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PrepStart Profile: Philip Szal

Full Name: Philip Szal

Age: 27

Hometown: Buffalo

Colleges attended: SUNY Fredonia and ECC

Degrees earned: Marketing and Business Management

Current job/occupation: Owner of Rochester and Syracuse Pedal Tours

Please describe your current job. All encompassing, includes accounting, driving tours, sales, marketing, and management

In what ways did your education and internship/work experience prepare you for your current position?

I was lucky that my teachers in Fredonia gave us so many real world examples and tailored the marketing classes to college kids by using examples for beer and liquor related companies. I am one of the few people who can say I used what I learned in my college classes everyday at my jobs and it made me a better employee then owner.

What challenges did you face when choosing a college or career path? How did you overcome these challenges?

My biggest challenge was wanting to stay home and save money by living at home, my parents wanted me to get the full college experience and once I visited Fredonia I decided I wanted to go there. I made friends quickly and had a very rewarding and enriching 4 years there. School was affordable and between working and going to school I was able to graduate debt free.

What advice would you give to students in the beginning stages of preparing for their futures?

Most people think about what they want to be when they go up and no one thinks to own their own business. Try to plan on being a small business owner and learn anything you can on the job. You never know what will learn that will help you in ways big or small down the road. Surround yourself with one person above you to try and learn from and emulate, someone at your level to compete with and someone below you to teach. This will enrich you and keep you always on your feet.

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