College Zoom is a one-on-one college mentoring firm dedicated to helping students gain acceptance to the college or university of their choice. David Reynaldo, the founder of College Zoom, developed the idea of this service for a class project in 2009 while he was enrolled at the University of Southern California. An outgoing student, he was surprised to learn that several of his USC classmates had been admitted with lower grade point averages than he thought the university accepted. He wondered how they gained admission to such a top-tier school. After he spoke with college admission officers, Reynaldo learned that academic performance, though important, is only part of the reason students were admitted into USC. Admissions officers also considered students who complimented the culture of the university. This was demonstrated through a student’s ability to make unique contributions in their extracurricular activities that aligned with the mission and vision of the university.
Reynaldo has been passionate about helping students stand out in their extracurricular activities to align with the culture of the college or university they want to attend. Reynaldo has been knowledgeable about the college admissions process, but needed help simplifying complex admission information to his audience and breaking down common misconceptions held by prospective clients which led them to not value the service offerings that would actually deliver the results they desired.
Business Advisor Lori Williams from the Small Business Development Center hosted by Pasadena City College helped Reynaldo understand the importance of simple communications. Industry terminology used in his messages confused his audience and did not inform them of College Zoom’s services. Reynaldo even applied Williams’ lessons to his personal life, having understood that how he communicated and interacted with people (i.e. customers, friends, family, etc.) impacted the relationships he had with them. “I love working with David,” says Williams. “I’ve known him for many years, since he was a student in my entrepreneurial program at USC. Reynaldo stands out to me because he is not only interested in building his business for profitability. He always wants to know the best way to help his employees, members and others involved in his business reach their fullest potential. That’s refreshing.”
Working with the SBDC has helped Reynaldo improve his ability to articulate the benefits of his business to potential clients.
“I was pretty skeptical of the SBDC at first because I didn’t really know what they had to offer. Once I realized the caliber of counselors they had, I realized that the SBDC is a hidden gem. These are individuals who teach at the best business schools. They are extremely professional, highly advanced, and highly sophisticated. It’s almost like getting an education from the kind of people who make America’s best business colleges great, for free. Without the SBDC I wouldn’t be able to articulate to prospective clients the true value of College Zoom and the services we provide.” – David Reynaldo, Founder of College Zoom