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Meet Mindy Popp of Popp & Associates in Wellesley Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mindy Popp.

Popp & Associates was founded by Mindy and celebrated its 11th anniversary this past June. The company was started with $18 in 2006 and has grown to a well-respected educational consulting firm that serves families living throughout the US and overseas. Popp & Associates’ expertise in college admissions counseling has been recognized by media including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, The Boston Globe, Teen Vogue, and others.

Mindy’s passion for advising students and families was ignited when she worked as a residential counselor for Tufts College Experience, a pre-college summer program for high school students at Tufts University, while she was a Tufts undergrad. It was the first job that Mindy held that she didn’t need an alarm clock to wake her to get ready for work. She loved every minute of being a residential counselor and credits that job with helping her find clarity for her professional future. Mindy scrapped plans to take the LSAT and apply to law school and decided to follow her heart. She has worked for 20 years in the field of education and feels blessed to have a job that she loves. Building and managing Popp & Associates has afforded Mindy more opportunities for personal challenge and growth than anything else she has ever done. Her work with clients is stimulating and fulfilling, and she feels grateful to be welcomed into families’ lives to help them navigate important educational decisions.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Building a business has its ups and downs. There are wonderful rewarding moments, and then there are times that are very challenging and sometimes scary. The ride has not always been smooth, but it has definitely been worthwhile.

The struggles have varied from website hacks that resulted in our site being down during really crucial times in our busy season to an unhappy client disparaging us on the Internet. Managing a business takes a great deal of strength and courage, as well as a willingness to take risks. Having faith that challenges will not last forever and believing there is always a light at the end of the tunnel is vital to forging ahead in the most uncertain times.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Popp & Associates provides high-quality, personalized advising to students and parents as we feel that supporting a family throughout high school, in addition to the college search and application process, is the best way to ensure successful outcomes. Our approach to college advising is developed in accordance with a client’s needs and is never “one size fits all.” We support clients so that they benefit from not only favorable college admission results, but also an application process that is calm and well-managed.

Popp & Associates counselors love working with teenagers and are excited to support their personal growth on many levels. We provide advice about strengthening grades and relationships with teachers, identify possible leadership and community service opportunities for students, and encourage students to take creative risks to achieve their potential in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in their personal lives. High school should be seen as a journey of learning academic and life lessons and not just a path to the college application process. We believe that students should focus on building lives, not building resumes. Colleges are excited by students who have explored their interests, stretched their minds, and actively engaged in their communities. Popp & Associates urges students to open new doors in their lives from the very moment they walk through ours.

P&A‘s philosophy toward college counseling is that college options should be provided to students based on what the best fit or match might be given their learning style, academic goals, and other criteria provided to Popp & Associates. We advise a wide range of students with diverse academic profiles, geographic backgrounds, extracurricular and athletic interests, and college aspirations. Our college advising work is not driven by college rankings devised by media sources, college guidebooks, etc. We offer a personalized approach to college counseling that exclusively focuses on the needs and objectives of students and their families.

As the owner of Popp & Associates, I am proud of the high standards we have for our client work and the professional development of our counseling staff. Counselors regularly visit colleges, participate in professional conferences, engage in industry related professional associations, contribute to professional journals, etc. Our expectations for ourselves are high, and we always strive to exceed clients’ expectations for the services we provide.

Our holistic approach to advising families is unique and sets us apart from our competitors. We understand that factors in students’ lives beyond those that may directly impact the college application process need to be respected and considered. If we can’t assist students with a challenge they are facing, we have a wide referral network, and we are committed to helping students and parents secure the help they need to overcome their challenges and advance their lives to be happier and healthier.

Lastly, Mindy Popp recently founded College Admissions Academy (CAA) Popp & Associates is proud to sponsor CAA, which offers free and low-cost educational programming for parents, students and educators. We provide valuable information regarding the college search and application processes, financial aid, and other topics of interest for adolescents and parents.

What were you like growing up?
I was very entrepreneurial from a young age. When I was 6 years old, I founded the Where’s the Beef Club at my elementary school. We impersonated Clara Peller, the woman in the Wendy’s ads that became famous for her “Where’s the Beef?” line and we drew hamburgers of all shapes and sizes in our club meetings.

After working in my cousin’s retail clothing store in high school during the summers and witnessing firsthand the success he attained from his relentless hard work and perseverance, I started taking more creative risks in my high school. I founded the Ecology Club and created and coordinated an environmental awareness week at my school. Local companies and speakers supported the event that was attended by faculty and students. I started other initiatives as well and feel so grateful for my teachers and faculty club sponsors who believed in me and my dreams. My teachers provided unwavering support and enthusiasm for my aspirations, and because of them, I truly believed I could be successful. I completed every goal that I set for myself in high school. I can only hope that my students can say the same.

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