The blog post below is a rough transcription of the video above – so please listen to the video if possible – otherwise, here is what was in the video:
BJ: Hey guys, this is BJ here. My name is BJ with real estate services with Remax and the Seth brothers. We love interviewing and talking to people in the community. Being a realtor we’re really you know we do a lot of network events. We deal with a lot of entrepreneurs and businesses. Today we’re here talking to Neha with College Shortcuts.
Neha: Hi everyone, my name is Neha Gupta, I’m the founder College Shortcuts. We have two videos going on right now. I’ve got my team here as well that are watching. So excited to be here. I am the founder of College Shortcuts and Elite Private Tutors. We work with students from age four all the way through college in tutoring, in test prep, and in helping them get into their dream college. For my video viewers here today. I’m really excited to have BJ on. I met BJ about 18 years ago. He ended up DJ-ing my sister’s wedding. He’s one of the top 10 Djs in the country and he’s also incredible when it comes to real estate here in the city of Houston Texas. So I’m excited to have him on as well because I think it’s is so amazing to have two people that are growing their businesses and helping community members around. So, very excited.
BJ: Definitely definitely. Thank you for the introduction Neha. We’re definitely doing a lot of stuff here in the community. Neha has been doing a lot of great stuff as far as education. So being a realtor we see how our kids grow up in the community and education is obviously a huge factor for a lot of families. So we’re going to talk a little bit about what she’s doing to kind of boost everything with our education system with our kids and help our parents out with the school system here.
Neha: Absolutely! So I’m so excited BJ. You are now a dad, which is very exciting. I know that for so many parents there’s only so much we can do in a day. We’ve got work. You’ve got to get them to school. Then you’ve got pick them up that carpool line takes forever. Then they come home. We got to feed them again. Shower and bathe, there’s so things that need happening. So we come in and we come to a house in Houston Texas in particular. We come to the house to make it really easy for parents so that we can get that homework done fast. We can make sure that students are getting through the material and feeling incredible and confident about any subject their working in. So it’s really fun because we make the SAT fun. We make ACT fun. We make the college essays really fun and I think that when so many people look at things as a drag or difficult or nagging their kid, it’s so much better to really have someone there that makes it a lot more fun and exciting.
BJ: That makes a lot of sense. So I have a baby girl myself and I know that you know times change. Once she starts going to school and when she gets older and studying for SATs, the academic system and everything that we learned when I was in school, is completely different now. Relearning that and teaching that to our kids, you know my baby girl is going to be completely different. So I feel like that’s where the challenge is going to come in and that’s where you guys kind of come in. You guys are going to come and step in and take over.
Neha: I mean let’s face it right like biology when you were learning like Dolly and the whole concept of cloning was like this like unheard of thought. If you look now, just right now if you look at biology. I mean stem cells are normal and the whole concept of 3-D printing is becoming mainstream. So can you imagine in even five or ten years, you’re trying to sit down and teach your kid biology. They’re looking at you like “How do you not know all this material?”
BJ: Yeah! Definitely definitely, times definitely changed. Especially a lot of our parents that didn’t even go to school here. They learn from a completely different system in a different country. They need someone to step in and teach the kids like what is current in the academic system. So that makes sense.
Neha: Yes, totally and you know when you look at the college admissions system. I mean most people on average only applied to like two or four schools. I don’t think you applied to 15 colleges.
BJ: No, definitely not great.
Neha: It’s one of those things where if you haven’t been in the game you know with us College Shortcuts. We read thousands of essays. I mean we work seven days a week in this specific field so you become an expert in that sense. It’s what you’re passionate about. Then the kids feel really motivated and driven and it’s a lot of fun to do with them. So I think that’s one of the biggest things that parents feel like they want to do it all or sometimes they feel like they’re a bad parent if they’re trying to do something and it can’t be amazing. Like that can be a challenge as well. So I think one of the biggest things is realizing that getting a team is incredible. I mean even with you I think it’s really hard for people to be able to figure out where they want to live on their own. I’m sure you deal with that all the time.
BJ: I mean of course you know in our business we have people who want to sell their home on their own and then they realize what we can do for them and bring the value to them to help them in the process. Same thing with the education system here. When a parent sitting at home and trying to teach the kids everything on their own but they might not exactly know and they have to relearn it themselves. That’s not always easy, right.
