While the University prepares students for work around the world, some students are already applying that knowledge in their own businesses.
Tavarius Taylor, owner of Dog Tagz & More in Governor’s Square Mall said, “Although FAMU focuses more on being a good employee and working in corporate America, the professors helped me with my business.”
“They taught me the preparation and necessary skills for planning a business,” Taylor said.
Taylor negotiated a deal with Slip & Slide Records disc jockey Darrell Venson to make personalized VIP dog tags for last week’s Demp Week events.
“I bought a tag from the kiosk in the mall because I thought they were tight,” said Jared Johnson, 22, an electrical engineering student from New Orleans. “But it’s even tighter seeing them as the VIP passes for Demp Week. It’s like memorabilia for college events.”
Taylor said having his own business while in school is hands-on experience of the skills being taught in class.
With the help of friend Brandon Williams, Taylor said he will have a franchise of 20 stores by the end of May that will feature unique versions of tags the military uses as a means of identification.
“I’m opening in Atlanta, Miami, and Cincinnati by the end of next month, and in Indiana and Detroit by the middle of February,” said the senior business management student from Fort Lauderdale.
Other students such as Linwood Weatherington are also heading down the road of entrepreneurship.
The 22-year-old senior computer information student has started his own Web development company, Imagination Enterprise.
“The advantage is, as you’re taught new and current things, you can instantly implement them into your business, gaining more customers,” the Mitchellville, Md. native said.
Journalism professor Stan Johnson, owner of Stan Johnson Photographics, said the sooner students start their businesses, the better.
“Although there are some downsides to starting a business at a young age because of inexperience, I wish I had started while in college because you have less financial obligations and more time to focus on the business without marriages, children, and bills,” he said.
Reginald Henderson, 22, a print management senior from Memphis, Tenn. who owns Eyescream Airbrush, also located in Governor’s Square Mall, said owning a business gives him more experience than other students.
“I have spray-painted shirts, hats, cars, canvas and bodies for artists, pro football players and other entertainers gaining contacts for the future,” Henderson said.
Johnson said the experience students gain from their first business ventures will be an investment in the future.
“Timing and knowledge of a lot of areas is the key,” he said.
Contact Sharon Coleman at Sharonea2@hotmail.com.