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Creating impactful connections at USC Viterbi School of Engineering

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The challenge

USC Viterbi wanted to boost yield and knew that the authentic experiences of their student ambassadors would be the key to creating meaningful connections.

The solution

As Assistant Director, Graduate & International Recruitment Jessica Raquel Stern, put it: “We wanted to see whether we could reach out to students in a way that was impactful to them. We knew that speaking to a current student would be huge. There’s nothing like speaking to a peer.”

“When students are so far away, you want them to feel present in the institution. We thought that hearing from a student would give them that personal touch.”

USC launched Unibuddy Chat in March 2019. The setup was straightforward, even though they had never had a structured ambassador program before.

Stern said: “We were able to create an ambassador program in a short space of time because Unibuddy provided all the materials, resources and human support to get it right.”

The results

An impressive 67% of admitted students who used Unibuddy went on to deposit.

But the platform has contributed to more than just yield. USC Viterbi is now gaining new insights into their prospects.

“Getting insights played a big role in adopting and launching the platform. Being able to get thematic conversational insights from Unibuddy’s analytics, as well as read through the detailed conversations amongst students, helped us understand what the actual important questions and concerns were. We’ve already been able to gather a lot of great insights that can translate to other marketing efforts,” Stern said.

Use Cases

USC Viterbi was looking for a way to boost yield through meaningful interactions.


67% of admitted students who used Unibuddy went on to deposit.

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