Learn With Us
Learn With Us
Access podcasts, videos, articles, and more.
Discover With Us
Discover With Us
Discover the best new software, tools and services for enrollment marketing — and even your next gig
Subscribe With Us
Subscribe With Us
Join 3,000+ enrollment marketers in wrestling with ideas that are reshaping higher ed
What Higher Ed Needs to Understand About Gen-Z’s Entrepreneurial Spirit
Zach Busekrus: [00:00:00] This episode is brought to you by our friends at Unibuddy. Unibuddy is a student engagement platform that helps higher education, recruitment, marketing, and admissions professionals attract, engage, and convert prospective students. Unibuddy helps students make one of the most important purchasing decisions of their entire life, and that decision is where to go to college.
One of the ways they do this is by giving prospects real time access to real people at your university. Here's how it works. A prospective student named Sam Stumbles upon your school's business major website page, and he starts reading about your program offering. After a few seconds, a warm popup form invites Sam to chat with Student Ambassador.
Dan, who you guessed is currently studying business at your university. After some quick niceties, Sam admits he's been looking at your school for some time now, but is yet to submit a formal inquiry or start an application. He's been to a couple of virtual recruitment events, but it's been hard to get a real fetal for what life as a student, especially during these times, is actually like [00:01:00] Dan talks about his love of the entrepreneurship course he's taking, how challenging, but rewarding and counting one on one is, and how impressed he's been with your school's response to the challenges that Covid has thrown everyone's way.
After 15 minutes of chatting with Dan Sam, books a chat with one of your admissions counselors for next week, and then he goes on to create an application account. This experience is so much more powerful than a static chat window or a scripted chatbot. Unibody empowers people to make better decisions through shared human experience.
Oh, and by the way, this peer-to-peer engagement platform, it's just one of uni buddy's product offerings. Wait until you see their virtual events platform. Totally game changing. Don't get stuck in a prospective student's college shopping cart. Make the experience of accessing personalized peer to peer feedback as frictionless as possible.
To learn more about Unibuddy and access a plethora of free resources to help you navigate student recruitment this year, head on over to enrolled.org/unit buddy, and [00:02:00] we'll ping you directly to Unibuddy's learning Hub.
All right, Nina, we're we're back for episode three for this special Unibuddy Enrollify podcast series. How you doing? I'm great.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Can't wait to have this discussion.
Zach Busekrus: I, I, I think I'm actually most excited about this topic because I love all things entrepreneurial and we kind of carved this as like a, as like an extra episode, um, or a slightly tangential episode.
We've spent the last several weeks, I guess couple weeks, this is episode three here, uh, talking about these reports, these, these surveys really that the anybody team did to assess both [00:03:00] how prospective students are thinking about their college search and also. Higher education administrators are thinking about recruiting these students.
And one of like, I, I think maybe the mo most significant, uh, at least from my perspective, um, finding in this report was this idea around how students not just think about educational outcomes and not just desire more specific outcomes before they choose a college or university, but actually how they think about.
Work and how they think about the future of their, their careers. And it, it does seem like there's this, there's this generation of, of students that desire to, at least in some part, be entrepreneurial, right? Whether that's being a YouTube creator, right? Whether that's, uh, starting their own business. It, it feels like we're dealing with, uh, a generation that.
Just really creative and at least desires to, to, to maybe take a little bit of a different career path than, than their parents did. So I'd love for you to share a little bit about the data that you all uncovered and any musings you might have [00:04:00] around what this means.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Yeah. So a couple of interesting stats that we, we talk about in the report that I, I think are really eye opening.
So the first one is 42% of Gen Z population are already employed. Hmm. And that's that from McKenzie. Right. So I think that it's because. Since the financial crisis occurred during a crucial moment in the development of Gen Z students and, and likely impacted their their parents in a meaningful way, they saw the fallout and they took notes.
So they're not wasting any time when it comes to gaining that work experience because they're motivated by the security that accompanies a stable income. But I also think that if we go one level deeper, 54% want to start their own business based on a STA from Nielsen. So that entrepreneurial spirit is strong, gen Z is highly ambitious.
Uh, they aren't [00:05:00] just seeking that job security that maybe our parents or even we looked for. They're looking to innovate. They have big ideas. They wanna shape the world. They're independent. They're extremely focused on impact and outcomes, so it's natural that they think about founding companies and that's sort of baked into their future outlook and their dreams.
I think ultimately what I'm learning about Gen Z, which is so inspiring, they wanna make an impact and they're seeing that entrepreneurial. As almost like the most direct way to have an impact, which is admirable.
