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Business management grad's hobby leads to creating publishing company
Nikasha N Dicks
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Business management grad's hobby leads to creating publishing company

First-generation college student Bianca Brooks never had the “College Talk,” but that didn’t stop her from completing the Business Management program at Aiken Technical College in December of 2023. She looks forward to walking across the stage in April and showing her two children, Kimora and Michael, that the sky’s the limit!

Sometimes a bumpy start helps us see how important it is to finish well. What’s happened in your life to help you learn this lesson?

I dropped out of high school. At the time, I was hardheaded and wanted to do what I wanted to do. But then I applied for a job I really wanted and couldn’t get it because I had no education behind it. That rejection motivated me to get my GED. I applied myself and got my GED within three months. So yes, I had some setbacks. But they pushed me to reach for a better outcome.

You also faced a pretty significant challenge when you were enrolled at Remington College. Tell us about that.

My grandmother had always encouraged me to go into the medical field, and when she passed away, I decided to do just that. I pursued my Medical Assisting certification at Remington, but I was pregnant at the time, and the drive back and forth to Columbia was really wearing on me. I felt like giving up, but my instructor, Antionette Reisinger, kept encouraging me. She told me that I was almost at the finish line and I could do it. I must have needed to hear that because I did what I had to do to finish. I will forever be grateful to her for pushing me beyond how far I could push myself.

A Facebook challenge later caused you to change direction. How did it take a long-time hobby and turn it into a business?

I have been a writer since fifth grade, but when I saw a short story challenge on Facebook, I wanted to try to expand my talents and see what I could do. Readers really enjoyed my short story, so I decided to turn it into a book. Since then, I’ve written nine books – everything from children’s books and romance to fiction and non-fiction.

My success with writing also inspired me to start my own publishing company, MBK Publishing LLC, which I named after me and my two children (Michael, Bianca, Kimora). I launched that business three years ago and offer editing, formatting, proofreading, and publishing services to authors. But I also wanted to learn more about operating a small business and have the credentials to support it. So I enrolled in the Business Management program at Aiken Tech.

I knew I wanted to graduate early. I also knew that as a full-time worker, mom, wife, and student, that wouldn't be easy. But I stayed focused and used a lot of my free time to work ahead. I also learned so much from my instructor, Ms. Sharon Ross. She taught Computers in Finance, Wage/Salary Administration, and Accounting 101 and 102, and she worked overtime to make sure students understood the course content. She really went above and beyond as an instructor!

My degree has taught me the ingredients I need to run a successful business. Looking ahead, I’m excited to see how things will evolve once I open a building, I would like to give first-time authors the opportunity to sell their books within my company, and I am working to elevate my business from something I do on the side to my primary source of income.

You have accomplished a lot and seem to have a very clear vision about what you want next. Would you describe yourself as an all-work-and-no-play kind of gal?

I am highly motivated and business-minded, but my children are the main reason I got myself together and went back to school, and they inspire me in so many ways. I love spending time with them. So when I’m not working, you’ll find me having game nights at the house, going out to eat, playing at an arcade, visiting an aquarium or theme park, or going skating. I’m really just a big kid at heart myself!

 

(This feature was originally published on the StartCollegeHere.com website, an initiative by the SC Technical College System.)

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