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A Local Business Supporting Local Businesses — The Studentpreneur Show With CarGo

News & Updates By March 23, 2020 No Comments

On this episode of The Studentpreneur Show, we hear from Kennon and Amber of carGO. Kennon works within the company and serves as the head of the branch in Springfield, Missouri, while Amber is a Missouri State University senior who is a top sales lead and a driver. CarGO is a rideshare as well as a food and alcohol delivery service based in Missouri.

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Changing the Enterprise World with VR - With Visos CEO, Matt Shumer

Visos CEO, Matt Shumer on Changing the Enterprise World with VR — The Studentpreneur Show Episode

News & Updates By March 17, 2020 No Comments

On this episode of The Studentpreneur Show, we speak with Matt Shumer, CEO of Visos. Visos is a virtual reality (VR) company developing technology to help with industrial training, education, medical simulations, and design.

Current VR headsets are not built for enterprise purposes. Many headsets available are either “too expensive and difficult to use, or lack the visual quality needed to run enterprise-level simulations.” Visos aims to address that gap.

Listen along as Taegan and Matt also talk about the reality of working with investors, using college resources, and balancing life as a CEO and college student.

What is Visos?

Visos is a startup company working to build the world’s most powerful VR headset for enterprise use. The goal of Visos is to help companies become more efficient.

While it is a young company, Visos is making big strides and has even bigger plans. They are currently in partnership with investors and several large companies. They are also part of the Techstars network.

Matt chose to work in VR because of the tremendous medical applications possible. He realized that not many are taking advantage. Visos will fill that void in the industry and make a positive impact on the world.

How did Matt Shumer start the Visos business?

Like many businesses, what Visos is today, isn’t what Matt originally conceptualized.

In April of 2018, Matt pitched a new VR headset concept at a high school competition. While the idea was great, he put aside taking any steps on it until college. One he began classes at Syracuse Matt picked up the idea again and gained traction.

At first, they started as a consumer-based company creating a headset with social features. Realizing that this version would not compete with other companies in the tech industry, they quickly pivoted to focus on enterprise. Jumping into the enterprise sphere was the best decision they could have made.

It’s been less than two years since Matt pitched his idea at a high school competition and today Visos is about to deploy the first headset. It will be on the market soon!

Lessons learned beyond Virtual Reality

While only a sophomore in college, Matt has gained tremendous business wisdom since starting Visos.

One of the biggest lessons is that work is rarely linear. From the focus of their VR headsets to the connections made and goals, everything has the potential to shift.

Working in tech means that the business has extra challenges. Due to the nature of the work, having technical needs (and a lot of them) means things can run at a different pace and you may need to wear many hats or bring in resources you didn’t originally plan to.

Being a business owner and a college student means you’re pulled in many directions. It takes some creativity and dedication to do both.

Matt is currently learning how to be sustainable. Like many business owners, Matt is aware of how quickly burnout can catch up to you. Between school and work, he’s been working long hours. He’s now looking for opportunities to have fun and relax in addition to hard work so he can go the distance with Visos.

Matt and his team have also learned a lot about working with investors. He shares that it’s difficult to get their initial interest, but once you have it, there is a lot of excitement around what is possible.

Managing time and projects is not one of Matt’s strengths, so he turns to tech for help. He uses a desktop/mobile app called Notion to manage the entire company and Slack to manage communication with the team.  “Knowing what is going on with the company and making sure every base is covered” is critical to forward movement in any business.

Last but not least, Matt has learned the value of a great team. Building a strong team helps you do more. We’re all limited to 24 hours in a day, so together we can do more. He also comments on how critical it is to ensure that your teammates are aligned with your mission and values.

What helped Visos grow?

Visos has grown a lot these past two years. For Matt to grow the business, he knew he needed support. He credits a lot of great networking and resourceful opportunities for Visos’ tremendous growth.

Blackstone LaunchPad is a resource in which students can build their businesses with support. This accelerator gave Matt connections, expanded his network, wisdom from business consultant and increased his access to resources on campus.

Incubators like Blackstone LaunchPad are so helpful, shared Matt. He also joined a student entrepreneurship-focused cohort called LaunchPad Lift. Visos has grown so much since starting with this cohort.