Zach Busekrus: I think so. Well said. I, I was thinking about my, when, when I was in college and the people that, like I worked through, I worked through school.
Several of my friends worked through school, but most of, most of the people, at least in my circle, whose parents were paying for college, they didn't work. So they were just like fully, you know, the committed to being a student, which is, which is great. You can do that. But those of us who didn't have parents that were paying for school, like we worked, but now my sister [00:06:00] who's in in college, she's a, a sophomore now, she talks about how like her, many of her friends whose, whose parents are paying for their education are, are still choosing to work while in school.
So it is kind of funny, like it seems like it's not necessarily, uh, it seems like there are students who are opting into work even if they don't quote have to, which is.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Yeah, I, I mean I kind of think there might be two drivers to that. One is that working gives you independence. So I was in the privileged position where my parents were paying for school many years ago, and I still wanted to work because that gave me the independence and that, that kind of income to be able to spend in the way that I wanted to be able to spend it.
Right? Yeah. So, I think Gen Z is all about independence, but I also think it's because they are forward looking and they're thinking about, um, what's gonna help me get that experience that will be a springboard for my future. And so they're starting that early. Um, and, and there's a lot of opportunity [00:07:00] even while you're in university to be able to find.
That, you know, field study with a professor or that job at the alumni center that gives you the, the connections to be able to network when you wanna maybe start your own company in the future. So I think they're being very entrepreneurial and scrappy and thoughtful. About the way that they're thinking about work, um, even
Zach Busekrus: at a young age.
Yeah. I, I also wonder if it has something to do with the fact that a lot of employers, I used to hire a bunch of people that were like fresh out of college and one of the things that was always hard, like I worked for marketing agency, right? People have, like, they. They have a marketing degree, but then they, they don't really have any experience for any, and you know, to, to an extent when you're hiring fresh outta college, like experience is gonna be limited.
But when you did find right, that application that came in, right, where somebody had interned at a firm or they were working part-time in helping create social media content for a brand or whatever it was. Immediately, [00:08:00] immediately, like your perception of that individual is significantly greater. Even if there was a candidate that was, you know, smarter, maybe maybe more prepared, we would, you know, nine times outta nine times outta 10 choose who to bring in based off of who had anything listed that was like real, you know, quote unquote real world experience.
So it seems like Gen Z to your point, is, is also just maybe more aware this is something that is, it's no longer like a nice to have, it's kind of like No, no, no. If you, if you really wanna be Hi. Pretty immediately after school. It's, it's kind of a need to have it.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: They're savvy, right? Yeah. Is what you're saying.
Essentially. I mean, same in our team, you know, if we wanna make the investment to kind of work with an intern or even someone who's fresh outta school, we're looking for someone that has that spark. Right? Yeah. And, and a little bit of experience can go a long way, especially if you find someone that's coachable, right?
Mm-hmm. . So Totally
Zach Busekrus: agree. Yeah. Um, this, this whole. All this talk about, you know, being entrepreneurial and Gen Z's sort [00:09:00] of, uh, expectations for like what work will look like reminds me of this, this thread I put out on Twitter a few, a few weeks ago I was prepping actually for a presentation on, on Gen Z's, uh, behavior and how, uh, hired marketers should think a little bit more.
A little bit differently about how to recruit this generation. And so I was just doing some, uh, Google trend like, uh, investigation and uncovered just some, some really remarkable insight around how search. Uh, search volume has increased around terms like how to be a creator or how to be a YouTuber. Um, you know, these, these, these trends are five to 10 x.
There are five to 10 x more searches per month around these keywords and, and related keywords. And there were even just a few years ago, and again, I think that this, this just pairs nicely with what we. With what your all's data says and also what we've just been talking about with respect to how Gen Z thinks about their future.
But I, but I'm curious like what you think and what the UN buddy team might think about, like what this [00:10:00] means for higher ed. Right. This idea that, you know, may maybe there is a growing hunger to, to be a solopreneur or to be able to, you know, be paid for. You know, creative, uh, spark that you have. Right. And so how, how, I guess, how, how does higher ed like make sense of this?
Are there things that administrators can do to better, like, leverage this, this interest in how individuals, how next generations of students want? Want to work? Yeah.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Yeah. I mean, I think it reminds me of the phrase that we've all, we all know and have heard, which is content is king. Mm-hmm. . And I think that today the demand for personalized content has never been higher.
Um, and it's, it's so persistent, it's so constant. It's time timeconsuming. But content creators often become influencers. and they, they can jumpstart their careers off the achievements. Right. And you [00:11:00] think about brand ambassadors. Yeah. And that can take you into the world of higher ed and thinking about your ambassadors.
