Mentrio: Where students find their college mentors !!

Mentrio-Overseas Education Consultants
  • 179


“Mentrio- Overseas Education Consultants”

Headquartered in Canada, Mentrio is Overseas Education Consultants and a web portal to connect students with the alumni of the leading universities from the US and Canada (the aim is to have alumni from around the globe).

With so many universities around the globe offering multiple courses. Also, It is tough to keep track of the latest trend. Furthermore, there is no source of being 100% sure of the ground reality in different countries and the demand for a course.

According to the studentedge.org survey of 2017 the one thing students’ need the most is MENTORSHIP and GUIDANCE.

Platforms on which the app is available:

Website

We will cover the below aspects of the project:

The aim here is to help you make more informed decisions in terms of features and find the right IT parents. Hence saving you from paying extra or getting duped by fake companies. Also, by Sales consultancy, we want to educate you with tested strategies to acquire your initial clients.

  • IT Review

  1. Pre-Requisites
  2. Understanding the problem from the user’s perspective
  3. Hidden Challenges
  4. The behavior of the target audience
  5. Adding a feature for acquiring client after launch: Our USP
  • Project Management

  1. Documents Required
  2. Graphic Designing
  3. Selecting the Development Team
  • Sales Consultancy

  1. Deciding the target audience
  2. Selecting the country
  3. Best places to find a target audience
  4. Getting Users on Board

IT Review:

The value is pretty straight forward, students often face the challenges while planning for my higher education. Nonetheless, they need some sources of “Awareness and Ground Reality”. And Mentrio(Overseas Education Consultants) brings it with a personal touch.

The challenge is that on one side we have fickle-minded students. Moreover, on others, we have senior position holder professionals of estimated universities.

  • Pre-Requisites:

Before you reach out to any development team you should have the below things ready with you. This will help the IT partner to understand your perspective better and avoid any possibility of confusion.

Don’t worry your IT partner will correct you and give an appropriate solution when required.

  1. The document, mentioning all your requirements/thoughts. Simple layman language would do.
  2. Reference website with a similar feature, if any.
  3. Reference website for your designs preference.
  • Understanding the problem users face:

Our target was to make it attractive, fast and give more information with minimal design. Hence ensuring the credibility of the Overseas Education Consultants platform to the target audiences.

Mentor:

  1. They have limited time,
  2. No visibility to students who need help,
  3. Managing payment flow,
  4. Mode of communication,
  5. Demanding money for their time (consciously awkward),

Student:

  1. Want to know the ground reality of the college,
  2. Unable to find which alumni are ready to help,
  3. Need a secure way to pay the demanded money,
  4. Nowhere to compare the standards of the alumni,
  5. Finding relevant mentor is very time consuming,
  6. Mode of communication,
  • Hidden Challenges in development

  • Booking Timeslot Management:

The main challenge to the complete project is the booking system. If a student is sitting in China and trying to see the timeslots of alumni in the USA. Then the timeslot entered by the alumni needs to be adjusted to the timeslot of the student.

It is tougher than it sounds because the timezone for a few countries keeps changing every few months. Its called the Day-Light Effect. If the IT Company doing it is aware of such an effect they can easily manage it. Otherwise, it could be a huge pain.

  • Video calling through Mobile Browser:

The other challenge is to have the video calling feature run through the browser, even if used from a mobile browser.

  • The behavior of Target Audiences:

Targeting relevant students is super fun. You can find that in the Sales section below.

  • Mentors:

    • Major Country of International Student:
      USA, UK, and Australia
    • Most used apps/ websites for references for the comfortable feature:
      • UK: Tripadvisor (Booking), Amazon (listing), Reddit (Information)
      • USA: Facebook, Google, FB Messenger
      • Australia: eBay, LinkedIn, Reddit
  • Students:

    • Major Places where International Students come from:
      China, India, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea
    • How is the information acquired
      Through local coachings, Websites, Forum and asking random people on social media.
    • Most used apps/websites for reference to comfortable feature:
      • China: WeChat (business), Mobile Baidu (Searching), QQ (Chatting)
      • India: Facebook, Google, Whatsapp
      • South Korea: KakaoTalk, Korail, Itour Seoul
      • Language convenience:
        Most are comfortable with English.
  • Final Features of Mentrio (Overseas Education Consultants):

Feature to Acquire users: OUR USP

Mentrio (Overseas Education Consultants) uses a feature called Mentrio Fund where on each booking Mentrio donates some funds to the charity. Which supports underprivileged kids with studies.

Features of Overseas Education Consultants app:

Mentor:

  1. Mentor login through LinkedIn to capture professional information.
  2. Adding per hour cost.
  3. Adding available timeslots with timezone.
  4. Notification of events.

Student

  1. Search and filter mentors based on categories.
  2. Booking timeslots with online payment.
  3. Attending 1-1 video call from the web and mobile browsers.
  4. Notification of events.

Here is an example of the Flow Diagram of a similar website.

