Linda Tong plans on growing her planner business. When she isn’t studying, Linda enjoys playing piano, singing, and spending time with her cats.
Get to know Linda
- Major: Event management
- Class: Senior
- Hometown: West Des Moines, Iowa
- Career goal: CEO and founder of Linda Tong Planners
- Clubs/activities: PCMA, CYstarters, Student Union Board
- Awards/honors: Multicultural Vision Program scholarship, Liberal Arts and Sciences Excellence Scholarship, Anne Shaner Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management Award, PCMA Legacy Society scholarship, Most Outstanding Event (SUB), First place CHS Pitch Competition, Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Regnier Venture Creation Competition, First place for Best in Show in CHS Entrepreneurship Showcase
- Favorite place on campus: Student Innovation Center
- Most influential ISU mentor: Linda Niehm
- Favorite class: AESHM 474, Entrepreneurship in Human Sciences
- Why Iowa State: Full tuition scholarship
Linda Tong grows business while being an active member of the Iowa State community
Linda Tong came to Iowa State University on a full tuition scholarship to study vocal music education. After three years, she has earned her bachelor of arts degree in music, and will earn another degree in event management in the coming year.
Always having a knack for creativity, Linda started her business Linda Tong Planners after her first year of college, which inspired her to study event management. The first planner she designed was meant for herself, but when her friends saw it, they requested some themselves. This then grew to nearly 600 orders after Linda’s TikTok advertising her business went viral.
“I figured I needed to scale my business if I wanted to keep growing and if I wanted to keep continuing the business after college,” Linda said.
She was able to get help with her business expansion through the CYstarters program – a program from the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship designed to help Iowa State students develop their business ideas and goals.
The CYstarters program of summer 2020 took place online, and Linda was able to get advice from multiple business professionals as she planned her business growth. Linda Tong Planners are now available for limited purchase at Innovate 1858 in the Student Innovation Center.
Aside from her business, she has also been a special events director for the Student Union Board. In that role, she got to plan ISU After Dark events such as David Dobrick’s visit to campus last fall.
“It was our biggest [event] and super hyped up leading up to the event. About 1,000 people attended, and it was really cool to be able to facilitate the logistics for all of the celebrities that came to the university,” Linda said.
Along with her extracurriculars, Linda has always held a 21 credit course load. She has taken a large number of classes, but her favorite class is AESHM 474, Entrepreneurship in Human Sciences. She said that she was able to learn the technical side of business which she applied to Linda Tong Planners.
“I liked that I was able to work on my business for the class,” she said. “That way it kind of forced me to really think about the aspects of my business, what I want for the future, and learn more about what it takes to run a business.”Student Spotlights