Our Founder

shawn oconnor
Shawn P. O’ConnorFounder and CEO

Shawn O’Connor is the founder and CEO of Stratus Prep, the world’s leading independent test preparation and admissions counseling firm. With more than a decade of experience in test preparation and admissions consulting, Shawn has helped thousands of applicants, from around the globe, achieve admission to their top choice prep schools, colleges, business schools, law schools, and graduate schools, many with full scholarships.

Last year, Shawn and the Stratus Prep team worked with applicants in 32 countries and 39 states, who were accepted at Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia, among many other top schools. Stratus Prep clients join the sons and daughters of some of the world’s most prominent individuals, including Wall Street CEOs, world-class athletes, senior political figures and international journalists, who have entrusted their academic futures to the unparalleled expert team at Stratus Prep.

Shawn launched Stratus Prep from a small apartment in New York City with just $5,000 in savings. As a result of countless word-of-mouth referrals from delighted applicants, the company is fortunate to now serve over 1000 applicants per year with an exceptional team of approximately 50 counselors, tutors, and staff members. Inc. Magazine recently named Stratus Prep, one of the fastest growing private education companies in America. No similar company made Inc.’s top 5000.

Shawn is the author of the Forbes column “The Launching Pad” in which he write about MBA admissions and entrepreneurship. He also pens a weekly column on law school admissions and LSAT prep for U.S. News and World Report. Stratus Prep and Shawn have also been featured in FortuneBloomberg BusinessweekThe Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, among other leading business publications.

Shawn travels across the U.S. and around the world speaking at the world’s top universities, corporations, and non-profit organizations about higher education. He has recently spoken at J.P. Morgan, Columbia University, Teach for America, Princeton University, and Bain & Company.

Shawn received his Master’s in Business Administration with Highest Honors (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School and his Juris Doctor, cum laude from Harvard Law School. Shawn graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service where he majored in international politics and won the Dean’s Medal for Highest GPA as well as the prize for Best Latin American Studies thesis. Shawn attended high school at Princeton Day School, a renowned prep school in Princeton, New Jersey.

Shawn serves on a number of non-profit and corporate boards. Though he does not practice, he is admitted to the bar in New York and Massachusetts.