Project Management:

As a policy, I only act as the Project Manager for my clients. I do not build projects or have in-house developers. However, this enables me to find the best company at the right cost for my clients without any alternate intentions.

As a Project Manager, we handle the Designing, Development, follow-ups, timely delivery, feedbacks, and all the project related management. While for clients it is only us who are answerable. Single point of contact.

I have a network of tried and tested 50+ companies/developers across the globe for different budgets and requirements.

  • Documenting the requirement:

These are the minimum documents. That I take from my vendors to check if they have truly understood the requirement ensuring a smooth delivery.

A lot of times, in the haste of closing the deal or in the laziness to do the extra effort. However, Vendors don’t give their clients these documents which results in confusion and problems at the time of delivery.

  • Change Request Document
  • Flow Diagram

Here is an example of the Flow Diagram of a similar website.

  • User Case Diagram
  • Prototype

Graphic designer:

  • Wire-framing:

Rough sketch of where will the different elements be placed on the screens of the application.

  • Prototype:

The in-vision tool helps to create a good prototype. Before starting development you should have the exact experience of how would your application feel like once it is created.

In-Vision has a commenting facility which helps the client to easily communicate their thoughts on the minor details of the design with precision to the designer.

  • Selecting the Development Team:

The way I do it is, I intentionally give half information and create loopholes to check how good the development company is to whom I am planning to outsource the project. However, the company’s ability to think of innovative ways and how quickly they can catch the loopholes is a test of their talent.

Criteria:

  1. IMPORTANT: Worked on multiple-timezone based bookings.
  2. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Have worked on running video calling through mobile browsers.
  3. Ability to spot the intentionally placed loopholes.
  4. The company which satisfies the technology stack.
  5. Handled Payment gateway.
  6. Worked on the Marketplace model.

Sales Consultancy :

We help start-ups to acquire initial users/clients. It was one of the occasions when I agreed to be involved more than just being a strategist to acquire clients. Therefore, after 15 days of research, we formed realistic goals for the next 3 months. Also, Putting a number on the strategy helps in being target-oriented and more focused.

My role was Student Acquisition. That basically means a lot of meetings.

  • Understanding the project:

The concept is the student from anywhere across the globe should be able to come to the portal and find a relevant person based on different filters. Once the student finalizes the Overseas Education Consultants he should be able to book a 1-to-1 video call with the person as per a mutually convenient time.

The mentor should be able to showcase his availability on the portal without too much hassle and decided how much he would like to be paid for the services.

  • Deciding the target audience:

Unlike the other projects, the target audience for this project was very specific.

In students, we are looking specifically for the ones planning to travel abroad for studies. An alumnus, we are looking to on-board the candidates who would prefer to guide students against some fixed charges.

  • Selecting the Country:

Since Mentrio caters to international audiences. However, it is important to start with one country to make it profitable and then move to the next.

India ranks second in terms of the number of students who opt for international education and my local presence just adds to making it the best choice without opposition. Nonetheless, India is also an ever-growing community of young students traveling abroad to study.

As for Alumnus, I choose the USA since that is where most of the Indian students choose to go for studies.

  • Getting students on-board:

We took the driving seat while there were 200+ alumnus on-board. While brainstorming we came up with 16 different strategies using multiple portals.

In 1 month we had 50+ bookings on the portal.

  1. Approach Colleges seminars/workshops,
  2. Approach Institutes
  3. Cafe Events
  4. Flyers in colleges
  5. College Fest
  6. GMAT/GRE/IETLS Coaching
  7. Local Eateries
  8. Malls and Movies
  9. Ads in Cafes
  10. Lounges
  11. Assigning College Ambassadors
  12. Pic Contests
  13. Earn on refers
  14. Ads on RJ’s personal Pages.
  15. College Contest
  • Brought back to reality

With all the past success in the online Overseas Education Consultants platform. We were sure to rock even the offline market as we knew our target audience very well. Furthermore, Our very first strategy was to collaborate with the abroad education consultancies. We were sure that they would jump to shake hands as it had a great value proposition.

However, we failed miserably because, very innocently, we missed to realize that the biggest proposition involved sharing their client (student) data, which obviously none of would agree to.

Nonetheless, we are entrepreneurs and learn quickly from our experiences. Also, we spotted the problem with our strategy and switched to targeting students.

We got really close to the deadline, in the first 16 days, we had 0 targeted leads. Furthermore, working aggressively we achieved our target on the 24th days with commitments for the next 3 months with target exceeding 500%.

  • Did something completely different

We knew that it is not something we do very frequently. Hence we choose to start with a relative easer audience to convert.

Strategies:

  • Collaboration with local Education Consultancies.
  • Hired college students with an attractive return.
  • Collaborated with students as a status symbol.

In the 1st month, we had 50+ students making the call and the total target of 2000+ bookings in the next 3 months which we are sure to achieve in the next 2 months itself.

The beauty of doing timely delivery is informing the relation with your clients.

15 thoughts on “Mentrio: Where students find their college mentors !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *