On Friday May 24, 2013 our team met with our client, Marissa LASTNAME AT THE from the BCDO with the objective to gather information in regards to the main concern with the BCDO and the role they were looking to provide FreshTransition. We had brainstormed several questions beforehand to provide clarity and give us the necessary tools in creating the survey and ensuring we accomplished the goal to the highest of our ability. The main questions asked during the meeting are as followed:
1. What is the reasoning behind looking into FreshTransition? 2. When gathering information from potential users are you looking to observe demographics or strictly decide whether or not there is an interest for the use of Fresh Transition? 3. Do you plan to incorporate FreshTransition into the current interface used on CareerZone or have a separate outgoing link to further assist students in their job search? 4. If Fresh Transition will be used external, do you foresee this impacting the use of CareerZone and affecting company interest from promoting through CareerZone?
With the initial discussion, we discovered that the main issue the BCDO is facing is that there are only few representatives at the BCDO office versus the number of students looking to receive career guidance. Although the BCDO does all that they can to manage all of the students, the representative vs. student ratio ultimately leaves the students with a limited number of resources to properly manage their current transactions with career professionals. Additionally, Marissa and her team have no way to track the students in their career management.
This is where the idea of FreshTransition has come in with an effort to help relieve some of the weight off the BDCO staff. Once you have entered all of your information into FreshTransition you will automatically be sent job matches via email and be reminded when something important is coming up. FreshTransition tracks all of the details so one does not have too. These details include: every activity, application, interview, discussion, name, date, document and more. With the implementation of FreshTransition, there would be more time for the BCDO representatives, as they would not need to constantly meet with each student in regards to their career planning.
There are a couple of questions/concerns the BCDO has if they were to implement FreshTransition. They are unsure whether to make the investment, since the program is new; they are questioning whether the tool will be fully utilized by students. The tool is extremely helpful; however, it does require dedication. However, with Marissa being able to monitor student’s progress this may be the extra push that students require. Marissa also mentioned long-term goals in one of our team meetings. She stated if the job search tool were to be successful, they might consider implementing the tool into a new course that is required by students and that will be paid for in tuition.
When looking to create our survey to discover if the implementation of this tool will be successful we decided to focus our attention to several aspects we believed to be most important. We determined it is important to uncover what motivates students to use career-building applications/WebPages in general. Secondly, when assessing the features that are incorporated in FreshTransition we are looking to understand what students are looking for when it comes to career-building programs – specifically, what sways their purchasing decision one way versus another – is it a well-established brand? Does it have features such as resume builders and interview tips? Thirdly, how much time typically goes into making a decision when it comes to choosing a career-building product? Do students follow the majority? Research? Use the first tool that is readily available to them? Finally, due to well-established dominance of competitor brands it may be necessary to fill a market niche when choosing features to incorporate for the BCDO, in order to make an investment in FreshTransition viable.
The Organization: BCDO – Marisa Brown-Benson
Business Career Development Office (BCDO) is an office in Goodman School of Business at Brock University that aims to help students locate jobs of their interest. Additionally, it seeks to provide students with career development programs and guidance to enable them make better and informed decisions both academically and career wise. Further, BCDO offers a platform to employers and recruiters, where they can search for the most talented future business leaders. To equip the students better, BCDO offers students comprehensive career advice, cover letter and resume feedbacks, interview preparation and assistance when it comes to searching for jobs.
Currently, BDCO has only one resource from which it seeks to help Brock University students in locating jobs and managing their careers. This resource is the professional information sessions with representatives at the BCDO where students attend. Although this resource is currently sufficient, BCDO needs to improve its efficiency considering that the representative to students ration is quite low. With increasing students who require its services, it is likely to become insufficient in the future. To improve its efficiency, BCDO is seeking a software application or program that can allow students to manage their communication as well as meetings to develop their management as well as social skills during career search.
As a solution, BCDO is contemplating on whether or not to implement the online software, Fresh Transition. Timely decision is required considering the increasing inefficiency at BDCO while Fresh Transition will close the inefficiency gap caused by low representative to student ratio. If Brock University fails to implement this software before another university does, it might be at a great disadvantage for the BCDO business. A part from just deciding to implement Fresh Transition, the university has also to consider whether it will need all the features Fresh Transition offers should they choose to implement it. Two options exist where BCDO can take up all the features or take some of them, which it can integrate into its Career Zone. Career Zone is the current system used by BCDO to offer business students help during their career search by connecting them to job boards, interview preparations and resume workshops. The final long-term decision that depends on the success of the implementation is whether to introduce Fresh Transitions as a required business career course.
BCDO considers that there is competition out there on such products. However, it also considers that students will consider their learning institution ideal for providing them with such a product. It might require more to use the services of other competitors considering that such competitors might have a wider client base, which means allowing more personalized services might be hard. Additionally, considering the kind of product under question, BCDO thinks that clients to competitors will be competing for the same resources while the university product will give first priority to their students.
The target market to this product is the students. With the current unemployment rate, students are taking all the important advice they can in order to secure jobs of their choice. With the ratio of representatives to student going down, many students are not getting all the help they might require. The software will allow access to students at the same time and around the clock. The students appreciate online services due to their convenience. Considering students are used to online services, it will be an easy product for them to use. Therefore, the target market would be ready to benefit from such a product. Considering majority are young, they are able to change and adapt to new products faster.