Best Admissions Consultant for INSEAD?

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Best Admissions Consultant for INSEAD?

by Rajab » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:16 pm
I am wanting to apply to INSEAD and am currently faced with the dilemma of choosing between:

(1) Caroline Diarte Edwards who was herself a Director of Admissions at INSEAD for 7 years until just last year. The pro of working with her is obvious. As Admissions Director, she herself decided who got in. The cons are also self-evident. I don't get the impression she will make a big personal investment in this process and will have the coach do most of the work. She also charges a whopping $4,600 for one full package. I need someone to transform my application, not merely to adjust it.

(2) Laura Freedman - An ex Insead alumnus who has been helping people get into INSEAD since 1993. She has a good track record of success but did not herself make admit/deny decisions on candidates in the way that Caroline did. Still, the clients on her website seem to be pleased:

I am leaning towards Laura at the moment because I feel she may personally invest more in the process, but I am also persuaded that Caroline would be the best person for the job given that she herself held the Director Chair for the past 7 years until 2012 and has an intimate knowledge of what the school is looking for.

I would be grateful for any input and thoughts by Members, particularly any feedback from anyone who has worked with either of the ladies mentioned above.



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by essaysnark » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:03 pm
Rajab, we can't speak to either of these two consultants as we have not worked with them, but we have helped lots of people with INSEAD too (here's one such example: ... mplicated/ ) and we also have an INSEAD essay guide that you might find useful if you decide to tackle things on your own:

Any way you go, INSEAD is a **great** school -- good luck with your application!!

EssaySnark has MBA application guides for HBS, Stanford, Booth, Wharton, NYU and pretty much any other school you can name - including a fully revised and expanded 2015 Columbia essay guide!
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by PrepMBA.AlexLeventhal » Thu May 02, 2013 12:43 pm
I have had strong success helping clients with INSEAD despite being an HBS grad:)

I would be happy to guide folks through that application this season as well.

Alex Leventhal
Harvard MBA, 1998
Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
[email protected]

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by InterviewBay2 » Fri May 03, 2013 4:09 am
Hi Rajab,
We haven't worked with any of the consultants you mentioned. So, we can't comment on your choice among them. But, we provide application essay review and interview from alumnus of the college you are targeting. Since, you are looking for INSEAD, your application review and interview would be conducted by an alumnus of INSEAD.

We have free application essay and interview tips for INSEAD. Click here: ... w-tips.php

Best of luck!
Last edited by InterviewBay2 on Fri May 03, 2013 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.


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by [email protected] » Fri May 03, 2013 8:31 am
Hi Rajab,
This is Caroline Diarte Edwards from Fortuna Admissions. My suggestion is that you follow up with a discussion with both Laura and I. I'd be happy to set up a call. As you note in your post - I was the gatekeeper at INSEAD for 7 years, until 12 months ago, so not only know exactly what it takes to get admitted, but I shaped many of the admissions policies myself. I note your concern that I might be less involved in your application than a consultant working alone; in fact I am deeply involved in all the work we do for clients applying to INSEAD; I also have other ex INSEAD staff working with me at Fortuna. As both an INSEAD alum and the ex Director of Admissions, I am passionate about INSEAD, and love working with clients on their applications to the school.
Let's discuss further? You can sign up for a free consultation on our website,, or contact me directly: [email protected].

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by LauraFreedman » Sat May 11, 2013 6:16 am
Hi Rajab,

This is Laura Freedman. I completely agree with Caroline - speak with both of us and decide. We're going to have very different styles, and our perspective will be a bit different.

I have over 20 years of professional experience in management consulting, financial services, industry and government and am a certified coach. I've also held INSEAD alumni association committee roles on three continents since 1993 and work with current INSEAD MBA's as an external coach with INSEAD's Career Services team in Singapore, so I bring very current INSEAD expertise. I'm sure Caroline is very good too. You'll be in good hands with either of us.

Whoever you choose, you'll have two points of view on your profile, which can only be a good thing! Why don't you send me your CV and let's set up a time to chat over Skype?

Kind regards,

[email protected]

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by bharataalv » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:04 am
Hi Rajab,

I don't know where you are with your application process.
I've been working with Laura and can give you my personal and sincere thoughts and reflections :)

I'm just over the moon because I'm nearly there :)

PM me if you want.

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by MoltoAllegro » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:55 am
I recently worked with Laura for interview help. I thought she was great. If you'd like any additional details, feel free to PM me.

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by Vendetta » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:28 am
Hi Rajab,

I represent General Education. We are India's leading application assistance consultancy founded in the year 2007. We do application assistance for top global B-schools, we have a team of consultants graduated from top B-Schools like Harvard, Duke, Cornell, ISB, LBS, INSEAD among a few. we are based in Bangalore and our consultants are spread across major cities in India, US, UK and Europe.

