Case Study 22nd March 2024

American International School of Lusaka

At a glance…

Challenges before BridgeU

Before Julie incorporated BridgeU into her curriculum, she noted that there were a few key areas in her guidance curriculum where there was room for improvement. Most of these related to how busy she was while trying to balance multiple responsibilities.

Julie spent a lot of time working individually with each student on small tasks before onboarding BridgeU. Now she uses it alongside other tools in her programme to allow her students to work more independently and gain some time back for herself. 

She also highlighted that her students now come to her with a better idea of what they want to pursue in higher education and where they would like to attend after spending time researching through BridgeU. 

Another struggle she mentioned is that she used to have parents physically come into the school and check the documents she was mailing by hand to universities for her students. BridgeU’s Document Sending tool has been game-changing, as she can now have everything checked and submitted digitally.

Empowering students through independent research 

Julie initially provides her students with start-up lessons to get them used to BridgeU’s platform. For new students who aren’t in the country yet, she sends them BridgeU’s tutorial videos so they can get themselves set up from any location.

Her students use the careers tool as a good starting point when they’re unsure of what they want to study in university. They can easily research careers they’re interested in and deep dive into different aspects of each one. 

For example, if a student is interested in engineering, they can research all the different types of engineering. This helps them find new areas of study that they might not have thought of on their own. 

BridgeU’s Careers Dashboard

A lot of her students also use BridgeU’s Profile Builder as a way to input their targeted grades and look through reach, match, and safety universities. The universities in BridgeU’s Explore feature act as a way to help her students discover new institutions and courses all over the world. 

She mentioned that they’re always excited to find matches that aren’t the usual big schools you usually hear about, such as Harvard, Manchester, etc.

For the younger students in 10th and 11th grade, she sends out email links or leaves a reminder in their calendar to carry out tasks on BridgeU. The video tutorials BridgeU provides are very useful here as well. Her students find it easy to follow through and complete their tasks, as they have everything they need. 

Using BridgeU for efficient document management

As we mentioned earlier, Julie had to compile and mail her students’ documents to universities by hand before moving over to a digital platform.

By using BridgeU’s Parchment and CommonApp integrations, she has been able to move her document submissions completely online for those partner universities. She highlighted how helpful it is that everything she needs is organised in one place.

BridgeU also provides her with receipts that show the date each document was sent, along with when it was downloaded by the university. This has helped her remain accountable when she needs to report back to senior leadership or her students’ parents.

“Everyone (parents, counsellors, and senior leadership) appreciates the fact that there’s accountability factored into the platform.”

Julie Baldry
High School and College Guidance Counsellor, American International School of Lusaka

Utilising BridgeU’s Customer Success team

As a busy school counsellor, it’s important to Julie that any issues she has are resolved quickly, which is why she’s thrilled that BridgeU always has a team available to help. For bigger problems, she uses her dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) to ensure everything is running smoothly.

She also commented on how beneficial BridgeU’s Live Chat function has been for her. She mentioned that it’s always a positive experience. Even if it takes a bit of time to figure out how to fix her issue, it’s always taken care of.

“It’s excellent because I’ll carve out a bit of time that I’m going to spend on BridgeU, and if I get stuck, I can click on the live chat and get a response immediately.”

Julie Baldry
High School and College Guidance Counsellor, American International School of Lusaka

Additionally, she encourages her students to take advantage of the live chat function. For example, if there’s been a university they’re interested in missing from BridgeU, she tells her students to let the Customer Success team know so that they can get it added to the platform. 

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