It was a small group for the career experience at K9 Designs, but the day was filled with great information and even a chance to meet new, furry friends. Based on a request from owner and groomer, Beth Johnson, the group was kept to a minimum, and the students who took advantage of the opportunity were filled with useful information including the ins and outs of grooming, Johnson’s background and how she got started, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of owning and operating a business.
For junior Morgan Roberts, the experience was especially useful. When asked if either of the attendees wanted to do something along the lines of grooming, Roberts replied, “Yes! I definitely want to do something with animals. I really want to open an animal boarding facility, and I don’t know if I will stick with this name, but for now I want to call it Long Distance Love.”
Roberts is currently enrolled in Liz Kluver’s Entrepreneurship class, and she is developing an animal boarding business that would have grooming available, among other things. While away, pet owners would be able to see their animals through a webcam. As the entrepreneurial-minded students work through the different phases of the class using BizInnovator, Roberts has had the opportunity to brainstorm and research the idea, and she is now designing her business on paper. At the culmination of the semester-long class, students are required to take a proctored test that gets sent to the University of Iowa for scoring. If a certain level is reached, students are given the option of getting three college credits at a fraction of the normal cost per credit.
Once students complete the entrepreneurship class, their next step is to consider an extended career experience. When a student has an interest, Kluver works to align the student with a community or regional partner to nurture the interest. This provides students a three-period block of time to immerse themselves in a hands-on learning environment and potentially help bring their dreams to reality.
This past summer, Kluver completed training through the University of Iowa to be able to implement the BizInnovator curriculum. Through the training, Kluver made connections with other teachers, and they share ideas and activities. Kluver has lofty goals for her classes and will bring those ideas to fruition through the many partnerships that she continues to amass regionally.
As Roberts explained her dream of opening a boarding facility, Johnson added a bit of advice from experience. “Strive for the best and be better than necessary to avoid issues, keep your facility clean and your tools sterilized, be able to adapt to the animals, and above all else, you must enjoy animals!”