The Most Favorably Reviewed MBA Admission Consulting Firms

Caroline Diarte Edwards

Caroline Diarte Edwards, a co-founder of Fortuna Admissions and former head of admissions at INSEAD

Fortuna Admissions

Q: Tell me a little bit about the firm. Size, number of full-time or part-time admissions consultants, how long you’ve been in business, and who do you serve?

A: Fortuna Admissions is a dream team of former MBA Admissions Directors from the world’s top business schools. Our clients are young achievers from around the globe who aspire to study at one of the world’s best business schools. Our team has 40 former admissions directors and business school insiders from 18 of the top 20 MBA programs, and this year is our 10-year anniversary. Our DNA hasn’t changed since our founding ten years ago: our goal is to provide inside-track expertise to candidates and leverage the insights of those who truly know the schools inside out. This positioning has really resonated with the market. Our clients understand the value of working with a team that has first-hand knowledge of MBA admissions and can demystify the process in order to co-create an informed strategy.

Q: What is your firm best known for?

A: Fortuna Admissions consultants are passionate and talented coaches who are also former MBA admissions directors and senior professionals from the world’s top business schools. Having been on the “other side” as MBA admission gatekeepers, we know first-hand what admissions are looking for in a candidate. When you work with Fortuna, you leverage the expertise of someone who has been an insider and has seen the reasons why thousands of others have either succeeded or failed. Our team members are also frequent contributors to top business publications and enjoy close ties with admissions directors, faculty, and deans from top institutions around the globe. Beyond the excellence we provide our clients, we’re best known for our insider experience coupled with our deep industry expertise.

Q: What makes your firm unique and differentiates you from other firms, large or small?

A: As noted above, Fortuna consultants have been gatekeepers to the world’s best business schools, and our team’s experience is second to none. This level of insider perspective into how an applicant’s candidacy will compare to the thousands of others in the pool – and how best to distinguish his or her profile and uniqueness – is part of what distinguishes Fortuna from other MBA consulting firms. We also have a boutique, high-touch approach – it’s important to us that we get to know our clients deeply, so we prefer to focus on a small number of clients where we can really have a high impact.

Q: Do you have a roadmap or formula for the MBA applicant?

A: We listen first, then take a team approach. Once we understand a client’s experience, credentials, and goals, together we develop the strategic positioning of your candidacy. It’s an iterative process, in which we co-create a clear storyline and personal branding, with a plan for mitigating any weaknesses and a timeline for the plan of attack. While we are guided by a thoughtful methodology, there’s no set formula, as each plan and positioning are customized to meet each client’s unique needs and priorities.

Q: Since you opened doors, how many MBA seekers have you helped to gain acceptance? How many successful applicants?

Since our genesis in 2012, we’ve helped thousands of applicants gain admission to the MBA program of their dreams.

Q: How can an applicant tell if your firm is good for them to help them through the application process?

A: Requesting a free consultation call is the first step to assessing mutual fit so a candidate can be confident in maximizing their effort, time, and investment in an MBA admissions coach. At Fortuna Admissions, we take great pride in these calls and in making these connections, because we believe deeply that our role is to be honest and authentic with the candidates who reach out to us, drawing on our collective admissions experience to offer tangible advice from the first discussion that will help to guide them in their decision-making process.

Q: Do you ever refer people to other firms?

A: We have a deep bench at Fortuna Admissions. With 40 former MBA admissions directors, associate deans, and business school insiders on our team, we are thoughtful about matching prospective candidates with the coach that best suits their needs and aspirations. This means we draw upon subject or school experts as needed, and rarely refer outside the firm.

Q: Give us one free tip for applicants:

A: Says Fortuna Co-Founder Matt Symonds: Though the selectivity of the top MBA programs can be daunting, my advice is to embrace this opportunity to think about what you really hope to achieve in life, and enjoy applying to business school. Just as you can tell when somebody is smiling on the other end of the telephone, so it is with admissions officers – they can tell when you have enjoyed this chance for self-reflection, and the outcome is always more positive.

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