My name is Amy Ni and I am a person who has ideas every second. Being curious about everything in my life, I keep asking questions and I can always find problems that need to be solved or innovated. As an international student, the reason why I chose to study abroad is that I want to know about the differences in education systems, yet I found a consistent issue within the education process: Every system expects uniform perfection.
One of my biggest passions is that I’m always looking for changes and disruptions in the education process. My experience told me that education should bring students real access to failure and students should set their own expectations for themselves. When I came to the Learn to Start (LTS) program, it was my first time seeing a class that gives students room for failure and enables them to find their own passions. On the first day of school, we were asked to stand up to tell our stories and none of us did well on communicating who we are and we spent the whole year learning the power of story and learning how to articulate ourselves. By collaborating with peers, giving feedback, and building up the mindset for entrepreneurship, we took risks and failed in the process and tried to find our own passions and achieve the outcomes we want.
That’s why I appreciate the Learn To Start program as it lets the students be the center of the classroom and build their self-awareness. It also brings students real access to failure and encourages them to take risks and build relationships as they grow.
Now that you know who I am, here is what I can do.
My partner and I started our business called 6S at the beginning of this year and it is a reusable straw that can slide to open as two separate parts and the users are able to clean the inside. Through the year, we have pitched to different students, mentors, and investors; went through six different designs of 3D models and prototypes; started our patent application; and built our relationships in the fields of design-thinking, marketing, and manufacturing.
My “I Am” video tells the story of who I am and what I persist to do as a communicator, artist, and networker. This video shows a year of my development on the communication skills that enable me to be more articulate in telling my own story and my networking skills so that I can work with a film student to help film me and design the scene with me, a photographer to send me professional video clips and a filmmaker to teach me the process of editing videos and music to make it achieve the outcomes I want.
The LTS model is impactful not only on building up an entrepreneurial mindset but also influencing all the students in their lives. After all these great developments and progress I made in the program, it is now time for me to take the next step. Therefore, I took advantage of the opportunity to become the Social Media intern at The Startup Studio and continue developing all my skills at another level.
When we set the “perfection standard” for every student, we can only get the right or wrong answer from them and everybody will be the same at the end of the day. The students will just learn what they are told to learn and accomplish what they are told to do. However, it is not relevant to their lives at all. What they have learned from school cannot help them or guide them to find out what they really want to be. However, the LTS program brought us the opportunities to connect what we experienced in the class to our lives in the real world and build real relationships and mentorships for ourselves. For me, it enables me to tell my story to the people I meet and seek for a stronger network in my life. In this program, we decided our own content that is more interesting to us and we developed the skills that other classes want us to have, critical thinking skills, researching skills, public speaking skills, in a more motivated way.
As I showed in my video, Amy CAN!