Neha: No, not at all. I think that’s the stress that happens in people’s homes. But then you have to also think about the fact that like some of us don’t always listen to our parents. Like when you add that whole level. I mean even with your baby girl. I’m sure she’s not saying absolutely yes, BJ everything Yes!
BJ: No believe me. She fights with us with just about everything. Believe it. She can’t even talk yet.
Neha: I know exactly. So just imagine if you’re a strong-willed parent your kids’ genetics and so you have to realize that you know as a dad there’s is going to be times where it’s in one ear out the other.
BJ: Of course it doesn’t make sense. So what is a good age for parents to come to you guys? Is there a certain age that you recommend or you know start young? Is there a certain age?
Neha: Great question! We help students and I know this sounds a little crazy a little shell-shocked when I say this. We work with kids in age at age 4. So if they’re looking to get into a private school in the area for specific exams, the entrance exams we help with that and then we work all the way through even through college and even into grad school when we’re looking at the essays. So let’s start off with four years old they need help with those tests. Then we go into tutoring in second, third to get them ahead of schedule if needed or help in reading comp. The level which they’re teaching stuff now it’s a lot. Then we move into middle school tutoring as well and then starting in the ninth grade and eighth grade that’s where the gas really kicks in on the college side of things. As you see I have the shortcut here. So the college shortcut side of making sure that your kids have a mentor by their side dealing with the stresses of high school. The issues that a lot of parents don’t always know about that students are dealing with. From there we start at 11th grade. We’re looking at SAT, ACT prep. By 12th grade we’re looking at writing these incredible essays for students and making sure that they really share their story properly, so they truly stand out and get into their top choices. I tell everyone when families work with us 95 percent of them get into their top three choices. On average we get students about $40,000 to $300,000 in scholarships.
Neha: Which is a great saving. I mean it’s all about how you package that together for the students. That’s what we’re really passionate about here at College Shortcuts.
BJ: That’s awesome! I mean I guess like even myself sometimes you don’t always know what exactly you guys do and what you offer. So that’s why you know we want to ensure you showcase your skills because the young parents out there they need someone on their team to support them. They need someone to back them up and make sure the kids are on the right path. So that’s awesome that you guys are there to provide that service.
Neha: It’s kind of like you know at work you have a team right. Like let’s say you’re the president of the house. You’re the president at work and then you have managers that manage things for you. I think that’s one of the things people don’t realize is like we’re the young like hip, what I call auntie’s, that help the young that are there that are like “Hey dude let’s study! This is fun.” We feel young and we have that energy about us because let’s face it most of my team are not parents. So we have an unlimited amount of energy.
BJ: Right that’s awesome!
Neha: You’re like getting a lot of sleep.
BJ: Definitely definitely something different from those of us that are working 9:00 to 5:00 and come home to help with homework and things like that. Make sure the kids are fed. Get to bed on time. So you know like she said you got to have a team there to make sure everything is done and done right.
Neha: Yeah I was at my nieces. I was her back-to-school mate. She’s six so just to clarify six-years-old. Based on what they said, I knew she had about an hour and a half of homework tonight. I know it sounds crazy but when you add in like 30 minutes of reading because she needs to learn how to Read, Writing and Math. It was about an hour and I have to really get ahead.
Neha: Now I set up the tutor for my sister who got it all set up for her. She just had her parent teacher conference two nights ago. The teacher said she’s reading at a third grade level. Just how the coach come in daily to get that offer play to make it fun. My sister was like “Dude I have been trying to shove the books down this kid’s throat, and make her do the stuff, plus get dinner ready and she wasn’t doing it.” Now just having someone do it. She’s not ahead of the entire grade. I was just in a two-month period, because when your kids are younger that’s when they have the biggest sponges that are not full of anything. So they remember everything and they learned the fastest at the youngest age. That’s why we start so early. Most parents don’t realize that like when you have little babies, like this is the best time. Of course when it comes into high school, yes, at that point if you don’t have a coach you’re probably losing a lot of your hair and stuff.
BJ: So Neha what would you say to the parents who were like you know what, I feel like my kids like you know they go to school all day and now that’s all they need. Like what do you do? That’s it. I mean they may be doing okay but I feel like you know they want to do something to help them excel but they feel like you know school is just enough. I mean what can we do about that?
Neha: I wish it was just enough
BJ: I know right.
