Graduates Start Business


by Victoria Jones

Two 2010 graduates used internships and real world experience to start their own business in Des Moines this past year.

Chelcee Cheers and Sara Crouse found a market that needed to be filled, and they are doing just that.

Thanks to their multiple internships throughout college Cheers and Crouse were able to gain experience that has helped them in their quest to start up their own business, c 2 it communications, in November.

“Last year I had them in the evening classes,” said Julie Summers, assistant professor of communications. “They are both students who had a lot of internships so they were able to gain a lot of real world experience.”

Both Cheers and Crouse agree internships are an essential part of college.

“I usually had an internship, a job and school,” Cheers said. “I didn’t sleep a whole lot. If I wasn’t that busy I was bored.”

The former students spent the majority of their college years preparing for what would come after graduation.

“I pretty much had an internship from sophomore year on, just for the experience because a lot of those internships you can count it as real world experience if you stay long enough,” Crouse said.

With all of that experience under their belts they entered the work world to find that the tough economic times had made their search for jobs difficult. They tell current students to start their job search as early as possible.

“It’s really hard to find a job after college that fits with what you went to college for,” Crouse said.

Realizing there was a market to be filled they jumped on the opportunity. They ended up quitting what they like to call their real jobs to put all of their effort into their new business.

“There are different things like web site design or communication work or any kind of that stuff that can be contracted out to businesses that specialize in doing that [but] their prices are outrageous,” Cheers said.

For a lot of small businesses, non-profits and new bands it’s difficult to pay for someone else to do it for them.

“What happens is people try to do it themselves,” Cheers said. “If you’re an artist or a business owner you’re not always going to know how to use communication programs like InDesign or Photoshop. These people try to do it and aren’t able to do it as well as it could be done or should be done and therefore fail.”

Having plenty of experience, Crouse offers current students some advice.

“Jump on the social media,” Crouse said. “As much as everyone says it’s pointless and it’s going to go away, sadly it’s not going away anytime soon so even if you don’t want to put yourself out there publically, perhaps you can put your ideas out. It can really help in your job search.”

Cheers also had one last piece of advice for those interested in communication.

“Out of anything, if you want to do anything in communications, learn how to manipulate documents in graphic design,” Cheers said. “Learn as much graphic design as you can, even if you think it will never be applicable to any situation that you’re in. You’re wrong. It becomes too costly to send out documents to a communication company all the time.”