In conversation: Nino Sarishvili, Cofounder, SimpleStudying
Employer Case Studies
March 24, 2021
Nino is the co-founder of Simple Studying, an educational technology start-up that significantly decreases the drop-out rate and improves the academic performance of students. 70%-75% of university students drop out in the UK and only 7.5% of total enrolled students get a 1st class. SimpleStudying is building a game-changing technology to decrease the drop-out rates by improving students' grades. In her own words, “We do this by bringing all the relevant materials centralized into one platform so students don't have to go and read hundreds of pages of dozens of books, but they have everything in a simple and condensed manner in one simple digital platform.”
Nino sat with Student Circus to share an employer’s perspective of working with International students:
How did you come to hire an international student? What was the hiring process & profile like?
We were in touch with Student Circus, who connected us with the University of East London. And then we had a chat with the students at UEL, and after these interactions, we found a student who would start working with us. It was an international student, studying for his Masters in Computer Science. The opportunity was to work as a developer with us. He joined us, we trained him, and he worked on a lot of projects with us. We just finished his two-month placement. We also hired an MBA student from the University of South Wales with the help of Student Circus, who is helping us to carry out our marketing campaigns and business operations
What do you look for in a candidate?
The most important thing for us in a candidate is that they should have an idea of what we do. They should be creative & be really innovative. They should come up with new ideas & be a hands-on problem-solver, instead of waiting for instructions to do exactly what he’s told to do. In fact, we love it when people on the team come up with solutions on their own & possibly suggest better ways to do things.
We mostly require students from computer science background & for content development or business and marketing support – currently, we have enough hands on deck.
As an employer, do you see a difference between intl students versus local/domestic students?
International students are really creative, and I have noticed that they are more dedicated than others. The VISA requirements and lots of restrictions mean that they place a lot of importance on the work that they do.
As new immigrants, we also look for a better life in a different country – we choose a country with plenty of opportunities.
To add to that, international students come with this added edge in that they know how people from different countries function. They’re constantly brimming with ideas. If you have travelled a bit or moved countries, it reflects in your ideas, personality, and the like.
How can international students thrive? Nino’s own experience
I was an international student myself, coming from Georgia, a post-Soviet Union country. So I’ve been through all those hoops during my time as a student. It’s also how I came up with the idea of SimpleStudying – I saw students dropping out a lot, and considering that we pay a lot of money to go to Uni, then often graduate under stress and/or with low grades, only to struggle a lot more in finding a job, too.
Running a start-up is an incredible journey because you’re always managing multiple things, containing crises...it’s all very exciting. In our journey, we’ve been a part of incubators, won awards, raised capital. I was an international student – just a girl from a developing country who came to the UK to study and ended up building this company, so there are definitely avenues for international students.