“I didn’t even tour. I just applied, and when I was accepted, I said ‘yes,’” recalls Niels Bulskov, a native of Oregon, of his decision to attend Mason.
“This was my real first opportunity to branch out, get out of my comfort zone, meet a lot of new people, and get more opportunity than I could back home.”
Bulskov, a senior marketing major who’s a first generation college student, has made the most of his time at Mason. He started his own business, Ground Control Coffee LLC, and took second place in the 2016 Deans’ Business Plan Competition. He’s president of Mason’s American Marketing Association chapter, is involved with StartUp Mason and the Mason Innovation Lab, and is a member of the Green Machine Pep Band. He’s also interned with non-profit SourceAmerica for the last three summers.
His entrepreneurial spirit helped him earn the EagleBank Entrepreneurship Scholarship for $10,000 this academic year.
“I wanted to start a business my whole life. I wanted to create something,” Bulskov said.
He decided to build his business around coffee, because it’s one of his loves. He started developing the business last September, and launched in April.
“It’s a really cool learning experience starting a company because I learned so many things in the business school and the intro classes have been so useful. I’ve used accounting so much. It’s essential,” he said.
In addition to the scholarship, Bulskov credits EagleBank with playing a “considerable part in my college experience.”
To help fund his education and business, he’s worked at EagleBank Arena for the last year and half. Bulskov also had the opportunity to meet EagleBank CEO Ronald D. Paul at a Brown & Brown Speaker Series event on campus.
After graduation, Bulskov plans to continue working on growing his business. So far, he has reinvested all sales back into the company.
“If I can build the customer base up to a sustaining level so that I can pay myself, that would be the dream,” he said.
Bulskov said the scholarship has been an “enormous help to give me peace of mind” and he sees it as the business school investing in his future. The scholarship will allow him to focus on finishing his senior year and building his business.