Graphic by Katie Simons '22
As the bell rings, marking the end of a period, hundreds of Staples High School students flock to their phones to see where to go next. With a multitude of useful features, including the ability to view the day’s schedule with just the click of a button, the Saturn app is a stressed high schooler’s best friend. But who runs it?
The Saturn app was created in 2018 by Staples alumni Dylan Diamond ’17 and University of Pennsylvania colleague Max Baron. It is currently run by a team of experts based in New York City, and a group of collaborative Student Ambassadors at Staples.
Raina Mandayam ’22, Savaira Baig ’22 and Paige Toglia ’22 have joined forces with employees of Team Saturn in New York City to communicate feedback and ideas of Staples students. This includes the development of new features to make the app more accessible and easier to use.
Mandayam, a contributor to the Saturn Product Management Team and a Staples Saturn Student Ambassador, regularly voices her opinions and the opinions of the student body.
“We have a group chat where I give the product management team constant feedback on what other students say about Saturn and things the app can improve on,” Mandayam said.
Student Ambassadors are highly influential in the implementation of new features to the Saturn app. Together, Mandayam, Baig and Toglia have worked closely to develop new ideas that can benefit users of the app. Mandayam recalled an instance from her first year as Ambassador, in which she was involved in the creation of a feature that soon became a quintessential part of the app.
“When I first started on the project management team, I had gotten a lot of feedback from my friends that they wanted to see when people’s birthdays were,” Mandayam said. “So me and the team worked together to develop a feature where the app notifies you when it is the birthday of one of your friends on Saturn. With just the push of a button, you can message them ‘Happy Birthday’ [on Saturn].”
The brilliance of Diamond and Baron’s Saturn app is its specificity to all of the high schools it works with.
“I love Saturn because it’s customized to the Staples schedule and adjusts to specific events and activities at Staples,” Jasmine Schiffman ‘25 said.
At the start of each school year, Saturn employees rely on ambassadors to explain their schedules and classes to team members to make sure that the app is correct.
“What good is a scheduling company if we can’t even figure out your schedule?” a leader of Growth and Operations at Saturn asked.
The Saturn app was built to allow for an easier understanding of students’ confusing schedules. This includes keeping students up-to-date on schedule changes, such as a snow day or delayed start.
“Whichever ambassador notices [the change] first can go to the app to [manually] make the changes for student schedules,” Baig said.
Additionally, if a student notices that the school day was adjusted, but the Saturn app has not yet been changed by ambassadors, they can click on the tab with the letter day and send a message to Text Support informing them of the change to be updated for all students.
As an app designed to make it easier for high-schoolers to navigate confusing schedules, employees of Saturn highly value the youthful opinions of students. According to a leader of Growth and Operations at Saturn, the role of the student ambassador is critical to the success of the app. Student ambassadors recruit classmates to join the app and spread the word about new features and help to verify that all the data published in the app is relevant and accurate.
Saturn is constantly looking for participative students to help make the app even more efficient and enjoyable. The position is unpaid but ambassadors get early access to new features, earn Saturn merchandise and if an ambassador uses the app to schedule a social event, Team Saturn will pay for it.
If you are interested in potentially running Saturn at Staples High School, apply to be a Student Ambassador at https://www.joinsaturn.com/ambassador.
“I love being an ambassador for Saturn and definitely recommend others to do so,” Mandayam said. “Working with my team and watching how my team plans and brainstorms is incredible and has taught me so many life skills.”