From HSC Success to Start Up Success two young business women share their stories on how to achieve your dreams.
With the last day of school today for many young high school students, there is bound to be many mixed emotions from sadness at closing a big life chapter, happiness to be growing up and more than anything nerves for the upcoming HSC exams.
These were exactly the emotions felt by two young women who sat their HSC just a few years ago but who today are making waves in the business world. Erin Young and Jane Lu were two ambitious students who through hard work and dedication achieved UAI’s (today known as ATAR) of 99.55 and 99.45 respectively. As Young says “I had a single minded focus in my HSC year, I studied four hours every day and never took my eye of the end goal. I needed to achieve highly so that I could gain entry into Sydney University which I knew would provide me with the opportunity to succeed in life.”
Lu was similarly focused and both girls were able to secure places in the sought after Commerce degree at Sydney University for Young and UNSW for Lu. While at University, Young focused not just academics but real world experience spending an exchange year in Germany and completing internships at notable companies. “University was brilliant, I enjoyed the freedom and new friends. It was hard sometimes though as I had to work up to three part time jobs to afford to live in Sydney and save for my exchange year but looking back it made me realise I can do anything to achieve my goals.”
It was not until after university that the girls started making an impact in business with both securing prestigious corporate jobs with multinational companies. After gaining business experience and acumen both girls left their jobs to pursue their own dream of running their own companies. Lu, who started her company Show Pony Fashion (www.showponyfashion.com) in 2010 is now a recognized online retail brand with over 50,000 fans on Facebook and a seven figure annual revenue. Asked about her success Lu states “Show Pony answered at the time a market place demand for a fashion forward retailer engaging its customers in the online space. We are not just a retailer we are a community where we share what we love and we use our fans as our models and inspiration.”
Young started her company Zen Green Tea (www.zengreentea.com.au) only this year pioneering the Matcha Green Tea market in Australia. Within her second month of operating she was generating an income equal to her corporate wage and it has only been growing since. Young commenting on her company states “For me I love the product I sell and I saw a need for it in the Australian market. In my corporate job I saw a huge number of tired stressed out workers who consumed endless coffee and energy drinks throughout the day. Matcha Green Tea Powder is huge in the US, it’s the whole green tea leaf stone ground into a fine powder which dissolves in hot water to form a delicious tea equivalent 30 cups of standard green tea. My customers rave about its ability to enhance their concentration, energy and shrink their waist line!”
Both Young and Lu admit that they haven’t gained their success simply from a high UAI but they do comment that it was a great indication to all those around them that they are not afraid of hard work. Young states “A high UAI never got me the great job or the successful business, however it did give me a belief in myself that I can accomplish my dreams and it has opened doors for me to gain the opportunity to showcase my personality and skills to potential employers.”
To achieve a great UAI/ATAR and then to accomplish your dreams the girls gave three points of advice:
1.Set your goals out clearly and with it actionable steps on how to get there. Anything complex is always made of smaller steps!
2.Always seek out mentors who you can gain advice from. Often these mentors will offer opportunities.
3.Think about how you can be different in whatever you are doing. Instead of looking for an advertised job, think about where you want to work and then approach them. They at the least will be impressed by your initiative. Remember, people do want to help you they just have not been asked in the right way.
Article contributed by Erin Young who is the founder of Zen Green Matcha Tea – a premium matcha green tea powder brand in Australia. To find our more information you can visit her website Zen Green Matcha Tea.