‘Cialfo is my secretary, my go-to-person, my one-stop shop.’

Better engagement with students and parents

‘I’m able to single-handedly engage a larger student population without breaking a sweat.’

For a team of three who has to manage hundreds of students, Cialfo has been instrumental in helping Sudarshana and her team better support students without sacrificing engagement or focus. ‘I have engaged far more effectively during parent information sessions and student information sessions, and my time spent in these meetings has been far more productive,’ Sudarshana says. 

‘One parent who’s new to our school asked me, how do you remember all 500 kids? It’s because of Cialfo’s Notes feature!’

Prior to using Cialfo, Sudarshana and her team used to create documents to record individual minutes for each meeting with students and parents, which was both a time-consuming and hard-to-track process. ‘Trust me, I don’t have an elephant’s memory, but the Notes on Cialfo are my go-to feature,’ Sudarshana remarks, ‘Before each appointment, I read up the previous meeting notes that are all in one place, and I’m up to date.’

Students and parents at The Cathedral and John Connon School also find the College Visits and Cialfo Events useful in helping them access relevant and up-to-date information from higher education institutions, and even broaden their university search. ‘Previously, we never had any students apply to Europe, for instance. It might be too premature to attribute this to Cialfo, but it’s definitely a trend I’m noticing,’ Sudarshana explains.

Reduction of time spent on administrative tasks

‘Cialfo has made me 50% more efficient - for sure!’

From creating their own worksheets, sorting through and gathering data from those, and then constructing Excel sheets to collate and analyse the data, the information-gathering aspect of counselling used to be a largely manual process for Sudarshana and her team.

Sudarshana says that since using Cialfo, ‘I have so much time freed up and I’ve become so much more efficient!” 

Here are Sudarshana’s top four favourite features on Cialfo (she couldn’t pick just three!):

  1. cDocs: 'A one-stop shop to submit everything.’
  2. School search: ‘This is amazing — I walk my students through it every four months to jog their memory.’
  3. Notes: ‘All meeting minutes and documentation on students can be recorded here. It’s where I keep all the bits and pieces of information on a student, including things required for application statements and CVs.’ 
  4. College visits: ‘Last year, we had over 15 college visits and it was so easy to organize — all I have to do is synchronize my calendar with the platform!’

Direct Apply: A new way of simplifying international applications

‘I think it’s an amazing tool, and it’s great that you have individual advisors walking students through the process.’

With the growing trend of more students expanding their university search to include international universities, Sudarshana is excited about how Direct Apply helps facilitate this process. From enabling students to apply to universities around the world with a single application form, to having Special Education Advisors who provide personalized one-to-one guidance for students, and receiving an admissions decision within 14 working days, Direct Apply simplifies an often complicated process for both students and counselors.

‘Direct Apply makes it a really easy process,’ she says, ‘I think what’s most daunting to students is completing the boring aspects of the application, and Direct Apply makes things so efficient in terms of completing the application — student details are pre-populated from the information they’ve filled in on Cialfo. 

‘I think it’s an amazing tool, and it’s great that you have individual advisors walking students through the process. It just gives the students and us as counselors confidence in the product. All the way through, there’s not a single place we feel wobbly about.’

Image credits: The Cathedral and John Connon School; Priscilla Du Preez