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College students who own their own business develop unique skills

(Photo courtesy of Shelby Queen)

Bahia Bowls, created and run by FGCU senior Ben Casey, officially opened its doors on Dec. 28 with the hopes of promoting healthy eating in Estero. Casey has led a business-oriented lifestyle ever since he was a child, delivering coolers full of ice to tourists in the Florida Keys along- side his brother.

With a short drive from FGCU’s campus and a simple customization process of the bowls, Casey hopes that word spreads to students about the new dining option nearby.

“As an FGCU student, that it can be very difficult to eat healthy all the time because of the high prices,” Casey said. “I made the menu and prices with this thought in mind.”

The process and commitment of starting a business could seem daunting to most, and that is a perfectly valid response. Owning and running a business isn’t all fun and games; even with the best product or service, there are small details that contribute to making or breaking a business.

“I saw the need for a fresh, clean and healthy dining option in the area,” Casey said. “I think it’s important that everyone has other reasonably priced options besides traditional fast food.”

Business owners must perfect a balance between their inventory and their prices. They must pay different bills, and for businesses dealing with food, they must pass food inspections. To keep customer interest alive, most small businesses have to develop new products or services that either improve existing ones or generate more consumer interest.

According to the Bureau of Labor, only 80 percent of small businesses on average survive past their first year.

However, starting and running a business is a smart option for college students because it teaches students a skill set that they can’t obtain from a classroom setting.

According to the New York Daily News, college students who run their own businesses learn the unique skills of marketing and selling them- selves, dealing and coming back from rejection and handling time management in an efficient way.

Not only does running and man- aging a business help develop these skills, but it allows students to build their resumes and stand out from their fellow peers, especially if the business is successful.

Realistically, though, we’re not all going to go out there and create successful small businesses that will guarantee us jobs after graduation. Starting a business like Casey did is certainly a path to take, and for some people, it may prove to be a viable option.

For most of us, however, there are other methods that can help to build the skill set that accompanies managing a business and can help our name to get around in the professional world.

Joining clubs and organizations on campus is not only a good way to practice time management, it can also help students earn leadership positions. Working a part-time job also helps with time management and leadership, and it can also help students come back from rejection due to the competitive interview and application process.

Even something as simple as introducing yourself to your professors and going to their office hours can improve your networking skills and teach you how to market your- self so that your name will be more memorable.

Owning a business could be cool, but what really matters is the skills that come from it that can be beneficial to students in the long run.

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