GMAT Club

Michel Belden Reviews

Company: Fortuna Admissions

Michel has worked in MBA admissions since 2004. She spent two years as an Associate Director of admissions for Wharton’s full-time MBA program, and has continued to contribute to the program since 2006, acting as an auxiliary reader helping to select multiple classes. Prior to Wharton, Michel spent six years running recruiting and professional development for Bain and Company’s Los Angeles office. She also managed VIP relations for the Seattle SuperSonics basketball franchise during their last two seasons in the Pacific Northwest. Michel has an undergraduate degree from Wharton in Marketing. 

5.0 /5 Average Rating
Based on 13 reviews
November 01, 2019
Eagles28

Joined: Dec 06, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
600 Q47 V31

Michel is simply the best: 100/100

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Right from the start, she truly made an effort to understand my backstory, my work experience, extracurriculars as well as my intention to attend business school and my future goals. Afterwards, she would constantly provide me with specific suggestions, given my profile, on how to best prepare for my applications, particularly on my essays.
I worked with Michel for about a year because the first time I applied to business schools I didn’t get into the schools I was aiming, but after a very successful reapplication I was able to get into my dream school (an M7 school).
There are three things I really appreciate about working with Michel: 1) she’s quick, 2) she always knows what to do and 3) she’s genuinely on your corner. I highly appreciate from Michel that she was always quick on getting back to me with concrete answers and great suggestions on how to further improve my applications.

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June 30, 2019
ghick6

Joined: Jun 30, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
730 Q48 V42

Easy to work with, and we got the

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I came in to the process with a decent idea of how to tell my story and what my prospects were, but I wanted guidance on the essay and some more experienced eyes to go over my resume.
Michel was responsive and easy to work with (even over the holidays) and was able to meet tight turnarounds when needed.
She definitely helped me get my essays in better shape. She was particularly helpful in getting me to connect stories I used to the overall message I was trying to convey, probing me on why I chose to use certain stories or how I could tie them back to key points I had made earlier. Occasionally she helped with word choice, but overall she helped me get my essays to sound like the example essays you read on these forums.

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June 27, 2019
Kb2021

Joined: Jun 27, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Michel is fantastic!

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Michel and the whole Fortuna team were thorough, thoughtful and very helpful. Michel provided valuable guidance and insight throughout the process from data forms to essays to waitlist strategy. Her deep experience helped me create a holistic application and “story” that would resonate with each of the schools I applied to. She also helped me navigate some of the more uncertain aspects of the waitlist process with great insider knowledge. In the end, I decided on Columbia Business School, and couldn’t be more excited! I would definitely recommend working with Michel and the Fortuna team, to have a team of experienced advisors on your side throughout a competitive and often stressful process.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
January 28, 2019
SydneyReviewer

Joined: Jun 16, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 5

Serious about b-school? Get a Fortuna consultant

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I was initially referred to Michel by a friend of mine who told me that they owed their seat at business school to her. I must admit though, at first, I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure if the services Fortuna offered were necessary- surely I could do it on my own… how wrong I was!

It was during my very first call with Fortuna that I quickly realized that I lacked the knowledge of what business school adcom look for, how to answer the essay questions and how to stand out from the sea of other applicants. I was promptly put in touch with Michel who, from the outset, demonstrated an incredible level of application knowledge that you would only expect from someone that had spent years as Wharton’s MBA gatekeeper.

Michel was a terrific choice for me. She was responsive to questions I had, possessed a great sense of what each of the schools look for and had an exceptional eye for detail. In one instance, I even remember Michel pointing out a grammatical mistake I had made in a 31 page application. Michel considers each of her clients’ applications as hers, treating them with a personalized touch.

Thank you, Michel, for getting me into the business school of my dreams! I know it would not have been possible without your support, encouragement and knowledge.

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January 11, 2019
Hs19296

Joined: Jan 10, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q48 V44

Trustworthy advisor and superior consultant!

