As our team continues to expand, we’re thrilled to welcome Angela O’Sullivan, as Associate Director Partnerships – APAC. She’s heading up our partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region and brings a wealth of experience from an exciting career in international education.
We sat down with her to learn a little more about her experience and why she’s excited to jump on board with us at Adventus.io.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your work experience and background?
I’ve worked in international education for about 15 years in public and private higher education institutions. I started with Navitas College at Brunel University in West London when it was a start-up. It was a ‘roll up your sleeves’ role that covered everything from recruitment, marketing, and admission, to enrolment.
When we moved back to Australia, I took up a role at Griffith College, Griffith University’s pathway College in Brisbane, and on the Gold Coast, where I managed a high-performing admissions team that issued 10,000+ offers per year with a 38% conversion rate.
From here, I moved to New York, representing Navitas Ventures, a $40m corporate venture capital fund investing in start-ups with an international education focus.
Returning to Australia, I joined The University of Queensland where I worked in research commercialisation, but international education is my first love, so here I am on the other side of the marketplace working with institutions at Adventus.io.
I would imagine you’ve got so much knowledge and insights that you can provide to Adventus.io having come from the other side?
Yes, 100%! I think that most organisations have a certain culture around how things work and operate on a day-to-day basis. Universities the world over tend to operate in a similar fashion and it’s really helpful in my role to understand how internal decisions get made.
It’s very different to private enterprise where things tend to be a lot more agile – universities use public-funded money so understandably there are certain checks and balances that need to be met before decisions are made.
So having an intimate understanding of those processes makes me more empathetic to the challenges that my counterparts face in the university.
What drew you to working with Adventus.io?
We’re in a really interesting time. COVID aside, technology has been changing education now for probably the last 20 years, since the advent of the Internet, maybe longer. So we’re really starting to see that exponential increase now with technology and COVID has really accelerated that across the student lifecycle.
It’s not just related to international student recruitment or admissions but goes right through to teaching and learning, student experience, course design, and work-integrated learning. EdTech is booming.
Being involved in education technology and innovation right now is really exciting because it’s changing the way we work, operate, connect, and engage with students. Adventus.io is shaking up the international student experience with its marketplace model.
We’ve taken a really complex process and simplified it – putting the student front and centre in the decision-making process – and we’re on a massive growth trajectory and I am thrilled to be part of it.
What’s your current role at Adventus.io?
My role is to connect and partner with institutions across the entire ecosystem, from secondary school (K12), through to vocational education and training, to higher education and lifelong learning.
I connect and build partnerships with institutions in the APAC region ensuring that they’re happy with our service and feel valued and supported.
From your perspective, what’s the current climate for international education recruitment at the moment out there on the ground?
It’s tough – no doubt about it. The fact that we don’t really have a deadline for borders to open here in Australia has been hard and it’s really difficult to plan for that.
At Adventus.io, we are acutely aware of this and strive to support our partners through this really difficult period as best as we can by:
- Promoting their brand according to their unique selling points in the market.
- Ensuring the answers to prospective students’ questions are available on our marketplace.
- Offer training to our recruitment partners to help them do the best job they can to represent our institution partners both professionally and authentically.
Can you highlight some features of the Adventus.io platform that would help solve or soften the blow of some of the challenges that universities are facing at the moment?
Right now I think there’s a big opportunity for institutions to market themselves on the platform. Every institution has unique selling points and a unique value proposition.
We can shine a light on these in our marketplace. That’s the difference between Adventus.io and a lot of other aggregators.
We also have a range of marketing solutions that we’re building. If institutions are interested in exploring ideas about promoting themselves on the platform, it’s worth a conversation with us, because that’s where they can really get some excellent return on investment.
What are you most excited about for your job and the industry? What’s something you’re looking forward to?
I’m so excited about connecting with not just Australian institutions, but others around the Asia Pacific including Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, and beyond.
I’ve always worked in a global environment, but institutional connections in some of the SEA markets are new to me. I can’t wait – watch this space!