Carlos Ramos may only be a sophomore at Washington State University Tri-Cities, but he has a head start in one day owning his own business, thanks to the skills he is learning both through the Carson College of Business and the University’s CUBS mentoring program.
Through the CUBS mentoring program, where CUBS stands for Carson Coug Undergrads Building Social Capital, students are paired up with a mentor from the business community. The duo has regular meetings to develop valuable insights into their profession, as well as guidance on how to develop and execute a career plan.
Passion for fitness leads to business goal
Ramos’s goal is to own his own gym. He says he has dabbled in a semi small business venture of his own cutting hair for friends and family for a few years, but later realized he was more interested in a business that pairs directly with his passion for fitness.
“I know I don’t want to cut hair for the rest of my life, but I do love fitness and going to the gym,” he says. “I think it would be a lot of fun to own my own establishment one day.”
Banner Bank mentor provides value
Ramos expressed this desire to his WSU Tri-Cities advisor who helped set him up with the CUBS mentoring program. He was paired with a professional from Banner Bank.
Ramos met with his mentor at least three or four times throughout the last year—each time for about an hour-and-a-half. During these meetings, he was provided with a packet to study, and the two would talk about all areas of setting up a business, from the pre-stage planning to what he should expect after opening his own gym.
“My mentor showed me different business plan templates, how to plan for competitors, about different demographics, and also the right way to build credit,” he says. “It was an incredibly valuable experience.”
Ramos says he would definitely recommend the CUBS mentor program, especially for those looking to explore the world of entrepreneurship.
“I think it provides a lot of crucial information, especially if you are interested in management or developing your own operation,” he says.
Mentorship program helps achieve dream career
Although he is taking a break from the program currently, mainly to focus on his prerequisite courses before he heads into upper-level business classes, Ramos says he plans to resume the mentorship opportunities as he gets closer to his upperclassmen years. He hopes the program will help him achieve his American Dream of establishing a career he loves and enjoys.
“I think of the American Dream as living out your passions in life,” he says. “You do that, and you won’t have to work a day in your life. The CUBS program has helped me start that process, and I plan to use what I’ve learned to be successful in my own business venture one day.”