Crystal – BiGYEC Member Profile

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How did you get involved in the BIG YEC?

The BiGYEC team came to my school and did an assembly to talk about the club and invite us to it. I was already interested in business so the club sounded perfect for me. The next week a couple of my friends and I tried it out and I’ve been back ever since.

What’s it been like?

It’s been great! I’ve learnt loads of new skills and met new people who enjoy business like me. I think the best part is that none of the sessions are the same. You always get new information or skills. Also, it’s an incredibly friendly environment.  If you have an idea you can ask the others for their opinion.  We’ve all become friends and we all promote, help and support each other.

What’s next for you?

At the moment I’m doing my A-levels and after that I would like to go to university to do psychology. However I’ve always wanted my own business so hopefully soon I can make that dream a reality!

How do young people turn hobbies in a career?

Firstly, I think you have to believe in yourself and your product/service especially as you’re young.  If you don’t, who will? Young people are constantly underestimated. Also, you need to be determined and passionate about what you’re doing. Not everything is going to be an overnight success however in the long run it will be worth all the hard work. Something that not many people about is having a good support system.  From needing help with an idea or just needing someone to talk to and let off steam is really important.

What advice would you give to a young person starting a business?

Make sure you have a plan. There’s nothing worse than getting so far and then thinking “I have no idea what to do next!” Secondly, do your research.  Make sure you know how you’re going to finance the idea, how to get all the right legal documents and things in order. Lastly, join a group like BIG YEC. You’d be surprised at how much you learn from other people’s experiences.  This, coupled with the sessions on specific parts of business will really help.

What kind of business skills can you learn for real life?

I usually find I take some kind of transferable skill away from most sessions. The session on the music industry we did was great as it helped me think outside the box and the session on social media made me think twice before tweeting something stupid! Mostly, I think that being in a group of likeminded people encourages you to work on your confidence and people skills, which are two of the most important skills to have.

Do young people need to go to college to be successful?

I think it depends on you personally. I have so many friends and family members who have their own successful businesses alongside school or college however I also have friends who have a ‘plan’ and college is part of reaching the end goal. My auntie runs her own business and she didn’t go to college.  Also, clubs like the BIG YEC have replaced college/ school business advisers as they offer support to young entrepreneurs in a friendly, accessible environment.