Student Success Agency Customer Spotlight
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with one of our most inspirational customers — EJ Carrion, CEO & Co-Founder of Student Success Agency. We talked with him about how Student Success Agency is shaping the student experience and how Gig Wage has helped along the way.
A little about EJ and Student Success Agency:
GW: Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide to start your business?
EJ: Student Success Agency is reimagining support services in a digital world by offering college advising, academic tutoring, and mentoring to students anywhere, anytime. We hire highly performing and trained college students to support teenagers on-demand via their cell phone. We decided to start our business when we learned that a student only gets 38 minutes with their counselor a year. I was a first-generation college student, so I also experienced firsthand the overbooked counselor overlooked student problem when trying to pay for school.
GW: When did you know contractors would be an important part of your workforce?
EJ: We knew this when we noticed that college students needed flexibility to work part-time on our platform. They needed our platform to accomodate their schedule. Contractors are the future of work as more people want to control how and when they work. If you look at the innovative models that provide sustainability, it is going to take part-time contractors. We wanted to crowdsource relatable and ambitious college students to impact teenagers in a safe and timely manner. All of our contractors work part-time between 5–20 hours a week.
GW: What makes your company different than your competitors?
EJ: We require our college mentors to build a relationship with the students. Most virtual tutoring or advising platforms require students to schedule a session, and students are working with someone new every time. We take a proactive approach, checking in with our students throughout the week, and being intentional in how we interact. We believe human connection is what separates us apart.
We market our user experience differently than traditional models. We call our mentors agents so students can feel valuable like their favorite athletes or celebrities, making it easier to ask for help.
GW: Where will your company be in 5 years?
EJ: We believe we have a unique opportunity that allows school districts to scale caring adults when students need them most. Today, most school services are only available during the day when students are in class, creating a barrier to access. Our sustainable and scalable model allows us to support students more effectively, which will make us a standard offering in all middle schools and high schools across the country by 2024.
GW: What key factors have led to your success?
EJ: We have created a personalized solution that relates to today’s digital native students. We are obsessed with building a student-centric platform and doing the small things right amplify our product.
GW: What advice do you have for businesses who employ contractors?
EJ: Contractors are often on the frontline and learn a ton about your customers. See your contractors as people who have context on the people you want to serve.
EJ’s Thoughts on Us:
GW: What problem(s) were you trying to solve with our product or service?
EJ: We were trying to pay college students easily and reliably. Gig Wage did that for us.
GW: What was it like before you had our product or service?
EJ: Before Gig Wage, we had a communication issue. Our payment model was very inconsistent, making it hard to communicate payment expectations.
GW: How does our product or service stand out from other options?
EJ: The simplicity of it for both our payroll person and our contractors.
GW: What was the obstacle that almost prevented you from buying our product or service?
EJ: We had a system that somewhat worked and their was a cost of changing (mainly time). However, once we saw the ROI and impact it could have on our contractors, it made sense to make the switch.
GW: What made you happiest about working with our company? What is your biggest success story?
EJ: What I like about Gig Wage is that they win, when you win. They are a committed group of people who understand the grind of what it takes to scale impact. We believe Gig Wage is a product that directly impacts people by making it easier for people to receive the necessary finances they earned to sustain the quality of life they deserve. Our biggest success story is that we have college students who pay their rent by impacting high school students all across the country from their cell phones.
GW: What are your recommendations for other companies who are fueled by a contractor workforce?
EJ: Contractors are a part of your company’s culture. They are also the people who are in the frontlines seeing the weeds in your organization. Use their knowledge and experiences to make the executive team better.
Inspiring and engaging with students? We LOVE it and we are PROUD to work with Student Success Agency. We are happy to provide them with tools to help further education and help students succeed. What world-changing business has Gig Wage helped you manage? We want to tell YOUR story next.
Written byLucy Hart