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Heidi Hillis graduated from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1998, where she was the student chair of the Global Management Program (GMP) and helped craft the first Global Management Immersion Experience (GMIX) to China in 1997. For several years she served as an alumni interviewer for the Stanford GSB.
Heidi’s 24-year career in business has taken her across the globe, helping her to develop a truly international perspective on the value of a business education. She has worked as a director of micro-finance for a nonprofit in Russia, a amanagement consultant for McKinsey & Co. in London, a senior product manager for a European e-commerce company, and a finance director for a major South American telecom. Most recently she helped launch an industrial minerals company in southern Chile.
In the course of her career Heidi has created several business internship programs and has interviewed hundreds of job applicants. In addition to the MBA she holds an MA (1991) and BA (1990) from Stanford University.
Joined: Jan 29, 2019
I had at least a dozen assessment calls with other consultants before I was referred to Heidi. I was told by all of them that my chances of getting into the two schools that I applied to were slim to none, and no one that I spoke to seemed excited to work with me. I knew that Heidi was the right partner for me for this process during our first phone call. She was encouraging throughout the entire process, and she did a great job identifying my strengths. Going into the application process, I had no idea what I wanted to write about, but Heidi spent a lot of time working with me to craft the story I wanted to tell. I was ultimately accepted to my top choice (Stanford), and I feel immense gratitude for her her help.
Joined: Jan 09, 2019
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I worked with Heidi Hillis throughout my business school application process. She offered critical/actionable feedback and provided creative/interesting insights every single step of the way! She helped me to uncover and articulate my story and goals in a clear and compelling fashion. As a result of this support, I got into my top two programs (HBS and LBS) and received one of the largest scholarships possible at LBS.
Furthermore, Heidi is very responsive and flexible - she worked around my hectic schedule and took calls on weekends and before/after work as needed. The Fortuna team as a whole is very talented, professional, and enjoyable to work with. Although Heidi was my consultant, she pulled in experts for particular parts of my application and questions as they come up. Everyone was very helpful!
I highly recommend Fortuna and Heidi Hillis in particular!
Joined: Jan 30, 2016
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As a reapplicant and a slightly 'older' candidate compared to the average age of MBA aspirants, many of the consultants that I initially spoke to showed half-hearted enthusiasm about my otherwise competitive profile. Of the one's that were optimistic and keen to work together, I finally decided to go with Fortuna Admissions post the more than heartening conversations with Matt and Heidi.
It was clear to me from the start that Heidi knew what she was doing. From our association over the past few months, her knowledge, experience, perfectionism and affability have stood out!
With her experience of having served on Stanford's admissions committee and working as an MBA consultant, Heidi had detailed knowledge of the entire application process and a keen eye for loopholes. From Day 1, she asked me to do thorough research on my post MBA plans. The Fortuna templates that she asked me to fill were extremely helpful for guiding my research. During this time, Heidi also went out of her way to connect me to her previous clients who were involved in similar career tracks. By the end of this first step, I knew that I was in good hands and that Heidi will be able to help me see the areas of improvement that I wasn't being able to.
Once we got into the essays, I was impressed by Heidi's perfectionism. Not only did she help me see the weaknesses that I had not spotted, but also helped me identify the strengths that I was underplaying. Through her guidance and insistence on talking about "real" experiences, my essays sounded better than my previous attempt from the very first draft. But, Heidi wouldn't give a green signal to an essay unless she was convinced about every single example, word, punctuation! It wouldn't matter if we had to go through 20 drafts or start again after coming mid-way with one line of thought. At the end of this process, my essays sounded so authentic! I finally understood what the MBA blogs meant when they spoke about "letting your personality shine". My essays were 100% mine in story, language and sentiment!
A few months into working with Heidi, I realised that I felt comfortable talking to her about anything in my life. Her genuine understanding and warmth allowed me to discuss anything that I wanted to and she always gave me the most sound advice, be it on the applications or anything at all regarding the MBA experience.
This entire experience ended with me securing admission at one of the top US B-schools! I cannot thank Heidi enough for her guidance, support and encouragement. She's phenomenal as an MBA consultant and a blessing as a guide and mentor (that's how I started seeing her after a while).
Joined: Jun 20, 2018
I had a great experience with Fortuna - I got in to my top choice program and received an almost full fellowship at another M7 school. In my experience, Fortuna's greatest strength is that they have consultants who have worked for the admissions teams of many of the top schools. As a result, there was always someone available to answer my school-specific questions in a very insightful way. Everyone I interacted with at Fortuna was professional, helpful, and reliable.
I worked with Heidi, and she was amazing! She did a great job perfecting my "story", coaching my recommenders, and helping me understand and articulate my goals. Heidi seemed to know more about my story than I did and she had great ideas and edits for all my essays. She's very good at constructive criticism - we rewrote my HBS essay probably 50 times. She was easy to communicate with (despite being in different, and constantly changing, time zones) - she always responded within a day and scheduled meetings whenever I asked. My applications were a million times better than they would have been without Fortuna, and I'm so happy that I chose this firm.
