Alisha Dennis


Pioneering Ethical Leadership in the Education Sector

Alisha Dennis

Chief Operating Officer,

Admissiongyan Education Consultancy

Education cons ulting is a critical industry where the pursuit of knowledge and opportunity intersect. Traversing this requires a leader who exemplifies dedication, innovation, and an unwavering commitment to ethical practices. Meet Alisha Dennis, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Admissiongyan Education Consultancy, whose remarkable journey within the industry has paved the way for transformation and success.
Alisha’s foray into the world of education consulting began in 2016, a year that marked her transition from a career in real estate to her current role as COO. Her driving force? A desire for a career that not only offered fulfilment but also adhered to a strict ethical compass. Admissiongyan, a small yet principled consultancy at the time, became the canvas on which Alisha painted her vision for a brighter and more organised future in education consultancy.
An ICEF certified professional, Alisha has also attended international conferences such as Uni Agents Helsinki, 2018 (Finland), ICEF Berlin, 2018 & 2019 (Germany), NAFSA Washington, 2019 & 2023 (USA), amongst several others. Her leadership philosophy centres on operational excellence; relying on a dedicated and knowledgeable team to guide students towards their educational dreams. In her quest for operational excellence, Alisha harnesses the power of technology, streamlining processes and protecting sensitive data.
Alisha is more than a regular COO; she is a visionary leader whose journey inspires and whose goals promise continued growth and success for Admissiongyan Education Consultancy. Her story is a testament to the power of determination and ethical leadership in the pursuit of educational excellence.

Can you tell us about your personal journey within the education industry and how it led you to Admissiongyan?

In 2016, I transitioned from real estate to the education industry, driven by a desire for a more fulfilling and ethically aligned career that would also allow me to prioritise my family life. It was during this period that I discovered Admissiongyan, a small yet principled consultancy comprised of six to seven dedicated professionals overseeing admissions.
At the outset, Admissiongyan faced challenges related to operational efficiency and team motivation. Despite the absence of a clearly defined role, I seized the opportunity to join the organisation. Over time, I established trust and progressively assumed greater responsibilities, ultimately leading to my current position as COO.

Operational excellence is crucial in education consulting. How do you ensure efficient and effective operations at Admissiongyan?

Ensuring operational excellence at Admissiongyan is pivotal to our mission. This is achieved by maintaining a highly dedicated and knowledgeable team, understanding that the nature of our service industry demands expertise, patience, and in-depth knowledge, especially when dealing with complex procedures like the German admission process, which can extend up to 12 months for each student. Additionally, we leverage cuttingedge technology to streamline and optimise our operations, minimising manual errors and enhancing efficiency in the process.
A fundamental aspect of our success lies in effective communication with universities, partners, and stakeholders. We actively nurture these relationships through international exposure, accreditations, and active participation in industry events. These connections not only keep us updated with industry trends but also position us at the forefront of providing students with the highest quality guidance and support for their educational pursuits.

How do you balance your demanding professional role with your personal life?

Juggling my responsibilities as a mother, wife, and COO can indeed be a formidable challenge. Yet, with the unwavering support of my family, particularly my husband and son, it becomes manageable. To strike a balance, meticulous planning of my daily routine is key, allowing me to allocate time to each aspect of my life. Additionally, prioritising my health remains a non-negotiable aspect of this equilibrium. I make it a point to use the leave entitlements I have, ensuring that the time spent with my family is of the utmost quality and significance.

Shifting from real estate to education must have been challenging. Can you elaborate on the difficulties you faced during this transition?

Transitioning from real estate to education presented significant challenges. Initially, I encountered resistance from the Admissiongyan team, who perceived me as a temporary addition, which hindered the execution of my strategic initiatives. However, with perseverance, I gradually earned their trust and recognition. A pivotal milestone was forging collaborations with Swedish & German universities; previously uncharted territory for Admissiongyan. This accomplishment reshaped the team’s perception of me, strengthening our working relationship. To solidify our bonds further, we embarked on an international trip, fostering a deeper sense of unity and cooperation within the team.

What technologies do Admissiongyan leverage to enhance its operations?

Admissiongyan adopts various technologies to elevate its operational efficiency and data security. In the past, our communication was predominantly reliant on spreadsheets and WhatsApp. However, to ensure secure and monitored interactions with students, we have integrated secure messaging applications tailored to our specific requirements. Additionally, we have recently implemented a CRM system, which further enhances our daily operational management and streamline our processes. Maintaining the security of sensitive information is of utmost importance to us. To achieve this, our employees sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), reinforcing our commitment to safeguarding data. Furthermore, as a standard practice, we regularly purge data older than seven years, there by adhering to stringent data retention policies to protect our stakeholders’ confidentiality and privacy.

What advice do you have for other operational experts who may be facing burnout?

Adhere to a straightforward principle: stick to the facts and remain focused on the task at hand. Avoid overcomplicating matters. Instead, identify and prioritise a select few key processes, execute what is necessary, and allow things to naturally fall into place. Achieving a harmonious work-life balance is essential, and recognising your own limits plays a pivotal role in preventing burnout. Remember, simplicity and a clear focus can be powerful antidotes to professional fatigue.

What are your future plans and goals?

My primary objectives revolve around the successful launch and operation of our new offices in Dubai, Pune, and Chennai. I am dedicated to driving business growth for Admissiongyan. My long-term vision entails transitioning into a role where I can take on a broader perspective, overseeing the organisation’s expansion and development while entrusting the day-to-day operations to capable hands.