Danny Sertich is a Young Entrepreneur With Big Dreams


Millennials are taking charge of their future very early on and they’re being exposed to this through unique student organizations helping students connect their academic learning with real-world experiences. We spent time with one young entrepreneur to learn about his business venture and how he got started.

Tell us who you are and what you do.

I am Danny Sertich, Minnesota DECA’s Vice-President of Communications and entrepreneur. As a state officer for Minnesota DECA, I represent 4,700 members. I also have the task of running our State Career Development Conference with the other officers and staff.

Outside of work and school I run cross-country and track, play hockey and golf, and canoe/camp with my friends. This coming summer [2017] I will be going on a 45-day expedition into the Arctic Circle with seven other crewmembers. This expedition will follow the Coppermine River in Canada to the Arctic Ocean. This is a 2nd year trip for the Les Voyageurs, Inc. program after I spent 30-days in the Canadian wilderness with a similar crew and over 350 miles of portaging and paddling.

I have one younger brother, Shjon, and we enjoy many of the same activities. With his blonde surfer-boy hair, he always finds a way to make me smile. I wouldn’t want a different person to be around at home!

We heard you’re a young entrepreneur. Tell us what your business is and how you got started.

Yes! I own Versolin a business consulting firm. I started this after I competed with a business plan for DECA in 2015-16. A category of DECA’s competitive events involved a market research project with local businesses. Students work with a real business to formulate a plan to solve a problem (determined by a topic area put out by DECA, Inc. each year). DECA picks these topics based on trending problems in the business world, so often times these problems apply to the business they’re working with, and the business actually finds a way to implement the plan.

With a combination of my experiences in DECA (the business plan and a market research project) I realized I could actually make money from the consulting that DECA students are already doing. I explored the idea while I worked for the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, and with the feedback from local businesses there was a common theme. Many business executives and owners had a disconnect with the upcoming Millennial Generation—they just didn’t understand us. Using this gap as my niche, I started Versolin in August and I am now using it to compete in DECA’s Business Growth Plan.

In the recent past, Versolin did more targeted marketing for other businesses than any other service we provided. Now, with the Business Growth Plan, I am evaluating the possibility to engage in the venture capital market (currently untapped in St. Cloud, MN).

What’s the most important advice you ever received?

“Find something you’re passionate about and stick with it,” or “use your talents to make money.”

These two pieces of advice are the reason I am here today. If I didn’t have the courage to start my business or run for office, I’d just be the average high school student.

What advice would you give other students?

If there’s one piece of advice that I’d like to give to other students, it’s to not listen to what other people say. Actually, listen to advice and ignore those who tell you that you can’t succeed.


Minnesota DECA is a career and technical education student (CTSO) organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. Learn more about Minnesota DECA to learn about their mission and how you can get involved.

Sen. Franken Tackles Skills Gap During MN College Visit


20071021-CRW_4199.jpg

Minnesota Senator Al Franken toured Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead last week.  The college showcased its programs that pair students with local industry for work-based learning.  Senator Franken acknowledged that what MSCTC and other community colleges are doing to connect student learning with employer needs is working.

The Senator’s visit gave him the opportunity to talk about his proposed legislation called the “Community College to Career Fund Act.” It would create a competitive grant program supporting partnerships between community colleges and local businesses.  This funding opportunity aims to eliminate the skills gap between job candidates and industry needs.

Read more about the Senator’s visit to MSCTC from Agweek.

 

Featured image courtesy Craig Willford through Creative Commons 2.0

Times They Have A-Changed For Older Workers


~by Erik White

The workforce has undergone significant transformation since the start of the century.  Millennials are entering the workforce and baby boomers are preparing for their exit.  Perhaps the most prominent change is the advancement of technology and its role in the workplace.  Job duties have changed and new types of jobs have been created to incorporate the technology upgrades.

Continue reading

8 Ways Presenting at Conferences Helps Your Career


By Denise Felder~

 

Have you ever looked at a speaker in a business meeting or professional conference and thought, “I could do that”?

Or do you think the opposite? – “There’s no way I could stand in front of the room like that.”

Either way, you are probably more qualified than you think to lead a presentation at work.

Continue reading

3 Things Teens Can Do To Find a Summer Job


By Denise Felder ~

Job market experts say that teens are having an easier time finding summer jobs this year than in recent years.

This is great news!

A summer job is an excellent way to earn money while gaining skills and experience that will help you in your education and career plans.

Here are three tips teens and young adults can use when choosing the right job. Continue reading

2 Years, 1 Occupation, and a Good Wage in the Northeast


by Eric White~

 

Community colleges have been making headlines recently with President Obama proposing free tuition for responsible students.

Even if that doesn’t happen, students will find that community colleges cost less than 4-year universities. Less credits will be required to graduate with a degree, and still lead to rewarding and well-paying jobs.

Continue reading

Students Are Not Robots! Using Technology to Create Meaningful Communication


by Eric Chester ~

When I was a teenager growing up in the 70s, my father wanted me to get a much better education than the 10th grade education he had to settle for during the Great Depression.

To scare me into studying harder, Dad would tear out pages of the futuristic monthly magazine, Popular Science, and lay them on my bed to show me that computers would someday take over the world. And if I couldn’t use a computer, someday I would be replaced by one.

Dear old Dad was smarter than I thought back then. His prediction has become a reality; at least, for me it has.

Continue reading

What’s Your Interest?


by Rachel Vilsack ~

No matter where you are in your career, take time to consider what you like, what you’re good at, and whether your job is making the best use of your talents. Career assessments can help identify your skills, interests, values, or other traits. These are then matched to a broad list of careers. Assessments help you find careers that fit you best. An interest assessment can tell you what you already know about yourself but may not have really considered.

Continue reading