Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spotlight on an Example of Student Entrepreneurship

In previous articles, Getting a Job in a Tough Economy and Beating the Catch-22 of Aspiring Digitheads, I mention entrepreneurship as a way to gain experience in the field. In this article, I want to show you an example of two students who are using entrepreneurship as a way to gain experience.

For assistance with your networking and PC needs, or for networking/PC tips and , visit M & J PC Consulting

Jonathan Geyer and Mike McCoy are two students of mine who have started M & J PC Consulting a few years ago. The company specializes in providing networking and PC solutions for both home and business users. As an added bonus, their site also contains free networking and PC tips and techniques to the general public.

From a student's perspective, Mike and Jon's efforts are a good example of "selling yourself" to the job market.

  • They offer services and explain what they have done

    If someone is looking at either one of them as an employee or contracting candidate, one has an idea of what Mike and Jon has done in networking and PC work. As someone who has had experience with making decisions on hiring personnel, a pet hate of mine is technical interviews that ask "test questions" rather than ask questions to demonstrate experience (example question: "In a Class C network address, which part of the address is the network address?" vs. "Have you ever had to subnet a network, and if so, demonstrate the process that you went through to do this"). Being able to answer "test questions" doesn't necessary demonstrate to me that one can do the job; it only demonstrates that one knows how to study and memorize. I'm more interested in seeing what the person can do and has done.

  • Having the business highlights their secondary skills

    Non-IT companies who are looking for IT personnel don't want "digitheads" only. They want people who also have a good understanding of how business works so these people can provide IT solutions that will help grow a business. The employees must also have good oral and written communication skills, as well as good customer service skills. Having their own company demonstrates to employers and customers that Mike and Jon understands general business rules, the needs and limitations of business, and the strategies to help a business grow. They also highlight their other secondary skills by explaining that much of their business comes from recommendations. If they didn't have the communication or customer service skills, they would probably not be successful.

  • Their site can be used as part of their career portfolio

    The purpose of a career portfolio is to show potential employers and customers what you can do. The site highlights a number of skills that Mike and Jon both have.

  • They are keeping their options open regarding employment

    In my opinion, people who limit themselves with their employment options (location, employment status, type of company) won't make as much strides as someone who is more open to their employment options. Having their own business keeps Mike and Jon's employment options open. They can run the business full time, or they can run the business part time and supplement their income in other ways. They can also relocate if they so desire.

If you are student who is looking for help on a networking or PC topic, an example of a career portfolio, or an example of starting a business, visit their site. If you are a business looking for IT networking contractors, I can attest that both Mike and Jon are experienced in PC and networking and they both do a fantastic job.

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