At BridgeU, we’re incredibly proud of how far our Edtech has come.
From research to application, our platform has supported thousands of international students’ transition to university.
We’ve supported school counsellors to better manage their guidance curriculum, as well as helping them support students further.
For our university partners, we’ve helped them connect to hundreds of international schools worldwide and diversify their international undergraduate cohort with quality applicants.
And all of this is only possible thanks to our dedicated, expert team.
Which is why we’re launching our four part spotlight series, where we illuminate the teams that make BridgeU the leading guidance platform for international students and school counsellors.
And to kick off, first up in this blog series is a spotlight on our Product team!
Our Ed tech platform is the bread and butter of BridgeU, and without the Product team it would not be possible to facilitate the student and counsellor guidance on the BridgeU platform, which supports over 6,000 counsellors and 100,000 students worldwide.
We interviewed Dan Chronnell, VP of BridgeU, to talk to us a bit more about the Product team, what they do, and exciting developments for 2024.
Tell me more about what the Product team are responsible for here at BridgeU
“We’re responsible for developing all of the products that our customers use, including the advisors who use the software in schools, the students who use the software, and the solutions we provide to our university partners.
Our product team is very insight driven.
We use a number of techniques and tools that are very common in the software industry, including user research, data analysis, and testing and validation to make sure that our product meets our customers needs.
We work out what their problems are. And we create solutions to those problems and challenges, and make the product easier and better for them to use to make sure that it helps them achieve their goals.
What makes your team so successful?
We’ve got a really brilliant team of product designers and engineers at BridgeU. They’re a passionate team who care about the outcomes for the students.
I think that one of the reasons we’re so successful is the empathy that the team has for the student, and making sure that we can support them through what is probably one of the biggest decisions they make in their lives.
We know that students need a combination of resources to support them in their self study.
And we believe that it’s their network of the counsellor, their family and their friends who they need to work with to help to understand this big decision.
So we believe that a combination of human plus digital resources is the best way to support the student through this.
How does the Product team work to grow and support our network of students and counsellors?
So we’ve had a really busy year. For the students we’ve made it so the information they see is much better and much more relevant.
We’ve helped improve our university search functionality to make it faster for them to find the things they’re looking for. And we’ve also made our experience more mobile friendly.
For our advisors, we’ve focused a lot on making the process of managing student applications as fast and easy as we can, particularly working with the Common App.
And from that point of view, we’ve also made some really important improvements to the way schools manage the results they get from UCAS.
Working closely with our university partners, we’ve helped to launch a resource center for the students that helps them find content about our partners.
We’ve also done some really interesting work around creating recommendations of universities that our students might like to find out more about.
We’ve had some great feedback from the advisors on the changes that we’ve made this year.
One of our advisors told us that the changes we made to our software meant that they felt like they had their own PA, helping them do their job, which is a really fantastic accolade for us.
In terms of student engagement, we’ve seen 20 to 30% improvements in students being able to find what they’re looking for within the platform. And we’ve also seen students nearly doubling the number of profiles that they view within the platform.
What are the Product team looking forward to as we enter 2024?
There are so many things we’re looking forward to!
We just finished our road mapping exercise here at BridgeU. And there’s a whole load of really exciting projects that we’ve got lined up.
In particular, we’re very focused on improving the way we recommend universities to students, based on their academic performance and their preferences.
And we’re really excited to be doing more work with the tools that we provide to support students in self-assessing their own needs, so that they can understand the skills that they have, and find a better fit university for them.
We’re also really looking forward to doing some exciting work on profiles that exist for the universities within our Student Portal.
We’ve got some really exciting changes in terms of the increase in data that’s available and making them more media rich.
We’re looking to really showcase the best of each university to students when they’re looking to browse, and make what we believe is ultimately an emotional choice about where they might want to go and what they might want to study.“
The interview has been edited for clarity.
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Learn more about our Product team and how their work can support universities grow and diversify their international undergraduate cohorts for 2024.