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Janet Urban's "Friends in Film" and "Career on Fire" Training - An Honest Review

Updated on January 29, 2017

Friends in Film - Real or Scam?

Friends in Film. Janet Urban. FIF friends. Career on Fire training? Real or scam?

So here’s the skinny. Like me, you were probably scrolling through your feed on Facebook and came across Janet’s ad that asks if you want to enroll in her free “Career on Fire” two-week class. Free? Who does anything for free anymore? How awesome that I've stumbled upon this hidden gem! That's probably how you felt (well, at least that's how I felt!). So, of course, you jump on board because what do you have to lose? For two weeks, you get to chat with this successful lady and other aspiring actors, actresses, directors, producers, writers, etc in a “classroom-esque” setting in the Yammer program where you learn the secrets to set your career on fire.

Of course, nothing in life is free, so the entire time, you’re sitting there thinking when is the financial part of the situation going to arise and how much? Well, before we get to the price of the paid portion of the mentorship program, let me tell you some of what the program does for you and share my own FIF experience.


Holistic-Approach Mentorship

Basically, Janet Urban has a lot of years under her belt in the film industry, spanning from the news side of things all the way to working with famous stars in a slew of movies. Trust me, she has plenty of pictures to prove it.

She’s the sound engineer person and she gets paid big bucks to do what she does because she’s found a niche area that everyone isn’t talented, knowledgeable or experienced enough to do. She’s in hot demand. Everyone wants her on their film project. She even shows you legit checks that she’s received from doing what she does and just like me, you will be astounded with the amount of zeroes on that check. Is she legit? Yes, she’s legit. The woman knows her stuff. She wants to teach you how to become a hot commodity too, but at a much faster pace than the normal method that most actors and actresses uses to make it to the top.

What she is teaching you is how to avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that she made in the film industry while trying to make it to the place where you’re trying to go--and to do it much quicker! Think about it this way: it’s like having someone take you by the hand and lead you step by step through the film industry with gentle admonishments that says, no, don’t go that way, go this way instead, and instead of doing it in 10 years, you do it in 2 (sorta kinda).

What is the holistic approach that she uses? She doesn’t just focus on the film industry but she focuses on you as a person. She’s like an Iyanla Vanzant of the film industry. She teaches her “Friends in Film” mentorees how to think differently, how to think like a winner, how to be confident, how to address your fears head-on and overcome them. It’s like spiritual enlightenment and positive glow beams shooting out of the computer screen. If you take it seriously, it will really make you a more confident individual who views the world and the challenges that it throws at you in a whole new light.


The Set-Up of the Class & Money Back Guarantee

The "Career on Fire" training is a free two-week program. Once you sign up for the paid mentorship class, you get access to two free modules that are basically “freebies” for those who aren’t going to stay with the program long anyway. The upside of this program is that Janet offers a short, 2-week trial period where you get your money back guaranteed. So after 14 days, if you decide it's not for you, break camp. Nothing lost.

Then once the people who are just testing the program are locked out, the modules with greater material are presented.

For me, a lot of the module material became repetitive. It started off strong, but after a while, I started seeing the same things presented in new modules, which bothered me. For the amount that I was paying, I was expecting something more. However, each module does reveal something that you hadn’t thought about concerning an approach that you can take in the film industry. These new tidbits of information were like gleaming diamonds in an ocean of mediocre. So I started thinking, considering the amount that I’m paying a month for this program, was that tiny gleaming diamond worth those hundreds of dollars? Hmm...I wasn’t too sure.

Update: You must note, however, that I only stayed with this program for two full months, so this is a limited perspective of what the program offers for you. It's an eight-month program, and I have not the slightest idea of the material and information that the modules in later months offer. So your experience may not be the same as mine.


