Work Hard and Be Nice to People: Reflections on Our 10th Anniversary
In ten years of building SchoolAdmin, we’ve learned a lot about how to help the schools that rely on us, not just as a service provider, but as an extension of their admissions team. We’ve made it our mission to make applying to and enrolling in the right school as simple as possible, and we’re getting better at it all the time. There would be no SchoolAdmin without our schools and the families they serve, who are looking for the best educational opportunities for their children.
My parents and my grandparents were teachers, so I grew up seeing firsthand the transformative power of education in people’s lives. I’d always wanted to make a difference in education, and connecting students with the right schools and vice versa is why we exist as a company.
Fast forward 10 years and we’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way, both from the generous advice of others and from learning from our mistakes. Many of those lessons come down to this: To build something that makes a difference in the lives of others, you should work hard and be nice to people. Also, we should strive to put ourselves in our customers’ shoes every day and find ways to make their lives easier.
This philosophy has really allowed us to impact the lives of the teams we serve. We’ve helped schools turn around struggling admissions efforts, and saved admission officers from an autumn spent scanning student records on a flatbed by hand. A few weeks ago, a customer of ours from St. Mark’s came into the office to work on a project with us, and she hugged a member of our support team and said: “I’m so happy to meet you in person!” That’s what we’re going for–a powerful product that’s easy to use, but also a customer experience that goes well beyond the product.
We are grateful for our customers and the market we are in. I’m continually surprised by how open and collaborative schools are. Professionals in this field love to help each other out, to share their ideas, and share what’s working for them. That’s part of the reason we’ve been able to grow the way we have, but more importantly, it makes partnering with educators so energizing and rewarding.
Looking ahead, we’ve got big plans to help our schools — and many schools that don’t work with us yet — take their admissions and enrollment to the next level. For us this comes down to three things:
- As we grow, keep hiring the right people, like that customer service rep who surprised and delighted St. Mark’s. The team at SchoolAdmin cares deeply about the success and happiness of our customers, and that’s not going to change.
- Keep creating an amazing experience for our customers. That means we keep focusing on building products that are very powerful but are also very intuitive and user-friendly to work with. That also means continually innovating and bringing new capabilities, like our recent billing offering.
- Actively work at creating a great place to work. When you take care of your teammates, they take care of your customers, and it’s a lot more fun to come to work every day. That’s something that you never finish working on. I want people to look back later in their career and know that SchoolAdmin had a significant impact on their personal and professional growth, that they got a lot done with people they enjoyed working with.
I’m so thankful for the customers that share their work, successes, and ideas with us every day, and for our incredible employees that make it their mission to help schools thrive. But ten years is just the beginning.
There are so many things we want to do for our schools in the next ten years, and into the future. We’re building new partnerships and finding new ways to help improve the application, admissions, and enrollment experience for our schools, and for the families thinking about our schools. Wait till you see what we do next.
Thank you all for 10 fun-filled, rewarding years. Here’s to the next decade!
– Nate, CEO & Founder, SchoolAdmin
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