COLLEGE ADMISSIONS ENTREPRENEUR
Start-up Success Story!
Laurie was always fascinated by the college admissions process. She threw herself into hours researching schools and criteria while in high school, and at Penn she volunteered in the admissions office, became a tour guide and after graduating, served as an alumni interviewer for decades.
After pursuing a career in brand management at P&G, James River and Topps, and taking a pause to raise children, Laurie was ready to return to work. She reflected on the things she was interested in and had a passion for. She learned that a field existed for consultants to work with teens to help them demystify and navigate the college admissions.
In 2012, she combined her passion with career and Co-Founded, One-Stop College Counseling. It is a comprehensive service that helps students navigate the complex college admission process. We guide teens in all areas, encouraging them to explore and build upon their best qualities well before the college application begins.The venture has been a real success, growing every year.
Tell us a bit about your company
One-Stop College Counseling is a comprehensive service that helps students navigate the complex college admission process. We guide teens in all areas, encouraging them to explore and build upon their best qualities well before the college application begins.
What inspired you to start your business — what opportunity in the market are you seeking to address?
I’m fortunate that I turned my hobby into a career! Even back in high school, I was fascinated by the college admission process, and I’d spend hours researching the schools and their admission criteria. During college, I volunteered for the Penn’s admissions office, became a tour guide, and then, after completing college, served as an alumni interviewer for decades. Although my job at the time was in marketing, I remained passionate about college admissions and kept up-to-date with current trends. Then I got married and chose to pause my career so that I could focus on raising my children.
Years later, when I felt ready to return to work, I had no idea what type of career I should pursue. I started to reflect on how I was always interested in college admissions. I discovered that a field existed for consultants to work with teens to help them demystify and navigate the college admission process. For decades I read all I could about admissions, and suddenly my passion looked like it could become my career!
And that’s what happened. In 2012 I co-founded a business, One-Stop College Counseling, and it’s been a success. We have grown every year! And I truly love what I do 🙂
What is it about your personal background, experience, or perspective that fuels your passion for this venture?
I believe I answered this in the first question, but basically, I live and breathe college admissions. My career is my hobby, and I remain passionate about helping teenagers realize their potential.
What are one or two of the biggest wins or most encouraging experiences you’ve had so far?
My biggest “wins” are always going to relate to student success. Whether we help a student overcome an obstacle, expose them to opportunities they weren’t aware of, alleviate the stress of high school, or identify a terrific college for them, we celebrate! There is nothing more rewarding than guiding a student to their “best fit” college.
What has been one or two of your biggest learnings so far?
I work with a diverse group of teenagers throughout the U.S. and abroad. I’ve learned so much from them, and they help me stay young! It’s incredibly rewarding to start with a student as a 14 year old, and watch them mature and bloom years later!
What is an obstacle that you are grappling with as you continue to build this venture?
Capacity! It’s been a constant problem, and we turn away students every year. We’re still working on it….
What surprises have you encountered as an entrepreneur? Something out of left field?
I had always heard that your work never ends when you own your own business, but now I’m living that cliche. It truly never ends; there is always something to do, both working IN the business and ON the business.
How can the WAFFA community help you?
By spreading the word! I always love working with Penn/Wharton families. I appreciate your highlighting women founders — what a fabulous idea!
Check out One Stop College Counseling here!