Yammer a.k.a The Bat Cave

Yammer is the Bat Cave and I must admit, this was my favorite part of joining Friends in Film. Yammer is just like it is when you’re in the free “Career on Fire” training class. However here, you have all the FIF Mentors posting, and they’re posting some pretty rad stuff. They’re talking about their successes, the amounts that they just got paid to do certain gigs, etc., etc. It is very inspiring and it gives you the feeling of, If they can do this, then I can do it too! For anyone who loves a challenge, such as myself, seeing people post their successes in Yammer all day motivates you to go even harder to create your own successes so you can post your own pictures and share your own financial earnings and/or film industry experiences.

What Janet Does Not Do
What Janet Does
put in a word for you to the “big dogs”
mentor you
allow you to use her connects as a leg-up in the film industry
encourage you and inspire you
find work for you.
tell you if she thinks an opportunity is legit or if you should pass on it
post different PA jobs that you should look into
tell you how to make a film industry resume
post different places that are holding casting calls and looking for actors/actresses
tell you how to write off film industry expenses on your taxes
look at your resume (unless you have the Premium package)
have weekly calls with her mentorees to keep the morale up b/c the film industry is a tough nut and if you don’t keep up the morale, people will break camp
look at your emails (unless you have the Premium package)
allow you out of the program if you so desire without a hassle
A concise idea of what this mentor program will and will not do for you

The Film Industry Guidance Janet Gives

Janet will also give you some clear directions you should take, such as you should make production assistant business cards, you should do PA jobs for free, you should do paid extra work on major shoots, you should pass your business cards to the PAs on the major shoots, you should establish authentic relationships with people who are in the film industry because they will remember you and how you made them feel, you should go to film festivals and any events that have anything to do with the film industry. And then use these relationships to vector, vector, vector toward the final destination where you want to find yourself. The key is the vectoring, but most people don't know how to vector successfully, and this is what Janet teaches you in her modules, while also helping to shape you into a more confident individual.

How much does Friends in Film cost?


The Cost

Okay so finally, what we've all been waiting for.

Finally, after the two weeks of free “Career on Fire” training, you are hit with two options that allows you to take Janet on as your film industry mentor for 8 months. At the time when I was in the program, it was $349 per month for 8 months for Gold; the other option was $499 per month for 8 months for Platinum. The $349 per month is high but attainable. Those who can afford $499 month, kudos to you! Believe it or not, some people actually do the $499/month plan because they want more direct access to Janet. I went with the $349 because it was more in my budget. After the 8 months, she will continue being your mentor for just $99/month--completely optional, not required.

Update: The price of the plans have increased now. This is what the program used to cost in 2016. I'm unsure of what it costs now.

Me on Set as an Extra in Fox's Shots Fired - FIF video

My Experience with Friends in Film

So after the “Career on Fire” training, I was pumped! I was so ready to go, as I'm clear you can tell from the above video :) . So I did the $349 and I was uber excited. I knew that my career was going to catapult to another level and here’s why. By the time I joined Janet Urban’s Friends in Film mentorship program, I had already been an extra in TNT’s Good Behavior, an extra in History’s Six, and an extra in Fox’s Shots Fired. So I felt like, I’m already doing this, I’m already “in” the film industry, but I’m on the “extra” side and I want to be on the “actor” side and Janet is about to show me how to get there.

Basically, Janet’s advice is to go through the backdoor, which is to use PA work as an entry level position into the film industry. I wasn’t too crazy about this. I didn’t want to PA. I wanted to act! But I realize that sometimes you have to crawl before you walk, so I started crawling.

The first thing I did was locate free local PA work to build a resume. It was simple. Within a week, I was doing my first PA job. See the video posted below to see how that went, which was a disaster, lol (get ready for a good laugh)! However, I appreciated the experience because it helped me to be more confident. Just like I told the guys in Yammer, I would much rather mess up doing PA work for free for a family-owned company than to mess up doing PA work for a major production company who will never hire me again.

About three weeks after my free PA work, I ended up with paid PA work on a professional set. It was my first major paid PA job ever. I got paid $155/day just to hold a walkie and direct extras around, pass out bottled waters, secure the location area, etc. It was for Cinemax’s Outcast filming in SC. But this was a “day player” role, meaning that they only call me to PA when they need me. So it’s more like an occasional gig than a job because they already have 20+ PAs on the roster. For that particular gig, I worked one day. That was it. One day.

