Meet the MBA Experts: Fortuna’s Bill Kooser

December 28, 2020 | by Judith Silverman Hodara

“One thing I tell almost every client that I work with – right off the bat – is that this is a process of introspection,” says Fortuna’s Bill Kooser, former Associate Dean of Chicago Booth. “It’s not simply ‘writing stuff down and shipping it off.’ If you’re going to do it right, you have to spend a fair amount of time thinking about who you are, what motivates you, what excites you, where do you really want to go in life? And sometimes those are hard conversations to have with yourself.”

The seasoned MBA admissions expert – and few are as seasoned as Fortuna’s Bill Kooser – will facilitate a process of discovery that allows applicants to access a clarity of purpose as well as to articulate it in a way that’s meaningful, memorable and compelling to the MBA admission committee. My conversation with Bill was a welcome reminder that helping candidates to bring awareness to the process of applying, and not just the outcome, ensures benefits that extend far beyond an acceptance letter.

I interviewed Bill as part of Fortuna’s Meet the MBA Experts series, where he spoke to his superpower, passion for coaching, and the recent success stories that stand out in his mind.

With over 30 years of experience, Bill has been responsible for nearly every business school function – from developing and managing MBA programs, creating new campuses, charting school strategy, and leading admission teams. A former Associate Dean at Chicago Booth, Bill’s career has included leadership roles in Admissions, Career Services, International Programs, Executive Education and EMBA. Bill holds an MBA from Chicago Booth and an MBA from the Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven in Belgium.

View my 8-minute interview with Bill or view Q&A highlights, below.

What’s your coaching super power?
The Big Picture. Because of my breadth of expertise across so many aspects of the business school experience, I can not only help candidates navigate the admissions process, but help them understand and take full advantage of the entire MBA experience – from developing their career strategies to networking to alumni involvement.

What’s your top piece of advice for admissions candidates?
Take the time to understand yourself and why you want to pursue the MBA.  It’s a big investment and too often candidates don’t take the time to understand what they want to get out of the program and how it will really impact their careers. The better you understand yourself, the better chance you’ll have of not only picking the right school, but gaining admission to it.

What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about Chicago Booth?
One thing I wish everyone knew about Booth (and probably most schools) is that the general perception in the marketplace isn’t fully accurate. Booth has a reputation of being a finance school and very quantitative. This no longer true (if it ever was). Yes, it has a great finance program and can challenge you mathematically if you are so inclined, but it has terrific programs in marketing, entrepreneurship, strategy, etc. I feel that part of the coaching process is making sure that candidates accurately understand their school choices and not rely on the “common knowledge.”

Check out Bill Kooser‘s bio to learn more about his coaching expertise and recent publications.


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.

Bill Kooser, Fortuna Admissions

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