I mean, it's a way that they can almost like, you know, create a voice for themselves, but also create personalized content for the people around them. Um, and I think this serves higher ed professionals, really effectively, gen Z, they're both looking to become influencers, but also looking to influencers to guide their.
Um, you know, our, our, our report found social media is the second most popular way for students to get information. 55% say they turn to these channels. Yes. Um, and so there's an opportunity for higher ed institutions to really tap into that. And I think that the, the market for student ambassadors is massive and universities.
Ample opportunity to take advantage of that. Um, they can leverage the influence of those ambassadors to reach their prospective students in that personalized way. So, um, you know, higher ed can think about this trend as [00:12:00] almost an amplification of their
Zach Busekrus: voice. Yeah. Yeah. And, and I would even go further to say like, I feel like this trend is, is an indicator that if you aren't doing enough to leverage.
Your students voices, your students are interested in their voices being leveraged, right? Meaning if there is an opportunity to create content that could help, you know, build their, their personal brand, build their audience, but also do so in a way that benefits your institution, take advantage of that.
That you've gotta, you've got a generation of students that are more, more open, at least their, their search intent says that they're more open to this, um, than ever before.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Yeah, and I think it comes back to that theme around impact, right? They want to make an impact and they want to feel that impact, and this is a great opportunity for them to kind of.
Leverage their lived experiences and share those through their content, um, in order to help, you know, prospective students, uh, understand what that experience could be like at an institution. So [00:13:00] in many ways, it's a win-win that that institutions can,
Zach Busekrus: can leverage. Yeah. From a, from a programming standpoint.
Do you think in light of this, in light of this data, in light of students working, uh, you know, already students desiring to have work experience upon graduation, students desiring to again, maybe pursue alternative careers. Does this, does this have any impact on. On programming at colleges and universities, like how, how does higher ed need to think about shifting courses and its offerings to, to align with what this next generation of students is, is saying that they want.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Yeah, it's such a, it's such a controversial space because I think we, you know, you and I have talked about how, you know, higher ed traditionally was a space where you could learn how to learn and develop your critical thinking skills and get that broad based education. Um, but you know, more and more we are hearing from Gen Z students that they [00:14:00] see higher ed as sort of a jumping off point Yeah.
For their. You know, um, more than one in three students say career opportunities is a top three issue when deciding where to study. Right. Um, and students can only do so much reading about where graduates from your college or university go before they start wanting to talk to one of them, right? Yeah. So the absence of these connections could be, make or break for someone who wants those tangible examples of success.
I think it also really highlights the connection that needs to exist between. Folks in admissions and recruitment, enrollment and marketing and what's actually happening in the world of teaching and learning on your institution's campus. Yeah. And being able to tap into the experiential learning that's happening, the hands on the co-ops, um, whatever allows you, and, and then of course following that all the way to your alumni and being able to show the outcomes.
Um, and, and you know, aggregating all of that probably loses the [00:15:00] personalization. Yeah. That students. So the more that you can bring out those current students voices or those alumni's, vo, those alumni voices, to be able to highlight those outcomes and how their lives have changed as a result of what they learned in the classroom, um, is really
Zach Busekrus: powerful.
Hey, everybody at Zach from RFI here. So it's that time of year when your favorite brands release the best deals on your favorite products, and for the very first time, RFI is joining. So between now and the end of the year, you can get 50% off. Any enrolled cohort or master course. Wanna learn more about how to leverage SEO for student recruitment.
We've got a cohort on just that led by the SEO Wizards a D agency, or are you ready to learn more about how schools are leveraging TikTok? Enroll on our self-paced TikTok strategy for higher ed cohort. Or perhaps you are finally ready to join 550 other higher ed marketers in enrolling in Terry F's Master.[00:16:00]
On how to market the university. Use the discount code e o y 50, that's e o y, as in end of year 50 for any of our asynchronous cohorts or e o Y as in end of year for our master course on how to market a university with Terry Flannery between now and 12 31 22 to receive 50% off. You can learn firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy holidays every.
On, on that note. , this idea of like, you're, you're also buying into like a network, right? Like when you, when you go to a particular school, you are one of the, one of the value ads, right? Is is the network of that institution, the community of that institution while you're currently on campus, but then also, you know, the people that have come before you.
Right? And, and I wonder, like, I think about my own, my own college experience and I think about how, how alumni were leveraged. Alumni were, were sort of leveraged in [00:17:00] a very specific way, which was to talk about why the school, why the major, why the program, whatever it was, helped them get to where, where they were.
