Unifrog is used by students and counselors in over 800 international schools across 110 countries. Today we take a moment to celebrate our dedicated counselors all over the world.
Meet Augusto Neto, the Assistant Director of University Guidance and Careers at St Paul’s School, the British School of São Paulo Brazil. He talks to us about what he loves about working at his school, how they use Unifrog across year groups, and the impact of language.
1. Tell us about your role at St Paul’s School
On a day-to-day basis, my primary responsibility is to plan and oversee the effective delivery of high-quality advice, guidance, and support to pupils, parents, staff, and visiting university officials. I look after university applications and careers, including IGCSE & IB subject choices. I’m also the school’s SAT Coordinator in charge of all sessions on campus and transition to Digital SAT.
While all of this is happening, behind the scenes I must make sure I’m constantly up to speed with the fast-paced and ever-changing dynamics of university guidance worldwide, with an intimate understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the application process to systems around the world, mainly the US (Common App), Canada, the UK (UCAS), and Continental Europe.
2. How do you use Unifrog with your students? Which tools are the most helpful?
We use Unifrog throughout the school (Years 7 to 13) at different levels that depend on age and where each year group is in their careers and higher education journey.
For younger year groups (Years 7-9 / 6th-8th Grades in US terms), we use Unifrog as a journey of self-discovery and career exploration. The Interests Profile quiz and Exploring Pathways (especially the Careers Library) are very popular tools.
Older year groups explore the entire array of quizzes available: Interests, Personality, Work Environments, and Skills profiles. This leads them nicely to Exploring Pathways. At this stage, many students who are already applying to summer programmes around the world look at the Read, Watch, Listen tool to learn how to write a personal statement or letter of motivation.
The Searching for Opportunities tools are by far the most popular tools amongst our students.
They love spending hours searching and investigating the world of higher education options available to them.
3. What tips might you give a counselor who is just starting out with Unifrog?
Start nice and slowly. Unifrog offers so much that we can be tempted to try to embrace every tool from the start. This can be challenging and may mean that we never really go beyond the surface. We have been a Unifrog school for three years and we’re still only learning everything we can do on Unifrog. Work in cycles and choose to incorporate a couple of Unifrog features to your portfolio of Unifrog expertise as every new cycle begins.
4. What's your favourite thing about being a counselor / working at St. Paul's School?
We’re incredibly lucky to work at a school where resources are plentiful and where we enjoy worldwide recognition for our academic excellence and the quality of the university guidance provision afforded to the school community.
This means that I’m constantly in touch with people and organisations from around the world. learning from the rich exchange of experiences and cultures.
Our core values speak volumes to who we are: Adventure, Aspiration, Inclusion, Resilience, Responsibility, and Kindness.
Our unofficial motto is ‘Once a Paulean, always a Paulean’. I simply love how our university guidance service extends to all who have ever been part of the Paulean family. No matter how long ago they left or how little time a student spent with us, they can always reach out and count on us to support them with their careers and university guidance needs.
I’m particularly proud of the Old Paulean platform. It’s our own LinkedIn of sorts, where 5 thousand Old Pauleans – numbers growing every day – come together to continue to support the community. Current students can reach out to any of the 150+ Old Pauleans who have volunteered to serve as careers mentors to ask for guidance and even work shadowing opportunities.
5. Anything else you’d like to share with the Unifrog community?
I came to college counselling after nearly 20 years as a classroom teacher. Apart from some bar and hospitality work in my late teens and early 20s – I think everyone has done some of that in their younger years – I have always worked in education.
As an EFL/ESL/EAL teacher, I witnessed the inspiring transformational power that learning and being able to operate through the medium of the English language has on young people from around the world.
I once heard that people live as many lives as the number of languages they speak. I like to paraphrase that and say that our world is as large as the number of speakers of the languages we can communicate in.