When I started my MBA experience it was with the goal of bettering my skill set as a manager in the field of civil engineering. My specific area of expertise is water resource management and it is certainly something I have grown passionate about through the past dozen years.
My dad was a small business owner. Not until now, as I work along with my wife to support our family and goals, did I fully understand the weight he carried on his shoulders. The sleepless nights he likely spent wondering if the business could make it through the hard times. Well, I applaud my dad.
His small business stood strong for much longer than most, and it provided a good life, but more importantly, great opportunities. My dad was not a college graduate, but he committed to support me and my three sisters through college, so we could each go out with any and every opportunity we could imagine (and were willing to work for). So, I have always said there is no way, no chance, not even a slight possibility I would ever be a small business owner.
Guess what…the MBA entrepreneurial spirit has bitten me, and I have made the leap. Actually, in this case, it is more like a very small jump, like stepping off a low curb to a safe street. Regardless, I now can claim that I am a Founding Partner of a small business. Hearing so many stories from classmates, ranging from really exciting to really depressing, I just could not avoid the temptation of staking claim to something I could mold and grow as part of my own vision (yes, along with my other Founding Partner).
It also serves as a testing ground for the skills I am learning on the fly here at Elon. See, the business is really intended to be more of a community or a resource, and the entire backbone of our launch concepts seems consistent with so much of what I learned in the elective Innovation Imperative. Combined with an expanded understanding of social media from my Managerial Communications course, I am finding al kinds of avenues and ideas to implement simple visions.
This business model might never get off the ground, or maybe we will see some success. Either way, it has been fun, and surprisingly low risk and low cost, just getting in the game. My warning to those of you in or considering the MBA Program here at Elon, you are likely to feel the same bite at some point along the way.
If it’s a strong itch, go ahead and scratch it. After all, you have already put yourself out there in pursuing the MBA, why not take that next step. If you are reading this, chances are pretty good you have what it takes to get something off the ground.