Discover Your Passion in Five Useful College Majors for Women Entrepreneurs

imagesOperating a prosperous small company is definitely an aspiration for several young women. Most entrepreneurs fulfill this ambition after they immediately discover their niche while earning their college degree and take pleasure in the advantages of owning a company they adore. For a few others, the small business prosperity picture may feel miles away.

The distinction between dreams and real-life is within the education selections that potential small business entrepreneurs come up with while in school and within the college majors that women seek.

Strive for something unconventional, step out against the masses,and discover your interests and your obsessions. 

Previous to launching any sort of enterprise, women must start with a perspective; ponder on places they want to be several years later; and consider what solutions they intend to deliver to the general public and to their communities. Likewise, women should consider the academic diploma that is going to give them the skill-sets to launch their venture.

Necessity and quantity principles imply that when a lot of folks start the identical small business, it gets significantly tough to be competitive. That’s why women business owners really should study programs that other women usually do not take on.

Identifying Your Domain Through Learning Business Fundamentals

In addition to discovering passions and interests, women also need to seek a major of study that complements small businesses. The bottom-line is, “the degree entrepreneurs go for really should match both their inner-strengths and also deliver resources to enable them to participate in business sectors.” Women can find schools that offer such tools by visiting education search engines like Degree Jungle.

Have a look at Forbes Woman’s five, most-popular college and university majors for small business owners and find out if your passion sits within one of them.

Statistics:  Every small company deals with information. A statistics major will definitely assist women in moving numbers around to the extent that they can create more suitable long-term decisions. Stat majors can effortlessly analyze data in valuable approaches and deliver mathematical justifications for activities such as launching products, employing additional men and women and applying strategies. It really is favorable for women business owners to have solid information at their fingertips, data they can easily safeguard and study for future operations.

Computer Information Systems: Technology impacts almost every facet of business, and the expense of hiring virtual CIO solutions can be costly. Problem solving is certainly a typical quality between CIS grads; this major includes an extraordinary assortment of talents. Social media networking, search engine marketing and desktop management, each useful skill-sets any type of business could profit from.

Communications: Every small business entrepreneur really should have the ability to communicate naturally. Communication studies connect to the methods humans interact with each other, and so certainly, the communications major receives an understanding of spoken and nonverbal messaging, useful assets when it comes to taking care of clients and staff members, and society.

Financial Planning and Management: Finance is definitely the center of enterprise, and without it, absolutely no establishment can stay alive. This is certainly the reason why supervision of money sources is vital and the reason why entrepreneurs must know the ins-and-outs of money management. The financial management major educates women in the best ways to assess their company’s economic performance through forecasting, profile managing, money control, global money management, and investment risk management.

Economics: This particular major offers women broad views of the functions of quality, expense and price. These concepts are required to learn small business economics, which helps women become more competitive with other entrepreneurs throughout market arenas.

 

About the author: Geoffrey Harrison is an experienced education writer specializing in career path guidance and scholarship acquisition. A frequent contributor to education resource site DegreeJungle, Geoffrey enjoys spending time with his family at their home in Madison, Wisconsin.

How to network: tips for building your business

Networking can be scary and daunting, especially if you’re new this game. You may think that networking isn’t necessary to your business and that you can get away with simply sending out emails and trying to reach out to people through other means. This thought process isn’t going to get you very far. Networking is important to help grow your business and help build relationships, which will prove important throughout your time in the industry. So, to make the process smooth and effective, we’ve put together a list of tips and hints that have helped us and will hopefully be of use to you.

Arrive on time. We know that you think it’s cool to show up fashionably late, but at networking events it’s best to be early or on time. You have more time to meet people and you are there before the big rush, giving you an advantage. The more people you talk to, the better. So don’t waste any time trying to be fashionably late.

Be lighthearted. Don’t worry about selling your product or service to someone in the first 5 minutes. Networking is about building relationships and you don’t want to turn them off immediately by being to abrasive. Stick to lighthearted conversation and easy questions.

Stay engaged. Make sure you are listening to what the person is saying. People can tell if you are always thinking about what you are going to say next and never really paying attention to them. They will not want to continue the conversation with you and they will remember how you were only worried about yourself.

Show your passion. You only have a few minutes with each person and you want to make a good impression. If you show your passion for what you do, this will leave a lasting impression on the person and they will be impressed with your determination and ambition. Don’t be shy about your passion for what you do.

Follow up. Don’t let you first conversation with someone be the last. Make sure to get their business card and follow up with them after the conference or meeting. Send them an email and connect with them on LinkedIn. This will allow you to begin building a relationship with them and to be a reference for you in the future.

