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Student Entrepreneur Finds Ways to Apply Classroom Lessons to His Startup and Life

A GSB student posing on Yorkview balcony

Rahad Khan ’23 wasn’t sure what to really expect from attending a college, but he quickly discovered how York College of Pennsylvania could complement his entrepreneurial endeavors. 

Rahad Khan ’23 is always up for a challenge. He decided to take on six courses this semester just to see what it would be like. It turns out that might have been more work than he anticipated, but it’s nothing he can’t handle. He looks at the workload as a chance to refine his work ethic and time management skills.

For Khan, everything is a learning experience. “If I can take an experience, whether it be good or bad, and turn it around and apply what I learned to something later, that’s worth it for me,” he says. A graduate of York Suburban High School, he wasn’t sure what to expect out of college.

“The greatest value I’ve gained thus far is the practice of discipline, and the relationships I have formed with people in York,” he says. “That’s something you can’t really put a price on.”

Born in Bangladesh, Khan came to the United States with his family to pursue a better life. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to pursue as a career. He had many interests growing up and looked for ways to create his own ventures, whether it be providing lawn care service, technology repair service, or running an e-commerce business.

When he decided to attend York College of Pennsylvania as a Business Administration major, it was with the intent that he could apply his classroom lessons to his entrepreneurial endeavors.

Experience is everything

When he was in the fifth grade, Khan wrote a paper titled, “When I am 64,” in which he reflected on his life when he retired. As a young boy, he already knew then that he wanted to do something not just for himself, but for the world. He saw business as the best route for doing that.

Today, he’s the co-founder of Lotus Multimedia Inc., a startup he founded with a friend during his senior year of high school. Lotus is a social media platform that lets users share, discover, and listen to music regardless of what music streaming service they have. Their mission is to disrupt the social media landscape. Khan has been working on Lotus for more than two years, and it has made his college experience much more meaningful.

“One day we’re designing screens for the app, then we’re fundraising, and then we’re hiring people to work with us and learning everything in between,” Khan says. “From all of my classes, I have found ways to apply something, if not everything to our start. It’s all a collective experience.”

But, he says, it’s not just the business classes that apply to his venture. He loves tapping into his electives, such as psychology, to understand human behavior and how people might interact with his app.

“I don’t sit in class and wonder how I’ll use this information,” he says. “I take it all in with the intention to find something to apply it to, either for Lotus or in my life overall.”

A love for York 

As a commuter student, Khan has found ways to get involved in the York community and connect with resources. He learned about The Grotto, a coworking space in downtown York, where he could network with other entrepreneurs. In fact, it was Lotus that brought him to The Grotto when they hosted a pitch competition two years ago. He was so intrigued by the vision The Grotto had for York that he knew had to get involved one way or another. He eventually joined The Grotto as a board member and serves to progress its mission, however he can. 

“The more you learn about something, the more you fall in love with it as you come to realize its strengths and weaknesses, and I think that’s how true passion develops,” he says. “During the past two years, I have developed a passion for York in a way I never thought I would have.”