Campus Celebrity: The Accomplished Christian Hanish


Christian Hanish, is the creator of OpenRuns, Professional Chair for Alpha Kappa Psi, and co-founder of a startup called Flypd. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Christian is currently a Junior at Pepperdine University studying Finance. He's well-known amongst his friends for being good looking, accomplished, driven, and humble. Christian is on his way to making his mark at Pepperdine University and in the city of Los Angeles; he will definitely be successful!

What are you involved on campus with?

"Currently, I am a junior Finance major, proud executive board member of Alpha Kappa Psi, as well as, a male practice player for the women’s basketball team! Outside of class I’m really into entrepreneurship. Just a couple weeks ago I launched an app for basketball players called OpenRuns, and I am also co-founding a startup called Flypd with a Pepperdine alum that’s set to launch on-campus in the next month or so!"

How do you define success?

"In my opinion, success is waking up everyday to something that excites you, getting to do something that you’re enthusiastic about. Regardless of whether or not these two projects of mine take off, I’d like to consider myself somewhat succeeding right now simply because every day I get to work on something that I’m passionate about and that makes me excited to be alive. "

What are your plans five years from now?

"Hmm, five years from now I hope to still be living in LA and pursuing entrepreneurship. I’m hopeful that in the next five years both the app and the startup will have gained some significant traction and can serve as stepping stones to further ventures."

How did you start (OpenRuns, Flypd, etc)?

"As far as OpenRuns, like I said I’ve been involved with the Pepperdine basketball program since coming to Malibu three years ago and it was always a goal of mine to combine two passions: athletics and entrepreneurship. It just took me a little time to find the right idea. As for Flypd, my co-founder (Pablo Orrantia) was actually an ΑΚΨ alum, so last year when he and his buddy wanted to found a startup, he approached ΑΚΨ’s then-President looking for someone to help with business development and she just happened to recommend me."

How do you balance your time while being a busy person?

"Time management is actually something I’m still trying to perfect myself, there’s a learning curve with everything. I’ve honestly never been one to enjoy having much down time, so when it comes to fitting everything into one day I can usually find a way to do it. With everything that’s been going on lately, I’ve also kinda been learning to perform on just 4-5 hours of sleep...but that’s probably not something I should be admitting."

What do you like to do for fun?

"It may sound a bit cliché, but I actually get a lot of fun out of working on these startups. It’s cool to see something that was once just an idea in your head actually turn into a living and breathing reality, and if other people happen to take to the idea too, then that’s just icing on the cake."

What do you miss most about home?

"This is probably the perfect time to ask me that question, as I just flew home to St. Louis for last week’s long weekend and realized how much I miss having a traditional fall. Trust me, I appreciate 75 and sunny in the middle of December though too."

You are so accomplished with everything you've done. What advice would you give someone who's looking into starting their own small business or app?

"Be resourceful. If you have an idea that you’re passionate about and are willing to work like hell for, use anyone and anything around you to make that dream become a reality. Get those around you just as fired up about the idea as you are and you’ll see how genuine some people are and how quickly they’re willing to help. Our community here at Pepperdine is a perfect place to start."

What's something most people don't know about you?

"Oooh, I always hate this question because I can never think of anything….Really, I can’t think of anything, lol."

What advice would you give others about networking?

"Honestly to be audacious and take some risks. The best piece of advice I’ve heard recently in regards to networking came from a gentleman I brought in to speak to us for ΑΚΨ, Barry Garapedian, he’s the Director of Sports & Entertainment at Morgan Stanley. His main point was that if you want to talk to someone like himself, just go up and do it, even ask him to meetup for coffee sometime simply because you’d like to pick his brain. He said the majority of us won’t say no, and the ones who do, you probably don’t want to be working for anyways."

What does Pepperdine mean to you?

"To me, Pepperdine is family. It’s an environment filled with endless support and encouragement. Everyday, this campus gives us all an opportunity to become better people and the resources to develop ourselves into the men and women whom we want to be tomorrow."