It was, again, these testimonials, so to speak, but I, but I often think like, Your alumni network could be leveraged as like an asset in and of itself, of like, Hey, you don't necessarily need to just hear these stories. Right? You, you also need to know that upon graduation, like, like I think about tools like unibody, right?
You, you can chat to a network of our people. In a wide variety of careers Whenever you want. Forever, right? Like imagine, imagine a chat room, right? Like, or, or like a slack like experience where you could, you could go into a specific channel of people in your discipline. Everyone in that Slack channel is from your university.
They, they are graduates from your, from your school, right? And then you can kind of filter on and, and chat things out. Obviously this would take like a lot of buy-in, but, but I. I feel like the real [00:18:00] benefit to having an alumni network is that at any point in time, no matter where you are in your career, you can go and find people that have shared at least some common experience with you at some point in their life and ask for help.
And the idea that you are, the idea that you do have this shared experience, uh, increases the likelihood, right, that they'll at least. Respond. Right. At least, at least engage with you. And so I, I feel like schools are still in like the infancy of like figuring out how to leverage their networks, well, their alumni networks well, but I think, I think if done well, uh, again, maybe through, through tools like, uh, you know, unibody, like the, I feel like that there's a lot of untapped potential.
Um, and I'd love to see folks. Really leni in to figuring out, all right, what does it look like to develop digital communities that our alumni can be a part of forever? That at any point in time when Zach decides he's gonna make a career shift, he can, he can go here and find [00:19:00] value that, that would be, that would be really cool.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Yeah, I mean, you just described the per perfect sort of extension of the value proposition of a product that we launched this year called Uni Buddy Community. Ah, so Uni Buddy Community is an official safe space for institutions to allow students to be able to connect with one another. Uh, one to many rather than one to one, which is our chat platform.
And it allows students to be able to find their people, find like-minded, uh, students, whether that be for accepted students, whether that be for current students, whether that even be for alumni. So I think, you know, we've got over 250 institutions that are already using community. Nice. And this is just like a natural extension.
In fact, many are thinking, how do we get our alumni. Not just our ambassadors, but our alumni into those communities to help shape that. Because I personally love community because in in chat, what's really great un buddy chat is that you can find the person that [00:20:00] maybe, you know, comes from the country that you're from or has that athletic interest that you have and wanna continue.
In undergrad, you can find, um, someone who has, you know, studying the course that you wanna find. Yeah. You find interesting, but in a community what you can find is non like-minded people. Yeah. And that's the value of university is exposing to those people who are different, like, or maybe have a different perspective or different lived experience.
Yeah. And the beauty of kind of fostering exposure to maybe career paths that you may have never considered had you not found, you know, um, Andre, who's a marine biologist in Spain, One of your alumni, you know, and, and help you understand what that path
Zach Busekrus: actually can look like. Yeah. My, my body, he recently, he worked in marketing, but then like decided hey, he worked in, uh, higher end marketing actually, and he was like, you know what, no, I, I, I want to go totally shift, really wanna get into tech.
Right? And again, he's been, he's been a marketer for [00:21:00] his, you know, seven years of his life. He's in marketing for, Industry that he loves, that he's passionate about, but he's like, no, I really want to, I want, wanna get a tech. So what's funny is like he was going on LinkedIn looking at a couple companies and you know, he found a couple people from his, his, uh, school that happened to work at a company that he was interested in.
Right. He like dms them, uh, through, through LinkedIn and, you know, they have a conversation and that's great. But it, but it's funny, it's like, Colleges and universities could have this, this, um, this unique opportunity to say, Hey again, like, we're here for wherever and start your search here. Right? Start your conversation here.
Here's the community. To your point, like a. He would've had no interest in talking to these people previously, but now all of a sudden, because of life circumstances, because his interests have changed, you know, how cool would it be if he could start his education around this new industry with people that went to his same school?
Right? Like talk about, again, even from a perception standpoint, I meet Nina Nina's working at this ed tech [00:22:00] company. Cool. We never talked before, but now we're, now we're talking, Hey, next time that like, you know, email comes around about alumni giving or like your giving campaign, Hey, maybe, maybe I grow an affinity for your school because of Nina, right?
Because I reconnected with her. She helped me set off in this new career path. And I think like those are just like the missed opportunities right now that I feel like schools really need to think seriously about how, how, how do we increase these touch points? How do we increase value, not just while these students are here and not just the perception of value, but once students graduate, Totally
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: aligned.
First of all, I have so much admiration for career changers, so kudos to your debate. But yeah, I mean, if I look back on my undergraduate experience, the one thing that, you know, it's kind of like you can't control it, but I think about it for my kids, is just like, I need to expose them to as many options as possible.