Over the past five years our consultants have made it possible for numerous MBA aspirants who took General Education services, ranging from online GMAT preparation, essay evaluations, general counseling, interview preparation to brainstorming sessions, and made it to b-schools like - Harvard Business School, Wharton Business School, Kellogg Business School ,ISB, Stanford GSB, Chicago Booth, INSEAD France, Cornell to name a few. Please visit to know more about our services.

For free profile evaluation with top b-school graduate, kindly share your contact details or drop us an e-mail with your profile at [email protected].

Feel free to write if you have further queries.


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by whwusa » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:38 pm
Hi Rajab! Let me share with you my fresh experience working with Laura Freedman from Access Education in Singapore (

First of all, I has been accepted to INSEAD!! (btw, the only school I had applied to). It was a very long journey but so rewarding at the end!

About me: I am Chinese national raised in Argentina (Buenos Aires) who was looking for an MBA Admissions Consultant to help me apply to INSEAD. After reading many posts and recommendations from and, I came across Laura in one of those posts.

Since I had never talked with any Admissions Consultant before, I was a bit skeptical. So, why did I contact Laura? Well, to make long story short, I would say that my decision was based on the following reasons:

1. Laura has "insider" knowledge about INSEAD. Since INSEAD was the only school that I was applying to, I felt I needed an INSEAD "specialist". Laura has extensive experience with INSEAD - she is an INSEAD alumnus who worked with INSEAD Admissions and interviewed many MBA candidates. She also coaches current MBA students through INSEAD Career Services, so she knows the program and has a lot of insight into the profiles of current students. After working with Laura, I can confirm that her knowledge about INSEAD was incredibly helpful for my application.

2. Laura's cultural knowledge. I wanted someone who could understand my dual Argentine/Chinese background and help me explain it to best effect on my application. Laura's lived in many different countries and had to adapt to different cultures lots of times (and even speaks Spanish and some Mandarin).

3. Laura's consulting background. Laura worked with a top-tier consulting firm, with a Big 4 firm, as an internal consultant and she ran her own management consulting practice. I wanted an admissions consultant who could understand my background working for a small regional McKinsey spin-off and help me explain my work achievements in a way that would support my case for joining an MBBB firm.

4. Her "personal" attention. Unlike many other Admissions Consultants (yes, I watched many videos on Youtube and read webpages of other consultants), Laura works DIRECTLY and PERSONALLY with you. I mean, you will work directly with HER and not with her TEAM. That was very important, since she got to know me really well and was able to remember examples I had missed and help me use them in my final essays. I still remember how she personally answered my first email asking for the "first free consulting session" (see next).

5. The "first consulting session" (basically, you get the first consulting session from Laura for free) For me it was really important that you can first "try" the product before "buying" it, and if you are not satisfied (hard to imagine!), you can always choose not to work with her. What impressed me the most in the first session was her ability to sum up and structure my strengths and weaknesses, providing me a clear picture of my chances of getting admitted to INSEAD.

So, what follows is the summary of my experience of working with Laura:

"¢ First, let me say that I am totally satisfied with the results. My application and essays would not have reached that level of quality if Laura did not help me. She could clearly adapt all my essays and still let them stay true to my PERSONAL story.

"¢ Laura was always there at my reach. Despite living with a difference of 11 hours (I am located in Argentina and she is in Singapore), Laura always managed to make room for calls through Skype. We had not less than 30 hours work.

"¢ Laura is an amazing editor. She really knows how to write (she used to teach English). It was amazing how she helped me frame and shape and re-shape my essays to get my stories to flow smoothly and with just the right amount of detail (she calls it "fish tank clear"). Working with her really improved my business writing at work, not just on the application.

"¢ I felt that Laura loves what she does. How do I know that? Through all the time and dedication she put into my application. With all the sessions that I spent sharing my personal story with her so she could provide better insights for my application, I can say that Laura ended up knowing me better than myself!

Overall, I had a great experience with her and best of all - I'm going to INSEAD!!!

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions

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by Majken » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:48 pm
I would like to second that recommendation and share my experience working with Laura Freedman, an MBA admissions consultant at Access Education in Singapore

Laura's ability to quickly identify my unique strengths and articulate these
in a strong storyline is what made Laura extraordinary in my eyes. I
actually gained greater clarity around my strengths and weaknesses through
working with Laura, which I am grateful for.

Moreover, Laura's professional background in law and management consulting
meant that she could relate to my own professional working experience and
help me tease out the most significant details in a scenario thereby
building my story and profile step by step. This was immensely helpful and
definitely helped create a strong application.

Laura's willingness to go the extra mile and do long and late hours up
against a deadline to make sure I was able to submit on time was also
appreciated. Her razor sharp eye for detail, grammar and complete mastery of
the English language ensured the essays never skipped a beat and were error

Finally, as an active INSEAD MBA alum and a coach for INSEAD Singapore's
Career Development Office, Laura's knowledge of INSEAD is extensive, which
is a great source of guidance if one is applying to INSEAD specifically as I
was. For these reason, I would recommend Laura strongly.

