Whitman Student Converts Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Role
Phoebe Gullingsrud ’24 (WSM/NEW)
Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises and Advertising
- Undergraduate Dual
The real-life connection to every class I have taken is what I believe sets the Whitman School a part...the classes are so applicable to real life. I know when I sit down, what I learn is often applied to my business later that day. The perfect example is when I took EEE 451: Finance for Emerging Enterprises. While I was deciding what kind of legal structure I wanted for my business, we were discussing the topic in class that week.
In the Fall 2023 semester, Phoebe Gullingsrud ’24 (WSM/NEW) relaunched her digital marketing agency from POV Marketing to POV Brand Management. Originally a passion project that began in 2021, the entrepreneurial journey was inspired by her courses at the Whitman School from the start of her college career.
POV Marketing was where she learned the foundation of being an entrepreneur, utilizing classroom knowledge and advising from academic experts. Gullingsrud realized she wanted something that was a more sustainable venture. Ultimately, she decided she was ready to close those doors and elevate her business to a higher level.
The decision to relaunch the business stemmed from Gullingsrud reflecting on what she wants to do following graduation from the Whitman School this May. A pivotal moment occurred over the summer, as the senior could not see herself doing a traditional 9 to 5 job. As a result, she chose to dedicate herself to the business instead of pursuing an internship, transforming her side hustle into a full-time endeavor.
“I did not see myself following the traditional path with a career in corporate America. There was nothing I was nearly as passionate about than running my own business. I wanted to be able to support myself and my team upon graduation,” she says.
With the relaunch, Gullingsrud learned from the mistakes she made from POV Marketing and adjusted her approach. With a clear goal in mind, she positioned POV Brand Management as the Gen Z marketing expert.
“What sets us apart is that we are a team of digital natives who have grown up with these platforms. Each of us bring a unique perspective to help businesses utilize this transformative tool to foster business longevity and growth,” she says.
Gullingsrud believes being an entrepreneur while in college comes with unique advantages. She applies what she learns in class directly to her business and finds classroom content more valuable, applicable and further understood than if she was just retaining the information for an exam.
“The real-life connection to every class I have taken is what I believe sets the Whitman School a part,” she says, “The classes are so applicable to real life. I know when I sit down, what I learn is often applied to my business later that day. The perfect example is when I took EEE 451: Finance for Emerging Enterprises. While I was deciding what kind of legal structure I wanted for my business, we were discussing the topic in class that week.”
In addition to courses contributing to the success of Gullingsrud's entrepreneurial journey, professors have become invaluable mentors for her, especially Professor Ken Walsleben and Professor Alexandra Kostakis, who helped her when she was forming her business and guided her through the intricacies of finances, operational modeling and invaluable advising in all areas of her business.
Gullingsrud hopes that her passion inspires others to pursue their goals. She says, “Our age sets us apart. My team and I are trying to tap into the fact that this is not a bad thing.” Along with her six employees, she hopes that challenging the norm creates a spark in those who want to follow nontraditional paths and their dreams.
“Another goal POV set with the relaunch is to foster a community that inspires individuals to follow their passions and use digital to do so,” she says, “That is exactly what we did, with the new digital world the possibilities are endless. You truly can create your dream life from your own POV (‘point of view’).”
By Anna Rooney ’24