Welcome to the
Insight Tour of 2023

We asked a simple question to ourselves:
“How can we gain insight from our clients this year?” 
And we got a crazy idea:
Let’s go out and get it!”

Well, we got more than we thought…so sit back and enjoy:

Baylor University > Nathan

CRM Squeeze
What occurs when you no longer attempt to fit your new student and supporter onboarding experience into an existing platform? Baylor University posed this question and discovered that VZO not only addressed their immediate requirements but also offered a chance to envision their future. In this episode, Dr. Nathan Shelburne, who serves as the Director of New Student Programs, shares his university's journey in implementing VZO during the summer and discovering the platform's extensive capabilities. Through the utilization of both standardized and tailor-made solutions, Baylor and VZO can effectively address both current and future campus requirements.

California State University, Los Angeles > Chriztopher

Listening to your students
In this Insight Tour interview, Chriztopher Johnson, who serves as the Director of New Student and Family Engagement at California State University, Los Angeles, expresses his desire to elevate his program to new heights. He emphasizes the importance of taking the time to truly listen to their students as well as their constituents, including families and supporters. Additionally, discover how he is molding the plans for 2024 with a strong focus on intentionality. His approach involves consistently conveying the narrative of their actions, the methodologies they employ, and the underlying reasons behind their initiatives to both colleagues and the administration on campus. The aim is to ensure that everyone is aligned, recognizing the significance and value of their efforts, and providing full support for their endeavors.

Christopher Newport University > Katie

Partnering with supporters
In light of increased interest from families and supporters in actively participating in their students' college experience, CNU encountered a novel inquiry. Instead of immediately emphasizing student independence during their transition, should we explore a fresh approach to collaborating with supporters? In this episode, Katie Johnston, who serves as the Director of Orientation and Student Involvement, explores how the integration of the supporter platform within VZ has facilitated ongoing engagement with our families throughout the transition period. The outcome has been families feeling better informed about how to assist their students, as opposed to merely performing tasks on their behalf to acquire information.

East Tennessee State University > Timothy

“So now what?” "What's my next step?" "When's the deadline for that?" "I'm not sure why there's a hold on my account." Do these sound like common questions from your students and their supporters? Would you like to know how East Tennessee State University used a dynamic task list to address these concerns and even prevent them from arising? In this episode, Timothy Lewis, the Director for New Student and Family Programs at ETSU, discusses how VZO's dynamic task list not only provided answers to these questions but helped them avoid such issues altogether. This personalized solution led to increased student compliance with required tasks, a reduction in missed deadlines, and enhanced engagement of student supporters as active participants in the onboarding process.

Metropolitan State University of Denver > John

Student leader interactions
During an Insight Tour interview, John Babcock, who serves as the Director of Orientation and Retention at Metropolitan State University of Denver, underscored the increasing significance of enhancing the capabilities of student leaders. This emphasis is aimed at facilitating interactions among incoming students, helping them become acquainted with one another, fostering a sense of community, and initiating the process of building meaningful connections. Regarding VZO's noteworthy feature, their enthusiasm was evident when they discovered the supporter feature, which they promptly incorporated to ensure the involvement of these individuals within their network. This implementation has empowered them to connect supporters with the diverse range of programs they offer, irrespective of whether they can attend a specific session or not

Rutgers-New Brunswick > Laura

Creating spaces
In this interview, Laura Randolph, who holds the position of Associate Dean of Students and serves as the Director of Student Orientation and Transition Programs at Rutgers-New Brunswick, discusses her ongoing efforts to gain a deeper understanding of their student population. She engages in inquiries like, "How can we genuinely provide opportunities for our students to engage in conversations, meaningful dialogues, and meet new people?"

Texas Tech University > Zach

Spanish-speaking communities
In this informative interview, Zach Manning, who holds the role of Director of Orientation Services at Texas Tech University, delves into his goals for the year 2023, emphasizes his favorite features, and offers a glimpse into the university's strategies for 2024. He also elaborates on how the Supporter Platform played a pivotal role in improving customer service for both the English and Spanish-speaking communities.

University of Central Florida > Ryan

Genuine care for individuals
In a recent interview, Ryan Newton, who serves as the Director of the First Year Experience program at the University of Central Florida, elaborates on their mission to foster a culture centered around compassion and data-driven decision-making. Despite the university's significant size, Ryan underscores his primary focus: projecting an outward-oriented perspective that reflects UCF's genuine care for individuals. Regarding VZO's standout feature, it is the task list, which plays an indispensable role in their onboarding process. It assists students in navigating the multitude of tasks they must complete before their arrival, and they are continually dedicated to enhancing and personalizing this task list even further.

UT Arlignton > Relius

800% registration increase
When UT Arlington sought to overhaul both their orientation and extended orientation programs, they honed in on improving communication. They achieved this by harnessing VZO's communication tools, which allowed them to not only refine the content of their messages but also target specific audiences, schedule messages strategically, and deliver them in alignment with their distinctive branding.

In this episode, Relius Johnson, the Director of New Maverick Orientation, discusses how these modifications contributed to an astounding 800% increase in registration rates.

UT Arlington > Ty

Extended orientation
Frequently, we encounter demands to accomplish more with fewer resources or discover that student interactions consume a significant portion of our day. At UT Arlington, Ty Hollowell, who serves as the Assistant Director for New Maverick Orientation, was excited to discover the various features offered by VZO that can automate these tasks, thereby simplifying his role. This encompasses the integration of extended orientation advertising, registration, and communication within the same VZO platform used for all student onboarding, resulting in a more streamlined experience for both staff and incoming students.

University of Virginia > Nathan

Desire to innovate
Is there something specific you're eager to enhance, whether it's a minor adjustment or a substantial improvement? The aspiration to innovate and refine the onboarding experience is what motivates top professionals in the Office of New Student Orientation and Transition Programs (OTR). In this interview, Nathan Flyzik, who holds the role of Program Coordinator for Orientation and New Student Programs at the University of Virginia, discusses how UVA utilized a VZO innovation to boost efficiency and encourage engagement from student supporters. He also underscores his upcoming goal to further enhance the onboarding experience by leveraging VZO's dynamic task list for personalized approaches.

University of Virginia > Sarah

Save 30 mins during check-in
Designing and implementing a new student onboarding program is a multifaceted, time-intensive, and demanding endeavor. The presence of an effective team and appropriate tools can greatly contribute to achieving your objectives and enhancing the experience for both students and their supporters. In this episode, Sarah Dodge, the Assistant Director for Orientation and New Student Programs at the University of Virginia, discusses how the VZO team devised a creative, tailor-made solution that reduced their check-in process by 30 minutes. Furthermore, she elaborates on their solution to boost supporter engagement and foster program participation.