Mocaa: Revolutionizing the admissions consulting industry
A passionate young entrepreneur, Connie Zhang believes in creating new opportunities and working towards growing a sustainable community. In her zest to create stress-free experience for students applying for admissions to colleges and universities especially in the USA, she created Mocca. As a woman entrepreneur, she is all set to change the ever evolving edtech industry. In an interview, she speaks on an array of topics. Excerpts:
Conception of Mocaa
Mocaa is an online search platform that connects college applicants with admissions consultants anytime, anywhere. “We realized the US admissions consulting services lack certain transparency to customers, and customers lack awareness and resources when it comes to preparing for college application, which causes tremendous stress and an unenjoyable start to their new chapter in life” says Connie. She adds that compared to international students applying from China, India, or Brazil, most of the US applicants also didn’t know they could hire an admissions consultant to receive professional guidance on the college application process. “Therefore, during our time in Cambridge University, Kerry and I decided to explore and create a solution for future school applicants and thus was born Mocaa.”
Strategizing to stay on top
Knowing your customers is pivotal, notes Connie. “Validate that you are meeting their needs and solving their problems. There are more permanent behavioral and demand changes in customers than before (due to COVID-19), so it’s important to understand your value proposition from the perspective of your existing customers and potential customers.” She also emphasizes on understanding your team. “The pandemic did not only impact the businesses, it also affected many companies internally. As a 100% remote company, our team works in multiple time zones. While working from home sounds relaxing, the work-life balance could become difficult to manage as we are unaware that we are bringing work to a place where we usually relax.”
Revolutionizing the admission experience
“By adopting the matchmaking concept from the online dating industry, Mocaa is the first search platform to allow students and admissions consultants to find each other with maximum transparency” Connie explains for students and parents, this means reduced time wasted on searching for a consultant through word of mouth, more clarity on identifying target schools and career goals, and most importantly – submission of a strong branded, authentic application. “We are simplifying the process so that students and parents can enjoy a more approachable college application experience.”
Growth – the most constant enabler
“I’m passionate about growth. Seeing how a collective personal growth and success could evolve a society is an incredible experience. It’s why I created Mocaa.” Connie says that Mocaa can contribute and push societal growth as they plant the seed of better connection and collaboration between their users. “When a student we’ve helped get into their dream school, it’ll be exciting to see how this individual will impact the society and what kind of difference they will make. Maybe the student will come back to become a Mocaa advisor, and the cycle will continue to push for growth.”
Empathy, accountability, and adaptability are the main traits Connie vouches for. A quick learner, trendsetter and unconventional leader, she believes in getting in the “fail fast, learn fast” mentality, especially in uncertain decision-making situations. “Failure is an opportunity to learn and be one step closer to your goal. Rest assured it’s very uncomfortable to get in this mindset, but necessary. Ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Making money is one of the reasons we do business, but it’s not the passion that drove you to your current business.”
Connie further highlights, “As an edtech startup community, we have a shared responsibility – to improve the current education process, system, and experience for educators and students in an ethical manner. We have the capability to influence how the future generation will learn and grow as people and society.” For the admissions consulting industry, the recent scandals have become a global issue that Mocaa is targeting to solve. The Mocaa team often hears from their customers complaining about “the [school admissions] system is broken and unfair.” Therefore, as we continue to build a safe community for our users to flourish, we should build our product based on ethics.
The success mantra
“Don’t overthink and just do it. Solve problems as you go.” Connie calls Mocaa as the matchmaker of admissions consulting services. “My goal for the upcoming years is to help more students, domestically and globally, to understand the power of having a consultant for the school application process. My vision for this industry is for every student to identify and reach their dream school”.