Some people were born to be entrepreneurs--from the little kid selling lemonade by the side of the road to the high schooler making thousands selling T-shirts online.
But when it comes time to pick a college, many feel a little stuck. After all, there’s not always an “entrepreneurship” major. Luckily, Anna Prior at The Wall Street Journal has you covered. In a recent article, she explored how budding entrepreneurs can--and should--form a different college experience than the majority of their peers.
Here are the top three takeaways:
1. Pick your school carefully. The quality of the school as an academic institution is secondary to the networking opportunities it provides, Prior writes. After all, entrepreneurs aren’t going to have a boss peering at their resume, they'll be their own bosses. “A prestigious school, or one with a solid track record of student startups, may draw more well-connected students and quality mentors. Similarly, a school with a strong alumni network (think highly rated or Ivy League) can offer a wealth of potential business contacts and investors.”
2. Beware student debt. Many students don’t even consider their student debt until they’re well out of college, even the entrepreneurial-minded ones. This, says Prior, is a huge mistake: “Business owners loaded with student debt may end up in a big financial hole,” she writes. “Their families may have tapped out their resources helping to pay for school, leaving them unable to contribute to the business, and the entrepreneurs themselves may face a tough time qualifying for traditional business loans or other types of financing.”
3. Go for the experience. Future entrepreneurs don’t need to major in business--in fact, Prior recommends majoring in anything you’re passionate about. It’s more fun, and a more diverse experience will build all sorts of entrepreneurial skills. “Instead of putting all their time and energy into keeping their GPA high, entrepreneurial students should focus on taking away the information and skills they need, as well as key relationships and experiences,” Prior writes.