Yeah. Because you are only limited by the number of options that you're, you know of. Yeah. That you're aware. Yeah. Right. So, um, [00:23:00] there's almost like this asymmetry of information that universities have to help students overcome so they understand their possibilities. If you don't know that it's possible, you don't know that you
Zach Busekrus: can.
Do you have any ideas, Nina, for like how schools can respond to, to this shift in, in behavior, in, in kind of creative and impactful ways? Like I, I think anytime I'm at a conference and we start talking about this stuff, like everyone agrees, like everyone like, yes, I, I see these things too. But then there's like this moment where, People are kind of like looking around left, right?
Like, and it's like every, everyone just like, is kind of overwhelmed or they don't know where to start, or they feel like they have no resources. So like what ideas do, do you and, and the unit buddy team for, for how have, for how schools can, can adapt and, and, and shift in, in accordance with this changed behavior.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: we work in an industry that is historically risk a. Definitely taking more [00:24:00] risks, um, since the, the pandemic changed the way that that things could be done and, you know, opened our eyes to see that, you know, there's more and more than one way to skin this cat. But I think overall it is, it's been pretty.
Conservative in the way that we've marketed, the way that we've engaged with students. And so, you know, what I've been emphasizing and even thinking about like some content that Unibody can come out with. Um, so stay tuned for that. But I really feel like we should be spotlighting where the risks are being taken.
And it's not a risk about, Hey, are you on TikTok? You know? Great. Right. But it's more about the risks that you're taking in your tone of voice in your. Right In your engagement and interactive activity options for your students, 72% of students still head to an institution's website first during their search journey.
So that's above social media. It's instinctive for them to begin their research this way. So is your [00:25:00] welcome mat to the world, your website, something that sounds like everybody else? Yeah. Or is, is your value proposition literally jumping off the page? Take a risk. Yeah. You know, um, you know, do something a little bit different.
Maybe look to other industries, right? Like, look to tech. You can look to healthcare, you can look to all, all the different ways that there's innovation limits being pushed, um, and leverage them. Why not take a risk, right? Yeah. So that, that's the one piece that I always think about. And, and sure your social media channels are next.
You know, you can enlist your most creative students. For like ambassador takeovers, um, you know, to give prospective students that memorable content that they can really engage with. But it's like, take a risk and don't let that risk just be a channel that kind of communicates your value proposition in the same way.
Yeah. Take a risk
Zach Busekrus: message. Yeah. Higher ed has historically also, Or I guess the stereotypes are like, it's, it's the ivory tower, right? [00:26:00] Um, it's, it's this, uh, the holier than now sort of like posture, right? Um, academia, like held, held in highest regards. And I think we are just, we are, we're welcoming a next generation of students that, that doesn't necessarily resonate with them as much.
Uh, it, it, it feels disingenuous maybe to, to who they are, right? I am looking forward to, I haven't seen too many examples of this, but I, I have seen a couple, but I'm looking forward to seeing more examples of schools take these risks of, of more casual language, quite frankly, or more, more, um, culturally relevant language.
And I think that, um, I think that there's huge, huge opportunity for the schools that are willing to take that risk. Now, eventually this will become mainstream and everyone will be doing it, but right now there's still like, it's, it's not mainstream. So, um, you, you have an opportunity to kind of get on the bleeding edge and, and be different.
And guess what? Being different gets noticed. Um, being different gets, gets shared. Right. I saw the screenshot recently in. It [00:27:00] that was going around on, on Twitter of, um, I think it was, I don't know if it was like in Zmi or it was in, maybe it was in anybody community. I don't know. It was in some sort of community of prospective, uh, students and they were, they had shared, um, a, uh, an email from a university that had used the word cringe in the email and like it would, people were just like laughing that like this, you know, whoever sent, I don't even remember the school that sent it, but the, whoever, whoever sent.
Was aware enough to know that, oh, hey, right now, at this particular moment in time, this was a trending word in Gen Z vocabulary, and they included that in their com flow, and that got shared, like that got sh it like went, you know, quote unquote viral within this respective community. So, um, I, I, I, you know, all that is to say is that people that are willing to take those risks, Again, even if it's as simple as tweaking your messaging, at the very least it's gonna get shared and, and your, you know, it could be a brand awareness play without you even intending for it to be a brand awareness play.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Totally. I [00:28:00] mean, I guess it makes me wonder why, so why haven't we kind of broken free faster of the kind of more conservative ways of communicating? And I wonder, and I love your thoughts on this, but I wonder if it's because of how expensive higher ed is. This is a product. Mm-hmm. , it costs a lot of money.
