Originally Posted by Roger
Your point about having a part-time job with a technology company is very good. I can fully understand why this was important to you. I see these situations be very fruitful, both for the student, and for the business. It can provide valuable experience in the field, and provides an entry into the worker as a future employee. However, trying to use this as a like-analogy for college students and cutting grass/laying mulch is beyond a stretch. A future employer of the college graduate is not going to get excited about experience in straight stripes across a lawn, putting down well-laid mulch, or nicely trimmed bushes. This was my point about trying to make the college experience and lawn service work together. Working part-time for experience in the field of study is one thing, but cutting grass that has zero to do with the field of study is quite another.
Thanks for the detailed reply and furthering of the discussion, Roger. I understand where you are coming from, but I think one point you're missing relates to the above. If someone here is making a run at starting/operating a legitimate lawn care business (vs. tax-free mowing for beer cash), they can absolutely see cross-pollinating benefits of both.
As I mentioned, I shaped my final year around what would best benefit me in the long run. Those were not tech-related courses, but actually an emphasis on entrepreneurism (now a track/degree at many universities) and public speaking. If I were running a LCO while in college, I would probably do almost the exact same course load. It's why, when the related topic of "should i go to college or build my landscaping company?
" comes up, I always recommend to, at the minimum, take a couple of communication courses (read: speech class), some basic accounting, and even a 100 level business law class.
To better apples to apples it, and speaking to your point, will a hospital or drugstore chain care that the OP made pretty stripes? No. Will they care he ran his own company? From what I know of the medical field, no. What it can do is be a lucrative way to help him pay for his education, all while building up those all-important time, task mgt, and communication skills. Now, what if the OP was actually in marketing, business, or tech? It's not the lawn stripes that matter to any future employer, but the running of the business is absolutely germane to the way their candidacy would be viewed. When I would hire for the last firm I worked for (largest global consulting and accounting firm), every candidate had a stellar educational pedigree (very Stepford Wives), so you have to look for differentiators. If someone had small biz or military experience, by and large, they moved to the absolute top of my stack. Both of those gave me great insight as to what they've experienced, all while they were gaining a top-tier education. In your example, using the "straight stripes", "putting down mulch" or "cutting grass" as argument points is rather myopic. It's everything that surrounds those stripes that interests me. I can assure you, I'm not asking Candidate Bob, owner of Bob's Lawn & Land, about his striping.