Matt also shares the value of networking. In his experience, who you know can really help. The connections can determine how well the company does in the long run because you can expand your thinking and opportunities. It also can help you with your career. “You need people to help you. [Networking] gets you people who can be mentors.”

Want to learn more about Visos?

Stay up-to-date via their website: https://www.visosvr.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/visosvr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/visosvr

Listen to the full Studentpreneur Show episode HERE!

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The First Steps to Getting a Master’s Degree: Everything You Need to Know before and after Applying

Study tips By January 9, 2020 No Comments

The graduate school application process can be complicated. From deciding whether to go to grad school, to figuring out where to apply and how to prepare a competitive application – it’s a lot to sort out. This handy guide will help you figure it out. From the beginning stages all the way to getting accepted, follow these steps to getting a master’s degree. 

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BookScouter Announcing the Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program

News & Updates By January 3, 2020 No Comments
We are thrilled to announce that BookScouter is now offering an entrepreneurship accelerator program!

What is the entrepreneurship accelerator program?

Glad you asked!

This is a project-based learning program where we bring in people to pitch and ultimately implement their growth ideas specific for BookScouter.  

That simple!

Are you interested in participating in an entrepreneurship accelerator program with BookScouter?

Virtually raise your hand by submitting THIS QUICK SURVEY if you are interested in this accelerator opportunity!

Once the current round has ended, we will reach out with information regarding how you can share your pitch with us and win!

What’s in it for you?

The winner(s) will have the opportunity to implement their idea with a budget at BookScouter. Of course, the winner(s) will also receive an hourly financial compensation for their time implementing their concept with us!

How cool is that?!

We cannot wait to hear all your ideas!

Sign up to learn more information HERE!

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How to Sell Unwanted Holiday Gifts

Personal finance By December 25, 2019 No Comments

Gift-giving is such a fun and exciting part of the holiday season! But every year you likely find yourself burdened with some gifts that you really don’t want. Never fear – you can sell unwanted holiday gifts with minimal effort, and you can use your profits to buy something you actually want…like groceries or that trip to Iceland!

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8 Tips on How to Stay Focused During Finals

Study tips By December 5, 2019 No Comments

Finals loom as the one ultimate obstacle to hurdle before a relaxing holiday break. You might already feel that you’ve been preparing for finals the whole semester or alternatively, maybe you feel that you haven’t prepared enough. But no matter how ready you feel, there are several tips on how to stay focused during finals season while remaining collected and enjoying the other fun parts of the holidays. Sound too good to be true? Well, keep reading and see if any of our hacks could transform your hectic finals routine.

How to Focus on Studying for Finals

Balance holiday obligations with studying time

The last thing any of us need is the pressure of buying gifts, finalizing travel plans, and baking cookies for a holiday party further stressing us out. Luckily, most finals weeks are early in December, so you’ll have plenty of time after finals are over to find gifts for your family and friends back home.

If you need to find a gift before departing for break, plan a study break to liven up the monotony of a studying marathon to go shopping. No one expects you to come up with the perfect holiday present, so don’t become stressed when perusing the aisles for potential gifts. Devote the immediate days before finals to focus on school obligations and keep in mind you’ll have time afterward to attend to other seasonal duties.

Beware of the “I’ll do it in the morning” temptation

The thought to put off a task until the next morning is a common and universal temptation that can result in disaster. You’re working on a project late and eventually your eyes can barely focus on the screen and stay open. You convince yourself that you will have plenty of time tomorrow morning to finish up loose ends. However, the “I’ll have time to do this in the morning” approach rarely ends in success.

Mornings can be hectic and trying to squeeze in last-minute writing before class often ends in sloppy and incomplete work being submitted. Waking up early is something we convince ourselves we can do, but hitting snooze for another hour is often irresistible. The only thing that should be reserved for morning is a quick glance at your notes before an exam to ensure certain material is fresh in your mind.

However, do not take this tip as a proponent for pulling all-nighters consistently. It has also been proven that studying until that late at night does not help retain more information. At a certain point, your brain cannot successfully remember any more material and when sleep-deprived, your long-term memory functions so poorly that no amount of coffee can counteract the effects.

