The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Generation Y takes control of the future, sees rise in entrepreneurship

Trey Chappell’s mind wandered on graduation day. During the tedious ceremony, Chappell made the decision that someday he would start his own business.

The entrepreneurial is taking hold on campus. Trey Chappell, a graduate from the Cox School of Business, started his own company one year after graduation.

“You can do anything you want with your own company,” Chappell said.

According to an article published in USA Today, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 370,000 people between the ages of 16 and 24 are self-employed, as opposed to 351,000 of the same age group in 1975. As Generation Y ages, more growth is on the way.

Jerry White is the director of the Caruth Institute of Entrepreneurship at the Cox School of Business. He notes an unusually high level of interest in entrepreneurship across the board. He said that people are frustrated with the lack of freedom large organizations offer.

The Cox School of Business at SMU has recognized the market niche offered by the growing interest in entrepreneurship. In 2006, the school admitted its first class of graduate students to pursue a master’s degree in entrepreneurship. The class of 20 students will graduate in 2008. The program is accelerated, and therefore the school is especially careful about whom they admit, said White.

According to White, the business horizon changed in the United States during the ’90s because of the new competition of international business. In order to be more productive and more competitive in world markets, businesses in the United States cut back on the number of employees. Children watched as their parents lost their jobs because of corporate layoffs.

These children grew up to become members of Generation Y. Determined not to face the same fate as some of their parents, young adults have decided to take as much control of their future as possible. These are a few of their stories:

Trey Chappell

Chappell graduated with a degree in finance from the Cox School of Business in 2000 and worked for one year in corporate finance.

When he asked the company for the go-ahead to put his creative energy to use, they denied him. It was then, in 2002, that Chappell decided to go into business on his own. Despite wishing he had one more marketing class under his belt, Chappell felt that Cox had fully prepared him for this venture.

Chappell gained valuable experience in college admissions as an SMU tour guide. When he asked himself what he was good at, advising prospective college students was his answer.

Chappell’s business, College X-Ing, is based out of Scottsdale, Ariz. The goal of the company is to help high-school students and their families with the often-confusing college admissions process. His personal goal is to offer customers “a unique college search.” The company has successfully helped to place 175 students in universities.

“It’s like driving a car without a speed limit. You can go as fast or as slow as you want,” Chappell said.

In that same spirit, Chappell advises possible entrepreneurs to persevere. Even if the first idea does not take off, eventually one will. Chappell says do not give up.

Laura Bush

Another SMU graduate, Laura Bush greets each shopper with a warm smile as they enter her clothing store, L. Bartlett. Bush’s dog Chloe also welcomes customers with a wag of her tail. The clothes are stylish and classic, with a youthful twist.

The boutique derives its name from Bush’s middle name, “Bartlett.” Bush was named for an especially fashion-forward grandmother. Although Bush never knew her grandmother, she is thrilled to honor her with the name of her store.

Dressed in jeans, boots and a graphic tee, Bush casually tags clothes as she remembers how she got started. Bush started a credit line with her father to get the funds to purchase inventory for the first time.

Bush studied corporate communications and public affairs with a political concentration. After working at a public relations firm and volunteering for the Republican National Convention, Bush decided that this work was not right for her.

During a summer abroad in London, Bush traveled to Dublin, Ireland. It was there that she realized her love for fashion. With her newfound excitement and an idea for a new business, Bush returned to Dallas. She was searching for new lines, buying clothes and leasing space before graduation.

“It’s great to be able to make your own decisions. It’s something to be proud of,” Bush said.

L. Bartlett is a perfect fit in the upscale West Village of Dallas. According to Bush, Dallas is a good location for a clothing shop because the women here care about their appearance. The competition with other boutiques and every major department store is steep. Bush’s aim is to bring something different to the area and she visits Los Angeles to find the latest styles. Otherwise, there is no point in having a store, she says.

One of Bush’s favorite memories as a boutique owner occurred during an ordinary lunch break. Relaxing at Village Burger Bar, Bush glanced up from her lunch and noticed that two girls were carrying cute bags, purchased at L. Bartlett.

Graham Hartong

A first-year student from Nashville, Tenn., Graham Hartong has big ideas. For as long as she can remember, Hartong has loved all things personalized. Personalization is important because it adds a ‘fingerprint’ to an otherwise ordinary item.

Recently, Hartong discovered her own talent for creating personalized stationery. Hartong detests cheap paper and poor quality. Her goal is to make quality, affordable stationery. Available in an array of colors and ribbon choices, the stationery is classic and understated. She plans to sell her stationery at a small gift store in Nashville, Tenn.

“The only color stationery I don’t make is purple. I hate the color purple,” Hartong said.

Still unsure about where to find the money to finance her new business, Hartong might tap into her savings. One of the most important elements of the stationery line will be the name. So far, the winning name is “MonoGraham.”

More to Discover