Um, and, and therefore maybe needs to take on a more serious tone, a more sophisticated elevated tone to your point about sort of ivory power and academia, it's like finding that right balance. Yeah. That like the ROI of this very large investment is gonna be high. Promise will make it fun and relevant and engaging and interactive for you.
Yeah. And that's a hard
Zach Busekrus: balance to strike. Yeah, that's, that's, yeah, that's a, that's a really good question. And I, yeah, you don't, you don't want it to come across as cheap. Right. Uh, that would, when it's, when it's not cheap. Um, so yeah, I, I think that that's hard. Although, you know, I do think about like, Um, even, even the great brands [00:29:00] like, uh, I think about like Hyatt and Marriott and recently, like as they've been trying to attract, um, younger millennials, even like older Gen Z travelers who may, might have a little bit more disposable income.
Now maybe they're, maybe they're traveling actually for their, their job for the first time and they're going on business trips, right? And, you know, these are, these are brand, these are high end. Um, the particular, uh, brand of these hotels are, is, is a higher end brand. Um, It's, they, they're still, I think they're doing a really good job at tweaking language where it sounds, it, it, it's the right balance of like luxury, but also like, To your, to your earlier point, fun and, and dynamic and interesting and I guess travel and, and hospitality is totally different, but like, I, I think that there are notes that we can take from, from these players around.
Huh? How, how are like these legacy brands, cause most institutions are a legacy brand. How are they trying to pivot their messaging to attract next generations? Because I think that that's, that would at least be [00:30:00] a really interesting signal for how you might adjust your own messaging. But yeah, it's hard.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Yeah, I mean, it's, it's really hard. Um, but I, I think that's right. Like the more you can look at benchmarks from outside, you know, our, our echo chamber that is higher.
Zach Busekrus: The better. Yeah. On, on that note, Nina, are there, are there any examples of, of schools that you think are like just crushing it when it comes to innovation?
Like are there, are there any good examples that we could point folks to if like, Hey, this school, they're, uh, they're doing something right.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, there, there are a lot of institu, there's, there's a lot of, uh, bright spots, in terms of, you know, institutions kind of pushing the envelope or testing out new ways to be able to engage their audience.
Um, we've got a customer in the UK who does a really good job of engaging prospective students, for example, on TikTok. Hmm. I mean, that's really tough channel to nail. Um, and every administrator that I talk to is [00:31:00] just like, well, you know, I don't really. TikTok, but I'm trying to figure it out. Bless them.
That's amazing, right? Yeah. Yeah. So like student ambassadors are posting a lot of really funny videos that resonate with prospective students because, um, they're incorporating self-deprecating humor. Um, and, and you know, like inside jokes that really Gen Z sort of gravitates. Towards. Yeah. Um, you know, the students they choose to post are typically artistic or extroverted.
Um, they already have sizable followings of their own on social media platforms. Um, and it really creates that viral content. Um, this might be why this customer, uh, is the number one most followed UK University
Zach Busekrus: on desktop. Ah, okay.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: I mean, not to mention that this is also a really good opportunity for these students to gain even more followers on their personal accounts, right?
Increasing their likelihood, um, for, for brand opportunities. So there's definitely a win-win there that institutions are creating. Um, [00:32:00] There's another school in, in Pittsburgh, the Hines College of Information Systems and Public Policy. They have a unique incentivization program for ambassadors. So just trying to think about how can we get to the right incentives that drive the behaviors that we're looking for.
Uh, students become ambassadors on a volunteer basis, but they earn points as they engage with per. And they can win, you know, swag, like t-shirts and hoodies and that goes a long way for a college student. Right? Yeah. Um, so just little ways of that demonstrate that these schools are really understanding their audience.
Yeah. Um, catering to them, it's clear that these schools are on a regular basis talking to students and leveraging those insights, probably sharing them back with their team, which I talked to my team a lot about too. We gotta share back those insights when we get them. Yeah. Bold and clearly they're building on those.
Zach Busekrus: Yeah. Oh, those are, those are both great examples. I love, I love the, like, gamification too of, of being [00:33:00] a student ambassador. Cause I also feel like that's a very underutilized strategy. And, and people, people love games. People love leaderboards. Right. Like, it, I don't know, it's just something intrinsic, like the competitiveness that, that many of us share.
Um, and yeah, you don't see that utilized as often as, As I'd like to anyways.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Yeah, I, I totally agree. I mean, listen, I come from the world of teaching and learning on the higher ed side, and gamification worked in the classroom too, right? , I mean, it's, there's something instinctive in us, um, and, and makes it, makes it more fun and interactive, for sure.