Practice specificity in scheduling

A key to maintain focus and stay on schedule leading up to finals week is to budget certain blocks of time devoted to individual study time alone. While studying with friends is much more fun, the amount of progress plummets with social distractions.

Whether going over a semester’s worth of PowerPoints and notes or buckling down to write a final paper, quiet, solitary time spent doing these things is a necessity. However, scheduling a 5-hour block on a Sunday just for general ‘studying time’ is not specific enough.

Take a couple minutes to assess your overall finals workload: papers, exams, lingering assignments, etc. Then, see what obligation requires the most time and/or urgency and create a tentative itinerary for your studying blocks. Planning your studying time will help combat the aimlessness we often feel sitting in front of a computer not sure where to even start. By specifically knowing what will be worked on and when your focus and motivation will skyrocket and your studying time will be maximized to the fullest effectiveness.

You do not however, need to be a strict adherent to the timelines of your schedule (when the words are flowing for an essay, ride that wave for as long as you can!), having it planned out will assist tremendously in ensuring productivity.

Avoid the grade calculation pitfall

Depending on how your university calculates final grades, it is common to spend time calculating just how high of a mark you’ll need on the final exam to bump that B to an A or that A- to an A+.

While this process can be useful in some cases to help set a benchmark, try to not let it take too much time away from actually studying. Computing your target grade might seem like you’re being responsible and productive, but it truthfully takes away time from studying for the exam itself, which you will score higher on the more you focus on the material rather than the grade.

Also, try to not let your goal grade stress you out during the exam itself. Don’t let the mindset of only missing a certain number of questions distract you from staying focused and maintaining a clear mind.

Create an environment conducive to concentration

It can be advantageous to invest in some noise-canceling headphones if ambient noise easily derails your concentration. Technology ranks among the other peskiest distractions, so putting your cell phone on do not disturb is extremely beneficial. Having a separate window open on your laptop is also helpful when studying and can prevent mindless clicking on other opened tabs that will waste time.

Strategies for Staying Focused During Exams

Take time to relax beforehand

Before the exam, it can be helpful to employ relaxation techniques such as listening to classical music or taking a few moments to meditate. Reduce potential stress-inducing situations such as arriving late to an exam due to traffic or parking by leaving your place with plenty of time to spare. Arrive at the building where the exam would be an hour beforehand and find a spot in that building to look over notes one last time. Then, you can arrive at the exam room in plenty of time in order to get settled before it begins.

Block out distracting noise

If allowed by the professor, bringing earplugs can help prevent distraction from various sniffling and paper shuffling by classmates during the exam. Something as minute as an ill-timed coughing fit should not derail months of preparation and hard work.

Don’t think ahead

I have often let my mind wander halfway through an exam to thoughts of the next impending test or assignment. This is the ultimate interruption of staying focused in the moment and facing each final one by one. Try to not think of anything that will happen after the exam you’re currently working on in order to circumvent compounding future stress on the current stress you’re already facing.

Additionally, you can try to center your focus with actions such as chewing gum or deep breathing to help clear your mind and minimize disruptive thoughts during an exam.

All of the hype around the infamous finals week can often contribute to even more stress and worry. Remember that this one exam or paper is not going to dictate the remainder of your life. If a particular test is inducing an insurmountable amount of anxiety, reach out to the professor to express your concerns. Talking with a classmate can also help. Take advantage of any special services your college may provide that are designed to help you remain relaxed and grounded during finals week.

During finals week and the preceding days, it is also crucial to maintain a semblance of your former routine by making an effort to eat healthily, sleep for a decent amount of time every night, and take breaks to exercise or go outside (even though it may be freezing). Having tunnel vision for an exam while ignoring normalcy and happiness altogether can be especially harmful in the short and long run.

Therefore, schedule your specific study outline now, start preparing for the most time-consuming exams and papers, and take a deep breath while looking forward to a much-deserved holiday break that awaits you after conquering yet another finals week.

What to do after finals? Have some fun and plan an outdoor adventure trip, for example!

This article was written by BookScouter contributor Parker Stubhar.

Parker Strubhar - BookScouter Blog Contributor

Parker Strubhar is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma and currently resides and works in Washington D.C. He is also a freelance writer. Business inquiries can be directed to parkerstrubhar20@gmail.com.

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