Tag: Chuck Cohn

Varsity Tutors, founded by Olin alumnus and CEO Chuck Cohn, launched free online classes Monday for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

“As schools closed this week in response to COVID-19, the speed of change being forced upon the lives of parents has many scrambling just to keep their kids occupied—hopefully with something constructive,” Cohn said in a letter on the company’s site announcing the launch of Virtual School Day.

“We believe parents shouldn’t have to carry this burden alone,” Cohn said.

Cohn, BSBA ’08 and a 2017 Emerging Leader Honoree, started the company on WashU’s campus. It’s now the nation’s leading provider of one-on-one instruction and headquartered in Clayton.

“We decided there was an opportunity to step up in a big way,” Cohn told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday.

The platform includes math, reading, writing, literature and science courses for every grade level, expert-guided study hall sessions and age-appropriate enrichment units, such as “the science of pandemics” for middle schoolers, the newspaper reported.

Cohen said Varsity Tutors won’t profit from the free classes, but he thinks the coronavirus crisis will make online learning more mainstream. “People being open to online learning is a good long-term trend, and that’s why we felt obligated to help right now.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently profiled the Olin alumnus behind one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the country.

Chuck Cohn, BSBA ’08 and a 2017 Emerging Leader Honoree, is the founder and CEO of Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction online, on mobile devices and in person.

In his interview with the Post-Dispatch, he offered this advice to other entrepreneurs:

First, do something you are passionate about. It can be incredibly hard to build something that customers and the world value, so it’s important that you are passionate about the work you are doing. I know the work we are doing actually helps people and I get to see the positive feedback, testimonials and the impact we have on a lot of learners and it is really rewarding.

Second, listen to your customers. If you build something that solves their problems and helps them, you are a lot more likely to be successful. It’s important to survey your customers and never accept the status quo.

Last, you need to test everything. You need to constantly be trying to improve every aspect of your operation. Eventually you’ll build something special.

Check out the full Q&A with Chuck on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

#OlinKudos, Chuck!

Girl studying in the library

For most college students, finals week is the last frustrating task that stands between the end of the semester and the start of a well-deserved summer. While it’s unlikely that your finals week will be entirely calm and pleasant, how you spend your precious hours during this week can partially dictate just how challenging it is.

Chances are you’ve heard the usual finals advice to eat well and get enough rest. This is certainly true—but how, when, and with whom you study is also worthy of thought. Consider, for instance, these three common mistakes students make when studying for finals:

1. Reviewing class material for too long

Just like pulling an all-nighter can be detrimental to your health and your grade, a 12-hour block of studying can leave your brain fatigued and unable to accurately recall course information once your study session ends. To maximize your review efforts, limit your sessions to shorter lengths, such as an hour or two, and vary the subjects. Try devoting 30 minutes to each class, with three two-hour sessions spaced evenly throughout the day.

2. Solely using the same study methods

By the time you reach college, you probably know how you like to study, and it can be tempting to adhere to that technique and that technique only. But sometimes change can be a good thing. If there’s a particular concept you’re struggling to commit to memory, it may help to ditch the textbook and YouTube a lecture on the subject. Varying your review strategies enables you to approach the topic from multiple angles, deepening your understanding of the concept. This works equally well in both your most challenging and your easiest classes.

3. Isolating yourself from others

While excessive socializing with friends is unlikely to help you meet your goals for finals week or the semester, this doesn’t mean that you should lock yourself away in your dorm room or barricade yourself in a library carrel. There are two instances where socializing may even help your performance. First, if you can separate work from pleasure, studying with others can be a very effective way to clarify difficult or confusing content. (Remember that multiple learning strategies can help you master the entirety of a subject.) Second, a lunch date or a walk with a close friend can allow you to reset your mind and to refocus when you return to your review or you sit down to take a final.

This post was submitted by Varsity Tutors, founded in 2007 by Olin alumnus Chuck Cohn, BSBA ’08. Varsity Tutors is a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.

Image courtesy of Creative Commons/Wikipedia.