Karen Hamou

Senior Expert Coach

Years of admissions experience


Credentials Highlight

Columbia MBA alum, former Deloitte Consulting recruiting lead

"Working with Karen was a transformative and critically important experience during the grueling MBA application process. Her deep expertise and extensive knowledge of business school and application strategies were evident from the start."

Karen, a Columbia Business School grad, brings deep consulting and retail industry knowledge and extensive international business experience to the Fortuna team.

After graduating from Columbia, Karen joined Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy and Operations practice where she worked on a range of retail projects. While at the firm, she served as Deloitte’s on-campus recruiting representative at CBS, guiding over 130 CBS students through their consulting recruiting process. She also participated in a firm initiative advising junior consultants as they applied to MBA programs.

At CBS, Karen was a Teaching Assistant for the core curriculum Managerial Statistics course at CBS’s Saturday EMBA program. She also TAed for the Cornell Johnson EMBA Metro NY program.

Karen holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Columbia University, where she also minored in Economics and Spanish. Prior to business school she was a Retail Buyer at Abercrombie & Fitch and Casual Male Retail Group. Karen’s international business experience spans the US, Israel, India, Argentina, China and more. She speaks English, Spanish and Hebrew.

Read more of Karen’s expert advice on our blog.

“I submitted five applications to M7 schools and got four interviews. I was ultimately accepted to two of my top three choices – HBS, GSB, and Wharton!”


Q & A

Why are you passionate about coaching?

I love getting to know top talent on a deeper level, understanding who they are and helping them craft a clear, compelling, and impassioned story about their background and future goals. It’s not only challenging, but extremely rewarding, to build a unique, creative approach that will enable the client to stand out from the crowd of applicants.

What’s your favorite client success story?

I have a soft spot for the underdogs, the applicants who may come from nontraditional backgrounds, or may have a gap in their profile that we need to figure out how to fill. I have worked with applicants with lower than average GMATs, applicants who may not come from the most brand name investment bank or undergrad university, applicants who are on the older side, and many reapplicants, and those wins are just that much sweeter. I had an applicant with a very low GMAT, but was one of the hardest workers I had ever seen, and I helped him tell his story to really highlight his values and achievements, from how he overcame his challenging upbringing, launched a successful career, and became an entrepreneur on the side. He is now at CBS. I had another client who had taken some time off before college, and could barely perform high school level math upon starting undergrad, however, he had gone on to a very successful career in entrepreneurship and venture capital. We really leveraged his different set of experiences to highlight what made him unique, and he ultimately found himself at HBS. These are the applicants who inspire me the most, the ones with the drive and passion to truly earn their spot at an elite program.

Interested in working with Karen?

Although we cannot 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. You may indicate your preference when you sign up for a free consultation.

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