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Meet Kynan Reynolds

Kynan Reynolds

Alumni Spotlight

Kynan Reynolds recently graduated magna cum laude, earning degrees in both marketing and management. In addition to this, he earned a minor in military studies and a certificate in professional sales. Following his graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, a journey that he is continuing to pursue.

Q: Why did you choose to attend Iowa State University?

While in high school, I was awarded a four-year $180,000 scholarship from the United States Marine Corps to attend any school in the country that had an NROTC program. Due to a job I held in high school, I knew that I wanted to do something with sales. Of the schools I was looking at that had an NROTC unit, Iowa State had a defined sales track within a marketing degree. To my excitement, the sales track later expanded into a new sales program that the school has been investing in, making me even happier with my decision.

(Pictured second from the right) Kynan Reynolds, second lieutenant, United States Marine Corps

Q: During your time as a student, what was your key to academic success?

I would have to say it was creating a schedule and avoiding procrastination. At the start of every week, I would write down everything I needed to accomplish. This made it very easy to keep track of the tasks ahead. As far as procrastination goes, I learned that getting things done at the start of the week made my life easier. Whether it was one of my 15-credit semesters or 24-credit semesters, I would wake up Monday morning and dedicate my day to work. More often than not, I was able to complete every assignment for the week that day or split it into two days and finish on Tuesday. This left my week open for whatever I wanted to do and made it so I did not fall prone to excess academic stress.

Q: What was your biggest takeaway from your time at Iowa State?

Position, rank, and academic achievement don’t necessarily correlate to ability. Although there is something to be said for obtaining these things, I have found that many times, those that hold these respective items are not the most capable people in the group. Don’t become blinded by awards or position because there is a chance that the best in the group has none.

Q: What role did your professors play in your development and success?

Truthfully, for much of my time at Iowa State, I didn’t engage with my professors. It wasn’t until I started taking classes in the sales department that I began to really talk with professors outside of what was necessary for class. This opened an entirely new door for me that gave me a lot of new opportunities as a student. I learned a ton of useful information outside of what I would have learned by merely sitting in the classroom. Probably my favorite academic memory was representing the school at the International Collegiate Sales Competition in Orlando, Florida. This was something that I was able to do only because my professors offered me the position on the team during dialogue outside of class. Looking back, I should have spent more time engaging with my professors during my college experience.

Q: What advice would you give to students trying to make the most out of their time at Iowa State?

The greatest piece of advice that I would offer students would be to actively seek opportunities. It is easy to just sit in class and get a degree. The students I saw who were successful beyond their peers and got the best job offers were the ones that sought out opportunities and actively engaged with their professors in the area that interested them both in and out of the classroom. Ivy does a great job of bringing companies in front of students and creating the ability for students to interact with these organizations, so don’t waste it.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

The day after I graduated from Iowa State, I commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. My next step is to report to The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Virginia, for six months of training. Following this, I will go to my military occupational specialty (MOS) school. Upon completion of that school, I will report to my unit and serve the remaining time in my four-year contract. At some point, I aspire to go to graduate school and get my master’s degree.