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Joined: Oct 28, 2018
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After hearing about how other people applying to business school were using consultants, I knew I wanted to use one as well. When I first started looking at the different consulting companies, I had taken the GMAT once but cancelled my score because it wasn't in the range for the schools I wanted to attend (M7). After taking some time off from studying, I was getting back into studying but my score wasn't improving as much as it needed to and I wasn't sure when I'd hit the score I needed. Regardless, I reached out to a few companies and scheduled initial consult calls. The first company I reached out to didn't even want to talk to me because I hadn't retaken the GMAT yet and basically told me in so many words that I didn't go to Harvard undergrad and didn't work at Goldman Sachs or Blackstone so I had no chance at my top school choice. To say I felt demoralized is an understatement. I spoke with a few other consultants and while most were nicer, they pushed me to spin my post-business school goals in a way that felt disingenuous to the story I wanted to tell because it was what admissions wanted to hear.
When I talked to Judith and Karen at Fortuna, it was a completely difference experience. They were so understanding of my goals and how I wanted to convey them in my application and supported me in getting started on applications while also balancing studying for the GMAT. While I know many people navigate the process successfully without a consultant, I needed somebody who knew how to navigate it most efficiently that I could bounce ideas off of for multiple iterations at any time of day. Karen was amazing at helping bring the best content and presentation out of me while also helping me stay true to how I wanted to present it. Karen was a lifesaver during the application process. With her help and organization, I applied to my top 4 school choices in Round 1 and she helped me strategize for potential Round 2 applications that thanks to her help I didn't have to prepare. I was accepted in Round 1 and even offered a very generous scholarship and I really think her expertise at helping me prepare for the application / interview was key in these results.
My friend is also applying to business school this year and using a different consulting company. In talking about our experiences with our consultants, it's really night and day. Karen and everybody at Fortuna is so generous with their time and just proactively reaching out to wish you good luck with interviews / decision results and sets you up with everything you need for success. I would think that this is similar to the experience you'd have with other consultants, but my friend sadly hasn't had the same experience (but take this with a grain of salt, as it's just one data point).
All in all, I'm very happy with my experience. With Karen, I was able to tell the story I wanted tell and have a positive outcome. While Karen helped polish my story (and it needed alot of polishing), she didn't change its fundamentals. Her patience and care made me feel supported every step of the way. I think a good consultant is an unconditional cheerleader that's still realistic, and Karen was this for me.