INSEAD | Mr. Behavioral Changes
GRE 336, GPA 2.28
Darden | Mr. Military Communications Officer
GRE Not taken yet, GPA 3.4
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Texas Recruiter
GMAT 770, GPA 3.04
Stanford GSB | Mr. Fill In The Gaps
GRE 330, GPA 3.21
USC Marshall | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Qualcomm Quality
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
HEC Paris | Mr. Introverted Dancer
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Navy Vet
GRE 310, GPA 2.6
Kellogg | Ms. Retail To Technology
GMAT 670, GPA 3.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Entertainment Agency
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Quant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Ross | Mr. Top 25 Hopeful
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Well-Traveled Nonprofit Star
GRE 322, GPA 3.0
Yale | Mr. Gay Social Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 2.75 undergrad, 3.8 in MS
Wharton | Mr. MBA When Ready
GMAT 700 (expected), GPA 3.3
London Business School | Mr. Low Undergrad GPA
GMAT 760, GPA 65/100 (1.0)
Harvard | Mr. Aspiring FinTech Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Ms. Hotel Real Estate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
Columbia | Mr. Infra-Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.68
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Vigor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Comeback Kid
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
London Business School | Mr. Family Investment Fund
GMAT 790, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Ms. Freelancer
GMAT 710, GPA 5.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Sans-Vertebrae
GMAT 730, GPA 3.78
INSEAD | Mr. Business Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0

Susan Cera

Senior MBA Admissions Consultant

Stratus Admissions Consulting

North Carolina

United States

Net Promoter Score: 9

Consultant Bio

Susan earned her AB in Economics modified with Computer Science. During her time at Dartmouth she participated in Varsity Soccer as well as Varsity Track and Field. For three years out of Dartmouth, Susan worked at Charles River Associates, an economics consulting firm focusing on anti-trust litigation work.

While earning her MBA, Susan founded Marketing Week in Boston, was Captain of the MBA Soccer Club, and served as the Corporate Fundraising Chair for the MBA Games for Special Olympics, Alumni Liaison. After completing her MBA, Susan joined Lotus Development Corporation as a product manager before moving on to Open Market, a venture-funded Internet commerce start-up, where she served as a Product Manager then Director of Consulting Services. She was one of the first ten employees at Upromise where she defined the requirements for the service that has helped thousands of families save for college.

For nearly a decade, Susan worked on the Admissions Committee at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Company Information

stratus admissions counselling

With Stratus Admissions Counseling, you don’t just work closely with an experienced MBA admissions consultant to optimize every part of your application.

You work with an entire team of specialists who provide extensive feedback throughout the process.

From crafting your essays to conducting mock interviews, this team-based approach ensures you stand out and get accepted into your dream business school.

We’ve successfully worked with applicants on Harvard Business School admissions, Stanford MBA admissions, and Wharton MBA admissions, among others.

Menu of Services and Associated Costs

Comprehensive MBA admissions consulting services with a team of dedicated MBA consultants, primarily from top schools with a minimum of two years admissions experience. The team is made up of a Primary MBA Consultant, Senior Strategist, Secondary Reviewer, Qualified Proofreader, and Account Manager. Comprehensive guidance is offered per school to maximize chances of admission.
Consulting Includes:

School selection

Strategy Building

Profile & Resume Evaluation/Suggestions

Recommender Selection/Coaching

Essay Outlining

Essay Drafting

Essay Feedback

Essay Proofreading

Application

Interview Prep

Scholarship Negotiation and Waitlist Strategy (if needed)

Standard Package

1 School: $4000

2 Schools: $5250

3 Schools: $6950

Feature 4+ School Guarantee*

4 Schools: $7750

5 Schools: $9000

6 Schools: $10,000

7 Schools: $11,000

8 Schools: $12,000

9 Schools: $13,000

10 Schools: $14,000

School Add-On: $1500

With Senior MBA Counselor

Team includes dedicated admissions counselors, all with M7 MBAs and a minimum of five years admissions experience. The team consists of two Senior Strategists, Secondary Reviewer, Qualified Proofreader, and Account Manager.

