Washington State Magazine

Summer 2003


Summer 2003

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In This Issue...

Features

Building the Perfect Bone :: With a new baby as inspiration, and an interdisciplinary team to help, husband and wife Amit Bandyopadhyay and Susmita Bose have set out to solve the puzzle of how to imitate nature's growth of the human bone.

"Problem" Is a Good Word :: There are no stars at Miller/Hull Partnership.

Cooking for 7,000 :: So what are students eating? Just about everything. And how much?

With Eyes Wide Open :: Margarita Mendoza de Sugiyama is on the lookout for crooks, "really slimy crooks."

Survival Science :: Joanna Ellington champions fecundity.

Panoramas

Departments

:: WHAT DON'T WE KNOW:How do bonds break?

:: SEASONS|SPORTS:High jumper with a head for finance

:: SEASONS|SPORTS:Cougars come home again to coach

:: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN:The friends you keep & the wealth you reap

:: PERSPECTIVE:The great conversation

:: A SENSE OF PLACE:Emerald winters, brown summers

Tracking

Shohom Bose Bandyopadhyay, son of Amit Bandyopadhyay and Susmita Bose, has perfected the art of bone-building. Read the story. Photograph by Robert Hubner.

Tracking
Entrepreneur Terry Arndt and partner continue to expand their markets.

Entrepreneur Terry Arndt and partner continue to expand their markets.

Adjusting to life during college and after

by | © Washington State University

By the time he graduated from Washington State University, Terry Arndt ('93 Horticulture) had accumulated $20,000 in student loans, $5,000 in credit card bills, and car payments.

Fortunately, he found a job right away, and a financial advisor. She suggested he pay off his high-interest credit cards first. Then he began making extra payments on his student loans, some with a 10-year payback period. There were other budget considerations. Health insurance premiums. Income tax. A vacation. A year after marrying Melissa Segars ('94 Music), he enrolled in the University of Florida's M.B.A. program. More expenses.

Adjusting to life after college was not the smooth transition he expected. Arndt experienced the agony of living paycheck-to-paycheck. Now he is helping others budget better. In 1999, he and John Ricchini founded their own company, Life After Graduation, LLC. They've also written a trilogy of nationally marketed books that provide advice and money-saving tips for college students and recent graduates.

Arndt and Ricchini met in graduate school. As part of a course in entrepreneurship, the pair entered a business proposal in the 1999 UF Business Plan of the Year competition. Of the 18 proposals submitted, five finalists were chosen to compete for the $5,000 first prize. Although the Life After Graduation proposal was among the five, it did not win.

After the competition, Arndt and Ricchini refined their business plan and decided to pursue their idea. Initially they used the Internet as an inexpensive way to promote their business and books. Response to their first book, Life After Graduation, published in 2000, was positive.

That same year, they established their company's headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Their second book, Life During College, was published during the 2001-02 school year, followed by Backpack to Briefcase in early 2003.

Meanwhile, the partners kept their day jobs. Arndt is assistant director of membership and marketing for the National Club Association in Washington, D.C. He lives in Virginia, a long way from his hometown of Royal City, Washington. Ricchini is manager of financial planning and analysis at the University of South Florida Physicians Group.

Life After Graduation addresses many important budgeting concerns: identifying and ranking financial goals, and determining income and fixed and variable expenses. The book provides advice on credit cards-when to use them, credit card reports, and credit card debt. There are valuable tips on education loans, health insurance, banking, the basics of investing, negotiating rent and requesting discounts from the landlord, and purchasing versus leasing cars.

Initially the partners marketed Life After Graduation to approximately half of the colleges and universities in the country. Within two months, the original press run of 2,000 books sold out. Sales provided capital for a second run of 10,000 and money to develop a website, expand marketing to the rest of the U.S., investigate other projects, and complete the final two books.

Alumni associations, career services, and various other college departments at nearly 200 schools, including the WSU athletic department, provide students with one of Life After Graduation's books. Life During College is now used as part of a one-credit required course for freshmen at such universities as Indiana State, Iowa State, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Marshall, and Virginia Tech.

A measure of the company's success is that their first competitor entered the market in 2001.
"That kept us on our toes and kept us motivated," Arndt says.

For others intent on starting their own business, he offers encouragement. "The only way you know if you can do it is to try. And if you plan to do it while maintaining your current job, get used to a lot of late nights-I mean a lot of them."

Categories: Alumni | Tags: Books, Budget, Entrepreneurs

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