Former student to upgrade campus fabric
Published: Monday, October 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 1, 2012 01:10
Texas A&M is known for it’s ability to equip students with the necessary skills to be innovative. It’s also known for an alumni base that continually supports the University and its students. Paige Robinson, Class of 2010, is doing both.
Robinson, who graduated with a degree in finance, is the founder of Trellise, a technology platform that enables student organizations to effectively manage their groups and stay connected to their alumni. The beta site launched Monday, allowing initial access to 45 student organizations.
Robinson said the goal of Trellise is to improve student organizations, which she calls the fabric of campus. Her own experiences in student organizations — such as Tell Your Story — and the issues she had with them also contributed to the creation of Trellise.
“Pouring my heart and soul into Tell Your Story, I went to hand it off to the next year and there was no infrastructure whatsoever to help facilitate that handoff,” Robinson said. “There’s no consistent technology tool that enables organizations to be successful from year to year.”
Robinson has integrated the website with student organizations during every step of the platform’s production, utilizing several organizations — such as Big Event, CARPOOL and Muster — to constantly provide feedback. It’s something Robinson said she is very proud of.
“Students are always going to be our core customer base and we’ve taken a lot of pains and steps to ensure that we always hear their voice,” Robinson said.
One of those steps for the business will be on-campus student representation through a student organization. Robinson said the company is currently preparing a group of students who will have student organization status.
Justin Cardenas, senior biomedical sciences major and director for The Big Event, is among many students who have worked closely with Robinson during Trellise’s development. Cardenas said the website is a useful tool for student organizations, and utilizing student input has been important.
“We think its goal of incorporating alumni as well as helping out students within the organization connect better is helpful for A&M,” Cardenas said. “I think she’s done a great job along with communication as well as portraying her mission, her goals every step of the process.”
On Robinson’s team is another former student. Kristy Pearce, Class of 2012 and manager for business development at Trellise, met Robinson through Tell Your Story and joined the Trellise team in the summer upon her graduation in May. Pearce said it’s been an incredible experience working for Robinson.
“I’ve learned so much and she’s a great teacher. I’m in a whole different world than college, and I’ve really grown a lot,” Pearce said. “She has created an amazing work culture and I enjoy going to work everyday.”
Pearce said the website fills a substantial need at A&M, which reflects their time as students and their desire for the website to be shaped by students.
“Since we are Aggies and love the Aggie family, we wanted it to be shaped by students and designed by students, and that’s why we brought students on so early,” Pearce said.
Robinson has become an example for students searching for creative job opportunities. For Robinson, when creating her own business, she said the worst thing that could have happened was failing.
“It’s hard work. I don’t think I’ve slept in a week, and you get told no a lot,” Robinson said. “But the worst they can say is no, and the worst that could happen is you fail, and failure is just not that bad.”