Alumni Spotlight – Randal Gardiner

Learn to Start is proud to be working with the next generation of lower, middle, and high school students in reimagining what the 21st-century education system should look like. Hear from one of LTS’s incredible alumni, Randal Gardiner, as he shares how LTS has impacted his personal and professional life since graduating from the program.

Confidence

How has being in Learn To Start impacted your confidence as a person? Being part of Learn to Start has been transformative for my confidence as a person as it always kept me out of my comfort zone and exposed me to different business scenarios. It not only enhanced my public speaking skills but also broadened my networking abilities, contributing significantly to my personal and professional growth.

In terms of public speaking, I was consistently exposed to it in my 2 years in the program through having to present new ideas/updates on projects in front of my peers. This became something that I looked forward to especially being in a supportive environment where we were all encouraged to learn from each other. Additionally, we constantly were placed in situations where we networked with other students or experienced entrepreneurs through events such as an Entrepreneurship Summit. The exposure to meeting new people in a business context helped me become more comfortable with the idea of networking. These experiences instilled in me the assurance needed to believe in my potential and take bold steps toward achieving my goals especially as I ventured off to college and soon, a professional career.

Purpose

How has LTS defined or redefined purpose for you in your personal and professional life? LTS has been pivotal in shaping my professional interests and aspirations, particularly in the realm of startups and venture capital. By immersing myself in a curriculum that mirrors the lean business models adopted by startups, LTS has instilled in me a curiosity for entrepreneurship and innovation. Through this exposure, I’ve developed an interest in venture capital, driving my decision to pursue a career in finance with hopes of breaking into the VC industry someday.

LTS provided me with theoretical knowledge and practical experiences that have expanded my understanding of startups and their dynamics. Beyond professional interests, LTS has redefined my purpose by igniting a passion for innovation and disruption, instilling in me the drive to make meaningful contributions in the realm of entrepreneurship.

Taking advantage of opportunities

Has your experience with taking advantage of opportunities changed before LTS vs after? How has LTS impacted your ability to take advantage of opportunities? LTS has been instrumental in my approach to seizing opportunities as a student. Before LTS, I was less proactive in leveraging my student status for networking and mentorship opportunities. However, through LTS, I learned the importance of informational interviews with professionals in my desired industry and seeking mentorship in business from experienced professionals.

This program has transformed my perspective, empowering me to actively seek out and capitalize on opportunities that align with my career aspirations. LTS provided me with the necessary tools, guidance, and confidence to engage with industry professionals and create meaningful connections. As a result, my ability to seize opportunities has significantly improved after my time in the program. It has enabled me to make the most of my student experience and pave the way for future success in my chosen field.

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Randal Gardiner

LTS Graduate (NBPS)

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