Ep. 29: How to Dream and Do with Reetu Gupta, Founder of CirkledIn

Reetu Gupta is a Dreamer... and a Doer.

Reetu is living the American dream. She grew up in a tiny town in northern India, and against all odds, she struggled her way to an education and a job at a software company. Later, a job offer from AT&T Wireless led to her immigrating to the United States in the late 90’s. Arriving with two suitcases and $2,000 in hand, she marched boldly into the land of opportunity, starting as a principal software engineer, and climbing the corporate ladder at Honeywell. Reetu has also authored several user interface patents in aerospace cockpit technology.

As if that wasn’t enough, Reetu went on to get her MBA from the University of Washington and shortly after graduating as valedictorian of her class, and is the founder and CEO OF CirkedIn, a LinkedIn of sorts for high school students.

After spending several weeks helping her daughter fill out applications for a prestigious private school, Reetu was shocked by how much time it took to cull her daughter’s notable achievements and activities. She grew frustrated that there wasn’t a good solution for students to document and showcase their work, so she decided to do something about it!

CirkledIn can be described simply as LinkedIn for high school students - it helps students highlight their accomplishments and helps universities recruit candidates. We live in a digital age where colleges and employers are looking beyond test scores and more at students' holistic skills and achievements.

Did you know that many colleges & universities have now made SAT/ACT optional? Instead of looking at these test scores, college admission officers are looking at the applicant’s social media. This made Reetu think, “why not take charge of the situation and showcase your best self?” Whether it's playing soccer or being on the student body council, every experience develops your personality and builds essential skills. By including all significant achievements and activities, you can highlight your holistic strengths and talents. With this, you can increase your chances of success and exciting opportunities.

Since it’s launch, Cirkled In has partnered with dozens of schools and youth organizations and is used by thousands of students. This conversation left me buzzing because of the energy that this Reetu gives off. You can’t help but be inspired by her tenacity to achieve her life’s dreams. She's a testament to one of my favorite statements, "anything is possible." Not only does she believe it, but she embodies it, and so can you. 

Is the return on your life lower than your want? If so, consider raising the bar and pushing yourself to experience life in a richer way. If you need tools and support for that journey, check out the resources on my website: www.jcchristianson.com.