You transferred to OHIO. How was the process?
After spending two years at a junior college in Columbus, I felt that it was in my best interest to choose a university away from the city to focus on my education and my personal endeavors. I visited several schools around Ohio, and Ohio University just felt right. The people were very friendly and open, it was close enough to home without being too close, and overall it felt like it could be my new home away from home. The transfer process was pretty seamless.
Has OHIO become your home away from home, as hoped?
This is my home. I’ve slipped up and said, “I’m going home (to Athens),” and gotten my mom mad. It is my home away from home. It’s such a relaxing environment. I always feel like I want to be here.
What is the MyCampus app?
It’s a mobile peer-to-peer marketplace. It’s for buying and selling textbooks, used furniture.
You received $20,000 in funding for MyCampus from the Ohio University Innovation Engine Accelerator program. How did that happen?
It started when I created BobcatClassifieds.org – essentially a Craigslist for Ohio University. It was this website and the small success that it had that made it possible for me to participate in the accelerator. A business startup weekend was hosted at the Ohio University Innovation Center. Even though I didn’t place or win, they saw that I was continuously working on my business. They saw traction, my ability to execute, they saw my business plan over the months get more and more refined, and they saw similar businesses out there getting significant traction. They gave me two checks of $5,000, one check of $10,000. It goes straight into my business account. Ohio University has the option to purchase up to 5 percent of the company.
What is entrepreneurship in the broader sense?
The definition of entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without focusing so much on the limitations and risks at hand. It’s really not about the dream of chasing money because money’s not going to make you happy. It’s challenging yourself to do something you once thought was not possible.
How are you paying for college?
The majority of my tuition is paid from student loans. I have some small Pell grants. My Bobcat Classifields website still produces revenue from featured listings that helps cover the costs of my textbooks and other expenses. One whole year of my tuition plus room and board was wiped out by receiving that $20,000 for my business. I would have never received that if I hadn’t been here.
What does Bobcat pride mean to you?
It’s a love for your campus. It’s part of the reason my business name is MyCampus. I’m proud of this university. I’m proud to be a student here.
"The bachelor of specialized studies is a multidisciplinary degree from University College that allows students to pick two or more majors and to compile them into one major and lay that all out in a framework and execute it."