Tiffany Sorya: 'The more we see women in positions of power, the more we’ll progress'

Female founder and education influencer Tiffany Sorya is next in our Women Who Win series, giving us some insight into how tough you have to be to start your own business...

Female founder and education influencer Tiffany Sorya is next in our Women Who Win series, giving us some insight into how tough you have to be to start your own business...

You may not have heard of Tiffany Sorya, but you're about to, undoubtedly being the first education influencer of her time.

Tiffany Sorya, founder of Novel Education Group, is on a mission: #MakingSmartStylishAgain.

Yes, the education influencer is taking her elite homeschooling agency-to-the-stars (we're talking clients from Kylie to Kendall) to the next level. But how?

Novel Education's global partnership with premier college consultant, Command Education, sets the stage for The Newest Wave of Education - by providing customized courses and enrichment programs for students to pursue their passions at any age, they achieve academic success and stand out from other applicants at top universities, all while doing what they love and emphasizing their individual strengths.

In short - Tiffany is revolutionising our education systems and getting people to take note.

'I wish women were taken more seriously', Tiffany explained before recalling how she set up her own business which is now going global.

Our Women Who Win interview series celebrates strong and inspirational female trailblazers, shaping the future for us all, and Tiffany Sorya and her refusal to let anyone or anything stand in her way is that in a nutshell.

Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Tiffany to find out how tough you have to be to survive as a female founder nowadays and why we shouldn’t be complacent...

Talk us through your journey...

I moved to LA just after graduating from college with a degree in Organismal Biology and French. My diverse educational background - having both STEM and language/liberal arts - made me a very strong candidate for tutoring. Having one person be multi-disciplinary adds value and versatility to tutoring agencies, and I quickly picked up private tutoring work through one of these agencies a few months after I moved. As I started working with high profile clients, I noticed a void in the private education space. Students struggled to have both a legitimate schooling (i.e. strong academic) experience coupled with a blossoming career. I initially started Novel Education Group to provide full-service, accredited, customized curriculum for students and families with unconventional lifestyles - whether in entertainment, sports, or those who require flexibility to travel for work because they run multinational corporations. As the business grew, I found myself not only servicing the entertainment industry but business men and women alike who aren't necessarily happy with the rigidity and lack of personalized support that comes with much of the traditional school system.

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What does a typical working day entail?

A typical working day is constantly checking on the progress of our student roster. We run the business by matching closely vetted and highly qualified tutors specifically to students and families - personality-wise and credentials-wise. Even so, I remain highly involved, particularly regarding tailoring curriculum and program-design needs — and of course always finding ways to make our service better.

What is the boldest thing you've ever done?

I moved to Los Angeles by myself with no plan.

What decision changed your life?

Starting Novel Education Group

What has been your proudest moment?

The moment I realized I was running a fully functional business, doing something I believed in, all by myself was a great moment.

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What do you refuse to compromise on?

Integrity regarding self-worth and image

What has stopped you progressing further?

Fear of failure and running out of funds

What is your superpower?

My ability to make strangers instantly feel comfortable around me

What is your mantra?

Learning how to educate yourself is the most valuable tool in life. And of course, #MakingSmartStylishAgain

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

In order to build a successful and dependable business, you need a strong #2. Don’t be afraid to share your success in return for a strong partnership and more ideas. Anyone would rather own 50% of a $10 million business rather than 100% of a $3 million business. You can’t do everything by yourself.

What has been your biggest mistake?

Not taking more risks the first few years of starting Novel. Looking back, I think I was comfortable, complacent, and didn’t think big enough.

What is one change you would like to see for women?

I wish women were taken more seriously

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How can we all ask for more?

Be up front, confident and show that you are capable of handling the responsibilities that come with a pay raise/promotion

How do you celebrate success?

I treat myself to a couple days away from LA or have a really nice meal

What should women always do?

Women should SHOW the world that we are as capable as men rather than just talk about it. Actions always speak louder than words and the more we see women in positions of power, the more we’ll progress

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.