Honors Entrepreneur

College students wear many hats, and learning to balance school, work, extracurricular activities, and time with family and friends can be a challenge. But rising to meet the challenge is Honors sophomore Arielle Boland. Besides being an Honors student at Meredith, and co-adviser with me of a freshmen advising group, Arielle also runs her own piano studio. Inspired by everything she accomplishes, we asked her to share about being a student and having her own business.

ariellebolandWhat is your major and what do you hope to do with it?

History Major, K-6 License — Hope to be an elementary teacher, likely in the upper grades (3rd-5th)

How did you get started teaching piano? How many students do you have now?

My sister took ballet. Someone from ballet knew that I played the flute and wanted to be a teacher and told another family that I probably would be a good flute teacher. I started that fall (2010) and then by the spring I was teaching 3 piano lessons as well. I eventually transitioned to just piano and I currently have 14 piano students, the most I’ve had at one time. Over the past 4.5 years, I have had 18 different students, ranging from Kindergarten – 9th grade, mostly girls, but some boys as well.

What things influenced your decision to keep teaching once you started college?

I really enjoyed teaching piano lessons in HS, and loved how it was a way for me to teach without having my licensure yet. When I was looking at schools, I wanted to find one that was close enough that I could commute and still teach. When I chose Meredith, I knew it would be smart to keep teaching so that way I could finish college without any debt. With my current savings, I should be debt free when I graduate in 2017.

What’s the most difficult part of managing your Meredith activities, homework, and piano lessons?

Finding the time to get everything done well. I’m a perfectionist and want to get everything done 100% well. I have to plan out my weeks and often have to schedule events in my planner as soon as possible. That way, if I want to participate in events like Corn, I can let my piano students know well enough in advance. I think the hardest thing is finding the time in my schedule to teach lessons. With now 14 students, I have to carve times out on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for lessons. Being a piano teacher means I am the boss, have to set my own rates, email parents, and make sure I schedule time off for work in a timely manner.

What other things are you involved with on campus?

On campus I am a Teaching Fellow (have seminars), Honors student, Student Adviser (to the best group #21) and in Impact Raleigh. Off campus I also direct a kids’ choir at my church, Colonial Baptist.

What tips do you have for other students about balancing all the many different activities and responsibilities we have as students?

Plan ahead, get sleep, do the best you can at school and try not to slack off by doing Facebook or other games/things that are mindless. When you do have time, spend it with people or family—when you have work, volunteering and school there isn’t a lot of time, so you have to use every minute wisely! I think, though, that I have been thankful for the opportunity to be a piano teacher. Especially starting in HS, it has allowed me to be responsible for my job as an entrepreneur and has given me skills and opportunities to be a leader that will prepare me for future careers. If you have the opportunity to work and do school, definitely take advantage of it! You will be able to buy as many Meredith T-shirts as you want and feel more responsible about paying for college!


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