Garrett FitzGerald | Founder of CollegeRecon
Success leaves clues.
Finance Strategists sat down with Garrett FitzGerald, founder of CollegeRecon. He shared his thoughts on the past, present, and future of the company, as well as the insights he has gained from running the business.
Who is Garrett FitzGerald?
Q: Who are you and what’s your background?
My name is Garrett FitzGerald, born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I became an entrepreneur during my final semester at the University of Dayton. With a background in marketing and communications and little real-world work experience, I began collecting data and building a business plan to raise capital for my idea.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and why did they have such a significant effect on you?
My passion for entrepreneurship and my understanding of the risks/ rewards associated with this type of career path stems from my dad. He decided to take the same risks when he was young and spent nearly 2 decades building his company before exiting. I was able to watch while he worked tirelessly to create something from scratch. It inspired me to attempt to do the same. I’ve relied on his guidance and experiences as I navigate my own path to success.
Q: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given your younger self?
If I could go back to the beginning, I would have been more strategic in finding people with experience in the industry I was entering to help me as an advisor, partner, or employee. I could have saved a lot of time and money in the early years if I had people who knew more than I did in certain areas. I had to test everything I did with little to no background in most cases so the tests took longer to examine and cost more to perform.
Q: What is CollegeRecon?
It is the leading college discovery platform for military-connected students looking to use their G.I. Bill tuition benefits. We work with more than 100 colleges and universities from across the country to build their brand awareness and enrollment strategies. We’ve created a non-predatory platform ensuring genuine connections between university brands and the military and veteran community.
CollegeRecon provides consolidated and up-to-date information on military benefits, degree program pathways, and university options to the largest online community of veterans, service members, and military families.
Q: What separates CollegeRecon from its competitors?
We’re trusted within the military and higher education communities. We have held strong to our principles of not working with predatory colleges and not selling user data. We provide impartial resources and tools to empower the military community to make informed decisions.
Q: What led you to start CollegeRecon?
I discovered that select companies, non-profit organizations, and universities were preying on the military and veteran community back in 2012. They used misleading and predatory practices to enroll these men and women for the purposes of obtaining their valuable G.I. Bill tuition dollars. This led me to begin building a company focused on connecting the military community with accredited colleges and universities in a predatory-free manner.
Q: What has the experience of building the business taught you?
My lesson learned is “Take every phone call.” I’ve made so many great connections and business development deals by taking a phone call with no understanding of the opportunities that may present themselves. I’ve accelerated the business multiple times through networking and being open to talking to anyone who works in my industry.
Q: Where do you see things headed for you and the company in the next five years?
We plan to expand our team and further streamline our internal processes to improve user experiences and client outcomes. We’re expanding our services into employment as well with a new brand, CareerRecon.
Learn more at CollegeRecon.com.
Published on: May 27, 2022