Talia Breyer: a new tool to help students choose the right college
Before The Founder Challenge
After struggling all of senior year with the decision of which college to attend, I finally landed on New York University. I was so excited to start in the fall; I spent all summer at home in Arizona looking up the university and dreaming of what my life would be like. However, I quickly realized that there was very little information on the details of college that I was so interested in. This problem did not only exist only with information at NYU, but about what college was like in general. As a scared high school senior, I was desperate and eager to gain more insight as to what my new life would be like. I began to romanticize NYU and college on a TikTok account and had multiple viral videos and high engagement. I quickly realized people loved my content and advice and were eager to hear more.
Creating My Guides
Throughout my first semester, I continued to create content for my account about NYU. I would get recognized on campus and made so many friends and connections through this account. As I reflected on how my account got started, I realized that I was now in the position to give advice to the incoming freshman that I wish I had had. Because of this, I decided to create my own guide with an abundance of information and advice including TikTok links, videos, a dorm tour, and more all geared towards seniors or others hoping to attend NYU.
To begin, I started an NYU 2027 Instagram account so the incoming freshmen could connect with each other, as well as to advertise my guide. I was SHOCKED to see how many people bought my guide. I knew I had a good product that people wanted and I needed to expand it as fast as possible. Upon seeing the initial response, I immediately started working on a guide to Arizona State University, as I am from Arizona and have a lot of friends who attend the university. I created an Instagram account for ASU class of 2027 as that would be my main form of advertisement. It didn’t take me long to realize that to run multiple Instagram accounts, I would need help. I wanted to be able to focus on the behind the scenes aspects more than copy/pasting messages and posting pictures all day. I decided to hire a social media manager who would run all of the accounts.
Growing, Improving, Expanding
As the social media manager continued to build the accounts, I was able to advertise on my story as well as focus on creating new guides and creating Tik Tok content. I would put up different polls, Q&A’s, and information about the guide to gauge what people wanted. As I gathered more information, I continued to expand and create more guides to different schools. I wanted to scale as fast as possible and to do this I had to put systems in place. I had my social media manager message current students at each new school to help create that school's guide. I would interview those interested and choose who I felt would be best. From there, I would send the current college student the instructions of how to structure their advice/ information and compensate them upon completion. Once I had all of the information, I sent it to my designer who put everything together. I would then put the final guide onto my store, add it to my website, and advertise it across all social media platforms.
From Talia's Guide to Universities Unlocked
I have over 13 schools and many more in the works. I have also decided on a company name and logo and am continuing to build my social media presence. I have learned so much already about how to run a business and all of the things that go into making it successful. I now have a full time virtual assistant helping me stay on top of everything, stay organized, and expand. I am taking the summer to focus on the foundations of the business. This includes improving how I will advertise and market, my social media content, my websites, the software used, sending out polls for customer feedback, altering and perfecting the guide itself, the process of adding a new school, and so much more. I truly believe this product will help so many people decide on a school to attend and I am very passionate about it. This is only the beginning and I am fully aware that there is still so much to learn about being an entrepreneur; but nonetheless, I am extremely proud of myself and eager to continue to grow.
Throughout my childhood, I was constantly creating businesses and finding new ways to make money and help people. Because of this, I’ve always felt isolated in terms of my priorities and ambitions. However, coming to NYU, and The Founder Challenge specifically, has offered me a sense of relatability and understanding when it comes to being a young, aspiring entrepreneur. Getting to hear from like-minded individuals who actively work towards their goals has been such a privilege. The feedback I have gotten from my peers is not only extremely beneficial, but their consistent interest in what I am doing makes me want to work even harder. Having a “home base” to report back to has been crucial in both my personal and entrepreneurial development this year. I have absolutely loved being a part of The Founder Challenge