I did something out of the ordinary this semester. Well, at least, out of the ordinary for *me.* I chose to complete a minor that’s on the opposite end of the spectrum from my major. I’m an Editing Writing Media major, and I decided to minor in Entrepreneurship.
Let me give you some backstory… I was required to complete a minor alongside the coursework for my major. I’d originally hoped to minor in something like Creative Writing, but soon learned I wasn’t allowed to select a minor from my same department (English). So I scrolled through the list of minors, hoping I’d find something to interest me that would serve me well at the same time. I chose Communications, because I knew it’d pair well with my EWM major and because it’s what a lot of other students typically do. But the story doesn’t end there, friends…
Making this decision was difficult enough, UNTIL I realized I’d need to either double major or double minor in order to meet the credit requirement for graduation. It was a little late to double major, so I decided to go “shopping” for an additional minor, maybe something I’d overlooked previously. Computer Science? Film Studies? Education? Entrepreneurship? (I’ll give you one guess…)
I discussed the idea of minoring in Entrepreneurship with my parents. My dad and I get really excited about small business and startups (my dad owns a small business – he works from home and we love that he’s always around), and we both read a lot of books about motivated self-starters and becoming your own boss. I follow online entrepreneurs Pat Flynn, Melyssa Griffin, etc.
In some ways, I’ve already “dabbled” in entrepreneurship – I wrote and self-published three novels in middle / high school, I’ve worked as a private tutor, and for a while I helped bloggers / local authors set up WordPress sites (and charged for my services). More recently, I’ve begun charging for my photography.
SO… when it came time to select my second minor, I chose Entrepreneurship. I registered for two of the four required classes this past semester (spring 2017).
The week of drop/add (yes – first week of school), my dad took a closer look at one of my textbooks and expressed to me that it might be a difficult class. Naturally, I had a *mini* freakout following his proclamation. I described all this in a previous post on my previous blog (Brooke Reviews), which I’ve linked to if you’d like to check it out.
Basically, I was stressing because I worried I might have signed up for something I couldn’t handle – what if the minor wasn’t what I thought it was? What if I was wasting time/money on classes I wouldn’t utilize later? What if I was entering into an unnecessarily stressful semester (when I really didn’t have to!)? I worried the classes might take my time away from other, more important, major classes (or, God forbid, from my precious free time). <— *slight sarcasm*
Well, I sit here today, having completed my spring semester (*happy dance*), writing to express how thankful I am to have given Entrepreneurship a shot.
I have come out the other side – alive and well, in one piece. I’d say that’s a success. 😉
These are the reasons I’m glad I chose Entrepreneurship as my minor…
1. I challenged myself, and I’m better for it.
I believe it’s so important to challenge yourself. When you push through something difficult, you prove to yourself that you can do it. And this is so critical to building a positive self-image. By exposing myself to a very different type of class, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone – and, as a result, I experienced growth (both academically and personally!). Academic growth in the sense that my education is more well-rounded. I’ve taken a whole lot of English classes, which are all very similar, so taking these business-centered classes certainly bolstered my resume. And, hopefully, I’ll stand out compared to the other writing/editing majors I’m competing against. Personal growth in the sense that I was forced to explore a new section of campus, make new friends, work and study new material in a very different way than I’m accustomed to.
2. I met a lot of new people.
Last semester, while taking classes to finish up my Editing Writing Media major, I knew many of my fellow students. There were, like, maybe 4 students who were in 3 out of 4 of my on-campus English classes. Which, don’t get me wrong, is awesome – it’s super fun to have friends in class. This semester was different. Taking classes on the opposite side of campus, within a completely different subject-area, introduced me to an entirely new set of people. Students with different majors, different goals, different interests. And I really came to enjoy making such highly-motivated friends – entrepreneurship students are excited about all of life’s opportunities and are doing what they can NOW (yes, as full-time college students!) to set themselves up for LATER. I admire that.
3. My classes forced me to develop practical skills.
I say “forced” as though it were *painful* or something. Uncomfortable, yes… painful, not so much. 😉 I developed both public speaking and critical thinking skills, two activities I believe can always be improved. I put together presentations for both Entrepreneurship courses I took this semester – a powerpoint for my Funding Sources class to summarize a case study (and we updated the powerpoint every week, upon receiving new case information), and a presentation showcasing an interview with an entrepreneur (I interviewed Kortni Jeane!). One of my professors would call students at random – and, each week, I needed to be prepared in case he called my name. As it turned out, I was the only student to present my powerpoint TWICE. This same assignment (the case study powerpoint) required serious critical thinking skills – we were making strategic decisions regarding the case, thinking from the perspective of business owners and investors.
4. Entrepreneurship, specifically, has given me a lot of real-world advice.
First off, it’s important to note that “entrepreneurship” can mean a lot of things. Therefore, it’s applicable to almost anyone. I believe I’ve walked away from my classes having learned several helpful concepts (things I’ve heard from some of my favorite online entrepreneurs, as well!). For example, if you’re going to be a successful “entrepreneur,” you have to identify a need and meet that need. How can YOU uniquely meet the needs of your target audience? I don’t own a restaurant or my own boutique, but I’m a blogger, and this concept is just as critical. Also, the importance of networking. The first day I walked into class, one of my professors told us this: “It’s all about who you know, and what they know about you.” I think all of us college students recognize the truth in that, as we venture out into the world attempting to secure internships or jobs.
I wrote this post to express my appreciation for the Entrepreneurship minor and for everything I’ve learned this semester. But I ALSO wrote this post to encourage you, as a fellow student, to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Maybe you already know what you want to do, and who you want to be. But don’t let your intense focus give you tunnel vision. Keep an eye out for interesting opportunities to broaden your horizons and learn new things. You won’t regret it!