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Catherine started her career in higher education at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business where she spent almost six years, first as the marketing manager for multiple departments including Admissions, the Career Management Center and the Health Sector Management program, and finally as an Associate Director within the Career Management Center where her main role was leading the career counseling team in the creation, implementation and evaluation of all career programs offered to Daytime and Executive MBA students. She also served as the liaison between the Career Management Center and other departments including Admissions where she gave numerous presentations to prospective students addressing best practices for preparing for business school from a career standpoint and ways to engage with the Center before, during and after their time at Fuqua.
For the past four years, Catherine has been the Manager of Alumni Career Services at North Carolina State University where she provides career coaching including resume development, job search guidance and interview preparation assistance to alumni ranging from one year to over twenty years out of school including those with advanced degrees. In this role she also works with employers interested in hiring NC State graduates and partners with Economic Development to support work force initiatives and employers interested in re-locating to the Triangle area.
Catherine also has her own resume writing business, Forward Thinking Resumes, where she consults with clients from across the country and creates strategic resumes that speak to the job they want, not the jobs they’ve had.
Catherine holds two degrees from NC State University including a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master’s Degree in Education.
Joined: Sep 09, 2019
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When I was weighing my options on whether or not to get an MBA, I was making really really good money. However, it wasn't what I ultimately wanted to do long term and knew that I needed to go back to school to ultimately get me into a more challenging and beneficial (long term role). For an MBA to worth my time, I knew I would have to get into a top ranked program. However, there was one serious problem with doing so: I had a terrible undergraduate GPA - A whopping 2.5. Something I never thought I would be able to overcome. I spoke to numerous admissions consultants through the free consultations they offer who advised me that while it was certainly possible to get into a top 30 program, that I shouldn't get my hopes up. Queue the scene from Dumb and Dumber where Lloyd Christmas says "So you're saying there's a chance" and that's about how I felt at that moment.
So that's when the work started:
I took an MBA math class to provide an alternative transcript (receiving an A) and I started studying earnestly for the GMAT. Target Test Prep (and Catherine at Fortuna,but more about her later) literally changed my life. While I was nearing the end of my test prep through TTP, Scott with TTP sent out an email recommending Fortuna Admissions consulting. Because I had a very low undergrad GPA (2.5), I knew that I had to hire an admissions consultant to give me a fighting chance at a top program. I reached out to Fortuna and spoke to Catherine Tuttle who gave me a sober but simultaneously encouraging outlook on my admissions chances. I ultimately chose to work with Fortuna and namely Catherine Tuttle because of the overwhelming majority of former admissions officers that are on staff there. I mean it was a serious peace of mind knowing that the former director of admissions at Wharton was reviewing my apps before I clicked submit. I needed real insight and I felt the best way to get INSIGHT was through someone who had actually been on the INSIDE.
We discussed my GMAT tests scores (710, good but not anything remarkable) , work experience, etc; and she encouraged me to actually aim higher than I had previously thought was possible (based on previous conversations with admissions consultants and forums like reddit). Catherine helped me pick the perfect amount of reach, target, and safety schools (ranging from 10th to 25th rankings). She was particularly valuable in helping me navigate the relative strengths of the individual programs for which I was applying and also in recommending programs that I had not previously considered. In fact, I will actually be matriculating at a program to which she recommended to me. Catherine was absolutely instrumental in helping me craft my "story" as well as the navigating minutia of MBA admissions such as networking with students, reviewing essays, picking recommenders, etc. Because of Catherine's help, I will be matriculating at a top 20 program this fall, something I never thought was possible 12 months ago.
So if your profile doesn't fit the box for the program you are shooting for, I highly highly highly recommend Fortuna. Yes, admissions consultants can be expensive, but you get what you pay for. However, in the scheme of things, that cost is nothing compared to the opportunity cost of missing work for 2 years and the cost of tuition. You might as well have peace of mind knowing that you are going to the best school possible. Ultimately, I was admitted to a top 20 program and multiple top 25's (with scholarship). My story is an admissions miracle that I know for a fact that would have not happened without Catherine Tuttle's help.
Joined: Apr 04, 2020
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Before working with Fortuna, MBA applications seemed daunting: Is my career goal statement strong enough? How will my plans to switch industries be received by an admissions committee? Are my essays compelling? Does my school list and application strategy make sense? I was an applicant coming from a non-traditional background hoping to make a career/industry pivot, and these questions seemed especially unnerving.
My worries vanished after my first meeting with Catherine, during which she answered all my questions with confidence and warmth. Catherine made herself available throughout the application process, never batting an eye at any late-night, stress-induced messages. Truly, working with Catherine made the process feel easy.
There were a few key ways in which Catherine helped in particular:
Finalizing the MBA resume: Catherine is a resume expert! Her feedback on my initial drafts was specific and actionable. I know that her input helped my resume stand out.
Crafting a career goal statement: This was perhaps where Catherine pushed me the most. She provided me with concrete resources that challenged me to expand upon my career goals and to explain how my industry-pivot was a logical one. After the expansion process, she was essential in helping me articulate my career goal as succinctly as possible.
