June 1, 2009
Kristin Mamrack -
At the age of 16, Hagan Walker already is becoming a captain of the computer industry.
With a desire to help people struggling with technology and a hope to bring new technology to others, Walker, a Columbus High School student, recently started his own computer repair and tutorial business, Hagan Computer Services, and more recently launched his Web site: www.hagancomputerservices.com.
Don''t be fooled by his youthfulness; the son of Jim and Leigh Walker has nearly a decade of experience backing him.
How did you develop an interest in computers and how have you prepared for starting your own business?
I''ve always liked technology. When I was around (age) 7, our computer messed up. I had to reformat the hard drive, reinstall (the) Windows (operating system), everything. All my friends always ask me to help them when something is wrong with their (computers), so I said, ''Why not? I''ll make my talent a business!''
I started (the business) this summer. I do general computer repairs, if your computer is slow and has viruses, that sort of thing. I can fix anything that''s wrong with one.
I kind of taught myself what I know. It''s just something I''ve done for a while now and I thought this would be a good idea, instead of mowing yards and what other teenagers do during the summer.
You start school as a high school junior in the fall. How do you plan to balance school and work?
I''m sure I''ll still continue to do this. It just depends on how busy I''ll get.
What do you plan to do with the money you earn?
Our school is starting an International Baccalaureate (diploma program) next year. If I get enough money to help them out, I''d like to donate some laptops to some of the kids who can''t afford them.
What do you enjoy the most about working with computers and what do you find to be most challenging?
It''s just something that comes easy to me. It''s better than being outside mowing a yard in 100-degree weather.
Figuring out what''s wrong with the computer (is most challenging), if the customer doesn''t know. I have to test and see what''s wrong with it and then figure out what I need to do to fix it.
Also, most people underestimate me because of my age. They don''t think I know what I''m doing, but I just like to prove them wrong and show them I can actually save them a little bit of money, too.
What do your parents think of you owning your own business?
They''re very supportive of me. They really want me to do well, but at the same time, they want me to make sure I make money and am not just sitting around all summer. They really push for me to do what they can.
What advice would you give your sister, Caroline, 12, and other youth with an entrepreneurial spirit?
Stick to what you want to do; anything''s possible. You''ve just got to have the right mindset.