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, Ryan King, as he shares how LTS has impacted his personal and professional life since graduating from the program.
Learn To Start: How has Learn To Start defined or redefined preparedness for you in your personal and professional life? Learn to Start helped to open my eyes to the importance of fully analyzing a situation so you can prepare for all of the possible outcomes. In the LTS classroom, I was exposed to just how different everyone’s thought process could be to arrive at the same solution for our workshops. Additionally, our team environment showed how valuable it was to have people with diverse mindsets on your team so you can analyze a problem or solution in many different lights. This taught me the importance of taking the time to dissect whatever you are working on and to be open to approaching things in many different ways. Having this mindset when tackling something helped me to prepare for whatever issue may arise throughout the process.
LTS: What was your knowledge of networking before LTS vs after? How has LTS impacted your ability to network? Before participating in the Learn to Start program, my understanding of networking was quite basic and underdeveloped. LTS significantly opened my eyes to the importance and effectiveness of networking in the professional world. The program not only taught me the theoretical aspects of networking but also provided practical insights into how to leverage it effectively.
Through LTS, I learned the strategic value of networking in building and expanding my business ventures, particularly my King Drone Services company. Initially, I applied the networking skills acquired from LTS to secure my first few clients, offering them complimentary services to establish a strong foundation. This approach not only helped in building initial client relationships but also set the stage for a broader network through referrals.
As a result, my network expanded, bringing in more business opportunities and referrals, which were instrumental in the growth and success of my business. LTS taught me that networking is not just about making connections, but also about providing value and building trust, which in turn creates a self-sustaining cycle of referrals and new opportunities. This understanding has profoundly impacted my ability to network effectively, turning it into a key component of my professional strategy.
How has LTS impacted your ability to receive feedback? What was your experience with feedback prior to the program? Participating in the Learn to Start program was instrumental in teaching me how to properly receive feedback and learn from it. Prior to the program I had placed too much emphasis on getting only positive feedback and would feel discouraged from negative feedback. During the program, we received feedback from our peers on our business ideas, which at first was daunting when all of the reviews weren’t positive. However, throughout the LTS program, they emphasized the importance of receiving constructive criticism well and taking the time to really think about where they were coming from. This led to me realizing the value that you are able to deduct from a fresh set of eyes on whatever you are working on and using that feedback to pivot your ideas effectively.
LTS: Did LTS have an impact on your college application process? Learn to Start greatly impacted my college applications and played a crucial role in crafting the essays that secured my admission to my top schools. LTS led me to gain real-world experience which proved to be a pivotal part in helping me pick a direction for my career path and in turn the schools I wanted to apply for. Throughout the applications, I talked in detail about the journey I had to start a business and the lessons I learned along the way. These experiences along with the lessons learned in the LTS classroom helped me develop my personal brand that I was able to display in my college essays.