American International School of Budapest

BridgeU was an invaluable resource for a counselor new to AISB and in need of a new platform to help deliver her guidance strategy.

At a Glance

  • BridgeU was the platform of choice for Erin Hawken, who took over the post of AISB’s Director of University Guidance after years working at a Naviance school.


  • BridgeU was instrumental in helping Erin and her team to build new guidance processes and reduce administrative burdens.
  • From initial adoption to getting students using the platform, the team at AISB have found using BridgeU to be a seamless experience.
  • The result has been BridgeU helping students to expand their list of best-fit universities. 
Erin Hawken
Head Of University Guidance, AISB

“BridgeU was a great safety net for helping me learn in my new job.”

Choosing BridgeU  

Erin Hawken arrived at AISB to take up the post of Head of University Guidance in 2017, having previously worked as a guidance counselor at a school in Ho-Chi-Minh City. AISB is an IB school, which offers students an international education from early childhood through to taking the IB Diploma Programme in Grades 11 & 12.

Erin explains how she arrived at AISB at a time when it was transitioning from Naviance to another university guidance platform. Erin had relied on Naviance to deliver the guidance programme at her previous school, and so was keen to find a new platform upon arrival at AISB. 

When evaluating the best fit guidance platform for AIB, Erin says how she found BridgeU’s Education Partnerships team to be ‘well-organised and diligent’ in answering all her questions and concerns about adopting the system. Her first impressions were of a platform that offered clarity and a simple, easy to use layout.

Erin Hawken
Head Of University Guidance

“It’s been seamless. Kelsey always responds with enthusiasm, and always comes back with more information than I asked for. I feel completely supported.”

Seamlessly integrating a new guidance platform at AISB

AISB is a school that sends a lot of its students to universities in Europe and the UK, and Erin notes that BridgeU has helped inform her guidance strategy because it offers lots of information for students applying to European destinations. Additional BridgeU resources, such as lesson plans for getting students engaged with the platform, helped Erin to structure her own guidance programme in her first year. She notes “BridgeU was a great safety net in helping me learn in my new job.”

With Erin implementing BridgeU at the same time as designing her new guidance programme, she relied on BridgeU’s Customer Support team to guide her through the transition to a new platform. She remarks how she found her CS Manager, Kelsey Botne, to be both proactive and prompt in answering any questions she had along the way. Erin says: “It’s been seamless. Kelsey always responds with enthusiasm, and always comes back with more information than I asked for. I feel completely supported.”

Erin Hawken
Head Of University Guidance

“It encourages students to reflect more on the decisions they’re making.”

Students shortlisting universities more suited to their preferences

Erin praises BridgeU for helping students to reflect more on their decision-making when applying to a university, from the destination they shortlist through to their eventual application. She notes that both the Profile Builder and the University Matching features have motivated students to apply to destinations they wouldn’t normally have considered.  

Students are also shortlisting universities outside the traditional criteria of league tables and university reputation. Instead, the guidance team works with students to research universities that are closer to their personal preferences. Erin comments: “It encourages students to reflect more on the decisions they’re making.” Students ultimately collate their BridgeU university research into a Powerpoint presentation, which they’re required to present to the guidance team and their parents.

BridgeU’s ability to sort global universities into ‘Reach, Match, and Safety’ options has made AISB students think critically about their chance of acceptance and how they can set themselves apart in the university application process. For students strategising their university applications, Erin explains that BridgeU encourages students to think about what she calls their “plus one” attribute – that personal quality beyond grades and test scores that will make a university notice them. This self-reflection allows students to understand where they may need to improve their applications and, ultimately, improve their chance of acceptance.

Erin is also beginning to use BridgeU to track student’s applications and analyse other factors that might be affecting their chance of success. She credits BridgeU’s data analytics for helping her to easily share reports on student outcomes with other staff members and school leadership: “When someone needs information, I can break down students’ destinations by region, by deadline and share matriculation data.”

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