Entrepreneurship Lessons I will Take Post Graduation
Note: This is a guest post by Entrepreneurship Student Ambassador and President, Marissa Noon. Marissa is a senior at NC State studying Textile Engineering in the Wilson College of Textiles with a minor in Industrial Engineering in the College of Engineering. Her goal is to work on implementing electronics into clothing to focus on at-home wellness and overall optimize people’s quality of life.
College graduation is exciting for most people. One chapter closes and the next one opens. For some people, the next chapter looks like graduate school, a full-time job, taking a gap year, or starting an entrepreneurial endeavor. It can oftentimes be overwhelming with how many options a 20-something-year-old has to choose from, and how their choice can change the trajectory of his/her entire life. With my time in undergrad coming to an end, I am obligated to make a decision on what I want the beginning of my adult life to look like. Although I don’t have all the answers just yet, there are three skills that my entrepreneurial experience has taught me that I will continue to keep after graduation.
Leverage LinkedIn to Build Your Network
LinkedIn is a wonderful way to stay connected to classmates, faculty, alumni, and potential new friends. I started using LinkedIn when I was a sophomore in college and since then have created many new connections throughout the Raleigh-Durham area. This networking platform is beneficial for discovering your passions and exploring new jobs, as well as seeing if you have a connection at a company or industry you’re interested in. I will continue to use LinkedIn to post about my interests and message people about their entrepreneurial experiences. Luckily, I have been able to connect with a lot of people who have expertise in many different areas.
Where there are Entrepreneurs, There are Friends
When you are in a new city or new phase of your life, it can be hard to make friends. I believe that making friends in your early 20s is harder than making friends in college. When you’re in college, you are taking classes with people, eating in the dining halls with people, and living in dorms with people. You have one factor connecting you to your peers: your surroundings. When entrepreneurship becomes that factor, you are able to create meaningful relationships with people who will push you out of your comfort zone. These people will surround you with sound advice, and support you in life and your ventures. My friends in the entrepreneurship world are some of the best people I know. They all have grit— the determination to persevere when life gets hard. Wherever I will be in the next couple months, I want to know that I have people around me that share my entrepreneurial mindset and serve as my support network.
Never Stop Learning
Entrepreneurship taught me that I will always have a vast amount of resources to continue to learn well after my undergraduate time is over. Throughout my time at NC State, I have been able to attend various workshops and speaker series. The workshops have allowed me to experiment with different machines such as the laser printer and the 3D printer. The speaker series have allowed me to learn from industry experts and have shed a light on how pursuing a passion leads to making a significant impact. When I graduate from college, one of my goals is to continue to stay involved and take advantage of events and workshops throughout my city. There are plenty of opportunities to join in on entrepreneurship events via EventBrite, Facebook Groups, and LinkedIn. I have always had a passion for learning and graduation does not mean the learning stops – it’s an opportunity to hone in on my passions.
No matter where life takes me, I know that with these skills that NC State Entrepreneurship has taught me, I am very well equipped to thrive. The future is crazy to think about and even crazier to know that it’ll become the present in 3 short months, but I am along for the ride!
Connect with Marissa on LinkedIn.