You’re almost done with high school, and let’s face it — you’re probably feeling a bit burned out. Maybe you’re wondering if college is the best place to discover your passions and deepen your creative skills. But take a second to consider this — what if your college experiences could help fuel your ability to launch a startup or other entrepreneurial business venture?
Here at Marymount University, we are dedicated to making every day of your undergraduate career an opportunity to hone the entrepreneurial skills that are necessary for the professional world. Our professors help shape a network that supports and propels students forward, and creates opportunities for real-world learning and hands-on experiences. If you think this all sounds too good to be real, think again.
At MU, we thrive on creating an environment where students are supported in their academic endeavors. In this space, students can collaborate, innovate, take initiative and find creative solutions to problems in their areas of interest. We are invested in maintaining this learning environment because it makes for better students, which makes for a better world.
It’s never too early to spark your innovative spirit.
At MU, you are surrounded by faculty and staff that have real-world experience, many of whom are entrepreneurs themselves. Find a mentor who will teach, support and challenge you. A mentor could be a professor or a faculty advisor to a student group you join. Draw from your mentor’s wealth of experience and ask them questions to deepen your knowledge base. Start with questions such as: What resources did you rely on when getting started? Having the knowledge you do now, what advice would you give your younger entrepreneurial self? How did you deal with failure and adversity? And how did you choose your business model?
This is also a great time to focus your attention on growing your basic entrepreneurial skills, which include resiliency, focus, long-term vision, management, self-reflection and self-reliance.
Expose yourself to creative thinking.
While in school, allow yourself to pursue various creative outlets. Creativity makes you a better student, and contributes to your overall well-being and the betterment of society. When we are inspired, we’re more likely to produce great work. College should be a place that ignites creativity, and doesn’t squash it. In trying to decide on a creative outlet, start with your interests and passions. You can turn this interest into a steady hobby, a creative project or a side source of income.
Here are a few tried-and-true ideas to keep you going while in school:
It’s important to have a place to go and bounce around your ideas, ask for encouragement or criticism, or just have peers to listen to you.
Keep a journal of ideas.
Sometimes crazy (but brilliant!) ideas pop into your head. Keep a journal of all those ideas and return to it as a source of inspiration or for a fresh start.
Collaborate with peers who have different passions.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you are working with the same material over a long period of time. Collaboration with peers in a completely different area of entrepreneurship can help you to approach your passion from a new angle.
Adopt a questioning mindset.
People who are constantly questioning their process and work are innovators, always looking for ways to improve and be more effective or efficient. Do the same!
Flexibility increases productivity.
Studies have found that productivity increases when employees are allowed to work when (and in the way) they want. Find a coffee shop, a corner of the library or a spot in some open green space and claim it as your office.
Set up a reward system for yourself.
At the beginning of each month, set a list of goals related to your project or hobby. As you complete these goals, reward yourself for accomplishing them. This keeps you motivated and on-task.
Focus on achieving your goals, rather than doing it the way it should be or has always been done. Don’t be afraid to try and accomplish a goal through non-traditional methods. This type of experimenting is the stuff that leads to major breakthroughs.
Explore the various academic (and extracurricular!) opportunities at Marymount.
Marymount allows students to engage in various opportunities that relate to entrepreneurship and creativity. We are continuously emphasizing intellectual curiosity, service to others and a global perspective. We provide a student-centered learning community that values diversity while focusing on the education of each individual.
And while the Admissions team at Marymount is concerned with aspiring college students picking the right college based on individual needs, we hope that you’ll take a look at the ways in which Marymount University makes it a priority to cultivate each student’s aspirations and ambitions. We hope you’ll visit our campus and learn more about being a part of our growing and thriving family.
We know that you dream big and are looking forward to your unique future. Sometimes it can feel like college is just one more hurdle standing between you and your dreams. However, the pressures of studying, grades and exams don’t have to squash your entrepreneurial spirit. Here at Marymount University, we want to help you nurture that spirit by equipping you with the tools, experiences, opportunities and community to ignite your passion and keep that spirit alive.