lisa head shotI love learning about what drives people and helping them uncover their strengths. I started my career as the founder of Luscious Licks Frozen Yogurt in Harvard Square right out of college. I always had an interest in business, and in particular marketing, so as a native Californian going to school in Boston, I couldn’t understand why there was no frozen yogurt available in such an ice cream heavy town. I did not let the fact that I had no restaurant experience stop me. I naively followed my passion and thankfully created a successful mini chain of three yogurt stores. My early experience as an entrepreneur taught me a lot about people and myself. Part of our success was getting to know our customers and what flavors they liked best, what toppings they each preferred and how to create a fun, yet efficient work environment.

I left Luscious Licks to attend Harvard Business School where I honed my marketing and strategic business skills. Yet as I continued my post business school career in marketing, consulting and recruiting, I was always fascinated with people’s career paths and how they made decisions. I also enjoyed teaching and eventually became a visiting assistant professor of marketing at Whittier College. It was at Whittier that I fell in love with higher education and mentoring young people on their path to success.

When I moved to New Jersey from California in 2004, one of the first things I noticed was how stressed out most parents were about the college application process. I couldn’t help thinking that my previous experience in marketing (as a visiting assistant professor of marketing at Whittier College, director of recruiting for Ticketmaster Online/CitySearch, and a developer of strategic marketing plans for various companies) might lend some much-needed perspective to the challenge these parents and their teens faced. Since I had learned how to position products and services to appeal to customers, I figured I could also position students to be appealing to colleges.

This led to the founding of my company, College Bound Mentor, LLC. I discovered, during hundreds of individual consultations, that every student has innate talents, but the ability to identify those talents and communicate them effectively to colleges is the key to a successful application process. I used these strategies with all my clients (including my two older daughters) who all found the best-fit college.My book, Surviving the College Application Process: Case Studies to Help You Find Your Unique Angle for Success (Morgan James), will be available in bookstores in April 2014. You can pre-order your copy at

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