Brainfeed Profiling Responses
1) What is the key differentiator that sets TCC apart in the current space of Higher Education Counselling?
Answer: TCC is focused on an impact based outcome for our clients higher education goals – mainly school/colleges, students and professionals. We provide an end to end process from initial assessment, mentoring, test prep to profile building, loan, visa, housing, insurance, ticketing. Our bid starts by providing the student with a career report defining their expertise and experience. We use AI-based solutions to create an apt career report and gap analysis. Based on the personality, interest, career values and motivators, learning styles, and skill sets that are found strong we generate an initial understanding of the student’s strongest career areas. We also get to know areas of improvement, but their strengths are what we focus on for profile-building strategies. For schools/colleges we provide counselor resources,
Post this an initial counselling session with an experienced counsellor/mentor results in a two-way dialogue that provides clarity on career options, types of courses, country, and university options. Eventually, the combination of the initial input, AI & gap analysis, and initial counselling session helps in building a roadmap for success including shortlisting universities and courses.
We also suggest the students who are in state boards, CBSE, ICSE/ISC to give AP exams, which support their application and earn college credit, and so identifying the right APs early on is important. The students applying to IB or Cambridge are not required to give the AP exams unless they want to strengthen other areas for their application.
Post guiding the students through the preparations for the entrance tests like the ACT, SAT, GMAT, GRE, or IELTS and profile-building strategies. After this, we involve extracurricular partners and non-profit organizations based expert mentors to guide them with questions on careers, the application process including resume building, essays, recommendations, campus life, etc.
The key differentiator that sets TCC apart is expert ‘Mentors’, who have gone through the process. So amalgamating expertise, experience and technology help us make the above process faster and more effective.
2) While mapping the career plan for the students, what kind of challenges are you currently facing amidst the pandemic scenario? And how has TCC supported the student community in countering them?
Answer: While considering a study abroad, the selection, test preparation and application process sometimes takes 6 months to a year and we stay like a shadow with the students. Having said that, the global pandemic and the unprecedented lockdowns have made our challenges tougher. Thus, encouraged everyone to adapt digitally sound platforms to support the whole application process.
We have moved to an online dashboard and app that is being beta tested so students can sign up for services, review their shortlisted colleges, progress on the application, documents submitted by them, with notifications that keep them informed, and hear from community leaders giving insights about careers and universities.
To make our services quicker as well as efficient we have adopted AI-based career assessment tests and tools. We have experienced that the advice given on the basis of these results are more accurate which then combined with mentor guidance allows for a more focused planning and execution. The results also help us suggest various online courses to streamline the career interest.
As counsellors, we face several challenges from goal building, making the client focus and complete tests and other requirements on time, to getting transcripts and other documents and then making the client select the right universities. However, one of the biggest challenges that we face is mapping the career path aligned with different factors like student’s interests, skills, the eligibility criteria of the universities, financial situation, etc. Every country and university has different criterias. So, apart from the student’s career interest and skills, we also need to make sure to consider the criteria laid by different universities. If we consider the institutions from the UK, they expect the student applying for bachelors to declare his or her major while they start the course.
Considering all these factors the students are highly recommended to start early maybe in grade 9th onwards. And for those in 3 or 4 year undergraduate programs to start by year 2. Now, students reaching out to us at the end moment with various career areas in mind is another big challenge that we encounter, which too is handled with an efficient solution by our team of expert mentors and experienced administrators.
3) What kind of platforms and tech solutions does TCC equip the students with in order to make an apt institution choice and to achieve their target admission goals?
Answer: TCC has always believed that integrating technology within the process is going to make it even more clear and lucid. To achieve any kind of goal you need to make small goals for yourself. And reaching the ultimate goal of getting into the dream university, the students need to ace at the smaller goals too. Keeping this in mind TCC has developed an online portal and featured a dashboard incorporating smart solutions that cater to all these smaller goals.
The dashboard includes the step-wise application process, its status, and a guide on what the students need to do in order to complete the steps. The mentors, students, as well as parents have access to this dashboard. We have observed that students get a lot of clarity of the application process plus feel motivated to complete all the steps efficiently.
We have also moved a step forward and started providing AI-based solutions to create a career report. It gives us more analytical and apt results and increases the chances of the application getting approved.
4) How greatly is the TCC team involved with students through the processes of their application?
Answer: We make sure to be a part of each step that students take throughout the application phase. Our process includes end-to-end support. We start with IC in order to engage the child’s interest. From IC we move on to assist the child with test preparation, college admission and extracurricular activities. As counsellors, we need to follow a holistic and 360-degree approach. That’s why not only do we offer expertise in career guidance, but also extend our help during visa application, finding university or local accommodation, assisting with the scholarship process, Travel assistance (including tickets, foreign exchange, bank opening, etc.)
TCC mentors are not only in touch with the students only till the admissions but also beyond it. We make sure to provide our guidance during the internships and placements, as well. This way we have managed to create an end-to-end service.
5) What have been the brand learnings in the unprecedented scenario? With Edtech ramping up in this situation how has TCC integrated tech and evolved in its approach and solutions framework?
Answer: Being online we realised we could get students to attend free webinars and engage them with several activities. The most prominent brand learning so far is expanding our horizons with regard to university knowledge and associations, and adding AI to the career counselling process. Along with the application process we need to support our students through the profile building and gaining extra skills sets through courses and classes. Thus we focused on growing and expanding our extra curricular and university partnerships adding 50 extra-curricular partners and direct/indirect associations with 1200 Universities.
Keeping pandemic and lockdown in view, we understood that we can face unprecedented problems even in a well-mapped path. It created a lot of miscommunication and confusion. Student’s problems had to be addressed. We did so by conducting 100+ webinars and workshops during covid and reaching out to 1000+ students for MS, UG, MBA etc.
The current situation has given a real push to the edtech market and every industry player must keep up with it. We are currently working on building a website in our effort to keep up with the increasing edtech market. We have a pre-existing network of 100+ mentors from 50+ career areas. With this website, we plan on making the entire process of studying abroad quick and hassle free.
Our platforms will help students connect with the required/correct mentor who will help them add deep perspective and future vision, advise on profile building, also clear doubts on campus life, career opportunities and maximise their chances of an admit into their dream university.
6.) What has the global admission application trend been like in the last 2 years in India? And any thoughts on what can be expected in the near future?
Answer: The coronavirus pandemic last year forced a lot of students to defer their plans to study abroad. Experts now believe that getting into a foreign university this year is going to be tougher as students were not able to apply because of last year’s halt. These students will apply in 2021 along with fresh applicants. MBA Applications were down in 2020, whereas undergraduate applications to US universities from India were up by 30% due to the entrance test waiver.
The Common App for US Universities states that in comparison to the academic year 2019-20, the applications to undergraduate programs grew by 9% this year. The organisation also stated that applications from Indian spiked by 28%. In 2021, we are already seeing a high interest from students and parents to prepare early on for their applications with US and Canada degree programs seeing deadlines from October to January. Interest in specialised masters programs has also increased like robotics, data science and analytics.