20something profile: Abigail
I graduated from Belmont University in Nashville this past May with a degree in music business and audio production. Despite transferring midway through my sophomore year, I managed to finish on time in four years. Two days later, I opened up an office for Vector Marketing and started working.
Perhaps I should backtrack just a little, especially since this does not sound like the typical college student’s graduating experience. Indeed, my story is a bit unique.
Over my winter break as a junior, I received an inconspicuous letter in the mail from Vector Marketing, which explained an opportunity for a winter break job. At the time, my financial situation may have been described as “fiscally poor,” so I ended up pursuing this said job, which ended up being that of a Cutco sales representative. (Cutco makes a line of high quality kitchen cutlery in upstate NY).
While this job wasn’t the average student employment, I did very well as a representative and was quickly promoted into management. My first summer with the company I was an assistant manager in one of the top offices in the nation, and it was here I grew increasingly interested in taking the “weird knife job” and making a career out of it.
I had always wanted to run my own business. In college, I toyed with different jobs in the music industry, but none sounded as exciting as being my own boss and running my own business. Growing up, my younger sister and I talked often of opening up a restaurant, since we have an unfathomable love of food, but I had no real direction. Working with Vector taught me how to manage myself and become independent, both financially and professionally and this allowed me to see a real opportunity in management.
The management opportunity really caught my attention, especially when I realized I could open up my own office as a district manager and run my own business as a subsidiary of Vector. As a senior in college, I became a candidate and trained full time for this position, even as a full time student at Belmont. Officially getting the promotion in January of this year, I was able to open up an office in Staten Island, NY and become a business owner at the age of 21.
This opportunity has been very rewarding thus far, and equally as challenging. However, as I look into the future, I have such a poignant sense of direction that I feel most people my age lack. I still want to run my own business as an entrepreneur, although I see myself with Vector for a few years still. What I want to gain from this current opportunity is the skill set to build a successful organization and develop other managers.
My future endeavors ideally will be in opening up a “hybrid company,” one that has a for-profit system that supports a non-profit ministry. I truly want to develop something that will reach a lot of people and change their lives for the better.
One of the reasons I love being an independent business owner is it gives me freedom to be successful if I choose to be despite outside circumstances. The economy has rendered it difficult for young people to find stable jobs with unique advancement opportunities. Entrepreneurship has allowed me to find success despite the poor economy and is ensuring a very bright future in terms of my career.