An upgrade on tutoring

Adesse from Grade Up (Andriana Vinnitchok)
(Photo by Andriana Vinnitchok)

From early on in our lives, we are taught that we can be anything that we want to be. We are taught to find what interests us the most and to follow that career path.

In spite of this, the sad reality is that a lot of people end up choosing their career path out of convenience. However, there is one student at Laurier that is taking a risk and chasing his dreams.

Fifth-year math and business student, Addesse Haile, is making his business dreams come true. In addition to winning 2010’s new venture competition and placing first with Laurier’s Entrepreneurship team at JDCC, Haile has also found time to start up his own business to help his fellow Laurier students.

Haile started the program Grade Up, a tutoring resource for university students. Grade Up employs only tutors with nearly perfect GPAs. What makes Grade Up different than other traditional tutoring methods is their ability to teach deep understanding of the content and future studying methods.

“Our tutors are straight-A senior students who have a passion for helping their peers,” Haile explained. “Whether a student needs last-minute help before a test or ongoing support throughout a semester, our tutors will develop a customized study plan and act as the guide on the path to achieving their academic goals.”

There are three options for students who get involved with the Grade Up program. If they are looking for a single hour of tutoring, the fee is $30. After that, students can pay $130 for a five hour package and then $250 for a ten hour package.

The company has been quite successful, having expanded to University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and Ryerson.  However, Haile recognizes that the road to success is not an easy ride.

“I still lie awake thinking about how to bring premium private tutoring to all the university students that need academic support so, although it’s often painful, I love working on Grade Up,” Haile revealed.

“This semester, I enrolled in the Laurier Launchpad course. Launchpad teaches us cutting-edge, lean start-up methodology, which is essential as I take Grade Up to the next level.”

Haile also shared that Grade Up has many exciting things on the horizon, which will inevitably lead to more recognition.

“Over the summer we are hoping to franchise our concept and recruit Campus Directors across Ontario in preparation for a province-wide launch in Fall 2014.” University is a place of self-discovery. Unfortunately, there are many obstacles that deter people from pursuing their ambitions.

Although it is a good thing to be realistic about your goals  so that you can get a good career and be able to pursue future dreams, it is also important to have ambition, which is most prevalent when you are passionate about something you love. Haile’s best advice for other entrepreneurs was to acknowledge that difficulties are inevitable but to stay focused on their work and their goals.

“As difficult as school sometimes seems, as you get older, you will typically take on more responsibility and it becomes increasingly difficult to take the leap and become an entrepreneur,” Haile said. “No matter how successful your venture becomes, I guarantee that you will learn a great deal about yourself and what it takes to build a start-up.”

Like anything else in life, building your own business is not easy. However, it is important to take advantage of Laurier’s wonderful resources while we still have the chance. This kind of drive is what helped Haile achieve the success that he has found today.

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