Georgetown students Kevin Fleishman (MSB ’18) and Alejandro Ernst (MSB ’18) started an undergraduate tutoring company, Outcome Tutoring; this semester to connect qualified tutors on campus to students in need of academic help.
Launched in early February, the company offers tutoring sessions for 35 dollars per hour and pays tutors 25 dollars per hour.
Outcome currently has 29 tutors who teach students approximately 15 different subjects including financial accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics, chemistry and several foreign languages. The company mostly offers help to students taking introductory classes, which are taken predominately by freshmen, but also provides tutoring services for higher-level classes.
According to Fleishman, Outcome has taught roughly 60 students, two thirds of which return for additional tutoring sessions after their first meeting. In total, the company’s tutors have taught students for 120 hours in the past three weeks alone.
Fleishman, CEO and president of Outcome, said his idea for the company stemmed from his own troubles with finding a tutor for his financial accounting class during his freshman year.
“It was impossible to find a tutor on campus last year and I saw there was a clear need for tutors but nowhere to find them,” Fleishman said. “I tried everything. I showed up to upper level economics classes and started asking random people if they could tutor me. … I had appointments with deans to see if they knew any seniors who could tutor me.”
Fleishman saw the need for accessible and experienced tutors on campus and ultimately decided to launch Outcome to aid students who faced similar problems.
“It was complicated, it was hard and it didn’t make any sense to me why tutors weren’t available when so many people want a tutor and so many people need tutors. Our goal was to create a standard procedure and a central way to find a tutor,” Fleishman said.
Tutors at Georgetown who do not work within a company like Outcome often encounter problems with marketing themselves and finding clients. According to Fleishman, Outcome will give student tutors the opportunity to market their abilities, schedule their tutoring sessions in an organized fashion and substantially help their fellow students.
“It’s really hard for a single tutor to get clients. People don’t have time to personally market themselves,” Fleishman said. “We can put them on the website and people can book them there.”
Outcome’s potential tutors are considered based upon their GPA, aptitude in a specific subject, final grade in the class they wish to tutor and reasons for wanting to be a tutor. The pair said they have declined 44 of the 73 applications they have received due to lack of professionalism or qualifications.
“We aim to have the best talent for tutors so that is always a stress when we hire tutors — making sure they are good, making sure they are professional and work well with the student,” Fleishman said.
Fleishman and Ernst rely on student feedback to assess tutor quality and performance, often seeking feedback from students they already know personally. Ernst, the company’s chief of operations said this feedback is crucial since neither Ernst nor Fleishman can be experts in every subject the tutors teach.
“It’s hard for us to know if someone is good at computer science, for instance, because we don’t know anything on the subject so we have to ask the student and we try to make sure the quality of the tutor is as good,” Ernst said.
According to Ernst, the company has not yet set up an official tutor evaluation survey due to worries that the pressure of such an assessment might ultimately lower the quality of their tutoring sessions.
“We are a little hesitant to set up a survey system because by speaking to tutors, we can tell they would feel a lot of pressure by being reviewed for their performance during that hour,” Ernst said.
According to Fleishman, the biggest challenge for Outcome’s team comes from informing the student body of this new resource because Georgetown policy states that the university cannot explicitly endorse any student organization, like Outcome, that makes a profit. Fleishman said he met with the College Dean’s Office when Outcome first launched, hoping the university’s deans would recommend Outcome Tutoring to students struggling in their classes.
Ernst emails tutors at the start of each week with a Doodle Poll on which they can indicate their availability that week. Students can then book tutors in the time slots they are available. According to Ernst, who organizes the tutoring schedules and handles scheduling conflicts, there are no minimum requirements for the number of hours each tutor needs to commit.
Ernst said he enjoys working for Outcome because he sees benefits in helping Georgetown students improve their academic performance and in connecting them with tutors who can use their talents to make money.
“I really enjoy doing it because I see that it is a win-win for the tutor and the student in that we are connecting them to people in the same community,” Ernst said. “In the grand scheme of things, no one is better than anyone else and we are connecting them so they really help each other out and benefit on the same playing field.”
Tom Pescatore (COL ’17), a former teaching-assistant for introductory level economics classes who is now an Outcome tutor, said he felt he has helped students with his tutoring style. Pescatore tutored for approximately 30 hours last weekend to help many of them prepare for an upcoming “Introduction to Macroeconomics” midterm April 5.
“Many students scheduled multiple sessions, and it was really incredible to see how they improved each time. I’m 100 percent confident that the students I worked with improved their understanding and skills before the exam, and hopefully they did great,” Pescatore said.
Pescatore tutors students in a range of subjects including calculus, statistics, microeconomics and macroeconomics. Pescatore said working as a tutor has been an extremely rewarding experience at Georgetown.
“I love [tutoring], I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t,” Pescatore said. “Nothing is more rewarding than when a student is solving problems on their own that they never thought they could’ve done. Their eyes light up, their confidence with the material improves, and I know my job has been done.”
For more information, please visit the company’s website: outcometc.com