Advice for Up-and-Coming Honors Entrepreneurs

By Luke Amargo
Alumnus, Honors College

Businesswoman standing with digital tablet

You’re only an entrepreneur if you choose to be one. Entrepreneurism can be infused in any major and any Honors student. Entrepreneurship is a daily choice. Entrepreneurism is about innovation in one’s own life and the world around you—from seeing the potential to maximizing the potential. A ripple in a pond.

When I related this to my STEM friends, I call it being able to recognize “Potential Energy.” You are a start-up yourself. Let’s think of a game plan to maximize your impact during this incubation period. Sadly, entrepreneurs don’t get Rocky montages, if anything, some of us become unhealthier after the endless Stampede fueled midnight meeting frenzies. Here are some ideas to flex your entrepreneurial muscles.

Make the Best of Your Honors Symposiums

When it comes to your first Spring Semester, you will be able to meet other kindred spirits in your freshman year who share your passions! This is a two-Saturday, zero-credit experience that encourages you to dive into your passion with an industry expert.

During your Sophomore, Junior and Senior year, you will be able to select your symposium based on your passion. For most Colangelo College of Business Honors students, they choose the Project Management Fellowship; this symposium section teaches you about progress tracking and prepares those who want to pursue a Project Management Institution Certification. However, don’t neglect the other options. Whether you go on a mission trip, pursue an internship, start your passion-project or join a research-and-design project, the Honors Spring Symposium is customizable to your passion (talk to your counselor or email for info). Some individuals work on their projects from their symposiums and decide to pitch their ideas to win scholarship dollars at the Honors College Showcase.

Add a Minor

By customizing your learning experience, you are taking ownership of a more profound educational experience. Honors has individuals who pursued a double major in Pre-Medicine and Psychology—one individual had two majors in Psychology and Dance, with a minor in Theatre! I personally had an English Major with minors in Design and Entrepreneurial Studies. Studying something that inspires passion in you can change your life. Even more artistic minors, such as theatre and film, can teach you how to pitch a product (when I first started my business, College of Fine Art and Production students assisted me with logos, pitch decks, websites and even a commercial!).

If you have a major that lacks technical skills, think about getting a minor in Cybersecurity, Web Development, Accounting, Analytics or Digital Design. As a plus, you can utilize other courses in other fields of study to satisfy your Honors graduation requirements! Generally, most majors can add a minor. If you are feeling bold, get a double major. Entrepreneurs need hard skills so they can add value to their company.

Network With Honors

While studying in the GCU Honors biome is crucial; the real world is made up of endless human interactions. Going to class and cloistering yourself is not enough. In the future, whether you’re in the office emailing management, going door-to-door selling a project or pitching in an elevator to a higher-up, networking practice is utterly essential. In the Honors College, we have something called the P.A.C Bootcamp where you will be able to network with local leaders and industry professionals and hone your communication chops.

Honors have done tours through the Better Business Bureau, Seedspot and Vanguard. We have brought countless opportunities in partnership with the ACE center for internships and jobs (we have fun too). We have a Leadership Conference, where students were able to meet their peers and even other jobs and startups in the area! These are seamless ways the Honors College brings opportunities to you; we also have international excursions to expand your global thinking. Beyond Honors College, we encourage you to check out multiple clubs. The most profound of these clubs are the IDEA Club and the Project Management Club which closely works with the Colangelo College of Business.

Grow Another Organization

I have seen students that start their projects for youth, healthcare and even virtual-reality— there are endless ways for you to be involved with these projects! As you network, ask how you can help them with any needs they have (social media, blog writing or even volunteering). When you assist someone who is making an idea, you will be able to grow while the company grows while safely exploring other opportunities. Find ways to influence potential by working “inside” systems—GCBC is a glowing example of being intrapreneurial in action. On GCBC’s website, they encourage individuals to reach out to them! GCU has hundreds of clubs, societies, life groups, business, departments and ministries. Join them to learn, but also to innovate and grow along with them. In the Honors College we assist five other clubs and Honors Societies, ask how you can get involved!

Full Bloom

In your high school career, the metric of success was based on letter grades. These high school metrics are based on showing up, doing your job and staying in the lane of the assignment’s rubric. Upon graduation, these letter grades are not accurate metrics of success. In the future, there are infinite improvements for one’s business, but the same goes for the individual. Entrepreneurial opportunities are effervescent and abstract. Making these concepts tangible relies heavily on character development and being able to turn an abstract thing tangible—and this comes from experience. As an Honors College student, you will have a daily opportunity to become an entrepreneur as a lifestyle.

By customizing your educational experience, networking with Honors and assisting other organizations, you’ll be able to not only develop as an Honors student but an entrepreneur. The most apparent piece of advice anyone can give you is to create your own idea. During your time as a GCU Honors student, you will find yourself evolving from being an intrapreneur to entrepreneur. Innovate while you incubate. When that once-in-a-lifetime idea strikes you, you will have the knowledge, passion and network to blossom beyond what you might have expected.

To learn more about how you can join a community of likeminded honors students in making change in the world, visit our website or click the Request More Information button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.