Shortly after I landed that gig, my husband lost his job and Janet’s program was no longer affordable for me because I had to pay all the household bills. When I reached out to Janet to ask if I could take a hiatus from the program, I didn't receive a response from her, but my account was immediately deactivated. Just like that, I was kicked out of Friends in Film and kicked out of Yammer. The good news about it is that there was no hassle with leaving the program and no unauthorized charges were taken out of my account.

My First PA Job - What You Need to Know/Avoid

It's Cables not Cords, LOL

Janet actually corrected me in Yammer and let me know that they're called cables, not cords. See, she is quite helpful! I learned something new.

The Million Dollar Question - Is it a Scam?

Is it a Scam or Is it Legit?

Do I think it’s a scam? No. However, it’s not the type of program that I was expecting it to be, based off my full two months there. While I was a part of the program, the modules that I viewed were mostly confidence-building and facing your fears, which is a good thing. And in my opinion, her method shows you how to make great money in the film industry doing something that you don’t particularly desire to do, but it’s paying the bills while you’re “vectoring” toward what you really want to do, which for me is to be a leading role actress. Much of the film industry-related information that Janet gives (at least in the first couple of months of the program when I was there), you can find a lot of it on the internet, but it may take some hours of surfing and you might not know exactly where to look. But there's not much that you can't find on the internet these days, if we're being completely honest.

In the Friends in Film program, you do all the work. Janet doesn’t do any of the work for you. She tells you what you should do, and then you go out in the world, hustle and grind, and figure out how to do it. Simple as that. But that's life. You can't pay your way up; you have to work your way up. So if you're not willing to grind to make it happen for you, then you're wasting your time with the film industry anyway--whether you decide to go with Friends in Film or not. So no, I don’t think Career on Fire is a scam, but it might not be exactly what you’re looking for either.

While some might see it as paying a car payment per month to Mrs. Urban, others might see it as making an investment in him/herself. No matter the perspective, one thing remains unarguably true: What’s right for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander. So even though it didn't work out for me, it might be perfect for you. Just guard yourself with knowledge and jump for your dreams, knowing that turbulence is the price you pay for flying high.

Me as an Extra posting with Tristan Wilds


My First PA Job - Me Assisting with a Jib


Reader's, Share Your Opinion

Do you think Friends in Film is a scam program?

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Would I Join the Program Again?

Knowing what I know now, would I go back and join the program again after the free “Career on Fire” training? Yeah, I would because Janet showed me a direction that I can take to make it to the top that I had never considered before. And for that, I’m forever thankful. Would I do the whole 8 months? Err...I’ll pass on that. Here’s why.

In the Yammer group, there was this one guy who had come to the end of his 8 months there. He discussed all the great things that he had done over the course of the 8 months. But by the end of the program, his gigs had dried up, his connects weren’t coming through the way he had expected, and to cut a long story short, he was at a low point--which Janet teaches you, low points will come and low points are expected. However, I looked at his situation and realized that while Janet’s program will open your eyes and give you the confidence that you need to tackle the film industry by the horns, there are still no guarantees, even after sticking it out to the very end.

So yeah, I would do the first two months, maybe first three months of the program, and that’s enough for me. I will continue my film industry career using the experiences that I’ve garnered so far. And for now gals and girls, in the words of the director: “That’s a wrap!”

If you are/were a mentoree of Janet Urban, feel free to drop a comment below and share your experience! This article isn't to bash the program; it's to share our honest reviews so that we all can be well-informed to make the decision that's best for us.


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      Christine Joy 6 months ago

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      Ashlee 5 months ago

      Great article! Very helpful, thank you :)

    • profile image

      Amber Uriel 5 months ago

      This was very helpful, thank you for this article.

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      Elizabeth H. 5 months ago

      Thank you for your super informative and well-written article, so helpful! Good luck with your career, I wish you the best!