Zach Busekrus: Yeah. Well, a couple final questions for you here, Nina. One, just around what are, what are some ideas you have of, of how marketers and admissions professionals can, can respond to these. Preferences and, and, and changes in generational behavior, in, in kind of the short term, medium term and longer term. So like, if you're listening, if some folks are turning into this conversation now and they, they love what you're saying, they love this idea of, you know, gamification and they really want to up their [00:34:00] TikTok game.
They wanna make their website sound a little bit better in their messaging to be clearer to next generations. But they can't, they can't do everything overnight. So like, what are, what's like kind of like a crawl, walk, run approach that folks might be able to.
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Yeah, I mean, the first thing is if you already have an ambassador program, don't look at it as transactional.
Hmm. You know, it's clear that Gen Z is really focused on finding those great opportunities that are a stepping stone for them. Um, so, you know, rather than thinking of it as just a resume builder, help them understand the value they're delivering and the value that they will. Out of being that. Right. So invest in them, upscale their, in them, in their communication, do training with them, um, help them kind of develop those, what, what they used to call them, 21st century skills, right?
Yeah. collaboration. Right. But I mean, as cheesy as that was, it's still real. I mean, it's still really what we all look [00:35:00] for as, you know, hiring managers. Yeah. What we're. On our team. So help them build those skills early, uh, and often, uh, and invest in them. So I think that's, um, that's a short term win as long as you have someone who, you know, has the bandwidth to be able to invest.
Um, I would also say, you know, sit down with your team has a, have a cross-functional conversation across, you know, marketing and recruitment to be able to say what are, what are two risks we can take in our method. On our website in terms of our social media, what are just like two risks that we can take this season that we can test out and learn from, and don't look at it as an opportunity to just like, you know, nail your numbers or, you know, grow your funnel.
It's an opportunity to learn. Yeah. And what is the smallest experiment that can be run? To maximize those learnings. If we can take a page out of product management, uh, you know, playbooks, I think that's really an [00:36:00] opportunity that, um, you know, maybe takes a little bit more stepping back from the day to day.
Yeah. Um, you know, September and October might not be the time to do it, um, but maybe once you come up for air, say, you know, what is a risk that we can take? And then finally I'd say, think about what can help you. Well, you know, it's very hard to do some of this personalization, this investment in upscaling, um, these risks from a marketing perspective.
If you aren't thinking about what can help you scale. So think about your technology stack and don't think of it as a burden. Uh, think of it as an actual enabler to your overall strategy with the creator generation. My
Zach Busekrus: last question for you is, Putting on your, your teaching and learning hat here, but also, right.
Um, bringing in, bringing in the marketer that is, that is, you know, true to to who you are as well. I, if there was a course, one course that you could require for, I should say, that you could inspire folks [00:37:00] to start. At their colleges and universities for this next generation. Right? Like that aligns with what these insights that you all have gathered, um, say, is that, is there a course title or, or topic right, that you think is, is quite crucial to, to be, to be more standard across the spectrum in higher education?
And if so, what is that course?
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Yeah. Uh, what a great question. Um, I think. Can I do
Zach Busekrus: two? Can I do who is Absolutely do it. .
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: Okay. So the first one that occurs to me is just like in any profession, in any path that you take in life, understanding who your. Delivering value for is really cool. And I just find in organizations around the world, no matter what industry it is, it's so beneficial to spend time listening, learning, asking really good questions on a regular basis of your [00:38:00] end users.
And you know, I think about it from a product perspective, cuz I come from a tech startup, but that's valuable anywhere. You know, my, my, my brother is a physician and you know, I'm. Having just sat down and talked to your patients, not when you're doing rounds and not when you're about to cut them open, you know?
Yeah. , when. And you're, you just take a step back, right, and try to understand who they are. So that course, you know, might be, you know, listening and learning. And then I think the second course that, you know, my, my team is really passionate about is a course in agility. And we think about agility as like this project management term that product people use, engineers use agility, applies in every facet of life.
And it's all about what is. Smallest experiment or smallest risk or smallest test that you can put out there that you can learn the maximum from. Hmm. Um, and I mean, if we were much more iterative in the way that we learned and kind of took those smaller steps rather than thinking [00:39:00] about a big picture change, um, I think we'd be able to do more.
Zach Busekrus: Yeah. Ah, those are, those are both great, great topics. Uh, I love it. Nina, this has been a, a blast. Thanks again for your time. Thanks for all the work that you and the Unibody team are doing, if you are just joining us. Again, this is episode three in this four episode special series that we're doing with the team over at Unibody.
