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Online mentoring consultancy helping African students get a dream college offer

May 26, 2018 • East Africa, Education, North Africa, Southern Africa, Top Stories, West Africa

Online mentoring consultancy helping African students get a dream college offer

Duncan Parsons, Country Manager Crimson Education.

Crimson Education an online mentoring consultancy that helps build high school students’ candidacy to apply for overseas universities has opened offices in South Africa. Crimson was started by two high-scholars Jamie Beaton and South Africa-born Sharndre Kushor in 2013 is currently operating in 17 cities around the world including South Africa.

Crimson’s entire business model is reliant on remote mentoring services –This model allows for students to tap into strong and powerful networks from anywhere in the world. The company’s consultancy has a network of more than 2,000 tutors and mentors from around the globe.

Their online presence has allowed them to grow as a company and help students in a practical and real way.
Country Manager, Duncan Parsons, was one of their first students. Through their services, he gained acceptance to Harvard, Stanford and Duke University choosing to study at the latter on a full scholarship. While studying he established Crimson offices in India, Singapore, Brazil and now South Africa. Parsons recently moved to South Africa and he spoke to IT News Africa about what the company looks to do in Africa.

Crimson officially launched in South Africa late 2017, Parson said: “we hosted an expo and seminar three years ago and we finally launched last year.”

“With admission processes, policies and approach of universities constantly changing we are able to put together that information quickly through our mentors and tutors. Technology allows all of this to happen, it allows us to link with people across the world and share information, said Parsons.

Parsons says the response from South Africa has been positive.

The programme in South Africa focuses on students from Grade 9 to Grade 12, Crimson also offers MBA consulting and are looking to include postgraduates in the future.

Parsons said, “Our primary focus in South Africa and Africa is purely undergraduate education in the United States and the United Kingdom.”

“There is a really big void of information but there are people who don’t know about it and are interested but don’t know how to approach the application. The information available to apply to these universities can be overwhelming and having someone to guide you through this is appreciated, Parsons added.

To raise awareness, the company works with schools by hosting school talks and attending career expos. They also host seminars where parents and students are invited.

Crimson is internet-based, with access to a computer and the internet, students are able to interact with a top-class team of mentors and tutors. Students can also use the Crimson mobile app that aims to help them better manage their time with the mentors and tutors as well as be organised.

“First thing you do as a student when you join Crimson is get login details to the platform and that is what you use to communicate with your tutors, book your session, see how much time you have left and see the progress you have made. The mobile app is a management system that helps students keep track,” said Parsons.

Explaining how the registration process works, Parsons said, “When students get in touch with us, they are invited to a free initial consultation which is a video call and done online. That is an opportunity for the student to ask any questions they have about studying overseas. The academic advisor will talk to them[student] share information and provide insight into what we can do for them, find out their goals and see how we can help. After all of that, we give the student an appraisal and introduce them to some of our programmes that are best suited for them.”

Parsons says that the programmes offered are not restricted to a specific career. “What we do is benchmark you against students who have pursued similar careers and advise on what trajectory you need to take and whether you are on the right track,” he said.

“Ideally we give you the guidance and tutoring to enable you to study for any career. We are very flexible in how we operate. Some of our students are in Tanzania, Botswana and Zimbabwe and their situation is no different to a South African. It doesn’t matter where they are in Africa we work with any student”, said Parsons.

Crimson is also a member of the International Association of College Admissions Counseling (IACAC) and the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC).

“There are a whole lot of resources that are all free and available online for students who want to study overseas”, concluded Parsons.

By Fundisiwe Maseko
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