• 7 CATs FREE!
    If you earn 100 Forum Points

    Engage in the Beat The GMAT forums to earn
    100 points for $49 worth of Veritas practice GMATs FREE

    Veritas Prep
    VERITAS PRACTICE GMAT EXAMS
    Earn 10 Points Per Post
    Earn 10 Points Per Thanks
    Earn 10 Points Per Upvote
    REDEEM NOW

Admission consulting for INSEAD

This topic has 1 expert reply and 33 member replies
Goto page Previous Next
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Feb 2014
Posted:
3 messages
Upvotes:
2
Post
A few words about, me: I am Russian with 6 years of experience in engineering positions in leading international O&G service providers and worked across South-East Asia, Far East and Middle East. My decision to pursue MBA was evolving for the last 3 years. I targeted European schools with short programs (max 1.5 years) mainly to fill my knowledge gaps in general management, finance and organizational behavior, and to have a boost into management positions within the O&G industry. This thinking led me to shortlist several European schools, and INSEAD was one of them.

Keeping INSEAD as my main target for application I stared searching for a consultant with great experience in INSEAD applications and a deep understanding of INSEAD’s student culture. I decided to get in touch with Access Education (www.accesseducation.com.sg), and Laura in particular, based on the testimonials posted here on beatthegmat and I have not regretted my choice.

Though I needed only limited services in essay review (I cleared GMAT and TOEFL by myself), Laura still dug deeply into my personal and professional backgrounds, helping me to understand my unique value for my INSEAD application.

Most of the information on MBA admissions is geared toward recent graduates applying to American business schools. For mature professionals of 28-32 years, applying to INSEAD requires different “selling points” and a deeper understanding of your short and long-term goals. Laura is a career counselor at INSEAD with 25 years of professional experience and really helped me figure out my post-MBA plans. That was one of the most important lessons I learnt while working with her on my application.

She was very flexible - she lives in Singapore, I’m in Saudi Arabia and we both work odd hours, so it was easy to arrange coaching sessions at convenient times.

I highly recommend Laura for applicants from Russia and CIS, as she worked in consulting and finance positions in Russia in the 90’s. This experience helped Laura to understand my cultural background and establish good relations with me (she also shared some great stories about prominent senior Russian business leaders she knew when they were just starting their careers). Her caring approach in particular really impressed me.

Though I decided to postpone my application for one year because attractive opportunities opened for me in my current company, I will definitely come back to Laura for her advice when I resume my application next year.

Hearing about other people’s experiences was really helpful in evaluating consultants. Please feel free to PM me with any questions about my experience. And good luck with your application!

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
14 Feb 2013
Posted:
4 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Upvotes:
4
Post
kohsamed wrote:
If Laura's ability to write 'believable' advertising spam on forums is a reflection of her consulting value, she clearly isn't even worth considering.
Hi Kohsamed: Not sure why would u say that, have you had a bad experience? I worked with Laura and cannot imagine anybody not being happy working with her..honestly, this sounds like "advertising" to me...

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
14 Feb 2013
Posted:
4 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Upvotes:
4
Post
I worked with Laura Freedman from Access Education (www.AccessEducation.com.sg) on 3 business schools and made it to two - INSEAD (my first choice!) and Cornell. I don't think I would have made it to either without her help and I am happy to write this recommendation for her.
  
Before Laura, I spoke with at least 10-12 typical large US-based MBA admissions consulting firms and had almost given up on the idea of working with an admissions consultant. I faced some typical issues-
  
1)      Most seemed to be very focused on selling their services. In a typical 30 min free consultation call, they answered my questions for 10-15 mins and by the 15th minute, were looking for opportunities to give their pitch. Laura spent almost an hour with me talking only about my profile, goals and how an MBA could be helpful.
  
2)       Almost all the other consultants wanted to assign me to some other consultant or team of people different from the person who spoke with me. I was absolutely not comfortable paying up-front to work with someone I didn't know I could relate to.
  
3)      Most other consultants seemed to come with MBA+consulting/banking experience and then went into admission consulting. Their backgrounds, even their understanding of Asia or India for that matter, didn't give me confidence to believe they would be able to appreciate my experiences as an Indian architect and real estate professional.
  