Indeed, the whole experience was great and I have been admitted to INSEAD!

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by Kingstroem » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:44 am
I'm in at INSEAD. Fortuna's contribution was invaluable. First contact made on a Saturday evening 9.30 p.m. due to quite short timeline to keep the deadline and I received an answer half an hour later from Caroline. Her tailored approach, first-hand knowledge of and her strong network within the respective admissions process as well as her persistence to flesh out who you really are to make your application pack shine are key to make a difference. The mock-interviews with Caroline were also extremely helpful - I went in feeling well prepared, and, in fact, many of the questions we walked through were asked actually. It was a pleasure and I can highly recommend Fortuna Admissions. It really pays off.

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by cflag » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:53 am
I finally wrapped up my experience with Stacy Blackman and can now post my review. It's hard to think back to my mindset when I was trying to figure out how to hire an admissions consultant. It feels like so long ago. I came to forums like this and reached out to the leading admissions consulting firms for the free consultations. There is a ton of information out there on other consulting firms, like MBA Exchange; those articles and posts seemed to be heavily influenced by their own advertising campaigns. Then, I weeded out the newer entrants, like Fortuna and Stratus Prep. The claims of the newbies seemed really alluring (how neat that an owner even bothered to talk to me); but I couldn't put my faith in companies that were in start up mode. Among the existing companies, there are dozens of reviews to sift through. I saw an important trend that directing my admissions consulting pursuit toward Stacy Blackman. Only SBC had posts of positive reviews as early as 2005 and 2006. Those reviews have been consistent over time and seemed the most authentic. I will be attending my first choice, INSEAD, because of this important partnership I had with Carol and the rest of Stacy's team. The ease of communication, 24/7, through holidays, and over the many weeks of our engagement, was incredible.

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by sp001 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:35 am
Hi Rajab,
I am sure both consultants are very professional and knowledgeable and you might want to go with the one who you feel most comfortable with as you will be sharing quite a bit of your personal story with him/her.

I have worked with Laura and can honestly say that without her I would have not followed through the application process.
Laura is fantastic in encouraging you and getting the special and unique something out of you that INSEAD is looking for.
She brings you back on track and guides you so that at the end you are the one who is coming up with a great story to tell about yourself.
But don't think she will do it for you. She helps you to find out for yourself and that is what I found really great.

With her help I did make it. I am a current student at INSEAD (the only school I applied to).
You also want to consider that Laura is part of INSEAD's career development team and is working as a counselor, which is great because you are able to stay connected to your consultant throughout your MBA.

As I said, at the end go with the person you feel most comfortable with; from personal experience I have no hesitation to warmly recommend Laura.

Good luck and hope to be able to welcome you soon in the INSEAD family.

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by dexter101 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:42 am
I got into INSEAD!
I am an entrepreneur from India with a GMAT of 700, above average EC and GPA. The dream of going to a top tier bschool came true finally but the journey was certainly not the smoothest one!
My story: After consecutive attempts for three years at the top MBA programs in the US, I was unable to get into the schools. First it was wrong approach and strategy and even as a reapplicant I was unable to put my story right and convince the adcoms. But, I kept trying with improved approaches and taking the help of various consultants every year. Even worked with consultants who were admission insiders in the past but was not able to convert the interviews and waitlist offers at schools like Columbia and UCLA.
So, last year I had decided that I am going to apply one final time at the schools and chose 7 of the top 20 programs in the US, for which I took the help of a consultant.
Now, since this was my last attempt, I wanted to try all sorts of things. So, I got in touch with ADMISSIONADO so as to have a second consultant.
The one hour call with MEHDI ASSADI (Senior consultant-Admissionado and INSEAD alum) was certainly a eye opener. He took personal care to dig deep into my profile, analyzing quickly why my previous essays were not able to articulate the best of 'me'. I am an entrepreneur working for the family business, with startup experiences in the past. He tried to match the programs suggesting some european ones that would be a good fit for me such as INSEAD, LBS. I always thought these were stretch schools since I had tried multiple times at the top tier US schools and failed.

As we started working together, the high level strategy to create the action plan was really helpful in revamping my approach. My essays got better and better and finally I was invited for the interviews.
Since I had to crack these interviews by hook or crook, I took the interview prep sessions(4) in which Mehdi made sure that I corrected most of my mistakes in speech delivery, body language, choice of words etc.
Both of my interviewers said that they are going to recommend me. However, I was on top of the world when I got the call from admissions confirming my acceptance.

I am an experienced applicant :) Having tried several bschools and multiple consultants. I can finally say that Mehdi could best understand my story, having a multi cultural background.
According to me, he is the best consultant to work with for any school for that matter, and of course
BTW...INSEAD is the only school that I got into!

Cant thank him enough and the whole admissionado team. Super excited as I am preparing to start in Fountainebleau this fall!