremely honest with his feedback and pushed me to make every aspect of my application the best that it could be- and now I am going to my dream school next fall! I worked directly with Scott so he was very familiar with every aspect of my application- definitely not the case at big firms where junior resources end up doing much of the work. He also made it a priority to work around my schedule, both for the application and interview prep. I plan to recommend him to all of my friends applying to business school!

shubbyaluk Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
01 Jun 2016
Posted:
1 messages
Post Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:53 am
Hi there. I used Stratus Prep and they were instrumental in helping me get into my dream top 3 business school.

I first heard of Stratus Prep in 2012, when my mother was sifting online for a company that could help me apply to law school. I had a meeting with Shawn O’Connor and thereafter contracted them to advise me on my MBA applications, which I intended to submit years later. I ultimately decided to hire them to advise me on my law school applications as well. It pleases me to say that now that I got into the business school of my choice, I have no regrets about any of these decisions.

Stratus Prep’s process was invaluable in helping me refine my business school and law school stories. Their “Introspection Process” in particular was instrumental in helping illicit experiences in my life that would contribute to an overall compelling story. Each of my advisers, Santosh Prasad and Helen Pfitzner, was always professional and incredibly responsive. The comments on my essays were very insightful, whether it came from the counsellors or the school specific directors.

In addition to the content of my applications, Stratus Prep was also key in keeping my application process on track, as they ensured that I kept to the important application deadlines amidst my work schedule. Furthermore, the company reviewed my final application before submission and provided sufficient interview practice with junior and senior counsellors, which ultimately prepared me for the interview.

I wholeheartedly recommend Stratus Prep because they have so far helped me get into the business school of my first choice.

MBA Ivy Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
28 Feb 2014
Posted:
43 messages
Followed by:
2 members
Thanked:
5 times
Post Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:00 am
MBA IVY LEAGUE is run by a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard graduate, and has an EXCELLENT success rate getting clients in to the Top Ten.

There is also a great blog that provides lots of free tips and advice about the MBA application process.

You can check both out here!

www.MBAIvyLeague.com

_________________
Looking for help on this year's MBA applications? I'm a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard graduate. Check out my blog for great MBA advice and tips, or contact me for a free consultation today! www.MBAIvyLeague.com

Thanked by: BlueCoral
off2school Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
18 Jul 2016
Posted:
1 messages
Post Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:36 pm
I used Stratus. If you're going to spend the money, do your research and find a good instructor with good reviews. I worked with two consultants, one was okay but the other was much better (Santosh). He was very organized and answered my e-mails within 24 hours. Start early and good luck!

BlueCoral Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
18 Jul 2016
Posted:
1 messages
Thanked:
1 times
GMAT Score:
720
Post Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:35 pm
I used Jillian at MBA IVY LEAGUE above, and couldn't be happier. She specifically focuses on the Top Ten schools and will tell you if she doesn't think you're competitive at that level. After working with her last year, I actually got in to Kellogg and Columbia, but then decided to delay as a job came up for me in London that I decided to take.

She was extremely professional and unlike some of the larger MBA admissions consulting firms mentioned, worked with me herself (versus just passing me on to freelance "editors" as often happens at some of the bigger firms (so be careful).

I seriously don't think I would have gotten in to Kellogg without her as she spent EXTENSIVE time with my essays, rec letters, and had great prep for my interview.

When I was initially looking for admissions help I had looked at Stacy Blackman (expensive, expensive) and Veritas Prep (a large firm that farms you out), and Jillian's firm MBA Ivy League definitely gave me the one-on-one specialized attention that really worked.

Thanked by: MBA Ivy

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