We have found these tips to be helpful and we hope you will find them to be useful as well. Networking is such an important part of business today that we can’t be lazy about it. Make sure to show up prepared and leave feeling inspired and accomplished.

Protect Your Passion 2009

It has been said that “the surest way to keep a man in prison is not to let him know he’s there.” And the surest way to keep a woman from embracing her pure career ambition is to make her believe she’s already done it.

Don’t believe it. 

Heading into 2009, we women still are not advancing in our careers the way we should. We’re not getting the fulfillment we desire or making the money we deserve. And this time it’s not men who are holding us back. This time, sisters, we’re doing it to ourselves, because ambition—for us—is still a dirty word.

Do you unconsciously buy into our prevailing cultural paradigm, that double standard that says: ambitious men are go-getters, but ambitious women are bitchy, greedy, cold, arrogant females who attract enemies, repel lovers, make rotten mothers, live lonely lives and, in one way or another, miss out on fulfilling lives because of their ambition?

Are you not advancing in your career as quickly as you’d like? Are you not making the money you deserve and getting the fulfillment you desire? Are you afraid of what you might have to sacrifice if you pursue your big goals?

YOU’RE NOT ALONE.

It doesn’t matter where we grew up, went to school, or go to work. It’s the same whether we’re in our twenties and new to our careers, or in our fifties and sixties and among the most highly-regarded professionals in our industries. Today, the greatest barrier to earning more money, getting the power and recognition we deserve, and feeling entitled to stay the course comes from inside of ourselves. We agonize over whether or not we deserve to be ambitious—and about what it will cost us.

High-achieving women of all ages and at all stages of our careers all harbor the same dirty little secret:
 we all struggle with socially sanctioned failure to embrace our ambition. We all have some version of the same pernicious audio loop playing between our ears:

“Will being as ambitious as I dream of being make me less of a woman? Can I? Dare I? Have I gone too far? Will it cost me my personal life? Will I make enemies? Is it impossible to be a great mother and as equally committed to my ambition as I am to the well-being of my children? Will it make those I care about suffer? Is it impossible to be ambitious and happy? Am I giving my employer or my clients their money’s worth? If I negotiate, if I ask for what I’m worth, will I lose the opportunity? Is it wrong to care as much about making money as I do about making a contribution and being fulfilled at work? Does taking credit mean I’m greedy, arrogant? Am I worthy of recognition and power? Do I deserve to go after my biggest, most precious career dreams?”

Ambition is not a dirty word, but as far as many of us are concerned, it might as well be.

Why do so many of us self-sabotage without noticing that we’re doing it?

Because everywhere, there are disempowering ideas about women disguised in positive, and even sometimes flattering terms. 
The ideas translate into seemingly desirable traits women should cultivate, and we buy into them and internalize them. But these views and attributes are not desirable—they are wolves in sheep’s clothing, and they lead to self-sabotaging beliefs and behavior. By accepting them, and action on them, we women compromise our ambition—but we don’t see what we are doing to ourselves.


Our culture encourages women to derive our sense of self from being selfless, by giving to everyone else first and foremost—even at the expense of our career dreams.
 Could there be a more confusing, contradictory recipe for self-satisfaction? No wonder we drop kick our dreams!

We women have been told—implicitly or explicitly—not to value our ambition as much as our other priorities. Instead, we’re spoon-fed a culturally acceptable, watered-down definition of success:

-”You don’t have to be unabashedly ambitious. You’re above all that. You’re sophisticated enough to realize that ambition isn’t as important as getting the life-balance equation right. Get balance right and you’re successful, even if you have to sacrifice your dreams.”

Few of us challenge the notion that the accepted definition of success might actually be holding women back because it is couched in such a positive way. 

How can we take seriously the necessary soul-searching required to discover what we were meant to do professionally when we’re rarely encouraged to explicitly acknowledge and to discuss our pure, unadulterated ambition? 

This year, tell yourself a new message: your ambition is not a dirty word. It’s the best of who you are.You owe it to yourself—and the world—to make the contribution you were born to make. You can be as ambitious as you want to be—with integrity, grace, and dignity. And being true to your ambition needn’t cost you a happy personal life.

Here’s my new year’s challenge to you: 

Go down just as hard for your ambition as you do for any other primary priority in your life, be it lover, friend, child, community. Don’t sacrifice your ambition for any reason.

In 2009, let’s reclaim ambition as a virtue by adopting three rules: 


1. You must love your work.
 You must be willing to aggressively pursue the professional work you were meant to do and to strive for any career opportunities that inspire you.

