Ryan Munce is a 34-year-old Vice President of Content & Strategy at myCollegeOptions, the nation’s largest college planning program. Designed to assist high school students in exploring a wide range of post-secondary opportunities, myCollegeOptions places special emphasis on the college search process. The millions of students that participate in the myCollegeOptions.org program create a free, personal, online college and career planning profile. Students can match their individual needs, talents, abilities, goals, and interests with the offerings of over 5,500 accredited post-secondary institutions across the United States.
Five Questions with Ryan Munce
Title aside, what would you say it is that you do in your current position?
I have several roles within the company, including research and development, new business development, strategic relationships, and managing our consumer-facing brands. Additionally, I have had the responsibility of defining and implementing the strategy and direction of our college planning program. All of these efforts allow me to ensure a unified voice across all of our audiences and to provide the appropriate translations for various generations when communicating our brand, mission, and purpose.
Given that your organization is making this investment in you, would you say that you’re more likely to pursue career growth within the organization rather than looking elsewhere?
Improving education outcomes and student success is my passion. Our organization gives me the best platform to put my passion into action. So, I don’t plan to ever leave! On a personal level, the Next Leader Now program has helped me grow in my role and set me on a path to achieve my personal career goals within my current organization. This program — the development, coaching, and knowledge transfer — has helped me to focus on what I’m able to accomplish in my current role while building for the future.
One of the early exercises in the program is developing a personal vision that guides your overall personal strategic plan. What impact do you think Next Leader Now has had and will have on your ability to achieve that vision?
A leader is only as successful as the people that work for them. I needed a better way to communicate and organize my team around a shared mission and objective. Next Leader Now gave me exactly what I needed in this regard. I am now closer to my goals because my team is performing as a more cohesive unit, a direct result of my participation in the Next Leader Now program.
Do you think your peers would be more likely to pursue career opportunities with an organization that is offering Next Leader Now? Why?
Yes. I also believe my peers would be much more likely to stay with an organization that was offering the Next Leader Now program. Companies should be using NLN as a retention tool; just as aggressively as they would use it to recruit new talent. This program allows companies to prove that they have the best interest of their employee in mind. Today’s successful companies know that employees (especially Millennials) seek development and growth opportunities. This program from Solutions 21 is a perfect example of making promises a reality.
If you could bust one myth about Millennials (born 1980-2000), what would it be?
While there are several myths I would like to bust, the most important one to me is busting the myth behind our generation constantly asking, “Why?” When we ask “Why?” it is to learn, not to challenge. We have our own style of discovery. A style unlike any previous generation. When we ask “Why?” we are simply being inquisitive. We are asking in order to understand. If encouraged and allowed, this leads to greater contribution and better overall results.