“You are the world’s expert on being you. You want to harness that confidence and lean into your strengths,” says Fortuna’s Zachary White, former Yale SOM Assistant Director of Admissions. “Remember that people go to business school to learn and grow and challenge themselves, to be better when they graduate than when they enroll. Business school admission offices understand this – they’re not looking for your perfection, but your potential.”
In my kick-off conversation for Fortuna’s Meet the MBA Experts video series, I speak with expert coach Zachary White on his passion for storytelling, penchant for editing, and why business schools care more about potential than perfection. (In addition to his impressive credentials, Zach also takes the trophy for Fortuna’s most cinematic mustache.)
Zach joined the Fortuna Admissions team in July of this year, bringing vast communications expertise alongside MBA admissions and executive search experience. He has spent his entire career supporting people through transitional life moments, both educational and professional. At Yale, Zach traveled extensively to recruit MBA candidates during his tenure on the admissions team, as well as played a lead role in launching the school’s Global Pre-MBA Leadership Program. In addition to directing communications and research at one of the nation’s leading search firms in the US education space, Zach holds a master’s degree in architecture history and theory from the Yale University School of Architecture and earned an A.B. in philosophy from The University of Chicago.
View my 6-minute interview with Zach, or read Q&A highlights, below.
Why are you passionate about coaching?
I am part philosopher and part designer; I love thinking big, but I can also obsess over details; I can be critical, but I’m also curious and empathetic. Coaching gives me an opportunity to flex all of those muscles, plus I get to work with lots of really interesting people at a unique moment of personal and professional reflection.
What’s your coaching superpower?
I draw on my experience as a writer and editor to help clients frame and focus their story. Applying to schools is mainly a communications challenge: How do you assemble and edit the elements of who you are to tell a compelling, compact story that will resonate with readers and interviewers? I can help candidates find and tell an authentic narrative about where they’re coming from and where they’re going.
What’s your top piece of advice for admissions candidates?
Remember that an education should be a transformational experience. You should expect to be more capable and confident when you graduate than when you enroll, and schools expect the same. Yes, they want well prepared students, but they’re not looking for finished products – otherwise what could they offer? Embrace your growth areas and highlight your potential.
Interested in working with Zach?
Indicate your preference when you sign up for a free consultation. While we can’t guarantee your preferred coach selection because of workload capacity, we will always do our best to match you up with the coach of your choice if you have a specific request.
Fortuna’s Meet the MBA Experts video series shines a spotlight on the perspectives, personalities, and unique expertise Fortuna Admissions coaches bring to their work with business school applicants. View more expert coach interviews, along with strategy sessions on an array of relevant topics, on Fortuna’s YouTube channel.
For a candid assessment of your chances of admission success at a top MBA program, sign up for a free consultation.