Today’s a great plus one news day: Elliot Rossbach has joined the Cialfo team!
A word from Elliot
I’ve worked in education since 2008, as an English teacher at the high school level in Indonesia and later at two universities in Saudi Arabia. After obtaining my MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, I became a communication and project management skills trainer with an Australian consulting firm, BlueVisions.
After deciding to return to the US, I came to work for Ann Rossbach Consulting in the late spring of 2017. At the time we had taken on a significant student load, and we were about to start essay season. I remember sitting with my mom in the kitchen one night as we discussed our plan of action. “We’re definitely in the weeds, but once we’ve gotten through the essays we’ll have time to work on our processes that will help us take control of the workload.”
We got through essay season mostly unscathed, and I learned a lot about our students and the college application process. Most of all I learned that unlike corporate consulting, when I work with students – even if it’s until late in the evening – I don’t feel tired. There’s something inspiring in every interaction, and I find myself fascinated with the intelligence, passion, and overall competency of the next generation.
Once we had a little time to breathe I began looking for student management solutions. I wanted to find something that would push our students to further own the college application process, but I wasn’t sure what that would look like. Luckily we were traveling to the IECA conference in Washington, DC. While cruising Conference Central, I actually almost walked by these two eager looking people from Singapore. They walked me through their platform, but I was having trouble piecing it all together.
Following the conference I scheduled a call with Rohan (one of the founders) and was immediately blown away. He not only listened to all of my needs, but I felt we really saw things from the same perspective. To my surprise when we talked about features they didn’t have, he told me if it made sense they would build it! His attitude and response were exactly what I was looking for, but I still had questions about Cialfo.
I had a trip scheduled to Indonesia so I thought why not stop in Singapore and see what kind of operation they had. These guys had the team spirit and the hustle, but I still needed convincing on the product. Our conversation centered on the US market and whether or not they were going to commit themselves to serving IEC’s in the US. Surprisingly, they were already working on many features I wanted to discuss. Once they showed me their actual plan of action for the features they hadn’t finalized, I knew this was the real deal. I went home, knowing that we would be switching to Cialfo and that there would be a tough conversation ahead.
Switching solutions after four years on another platform wasn’t easy. It took several discussions regarding mindset and support from the team at Cialfo. Being in constant communication and being able to provide feedback on Tasks, Resources, and the mobile applications made the adjustment much easier. In the end, not only did our students love it, but through the use of resources, the mobile app, and scheduling they’ve taken ownership of the application process. I also started hearing “That’s so cool,” and “That’s so easy,” on a daily basis – which feels like we made the right choice.
Eventually Rohan and I had the conversation about who would be helping them in the US market. I actually experienced a little FOMO reading the job description. After a few more discussions I realized I would need to have another difficult talk with my mom. Much like the conversations about switching platforms, in the end she supported me and the decision to help others the way I had helped her.
Based in New Jersey, I will join Cialfo as Head of Operations (United States) and will be point of contact for American clients. I hope my background as both a business development consultant and an IEC will help Cialfo with our goal of helping other IECs — you! — grow their businesses.
I will be hosting a user session on June 26th, at 12:00 PM ET. Click HERE to register!