2. You must regard your deepest career aspirations as unconditionally sacrosanct. 
The real way to have a great life is to see your career ambition as a part of your value system to which you must give equal attention, along with other non-negotiable priorities in your life, including your partner, your unconditional dedication to your children, and your commitment to your friends and community.

3. You must feel entitled to earn your worth.
 You must charge your full marketplace value without self-reproach, without leaving money on the table, and without feeling like an impostor.

If you don’t go down hard for your ambition, you’re letting the best part of you, the part that the world deserves to have you contribute, rot in a basement. 
In 2009, let’s get her out.

Protect your passion. As the ambitious woman you are entitled to be, I encourage you to answer for yourself, every day, a question posed in Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day”:

Tell me, What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

To steal a line from the musical “Rent”, “It’s gonna’ be a happy new year.”

Designing Between the Lines

I love, live and breathe fashion. I pick season’s colors, watch fashion trends, travel to Paris to source fabrics, and I sketch constantly.  Ah yes, and read fashion magazines and shop whenever possible.  All in the name of work.  Lucky?  Definitely.  Absolutely!  But getting here was a journey, and one that required a complete re-working of my ideas about career and success.

Having been raised by immigrant parents, I grew up in a household where education was highly valued, and having a stable, well-paying career was heavily encouraged.  I always loved fashion but it never occurred to me that it was a feasible career. So, my first choice was the law. And, I worked incredibly hard to get into a great college so that I could realize this pursuit.

Then, during my first semester at U.C. Berkeley, I discovered that lawyers actually have to think about THE LAW. Hmmm. Obvious, I know, but it was a shock to me… It’s funny – when you’re young, you formulate an answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” without really even knowing what certain jobs entail. And, over time, if you’re not careful, you can spend years moving towards actualizing a goal that occurred to you when you were a child. So, there I was, a college freshman, on the brink of giving my professional life up to a pursuit I didn’t fully understand when it struck me that, now that knew a bit more about myself and how the world works, I should probably investigate what I really wanted to be.

At Berkeley, I started giving credit to my passion for fashion, and began thinking about possibly building a career as a designer. After a couple of years of dancing around it, I started taking some costume design classes. This first structured foray into fashion was exciting and profoundly satisfying. When you start actually doing something that, for a long time, has been a bit of a fantasy, you experience great satisfaction, and – dare I say – power. You realize that you are ultimately a self-directed being, and you can choose your professional future. And so, I decided to choose mine.

When the end goal finally crystallized, I began planning. Unlike my discarded decision to become a lawyer, my decision to become a designer came with an understanding of what the path truly entailed. Fashion design is a true trade and craft, and I wanted to be designer in every sense – I needed to learn how to drape, make patterns and sew garments. So, after some very unglamorous, but practical, training at an LA trade school, I was ready to start my own little local line, Lanya.  My first order started as a final school project, and it turned into a birthday present for a friend working at a well-known boutique known as a launching ground for LA designers. The owner wanted 4 tops immediately. And so it began… I was a designer. Or so I thought.

After 2 years of being in the best boutiques, having clothes photographed with fashion dreams like Dries Van Noten, and being highlighted in Lucky magazine, I was frustrated. I realized that when you have your own label, you are not just a designer – you also have to worry about production, marketing and sales. Although I was a designer to the extent that I made clothes, I was, in many ways, an entrepreneur. And although that’s fine, that’s not what I wanted. So, I re-calibrated again. I was self-directed and I could choose my own path, remember?

All my thinking led me to an unmistakable conclusion – I would move to New York so that I could work for a designer… I would design clothes, while someone else worried about everything else. It was difficult to leave my close family and lots of life long friendships but, fortunately, my life in New York is fantastic – I’m in a cute, East Village apartment with a wonderful new love, and I work for a great company, run by a professional woman who encourages creativity and pushing the envelope. She gracefully manages the challenges of running a company, and inspires me to be impassioned by my role as a head designer. And, ironically, as a member of a team that supports and advances a brand built by someone else, I now have the freedom that I expected to have when I was the boss. I can create and have fun and not have to worry about keeping the lights on.

Did I ever think I’d be working for someone else and loving it? No, but it’s been a great turn of events, and I love the listener’s pause after I respond with, “I design lingerie.” So, it’s tough to know when you’re 12 what you’ll end up doing when you grow up, but it’s great to know that we all have the freedom to change our minds when we decide to stop, take stock, and be brave enough to make a decision that can make the difference between just having a job, and getting paid to do what you love.

Looking forward to sharing my designing details, and sprinkling some life in between the lines with all you Damsels in Success!