Creating a business or a nonprofit organization is always a risk because there is a possibility that it might not go in the direction originally intended. Finances may fall through, employees and/or volunteers might move on to other adventures, and the demand for the product could be lower than anticipated. As Wayne Gretzky once said, “You’ll always miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Risks are part of life and important to take!
Students and staff at Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center took a risk a few years ago by launching BC’s Closet, a nonprofit organization meant to help students look their best before job interviews. The tagline, “Used Professional Clothes for New Professional People,” sums up the overall goal. While the organization started out strong, setbacks took over, and the organization has been on the back burner for a few quarters. Students have certainly been able to take advantage of the closet if necessary; however, the nonprofit has not made it to the desired spot yet.
Luckily for the nonprofit, three students at the Brooklyn Center campus took an interest in relaunching BC’s Closet. Munah Cooper, Alexa Switzenberg and Carresha Daniel are business administration students currently taking Alex Erolin’s Supervisory Management class. Erolin, business program chair, presented his students with the opportunity to do an applied learning project with BC’s Closet throughout the quarter, and the three women took it to a new level.
Erolin said, “These three students have been immensely excited about relaunching BC’s Closet. They have an energy that is refreshing.”
Both in and out of class, the students are working with Erolin slowly and methodically in a way that will allow them to gradually take over, expand the student membership, and eventually run it while still being overseen by the board of directors.
According to Erolin, “Their first task/project is to design and develop the marketing piece to raise awareness and interest among the students to volunteer and/or use the services. They are working on putting together advertising fliers. Also, they will be putting together a short presentation to give at the new student orientations and to present to students during the first week class sessions.”
Cooper was thrilled to get involved with BC’s Closet. She said, “BC’s Closet is providing several hands-on opportunities that will really help me with my future career. We are able to learn about business aspects, financing, operational management, and organization.”
Cooper, Switzenberg, and Daniel have many plans for the next few months on what they would like to accomplish with the closet.
“We want to get to a place where we can educate others about the organization and help our fellow students prepare for their interviews with professional outfits. The three of us even plan to do a photo shoot with some of the clothes available,” Cooper mentioned.
While it can be scary to jump into a new venture, Cooper praised Erolin for being a great mentor. She said, “With Alex’s help, we really don’t feel alone with this.”
If you are interested in getting involved with BC’s Closet, please contact Alex Erolin or Michelle Barsness at 763-566-7777.