We are in our second week of the miniseries called “Classroom to The Board Room.” This mini-series features three former Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) students and how they went from applying the knowledge learned from the classroom to help build their own business. Some students built their business while they attended NAIT while some started building after they left. Last week, we featured a NAIT student powerhouse Justin Nand. He was the former NAIT Students Association (NAITSA) President and helped operate a business while in school called Ashna Decor. Discover more about NAIT Entrepreneur Justin Nand’s story HERE.

However, this story is not about Justin Nand but another great example of a student who built a business while attending NAIT. I had the opportunity to share a lot of classes with Raymond Saw, who has an Amazon FBA Business.

NAIT Entrepreneur Graduate – Raymond Saw

Raymond graduated from NAIT with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree with an emphasis on management. I had the opportunity to work on many projects with Raymond while at NAIT and attended many classes with each other. He is an excellent example of some one who saw an opportunity, worked incredibly hard and managed his time effectively to launch a business while in school, working a part time job. I remember sitting in class, and Raymond and I would discuss all the different things he was doing in his business such as; marketing, finding suppliers, checking over products, understanding how to sell on Amazon efficiently and so forth.

In case you don’t remember what Amazon FBA, it’s when you become a seller on Amazon and they handle all the shipping and logistics. It’s your job to find suppliers, ensure quality management, market and sell the product. We covered Amazon FBA in detail with Charles Marois who is also a seller on the largest online retailer.

Amazon FBA Student Entrepreneurs

If I were a student starting college, an Amazon FBA business would be a great opportunity. Because Amazon focuses on some of those core functions such as shipping and logistics, it allows you to focus on what matters. As a student, you can concentrate on the marketing of your business, keeping track of inventory management and arguably still have time to study and succeed academically. Take your academics seriously while attending NAIT, but more importantly focus on what matters to you.

Raymond Saw, NAIT entrepreneur believes if he could have discovered about this opportunity in year 1 of school, he could have grown it to a reasonably sized company. He could have still focused on his schooling while building a business that could scale over time. It would provide an opportunity to scale during the summer months while not in school, and have a business generating revenue after leaving school.

If you ask me that would be ideal, and if a student undertook that responsibility and accomplished that goal, that would be some thing to be proud of.

3 Tips When Starting a Business

Like with every guest who comes onto the podcast, we always like to ask the same question episode to episode. “If you could give some one three tips when starting a business, what would you say.” Ray gave some good advice for all the students who want to build a business while in school, saying:

1. When you get into an entrepreneurial venture, it might not be what you are looking for. Getting into this venture, might not be some thing you are 100% passionate about from the beginning. However, once you get going and start, you might learn to love it and later down the line you can try some thing else. Go out there and look for opportunities and discover if it’s right for you.

2. Take the first step and get started in your new venture. Execute the plan you developed.

3. Embrace failure. Understand, how failure can help you grow and learn from your mistakes. If you keep failing and doing the same thing over and over again, that’s a problem. It’s important to embrace the failure and learn from them as they can help you grow. Raymond recommends taking advantage of it.

Contact Raymond Saw

To contact NAIT entrepreneur Raymond about his time at school and the classes to focus on if you want to start an Amazon FBA business,  Facebook is a great option. Raymond also made his phone number available through me, so if you wish to call, please send me an email regarding the reason for the inquiry, and I’ll be happy to email it back.