Senior Package

1 School: $5,950

2 Schools: $7,750

3 Schools: $9,350

Feature 4+ School Guarantee*

4 Schools: $10,750

5 Schools: $11,950

6 Schools: $13,050

7 Schools: $14,150

School Add-On: $1,995

Location: North Carolina, United States

Email: consult@stratusadmissions.com

Website: http://stratusadmissionscounseling.com/

Provide a Candid Review

10=Without Hesitation, 1=I would advise against it.

Select "N/A" if you are a career coaching client only.

Select "N/A" if you are a career coaching client only.


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P&Q Consultant Reviews

  • Awesome Expert Perspective!
    3 weeks ago
    Susan helped me get into my top choice M7. The first thing that stood out to me is that she's really fun, but also no-nonsense! She knows her stuff... you can tell she comes from the admissions world and has the expertise to steer you toward the key fundamentals that really make a difference. I spoke with several consultants before going with Susan... they all seemed to try to sell me on their magnificent writing or deep expertise on a school... but what was compelling to me is that Susan gives you what most consultants can't: the experience of having worked in admissions. She knows how adcom ticks and can help you craft a compelling story that adcom will understand. I used an hourly package ...
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    Class of 2023 Admit
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  • Great To Work With
    1 month ago
    I worked with Susan for about a year on my applications. More than just guiding me through the admissions process, she was always there to answer my questions, give me candid feedback, and even picked me up at the airport when I visited Fuqua. I still use the materials from my application essays, knowing it was high quality and tripled checked by her and the Stratus team. With her help, I was able to secure a 30% scholarship to one of my top schools.
    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Susan Cera Helped Me Get Into Stanford
    2 months ago
    Susan played a critical role in helping me make my dream of getting into Stanford MBA program a reality. She supported me all the way through the application process, from deciding which Round to apply, to crafting essays and preparing for the interview, and helped me with every single question I had - even the most stupid questions that were on my mind. It was important to have Susan's shoulder early on, as she helped me work out a powerful strategy and point my efforts in the right direction. In the brainstorming process, she came up with novel ideas that I somehow did not come up with on my own. Those ideas turned out to be key to my application strategy. Strategy is important, but ...
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    Class of 2023 Admit
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  • Highly Reccomend Susan Cera
    3 months ago
    At the beginning of my MBA journey I reached out to 3-5 consultants for the free consultations. My GMAT/GPA are slightly lower than the averages at the programs that I was targeting so finding someone that understood my story was crucial for me. Within the first 5 minutes of talking to Susan I knew she was the person I wanted to use. She took the time to understand my background and asked thoughtful questions to learn more – this was vastly different than my experience with other consultants who were just trying to put me into a pre-defined framework to craft my story. Susan felt more like a mentor who genuinely wanted me to succeed rather than a consultant who was focused on getting my ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Susan Cera Changed My Life!
    3 months ago
    Like many people applying for an MBA, I was concerned that there was nothing special about my profile and I wouldn’t be able to stand out to the universities. Thanks to Susan and the Stratus team, I not only received multiple acceptances from top 20 schools, but scholarships as well. It was more than I could have ever hoped for, especially as a Round 3+ candidate. Susan changed my entire perspective on the MBA process. From her I learned that the events in my life weren’t as important the lessons I had gleaned from them. I started to look at even supposedly insignificant events in a different light. This coupled with Susan’s insightful questions helped me create a strong narrative around my drivers for pursuing ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Susan Cera- Amazing, Honest, Invaluable
    4 months ago
    Working with Susan was an amazing experience. Her honesty, thoughtfulness, and insight made me feel immediately comfortable totally trusting any advice she gave me. She really took the time to get to know me so that she could give me tailored advice when it came to writing my essays or crafting my resume. I came into the process totally blind- I knew I wanted to apply to get an MBA but had absolutely no idea where to start. Susan lead me through personal introspection to understand why it was I wanted an MBA, what I hoped to do with it, and what qualities I already possessed that would set me up for success in the future. If I was ever overwhelmed, she was available to ...
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    Class of 2023 Admit
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  • 5/5 Stars for Susan Cera (From Stratus Consulting)!!!
    4 months ago
