SYEP 201 Common Assignment
The new venture project that my team decided to pursue was a paint-and-sip shop called Brush it Off, located in downtown Tacoma, specifically the theater district. The general goals of this assignment were to understand the work that goes into creating a new business and the large number of things that you need to know to start a new business. This project was designed to get us to learn all the ins and outs of business so we may have more of an appreciation for small businesses that we see and shop at. The New Venture Plan was also a way to get us to work in groups and learn more about that process. Increasing our ability to compromise and make realistic decisions when it comes to a business. Another goal of this assignment was to get us to apply all the things we were learning in class to a “real-life” setting like this new venture project, by doing this we demonstrated that we learned about all the aspects that go into a business.
The process of working with this team was a learning experience. Something that my team came in with was that Ashley, Natalie and I had been in two classes together last year and knew how each other worked and knew what each other was capable of. This was very helpful because it reduced the period of storming in the group process. Storming was more the process of adding Abbie to the group and seeing how exactly she fit and helping each other understand what we were all capable of. In order to create a project that was of high quality we met many times as a group so we could bounce ideas off each other and had a group chat so we could stay in contact throughout the weeks. In choosing what we wanted our New Venture Project to be we all threw out some ideas and settled on a business that would provide a service to clients and since Ashley is an art major we decided on a paint-and-sip studio. In order to complete the project on time we set deadlines for ourselves that we stuck to and had before the project was due so we could go over things and make sure it was up to par. We also split the aspects of the project up between the four of us. To an extent we tried to base it off of what we were going to major and minor in. As the art major Ashley did the majority of the art aspects and since Natalie had had interest in finance she spearheaded the finance aspects. Since I am minoring in business marketing that was a section that I took. After those were divided up we basically just said “oh, I’ll work on this aspect of it,” and attempted to have us all do equal sections of the project; so no one person had a larger part of the project to do than another person. One of the challenges that we faced in meeting as a group was that we all have very different schedules and that impacted our ability to find times to meet. Another factor was that Abbie is a commuter student so times that were late in the day may have worked for Ashley, Natalie and I, but not her, which made meeting harder.
One of the main things that was often brought up in our team was that I was the only extrovert. This was an important piece that I brought to our team because I would always push the other group members slightly outside their comfort zones and encourage them to do more. Another piece that I brought to our team was that I have had lots of prior leadership experience. In high school I was a leader in the choirs I was in and on the ultimate frisbee team I was a captain. This continued in college on the women’s frisbee team. We are all encouraged to be leaders on the team and this was something I was able to bring to the team. I was required to make some changes to how I was a leader in this group than how I am a leader in other settings. I did this by toning down the energy level because it did not quite fit for the setting of this business group. It was a smaller group of people so it was also easier to try and cater to people’s needs and make sure they felt comfortable and in a position to do their best work. Something else I brought to the table was that I knew APA style, this was something that had stressed some other team members out because they were unsure about it so I spearheaded and took over this aspect of the project. This knowledge came from my psychology background. I am a psychology major and we are required to write in APA style and do citations in the style. This was helpful for the project and the team to finish strongly.
The New Venture Project has provided me with many insights to the future. One important aspect of this project that I learned was how to better work in groups. I was blessed to have an awesome group willing to go above and beyond and make our project the best it could be. This was something new because many class groups do not work that well. We were able to divide the work up really well and choose what we wanted to do together and all come from the same perspective so our project was a cohesive document and presentation. It also showed me just how much goes into opening a business and helped me to learn that I have no desire to open one at anypoint in the near future. This project will help me though in my future endeavor as a business marketing minor. It gave me a taste about what all goes into marketing and encouraged my appetite to learn more and pursue this minor. In that aspect this project was helpful to my future goals. I am also interested in being an industrial/organizational psychologist which is similar to human resources and being an efficiency expert. This is a field where the skills I learned in this class can be very helpful to my future and the psychological field that I choose to go into.