Franchisee Voices: Candice DeVane of Sylvan Learning
Franchisee Voices: Candice DeVane of Sylvan Learning

New franchisee makes career change to find a more fulfilling pursuit.

Candice DeVane was working as a regulatory engineer when she realized her heart wasn’t in it. She was more interested in teaching those pursuing engineering. She picked up her things and traveled across the country to San Diego, specifically Chula Vista.

After much soul-searching, Candice found Sylvan Learning, who’s STEM program hit close to home with their emphasis on engineering.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I was working as a regulatory engineer for a satellite communications company, and after getting my MBA, I was promoted to a manager position about six months ago. I got this position and realized I didn’t love what I was doing. It wasn’t fulfilling, and I felt like I was just going through the motions. I needed a change.

My husband and I decided to relocate across the country to San Diego, California. As I was applying for jobs in engineering in San Diego, I realized none of the job descriptions appealed to me. After much soul-searching, I decided to look at ways I could pursue tutoring as a full-time career, which I had been doing part-time through my church.

I researched a number of different education franchises and decided on Sylvan because of its personalized learning plans, focus on STEM education, and integration of technology in its service offerings. To me, the Sylvan brand represents quality supplemental education that works with students to help them achieve academically and be their best selves.

When I reached out to Sylvan, the Franchise Development representative told me that a franchisee in San Diego wanted to sell. I contacted the franchisee and after just a few months, we started the transfer process!

Why did you choose to become a franchisee with Sylvan Learning? 

I chose Sylvan because of their wide range of ages they support. I like working with the older students just as much as the younger ones. I liked that they offered SAT/ACT tutoring, and the integration with technology that allows for interactive learning. Their focus on the STEM programs is close to my heart with where my passion lies. Engineering hit close to home and I believe it is important to be exposed to these areas. I was lucky to have had early exposure to STEM subjects, but not all kids get this opportunity. They need to learn STEM subjects can be fun!

What were your perceptions of franchising before starting the process? 

The reason I chose franchising was because they have a business model and the support that franchising allows. With a network of people, corporate support, I have a lot of resources that I can depend on.

What’s next for you and your business? Do you have any development/expansion plans with the brand?  

I would like to develop further in the future. I figured I will start with one center to get my feet wet and learn about the business, then I would like to expand. A lot of our families are traveling a long ways to get to this center and I would like to expand so they will have closer locations.

Visit the International Franchise Association’s @OurFranchise website for more stories of passionate local franchise owners, employees and their communities.

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