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Best Admissions Consultant for INSEAD?

This topic has 1 expert reply and 33 member replies
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HBSAlumPE Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
01 Jul 2015
17 messages
Post Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:04 am
I worked with Scott Edinburgh at Personal MBA Coach and I could not have been happier! Scott offers an incredible personal experience that is very hard to find. The fact that you are working with an individual and not a company cannot be emphasized enough. Don't be fooled by the big company name / support services that some larger firms have. At the end of the day you work with one person most of the time so why not work directly with an expert for the same price rather than an employee of a larger firm?

While I went to HBS, Scott helps applicants get into INSEAD and all other top European schools regularly as well

I hired a more well known name referenced on here and was not satisfied as the support died off as it got closer to the deadlines. I then reached out to Scott via www.personalmbacoach.com and was floored by the level of support I got. While we only had a short amount of time since I contacted him late, he took the time to get to know me personally and professionally and he was the one coming up with essay topics after just a couple discussions. Scott is quite tough and it works out in the end. In a very short amount of time, we did an entire HBS application and I ultimately got in. (As well as a couple other programs I turned down)

With Personal MBA Coach, you get a great balance of no BS, direct and brutal feedback while at the same time you have encouraging support throughout the entire process. Whereas with the other more well-known name I felt like I was a number in the process, Scott brainstormed everything with me from start to finish. Scott is a hidden gem in the admissions consulting space and I have sent many friends to him over the years who also had great success!

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christian1904 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
10 Sep 2014
1 messages
1 times
Post Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:27 am
Hi all,

as I used this forum and others to make up my mind on who to work with in my plans of getting into the top European MBA programs (INSEAD, LBS, IESE), I want to give a small feedback on what I've experienced.

I) My Situation:
-European, slightly under avg. Business school age
-Lots of Int. Work experience in China (4yrs) in booming E-Commerce sector
-GMAT below average for Insead & LBS; Total 680; Q (63%ile) V (85%ile)

II) Consultants Talked To:
a) Veritas Prep: quite harsh feedback; telling me if I didnt retake my GMAT I could basically forget it. I explained to them that it's currently no alternative to retake the GMAT for me but if there's anything else to lift my chances I'd be very willing to do that. Seemed to me like they insisted on me re-taking, the lady I talked to made it very clear that she believes I had no chances at INSEAD or LBS and it seemed that she wanted to get rid of me. Her fault Smile

b) Fortuna Admissions: talked to them because with Caroline Edwards it seemed like they really had somebody in their lines who knows how to get into INSEAD. very nice and detailed feedback. Talked to Matt Symonds, one of their senior directors, who actually got my hopes up to get into INSEAD/LBS quite a lot when talking to me. He was quite charming, almost too nice, as I was aware my GMAT would make it difficult to get into Insead/LBS. He also passed on some feedback from Caroline Edwards to me, who suggested me to take an Online Math course of some sort to possibly show my commitment - a great advice that I did follow in the end.
Two things I didnt like about Fortuna and why I decided against them:
i) Matt is a great guy, but I learned that my "team" of consultants would be somebody completely else. It struck me as a bit of a "sales pitch" to have somebody charming to do the initial consultation, and then be handed over to somebody else I didnt even know, and may not like as much.
ii) What struck me even more: I found almost no honest and positive feedback about Fortuna in online forums. Found a lot of what seems to me like fake posts from members who have just posted 1 post in a forum, giving very one-sided praise about Fortuna. Didn't seem very authentic and actually made them come off a bit shady.

c) Access Education: I had to persuade Laura a bit to work with me due to my GMAT score. But from the feedback I read about her online (her working directly 1 to 1 with clients, very caring, etc.); I knew she was the right choice. She also challenged me from day 1, telling me on what I needed to work on, and being very realistic in her views on my profile. However she seemed a lot more authentic than the others I had talked to before, so I picked Access Education. Turned out to be a great choice!
Laura had a great way of preparing me for my essays and took lots of time to listen and understand my story. That put her in the exact right position to look at my essays with the right angle. Also she gave me a lot of interesting and good feedback on how to "position" myself and my story - pretty much the major thing I was looking for in an admissions consultant.
When it came to the essays, she showed exceptional talent in helping to translate what i wanted to say into the right words in a super-quick mode. She also saw herself as a type of career consultat, giving me feedback on what kind of roles and industries I could consider given my strengths. You can tell she has a great network to leverage on. It was lots of fun working with her and I felt her feedback and comments on my story made a huge impact on me learning how to sell myself.

Long story short, I was admitted to INSEAD and IESE against all odds, LBS is still outstanding decision.

Anyway, I can only recommend Access Education to everybody who is looking for a great and authentic consultant. You really get what you paid for when working with Laura.

PM me for any questions!


