Senior Expert Coach
Years of admissions experience
Former Assistant Director, INSEAD MBA Program
"The level of service that I received from Melissa was unreal - totally exceptional. Since my first call with her, I felt that she cared even more about my applications than I did!"
Melissa has successfully coached hundreds of candidates from around the world with their MBA applications to top business schools globally, including many acceptances to Columbia, Harvard, Wharton, Stern and Yale. As one of Fortuna’s first coaches, for over a decade she has a stellar track record of helping MBA hopefuls gain admission to M7 and top 15 US schools, as well as prestigious European schools like INSEAD and LBS. Her success is rooted in a laser eye for talent and a deep understanding of what top business schools are seeking.
As one of Fortuna’s most requested coaches, Melissa’s expertise is widely recognized. She was named the world’s #1 admissions coach worldwide on Poets & Quants’ inaugural ranking. Her clients repeatedly say that she boosts their self-confidence, helps them look at their life from a totally different perspective, listens extremely well and can seamlessly turn talking points into suggested key themes for essays that fit into each school’s selection criteria.
Her expert support for Fortuna clients is rooted in her previous experience as Assistant Director for the MBA Program at INSEAD in France. During her tenure, she connected with thousands of applicants and advised them on the admissions process and their path to business school, traveling extensively and delivering countless presentations to candidates across many countries. Melissa was a member of the review committee responsible for selecting scholarship recipients, so she knows what it takes to make the cut.
Melissa has also worked in marketing and communications for global brands such as Sony, InBev, and Xerox.
A true global citizen, Melissa has lived in five countries, conducted business in 34, and traveled to 47. She also founded an organization called Syrian Welcome Dinners, which connected Syrian newcomers in Toronto with local established families during the Syrian exodus to Canada in 2015–2016. Melissa has an undergraduate business degree from Dalhousie University in Canada and is an alumna of the Management Acceleration Program (MAP) at INSEAD.
Q & A
What’s your favorite client success story?
One of my favorite client success stories is that when he was ‘shopping’ around for admissions consulting companies, two of them said he wouldn’t stand a chance at his target school. He felt disempowered and disappointed. After talking at length with this candidate and getting to know him, I on the other hand disagreed. And I helped him see otherwise, identifying his strengths and digging up stories about his life that would impress the admissions committee – stories he would have thought were irrelevant. He not only was admitted to his dream school – one of the most competitive MBA programs to get into – but also received a scholarship! I love helping people find their true potential and reminding them how amazing they are.
What’s your top piece of advice for admissions candidates?
My best piece of advice for MBA applicants is to put yourself in the admission committee’s shoes. What do you think would make you stand out from the crowd? How do you differentiate yourself from all other candidates? Do you have any strange quirks or funny stories to share? What kinds of unique clubs, sports, or acts of kindness have you engaged in even if it was in your past? Leave something with the admissions committee that will make you worth remembering.
Interested in working with Melissa?
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.