Reducing essay versions needed: After speaking with so many applicants who shared the number of drafts they wrote before submitting their applications, I was shocked by how quickly I completed my essays. This was all thanks to Catherine's feedback, which helped me identify areas of my essays that needed to be cut down/deleted, or elaborated upon. With Catherine's help, essays that probably would have taken over a month to complete were submitted in a matter of days.
Emotional support: Throughout the entire process, it was a relief to know that at any moment, I could reach out to Catherine with questions or concerns. I appreciated Catherine's candid yet supportive communication-style.
After what ended up being a surprisingly enjoyable application process, I was admitted by my two favorite programs.
Thank you so much, Catherine!
Joined: Jul 31, 2017
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Catherine came in as a blessing during a phase of high uncertainty during my college applications and careers transitions. Given that I come from an overly represented and therefore, a very competitive pool of Indian applicants, I was confused between whether to go for an Admissions Consultant based out of India or whether to take the services of someone closer to the ground based in the US. At the time I was exploring, I came across Fortuna Admissions and the kind of confidence Matt showed in my profile made the decision fairly easy for me.
But it was only when I started working with Catherine that I finally started believing in the power of her insight and the value of working with a Consultant who is so close to the Admissions process as she is. From school selection, Resume building, writing clear and articulate career goals and writing & editing essays, interview preparation to the process of school finalization- to say that Catherine’s calm and rather astute understanding of each school’s application process is very comforting would be a huge understatement. Not only does she understand your application in and out, she is always ready to brainstorm and reach the most optimal messaging to put in the application, as per each school’s needs. Catherine, through this entire process, has literally just been a phone call/ message away. She has been a huge calming factor and my backbone in this entire process of MBA admissions. I have calls from Kellogg, Ross, Fuqua and Tuck with scholarship offers as well and it’s all thanks to her.
For anyone looking for a guide, mentor and friend during the MBA application process, I would highly recommend Catherine. Working with her is like a breath of fresh air!
Thank you, Catherine! I will forever be grateful 😊
Joined: Dec 08, 2016
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After having unsuccessful admission Round 2 in 2018, I reached out to Fortuna Admissions for help to apply in R1 to top 15 US B Schools. They connected me with Catherine as they thought that we would be a good fit and she can be great guide considering my profile. Today I can say that they can't be more sure.
She was very systematic in her approach and knew what the applicants’ strengths were and how to leverage them. She was always ready to talk to on any aspect of application and that is what I was looking for. I wanted to work with consultant who believed in more personal interaction/attention and did not want communication just over mail. And Catherine was exactly like that.
We started working on Resume and she made sure that every bullet point highlighted my key strengths and impact I had at work and in community involvement. After Resume we started working on essays. What I really liked about her was that she ensured that every word in essay was making sense and answered the question that was asked in essay. Further she was very punctual and quick in giving feedback. She always submitted the feedback on each aspect within 36-48 hrs at max. This allowed me to make as many changes as possible and do more and more research on my goals possible. This was game changer as from my experience of two admission round I feel that having a good research on ST/LT goals, Why MBA and Why particular B school allowed me to weave "watertight" stories and finally helped me to secure admit to top B school.
Further she helped me in structuring my essays and we were able to highlight the right aspects of my background and tell a meaningful and authentic story. After going through one unsuccessful and one successful application process I can say that it is because of her meticulous and committed efforts I could get admit from Duke Fuqua and Ross - my top choices and Interview Invite from CBS. While working with her I felt that I was working with a professional consultant but more than that it felt more like a friend and guide who really wanted me to secure admit to top schools. I would encourage prospective applicant who is looking for not just a MBA consultant but a guide, mentor and most importantly friend to work with Catherine. I am glad to have her on my side.
I also thank entire team of Fortuna Admission for their back end support.
Joined: Dec 29, 2018
While I am generally very organized with work, I knew navigating MBA admissions on top of a demanding job and other obligations would be a different beast. I chose to pursue consultation services to help with time management, "gut checks" on essay topics of choice, and guidance on resume and career goal positioning.
The main reason I chose Fortuna was because of the faith they had in me. When I was exploring consultation services, a number of places said they wouldn't take me as a client with my current GRE score, or that they'd prefer to talk after I took the GMAT. My school goals were aspirational, yes, but I knew I was competitive. Fortuna knew it, too.
Catherine was a calm, consistent, thoughtful and responsive guide. She balanced constructive criticism with encouragement and answered questions/concerns in real-time, even though I was on an hourly rate.
I am ecstatic with my results and highly recommend Catherine and Fortuna for anyone pursuing MBA admission.
Joined: Dec 21, 2016
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I really enjoyed my time working with Catherine. She coached me through three round-two applications and I was admitted to two schools – UNC and Emory which included a scholarship for half of my tuition. I’m from an over represented applicant pool with a 700 GMAT and less than a 3.0 GPA from an unknown undergrad. I truly believe Catherine made a huge impact, and I highly recommend her to any potential MBA applicant.
First thing I did was complete a very thorough worksheet that spelled out my background, my career accomplishments, career path, extra-curriculars, recommenders and my general strengths and weaknesses. Then we had a long phone-call so I could explain anything she still had questions about. I really thought this was a tremendous way for us to get to know each other.
