Time spent at university is great for personal and professional development. Here are seven things aspiring family business leaders should do before they graduate!

1. Apply for a family business scholarship

Oregon State University has the largest family business scholarship endowment in the nation. Each year nearly $20,000 is awarded to undergraduates from family businesses.

2. Prepare my net worth statement

Understanding how to account for and manage personal finances establishes fiscal responsibility and prepares students for understanding personal guarantees and financial commitments that go along with owning a family business.

3. Get a professional photo

Social identities are well developed in college but a professional image is needed when serving as an ambassador for the family business. A professional head shot is useful and can be the starting point for the development of a professional identity.

4. Take a professor to coffee

Attending university offers the opportunity to meet many colleagues and instructors who are deeply interested in learning about business. Getting to know faculty members outside of class can open up a larger network of personal connections and resources down the road.

5. Tour a family business

Meeting a business founder and seeing the structures and equipment that supports their business provides a deeper look at how to run and grow a business. Several longstanding family businesses are accessible to Corvallis students. 

6. Visit a foreign country

Business owners often travel internationally and becoming familiar with the benefits of international travel will be helpful to students. Club members are constrained by time but Corvallis is within a day’s drive of the University of British Columbia’s outstanding Family Business Institute. 

7. Go for an adventure

Reaching new places to test endurance and creativity are memorable and fun experiences and deepen the network and connection to family business student peers. 

What do you think of the "seven things?" Come to the Generation Next meeting on October 23rd and let us know what we are missing. You'll meet Robert Longo, learn how to prepare a net worth statement, and cross number 2 off your list!

About the List
Generation Next, the student organization for undergraduates who grew up in a family business, is starting its second year.  Inspired by young entrepreneur Liz Wessel’s Ted Talk “7 Things to do Before you Graduate College” club members built a list of 7 things to do before they graduate college to prepare for running the family business. At the first meeting of the year students welcomed Jon Iverson, 3rd generation family member of Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm and Vineyard who graduated from OSU in 2008.  Following Jon’s remarks club members used secret ballot to vote on several items to narrow down “the list.”   Each club meeting during the 2018-19 academic year will focus on a different item. By the end of the year all club members will be better prepared to run their family business.