Why I joined the Tassl Team
A few years ago I was presented with a tremendous opportunity to go work for my alma mater, a very forward thinking administration, and an industry thought leader. It was a decision made with my heart and something that I just couldn’t pass up. Ever since I graduated from Longwood University in 2008, I had actively been looking for ways to become more active and engaged with my alma mater, and joining the team at Longwood was the ultimate way to stay engaged and activate thousands of Lancers around the country.
Before coming to Longwood, I worked for a large direct marketing firm centered around college admissions and advancement. I would visit college campuses regularly, and I would always find myself jealous of the energy of the schools and the all-in attitudes of the various teams that make up a university. Many of these teams were comprised of alumni who were looking to continuously give back to something that had given them everything, their alma mater.
Passion from student and alumni is the driving force of nearly every university.
One of the biggest things I brought to Longwood was a passion for data and how to tell a meaningful story through that data. It was immediately shocking to see how little data was being tracked industry wide and how it wasn’t included in decision-making processes ranging from annual goals to event planning to activate unengaged alumni.
The industry as a whole has a white whale, and that’s “Return on Engagement.” My core philosophy is that increased alumni engagement leads to increased giving rates. It sounds pretty simple and a little bit like common sense, but no one has ever been able to draw that one to one correlation between engagement and giving.
Things set in during industry conference around the country that I visited when I saw that colleagues were almost scared of data and thought the task of tracking different engagement touchpoints was far too daunting. That’s where Tassl came into play and made my life as an alumni engagement professional a lot easier.
During my first year at Longwood, I was living in a sea of excel spreadsheets that were manually created and put together. I’d create a report, monitor events and initiatives, and use the outcomes to see where we, as a team, could be more meaningful in our efforts. It was around that time when I first learned about Tassl. After year one I had been on seemingly a million vendor calls, and everything seemed to be too good to be true, too expensive or trying to solve a problem using outdated technology. Tassl was different… Not only was it visually providing insights that were immensely valuable to me and making my day to day life a lot easier, but working with Melissa and Bryan at Tassl was a different experience.
Tassl was here to listen and not just to line up a call to tell me about their product. They wanted to know how we were operating as a department and learn about our goals, aspirations, pain points, and generally what kind of things would make our jobs more efficient. It was all to improve and enhance the industry, our department, and their product.
It’s the intellectual curiosity and relentless mission to reform and improve the industry as a whole that has always drawn me to Tassl and why I jumped at the opportunity to join the team. You know that feeling when you leave a conference? You’re excited and energized from a week with your colleagues, and you have a million ideas you want to get into place once you're back in the office. That’s what working at Tassl feels like.
There is no way I can thank Longwood, my teammates, and all the alumni who given me a truly memorable experience over the past few years. Where else are you going to get an opportunity to meet thousands of passionate people that you hold an instant connection to? Serving my alma mater was a professional thrill, and now I’m ready to jump head first into helping colleges around the country embrace data and new ways to think about things.
But most of all, I’m excited about listening to the collective knowledge base we hold as an industry and working together to build stronger alumni networks.