Choosing to enter the CSUF Entrepreneurship program was the best choice I have ever made. I was able to gain insight into how businesses work in the real world; this has proven invaluable in my pursuit of running a successful business of my own.
I graduated from Cal State University, Fullerton in 2010. Since graduating I have been pursuing a career in photography specializing in portraiture and lifestyle; my company is called Brian Evans Photography. Though I currently reside in Orange County, I have traveled throughout the United States capturing images for editorial and commercial clients. In addition to commercial and editorial work I also photograph weddings. My wedding photography has become an increasingly important aspect of my business.
In addition to paid assignments I have been working on a personal project called Thee Beer Book with my girlfriend and CSUF alumna, Jessica Cartie. Currently the project documents the home and microbrew scene in southern California. Our ultimate goal is to expand the project to include home and microbrewers around the United States and the world.
I have worked in photography since my senior year of high school, but it wasn’t until after completing the entrepreneurship program that I had the proper tools to really pursue a career in the business. Since earning my degree, I returned to my high school in Cathedral City to speak to students of the DATA Program. I focused my presentation on the importance of developing a solid base of business skills.
CSUF Entrepreneurship helped me understand what it takes to create and launch a new venture. While I have only begun this process, I am confident that I am prepared (thanks to CSUF Entrepreneurship).
CSUF Entrepreneurship Graduate 2010
If you have some time on November 18-20, consider attending the Startup Weekend at Chapman University.
It is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skill sets – primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people – to build applications and develop a commercial case around them.
For more details visit http://orangecounty.startupweekend.org/
John Bradley Jackson
Center for Entrepreneurship
As a leader, the reality is that most of the other people in your organization will not get to know you very well. This is likely to be true even in smaller organizations. Most of your employees will not be directly reporting to you or be able to have lengthy one-on-one meetings with you. Instead, they will learn about you based on what they hear from others or base it on a single and very brief exchange they had with you as you walked down the hall. Regardless of how they go about formulating their opinion of you, it is important that they see that you are acting in a way that is consistent with the values and norms of the organization.
This begs the question: how do you generally treat people? Or, more specifically: how do you treat the people you rarely see or come into contact to, but who help keep your organization running smoothly? I once read that the best way to judge a person is to see how he or she treats the wait staff at a restaurant. Is he or she bossy? Demanding? Friendly? Compassionate? How does he or she react when the food comes out late, or their order is incorrect, or the food is not cooked well? How does he or she get the wait staff’s attention? If you are authentic and consistent, how you treat someone outside your organization (e.g., a waiter or waitress) should be very similar to how you treat an employee.
As a leader, your every action (or inaction) has consequences. This is especially true in smaller organizations, where the leaders’ actions directly contribute to the company culture (in academia, this is known as “imprinting”). Moreover, every person in your organization affects its overall performance. An engineer helps to build the next generation of products that will generate revenue for the firm. A manufacturing technician helps to build those products. A salesperson helps keep relationships with customers strong and works to bring in new customers. A financial analyst makes sure that money is being allocated in the most efficient way possible within the firm. An administrative assistant keeps things running smoothly at all levels of the organization. A janitor keeps the office clean and stocked with important supplies – like hand soap and toilet paper. Everyone plays a part in the organization’s effectiveness and everyone should be valued as an important part of the organization.
Dr. Atul Teckchandani
CSUF Entrepreneurship Professor
CSUF Entrepreneurship Board Member Ron Stein was interviewed by Ric Franzi of OC Talk Radio on October 18, 2011 about the California economy. The interview included comments about the “new normal business environment.”
The interview is about 25 minutes in length and can be heard at http://ceopeergroups.podbean.com/2011/10/28/critical-mass-october-18-2011/
John Bradley Jackson
Center for Entrepreneurship