    I had reached out to Susan for a free consultation regarding my MBA application in April 2020. I wanted to aim for 3-4 school applications for the extended round 3 applications for a Fall of 2020 entry time frame, however, after some unexpected changes in my professional life, I expanded the number of applications to 9 schools with a determination to matriculate in 2020. I had only ~2 months to turnaround all these applications so I needed someone with great experience, empathy, and focus. Within just 3 hours of working with Susan, I had a solid MBA goal and introspection strategy with a revised resume and the 1st draft of one essay done. Her introspection strategy extracted valuable insights from even the most minuscule experiences/interactions ...
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    Class of 2020 Admit
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  • Top MBA Coach in all aspects
    5 months ago
    I worked with Susan for two schools package. I finally received only one offer, but with half of the scholarship. At first, I really depressed about going to apply for b-school this year because I have low GMAT score and low GPA. However, Susan did really well to guide me to highlight my work experience into an essay making the content compatible to my career goal and my CFA charter holder status. Eventually, I got my offers from various schools. Those other school offers may not be directly from a package that I worked with her, but her guideline and encouragement made me reach my top choice from Tepper CMU. Stratus service is great. I worked with Susan completely online and I found no trouble ...
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    Class of 2020 Admit
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  • Eternally Grateful to Susan
    5 months ago
    I decided to apply to business school quite late in the cycle and I spoke to over 15 MBA Admission Consulting firms before deciding on Stratus. I had no trouble choosing Susan over the other consultants after just a 30-minute conversation. Susan was honest, upfront, and thoughtful. I had drafts of my essays written before I engaged Status's services, and when I compare them to the final product, it surprises me to this day. Susan worked tirelessly with me to understand my motivation, and helped distill my story into 300 words which is remarkable. I relied on her advice on everything in the applications, and her advice always led to a better quality product whether it was my resume or my interview skills. I did ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Beyond Acceptance
    6 months ago
    I met Susan after starting the Forte Launch program. At first, I was a little skeptical because it seemed too pricey. I was also an architect far removed from the business industry, with a decent GPA, but a worrisome GRE/GMAT. I am glad I made the bold step and try out the process. It is definitely a holistic approach. They guide you from what tests you should take to soul searching your ideal career. You rediscover yourself to a whole new level, you feel more confident and prepared to start B School. I was able to get into several schools and some with Forte Fellowships which is a huge return on investment. The more incredible part is that it prepares you for your career. Several ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Susan Cera Helped Me Get Into My Top School
    6 months ago
    I applied to joint degrees at various top 10 schools but had limited work experiences (2 years), was in between jobs, and had already been at multiple jobs. Needless to say, I needed a strong story to get into my reach program. Susan helped me build the foundation by having me brainstorm applicable stories on different themes, as well as by identifying the kind of leader I am/want to be. Based on these, she helped me put together disparate stories to craft quite a compelling narrative, something I certainly would not have been able to do at the same level. She also helped me review my essays. Her astute and detail-oriented feedback proved exceedingly useful. The result was that I got into Berkeley-Haas, my top school, and more ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Susan Helped Me Get To Where I Am Today
    6 months ago
    When I started on my MBA application journey nearly four years ago, I was pretty far from being the ideal b school candidate. I did not graduate undergrad from an ivy league university, I didn't come from a traditional business school industry, and my story was nothing remarkable, or so I thought. Working with my Senior Strategist, Susan, first in the MBA Early Edge program and then in the MBA Admissions Counseling package (along with my MBA counselor, Jamie) infused me with a confidence I can't describe. With their guidance and support, I was able to start thinking next-level about my applications, my mission, and my future. Four years later, after much hard work and persistence, I will be graduating from a top-20 full-time program ...
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    Jolie Duhon
    MBA Class of 2020 Admit
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  • Discover Your Story with Susan
    7 months ago
    When I decided last minute to apply for schools this year, I talked to a number of consultants before finding Susan. After the initial consult, I knew that Susan would go the extra mile to really listen to my story and find ways to bring out the best aspects of it. As part of a multi-school package, we worked together to outline important milestones and distill my motivations down to their key elements. Her guidance was crucial to putting together a compelling narrative and bridging the gap between the career I was coming from and my plans for the future. Her insight was thoughtful, articulate, and measured; she'll tell it like it is. When it came time to put the application together, Susan and the ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Stratus or Bust - Susan Delivers Results
    7 months ago
