Self-employment teaches people lessons of independence and accountability that can’t be learned any other way. Combine these lessons with a solid education, and you’ve got everything you need to start a successful small business. At ChooseWhat, we believe in both small businesses and the power of education. That is why we created a scholarship specifically designed for students with self-employment experience and aspirations. We are thrilled to announce the winner of the third biannual ChooseWhat Scholarship for Students with Self-Employment Experience: Rachel Marcus.
Marcus grew up in south Florida and is a student at the University of Florida where she is majoring in psychology. When she first started college, Marcus was not able to find a job flexible enough to accommodate her class schedule. As a result, she created her own opportunity by starting a baby-sitting service.
Initially, Marcus simply responded to people’s ads for babysitters. Over time her list of clients grew—families she babysat for recommended her to friends and relatives because they valued her trustworthiness, reliability, and ability to help their children with schoolwork. After a few years, Marcus’s list of clients expanded so much that she had to employ other people, so she formed a small babysitting company.
In addition to empowering her to earn money while controlling her own work schedule, owning her own business taught Marcus crucial life skills such as personal responsibility and creative problem-solving. She says, “I was able to undergo a paradigm shift from being an average college student passively taking in information in class to actively taking control of my education.”
These skills not only helped Marcus to achieve her educational goals, but also her professional ones. For instance, she was comfortable networking with other health care professionals, which enabled her to secure opportunities crucial to future career growth.
The strong interpersonal skills I developed from running a babysitting company equipped me with the type of real world education that books and the classroom simply could not provide. Furthermore, working with many different families from various cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds allowed me to develop an appreciation for the struggles many minorities face as a well as a deepened level of sensitivity and compassion.
Writes Marcus, “I am extremely thankful that through running a business I have been able to have these experiences that have been so vital to facilitating my personal growth and development … I have become the type of person who knows how to take initiative, think outside the box, be a problem solver, have self-confidence, and be able to connect with people of all different backgrounds.”
Rachel Marcus will graduate in December and start a master’s program in Physician Assistant Studies at Yale University in January, 2018. We are confident that Ms. Marcus will use what she has learned from entrepreneurship to succeed both educationally and professionally, and we are honored to be able to contribute in a small way to that success.
Congratulations to ChooseWhat scholarship winner Rachel Marcus!