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Best Admissions Consultant for INSEAD – Access Education

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Best Admissions Consultant for INSEAD – Access Education  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2015, 23:44
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After deciding in April 2014 to embark on a sabbatical, I decided to apply to INSEAD’s MBA programme for the December 2015 intake. The Round 3 deadline was 25 July and I was based in London. Working against a tight timeline, I began researching admission counsellors who could help frame my story in a compelling manner.

Digging through blogs and websites, I came across Laura Freedman, an MBA admissions consultant from Access Education, Singapore. Her company is a high-end boutique and she’s selective about who she’ll work with, so she keeps a low-profile, but she came especially highly-recommended for INSEAD applicants. I shortlisted a few more names and had preliminary sessions with each to get a sense of the process and feel for how they would be able to help me.

Laura was the only admissions consultant I spoke with who laid it out to me as she saw it. She did not sugar coat her preliminary feedback and gave me no false hopes regarding my chances of getting into INSEAD’s MBA programme. Her forthcoming and honest feedback left a favourable impression on me. While she appreciated my background, education and extracurricular activities, she immediately began pointing out gaps in my story she felt I needed to explain further to connect the missing dots. I decided to engage her and am so happy I did.

Laura started meeting me regularly via 90-minute Skype sessions to understand my background, experience, interests and post-MBA objectives. She easily accommodated my schedule, regardless of the time zone difference between us. She helped understand my unique value and identify the personal stories she felt held strong merit and which deserved to be told in my essays to the INSEAD admissions committee. She also helped me reflect on my past achievements in a more meaningful manner. I began to see a real progression in what I had accomplished both personally and professionally, which increased my overall confidence as I wrote my essays.

Not only is Laura an active INSEAD alumnae, but she has deep personal insights into the admissions process due to her experience as a former interviewer, INSEAD current career counsellor and longstanding alumni leader at the school (her name is even on an amphi). Her clear and objective feedback helped sharpen my essays dramatically, and her one-on-one attention was pivotal in my being able to meet the Round 3 deadline. Dealing with her directly rather than being outsourced to a larger team helped her get to know me incredibly well, and let me finish my application in the limited time I had available.

After I was invited by INSEAD to interview, Laura held mock interview sessions to help with my preparation. Not only was this a helpful to anticipate what sort of questions I might be asked, but running through mock sessions with her helped me think on my feet and built my confidence to put my best foot forward.

I cannot thank Laura enough. Without her encouragement, advice and attention, I would not be part of the INSEAD community today. She was instrumental in my success and has my highest recommendation. Talk to her – you’ll be glad you did!
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Re: Best Admissions Consultant for INSEAD – Access Education  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2017, 08:46
Access Education - Review.

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!
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Re: Best Admissions Consultant for INSEAD – Access Education  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2018, 08:00
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I happened upon Laura Freedman at Access Education as an MBA admissions consultant and it was life changing. If you’re assessing the value of the many options out there, I can attest that Laura offers a premium service in every way. She provides uncommon perspective in every phase of the process (including after you are accepted!), she does all her work with you on live video conference and meets as much as you need (in fact encourages you to schedule more meeting time) and is an absolute perfectionist with your essays. I’ve worked with multiple MBA admissions consultants. Your dollar goes way further with Laura than with other services in terms of the application support alone.

But Laura is so much more than that. She's a life coach who cares about you as a person and speaks from her own fascinating, diverse experiences. She sees the potential in you but also sees through the lies you tell yourself (a big part of the MBA application process!). Laura will challenge you at every turn and make you think about things differently to ensure that your MBA is not only a career advancement opportunity, but a pivotal adventure in a non-linear life path.

If you’re looking at top programs outside the US, Laura is the foremost expert. If you’re looking at programs in the US you should still work with Laura because her perspective is just that valuable. I wish I’d known how much of a no-brainer the decision is when I was looking at options. It’s easy to get cynical about the MBA consulting world, but I can honestly say Laura is a one-in-a-million mentor that I would want to work with even if I wasn’t applying to business school. And I got into my first choice!
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Re: Best Admissions Consultant for INSEAD – Access Education  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2019, 05:21
blanche2negru wrote:
I wasn't planning on getting an MBA admissions consultant for my reapplication to INSEAD until I've spoken to a few people and realised how popular this strategy was. The first query on Google Search for an INSEAD admissions consultant was Laura Freedman at Access Education. While I was still skeptical about the idea of hiring such help, I slowly started to change my opinion as I read more on Laura's background, both on the website and her LinkedIn page.

I signed up for an essay review and was shocked at how poor my initial drafts were. There was a lot of rambling without saying much of substance. Laura helped me see that my essays didn't read very well from an outsider's perspective. She gave me specific pointers on how to structure my ideas and topic sentences, while keeping in mind the Admissions Officers as my audience.

Laura was also keen to ensure that our work on the essays would be done in time for me to submit before my preferred deadline, even though this entailed squeezing in many sessions in a row as the timing was tight. She would sometimes even go beyond the scheduled time slot just to ensure we covered as much material as possible. This showcased that she was fully involved in the process of helping her clients with the application, thus making the process more of a partnership rather than a transaction.

Once I got my invitation for Alumni interviews, I decided to re-engage Laura's services for the interview prep as well. There was only one session, but it made me feel ready for my meetings with the two INSEAD Alumni. And then the great news came... the positive Admissions decision!

After this months-long process, I can confidently say that for INSEAD admission, Laura is one of the greatest resources that there is. Not only is she able to help you craft your best version of the application essays, but she'll also offer priceless guidance around CV, interviewing, networking and general career advice. The little stories she sometimes sprinkles in the sessions make for a more relaxed (yet efficient) consultation.

Thanks again, Laura!


This just seems like a spam post. Please provide details on how you got help and a background and your profile. This is your first post on forum so that won't make a cut.

Please provide additional details else I'll remove the post as spam

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Re: Best Admissions Consultant for INSEAD – Access Education  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2019, 09:00
Adding on to the reviews by others here:
Background: 4 years work experience in consulting and looking to make a jump with MBA. GMAT score in my panel

I used the comprehensive service package at Access Education admissions consulting and worked with Laura Freedman for about 3 months. I was admitted into INSEAD, my choice of MBA program, and I would like to thank Laura for helping to bring out my best sides in the application.

After taking the free diagnostic sessions with several admission consultants, I chose to work with Laura because I felt she exhibited excellent knowledge about the admission requirements and was able to propose a new angle for my profile. In the diagnostic session, it was clear that she listened and was able to quickly process what I shared about my background. Her comments were personalised from the start, which gave me confidence that she could bring out the best in my application. My initial assessment of her proved to be right.

In my consultations with her, I was constantly marveled by the level of insight she provided. Laura’s a 1992 INSEAD alum whose knowledge about the INSEAD application and vast work experiences in various industries and functions were apparent in our conversations. She pushed me to refine my essays, often resulting in me re-writing key parts after our consultations, for the better. I appreciate her frank comments, which kept me grounded throughout the application process in search for better answers. Even under crunch time, I felt she refused to compromise the quality of my application, pushing me to dig deeper to answer the why-s and how-s in my life.

The result was not only a polished, high-quality application, and improved interview skills, but also a better understanding of myself and my own personal development. This level of clarity about myself would not have been reached without the effort put in by Laura to understand me and push me in the right direction.
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Re: Best Admissions Consultant for INSEAD – Access Education   [#permalink] 27 Feb 2019, 09:00
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