College is a great time for developing a strong social and professional network, exploring your interests, and of course learning a lot. It’s also a great time for launching a startup. Here are four great reasons why you should make the time to build a company while you’re in school.
#1: You Will Get Earlier Experience
Employers of all sizes love to see initiative, creativity, passion, leadership, and position-relevant skills (tech skills for tech firms, etc). Launching a startup as a student shows all of these attributes.
Launching a startup can also get you experience earlier than you otherwise could. A lot of employers won’t hire interns at all or won’t hire them earlier in school. By launching your own business, you can create your own job. When the next summer rolls around, you’ll be well positioned to get a great internship if you decide not to continue with your startup.
#2: You Will Be Unique
When a recruiter flips through a stack of resumes, he’ll see basically the same stuff over and over again: the same classes, the same types of clubs, and the same leadership positions.
Your resume, by contrast, will stand out. You’ve done something exceptional and gone above and beyond the bare minimum – and it’s something that few of your classmates will have done. Employers love this.
#3: You Can Develop Your Skill Set
You learn a lot on the job; in fact, many would argue that you learn far more on the job than you do in school. By launching your own company, you learn even more than you might at a bigger company. It teaches you leadership skills, since you have to lead your team. It teaches you execution skills, since you have to make rapid decisions and drive them through to completion. And it teaches field-relevant skills, since you have to actually learn about the field you’re operating in.
Whatever you do, you will learn a ton.
#4: You Are Surrounded with Mentors
Professors and fellow students love to support student startups. You’ll be able to get a ton of useful advice from these people for free. If your school has an entrepreneurship department or a business school, you can also get support from their faculty, administration, and students.
Of course, starting a business while you’re in school isn’t easy. You’re busy with your coursework, clubs, social life, and possibly part-time job. You probably don’t have all the skills you need to do this yet. And you may not know many people who have done it.
It’s also not quite as hard as it sounds. You can hire technical and design talent on websites like Odesk.com and Elance.com. You can reach out to alumni for advice. And you can forgo some clubs and other activities to focus on building your new business.
It’s an exciting time and well worth it.