My Vision For College Students of Color [Pt. 2]

Hey this is Mike Ambassador Bruny and I’m glad you’re here with me.  Today I’m going to talk about a project that I’m working on focused on college students and young professionals of color.  This is part 2 following the journey of this vision.  If you haven’t done so already, I’d encourage you to listen or read part 1.  

In part 1 I shared a vision I have, the big WHY behind all of it and where I was stuck.

The Framework

Here is quick overview of the project I’m calling, “No More Reasonable Doubt,”

No More Reasonable Doubt is an online community for college students of color (young professionals coming down the pike).  There are 5 components to it:

  1. Community: A private Facebook Community
  2. Coaching: Twice a month there will be a group coaching call
  3. Courses: On Demand online courses focused on soft skills 
  4. Content: Curated, Original and annotated content
  5. Radio Show: I will have professionals of color from different fields as my guest

Steps I Took

Today I’m going to share what I have been doing since I wrote part I of this vision and what lead to the 5 part framework I just shared.

First, I decided to test the hypothesis that college students of color would be willing to pay for professional development support.  The idea was to create a landing page and see if students of color would be willing to pay $10 on a monthly basis to be part of an online community where they could learn soft skills.  

Once they signed up I would tell them that it wasn’t ready yet but if they wanted to be part of the founders club they’d have to answer a short questionnaire.  The questionnaire would provide me with data on how to move forward and improve the idea I had.

I reached out to my homie Allison Myers from Counter Tools for a little help and she told me one way to get the questions for the questionnaire was to start by interviewing a few people in the market I was looking to serve.  That would help with creating multiple choice questions and give me a sense of what resonants and what just doesn’t.

Quick side note: Why did you call Allison to help? 1. I don’t pretend to have it all figured out.  There are people much smarter than me who have been doing surveys much longer than I have.  But mind you I have a lot of friends with Ph.D’s or who are on the path towards a Ph.D.  I chose Allison because she is a research both as a Ph.D and someone who actually runs a business.  I needed to talk to someone who would understand the research and the business side of what I was looking to create.

[Ok, back to your regularly scheduled program].  

So I went off to interview current students of color, administrators who work with students of color and recent college graduates of color (young professionals).  You can find the questions I used HERE.

I had in depth phone interviews with 4 people from each of the target groups mentioned above (current students, administrators and young alumni).

Here Are Some Of My Key Findings

  1. College students don’t want to pay for professional development
  2. There is a need for soft skills training according to employers that administrators interact with
  3. Many universities do an excellent job preparing students from a technical perspective but not as much when it comes to soft skills and preparing them for life post college
  4. Facebook is where many college students get their news
  5. Community is important to all parties I interviewed

Here Are Some Of The Key Challenges

  • Finding who is willing to pay for the soft skills training of their students and actually connecting with them.  They get so many people reaching out for workshops and speaking that getting through can be difficult 
  • Deciding if I’m going to just focus on college students and / or young professionals at first

What’s Next?

  • Create a landing page where I can capture the email of interested parties [done]
  • Out reach to Chief Diversity Officers at Universities and conferences that may be interested to let them know what I’m working on
  • Layout the vision and a staggered execution plan
  • I’ve also applied for a grant

What’s The Business Model?

Right now I’m wrestling with offering speeches at colleges and free membership to any of their students of color and / or having some kind of online course that I can sell.  

The project has to be able to sustain itself for it to work.  Eventually I’d want to have writers, course instructors and a graphic designers besides just me. 

Where I Could Use Some Help

  • If you or someone you know works with college students of color please connect us via email Mike [at] Ambassador Bruny [dot] com

As always, my goal is to help you run the point (take action) from where you are, with what you have.

Signing out, your Ambassador, Mike Ambassador Bruny.  Peace

About The Author

Mike Ambassador Bruny

I have a deep desire to help spread entrepreneurial thinking as the solutions to many of our problems today. I am a project kind of guy who loves to get things started. When I'm not in search of contract work (projects) that I can do during the nights and weekends I can be found working as a mild mannered Digital Content Manager for Babson Executive Education.