MiraCosta College is at the forefront of helping students get their start in business.
People like Julia Kelly, whose company creates caricatures at corporate events, conventions and trade shows. Julia was as a part-time graphic artist when she enrolled several years ago. Now she’s a successful digital caricature artist who owns and operates a flourishing, six-figure business she built using the accounting skills she learned at MiraCosta.
“Accounting is incredibly useful when you’re running your own company,” said Julia, whose firm, JK Expressions, contracts with 10 artists from California to Florida. “Coming into MiraCosta, I had no clue about anything that had to do with accounting. I didn’t even know what a balance sheet was.”
Luckily, that is now longer the case. “I love MiraCosta,” said July. “Everybody at MiraCosta College is looking out for you and has your best interests in mind.”
Ari Jogiel-Schlam agrees. The former MiraCosta College student has launched a Los Angeles business, Leopardët, that manufactures men’s and women’s clothing.
“When you start a business, you have to love what you’re doing,” Ari said. “You have to put your heart into it. A lot of things can go wrong, and if you don’t love what you’re doing, then when something goes wrong you could get discouraged and quit. But MiraCosta College can help prepare you and help you find what your passion is. I’m very happy I went there.”
Debra Howard put her passion of helping the vulnerable into establishing adult day offerings for those living with developmental disabilities. “I was looking for someone who was knowledgeable in the startup of a small business, and I came across the MiraCosta College Small Business Development Center,” said Debra, who operates LOL-Life Of Liberty Adult Day Program. “It was just what I was looking for. It offers so many resources, a wealth of information, and classes and workshops from QuickBooks to accounting to legal issues. And all of it is available under one roof.”
Debra said the center’s biggest impact came in helping her develop a business plan complete with the financial projections needed to secure financing. Eight years after she first visited the center, Howard still drops in for seminars on topics that have helped her business thrive.
In fact, MiraCosta College promotes economic growth in a variety of ways – as an employer, as a buyer of goods and services, and as a supplier of trained workers who contribute daily to our region. During the 2014-15 fiscal year, MiraCosta College and its students contributed $338.4 million in added income to San Diego County’s Gross Regional Product.
But often overlooked in such impressive statistics are the individuals we impact, people such as Julia, Ari and Debra, who have taken the lessons learned at MiraCosta College to make a difference in the world. Thanks to strong support from our business and community partners, we continue to help our students develop their own success stories every day.