In addition to helping me pick my mix of target schools, Catherine gave me tips and tricks to help me network better with students and alumni. I immediately reached out to student’s at all three schools and scheduled visits. Without her direction, I would’ve skipped this crucial step.
Catherine’s help with my essays was by far the most helpful aspect of this whole process. I had struggled round one, unsure which themes to focus on or what aspects of my background I should highlight. Catherine helped me not only select which topics/essays I should write, but also helped me condense them down into the tight word limits. I can’t stress enough how helpful this was. I was losing sleep over the essays I’d done on my own and probably re-wrote them 10-12 times. That totally changed working with Catherine.
She also kept me on target for my deadlines. Everything was reviewed closely by her and Judith in advance of the deadline. None of my applications were fire drills. This made the process considerably less stressful.
Finally, when I signed up with Fortuna, I had already received an interview invitation from Georgetown. Judith was kind enough to offer a complimentary interview prep session even though we hadn’t worked on the school together which gave me a ton of confidence going into the interview.
I can’t recommend Catherine and Judith enough. They really made the MBA application process easy and enjoyable process. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner!
Joined: Dec 10, 2016
I worked on my applications with Catherine after a consultation with Judith, who helped with the process later as well. I hadn't had a chance to study in the US before and I realized how little I knew about the essays, CV format, and even schools themselves. Instead of targeting just "top schools", I found the ones that were a perfect fit for me. I had a low GMAT score, well below the target schools' average, however, with Catherine's and Judith's experience we were able to highlight my other strengths and I was admitted to all three schools they helped me with. One of the schools even offered a scholarship!
Catherine supported and encouraged me during the application process and interviews and with Judith's involvement I knew exactly what to do every step of the way.
Choosing Fortune Admissions was the right decision for me and their services worth every penny. If you have doubts, just take the free consultation option!
Joined: Oct 12, 2013
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An MBA application is a bit of a slog and - coming from a slightly atypical non-MBA feeder background and a profession which entailed regular work weekends / late nights - I was fairly sure that I required the services of a consultant so that I could turn in the best applications possible. I set up calls with almost all of the top admission consultants and ultimately decided to go with Catherine Tuttle from Fortuna Admissions - that was one of my best decisions during the applications process!
An admission consultant is a slightly strange animal, part-adviser, part-mentor and part-friend. At the same time though, the applicant is the story-teller - the value of a consultant lies in identifying the right stories to tell, in shifting the wheat from the chaff! If I had to pick qualities in an ideal admission consultant they would probably be (in no particular order): quality of initial brain-storming (e.g. selection of key character points / stories), patience and flexibility, turn-around time and pertinent yet focused comments on an applicant's essays!
Catherine ticked all of these attributes in spades. I applied to three top business schools and received admission offers to all three of them. I have come to regard Catherine more as a friend than a consultant and remain exceedingly grateful to have had the benefit of her constant support and encouragement during my application process.
If you are looking to engage a consultant, I would whole-heartedly recommend Catherine's services and encourage you to set up a preliminary call with her. Hopefully, she can assist you in your MBA journey in the same way she assisted mine!
Joined: Feb 28, 2016
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I did a lot of diligence going into the process, researching and speaking to probably about 10 different consultants. Being sold by so many different consultants, I really wanted true honesty from a consultant. It seemed like every initial phone conversation I had I was being told I could get into H/S/W. Fortuna separated themselves right off the bat in that regard offering me what I felt was an objective and realistic assessment of my chances at various schools.
I signed up for the comprehensive school package for 3 schools. Fortuna touts themselves as the "premium" option amongst their peers. Their ability to do this stems from the unique set up and group of talent at the firm. The core group of founders at Fortuna all have the highest qualifications (all ex admissions directors) and at minimum review the application for submission. The consultant you work with has daily dialogue with that core group regarding your application.
Catherine specifically went to extra lengths to help me. As we both live in the same city, she met every Saturday for about a two month stretch at a local Panera as I felt it was easier to work in person.
I am not sure if its because they are a newer firm with few clients but I received far more attention I expected. Another firm touts "48 hour email response time"... Catherine never took longer than 4 hours. I had an equally accommodating experience scheduling spur of the moment phone calls to review a question.
Overall very happy. If you are reading this, you are likely questioning why almost every consultant has 5 stars and probably questioning the legitimacy of said reviews. For what its worth, take it from me and give Fortuna a shot- it paid off for me.
Joined: Jan 01, 2017
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I really cannot thank Catherine and Judith enough for helping me get into a top school. I was a prospective student with a low GMAT score initially. After starting to work with Catherine and Judith, I ended up delaying my application. This was because we decided I needed to get my GMAT score up in order to apply and get accepted into a top school. They could've pushed me to just apply the first time around because it was easier, but they guided me toward the longer, harder road. Because I delayed and restarted my application the next year, they essentially worked with me twice. They were so supportive the entire time and really pushed me to get my story straight. Each of our session were like a therapy session to dig deeper and bring out my true story. We looked to showcase my authentic self in my application and I cannot thank Catherine and Judith for pushing me on this.