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As more people head back to school, the applicant pool is getting larger and colleges are being more selective. In fact, the University of Southern California reportedly received more than 47,000 applicants for only 2,650 open student spots for the fall 2013 entering class. This year’s admission of 19.7 percent is lower than it was last year, making it the lowest it has ever been in USC’s history. That’s why there are companies like Mosaic College Prep, a college admissions company founded to help students improve their rate of acceptance with a well-crafted college application. If anyone understands the value of education, it would certainly be Julie Fulton, the CEO and Head of College Counseling at Mosaic College Prep.
As the Head of College Counseling, Fulton manages the the entire college application process, from finding the right schools, overseeing counselors and tutors, helping students tell their story and making sure their applications are completed in a manner that supports their chances of getting accepted. As the CEO, she helps steer the company’s vision by setting goals, developing marketing strategies and allocating budgets.
Fulton started her career as a college admissions counselor at Tufts University where she graduated in 1999 and earned dual bachelor degrees in international relations and drama. When she moved to LA in 2001, she consulted for Occidental College before working with students privately in 2004. It wasn’t until after she co-founded the Los Angeles-based full-service Mosaic College Prep in 2007 that she decided to go back to school at UCLA Anderson School of Management.
“I decided to get my MBA because I realized that while I knew the education landscape intimately, my day-to-day became as much, if not more, about business functions,” says the college admissions counselor. “When I took on the CEO role in 2009, midway through my MBA program, I could approach it with much more confidence and with a better understanding of how to align decision-making to future goals.”
Fulton says that studying business is like learning a new language. “The utility of the individual lessons can be difficult to weigh, but your overall fluency improves — studying business changed my vocabulary; it changed the way I think,” she says. Earning her MBA helped her better understand the implications of her decisions as they related to each other, opening her eyes to the bigger picture and the steps she needed to take to not only maintain her new business, but turn it into something much bigger.
“I used to run my business solely on instinct and trial-by-fire. I could use common sense to guess about things like setting prices, advertising, billing and collecting, but I had no framework as a foundation,” she admits. Armed with an MBA that gave her the tools she needed to build a framework, Fulton believes that nothing is more empowering than a good education. “Even today when things get busy, I think to myself, I handled running a business and grad school simultaneously, I can handle anything.”
Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.