Neha: I went to private school. I’m telling you in Houston. One of the top three private school. I will tell you it wasn’t enough. I mean that’s just how it is. I’m not kidding. I’m not hating on my high school. I’m just saying that the way I learned and what I actually need to make A’s. I needed someone behind me. You know there are certain subjects you excel at. I’m really great at certain subjects. The one subject I was horrible on. I wrote it in my book the four-year plan. “A Month-to-Month Guide to Getting Kids Into College”. In the book I talk about my experience with my chemistry teacher. The thing is, colleges don’t care if you hate your teacher. They just don’t care. So it’s your job to figure out how to work through that. One of the fastest shortcuts is to get someone who was already made an A or was majoring in it or understands it. To teach you the concepts in a way that you prefer. So I would say that yes I wish school was, I personally don’t think it’s everything. The second part to that is on average a college counselor. One college counselor at a local public school has upwards of 500 students to review right. They write 500 letters of recommendation in a three-month period. On average 10 applications per student. That’s five thousand applications for one person. You’ve got to be kidding. There’s no way! There’s just no just no way. I would love to tell you that school can handle everything even with a college counselor with 20 kids, including me, still didn’t get enough time to get into a top school like Rice University where I went. I still needed help. So I would love to tell you that schools got everything. Unless you do specifically the one-on-one approach. I just don’t see it even if it’s a private or top school I see it with kids all over different schools. Even in Houston and nationally.
BJ: Perfect! So that’s great. I mean have some great information. We see how you bring value to the parents, to the kids. So that’s awesome. How can parents get in touch with you guys?
Neha: Yes! So of course we do incredible assessments where we get to know your kid one-on-one. We’re now offering a starter package for that. So all you have to do is call us at 713-401-2top, meaning to the top or 401 2867 is the actual phone number. So that’s a 713 401 2867 that’s how you reach us. You just said “Hey we want to get assessed. We want to know where are kid is at and what that game plan is.” We can actually absolutely handle that for you.
BJ: Awesome awesome! Also guys I’ll be tagging Neha on Facebook as well. So you can just message her directly as well. Look up College Shortcuts and get these guys on your team. You know all parents out there you know you’re working hard. Get these guys on your team to take things to the next level. Get your kids into the college that they want to get into in. Get these extra benefits and all this extra money that they can provide you. It’s always a financial thing right. Some people it comes down to what is it going to cost. Basically the bottom line. What people need to see is the in the future how much money you’ll be saving them as well. Then the benefits and the rewards that you’ll be getting.
Neha: Mentorship is a little priceless. Right, like having a high powered coach behind your kid. That’s how you drive results. So a lot of parents forget you know they think about the cost immediately. It’s like we could talk about cost but you know how much you pay to get your car changed for the oil like 90 bucks, you don’t think about it. How much does it cost when you know go out to eat two times a week. A few hundred bucks right. As a family, so things like this where we forget the cost. Really when you have a mentor. Someone to reduce stress in your child’s life. I mean that to me I personally just believe it’s priceless and to make your life easier as a parent. Which every parent needs in my opinion.
BJ: Definitely hundred percent! So guys get in touch with Neha as you can tell her energy is off the charts. You know that’s the thing is like not only are children getting you know a mentor full of energy. It’s also a lot of life lessons that they’re going to learn on the process right. Definitely once again College Shortcuts. I want to thank Neha for taking the time out to talk to me. Once again this is BJ here with Remax Find Properties and the Seth Brothers. We just love reaching out to entrepreneurs’ businesses and people that are just making a big move. So once again big shout out. Thank you Neha. Thank you guys for checking in. We’ll see you soon.
Neha: Awesome so we’re still on with my audience. So I want to talk about you because it’s just so much fun. So I’ve known BJ, just a little background. BJ wasn’t I one of the best dancers back in the day?
BJ: You used to break it down. Definitely, definitely once you when you take over. She would take over the dance floor or the stage wherever she was.
Neha: Yes, and wasn’t I also miss India Texas back in the day?
BJ: Yes! Yes, oh my god!
Neha: Where is my crown?
BJ: A lot of accomplishments right here next to me definitely. Yeah.
Neha: So I’m with BJ early on just you guys know. We’re doing a video for his audience. Now, you know me like totally casual. So beach and I met really early and on. He does, I mean he likes working non-stop as a dad nonstop. Like you’ve got weddings every weekend. By the way his music is killer. I’m like you want any DJ. It’s this guy right here. Then of course with real estate too. So you’re just a busy dad. Would you say that as a dad, if you had someone that came in that would really just kind of like reduce the stress in your home?
