Mandy Ginsberg, former CEO of Match.com, matched herself up with the Princeton Review.
She starts out the day like any parent; she drags her kids out of bed and gets them ready for school. But after dropping them off, she puts on a different hat and continues her day as the head of two multi-million dollar companies.
Hockaday alumna Mandy Ginsberg ‘88 is the CEO of Tutor. com and the Princeton Review. After graduating from Hockaday, she went on to play soccer for U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in English literature.
After working for a marketing company for five years, Ginsberg, a risk-taker and single mom at the time, decided she wanted to understand all the different disciplines of business.
“I got to this point where I was looking at everything around me and there was just so much opportunity,” Ginsberg said. For this reason, Ginsberg decided to go to business school and was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Ginsberg returned to Dallas after graduation with her daughter, Talia Meidan, who is now a junior at Hockaday, and a newly acquired business deal in tow. Ginsberg had the opportunity to be the manager of a startup company, Chemistry.com, which was part of InterActiveCorp, the parent company to Dictionary.com, Tinder, CollegeHumor, Match. com and many others.
Working her way up within InterActiveCorp, Ginsberg became the CEO of Match.com. During this busy time in her life, Ginsberg always tried to make a balance between her personal and work life.
Because her main office is based in New York, Ginsberg has to travel many times each month, although she always makes sure to stay in touch with her daughter. “We have always just had this, you know, connection. And I’ve always been kind of independent; she always calls me everyday,” Meidan said.
During her time at Match, Ginsberg remarried Madhu Rajendran and Maya Rajendran, Ginsberg’s second daughter was born. Today, she is a primer student at Hockaday.
Using her background in marketing, Ginsberg was able to turn Match.com into a high-performing company.
“I came in, brought a team and grew the business meaningfully,” Ginsberg said. “I didn’t know I could do what I had done because I had never done it before.”
After many years at Match.com, Ginsberg decided it was time for a big change.
“It was really an exhilarating ride. There was a group of us that said that if we could do what we did to Match in the education space, then it could be another really cool journey,” Ginsberg said. This is where Tutor.com came into play.
Tutor.com originally started out as a company that aided children of deployed military soldiers. Last year, they expanded the company for public use so that students all over the world could get academic help when they need it. In August of this year, Tutor.com expanded to include the Princeton Review. This added business gives Tutor.com an edge over all other websites like it, and helps further develop the education of its customers.
“Parents don’t usually gravitate to the new, sexy thing when it comes to their kids’ education. We thought if there is this fantastic brand out there called the Princeton Review, that has really high awareness and people really trust it, and it’s really great high test prep, and its got this budding college admissions business, if we could take tutoring, test prep, and college admissions, we’d really have an equation to help kids,” Ginsberg said.
Even though this is a particularly busy time in Ginsberg’s life, she always makes time for her daughters. And Meidan is aware of that.
“She motivates me to be successful and to never be dependent on anyone else,” Meidan said. If you remain independent you “always have yourself to back yourself up on.”
Ginsberg did not always have such a clear idea of what she wanted to do. In high school, she didn’t know what she wanted to pursue in the future. Ginsberg credits Hockaday for her confidence and can-do attitude that made it possible for her to reach the position she is at today.
“Being pushed in learning in classes like [Steve] Kramer and Ed Long’s class, we were pushed hard but learned a lot along the way,” Ginsberg said. Having a core group of friends also played a part in her “incredible” experience at Hockaday, so that even 25 years later, she still has someone to rely on.
Long agreed that Hockaday plays a huge part in the development of girls and helps them grow further. “It’s not a teaching style but the overall school environment that leaves itself to female leadership and a confidence,” said Long.
Hockaday taught Ginsberg that there was nothing that she couldn’t do. After figuring out what her strengths and weaknesses were, she was able to adapt her assets for any job, all the while remembering her mother’s advice: “If you want something, you have to open your mouth and ask for it, the worst thing that can happen is they say no.”
- Ashna Kumar