By JOSH HARSHBARGER
North Central students slowly closing in on graduation may know all too well the stress that comes with figuring out what to do in the “real world” after college.
North Central alumnus and business administration major Bill Svoboda offered insight into his journey since graduation in May 2006.
He started working with his major in his own dorm room.
“Back in college, between sophomore and junior years, I started an online custom T-shirt company –www.coedmonkey.com – and after graduating tried to get a ‘real job’ in marketing and advertising; but when I sat down with one big Twin Cities marketing executive he looked at my resume and saw that I owned my own company. He asked why I wanted to work for him and basically told me that I should keep doing what I was doing with T-shirts, so I did,” Svoboda explained.
Svoboda shares a story about his “dorm room business”:
“I remember an interesting voicemail that I got one day back in college. It was someone from Augsburg College. It went something like this: ‘Hello, Mr. Svoboda. We’d like to order about 50 Polo shirts embroidered with the Augsburg logo. I know you are very busy, so please give me a call back at your earliest convenience. Talk to you soon!’ I was a busy man, but my busyness consisted of class, chapel, lunch, floor meetings, and homework. When I called them back, I told them that I had just gotten out of a meeting, which was probably the class that I had just gotten back from.”
Since then, his company has been serving people nationwide.
Other than running his own business, Svoboda leads a subgroup at Substance Church called “Taste of the Twin Cities.” It draws about 60-100 people together for fun fellowship. He is also working on his first book for small business owners called “I am the Boss,” which he hopes to publish nationally by the first quarter of next year.
When asked what advice he would offer students, Svoboda said, “I’d tell current students to really take advantage of the faculty and staff at North Central. It’s amazing how they can help you after graduating by simply being in your life as a support. They’ll keep on believing in you, but you need to be intentional to get to know them.”