    • profile image

      WriterJackson 5 months ago

      saw the Facebook ads myself and had my friend who is an in demand director check it out. He told me to avoid her like the plague and I quote "no one should have to pay a dime to learn this industry". I did her free program anyway just to see what she was offering and learned pretty quickly through her dancing video conferences and constant name dropping and hinting that the information would be little if any at all. She's supplementing her income, simple as that. And the fact that they just dropped you like dead weight says a lot. Keep your money guys.

    • jessicabsmith profile image

      Jessica Barrow 5 months ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Glad you found it helpful! Very welcome :)

    • jessicabsmith profile image

      Jessica Barrow 5 months ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Glad you found it helpful! Very welcome :)

    • jessicabsmith profile image

      Jessica Barrow 5 months ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Glad you found it helpful, and thank you for your well-wishes. Same to you!

    • jessicabsmith profile image

      Jessica Barrow 5 months ago from Spring Lake, NC

      WriterJackson, thanks for sharing your insight! This is great information for everyone considering joining because it helps you to make a well-informed decision. Thanks for commenting!

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      Natalia 4 months ago

      Wow thank you so much, you could mentor people yourself !

      That answered all the questions I had!


    • jessicabsmith profile image

      Jessica Barrow 4 months ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Thanks Natalia! I'm glad you found it helpful, and I appreciate your kind words. I hope one day I will get to mentor people in the acting industry. That would be awesome!

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      Joy Cooper 4 months ago

      This is an amazing article Jessica! My family is from North Carolina. It's a small town called Wadesboro, so small that just as you described, you have to give the neighboring big city for people to know where it is; for us it Charlotte lol. I am currently in San Diego California and had recently come across Janet's program on Facebook.

      I had a few questions but you answered them completely, thank you. You are a phenomenal writer and I would like to check out your books. You are a very authentic, fun, life-loving, inspiring person which I really appreciate, and whenever I'm visiting family I would love to come check out one of your plays. Good luck to you and your family and all of your endeavors!

    • profile image

      Janet Urban 4 months ago

      Hello Jessica Barrow! You are a phenomenal writer Jessica Barrow! Overall, I think you did a really good job on this analysis. ;-)

      Since you quit early, you didn't get into the meat of the program. Maybe come back and do this thing to a T?! Confidence building is only 5% of it, which is very important too, of course. Like you can't have conversations with Producers that get you anywhere unless you have the goods, through set experience and internal confidence.

      It's the methods that I used and put together for the last 20 years, that gets us work (the advantage). If you want to take up where you left off, you are welcome! ;-) You got in at a good price. It's higher now because we are getting our people into the industry for a few thousand and film schools are $100,000 (and debt for 20 years) and do not get people into the business working.

      Have you seen these pages lately?

      Yes, this program is my life's mission and how I spend all my time when I'm not on set. ;-)

      I love these pics of you on set, it's super cool to see you doing your thing! Shoot me an email sometime! ;-)

    • jessicabsmith profile image

      Jessica Barrow 4 months ago from Spring Lake, NC

      @JoyCooper, thanks for your kind words! Glad you find the article helpful. Also, I'm moving away form theater now to focus solely on film, so I'm not in any plays as of now. But I still appreciate your support!

    • jessicabsmith profile image

      Jessica Barrow 4 months ago from Spring Lake, NC

      @JanetUrban, Hi Janet!!! I'm so glad you posted to this article. Thanks for your kind words :) . Also, you make a very valid point. I did not finish the program. I stopped about 3 months in, so I have a limited perspective of the program, and that's something potential mentorees should definitely take into account when deciding to join the program or not. Also, thanks for sharing those links, which are great resources as well. You commenting on this article is giving readers another perspective, which I love! When making any informed decision, it's important to fully educate yourself so that you can decide what's best for you. Thanks for your comment.

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      Austin 3 months ago

      Fortunately, I did this back in 2014/2015 so my gold package was less than $300/month I believe. I also left.

      At the time, I was in your position. I was doing extra work for Nat geo and other stuff on CN but wanted to act full time. I joined the program, and Im honestly surprised I stuck with it for the paid portion.

