|All Reviews > Fortuna Admissions Reviews|
Joined: Sep 19, 2020
620 Q40 V35 (Online)
I highly recommend working with Sharon; not only did I enjoy the process, but I felt very cared for and supported.
First, Sharon's experience was evident from the very beginning. I targeted Haas, and after talking with some other advisors, she stroke me as someone who really understood the school and program and had experience in distilling my story. Additionally, when you work with Sharon, you will get access to the Clifton Strengths assessment, which is a very valuable resource to identify new insights that can help you shape your story.
Sharon's experience as part of the admissions team was very helpful in bringing a clear perspective of what would be ignored and how best to highlight important pieces of my story. I struggled a lot with testing, and Sharon was very, very supportive through the whole process emotionally and with resources for studying. I have heard horror stories of advisors who are very rude to candidates with low scores and even had some advisors I talked to initially say, "reach out again when you have a better score." I think a good advisor is someone who will help you tell your story and overcome the barriers you will face in the process: Sharon is that kind of advisor. From her mindful follow-ups and detailed plan of action, all our interactions were very positive. I know and truly feel she cared about my success.
I felt particularly supported through my interview processes. Sharon helped me prepare very thoroughly, going over each possible question in detail and until I felt comfortable sharing my story and bringing it to life beyond my texts.
I worked with Sharon on my Haas application, and the whole process was also extremely useful as I crafted additional applications. I am currently on the waitlist at Haas, but I already see this as a success considering my GMAT score, and I am certain our work together contributed to me getting into the waitlist.
I highly recommend Sharon particularly for those who, like myself, like to have a very structured plan and clear next steps and are looking to feel supported through and through in this journey.
Joined: Sep 09, 2021
Happy to say Melissa helped me get into my dream school - INSEAD! I was looking for admissions consultants to give me peace of mind throughout the typically stressful application process. Fortuna was a clear winner due to their INSEAD expertise and network. Melissa gave me confidence throughout and even went the extra mile in connecting me with alumni.
Fortuna is very structured in their counseling which worked great for me. The majority of our communication was over email or Podio software, with 3 calls. This worked for me due to my busy schedule, however if you are looking for someone to take several 1:1 calls then it may not be the best fit for you.
Joined: May 25, 2021
Why did I seek admissions advising?
Early in my business school application journey I spoke with MBA colleagues and friends to understand what lessons could be learned from those who had already walked the path. The resounding advice: do not underestimate or neglect the non-GMAT components of the application. I would be remiss not to reinforce that same message for anyone embarking on their admissions journey.
My success and acceptance to a top program can be attributed to taking that advice to heart and putting it into action by Partnering with Sharon Joyce and Fortuna. If you are serious about your application and you want the best in the business, this is it.
• Scalable offerings – Fortuna offers both hourly billing and comprehensive packages. My coach Sharon kindly indicated that hourly should be enough for me to achieve my goals, but I opted to go with the comprehensive one school package anyway because I felt I needed every edge I could get. This was important for me because it established a sense of trust early on. Sharon was not trying to talk me into anything I didn’t need and placed my best interest at the forefront early on.
• Top Talent – I had the please of meeting many of the coaches and directors throughout the process. Fortuna without a doubt has some of the most talented and well-connected staff in the game. Each coach has different strengths related to the application process, specific programs and geographies, so do your diligence upfront. You will also benefit from the cross-pollination of coaches e.g., I decided later in the process that I may toss an application at a European program and that week Sharon had me on the phone with the ex-admissions director for INSEAD.
If you have read Sharon’s Fortuna profile or other reviews, you know by now that she has an innate and unmatched ability to extract, polish, frame and re-frame individuality - the single most important element that your application should aim to embody: YOU. I will keep this short as other reviews have touched on this point – but if you value this trait, there is not another human being that can match her talent in this space. Period.
The reason I prefer to draw your attention to Sharon’s other attributes is that in my own coach selection, my only apprehension was in answering the question: is she too specialized in this individualization thing? What else will I get? Allow me to enlighten you:
• An exceptionally brilliant, charismatic human being: If you need as much help as I did, you are going to be spending a considerable amount of time with your coach. You want someone who you are not only comfortable with, but enjoy spending time with. Sharon is an absolute delight - her passion for her work and genuine interest in you make the long hours and difficult moments not only endurable, but enjoyable.
• A strategic thought partner: I had very little direction when Sharon agreed to work with me. I was not even able to articulate why I wanted an MBA or why I chose the schools I did. I don’t recommend anyone come in at ground zero as I did, but the point is: Sharon met me there with grace and asked the right questions to give me the direction I desperately needed.
