From student success to customer success

From Student Success to Customer Success

Key takeaways

  • Aashna participated in an intercampus transfer, where she was elected as Vice President of Wellbeing.
  • Working directly with the University’s Registrar introduced her to Ellucian.
  • Since joining Ellucian, her experiences have motivated her to achieve greatness.

I like to think that my university journey is quite unique!

In 2013, as a young 17-year-old, I started off university in Dubai, where I was born and brought up. I experienced new opportunities and met new people from the comfort of my hometown.

Two years later, Heriot-Watt University offered me the option to do an intercampus transfer and have a global experience. It was an opportunity to move 4,000 miles away to Edinburgh, learning the same material as my classmates back at home, but in a completely different culture and environment (especially with its freezing climate)!

The move propelled my passion to do so much more! I joined my student union as a volunteer, ran the International Students’ Society, and said yes to many more experiences knowing I wanted to make a change in my life and in others’. In 2017, I ran for, and was elected by the students as, Vice President Wellbeing of Heriot-Watt University Student Union.

In part, my job was dynamic and creative; there were days where I was hosting events to celebrate diversity or was hanging out with alpacas to raise awareness of mental health through animal assisted therapy. However, overall, being a sabbatical was so much more challenging. I learned how to be a director of a million-pound charitable organization, a public speaker, a governor, an advisor, an event and project manager—and that’s to name just a few of the hats I wore.

Aashna and students

All this and my work with the University Registrar introduced me to Ellucian. In May, I was asked to present at the User Conference in Bath about how global experiences lead to student success. I talked about how Heriot-Watt had grown from different campus branches in three countries to one interconnected centralized learning system that allowed any student to be part of the HW journey—whether for two weeks, a semester, a year, or two! I feel quite privileged and honored to say that I have been a part of that growth.

The response from everyone at the conference and then after was truly overwhelming. My last couple of months as a sabbatical flew by in a blur of handovers and I was offered the job of an Associate Customer Success Manager. The role in many ways is synonymous with the work I have done previously; to be the trusted advisors of our institutions and be their voice within Ellucian and facilitate change to better the customer experience and achieve long term success. My experience facing high-pressure situations and client-facing problem-solving has helped me set out my initial foundations within this CSM role, and working with my great team in Dubai and the UK is propelling my momentum to achieve my future development and goals.

Aashna presenting at Ellucian

In the six weeks I have been here, it’s been incredible to see how much work and effort goes into making the student experience as smooth and efficient as possible, and how collaboration between every IT and university team and Ellucian is key to this success! It is so fascinating to be on the other side of higher education; since my final year at university, I have wanted to be in higher education as an industry. The sector is so complex and dynamic, and I am only at the tip of the iceberg of learning about it with guidance from Ellucian. I am greatly looking forward to translating my work with student success into my new role!

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About the Author
Aashna Bakshi
Aashna Bakshi
Associate Customer Success Manager

Aashna Bakshi is an Associate Customer Success Manager at Ellucian. She joined the Ellucian team in 2018 and works out of the Dubai office.