GradGuard is the largest provider of insurance programs to college and university students in the country, helping students and families protect their investment in higher education.
GradGuard, founded in 2009 by John Fees and Bill Suneson, is a national leader in creating innovative digital insurance distribution platforms. It is the leading embedded insurance platform that helps colleges and universities educate and protect students and families from the risks of college life with its mission rooted in student success and college completion.
“The number of contacts and requests to be on my calendar became overwhelming,” John says. “I had too much complexity and BELAY has really helped reduce that.”
“I’ve never let somebody manage my calendar or even have access to my emails. That transition took me a few weeks but once I did it, it just made an enormous difference in terms of freeing up my ability to schedule appointments and reschedule them and be really as available as I always wanted to be.”
This, all thanks to BELAY Virtual Assistant Cori Sibley.
“I could hire my own assistant, but BELAY found somebody that was a good fit for me to begin with that could be a helpmate to the initial challenges I was facing,” John says.
John put total trust in BELAY and his Client Success Consultant that he would be placed with the right Virtual Assistant for him – and be taken care of throughout the process.
“[BELAY] hires great people,” John says. “As we started the transition, [BELAY] kept checking back in to see if I needed anything.”
“The onboarding process did a really good job of listening to [what I told them], ‘I want to be accessible and available. I want to have a tempo in the quality of my life but at this stage, it became impossible for me to maintain that without help.’”
Cori has been able to help John maintain a lot of his tasks and goals by taking over recruiting and screening candidates as well as managing LinkedIn and the job board.
“On a week-to-week basis, I really rely on [Cori] for the three C’s of communication, calendaring and contacts.”
“We’re a small company – we’re 50 people – but it’s a tech company,” John explains. “We have offices in Boston and Phoenix. She’s been able to take on a recruiting function that I wouldn’t have expected.”
“She [also] coordinated a company-wide meeting and did an excellent job of that. You’ve got 50 personalities to manage. She’s never met most of them other than through Zoom calls, and it went off without a hitch.”
“It was like planning a three-day wedding with 50 people you don’t know, and she did a great job of it.”
“Cori demonstrated a level of confidence and judgment that surprised me,” John says.
“She anticipates my needs really well. She’s friendly and professional and sets a good standard for those [with whom] she interacts. She’s an extension of me.”
Cori has also been able to give John the gift of extra time back into his days and weeks.
“As CEO of multiple companies, you need more time to think, and activities like email, calendaring, and contact management just suck time and take attention — when that attention is needed elsewhere,” John says. ”Getting more time back [has been a win].”
For John, BELAY was the best option.
“I’ve tried other administrative support programs from temps that are local to one that was an offshore virtual assistant, and this is the only thing that’s worked for me,” John says. “BELAY has distinguished itself in both the quality of the staff they hire, but also just the way they onboard their clients.”
“Even if you’ve had a difficult experience before, I would say to others that BELAY is certainly worth considering and trying because it’s different than anything else I’ve seen.”
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