BusinessBuzz is a business blog that features content written by faculty, staff and students from Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business. In addition to profiles about events, students and faculty on campus, you’ll also find great resources for online students or anyone interested in attending business school. Learn about the modern business landscape, and how business today continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of organizations and consumers in the 21st century. Check in every week for the latest news from the business community and around GCU.
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Alumni Story: How to Make the Most Out of Your Business Degree Featuring Andrea Northup


Whether it’s business administration, sports management or marketing, there is so much variety within the business industry, which is what makes it such an attractive industry to dive into! Studying business allows students the opportunity to earn a degree that can be applied to truly any career. This versatility is perfect for those that are hesitant to commit to one specific career path because of just how big their business aspirations are. We are all developing people and we can accomplish so much, so why not earn a degree that can prepare you for it all? Some of life’s greatest adventures are the ones we have yet to discover.

Andrea Northup is a wonderful example of the kind of student that Colangelo College of Business aims to support and encourage. Graduated in 2017, Northup did not waste any time in her college years. Her creativity and passion have formed her to be who she is and has taken her from one adventure to the next! From the Arizona Road Trip Campaign to her own bowtie business, Northup used her time, resources and zealous spirit well throughout her time at GCU.

Though the versatility and opportunity within business is great, as we’ve seen through students like Northup, it’s also important to distinguish yourself from other business college graduates. Here are 3 tips on how to make the most out of your business degree, all exemplified by Northup and her heart, passion and ambition.

Tip #1. Develop Who You Are

Information and knowledge is extremely important when entering the workforce, and GCU’s CCOB’s degree programs guarantee to provide the curriculum and understanding to fully prepare students for their careers, but that’s not going to be enough to differentiate yourself as a job candidate.

Every student needs to be pairing their studies with time devoted to developing who they are as well. Northup shared in an interview that she has a personal mission of sharing and teaching others to discover purpose, empowerment and value. She has honored this life purpose from establishing her own business in a poverty-stricken area to now working as a Sponsor Relations Manager for Habitat for Humanity, an internationally recognized non-profit organization.

Tip #2. Network, Network, Network

We hear of it all the time in the business world, and Northup is another great story that attests to it; it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

It’s up to each student to take their studies to the next level and to be engaging in what they’re learning. This can be as simple as getting to know your classmates or joining a club, or something as ambitious as starting your own business! Introduce yourself to your professors or interact with people in the community.

Northup thanked Jason Barlow, the local Habitat for Humanity chapter President and CEO, after his lecture in her Servant Leadership class. Little did she know the impact that interaction would have on her future career! Northup also relied on CCOB Dean, Randy Gibb, and Assistant Professor, Tim Kelley, throughout her the planning and structuring of her bowtie business. Those relationships carried her throughout her time at GCU, as well as after. In fact, it was Professor Kelley that recommended her to the position she now has with Central Phoenix Habitat for Humanity!

Tip #3. Go!

Just as Andrea did, it’s never too early to start dreaming of business ideas and fostering the goals that you have. First, identify your values, so that you can honor those and stay true to who you are in whatever career you decide to pursue. Next, utilize the connections and resources you have to collaborate, dream and plan for your future. After that, all there’s left to do is to go and make it happen!

This is the biggest leap of all, but one you won’t regret. Even if you fail at first, keep trying, keep dreaming and keep creating. That’s what business is all about, and that’s the kind of student CCOB is proud to represent and support.

At Grand Canyon University, we are focused on offering every learner a quality education. To find out more about the Colangelo College of Business, visit our website or click the Request More Information button on this page.

Written by Quin Jackson, a marketing major at GCU.

About Quin Jackson
Marketing Major, Digital Copywriter for GCU Blogs

Quin Jackson is a senior at Grand Canyon University, studying marketing and communications. She was born in Kansas, raised in Virginia, went to high school in Ohio and is now continuing her education in Arizona! Quin has loved her time here at GCU and is so excited to see what is in store for her and her final semester on campus. She is involved in Local Outreach and specifically serves as the head student leader for GCU’s Habitat for Humanity team. In her free time, Quin enjoys reflective writing, living room dance parties and road trips with her favorite people.

Read more about Quin.