Growing up in a traditional education environment I was sheltered by the need for teacher guidelines and approval. Like many students in today’s schoolings, when given a task with no clear expectations, I was lost struggling for guidelines and the approval of others. As an extremely sensitive person, being thrown into an environment like the entrepreneurial studies program was a nightmare at first that would soon become the best decision of my life.
It all started with a dream to pursue studies in hospitality and a goal to gain skills that will help me pursue my dream. I entered the program with the mindset of a traditional student and a concrete vision of working with my friends. After weeks in the program and letting my emotions get the best of me, I decided to take a risk and join a team with three international students, who I had not met prior to entering the class. This risk I took, propelled me on a path of personal and emotional growth which would shape the way I view the world.
Building a Team
My group spent the first couple of weeks of the program focusing on growing as a team. We focused on getting to know our personal strengths and weaknesses and how they complement each other. In addition, my biggest takeaway from those first few weeks was learning how to listen rather than lead. By acquiring this skill, my team was able to choose a distinct managerial style that focuses on this principle of listening to one another. We decided to run our team as a board and every major decision was put to vote. Furthermore, each group member had their own specific area that they were in charge of. This structure taught our group collaboration along with personal accountability for any assigned task. Through this methodology and many trials and failures, my group was able to create a concept we were all passionate about, Suptender.
Suptender is a restaurant concept that combines customizable qualities of current fast-casual restaurants along with autonomous ordering technology trending on social media to create customizable fillable chicken tenders. Our concept focuses on providing customers a fun, interactive experience along with delicious food.
Throughout the process of developing Suptender, my group partnered with FLIK Dining, one of the world-leading food service providers to design technology and methods for creating hollow chicken tenders. In addition, we worked with culinary students and architecture students to develop a floor plan for a restaurant and a standardized recipe suitable for a working restaurant. We are so excited to continue developing Suptender and are currently working on organizing our first pop up location at a local farmers market in October of 2019.
Obstacles Are Opportunities
The Startup Studio’s program has changed the way I view the world. I now self reflect on my feelings and decide if they are truly rational or if I am internalizing them to make myself feel better. I have begun to focus more on what I think about myself rather than constantly seeking the approval of others.
My experiences with The Startup Studio have allowed me to view each obstacle as an opportunity and a chance to grow, by following the effectual logic principle of leveraging contingencies. I will continue to use the lessons I’ve learned in this program throughout my personal and professional life and can’t wait to keep growing as I continue my journey into year two of the program.