Hannah Manley has applied for our Jet Business Scholarship and her essay was selected to be one of our finalists. Below is some information about Hannah and her essay submission. You can vote for her submission by clicking here.

Senior at University of Minnesota
Major – Supply Chain and Operations Management & Management Information Systems

What do you enjoy about your studies?

My school is very focused on business processes as a whole. Our individual majors are extremely short (~24 credits). As a supply chain major, I really enjoy learning so much about other business functions so that I can better understand where we fit into the process.

What hobbies/organizations/jobs are you included in?

I am currently working for Honeywell Aerospace as a Materials Management Intern. During the school year I work for my University as an Office Assistant. My #1 hobby is to take care of my succulents. I'm currently trying to propagate some of them so I really enjoy the opportunity to do some city gardening. I also volunteer to help manage a food pantry on campus, Nutritious U, which provides access to fresh, healthy food for students. I am the president of a group called Minnesota Microlenders. We provide loans to entrepreneurs in developing nations; we believe that access to financial capital can help to decrease poverty and inequality.

Hannah's Essay. Would you rather work for someone else in an established company or start your own business and work for yourself? What motivates your choice?

Jeff Bezos. Warren Buffett. Bill Gates. Mark Zuckerberg. 

Each of these people is an entrepreneur. Each of these people is a household name. From a young age we are taught that being an inventor and starting and running your own company is the path to wealth and fame. Children picture themselves as successful entrepreneurs with fancy cars and big houses in the same way they dream of being sports stars, actors, or singers. However, for every name we know there are countless names we have never heard, sometimes because they haven’t had the unmitigated success, but often because their business idea ended in failure. 

When considering whether I would like to own my own business or work for someone else I must consider that failure rate. Realistically, I do not have a brilliant idea or the capital to start a business from the ground up. While I might be willing to put part-time efforts into an invention, I am unwilling to risk everything on starting a non-diversified business such as a convenience store, franchised restaurant, or hotel. Practically speaking I would not want to work for myself because my business would be highly susceptible to failure; while I could leverage my skills in corporate America I would most likely have lost my capital investment when the business closed. While it would be exciting to work for myself, to know that my efforts were completely responsible for the success of my business, it would also be terrifying. My work is not the only thing that I care about; working for another person’s business allows me to choose to value myself and hand off responsibility to someone else. The benefit of working for someone else is that the business continues regardless of whether I am available. That allows me to focus on myself, my family, and my community.