In the show notes below, you can find ways to connect with Nina and her team. You'll also find links to both Pulse reports, the student report and the administrator's report as well. So if you'd like to, uh, get a better understanding of, um, the surveys that nobody has run recently and the results of those surveys, just go ahead and visit those reports again linked below.
Nina, thank you so much for your. Thank you
Nina Bilimoria Angelo: so much, Zach, and thanks to the enroll PFI team. Really enjoyed it.
Zach Busekrus: Hey all. Zach here from Enrollify [00:40:00]. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Enrollify podcast. If you like this episode, do us a huge favor and hit that follow and subscribe button. Furthermore, if you've got just two minutes to spare, we would greatly appreciate you leading a rating and a review of this show on Apple Podcasts.
Our podcast network is growing by the month, and you've got a plethora of marketing admissions and higher ed technology shows that are jam packed with stories, ideas, and frameworks that are all designed to empower you to become a better higher ed professional. But Enrollify is far more than just a podcast network.
Enrollify is where higher ed comes to learn new marketing. Discover new products and services and find their next job. We're a growing learning community of 4,000 members and we love to welcome you into the fold. You can access our free blog, articles, newsletters, e-courses, and more, or purchase our master course on how to market a university with Terry Flannery at enrollify.org.We look forward to meeting you soon and welcoming you into the community. Again, you can subscribe [00:41:00] for free at enrollify.org.
About the Episode
The what's what...
This is the third episode in a special 4-part series between Enrollify and Unibuddy. Join Zach Busekrus, Founder of Enrollify, and Nina Bilimoria Angelo, CMO at Unibuddy, for an extended conversation around the insights garnered from Unibuddy’s latest higher education pulse reports.
Unibuddy surveyed over 1,200 prospective college students about their journey to college and close to 1,000 higher education administrators about how they plan to recruit these students. Access the reports, connect with Nina, and learn more about Unibuddy below.
About the Enrollify Podcast Network
The Enrollify Podcast is a part of the Enrollify Podcast Network. If you like this podcast, chances are you’ll like other Enrollify shows too!
Our podcast network is growing by the month and we’ve got a plethora of marketing, admissions, and higher ed technology shows that are jam packed with stories, ideas, and frameworks all designed to empower you to be a better higher ed professional. Our shows feature a selection of the industry’s best as your hosts. Learn from Mickey Baines, Zach Busekrus, Jaime Hunt, Corynn Myers, Jaime Gleason and many more.
Learn more about The Enrollify Podcast Network at podcasts.enrollify.org. Our shows help higher ed marketers and admissions professionals find their next big idea — come and find yours!
About the Podcast
Zach is the Founder of Enrollify. He thoroughly enjoys building new brands, developing and executing content marketing strategies, and hosting podcasts. When he's not working on Enrollify, he enjoys discussing life's quandaries over coffee (or a good bourbon) with friends, building Sponstayneous (his travel brand side hustle), trying out new HIIT workouts, and adventuring across the globe with his wife!
Nina is a seasoned leader in strategy, marketing and product. With over 17 years of experience making sense of chaos, Nina is at ease in start-up, growth stage and large multinational companies, and has a track record for driving immediate and enduring business impact. She is fueled by purpose, she thrives in ambiguity, and leads with integrity. Currently, Nina serves on the executive team at Unibuddy, a fast-growing technology company that is helping students make good decisions around their higher education experience. Expertise: product marketing, product strategy, corporate strategy, digital marketing, market research, messaging and positioning, innovation and experimentation, communications, public speaking, change management, leadership Superpowers: connecting the dots, distilling complexity, facilitating strategy development and decision-making, honing product-market fit, storytelling through data, communicating clearly and concisely, building high-performing teams
We partner with the best, to provide the best information.
Unibuddy — the leader in peer-to-peer marketing from student recruitment — has now joined an elite roster of Slate Platinum Preferred Partners to kickstart a groundbreaking partnership. This top-level partnership means bringing colleges and universities added benefits and functionality across their tech stack, plus better visibility into student data across all stages of the prospect’s higher education journey.learn more
The Enrollify Podcast
Each week, get equipped with insights into how the latest trends in marketing and technology are affecting enrollment marketers. Every episode is designed to inspire new, creative ideas for how to optimize the resources you have to generate the results you need.
LISTEN TO MORE
Subscribe to our podcasts
The Enrollify Podcast Network is your go-to hub for shows that will empower you to grow, optimize, adapt, and reach new heights as an enrollment marketer.