Laura George - Laura George Consulting
Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber: What was your inspiration for starting Laura George Consulting?
Laura George: I have worked in this space for a long time, and have had a variety of experiences that lead to what I do today. As a student at Kellogg [School of Management at Northwestern University], I got interested in admissions and became a member of the admissions committee which gave me great insight on admissions from the school's perspective. I also took entrepreneurial classes there. I was a psychology major at Duke, and I have always loved writing. I also helped a Kellogg colleague with MBA Consulting--it was so interesting talking to top MBA candidates from all over the world. Then I started ACT tutoring for friends and neighbors. In 2016, I started to make my role more formal and launched the business. I just started putting myself out there, I built a website, started blogging, learned how to use Google AdWords, and formed a local Facebook Group [Parents of College Bound Kids} that took off internationally! I started to hire some other tutors, educational consultants and essay coaches and now we have a staff of 30 with locations in Lincolnshire and Barrington, although we do a lot virtually as well. Oh--and I love working with kids!
LFLBC: What is the one thing you want people to know about Laura George Consulting?
LG: We partner with families to help them chart a clear path forward to find a student's best fit college. We strive to break the cycle of stress that perpetuates around this decision and help throughout each person's journey. We want each student to find the right school for them.
LFLBC: How has the pandemic affected your business?
LG: It put a real damper on ACT and SAT tutoring as so many tests were getting cancelled. But, like others, we pivoted and moved our communications online. And it was interesting--we have two locations, but still some clients had geographic barriers getting to us physically. But with so much done online these days, the silver lining is that we have clients from a wider area, many of whom we work with virtually, taking the issue of travel out of the equation. The pandemic also gave us an opportunity to assess our business model and as a result, we've been able to develop more programs to meet the needs of a wider audience. I also was tapped by local media to contribute to their newscasts regarding educational concerns. t was really fulfilling and enriching to work with families at such a challenging time.
LFLBC: What is your business vision?
LG: We are currently expanding our offerings and outreach to allow for more points of entry into our business, while we still maintain the personal touch that is so important to our team. Our business has primarily been 1:1, which can constrict our ability to grow. But we are looking at ways to offer our expertise in different ways, such as adding workshops, and membership groups.
LFLBC: How do you give back to the community?
LG: We sponsor almost everything that we are asked to do! And we do a lot of pro bono work, too. I also serve on several boards and committees related to educational foundations and development. On one board, the 'Beyond Sports Foundation,' we work with student athletes who may need academic assistance. I'm also involved in the LFHS Business Incubator and I volunteer on the Lake Forest Academy board, where two of my four boys are students.
LFLBC: Is there anything else you would like to share?
LG: I'd just like to communicate that our services are wide-ranging. We can meet any need related to college decisions, even starting as young as middle school. We offer plans to fit any level of assistance. Some other business models require multi-year commitments, but we can help you at any point in your journey with customized solutions to fit each family's unique needs. Visit our website, follow us on Facebook, or call us [847-363-6780] to talk with one of our Parent Liaisons who can help find the best fit for your needs. We aren't just for students looking to get into Ivy League schools. There are over 4000 colleges in the US. We can demystify the process and help students find the best school in which they will thrive.