Charlotte Vitak, founder of My Story and May 2017 college graduate, recently shared her thoughts on starting your own business directly out of college in her interview with Julia Westfall.
Like many college freshman, Charlotte’s first year was difficult for her. She struggled to find her friends and a supportive community even though she felt very prepared academically. She also knew that many of her classmates felt that way too. Given her experience and desire to improve her and other students’ experiences, she decided to hold an event and have students share their stories in order to get to know each other. The event was a huge success so she knew her idea was on target. Her business was launched and her mission and vision became clear.
When Julia asked her about the future of My Story Charlotte replied, “The goal of My Story is to change each and every person’s college experience for the better.”
Fast forward three years and she is now working with other universities looking to host her event on their campuses. We asked her to share her advice for other students looking to start their own businesses after graduation. Here are her three takeaways:
1. Take advantage of your status as a student. People will open their doors and talk with you to support you in your learning
2. Universities are rich in resources available to students that include networking, mentors, funding opportunities and entrepreneurship programs. Professors are very willing to help you make connections to prepare for the future. Take advantage of that during your four years.
3. When starting out on your own make a routine for yourself to help keep yourself accountable. The sooner you can get in the habit of prioritizing your work, the sooner your business will accelerate.
Although Charlotte admits that there are times when she wonders if she is making the right move, the support of her family and community keep her pushing forward.
“When in doubt, start with gratitude,” is her mantra.