Thanked by: LauraFreedman
lsquarenyc Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
06 Jun 2016
1 messages
Followed by:
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Post Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:32 pm
I first spoke to Laura Freedman at Access Education (www.accesseducation.com) in December 2015. I was applying to European business schools (Cambridge, Oxford and INSEAD), and had heard that Laura is the best MBA admissions consultant for top European schools. My background isn’t that unusual (Asian\female\Wall Street\dual cultural background), but my age is an issue (I’m 34).

After interviewing 4 different admissions consulting companies, I decided to choose Laura immediately after our first consultation. Right off the bat, I found Laura to be extremely insightful, candid and direct. She told me straight out that my age was a potential weakness and had ideas for ways to manage it. I was also impressed by how quickly she was able to encapsulate an accurate summary of me and my value proposition to the different programs I was looking at.

Having successfully gone through the process and been accepted by my dream schools, I can easily say that hiring Laura is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. While she helped in many different ways, the following areas really stood out:

1) Life and career coach

Laura is so much more than a MBA admissions consultant; she’s a life and career coach. She helped me to dig deep and pushed me to a level of introspection I did not think I could ever reach. She helped me recall stories from my childhood which I did not realize were significant but actually helped me better understand my personal journey and how it has molded me into the person I am today. She was also a Career Counselor at INSEAD and NUS in Singapore, so she had lots extremely helpful insight into my career goals and likely range of options. With a better understanding of myself, I am now clearer than ever about my future goals in life, both personal and professional.

2) Expert in identifying meaningful personal stories.

Laura is an expert at identifying meaningful personal stories. She kept pushing me to explain my stories in detail until she understood the reasoning behind them. She also had deep insight into my cultural background, since she’s spent her entire life moving between Asia, Europe and the US. I was very pleased with how my essays turned out. They are authentic and personal, and truly captured the essence of me. My friends read my essays and said it feels like me speaking to them, so true and alive.

3) A business woman, not just a writer.

As a senior INSEAD alum with many years of experiences in banking and consulting, Laura clearly understands the business world across sectors, functions and geographies. She truly understood my job functions and the challenges I face, which really made our conversations efficient and productive.

Overall, Laura went way above and beyond my expectations. I not only accomplished my goal of getting into my dream business school, but also developed a keener sense of myself and became a much better writer (all her editing is face-to-face).

I recommend Laura to anyone who is interested in top European business schools. I will also be happy to answer any questions on this forum.

Thanked by: LauraFreedman
MBA Ivy Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
28 Feb 2014
43 messages
Followed by:
2 members
5 times
Post Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:57 am
I work with INSEAD applicants for both the regular MBA as well as the EMBA, and have had great success with my clients. You can request more information or sign up for a free profile consultation at my firm's website: www.MBAIvyLeague.com

[I'm a former Harvard interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE! Request more information, today!}

Looking for help on this year's MBA applications? I'm a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard graduate. Check out my blog for great MBA advice and tips, or contact me for a free consultation today! www.MBAIvyLeague.com

TurkishDelights Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
29 Mar 2017
1 messages
Post Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:54 am
When I first thought of applying to INSEAD, I hadn’t thought of hiring an admission consultant. I was very confident of what I want to say in my essays and I thought I’d better save the money. When I started the actual work on my application, though, I noticed how the INSEAD application is very comprehensive, and my story and background had many moving parts. As I turned 32, I knew it was now or never to make into INSEAD.

Thus, I started looking around for admissions consultants. I searched the MBA forums, LinkedIn, and Google search. I reached out to few firms that had promising track records placing candidates at INSEAD, and that’s how I found Laura Freedman. Laura’s a certified coach who specializes in international MBA programs, and has 25 years of history with INSEAD as an interviewer, on alumni association boards in 4 countries, as a counselor on INSEAD’s Careers team in Singapore, and for 8 years as an admissions consultant.

I uploaded my CV into Access Education’s website and she immediately replied asking me to schedule an hour-long Skype call.

During our first call, it didn’t take long to notice that Laura understood very well and was very interested in my background, as if she knew me already for several years. I believe her unusually rich international experience is the reason for this amazing capability.

While working with Laura, I noticed that her service is not just about getting into INSEAD, or any other school for that matter. Her consultation for me was like career coaching. She helped me to zoom out, and have a bird’s eye view over my life and understand why I made certain decisions, as well as to delve into my weaknesses and strengths. I’ve always had hard time explaining what I do since I come from a very technical engineering background, however, I now have a way much easier time explaining what I do, even to my grandmother!

Her consultation helps you beyond just getting into your desired school, it helps you to know yourself better, improve your interview skills and express yourself in good, concise English. Most importantly, she helps you to understand and tell YOUR OWN STORY in the best possible way.

I feel I’m much better prepared for my MBA than ever.

Thank you, Laura!

Guys, if you have any question please send me a message.

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