BJ: Yeah I think you know look, we just talked about a little bit. I think there’s a certain stage of mentorship, of stuff that parents can provide their kids but at a certain point. It gets to a certain point where we may not exactly know what we’re talking about anymore. Things have changed change from what we’ve learned. So I think that’s where the disconnect might come in. Learning that new stuff. Learning what’s going on right now in 2017 is not always easy. Compared to what we learned when we graduated high school or college right.
Neha: So let’s be real frank, BJ. I don’t think you were as nerdy as I was
BJ: Yeah I would say it was. I wasn’t one of the ones who has agenda.
Neha: Were you speaking at your graduation?
BJ: No, I was not. I was just happy to be there.
Neha: I’m telling you, you’re going to get a nerd in your house.
Neha: You don’t even know your kid might be in total nerd and you just don’t know. Maybe you married someone is kind of you know. She’s got some brain and so now you’ve got these genetics. You let this kid and you really want them to have an incredible life.
BJ: Definitely we need some more nerds to do everything. Nerds are running the world and we need them teaching our kids too. So that’s really what it comes down to.
Neha: Totally I couldn’t help myself. I mean we were just doing a video on his, but I’m really excited because this is a friend of mine who’s now dad. Like it’s so rare right. I talk with a lot of moms to be very honest, but I do talk to a lot of South Asian dads because they do like to take the steering wheel of their kids future. Especially dads of daughters, I deal with a lot. That are like “hold on what schools are we looking at. How do I get her into STEM program or what are the right activities we need to be doing for her to get more well-rounded?” I just couldn’t help myself because the dads are some of my favorite clients because you understand if someone’s able to drive a result, doesn’t really matter what it costs. Like okay if you drive a result and it’s tried and true, logically it makes sense. We just do it.
BJ: Exactly and not only that like you mentioned like especially with daughters’ daddy’s girls right. I mean we have to take care of our girls.
Neha: Don’t you want a mentor like another female empowerment for your daughter because sometimes they don’t listen to their mom.
BJ: I mean sometimes they don’t listen to anyone and sometimes it just takes an outside force to get them to focus and put them on the right track. There’s just certain skills and tricks I know you guys do that make that happen that parents don’t have. You know parents are professional and different careers right. They’re not all teachers.
Neha: Or Coaches
BJ: They are not all mentors and you know instructors so that’s why we need someone to come in and kind of fill the role and help out and be part of the team.
Neha: Yeah I mean I’ll tell you we invest tens of thousands of dollars in just learning how to be better coaches on our team. So the tools we have is unbelievable. I mean I had a dad once say “I can’t get my daughter to do the ACT one more time. You know can I pay you Neha? Can you have a conversation with her.” I said “Sure” this is like I do this on my sleep. I talked to the girl for 30 minutes. 30 minutes and she walks up to her dad and she goes “Dad I would really like to do ACT coaching with Elite Private Tutors.” The dad calls me is like “What did you do?” I was like ” I’m not you.” That’s the secret in a lot of ways. I’m not you and I’m telling her things that she needs to hear that you may not be singing in the right tone or the right way or the fact that’s it’s just coming from you being like “You need to do this.”
Neha: Versus me I’m like “Dude you don’t take it one more time. You’re just not going to be cool.”
Neha: You know that’s hard for you to say.
BJ: Exactly there’s only so many times a parent can slap a kid on the wrist or you know discipline them. It might not come off the right way to motivate them to do what needs to be done. You got to get someone like this to put it in their ear in the right way without it going in one ear and out the other.
Neha: Totally and it’s really painful to watch the parents when they’re like trying and then it comes off as a discipline versus from us that never comes. It will never come off that way.
Neha: It always comes off with this level of energy like “Test prep woooo! Nerds in the house. I love ACTs.” They’re like “Oh my god, this girl’s nuts!” Then when they get the high-power coach behind them they’re like their scores are increasing by hundreds of points. They’re like “Oh I totally get it!” Oh my gosh you guys, we’re getting thumbs up from people. Alright guys I’m so excited to do a quick video with my good friend BJ who’s now a daddy, so exciting. I want you guys to know he’s amazing. If you are in the Houston area and you need any help, just comment below and just say BJ on the bottom. I will make sure to connect with you guys as well as add him too. He’s just really an amazing dad and an amazing man. I mean he’s very successful and works really hard. I’m really excited to do this video, so hope you guys do well. Have a great day!