• An insider’s perspective: Sharon has years of experience in academia, and specifically as an admissions director for a top ten program. Her ability to channel the perspective on the receiving end of the application and apply it to how your application will be perceived is invaluable.
• A source of energy and accountability: I was already working 60+ hours a week and I knew I needed someone to push me. I was upfront about this with Sharon, giving her the permission to push me hard when it was needed. She heard me and took on the role that I needed - pushing when it was time and counseling with clear eyes when I was overwhelmed and disoriented.
• Clear direction; direct and honest feedback: My favorite thing about Sharon – she is not afraid to be direct and honest. In retrospect, she saved me from some very bad essay, video, and resume ideas, and did so very quickly backing her position with strong reason and real-life examples. She is not abrasive, but she is very direct. If she senses you heading down the wrong path, she does not give you a long cryptic fable to take away chew on. Instead she gives you direct, honest, and logical feedback. When time is of the essence, this is a highly valuable trait.
• Value beyond the contract: Beyond providing the services outlined in the Fortuna contract, Sharon is willing (within reason) to operate outside of scope. This was never anything I asked for or expected. For example: I shared that I was working with my organization to further develop our Inclusion and Diversity framework and principles. Later that night I had three perfectly relevant research papers in my inbox as well as an offer to connect me to the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for a top five MBA program.
To conclude, the best way I know how to help you understand Sharon, is by referencing an artist at work - as this is what she truly is. She can step back and see your canvas from a far, coming back the next day to add some hatching there, some shadowing there, and sfumato where it’s needed. She will continue to do this, sometimes unnoticeably, until the end when you view the entirety of the application for the first time and realize just how polished and harmonic each component has become.
Joined: Nov 15, 2020
640 Q35 V42
I decided to work with an admissions consultant due to the demands of my job and a short application window. I had little time to manage the process alone and wanted to work with someone to keep me focused and make more efficient use of my time. I decided to work with Fortuna Admissions after receiving a free consultation with Matt Symonds as well as a few other companies. I was impressed with Matt’s knowledge of the one year programs I was interested in, as well as Fortuna’s deep bench of former admissions officers at my target schools.
After signing with Fortuna, I was fortunate to be placed with Nonie Mackie. I can confidently say that Nonie was an essential factor in my successful admission into a global top MBA program.
I applied to a small number of one-year MBA programs (think INSEAD, Oxbridge), and Nonie was very knowledgeable about what each school was looking for and how to craft my story and strategy. Nonie helped me draft and perfect my CV, my essays, my recommender strategy, and even the application forms for each school. Nonie also provided critical support with interview preparation, and our mock interviews helped me feel confident and focused for the real deal.
As a struggled with some GMAT setbacks and a full plate of work, Nonie was also able to keep me organized and focused on preparing what I needed to prepare in the time given, and took out a lot of guesswork throughout the whole application process.
If you are interested in applying to the same schools that I did, or really any school, ask to work with Nonie at Fortuna. You will be glad you did when you get into your dream MBA program.
Joined: Aug 06, 2021
700 Q42 V42 (Online)
I was a round 4 LBS applicant and purchased ten hours of coaching with Emma Bond at Fortuna.
Working with Emma was, I am convinced, the deciding factor in my successful admission to LBS.
In the four or so months that we worked together, Emma was faultlessly professional, flexible and, above all, fun to work with. Emma has an astonishing level of insight into the LBS application process and remains extremely close to goings-on within the school.
My time with Emma started with a detailed discussion around my plans to apply for an MBA, in advance of which I'd completed an extensive written questionnaire that Emma had clearly read thoroughly in advance of our discussion. This allowed our conversation to be focussed and highly beneficial in helping to firm up my application strategy and proposed approach to LBS' written application.
As I progressed through the written application, Emma was extremely helpful and responsive in allowing me to put my best foot forward. Emma rightly set very high standards for the application questions and in particular around using the limited space in the essays effectively. Without Emma's guidance and insight at this stage of the process my written materials would have been significantly weaker.
When I was admitted for interview, Emma and I worked together on interview prep (both for the interview itself and the additional pre-recorded video question). Emma was immensely effective in helping to improve my weaknesses and again - rightly - set high and challenging standards while remaining very constructive and fair. Beyond improving areas in which I knew I was weak already, Emma helped me to identify and rectify weaknesses I didn't know I had, and I was able to attend my interview feeling as well-prepared as I possibly could be. One of Emma's real strengths is in the quality of her feedback - clear, constructive and readily-actionable.
I couldn't recommend Emma to prospective LBS applicants highly enough - I immensely enjoyed our time working together and was continually impressed by the strength of her insight and level of support throughout the process.
