Throughout freshmen year the most commonly used phrase is, “death by GFOB,” but I couldn’t fully understand why everyone always said this until this semester, when I experienced it myself. GFOB is one of the required courses here at Bryant and it is one of the greatest opportunities students have to be able learn, and understand what it takes to start a business. At the beginning of the semester you are either assigned a team or if you’re lucky enough, you will get to choose who you will be working with for the rest of the semester. You and your team will have to come up with a product or service and will have to execute a business plan for it. At first the syllabus with everything that needs to be done within that one semester seems daunting and unfeasible. But in all honesty it’s not too bad if you start working on it earlier in the semester.
I was lucky enough to have made a business plan in high school, therefore I felt like I was prepared to make another one—but I wasn’t. In high school I only had myself to rely on so if a mistake was made it was all on me and it was easier to manage. But working in a large group, while also being the group leader, was a totally different experience for me. There are many phases that a new team goes through before they can effectively work together. It seems like my group has gotten stuck in more than one of them for longer than we needed to be, but it only strengthened my leadership skills in the end. Which will better prepare me for future projects and jobs.
My team and I came up with the product “Chronically Cute,” which is a doll company that creates dolls for children with chronic illnesses. These dolls will be customizable for every child, therefore they can have the same features and the same illness as the child. They are going to be a symbol of empowerment and inspiration. It will help these children feel less alone in the world. Making a product like this one has caused all of us to think differently about how a business is created and effectively run.
In the end, “death by GFOB” can be a thing if you wait until the last possible minute to do all of the work that is assigned to you. This course has more than a semesters worth of work in it, but if you work well with your team and plan ahead there is no reason why you cannot succeed within the course.