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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

App simplifies scheduling for students

Since its launch last September, the student-created iPhone application Academic Aid has received 423 downloads.

Co-founders Austin Brueckner, a marketing senior, and Blake Nordlund, a finance junior, created the app to help students stay organized. Both Brueckner and Nordlund are members of the Entrepreneurship Club, and began working on the app last May when they recognized that their peers were struggling to stay on top of assignments. Users can organize tasks under their respective classes and categorize each task as a test or assignment. Once the task is programmed into the phone, users can set reminders as frequently or as far in advance as they prefer.

Reminders appear as text messages in order to avoid the inclination to ignore pop-ups, Brueckner said.

“I think the nice thing about the application is that it’s not catered to one particular group of students,” Brueckner said. “If you have the over-achievers who like to start an assignment a week before, they can do that, or you can set the reminder for a day before,” he added.

“This is my first semester in (Eller College of Management), so I’ve really found it to be beneficial with the increasing workload,” Nordlund said. “I find that programming the assignments into my phone and being not only reminded when an (assignment) is, but also when I should start tackling the assignment, to be very beneficial.” 

Kendall Udoutch, a communications senior, said Academic Aid has helped her balance her schoolwork, a job, an internship and her position in her sorority.

“(Academic Aid) has allowed me to stay organized and on top of stuff,” Udoutch said. “It’s kind of like having a personal assistant without being too invasive.”

Nordlund said that creating this app has given him and Brueckner an opportunity to experience the process of selling a product.

“It was a way that we thought we could help others out, and being students in the Entrepreneurship Club, we thought it was great way to get the ball rolling and figure out what it takes to launch something,” Nordlund said.

Nordlund said it’s been a gratifying experience to speak with students who use the application, but doesn’t deny the difficulties in putting together a cohesive, user-friendly program and sparking people’s interest in it.

“We’ve definitely had some obstacles, so learning how to work through those is something that will be ultimately beneficial as we move further along,” he said.

The immediate interest in Academic Aid has inspired Brueckner and Nordlund to continue improving their product. They are in the process of creating a video tutorial for the application in order to provide a step-by-step guide for new users. For the moment, the main focus of the two evolving entrepreneurs is to cater to the UA community and other college students.

“It’s not just a way for us to make money, it’s more about finding ways to help students out and this is a way that we’re effecting the UA community,” Nordlund said.

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