Joined: Sep 30, 2018
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]
If you want a consultant who is meticulous, supportive, knowledgeable about both top US and European schools and who will walk with you through the long haul I highly recommend Emma!! I finally made it into an M7 US Business School and Emma was absolutely instrumental to my success. I first met Emma in 2020. When it was time to apply in 2021 I knew I wanted to work with Emma because of of how supportive she is. Emma went above and beyond the services I had paid for. She gave me detailed feedback on my previous application as I was reapplying to an M7 school. Her review of my essays and resume was comprehensive and on time. I was waitlisted and she helped me come up with my waitlist strategy and reviewed all my correspondence to the waitlist manager. Thank you so much Emma! I am super excited to start my MBA journey at an M7 school next year!
Joined: Apr 23, 2020
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I worked with Karen for almost a year for the 2021 intake application cycle. I would absolutely like to recommend her to MBA aspirants as she is great at what she does and is extremely supportive during the entire application process.
I started talking to Karen long before my GRE - she helped me understand what schools should I aim for, what is the score that would help me get there and motivated me constantly throughout the stressful GRE process.
Over our numerous strategy calls, she was very patient and quick in understanding my journey and why I made certain decisions - she was very quick to understand several technicalities and nuances in my journey and would help distill my experiences and achievements into a structure that would be appreciated by the ADCOMs.
During the peak of the application cycle - she was extremely efficient and time-sensitive! She would provide her review comments and advice very quickly and I could always depend on her for any last minute questions or concerns. Her speed and drive even made me push myself to get a lot more done! I always felt that she was looking after my best interests and even often provided tips and guidance for schools outside my package.
Would 100% recommend to work with her!
Joined: Jul 15, 2021
I was fortunate enough to work with Sharon as I navigated the MBA application process. I worked with her during Round 2 of this past cycle (2020 – 2021). From the start, I decided to apply to five of the “Top 10” MBA programs in the US. And, with her help I was able to get interviews at three of them getting accepted into my target school!
Sharon’s support and honest feedback allowed me to portray my uniqueness in my essay and through the rest of my application. Additionally, because of experience in admissions I was able to tailor my applications to each of the schools I targeted.
Some of the major actions Sharon took for my success were the following:
- She reviewed my profile and helped me come up with a strategy for each of the schools I was targeting.
- She defined a clear timeline for my application deliverables (especially helpful with recommendation letters).
- Her approach and coaching strategy provided accountability for me to stick to my deadlines.
- She went above and beyond providing extensive feedback to the multiple iterations of my essays.
All of the above Sharon did while being positive, supportive and someone who I really enjoyed working with. Again, I couldn’t recommend more working with her. She was organized and clearly on top of things.
Joined: Apr 28, 2019
Working with Melissa at Fortuna Admissions was such a great experience.
Being a reapplicant to INSEAD, I was very stressed out that it may not work the second time. However Melissa took the time out to review my old application in order to advise me on how I could improve.
She exceeded my expectations in helping me craft a story and probed me to add depth to my reapplication essay to show a more meaningful side of my life and motivations.
Melissa was always organized and responsive. Her turn-around time for providing feedback was exceeded my expectations (usually < 24 hours). I was successfully able to get an admission to INSEAD, thanks to Melissa.
Overall, she is an absolute joy to work with and I high recommend her!
Joined: Apr 23, 2020
700 Q49 V35
I worked with Melissa on applying to INSEAD, as I considered her (and Fortuna) to be the INSEAD experts during my MBA consultant search. With Melissa’s help, I got into INSEAD despite a relatively low GPA (3.27/4.0) and lower than average GMAT (700 vs 706 INSEAD average). Melissa was very positive and always made time to talk when I needed advice from start to finish. She had great resume edits and pushed me on self-reflection for essay topics. On the essays themselves, she gave honest and direct feedback while still sounding motivating and encouraging. Super responsive as well – I could consistently count on a response well within 24 hours. Melissa also looped in Caroline (former Director of Ad. at INSEAD) from Fortuna to offer additional perspective, which was great.
At the beginning, Melissa gave me a good strategic sense of which schools I should consider and where my application would be viewed favorably. I ended up applying to Wharton as well – Melissa looped in Judith (former Director at Wharton) from Fortuna this time, which was much appreciated. Although I didn’t get in, I feel good that I made the most of my application thanks to Melissa/ Fortuna.
Last thing I’ll add is that my initial consultant hiring process was very smooth, because Fortuna has someone (i.e. salesperson but not pushy) who does an initial screening (vs most “free consultations” that have you speak directly to the consultant who is so busy and less likely to follow-up with helpful info). I appreciated this part of the process b/c having a point of contact from sales helped me find the best-fit coach within Fortuna and then made the onboarding process itself quite smooth. Overall, would definitely recommend Fortuna, especially for INSEAD.