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Meet Erika Dietz of Guru Academic Advising in Highland Village

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika Dietz.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started my college planning business with the staunch belief that education is the greatest gift we can give ourselves in a lifetime, and for many, an important part of our education happens in college. I was frustrated by seeing families struggle to navigate the increasingly competitive and complex jungle that is the college admissions process. That first year it was me, armed with passion, and a couple brave (and trusting!) students sitting around my dining room table, doing the work of investigating the right college options and completing their applications. It was an incredible success for the students, and more personally fulfilling than anything I’d done before. The rest grew from there, and I now manage a team of six certified college counselors who work with students all over the north Texas area.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This journey has not been easy (late nights and long hours, no vacations, and I’ve had two babies along the way), but it’s been relatively smooth. As a company, we’ve worked hard to establish a culture rooted in the desire to help, and if we make money along the way, great, but we always approach our work with the mission to help as our most important task. I think this has been the “secret sauce” to our success. I believe in the mantra “No one ever went broke by giving things away for free”, and this business philosophy has helped to smooth over some of the stumbling blocks I believe other business hit when they are focused on profit or maximizing revenue, etc. I could care less about the money. With my business, I want to help everyone who needs good college advice (and I want to crush the terribly persistent and damaging pieces of bad advice out there about the college process because there is a lot of that!) So no, it’s not been smooth. This is hard work, but it’s work we love because we are helping amazing students and families reach their dreams with less stress and better results than they otherwise would have had.

Guru Academic Advising – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are a comprehensive college planning company. That means we work with students and parents to demystify the college application process, and we help students think about college academically, socially, and financially.

We specialize in empowering students to take ownership of their college planning process as a tool to further their independence and readiness for college. We use our elite admissions pedigree and experience teaching to make the college application process stress-free and strategized to maximize each unique student’s potential.

As a company, we are most proud of the results of our work. We make the college process simply better, and we have fun along the way! What most sets us apart from others is our mix of approachability and expertise. We connect well with teenagers and build authentic relationships while providing seasoned, expert advice.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment far and away was the first acceptance letter shown to me by those first few students. I had a front seat to watching my students unfurl their dreams, and it hasn’t worn off since. I genuinely love what I do, and that’s a feeling that can’t be replaced in life. I’ve found my forever job and couldn’t be happier.

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