      There's plenty of useful things to access but quite frankly, anything she says is easily accessible online as well and her modules are mostly fluff pieces.

      Another commenter hit it perfectly. She's just supplementing her income. She seemed incredibly fake throughout the whole process and even when she would respond to emails, she wouldnt be a tremendous help. If you're gold or higher, and you try to leave, she will definitely try to persuade you to stick around.

      Funny enough, her limited time free trials occur probably once a month. Every month I'd see a new flock of students growing and yammer getting further flooded.

      The industry has dry spells, for PAs and camera, it slows down in the winter it seems. But pilot season kicks in around now so it's great for acting. If you manage to be a regular on talk shows, you can swing those through the slower winter months on the production side.

      I wouldn't say it's worth it. I'd also avoid her programme, but if anyone wants help breaking in, I'd be happy to offer up my own free advice to them. It's up to them if they want to act on that information but it's there.

      Anyway, I enjoyed your review, I hope things have gotten easier at home and you're doing what you love. Cheers

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      Austin 3 months ago

      Austin from the previous comment. I don't want to sound like too much of a downer. If you stick through the program, you'll probably enjoy it and I'm sure you'll learn a lot of small things you didn't think about.

      In summary, I just don't think there's anything in the program you won't take away from getting on set and learning on your own. Much like film school, it's a crutch, but it's not necessary. In my opinion anyway.

      As another note, I looked through think the links Janet posted in her comment. Some of the successes on there were friends of mine - we started fif together. I'm glad they're doing well but it seems like we're in similar places in the industry at the moment regardless of the time we did or didn't spend in the fif programme. Take it for what you will.

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      Jessica Barrow 3 months ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Austin, thanks for your comment and thanks for sharing your experience. Just to add to what you've said, if anyone hasn't done any extra work or PA work on your own on a professional set, I would greatly recommend you to start there first. It's excellent industry experience, and it helps you to see how being on set really operates--it's amazing learning how the set moves and breathes like a living organism. Also, you don't need Friends in Film or an agent to start doing extra work on a professional set. Casting directors are always posting on Facebook for certain looks and you can submit yourself with a pic from your phone (which they prefer, no duck lips, ladies!). Also, look up your state film commission and you can find out which productions are currently filming in your state. Look the production up on IMDB, find the casting director that they're using, and then look the casting director up on Facebook. When they send out a casting call for your look, submit, submit, submit until you get booked. Plus that way, you can work 12-15 hours on set and decide if that's something you really want to commit to in the film industry. Sometimes, those hours can be brutal.

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      Aliyma 3 months ago

      I'm currently in the FIF program and I have already realized on my own that a lot of the training is repetitive. I love that she is teaching confidence and to believe in ourselves because thats my biggest problem. But now that you have cleared up things she doesn't do I'm sure I won't be doing the mentor program. I have taken everything she has said and realized my problem and that's that I'm just not quite sure about where to find these professionals in the first place. I recently moved to North Carolina in September of last year and I'm still trying to figure out where the hotspots are. I've contacted theaters so that I can volunteer and possibly meet some experienced folks but I haven't heard back yet. I watched a video of hers where she said she would let us know where to find these professionals in our areas but I guess that won't be happening. Thanks for this and your honesty, I wish you the best on your endeavors. Hopefully one day we can be in a big production together lol, yes I'm a big dreamer!!! :D

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      Loria Culver 7 weeks ago

      I live in Atlanta GA and read your post but like me 6 kids money is tide up. What I wanted to see if you can help guide me where to start or began. I know you said PA work but I don't know what that stands for? My 11 year old daughter wants to act as well. Will you help us thank you and you are a author.

