At the most recent meeting of the She Owns It business group, the owners talked about the value of a college education and how well their own schooling prepared them for entrepreneurship.
Deirdre Lord, who owns the Megawatt Hour, graduated from the University of Vermont where she was an English major with a minor in environmental studies. “My college degree did not prepare me for work,” she said, “and I’m not so sure anything really does unless you’re going into some very defined role in a defined organization.” She also said she doesn’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.
“That environmental studies part does seem relevant to what you do,” said Julia Beardwood, who owns Beardwood & Company. She was referring to Ms. Lord’s online platform, which allows businesses to forecast, manage and track their energy costs.
“That gave me a real passion about addressing issues related to energy and climate change, so that was valuable,” Ms. Lord said. She also credits college with giving her writing skills. But, she added, it can’t teach you how to deal with people or how to be an effective leader.
Susan Parker, who owns Bari Jay, said she had friends who entered college with specific career goals and graduated with degrees and related jobs. For these people, many of whom were business majors, she said there was a “huge correlation” between their schooling and their preparation for the work world. But while Ms. Parker, who also graduated from the University of Vermont, says she believes her liberal arts education helped shape her as a person, she doesn’t think her double major of political science and psychology helped prepare her for business ownership. <Read more.>