Prepared for the Future With Practical Business Skills
Sierra Jewett ’20 grew up with parents who owned small businesses, so it’s no surprise that she chose to study business at NVU.
From her classes and internships, she’s building the skills she needs to be a leader in the business world, manage people, and start her own business someday. In a class in small-business management, she created a business plan. In a course on management and business fundamentals, she developed an imaginary business, chose inventory, figured out costs to run an office, created job descriptions and a pay scale, and estimated startup costs.
Those and other classes “are exactly what I need to go into the business world. A lot of the business professors use real-world examples,” Sierra says. “That way, we’re prepared for the future and not the past.”
She Gained Real-World Experience in Internships
In two internships that she got with the help of faculty connections, Sierra gained a broad view of how businesses operate and developed communication skills working with a wide range of people.
At Northwestern Counseling & Support Services in St. Albans, she worked with the CEO, chief financial officer and human resources staff and learned about scheduling and payroll functions. “It helped me see what it’s like to run a business with so many employees that helps the community as well, which is similar to my business plan,” Sierra says.
She also interned at Sterling Ridge Resort in Jeffersonville, helping with reservations and other front-desk duties, property maintenance, and payroll. She’ll intern there again before she graduates. “The internships have given me a huge sense of what you need to do to have a successful business,” says Sierra, from Bakersfield, who is pursuing a management concentration.
Early College Paved the Way for Her Success
Sierra has gained skills she can use in business through activities outside of classes, too. She was a peer mentor in NVU’s Summer Bridge program, which helps prepare students for college before their first semester. “I learned how to lead a team,” she says. “Someday if I get a job in management, that’s what it’s going to be like. People will be looking for me to guide them.”
She has appreciated the guidance she’s had from faculty and staff since she started at NVU in the Early College program, in which high school seniors fulfill graduation requirements by taking classes at NVU and earning college credits. The Early College year at NVU is tuition-free.
“Early College gave me the experience to go into my second year knowing what to expect,” Sierra says. “It paved the way for me to succeed…A lot of the older students will take you under their wing, too.”
Everyone is Respected, Faculty are Supportive
NVU’s tight-knit campus community is a good fit for Sierra.
“If you want to feel like you’re accepted, NVU-Johnson is the place to be…Everybody is so close,” she says. “Teachers pay attention to students and what they need. They want to see you succeed. They actually care about you.”
That’s how she wants to be with her employees someday if she owns a business.
“I don’t want to have a business that’s just there for the money,” she says. “It’s there for the people. It’s socially responsible and gives back to the community and the world.”