The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


    Getting down to business, students set up shop

    Dillard is home to students of many talents, and some of those students have parlayed their talents into businesses, making them student entrepreneurs.

    Balancing school and business can prove to be difficult. Dwayne Redd, a senior mass communications major from Los Angeles, Calif., said that the most difficult part of owning a business and being a student is finding the time to do both.

    "Time management is the hardest part," said Redd, who is the co-owner of Professional Navigators Production, a record production company.

    On the other hand, Grayling Poats, a sophomore mass communications major from Missouri City, Texas, concedes that sometimes wearing both hats can prove to be difficult and helpful.

    "I’m going to school full time so in some subjects it helps and in some subjects it doesn’t," Poats said. He owns Georgy Poorgy Entertainment, a production company.

    Since there are quite a few students in the mass communications department who are trying to try their hand at the music business, Redd feels like he needs to separate himself from the rest.
    "I’m an educator, I want to be different. There are so many people out there trying to do the same thing. I want to be a teacher when I get out," Redd said.

    Redd became a certified audio engineer at the Los Angeles Recording Workshop before coming to Dillard, but feels that Dillard does not provide the facilities for its students to be able to get the necessary to function in the recording industry.

    "I feel like Dillard has told kids a lot of lies because Dillard doesn’t have the equipment," Redd said. "I feel like kids are being robbed."

    But that will not stop Redd, who has already made major strides in the industry. Among his list of accomplishments are rapping on track 20 on Snoop Dogg’s last album, and being played on Sirius, the internet radio station.

    Poats produced a song that Redd rapped on that was played on KNOU 104.5FM. He also has produced songs for Houston artist Kiotti and received credit for them.

    Both gentlemen have big goals and aspirations.

    "I have big dreams and aspirations," Redd said. "In 10 years I see myself owning my own studio and having a PhD in mass communications."

    Poats goals are more immediate.

    "I hope to set up a network with each black college so that Dillard students can collaborate with other students and can get their music out there," Poats said.

    Dillard does not house only the musically inclined. It is also home to linguists Montana and Ray Rodney. This brother and sister team want to provide a service to Dillard and the world that has not really been offered before, which Montana Rodney, a sophomore international business and Japanese studies major says, sets them apart.

    "We’re unique. We act as a bridge between the United States and Japan as far as translating and interpreting different fields," Montana Rodney said. "It’s unique because the services being provided are authentic, even though Ray and I are not Japanese.

    The Rodney duo own and operate Access Network Trade Japan America, a translating company. Her brother Ray, who is also a sophomore Japanese Studies major is the owner, while Montana serves as president. Both reside in New Orleans, although they have spent much of their lives in Japan.

    However, the distance is not the problem, but rather the juggling of a growing business and school seems to be difficult. Montana Rodney conceded that there are times when it can be overwhelming.

    "Sometimes it does conflict, especially with mid-terms coming up," she said. "I try to put in at least three hours a week but it gets hard, especially around test time."

    Rodney hopes that all of that hard work will pay off. She foresees herself and her business prospering.

    "I see the business being fully flourished in 10 years," she said. "In 10 years we will be the equivalent of Jacob the Jeweler."

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    Getting down to business, students set up shop