Admittedly

Interview with Jess Brondo


In this interview with Admittedly’s CEO Jess Brondo, we discuss new trends that are forming in the college search and admission process. Jess is a Princeton University ‘04 alum, entrepreneur, and all around good person to know and work with. Learn more about her story and the team behind Admittedly by following them on Twitter (@JessBrondo, @EmilyCole13, @Admitted_ly).

Because students aren’t getting the guidance they need in high school, they are often ending up at schools that are not the right fit

Give us the Admittedly elevator pitch!

Admittedly is the ultimate college advisory tool for high school students, their parents, and guidance counselors. We provide tools for students in 8th through 12th grade that are timely and relevant, and early enough to make an impact on improving their chances of admission. Our application management tool mimics the role of a private college admissions counselor and walks students through every aspect of the application process with tools to help both students and parents. The platform aims to level the playing field for students who cannot afford a private college admissions counselor, but who don’t have access to their high school guidance counselors.

Are you guys hiring?

We’re definitely hiring and currently have 4 positions open: UI/UX Designer, Senior Algorithm Engineer, Junior Engineer, and User Acquisition Manager. We also have spring and summer internship programs that we’re starting to hire for as well, and those include tech and non-technical positions. All of the open positions can be found on our website at admitted.ly/jobs. We’re also in the process of building our High School Ambassador class and would love for interested high school students to reach out to me at jess@admitted.ly.

Tell us a little bit about your family and upbringing — have you always been this ambitious and entrepreneurial?

I grew up in an extremely supportive household on Long Island with my parents and younger brother Jordan. My parents inspired both of us to take chances and gave us the opportunity to pursue a wide variety of interests growing up. I think having that freedom to choose your passions and really dive deep at such an early age had a big impact along the way. I started my first college organization, Princeton Against Cancer Together, during my freshman year, and then started my first business, The Edge in College Prep, at 22 just a year after graduating from Princeton and it was largely due to the confidence that my family instilled in me to just “go for it”.

What tools do you use to run your business?

We’re huge fans of sprintly, evernote/penultimate, dropbox, and of course Google Drive.

What is your academic background?

I was in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs at Princeton, and while I’m not working in politics, that program teaches students problem solving, and more generally, how to “think”. I feel as though the problem solving and collaboration skills have been invaluable running a startup as you’re literally building something from nothing. I’d also have to say that writing my thesis was a great preparation as well as you literally start with a question and design your own methods for solving it.

What’s the best way for people to reach you?

I’m pretty active on Twitter (@jessbrondo) and do weekly twitter chats on Tuesdays from 5-6 PM. Just use #admitted. Also would love to hear from people at jess@admitted.ly

What trends do you see in the college admissions space?

I think we’re in an interesting place for higher education, and that we’re on a precipice of drastic change. We have more students than ever before applying to college, and yet: 1) districts (like Philadelphia) are cutting all guidance counselors, and 2) the number of seats (especially at the top universities) are not increasing at a proportional rate. Because students aren’t getting the guidance they need in high school, they are often ending up at schools that are not the right fit for them, which ultimately results in higher drop out rates. I think we need to start from the bottom up and help high school students 1) dream bigger and 2) find schools that are the ideal fit for their personalities and priorities, which will force less-than-stellar colleges and universities to “shape up or ship out”.


I think we need to start from the bottom up and
help high school students dream bigger