    • jessicabsmith profile image

      Jessica Barrow 7 weeks ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Hi Loria, thanks for your comment. Yes, I know first-hand how difficult it can be trying to make it in the film industry with multiple children and tight funds. PA stands for production assistant. If you've ever been on set, they're the ones who herd the extras around, pass out waters and yell out, "Quiet on set," once the cameras start rolling. I would suggest taking acting classes because not only will it help build your skill set, but it looks good on a resume. I would also submit yourself as an extra on a professional set just to get a feel for how the industry works. You can find extra work by looking up the current productions shooting in your area (state film commission website) and you can submit yourself for background roles that your race/age/type fits. The same is true for your daughter. If she's interested in theater, I would even enroll her in summer theater programs because a lot of what you learn in theater can be tailored for acting in film. Once you get some type of resume established, I would find an agent. But be careful with agencies because a lot of these places will sign on anybody and suck your pockets dry, so research them carefully. Hope this helps and good luck with everything!

    • jessicabsmith profile image

      Jessica Barrow 7 weeks ago from Spring Lake, NC

      @Aliyma, thanks for sharing your experience! The hotspots in NC are Charlotte, Wilmington, Raleigh, and Asheville. Always check the NC film commission website to see the current productions that are filming. Also, go on facebook and follow Kimmie- Stewart Casting, Tona B. Dahlquist Casting, and Marinella Hume Charlotte Casting to find extra and featured extra work in the NC area. Subscribe to The Southern Casting Call, which is a free site that posts a variety of crew and casting calls in the Southern states. And finally, I think all serious actors should have an Actor's Access profile. It opens you to acting opportunities (like lead roles and top-dollar commercials) that you couldn't find on free sites. Hopefully we will be in a production together. I'm a big dreamer too!!!

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      Heather Friedman 6 weeks ago

      It sounds like to me a person who has accomplished herself in the business is now just trying to make money off other people's struggles. And ask an extreme amount at that for toughs who truly cant affords it but are more serious to make it in the business than ever.

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      PhillipsLanceD 6 weeks ago

      @Austin. I would like any information you would be willing to provide in regards to the filming industry if the offer is still available.

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      Whitney 5 weeks ago

      I'm currently in the training portion and have been considering going on, but I have been fairly skeptical of her uses after the program. I studied film in LA for four months, and most of what she has taught isn't exactly new. I think she has some good points and has taught some new things, but I feel like my school which is a built in network out there kind of told us the majority of this already. I feel like the program may benefit people across the nation more than it'll benefit anyone who went to school in LA for it. I could always be wrong tho

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      Yes 5 weeks ago

      Thank you girl!

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      Leo 4 weeks ago

      @austin I'd like to speak with you about the information you acquired. What's the best way to contact you? I'm on Facebook listed as Leonard Richardson. My profile pick is me sitting with skinny deville from the nappy roots. Under my name it lists me as fluid productions

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      Andrea 4 weeks ago

      Thanks for this article.

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      Priyal 4 weeks ago

      Thanks for your honest feedback. I haven't done the paid course but I was contemplating it. It sounds about right that she deficit has some great ideas. Moreover, I think the film industry is such and so very unpredictable. I think a few months in her course should be good for. People with no background or education in the film industry.

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      Dani 2 weeks ago

      Thank you for the insightful write-up. It helped me decide that I'm not in a place to pay the kind of money that's required for this program. I think I initially signed up when you did, but I couldn't keep up with the free course because of the security job I was working. Even if it cost what it cost in 2016, I don't have the resources to continue(I just recently re-uped hoping I could make it through this time).

      Thank you again for such an insightful and honest write-up. If I could get some background work I would be happy though. Lol. I only have student films and small local plays on my resume.

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      Kamaria Simmons 2 weeks ago

      Thank you for this article. It helped ease my inability to do the paid program.

      I am actually doing the free portion now. I was super duoer excited to hop on the train for the paid portion. Unfortunately, I cannot afford it. I am sad. However, I'll take my free nuggets of info and apply it to my life. I apprecaite the stuff she has said so far, but I cannot pay.

      Question for you: What was your journey as for looking up PA jobs? Was it difficult?

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      Leanna 11 days ago

      Since you did only two months of the program, did you only pay two payments of $349? Or did you have to continue paying for the full 8 months?

      Does she make it easy to withdrawal access if you decide it's not for you after so many months? What's that look like, do you just stop the payments?

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