Laura stood out from the very first call. She didn't hard-sell and more importantly, I felt her unusually diverse experience let her understand and appreciate my personal and professional backgrounds. After signing-up with Laura, she was happy to work at my pace. We spent almost 2 sessions per week (1.5 hrs each!) for 2 clear months even before we started working on essays. In the process, she understood the minutest details of my personal and professional background. Consequently, when it was time to write essays, her advice on what stories to select was something I'd pay double the amount of money for! Her editorial and story-telling skills are undoubtedly supreme and her insider’s knowledge of INSEAD (and in this case Cornell, since she is also a Cornell University graduate and grew up in Ithaca) was a huge advantage.
  
I am usually quite a perfectionist and don't mind working on things till I feel I have got it right. But the application process can be extremely stressful. Whenever I crumbled, Laura kept pushing me to rework and fine-tune the essays till I could nail them. Even before I got the admission decisions, I knew I had gained tremendously from the whole process (even apart from the admits!). Since then, she has advised me on how best to use my pre-matriculation period to be able to derive maximum benefit from INSEAD’s one-year format.
  
I highly recommend Laura. Not only was she instrumental in helping me get in, she helped me better appreciate my strengths and career trajectory - and ever since we finished, keeps connecting me with interesting people in my industry. She’s also a career counselor for INSEAD’s Career Development team in Singapore and is on INSEAD’s Singapore Alumni board, so I’m looking forward to continuing to work with her once I start my MBA!

Feel free to PM me in case you have any specific questions...

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
21 Sep 2014
Posted:
1 messages
Upvotes:
1
Post
I first started looking for help when I ran in to trouble writing my application. I had stalled on writing my essays and I felt that my overall application was shaping up to be a poor reflection of my achievements. I had interviewed many different consultants, but decided to work with Laura Freedman at Access education. I was especially drawn to Laura's genuineness, frankness and honesty. If you get an opportunity to work with her, you will soon realize that this is a person that care's deeply about what she does.

Laura was instrumental in changing the way I approached the application all together. She moved my focus away from the application itself and towards articulating my goals in my own voice.

Laura is naturally very inquisitive and fully engaged. Through her questions and guidance, she encouraged me to become more introspective about what drives me as a professional. She was key in helping me convey these interests in a manner that was succinct and expressive.

Laura's input was also critical in helping me prepare for the interview. She gave me tough feedback and helped me improve both my delivery style and the content of my answers. She analyzed my weaknesses and coached me on how to carefully talk about them during the interview. She helped me develop the skills I needed to quickly assess what exactly the interviewer was asking of me and how to use my personal experiences to answer each question.

One of the first things you'll notice about Laura is that she has an ability to identify interesting or compelling aspects of your personal or professional life that you may have overlooked as mundane. This is unique to Laura. Her insight is deep and you'll be surprised by what you will learn about yourself as she guides you through this process. Laura's guidance has been more than just helping me write a good essay/resume or giving a strong interview- It's been a deeply introspective process that I believe has helped me focus my goals overall. It has been an exceptionally valuable experience and I strongly recommend her service.

PM with any comments or questions.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
25 Mar 2013
Posted:
12 messages
Followed by:
8 members
Upvotes:
3
GMAT Score:
750
Facebook Logo
Post
Wow, thank you for such a glowing recommendation!

I'm not even sure who this is. Please drop me a private note so I can thank you personally.

Kind regards,

Laura

Laura Freedman | INSEAD ‘92D
Access Education Admissions Consultants, Singapore
Email: Laura@accesseducation.com.sg / Laura.Freedman@insead.edu
www.AccessEducation.com.sg

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
29 Jan 2015
Posted:
2 messages
Upvotes:
2
Post
Hello folks -

I'm a current student at INSEAD and I just wanted to put in a good word for Laura Freedman and Access Education (www.AccessEducation.com.sg). It was an absolute pleasure working with Laura during my application to the INSEAD MBA program, and I would very highly recommend her to anyone looking to hire an MBA admissions consultant.

There were three main things that stood out for me.

