Everybody wants to be their own boss.
According to a study, Gen Z students are self-starters and natural entrepreneurs. They’re beaming with crazy innovative ideas and taking control of their careers unafraid. This can be you, too. (If you aren’t already.)
Big dreams start in school. And when you’ve got dreams to take on the world, you’ve got to take care of your homework first. Yup, all those boring classes included.
We sat down with three young successful entrepreneurs who did that. Ayisha Villaflor, Cristina Martelino, and Gee Jocson are all alumni from Enderun Colleges. And they’ve got some good advice for you: start taking your classes seriously. Here’s how:
Choose a school that feels like home.
Even before college, Cristina Martelino, a BSBA Marketing Management graduate, always knew she wanted to pursue both business and art. Finding the right school was the challenge.
“I’ve visited several campuses before but none of them really felt ‘home’ to me. I wanted a small and cozy environment rather than a huge university. That’s why I chose Enderun. We’re a very close-knit group of people. We all know each other’s parents. And there’s just so much you can relate to with each other.”
With a minor in Digital Marketing, Cristina started Sproos Creatives, a creative agency she pursued out of a million things she wanted to do in college. As Creative Director, she marries art and business to provide content production and creative consultancy for brands.
Looking back, Cristina values the people she met in college. “There’s just so much support in school that until now there are school mates that I’ve never really spoken to who would reach out and say ‘I really like your work and what you’re doing is really cool so let’s collaborate,’” she shares.
Listen to your professors. They know what they’re talking about.
Professors who speak out of experience are far more effective in preparing students for the ‘real world’ than any lesson plan could. At least, that’s how Ayisha Villaflor learned best.
Starting her business while still in school, BS Entrepreneurship graduate Ayisha credits her professors who practice what they preach. They’ve been there. And all Ayisha had to do was to learn from them.
“Most universities go into theory but the way our professors do it is through theory and practice. They’re really doing it themselves. Like yung prof ko sa culinary, chef talaga siya. Or yung sa entrepreneurship, may business talaga. Every session hindi lang nila shineshare yung theory but they also share their experiences and how they coped with it. So mas lumalalim yung knowledge namin of the topic. (Most universities go into theory but the way our professors do it is through theory and practice. They’re really doing it themselves. For instance, my culinary professor is also a chef while my entrepreneurship professor manages a business. That’s why they were able to share the theories along with their own experiences every session. This helped us gain a deeper understanding of the topic.)”
Now that she’s running her own business, Ayisha recalls how professors allowed her to sit in on classes and even let her ask questions. This taught her the value of research. The primary market research she used to do in class before? Ayisha’s doing it now as she expands her business.
PSA: Don’t take your internship for granted.
Like any subjects you had to endure, internships aren’t just about the grades. Or the diploma you get after earning all your units. It’s what it teaches you for your future career. Luckily for Gee Jocson, a BSBA Marketing Management graduate, she experienced two internships locally and abroad.
“Being a fashion stylist isn’t always about glamor. I learned that it’s about your connections with designers, with brands, and how you talk to them, manage them, and how you market yourself to them. Water your relationships because that will bring you to places. During my internships, I really saw what good communications and operations look like. And I was so eager to apply that back home.”
Though Gee has always wanted to be in the fashion industry, it seemed harder to navigate IRL. Thanks to her internship stints at ABS-CBN Corporation and StyleLend New York, she experienced firsthand what it is like to be in the biz—something she benefitted from when she opened Gee Jocson Studio, her own fashion styling company.
At present, Gee has worked with small and big clients for fashion editorials, TV interviews, and movie styling. Her advice? Engage with everyone you meet, no matter what position you’re in. Whether that be in class with groupmates, during internship with your supervisor, or at work with a professional team. It all counts.
Everybody wants to be their own boss, but not everyone wants to do their homework. Like Ayisha, Cristina, and Gee, maximizing your time in school can be one of the best investments you make for your own business someday. So start taking your classes seriously. It all starts from there.