Competition for top-tier talent in the private university space is at an all-time high. Conversely, the product offerings for turn-key, customizable, university-level admissions systems are onerous at best. Berklee College of Music reached out to us with an idea: Is it possible to develop an admissions system which could flex across a number of organizational parameters while also providing a degree of flexibility which non-tech administrators could maintain? As usual, the Third Mind optimists went into ‘discovery’ and ‘proof-of-concept’ mode to make sure everyone’s considerations could be taken into account. Our answers led to a power chord inflected emphatic ‘yes’!!
Lighters up, y’all!
This project had to serve interests across highly diverse departments, a number of schools and programs within the institution (yearly programs, summer programs, international schools and study abroad programs, etc.), and special requirements for different student typologies (multiple programs, ongoing program changes, bringing on new audiences, scheduling interviews).
Because the Admissions system required so much flexibility, we developed a tool using Flo technology to allow Berklee’s developers to create any Admissions process they needed at any time. Think about that for a second: We built a system which allows the system to build itself. Infinitely customizable using simple drag-and-drop command inputs to establish the new neural pathways of the admissions system.
While we were developing the system, new ideas came along: What about gathering student profiles? What about gleaning a student artist’s interests? If we knew the student’s interests, could we customize the nature of the news content we push their way? We just acquired a Salesforce CRM… can the system speak to that as well?
Our answers were usually a ‘yes’, a ‘yes’, and followed by a ‘yes’, but we’ll throw in a few ‘have you ever thought of this…?’ alternatives in there as well. We’ll keep you on your toes and right-side-up. Promise.
3) Upon nearing project completion, a university-wide platform retooling was instituted. We adapted our development from Drupal to Ruby-on-Rails in a matter of weeks.
2) Navigating institutional politics and ownership issues across a diverse cross-section of the organization's business groups.
1) A broad range of key stakeholders which changed throughout the project.
We enjoyed the process of developing a developer-centric tool that would allow Berklee to take care of themselves without the need of an external developer.
The system was handed off to Berklee's internal developers. Third Mind helped them understand and take ownership of the implemented tool.
Happy students and prospective students.