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Joined: Sep 07, 2016
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I mostly worked with Nonie on my INSEAD application. I also briefly worked with Caroline, who helped me polish my final drafts.
Nonie has been the real superstar in my successful journey to INSEAD. Everything about her is Gold! Her honesty and open-mindedness are the biggest hallmarks of her coaching attributes. She has been pleasantly honest about her opinions and feedback throughout the application process, even if that meant more re-work, drafts and revisions. She has a tremendous eye for detail and helped me rectify things that are sometimes easy to overlook. Nonie is also extremely open-minded, flexible and accommodating. She never restricted my chain of thoughts; she always encouraged me to write different narratives and her insightful critique eventually helped me select the narratives that best showcased my winning attributes and presented me in the best light possible. Although, I started working on my application quite late into Round 1, and hence was always racing against time to submit my application by the Round 1 Deadline, Nonie never allowed me to settle for less or compromise on the quality of any aspect of my application for the sake of meeting deadlines. In fact, Nonie powered me throughout the journey, especially at times when I felt that I might not meet the Round 1 deadline. Despite the zonal time difference between UAE and Singapore, Nonie was very flexible, responsive and her turnaround time was exceptional. Her feedbacks were succinct, crystal clear, and extremely constructive. Nonie leveraged her tremendous knowledge of INSEAD to help me create a bullet proof strategy for my INSEAD application.
However it was not all tough love from Nonie all the time. She displayed abundant sensibility when I shared a few of my personal stories with her. She helped me allay my anxieties and overcome my inhibitions. The mock interviews with Nonie were a lot of fun. I feel, this is where the student-coach relationship really came to life and started thriving on an entirely different level of comfort and camaraderie. Nonie's care and coaching was extremely personal. I could feel that she was really invested, almost like a stakeholder, in my INSEAD dream, and when time came, she seamlessly switched gears from being my essay critic to becoming my biggest supporter. She championed me and positively reinforced my thoughts right until the decision day. Her confidence in my candidacy eventually became the cornerstone of my own belief, faith and confidence. With, Nonie beside me, I never felt alone in the journey - She not only kept me in the race all the time, but also helped me get over the line. I am absolutely indebted to her.
While Nonie was the Superstar of my INSEAD application journey, I would like to remember Caroline as the real Rockstar of my application. Having been the MBA gatekeeper at INSEAD admissions for several years, and having shaped the application procedure herself, Caroline sprinkled the much desired magic dust on my application that quite literally transformed my solid application to a sparkling one. Caroline stressed on brevity, simplified complexities and helped me make my application a breezy read. Her comment's were razor sharp and succinct. Caroline's initial assessment and feedback about my goal was also a massive help as it genuinely made me rethink about my career goals, propelled me towards a more realistic goal and definitely helped me avoid any potential red flags in the minds of the AdCom regarding my post MBA employability. In the end when Caroline, who herself made the final decision for more than 34000 applicants during her time at INSEAD, told me "I enjoyed reading your essays", I did feel a lot more positive and optimistic about clicking that "SUBMIT" button, than I would have felt if I did not have Caroline's blessings.
Succeeding in my INSEAD application, while being a part of the most overly represented demographic (Indian Male Engineer), on the wrong end of the 20's, with a modest GMAT score, a young family, a very demanding work schedule, and no plan B (INSEAD was the only school I applied to) could not have been possible had it not been for Nonie and Caroline, and Matt (who posited a reservoir of optimism, faith, belief and encouragement in me right at the beginning, in the initial free consultation). As Gordon Gekko said “The most valuable commodity I know of is information”, leveraging the collective insider knowledge of INSEAD was my biggest advantage of working with the Fortuna Dream Team. The recipe for success at Fortuna pivots on a fine balance between the various stakeholders at play - the coach, the mentor and the applicant - In my honest opinion the balance, as it is, is perfect.
Therefore, Fortuna's Dream Team receives my highest and strongest recommendation.