Recent Rutgers Graduate Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Share College Success Strategies

Holmdel’s Sarah Waxman, a recent graduate from Rutgers University, is on a mission to share her time management strategies and tools to help other college students get the most out of their college experiences. She believes she has an approach to help improve performance for college students and is launching a Kickstarter campaign to bring her ideas to market.

While many students struggle to complete the typical 120 credits required for graduation, Sarah completed over 187 credits and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rutgers University in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree, while triple majoring in food science research, nutritional science, and biology – all in four years. During her four years at Rutgers, she also completed independent food science research and presented her findings at five different national and international conferences. She was a full-time resident assistant on Rutgers Cook Campus and was president of the undergraduate food science club. As she noted, “I had a very busy schedule, and for me, time management was critical. An academic planner was not just nice to have; it was critical to my survival in college. The only problem was, I could never find a planner that worked for me as a busy college student.”

Over the 2014 summer break, Sarah decided to work with her dad, a retired software executive, to design a student-focused planner. They realized most planners are primarily designed to schedule and keep track of meetings. But a typical college student is in class for only 15 hours a week. So Sarah and her dad focused their design on a student’s ever-expanding list of things to do – long-term semester projects, short-term week-over-week assignments, and even activities not related to academics, but necessary when living on your own. Sarah commented, “We tested our design ideas with other students for over two years. Our “aha” moment came when we realized that any to-do item could also be treated as a scheduled event.” And so, their resulting design focused on a simple way to effectively connect to-do lists with each daily schedule.

Sarah and her dad decided to name their product the METIS Planner, named after the Greek goddess of wisdom, planning, advice, and deep thought. In order to gauge interest in launching the product, they are utilizing a crowdfunding model using Kickstarter, which allows a product designer to present an idea and solicit supporters that agree to fund the project in return for some reward. Of course, in Sarah’s case, the main reward would be a printed and bound copy of the 2016-2017 METIS Planner and access to the full METIS system, which includes downloads providing academic helpers, financial helpers, and goal trackers.

Sarah even noted that she really wants to see students start to use the planner and as described on their Kickstarter page, she will provide a free digital print-at-home version to anyone that helps spread the word on social media. The METIS Planner campaign has until July 15 to meet its funding target of $1,500. Sarah said, “By staying organized and keeping ahead of all assignments, students will not only be able to succeed in the classroom, they will have the time to do what they want to do and have an amazing college experience.”