Every student is an entrepreneur in this college

Madison Franz with some of her dorm baskets. Photo courtesy Franz

Imagine being an entrepreneur in college. You must learn how to juggle the duties of being a student, business owner and make time for yourself.

Florida State University alumna Madison Franz did all of this with her company DormBaskets, which is designed to primarily assist the parents of college students.

They can order a basket filled with essentials in a gift bag for students. Parents can order the baskets online and have it shipped to their childs dorm or apartment.

She credits much of her success to the Moran College of Entrepreneurship, which FSU opened in the fall of 2017.

The college offers three majors: commercial, social and retail entrepreneurship, along with four minors, and requires students to start a business.

“Part of the curriculum on the commercial entrepreneurship track we take a course called experiences in entrepreneurship which you take in the fall and spring semester of your first year in the program. The course starts out by having one professor and ends with another professor and the expected outcome is to present your business or idea in the spring expo on Landis Green. It’s a great experience to see everyone’s work because the major is broken into two different groups, we often don’t get to see everyone else’s work without presenting at the expo,” said Franz, who earned her degree in May.

And a result of the fast-growing COVID-19 virus, many entrepreneurs are experiencing extremely slow business. Some  have come to a complete stop. During this time some are even opening up new business ventures to keep a study income and keep up with the new requirements and restrictions enacted by the state.

“The virus cut the spring semester short for us and with the fall semester being online for the majority of students including myself as a graduate student, it’s hard to describe how the fall semester will be. I would love to return to the full force we were at before the virus but I’m not sure how comfortable people will be or how many will actually be returning to the Tallahassee area,” Franz said.

“Right now, I have been trying to introduce better protocol for shipping not limited to introducing boxes and figuring out new marketing strategies to try and target our primary customers which are parents and other family members. Additionally, I’ve been making baskets for some other small businesses in south Florida where I’m from,” she added.

She said that being an entrepreneur while also being a student takes time, dedication and patience.

“Not every day is perfect. However, if you develop a schedule, even if it changes, you start to develop a routine. Be willing to have that routine fluctuate because things happen school, personally, and business wise,” she said.

Susan Fiorito, dean of the college since it opened three years ago, is excited to see the program grow.

“We will be adding a social entrepreneurship in 2021,” she said.

While some colleges offer an entire program for entrepreneurship. For students in colleges that don’t, it’s still possible to start one in school and excel quickly like DivvyUpSocks, which now has 43,000 followers and is verified.

Franz offered some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

No. 1: Your first idea might not be the million dollar one. You might have to try a couple different ideas.

No. 2.:Being an entrepreneur while being a student takes dedication. You might not be able to do something or have to cancel plans because you have to make a last-minute delivery or you’re behind on schoolwork.

No. 3: Your friends might not understand what you’re going through or just how many hats you’re juggling.

No. 4: Yes, it’s important to make the customer happy. However, you have to remember sometimes that’s not always possible.

No. 5: Don’t be afraid to ask others for help or their thoughts and opinions because that’s how you build relationshipsin entrepreneurships.

No. 6: Sometimes things don’t come perfectly or easily. When that happens, take a breather and try again later.