Minding Their Business: Graduating Rutgers Student Plans to Help Minority Entrepreneurs Succeed

His approach is pretty simple, explains Riquan King.

“Anytime I see an opportunity, I jump at it. I never wait for someone to tell me to do it,” says the graduating management major with a minor in marketing at Rutgers University–Camden.

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During his time at Rutgers–Camden, King’s own journey has been a study in taking advantage of what comes his way

But although he gets the message, says the Winslow resident, he wants others to understand it too.

“I want to push more people to be that way,” he says. “Even if it doesn’t turn out how the way you want, you still try. That’s a first step that everyone should take.”

It’s a time-honored message that King now hopes to share with others as a business consultant working with minority entrepreneurs and small business owners to create sustainable, financially stable enterprises.

“I want to help them follow their passions without having to compromise their goals out of fear of not making ends meet,” says King, vice president of the Student Government Association at Rutgers–Camden.

Moreover, he plans not only to dispense advice, but financial assistance as well.

“Kind of like ‘Shark Tank,’ but a whole lot nicer,” he says with a laugh. “It would be amazing to get to the point where I could provide anything that someone needs to realize their dream.”

During his time at Rutgers–Camden, King’s own journey has been a study in taking advantage of what comes his way. As he recalls, he first attended Rowan University for a year and then Camden County College, where he played soccer, before getting recruited to play defense for the Scarlet Raptors.

Initially pursuing a career in education, he was often sought by friends looking for business advice, but never felt fully prepared to give a sound opinion. He soon turned his attention to a career as a business consultant, realizing that he could help others and make money doing it – two goals, he says, that don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

“So I made it my goal to gain the necessary skills and competency so that I could give that advice,” he says.

In addition to the business acumen that he’s developed, King believes that he has benefited immeasurably over the past year serving as a resident assistant for the Office of Housing and Residence Life at Rutgers–Camden.

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King celebrates with teammates after the Scarlet Raptors top Montclair State University on penalty kicks to win its fourth NJAC title in five years

“I don’t think that I would be where I am now had it not been for that position,” says King, who says that he has learned to juggle multiple tasks, improve his time-management skills and, just as importantly, keep an eye out for others.

“Residents look up to you in many ways, even those who aren’t directly under your purview, which gives you a ‘big brother’ mentality in trying to inspire others to do well,” he says. “I’ve learned to stay neutral in situations, but also give good advice and help people overcome their obstacles – and do it quickly; you’ve got to think on your toes. That experience is a big part of what has been pushing me to do more, to continue to be that role model for others.”

While admittedly gaining a deeper interest in law through television shows such as “Suits” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” King now plans to supplement his business skills with a stronger understanding of the law. In the fall, he will begin his pursuit of a four-year Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration degree, offered jointly through the Rutgers School of Business–Camden and Rutgers Law School.

“Whether it is writing contracts, making acquisitions, or worrying about lawsuits, a law degree is going to provide me with one more layer of added assurance that I will accomplish what I set out to do,” says King, who plans to continue serving as a resident assistant next year.

Often when people finally reach out to a consultant, he adds, they need advice sooner rather than later – a job that his Rutgers–Camden experience has uniquely prepared him to do.

“Ultimately, I’ll need to connect with people on multiple levels and gain their trust,” says King. “It’s a vital skill that I think will help a lot of people.”

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