The Mildly Entertaining Story of FIRST CHOICE ADMISSIONS

Bruce Hanson

Founder / CEO


The Early Years and Superpowers

As a kid, the superpower I wanted more than anything else was “flying.” Instead, I got “teaching.” That pissed me off for quite a while. I was always the kid in the back of the class explaining things to my confused classmates: ”All this really means is …”
Yeah, I was that guy. I was always able to take very conceptual ideas and break them down into small, intuitive steps. Other kids could throw footballs or run fast. I could teach you how to do calculus. You can imagine how cool all the girls thought I was.


College and Becoming a Rock Star

Not surprisingly, I graduated from Grinnell College with a high school teaching certificate. The only problem was, I graduated in the middle of a recession and NOBODY was hiring teachers.
So I took the only reasonable path. I picked up my guitar and became a rock star. No, really! Okay, kinda. We were called Superman Curl and if you were into college radio in the ’90s you might have heard of us.
Otherwise we were just another of a thousand touring bands coming soon to a club near you! We sounded like this … supermancurl


Learning the GMAT

After figuring out that spending the rest of my life with four sweaty guys in a touring van only looked good on paper, I decided to apply to business school. I was older and only had decent grades in college, so I knew I needed to knock the GMAT out of the park.

So I did what all my friends did and signed up for a GMAT prep course from a big national company. And it worked! Hardly at all! My score didn’t go up by much. But at least it was expensive.

So I applied my teaching superpower to the GMAT and taught myself how to beat it. I cleared 700 on my first attempt and was accepted to Wharton.

I couldn’t resist starting another band in Wharton. We were called The Fabulous Zeros and we sounded like this


Boring Post-Business School Jobs, Interesting Post-Business School Jobs and Recession

After Wharton, I was recruited by General Mills and became a marketer. After a few years of that, I was ready for a new challenge and I moved to San Francisco and started a jazz club, in 2008, because opening a business that relied on disposable income during the Great Recession seemed like a fantastic idea at the time. (I obviously learned a lot in business school.)


Making Peace with My Superpower

I was able to sell the club and then I spent a few years in Silicon Valley doing marketing and finance consulting for startups. It was great fun but I realized it wasn’t really what I wanted to be doing with the rest of my life.

What I really love to do is to teach. And I thought back on my GMAT test prep experience and figured there just HAD to be a better way to breakdown these tests and teach people how to kick ass on them.

Chapter 6:

First Choice Admissions

So in 2014 I founded gmat prep online classes in a garage in Silicon Valley — I know, totally cliché.  I soon moved to L.A. and the business flourished.
I’ve taught both privately and also at UCLA when they asked me to revise their GMAT, GRE, ACT and SAT programs, which was the genesis of the lesson plans and question sets you are about to … what? Enjoy? Endure?

I’ve spent thousands and thousands of hours teaching and refining my approach on the GMAT, GRE, ACT and SAT and I’ve helped hundreds of students hit their goals. And, in many cases, shatter their own expectations of what they could achieve on the tests. I’d love to help you as well!