Joined: Oct 21, 2017
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Before choosing to go with Fortuna, I had conducted Skype interviews with about a dozen admission consultants. Most looked at my dry credentials and concluded I have little to no chance of being admitted to an M7 B-school, disregarding what I had though were some appealing elements of my prospective application.
The first time my “story” was essentially and holistically examined was during my first Skype call with Judith, who offered a complex, data and experience driven analysis of my chances of being admitted to several target schools. 6 months after that initial call, I can wholeheartedly say that I have made the right call in choosing the most professional, experienced and amiable admission consultancy firm I possibly could have asked for.
From the moment I started working with Heidi and Judith, I have received their full and undivided attention. Whether it was rethinking my application strategy, seeking advice on timelines and task prioritisation, or most importantly, the relentless editing of my application materials until they were absolutely flawless - Heidi and Judith were there for me and at no point did they cut corners or shy away from hard work to be done. As far as they were concerned, as long as I wanted to further perfect an essay, even for the 15th time, they were enthusiastically up for the task. They continuously made me feel like they were worth every cent I had paid for their superior service and extremely valuable baggage of MBA admissions experience.
When I first interviewed admission consultants, a consultant from one of the most established firms in the industry told me that I “was not even in the ballpark for an M7 school”. Thanks to Fortuna, enhancing and streamlining my work, I was accepted to the Columbia Business School MBA program, an M7 school.
Joined: Apr 22, 2018
Heidi is an expert at recognizing your strengths and getting the best out of you!
1) I was not very confident with my essay writing, so having Heidi's help and encouragement was invaluable. Heidi is very well-rounded and she played key role in defining my career goals and polishing my essays.
2) I had a relatively rushed application timeline and was traveling for business a lot. Heidi was able to accommodate.
3) Heidi has deep knowledge on the GSB and HBS application and you will also have access to other experts at Fortuna as well!
I am very happy with the final results that I got into my favorite schools. I would recommend Heidi to prospective applicants.
Joined: Apr 11, 2018
I worked with Heidi on my MBA essays and resume, and I highly recommend her! She was very responsive and insightful. She helped me establish a good foundation of ideas for my essay before I put pen to paper, so I found that the essays were easier and faster to write, with fewer iterations. Given the tight-timelines with applications, I especially appreciated Heidi's responsiveness. In addition, she's really personable and easy to talk to. Heidi has both undergrad and MBA degrees from Stanford, but I found her helpful to work with on non-Stanford applications, as well. I really enjoyed working with Heidi and highly recommend her!
Joined: Mar 23, 2018
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Heidi helped me really refine my MBA goals and put together a compelling vision of why I wanted to attend bschool. I was kind of all over the place and coming from a non traditional background before bschool so this was very important for me. I did the three school application package and it was great, I was also studying for the gmat at the same time and Heidi helped me stay on track. She touched base, had great ideas and helped me cut through the noise of the stress and anxiety of putting together a great application. I also did several interview prep sessions with Heidi which were extremely helpful.
Joined: Oct 22, 2017
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I worked with Heidi Hillis through the Fortuna Admissions Comprehensive School Package, and I am extremely excited to say that I was accepted to my top choice program, HBS!! I highly recommend Heidi and the Fortuna team as their insights, advice, and encouragement helped me highlight leadership examples and craft a thoughtful application despite my non-traditional and very technical background. She helped me reflect deeply on my past experiences and pushed me through numerous drafts to compose an application that I was extremely proud of. She also made the intense and overwhelming application process very manageable -- providing a clear roadmap for approaching recommenders, completing essays, and surviving the interview process. Ultimately, I was able to develop a story that expressed clear short and long-term post-MBA goals and I couldn't have successfully completed this process without Heidi's invaluable support. Thank you, Heidi and the Fortuna team!!
Joined: Oct 15, 2016
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Heidi help throughout this process has been invaluable. She has a very strong 'coach' mind set: she does not push her ideas on you but provides a sounding board. Her dogged insistence on quality really pushed my application to a higher standard. At the time I might have preferred to hear that my first essay draft was fantastic, but I’m glad she wasn’t happy until 20 rounds later!
Particular challenges with which Heidi helped out:
- Building my story: particularly as an international applicant, I found it tricky to assess which attributes of your profile could really set me apart; Heidi was able to provide strong perspectives here
- Setting a schedule & priorities: I started my application relatively late & without having completed the GMAT; without her guidance on where to focus first, my application would have been dead in the water
- Pacing of the work: Heidi helped me assess when to push an essay draft to a higher level, and when to let it rest for a while; she was also helpful in understanding what GMAT scores someone with my GPA needed