From Cheesecake to B-school

Shea Gouldd, photo by Dana Hoff

Shea Gouldd, photo by Dana Hoff

I think that I’m having a very unique business school experience, because often when professors propose different situations or strategies – I find myself thinking about how things could work at the bakery. It isn’t hypothetical for me, it’s kind of an analytical tool, which I’ve been able to use already.

The things I’m learning also apply to what I might do in the future. Last year we learned a lot about management – how to manage employees, what your relations with them should be, and how to fix certain issues. Having already done that, it was interesting to learn the standards. They teach us how we should speak to people, and a lot of it is stuff that I think managers probably wouldn’t ever realize on their own.

I wish I knew for sure what I’m going to do with the rest of my college summers – it’s something that I ask myself a lot. This summer I came back, I’m working, and it’s been awesome. Next summer I think that I’ll probably do the same, unless I find an internship somewhere around here so that I can still help out. After that I do think that I will probably want to branch out a little more. I want to experience working for someone else. I think it’s important.

After college, there’s always the option of selling the bakery, but I could also come back and take it further. I just want to see – through internships and continuing my education – where my interests lie.

For the time being though, wedding cakes are my favorite desserts to make, and speaking to young people about the business is something I’m passionate about. I do public speaking and meet-and-greet events with organizations for young girls. People ask me what they should do if they have aspirations like this, and my answer is always to just go for it. It’s good to take risks, especially while we’re young. Not being afraid of failure is the most important thing. You might not think you can start a business at 14, but you can.