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Meet Linda Abraham of Accepted

Today we’d like to introduce you to Linda Abraham.

Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. You can include as little or as much detail as you’d like.
No five-year-old proudly announces that she wants to be an admissions consultant when she grows up. I was no different – especially since I’d never heard of a graduate school admissions consultant until… well probably until I was one.

As an undergrad at UCLA in the 1970’s, UCLA offered me a position as a writing tutor. I loved the work but never considered it as a career or as part of a career. I went on and earned my MBA from UCLA (1979) and worked in business and in residential real estate sales.

My husband and I married in 1978. Our family grew, and by the early 1990’s we had a very busy household with six children. I worked in residential real estate sales throughout the 1980’s, but by the early 90’s the real estate market in LA was in the doldrums, and I wasn’t enjoying this work anymore. Plus it really conflicted with family time.

I returned to my previous love – editing for students. I really enjoyed the work and kept being asked to edit personal statements and application essays. By 1994, I decided to focus exclusively on editing for admissions writing. In 1996, I decided to “experiment” by putting up a website called accepted.com with information on admissions writing that would help applicants and demonstrate my expertise.

The business grew rapidly and by the early 2000’s Accepted had consultants on staff, a growing website, and it had transformed into an admissions consultancy serving applicants from around the work and hosting online chats for leading graduate programs…

Today, Accepted has 20+ consultants who provide expert guidance to applicants in higher education. While individual consultants specialize in specific admissions areas, the company serves a broad range of undergraduate and graduate applicants who work one-one with clients to help them get into the best programs for them.

In addition, for the larger applicant community, Accepted is a destination site for free information. It provides:
• A podcast, Admissions Straight Talk, with admissions directors, professors, recent grads and test prep pros,
• Informative, life webinars
• Tons of information for applicants.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No of course not. There have been personal challenges and professional challenges. And there have been the challenges that come with growth.

Personal challenges: Maintaining a life outside of work. Ironically, this was easier when my children were young. They were normal, demanding kids and lived in the house where I worked.

Now that they are grown, and the business is larger, there is more temptation to just keep on working. That’s not healthy for me or the business. And besides, these days I want to spend some time with my grandchildren.

Professional challenges. When I first posted our website in 1996, freely available information was — if not a novelty — something that attracted attention and visits.

Today, we live in a world where we have so much information and not enough time to consume it!

Another challenge: Accepted was a pioneer in the field of graduate admissions consulting; there was little competition in the early days. There is lots of competition today. Both challenges require ever-improving quality, and I’m happy to say that Accepted is constantly improving its services, content, and processes so that it is still growing.

Growth challenges: As the Internet changed and the business grew, the back office infrastructure had to improve and grow. This is an ongoing process and a great problem to have.

Accepted – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We guide applicants to choose the right programs to aim for and then to present themselves at their best through the application process. So we provide advice on school choice, application essay and resume editing, interview prep, and video critiques.

I am “most proud” of several things:
1. Accepted’s commitment to serving our clients’ needs to the best of our ability, even if it means telling them we have to tell them something they don’t want to hear or steering them away from a more expensive service to a less expensive service
2. Accepted’s different service options, which allow applicants to select the service that’s best for them and their budget.
3. The emails I get from clients – and non-clients – saying that they would never have gotten to where they are without Accepted’s help.
4. Accepted’s refund policy. It allows applicants to stop work after they meet our one-hour minimum and request a refund of unused time or the unused portion of a package (the latter is less a small cancellation fee.) We can afford such a policy because of the quality of our staff and their work.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I have many proud moments, most centered on an email or call from happy clients who just got accepted.

• The son of farmworkers who was accepted to medical school and wrote when he got the good news, “ I am going to be a doctor! I almost cried over the phone to the dean. This feeling is surreal. I cannot believe this.”

• The previously discouraged MBA client who wrote, “I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I feel very proud of the decision that I took when I decide to ask for help to accepted.com, and I will not hesitate to recommend you any time, any place. Please, never lose that spirit of support and that level of engagement with the applicants!”

• The PsyD applicant who wrote, “I am beyond thrilled… I do not see how I could have possibly enjoyed the success I had without your help. I had the best programs in the US vying for my attention. I know that your help with the SOP put me over the top. Thank you again.”

• The engineering applicant who wrote, “I would’ve never been admitted to any of the 8 top US grad schools (Stanford, CMU, Berkeley, Columbia, UW and 5 other Masters in Engineering Programs) I was admitted to if it hadn’t been for your help.”

Pricing:

  • $325 per hour
  • MBA Application Package $4500
  • Primary Medical School Application Package $2615
  • Masters Application Package $2760
  • Law School Application Package $3055

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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