    After taking the GMAT at the beginning of September, I decided to move up my MBA time-frame a year and apply R2 for Class of 2022. Surfing through P&Q and other websites I scheduled two free consults. The first was with the associate of a popular admissions consultant. I am happy with direct feedback and tough love, but referring to their clients as 'kids' turned me off massively and soured the idea of an admissions consultant altogether. However, I had already lined up my consult call with Susan and figured it was in my interest to speak with her. Oh my god. What a difference. Susan and I clicked on SO many different things and we flew way over the scheduled 30 minutes. The moment ...
    Read the full review
    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Highly Recommend!
    8 months ago
    I am incredibly glad that I found Stratus and had the opportunity to work with Susan! With Stratus, I applied to 4 schools: Anderson, Haas, Darden, and Booth. In the end, I was accepted to all four programs, receiving a full-tuition scholarship from Anderson and $100K scholarship offers from both Booth and Haas. I am incredibly happy with this outcome and feel that Stratus was instrumental in achieving this result. I will be attending Haas this fall and am very excited! My MBA journey started off a bit rocky. After hearing about MBA admissions consulting from my GRE class instructor, I decided to approach a few consultants to get their take on my candidacy. I was almost in tears after speaking to the first consultant I ...
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    Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Worth It!
    8 months ago
    As an MBA reapplicant to my dream school, I didn't want to simply submit a similar application and cross fingers that it was going to be looked at with different eyes. I knew the areas that were under my control and the ones where I could use some help. I had an initial free consultation with Susan who helped me reassure that I could improve my application. I got a 5-hour package (at the end I got an extra hour), where we worked on essays and interview prep. My consultant (Susan) was extremely responsive (always heard back in less than 48hrs) and she was able to put my story together in a way that I wouldn't have thought. She was really good at pointing out certain ...
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    Class of 2020 Admit
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  • Susan Goes the Extra Mile
    8 months ago
    I felt extremely lost and overwhelmed when I first started the MBA application process. Although I had 6 months before Round 1 applications were due, I did not have my story down on what my career goals are and why I need an MBA nor did I know which programs were right for me, and I thought I did not have enough time to be able to submit strong applications by the Round 1 deadlines. I was hesitant at first to work with a consultant on my applications due to the cost, so I decided to try the MBA Application Fundamentals and Strategy package first. From day 1, Susan was there for me every step of the way and went above and beyond to provide ...
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    Linda Zhong
    MBA Class of 2022 Admit
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  • Made the Process Seamless
    9 months ago
    Going into applying for b-school, I knew nothing. Susan made the process so easy and straightforward. Working with her was truly a fun experience and didn't feel like extra "work" even after a long day at my day job. I truly feel like she took the time to get to know me and tailored my application experience to what I needed. I could not be happier with the results and am so glad I chose to use Stratus, and I am lucky to have been paired with Susan!
    Class of 2019 Admit
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  • Susan is Second to No One!
    9 months ago
    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. ...
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    Nicholas Bellamy
    MBA Class of 2021 Admit
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  • Empathy & Efficiency
    1 year ago
    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 acceptance at a top 5 MBA program, waitlist at a top 3, and rejection at another top 10 programs, all applications in the more competitive Round 3. As the headline suggests, Susan and Stratus go the extra mile to put themselves in ...
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    Class of 2021 Admit
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  • Well Worth It
    2 years ago
    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 ...
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    - Brandon James
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  • Application Fundamentals and Strategy/Comprehensive Package
    3 years ago
    When I first considered using a consultant, I was hesitant to commit to the price of a comprehensive package without truly understanding what working with a consultant would be like. The Application Fundamentals and Strategy option with Stratus was a relatively low-risk way to start the process and gave me the flexibility to choose how I wanted to proceed (i.e., working solo, purchasing hours, or upgrading to a comprehensive package) thereafter. I was worried that in using a consultant, I would lose my "voice" trying to fit into some consultant mold, but the outcome was quite the opposite. The Introspection process forced me to think about how different experiences in my life have shaped me personally and professionally and to examine post-MBA career options that ...
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    Class of 2020 Admit
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