First, her working style. She does a wonderful job of helping you get to know yourself better so that you can craft your personal story into the most effective narrative possible, whilst maintaining your unique voice. At the same time, she is very honest and straightforward, which really helped me get a deep and realistic understanding of my profile.

Second, her knowledge about business schools (especially non-US schools, and most of all INSEAD!), their admissions processes and what they are expecting from candidates is unparalleled.

And finally, her commitment to her clients is phenomenal. At one point during the admissions process, Laura was motorcycling in Spain on holiday, but ensured that we would continue to have regular calls at times that were convenient to me, without regard to the personal inconvenience to her. It was also very clear how much she cared about my application, and her enthusiasm also served as a source of encouragement and hope during the anxious wait for responses.

Laura would be a wonderful choice for applicants to any MBA program - and if you are considering INSEAD then choosing her is a no-brainer! Please feel free to PM me with any questions.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Feb 2015
Posted:
1 messages
Post
Choosing Fortuna Admissions was one of the best choices I made during the applications process. From my very first consultation with Matt, it was clear that Fortuna was different. While most consultants I had spoken to were offering the conventional wisdom you can find online, the team at Fortuna was giving me personalized, unique advice. They were not just trying to guess what business schools were looking for. They simply knew what that was. Working with Caroline and Brittany was a pleasure and made the application process smooth, stress-free and fun. There was a clear roadmap and fast and effective feedback throughout the entire process. The team at Fortuna will spend as much time with you as you want. They will be there to answer any questions or concerns you may have. But they will not make you redraft an essay 20 times when it is not necessary. They will not make you work endless hours on stuff that does not matter or is already effectively written. They will not try to change who you are. Instead, they will focus on what is truly important and will help you turn a good application into a great one, making sure that your key strengths, experiences, accomplishments and goals are communicated to the admissions committee effectively. Especially if you are applying to INSEAD, choose Fortuna, relax and enjoy the process. And who knows, you may even get to know yourself a little bit better.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Legendary Member Default Avatar
Joined
30 May 2012
Posted:
940 messages
Followed by:
4 members
Upvotes:
8
Post
Hi - is Laura (Freedman) still active on BTG ?

I see here last post ~ 6 months back! Would appreciate any update.

@Sorin - perhaps you can shed some light on this ?

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
25 Mar 2013
Posted:
12 messages
Followed by:
8 members
Upvotes:
3
GMAT Score:
750
Facebook Logo
Post
Hi RBBmba,

I am indeed very active! I've advised hundreds of clients as a full-time MBA Admissions Consultant since 2010. I'm currently in London at the tail-end of a conference with the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC - check us out at www.aigac.org) - we've spent 5 days with our fellow senior industry colleagues and 18 admissions representatives, and were hosted by 4 schools - INSEAD and HEC outside Paris, and LBS and Cambridge Judge in and near London, all of whom who rolled out the red carpet for us. I'll be meeting with ESADE and IESE in Barcelona on my own next week before returning home to Singapore.

I don't typically blog or post - we're an elite personalized 1x1 service with no overhead staff. I find I'm not able to keep up with mass-market requests; I focus my energy serving clients and a small number of serious prospects, and counseling MBA students through Career Development offices at programs in Singapore.

You can consult the recommendations my clients have left for me here on Beat the GMAT or at GMAT Club, and on my Linked In page at www.linkedin.com/in/lfreedman. Anyone who's posted will be happy to answer your questions about their experience with me.

If you'd like, please feel free to contact me through my contact page at www.accesseducation.com.sg (or www.accesseducation.com) and I'll do my best to answer your questions.

Kind regards,

Laura

Laura Freedman, INSEAD '92D (MBA)
Access Education
www.accesseducation.com

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Legendary Member Default Avatar
Joined
30 May 2012
Posted:
940 messages
Followed by:
4 members
Upvotes:
8
Post
Good to hear from you Laura.

I sent you a PM of late - could you please check and reply over there Ma'am ?

Thank you! Smile

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
02 Apr 2015
Posted:
1 messages
Upvotes:
1
Post
Hey RBBmba@2014,

Yeah, she is still active. I used her consulting services for applications to Harvard, Chicago Booth and Wharton. She also helped me prepare for interviews at those schools. I was accepted to all 3.
Overall I thought she was extremely helpful. Not just with preparing essays/applications etc. but also helping me clarify my goals, engage in deep self-reflection and figuring out what makes me tick. A pretty good exercise, I'd say.

