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Spartan Insights: Featuring Lauren Aitch: Entrepreneur, Clothing Designer, Philanthropist, Former Spartan Basketball Player

This week’s Featured Spartan was Lauren Aitch. Lauren agreed to answer questions about her industry, career background, and anything else she could help you learn to further your career. This discussion was open from 6/15/2015-06/29/2015.

Spartan Insights is a regularly scheduled LinkedIn discussion thread inside of the MSUALUMNI LinkedIn group. Each discussion is meant to give you the opportunity to ask questions regarding one Spartan’s experience within a specific company, industry, or occupation. Answers will be given at the convenience and discretion of the featured Spartan and will be answered from the Spartan’s own personal experiences and opinions which are not meant to be representative of his/her company’s official position. Questions regarding a person’s applicant status at the featured Spartan’s place of business will not be answered in this forum. Interested in being a helpful Spartan? Contact me at isbelld@msu.edu.

Lauren Aitch: Hello Spartan Family! Excited to answer any questions you may have!

Dave Isbell: Hi Lauren. Thanks for being here! To kick things off I’ll ask the first question. I’m curious about what it was like for you to go from being a part of a team at MSU and then to go out on your own as an entrepreneur. What might you say are the pros and cons of teamwork, and also of autonomy, from your experience?

Lauren Aitch: Great question! There is a lot of cross over in business and athletics! It might not be as evident when you as an athlete first get out of MSU , But I have been able to use skills such as : discipline, teamwork towards one goal, being on time, fatigue in staying focus on a common goal for a length of time, and vision. As an athlete you have to see yourself winning and in business owner I break my days up into wins and loses! Some days we win some days lose but as long as you have a winning “season” or year in business you end up on top!

Dave Isbell: Do you have a favorite story about a loss that helped you in some way to end up with the “big” win in the end? (Or, maybe the other way around, something that seemed like a “win” in the moment that actually looked more like losing at the end of the “season.”)

Lauren Aitch: Yes we had a down Big Ten season my junior year and there were 5 games left and we had to win out to make it to NCAA, but we lost to Ohio state during those 5 games but won against Purdue for our last game and that win actually moved us up to 2nd place in big ten tourney because they had beat Ohio state so that loss actually put us in a good position. And later that year we made it to the NCAA tournament and where able to beat the number one seed duke in the first round where our former coach went to coach. So even though we lost some big games that season we still ended up with some big wins because of positioning.

That is the same thing in business there have been plenty of situations where something went wrong and it ended up being a better solution overall because of the problem! You have to be very flexible and a master facilitator in business bend but don’t break! You have to believe you are on the right path whole heartily many stop right before the breakthrough because they were not flexible so know that winning and losing is apart of the season!

Dave Isbell: Great story, and terrific perspective Lauren! Chime in Spartans! What questions do you have for Lauren? What stories would you like to share with her? This discussion will be closed on 06/29, so jump in here while Lauren’s here to respond!

Kara: Hi Lauren, Thanks for participating in this discussion! Could you talk a little about how you started The Aitch Foundation? I’m a sociology major and really passionate about giving back to the community and it’s my dream to start a non-profit someday.

Lauren Aitch: I started the foundation after I finished my masters in 2011. I think the most important piece to the non-profit puzzle is to have a cause you are passionate about! Not only should you be passionate about it, research where you can make the most impact towards the cause! I reached out to my network and found people that would be able to have the most knowledge concerning my cause and mission! I had to really dig into how I wanted to help in the fight against cancer so I had to learn more about it. Knowledge is power.

Get a great team around you! A strong board that has a vast skill set and experience and listen to their direction!

Anything is possible you just have to believe in what you are called to do!

Gods blessing on what you decide do! Write the vision and make it plain ( Amos) it will manifest!

Dave Isbell: Thanks Lauren for sharing your insights! This discussion was originally featured on the MSU Alumni Association’s LinkedIn group. Check there every week for a new discussion.


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