Starting a business while a student is a great way to get ahead of the game, 4 reasons why

Think you can't be your own boss while at university? Think again

Utilising the talents of fellow classmates could pay off more than you think
Utilising the talents of fellow classmates could pay off more than you think

As a first-year marketing student, it took me less than six months to get bored: I was studying, working part-time as a bartender - and just generally being a student. So why did I get bored? There was no challenge. However, I managed to get a job in marketing and, eventually, ended up launching my own business - all while still at university.

Interestingly, I noticed the more tasks and projects I took on, the better my grades seemed to be. But I also noticed that, throughout those three amazing years at university, my classmates or students from other courses would talk to me about how much they would like to have their own enterprises and what brilliant ideas they had, yet nobody would take the first step towards this. Why? “We’re still students!” they would say.

Why is there this odd rule that seems to suggest that being a student somehow means you can’t be your own boss? In my experience, student or not, it’s a wonderful thing to do, and here are the four reasons why:

1) Footfall and networking

When trying to promote a business, you can spend a lot of money on advertising. But if you start while still at university, you could achieve great results without investing a lot of money.

With some help from course administrators, your flyer could be distributed across the students’ database; if you talk to the social media team, you could benefit from some tweets and posts; the PR department may wish to write a short story for the university’s blog; events team may want to add your flyers for guests to grab - the list is endless and the opportunities are huge.

Also, network with people. Everyone in your class has some sort of talent and specialism. While you are all in the same boat, why not use each other's talents and specialisms to benefit both sides?

2) Resources and equipment

Universities have a huge amount of resources, including books, access to various online sites, and networks. You could undertake fantastic research using your university’s access at no cost. Research is vital for the success of any business.

Every university has equipment, whether it’s a photography studio, laboratories, design software, so why not to take an advantage of this?

3) Lecturers

Unless you’re a student who skips classes and doesn’t care about your coursework, many lecturers will be willing to give you a hand to help you achieve your dreams.

Lecturers are specialists in their field who have an enormous amount of experience and knowledge and they would be happy to answer your questions and give you some advice.

Formulate your questions clearly and don’t be scared to approach them. In fact, they would be happy their students trust and respect them, and appreciate the value of their advice.

4) Partnerships

Each university has a lot of partnerships with some local and/or national organisations. Although this may be harder to access, you can still try. If there’s a person at one of those organisations who may be helpful for your business, try to find a way to reach them - considering the fact they have links with university, it may not be as hard as you think.

Overall, if you wish to start your own business as a student, it’ll take hard work and dedication. It involves talking to lots of people, negotiating and asking for favours. People may say no, which is totally fine, but you should remember that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Also, the fact that you’re starting your own business at university is a perfect way for you to stand out. Most people won’t dare to start their business at all, so the fact you’re starting yours as a student says a lot about you. Start opening doors now.

Twitter: @mar_sakalaus

Marija Sakalauskaite is a Birmingham City University graduate and the founder of @MySkin_Story

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in