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Redesigning the role of digital mentoring for school leavers during COVID-19

The challenge

With schools closed across the world as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, demand for ed-tech providers has increased significantly. Our client was a small social impact start-up but through our pro bono consulting programme EY Ripples was able to access our support. A ‘mentoring matchmaker’ between mentees and mentors across the world, they suffered from a poor conversion rate with many mentors signing up but too few becoming ‘active’.

In order to meet demand, the client needed to fundamentally re-imagine their value proposition by enabling mentors to build deeper relationships, appreciate their impact and deliver a more personalised experience.

The approach

EY Seren conducted qualitative and quantitative research with active and potential mentors including senior leaders at EY, across other industries, academics and inter-governmental organisations. This enabled us to deeply understand a diverse set of mentors’ motivations, desired futures and identify trends.

These formed the basis of a new service blueprint which defined a new target experience and the supporting business and technological infrastructure to enable it. This informed an overall implementation roadmap setting out required activities in the next 18 months and allowed us to accelerate progress on quick wins, co-developing prototypes ready for user testing.

The outcome

The new service was rapidly designed and tested with mentors, ensuring that the strategy was being implemented ahead of the new academic year in September. Several proofs of concept were also developed to accelerate the launch of the MVP by Christmas.

Particularly when working with a start-up, we always focus on capability building and culture change. Despite the pandemic requiring us to work entirely remotely, the use of innovative collaboration tools and approaches enabled us to upskill the client in our methodology with the result that they are now investing in their internal Design capability to support their future trajectory.