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After my first consultation with Matt Symonds, I immediately knew I wanted to work with Fortuna. I could tell the entire Fortuna team had a knack for noticing the most compelling aspects of an applicant’s profile and making them shine. Matt talked me through Fortuna’s platform, their experience working with clients from similar backgrounds, as well as the flexibility I would have in choosing a coach.

I chose to work with Michel because of her extensive experience working in admissions. I came to Michel with a vague idea of my “story”. She patiently talked me through how my background, past experiences, and extracurricular interests could create a cohesive, compelling application. I initially bought the three school package, but shortly added additional hours for other schools to which I was applying. I immediately saw the “edge” Michel’s guidance added to my applications, and I wanted her guidance to put my best foot forward.

Michel was with me every step of the way. She was responsive, thoughtful, and honest. Michel always found a way to make herself available, even though my work and travel schedule was very unpredictable.

Thanks to Michel’s guidance, I was admitted to Columbia and Booth, two of my top choices! I am absolutely certain I would not have arrived at this outcome without Michel’s help. I highly recommend working with Michel – you will not regret it!

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
December 29, 2018
tln0512

Joined: Dec 29, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Invaluable help and guidance!

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From the initial consultation, Michel and Judith took the time to understand my story, answer my questions. They spoke with me about my candidacy with confidence and enthusiasm, which I really appreciated. I spoke to a number of other consultants prior to deciding to work with Fortuna but my initial conversations with Michel and Judith really stuck out. I worked with them over the course of 5-6 months on my application to Columbia.

From the strategy questionnaire to my essays and interview prep, Michel took the time to understand my background, strengths, and interests to help me craft a compelling story. Michel provided constructive feedback on my essays to ensure they highlighted my personality and experiences. Michel kept me on schedule and provided valuable advice at every point of the application process.

When I received an interview with a tight timeline to prepare, Michel was quick to make herself available to put me through a mock interview and I felt confident going into the actual interview as a result of that.

I felt Michel was truly invested in my success and was very excited for me when I was accepted to Columbia. I would highly recommend Michel, Judith, and Fortuna to future applicants!

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
December 20, 2018
mikewithoutm

Joined: Dec 20, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
720 Q48 V41

Superstar Consultant!

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I worked with Michel from early on my decision to apply for B-school. I knew that I was going to apply Round 1 and that I would be on the younger side if accepted by the schools I wanted to get into. So I did my extensive research and chatted with 6 different consulting agencies before finally choosing Fortuna.

What really set Fortuna apart from the other agencies is the level of care and detail Michel went into crafting my story. I come from a traditional consulting background but I was looking to make a career pivot with my MBA to go into something a lot more untraditional. Michel spent hours on the phone with me really dissecting why and how I came to the conclusion that business school is the right move at this stage of my career. Once that was set, we went about creating the right narrative for my applications.

Throughout the process, Michel was extremely responsive and provided strong feedback on my essays, resume, video interviews, in person interviews, recommender selection etc. Along every step of the process it became very obvious how experienced and knowledgeable Michel was with this entire MBA process. And because we started very early in the year, the pace was very manageable and at no time was I overwhelmed or stressed out.

I found it very helpful that Michel knew me very well and was able to call back on all of my extracurriculars in order to help prep me from the essays to the interviews. After each interview, Michel and I called to debrief and prep for the next one.

Ultimately I was admitted to 2 schools and waitlisted for my third! All top 10 programs! I'm thrilled and could not have done this without the expertise of Michel. If you're looking for a compassionate, understanding, patient and knowledgeable MBA consultant, Michel is the way to go!

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
September 21, 2018
StudySummer

Joined: May 21, 2017

Posts: 1

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
760 Q49 V44

Fortuna MVP - Michel Belden

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My Background: Asian-American male in finance with a strong GPA and GMAT score. Generally, I had a very strong profile on paper in terms of academics and career.

My Top Choice: Wharton.

