Bachelor of Science in Business, 2004
A divorced mother of two with an associate’s degree, Julie McCallson decided to return to school at the age of 37. She always dreamed of completing her bachelor’s degree but did not think it was possible given the demands of her personal and professional commitments. Nevertheless, she soon found herself enrolled in a business management program at University of Phoenix.
While attending school and working in advertising, Julie was approached by investors to start her own business. Her passion is fitness, so when she was asked if she’d be interested in opening a fitness training institute, she jumped at the chance.
The National Personal Training Institute of Southern California offers full-time, educational fitness training where successful students can receive a diploma after six months of study. Her school was unlike her competition at the time, which only offered online certifications with no hands-on teaching. Julie eventually bought out her investment partner and expanded the school to multiple locations throughout Southern California.
She has been able to apply many of the things she learned from her education to her business such as the value of human contact and the importance of ethical business behavior and honest feedback. While her academic experience helped with the technical aspects of human resource management, she says it was the emotional strength she acquired from receiving her degree that was the real asset in achieving her goals. It was also a huge motivator for her to take risks.
Julie’s advice to other entrepreneurs is to keep overhead expenses low, growth expansion moderate and enthusiasm high. “Never give up on your dreams,” she says. “When it comes to returning to school, don’t hesitate.”