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Citi On Campus

Role: research, ideation, testing, and implementation strategy

Contributors: Andrea Noble, Tricia Patrick and Juan Carlos Portuondo

As part of my graduate coursework at Parson School of Design, Citi approached our class with a challenge - better utilization of its mobile recruitment app, Citi on Campus. Through our consulting, they hoped to increase engagement and improve the quality of their internship applications. They also wanted to use this app as a career resource for applicants, connecting them to the best fitting positions. View the full playbook for this project here.

The Challenge


Citi was working to understand whether or not their current tools and recruiting strategies aligned. When we started the project, the app was not integrated with the online application platform on the Citi Careers website. The app had limited use past the initial application process, which discouraged the user from returning. There were also budgetary constraints that affected the ongoing development of the app. We challenged ourselves by asking the below:  

How can we increase the pipeline of high potential candidates for Citi through valuable tools within the application process?


How can we use digital and other means to engage students and convert their interest into applications? 


How can we ensure our ecosystem will extend to other markets in a future roll-out and capture global interest?


How might we better connect applicants to the best fitting roles?

While evaluative research was necessary, our team also wanted to better understand the pain points of students applying to jobs. We used multiple activities in our research process, including card sorting, in-depth interviews, intercepts, and think aloud activities with the current interface to help inform our product strategy. 

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We established 3 applicant types based on the patterns we identified in our interviewees’ approaches to finding a job.



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Example of one of 3 applicant types

Based on our insights, we identified five key opportunity areas to build a human-centric application process.


Make Citi relatable and acceptable


Build in more human connection and accountability


Better connect applicants to the best suited roles


Create a stronger first impression and sense of usability across Citi's touchpoints


Better integrate the elements of Citi's application ecosystem

Redesigned Flow

Our Recommendation


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Recommended MVP Features

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Based on our interviews, many users felt that these concepts should be equally accessible online. Many stated that their application process was too important to their future to risk making a mistake from typing on a phone. The majority viewed downloading an app as a barrier, and stated they would be unlikely or unwilling to download an app. 


We believe there is an opportunity to reach more students by ensuring all features are accessible across platforms and streamlining the application process with a single profile and login. While we acknowledge that this is a heavy lift on the technical side, we developed two recommendations below for implementation: 




Develop the app and web interface separately, but with a shared database of users so that logins and saved information is seamless between the app and web interface; key features should also live on both platforms.

Place emphasis on building a robust mobile experience and have the Citi on Campus app point to a mobile website. This will streamline development and enable future expansion into desktop with shared code.


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Prioritized Features

Our client came to us with two goals for our engagement: help increase engagement and the quality of applicants using the Citi on Campus mobile app. Our team challenged what an application experience should look like for Citi, and proposed an ecosystem included a revamped mobile product that centered the thoughts and needs of an applicant at the heart. 

We refined the features that would make the mobile app an attractive application tool by: condensing the language, communicating the essence of the job requirements, highlighting the key properties of each division, and guiding the user along each stage of their application. Seeing their process through to the very end is critical, whether it ends in a rejection or an offer. 

Users shared that the summation of our recommended features reflect a company’s level of thought and consideration in their recruitment and their applicants.


View the full playbook for this project here.

"A lot of the things we talked about — if they were in [the app], I would think they are really invested in their recruitment process. A lot of companies don’t put the work into it, and it’s noticeable."


- Chris, potential applicant



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