Results w/ Fortuna: Accepted to Wharton and Columbia ($100,000+), and invited to interview at HBS. I only applied to these 3 schools.

Reason for Choosing Fortuna: During my initial free consultation with Matt Symonds, I found it refreshing to speak with a consultant who provides an honest assessment of the services that would be of most value to me. Matt took the time to understand my profile and suggested an hourly package to help hone my messaging. He also ensured that I could retain my voice and give full freedom to my recommenders. In contrast, many other consultants insisted on having a heavy hand in the essays (basically writing it for me) and controlling the recommendations – not my cup of tea.

Experience w/ Michel Belden: I highly recommend Michel and can’t give her enough praises. Michel’s proven experience with the Wharton process was one of the key reasons that I chose to work with Fortuna. Michel really helped me articulate and structure my message and made sure I wasn’t leaving any stones unturned in my story. She was incredibly thoughtful and gracious throughout the process, going above and beyond during the holidays by remaining accessible when I was in a time crunch. I can’t thank her enough and highly recommend you consider working with her.

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May 03, 2018
almarajr17

Joined: Jan 20, 2018

Posts: 1

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
700 Q46 V39

Valuable Support for acceptance at HBS, Wharton and MIT Sloan

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I worked with Michel for an intensive 4 month period and got complete support from her in all aspects of the application process. This was my second time applying to B-schools and second time working with a consultant. My experience the first time was not that great and working with Michel and Fortuna really made realize the importance of having a strong and supportive admissions consultant. The area I needed most help with is really bringing out my strengths and crafting my story so that it all tied in to why I was going to do an MBA at this stage of my career. 30 years old and a Senior Director at the company I was in. Some consultants told me I was pass the period of applying to an MBA. Michel provided me with continuous support and guidance to really get my story right and was open to giving continuous feedback on my essays. And "real" "constructive" feedback that was actionable and you can really work from. This is key as you don't want someone just reviewing your grammar. This feedback was extremely valuable and made my life a lot easier when it came to turning comments. She also helped me in navigating all aspects of the application process (prep for interviews, guidance on answering app questions, preparing recommender materials) she has a wealth of experience working with most of the top schools and she doesn't hold back in sharing all this information. Extremely happy with my engagement with her and definitely recommend utilizing her as an advisor for your application process. She knows, gets it and is willing to help on all fronts. Also for those that are really busy she provides pretty practical feedback that will help you approach the process without diving too deep unnecessarily. Really grateful for all the support I received from her and the team at Fortuna. Definitely made a difference in my application process!

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April 12, 2018
ckc

Joined: Apr 12, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Invaluable Help for Wharton

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Coming from a generally overrepresented profile – management consulting, Asian American male, average undergrad GPA, and solid (but not especially high) GMAT – I wanted an admissions consultant that could help me to stand out. I chose Fortuna for the dedication of their consultants and depth of experience they brought. Most other admissions consulting firms simply connected me with recent graduates of MBA programs who were doing admissions consulting on the side (translate: very busy day jobs and limited availability), but Fortuna’s consultants were dedicated specialists with direct experience in the admissions offices. My focus was Wharton and I worked with Michel (Wharton alum, former Wharton Associate Director, former management consulting recruiter) and Judith (former Wharton Director) – I could not have asked for a better fit.

Throughout the process, Michel was super responsive and provided insight into not just the essays but my whole application, from recommenders to interviews to even the wording of each extracurricular activity description. She helped me to structure my story upfront and challenged me to really think hard about my writing by constantly pointing out things that were unconvincing, unnecessary, and/or unspecific. Over the three-month period working with me, Michel patiently talked me through every last question/concern floating around in my head, steering me away from pitfalls and fostering confidence in my decisions.

The perspective she (and Judith) provided from being on the other side of the table at Wharton was invaluable, and I would wholeheartedly recommend working with them. I successfully got into Wharton and am excited to start the program this year. Thank you Michel and the Fortuna team!

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.