April Scott helps start and grow businesses in Brunswick County
APRIL SCOTT, director of Brunswick Community College’s Small Business Center (SBC), says there’s no such thing as a “typical day” at her job. Business is always evolving, and in a constant effort to be the best consultant and leader, so is she.
In fact, Scott’s evolution into the business world is not your typical story, either. She began her professional life in health care.
While a nursing student, a colleague mentioned the nonprofit Carousel Center, Wilmington’s resource center for children who have experienced abuse. She contacted the organization to fulfill volunteer hours as required by her academic program.
“I felt totally drawn to that work,” she says.
So much so that Scott continued at the Carousel Center as an office manager.
“I did a full 360 from nursing to business,” she says.
Although hesitant at first, she “just went for it” –changing her job, school and degree, finishing with a bachelor’s in business administration, with a focus in leadership.
Her leap of faith did not go unrecognized. She eventually became the nonprofit’s executive director.
After 12 years at the Carousel Center, in 2013, Scott made her next move for graduate school–an MBA from Webster University.
While back in school, she stayed connected to her old Carousel Center crew by working for Dr. SONJA SHANDLEY, who had begun plans for a private practice.
“She said ‘I’m the doctor, you do the other stuff,’” Scott explains. “And there started me being a business consultant.”
A couple of years later, with another graduation approaching, Scott was ready for her “next big thing.”
“I had my focus on leaving Wilmington,” she says. Therefore, she hesitated when Timothy Randall, a classmate, and her now supervisor, encouraged her to look at the SBC director position.
“When I switched over to business, I never saw myself in corporate business,” she says. “That’s too stuffy for me. I need to talk to people and be engaged.”
Scott feared the job at the college would mean many hours in an office.
“But then I looked over the job description and thought, ‘that doesn’t look too stuffy at all.’”
Scott’s colleagues have noted how excited she becomes when a client gets good news like securing a business loan.
“When they get it, that means I got it–the county won, they won, I won. Helping people really brings me joy,” Scott says.
Ultimately, her role is to help create and grow business in Brunswick County. She works with clients at all stages–from newbies with a new idea to business veterans looking for growth.
And, sometimes, her job means providing help when business owners are struggling.
Right now, many businesses are faced with challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the SBC has readjusted its seminars (now webinars) to focus on related resources.
Current offerings include “Strategies To Be More Competitive In A Virtual World” and “How to Stay in Front of Your Customers with Google My Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Brunswick County Community College is part of a network of 58 small business centers that have been distributing and sharing new information during this unprecedented time.
“[My job] means meeting clients where they are,” Scott explains. “Small businesses are the backbone of Brunswick County.”
Scott truly loves her job and believes, in some ways, fate brought her there.
“I didn’t go looking for BCC,” she says. “But this is where I’m supposed to be.”
To view more of photographer Terah Wilson’s work, go to terahwilson.com.
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