Tag Archives: college

College: An entrepreneur’s playground

What business did you start in college?

College is an experience unlike any other that one will face in their lives.  It is the transition years between juvenile thinking, and professionalism.  Within this transition, we as college students are striving to find our innate purpose in life.  This conquest drives us to not only challenge ourselves, but also challenge those around us.  Many find their ambitions of success beyond college as their personal motivation for the success they have achieved while at their university.  Needless to say, a college or university campus is pulsing with determined and motivated students, looking to put their education and ideas into practice.

As a marketing or advertising major, you find yourself surrounded by wonderful new products, services, or ideas every day.  You drop your mouth in awe at the products and services you discover that you believe you could have easily come up with yourself and been the one to become rich. Or, you kick yourself because the product or service you did come up with is now being commercialized on TV.  But why do we hold back from these possibly million dollar ideas? Is it because we are scared of failure? Or possibly, we just lack the proper direction on the path to entrepreneurship.

Some of the greatest ideas have come from college students. Take Facebook for example. Mark Zuckerberg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Zuckerberg) was only a sophomore when he launched the popular social media site, Facebook. Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University before they began working on Google. Okay, you are right, these are extreme cases, I know. Let us take a look at a small business idea formed by students at the University of Pittsburgh called, The Xclusive Life (http://thexclusivelife.myshopify.com/?oid=1031_5). The idea behind their start up business is that they would print only 100 artistic t-shirts for purchase, causing the shirts to become more of rare pieces of art, rather than an item sold to the masses.

With the diverse types of students, majors, and ideas that circulate through your college and universities, why not take the next step into formulating your own business? Take your future into your own hands and utilize the talent around you.  Find the best students in marketing, accounting, management, graphic design, computer science, etc. and begin turning those otherwise disregarded ideas into a future. You are given everything you need to be successful post college; the only step missing is taking action. So let this be your direction toward entrepreneurship and take action now, do not let your possible success story go unachieved.

 

Internships: If You Want to Fetch Coffee all Day, Work at Starbucks

Not all internships require you to serve coffee!

Your school has most likely pushed the importance of getting an internship to you about 400 times since you first started attending. Like any kid responding to a parent over soliciting a request we zone these attempts to get through to us out and stay contempt with our summer waitressing job. Having a job is important, of course, but having a job that relates to your future, well that’s even more important. The kid who just walked out of the interview room before you who has two internships under his belt and a page and a half of references from those internships has just made your life a little more complicated.

Let’s look at some of the reasons students don’t obtain internships. “All you end up doing is getting coffee and filing papers.” I don’t blame you! In my internship search experience I have come across many jobs that basically have that in their job description. But I have also come across just as many that have firsthand beneficial experiences in their job descriptions. If you don’t believe me, go to www.collegecentral.com now and I can guarantee you find posts like that.

Another concern of ours is not all internships pay you. Again, being a broke college student, this is a big concern of mine as well. But I have taken an internship this summer at an advertising company that will not be paying me. Instead, I will be profiting through the priceless experience I will be receiving. An experience I could never receive while being in a classroom that I pay money to attend.

When searching for an internship you want to look for some key factors. First is atmosphere. Choose a company with great communication and enthusiasm of your services. This can easily be seen during the beginning contact stage. Secondly, growth. An internship is the best opportunity to get your foot in at a company. Look for possible growth opportunities even after you have completed your internship. Last but most importantly, experience. Taking an internship that puts you right into the action, having you make key decisions about the company, letting you take the wheel at times, is far more important than one that has you licking envelopes all day.

The Power of the Green Man Suit

green man

The green man's always in front!

Face it, we all have attended a major sporting event, Dave Matthews Concert, or high school pep rally, and seen him. He floats around the crowd causing a wave of excitement like your section’s very own mascot on Redbull. With his power of attention, he is able to draw crowds, receive immediate acceptance, and separate himself from the thousands of other spectators. How does one man do this? With the power of the green man suit.

For those of you unfamiliar with the green man suit, it is a skin tight spandex material that covers the person from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet. It’s different, unique, eye-catching, and due to that, people want to surround themselves with it! This concept of receiving attention, drawing interest, gaining acceptance, and separating yourself from your peers are some of the most important aspects of a brand. And what is the most important brand to develop during your college experience? Yourself!

Now I’m not implying that buying a green suit and parading around your campus will benefit your brand but in a world of ongoing competition, we don’t have time to be looked at as a number, but instead looked at as an asset! How do you go about that? Simple. Find your own personal “green suit.” What separates you from Joe and Jane Smith sitting next to you in class? What makes you so special that makes the world stop, and turn its attention toward you?

During your whole career at your college or university you most likely have been flowing down the lazy river of what your school supplies you. You are given the tools and told what to build. But a true marketer has no boundaries. We are trained to identify value in a product, so why not first find the value in yourself?

Start with your resume. After all, it is your greatest form of self advertisement. Next, establish connections. No, I am not talking about Facebook friends; I am talking about true face-to-face networking connections. You never know where your next reference may come from. Lastly, involve yourself with every good opportunity; whether it be small or large, that presents itself. Never take for granted the smallest opportunity to experience something new. You will find the smallest involvements can turn into the greatest achievements. Just like our friend in the green man suit. A simple concept as an outfit selection can cause quite the reaction.