Anyways if you want more info, feel free to PM me.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
14 Feb 2013
Posted:
4 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Upvotes:
4
Post
Hey RBBMba:

I am a current student at INSEAD and worked with Laura. You can find details of my experience on the Insead thread here. Pls feel free to PM me in case you have any questions. D

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Legendary Member Default Avatar
Joined
30 May 2012
Posted:
940 messages
Followed by:
4 members
Upvotes:
8
Post
Hi,
Thanks for the feedback guys.

Just curious - whether there is anybody from India ? I mean, any Indian applicant who applied to INSEAD with Laura and got in without having any DIRECT international exposure but worked with with international clients(say, US/UK/Europe based) from India ?

You may reply in this thread or please feel free to PM me also if there is any such INSEAD applicant/current student/alums - would love to hear from you!

Thank you and appreciate your feedback.

Happy Good Friday and Easter Smile

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
25 Mar 2013
Posted:
12 messages
Followed by:
8 members
Upvotes:
3
GMAT Score:
750
Facebook Logo
Post
Hi RBBmba,

Yes, I have helped Indians without international experience get into INSEAD. Be very careful, though. There's a reason INSEAD wants people with a certain profile. It has little to do with how "good" you are or what it takes to "get in". It's about fit.

I've been visiting top European business schools and meeting with admissions and career teams from over a dozen US and European schools the last two weeks. There's no question that INSEAD stands out at the top among its peers as a first-rate institution. But it's a very specific tool that you (and the admissions folks) need to make certain fits your purpose. After all, attractive as it might sound until you've tried it, you really wouldn't want to drive a Ferrari from Srinigar to Trivandrum, just as you wouldn't want to race Formula One in a Hummer.

INSEAD is great for people who are exceptionally mature, cosmopolitan and self-directed. Without international experience, you have less to contribute to your classmates or to a prospective employer, you're less likely to know what you really want to do (unless you're looking to internationalise your profile before returning to India), you're likely to have less wiggle room in your job search, and you might find the pace of the program doesn't leave enough time for self-reflection as you clarify your career objectives in a new cultural setting. If leaving India is your goal, you also really need to have a clear sense of your realistic range of options internationally after the program, which means doing a lot of up-front research. A two year program might offer more options at less risk to an Indian with no international experience looking to change industry, function and region.

This isn't to say that no one without international experience belongs at INSEAD - far from it. You just need to understand what the program does and how you're looking to use it, and articulate your case compellingly to the Admissions team and to your alumni interviewers. Difficult though it might be to swallow, it could be that they're doing a service by turning down a candidate who's not a compelling fit.

Laura

Laura Freedman, INSEAD '92D
Access Education
www.accesseducation.com

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
04 Apr 2015
Posted:
1 messages
Upvotes:
1
Post
Hi RBBmba,

I concur with derek as well and I've worked with Laura for my MBA applications as well and have been successful in my applications. She was definitely the most genuine and sincere consultant I came across when I was searching for help with my apps. I enjoyed the 1-1 conversations on my profile and career goals that helped not only my MBA applications but also helped me get better clarity on my professional goals. And we have been in regular touch even after I got into the MBA program and I consider her a great career counselor and mentor.

Good luck with your MBA journey and you cannot go wrong with Laura!

Cheers

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh
  • The Princeton Review
    FREE GMAT Exam
    Know how you'd score today for $0

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    The Princeton Review

Top First Responders*

1 fskilnik@GMATH 65 first replies
2 Brent@GMATPrepNow 64 first replies
3 Jay@ManhattanReview 50 first replies
4 GMATGuruNY 36 first replies
5 Rich.C@EMPOWERgma... 24 first replies
* Only counts replies to topics started in last 30 days
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members

Most Active Experts

1 image description fskilnik@GMATH

GMATH Teacher

127 posts
2 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

102 posts
3 image description Max@Math Revolution

Math Revolution

93 posts
4 image description Jay@ManhattanReview

Manhattan Review

84 posts
5 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

64 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts