Student Spotlight: Hannah Stutts

Hannah Stutts, 4th from left, at JAKS Stables.

Hannah Stutts is a senior in Agricultural Business Management who already has experience managing her own agritourism business in Youngsville, NC. We asked Hannah to tell us about herself and share some of her secrets to success.

Tell us about starting your own business.

 I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and anything I truly wanted to do I found a way to make it happen. I have been working and bartering to do things since I was 7 years old, and that didn’t stop in college. I currently own a small business in Youngsville called JAKS Stables. I started JAKS when I was 17 as a way to help pay for the expenses of my horses during college. I started it around the same time I transferred into Agricultural Business Management in the department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. As a full time college student working a full time job already, and managing a start-up business, I was very busy. The stable has since grown and is now my sole job.

What made you want to come to NC State?

As a young girl, NC State was my school of choice. My coaches at the time were alumni, and spoke highly of their experience. NC State was the clear choice for higher education that was still fairly close to home. Also, I also look much better in red than blue.

What made you choose a degree in Agricultural Business Management?

I transferred into the Ag business major after a short lived stint in Genetics. It turned out to be a great decision, and has combined my love of agriculture and management. I knew I wanted to pursue business, but when I found out about the Agribusiness option, I knew the opportunities in that field would be a better fit for what I was looking to pursue.   

How is what you are learning helping you with your business?

There are so many courses in this major that have contributed to my businesses’ success. I’ve benefited from small business accounting, agribusiness marketing, and human resource management for agribusinesses to name a few. I’m able to keep up with my books, manage employees, successfully communicate to clients and the community, and grow my business using tools that NC State has equipped me with. I am the first in my family to pursue an Ag related career, and first to start my own business, so I really relied on an education to help me along the way.

Please tell us what you love about your academic program. 

The Agribusiness program at NC State is very tight knit. There is a place for everyone. Small class sizes allow students and professors to develop relationships, and I’ve found that to be very helpful. I started out in a larger major with hundreds of students in each class, and I was not doing well. I’ve managed mostly A’s since transferring to Ag Business. I also struggle with several medical issues, and the CALS department in particular has been very accommodating. They really want everyone to succeed. If you need help with anything from putting together a resume to getting through economics, you can count on someone to help you.   

What do you think it means to be an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship is betting on yourself. It is taking big, but educated, risks in pursuing your dreams of owning a business.

What is the biggest challenge to entrepreneurship?

The hardest thing about entrepreneurship is not losing the passion that gets you started to begin with. It is so easy to get burned out and bogged down, especially with limited finances and little help. We often can’t afford to hire someone to do things we struggle with, and have to learn to be a master of several trades. Keep your eyes forward- that’s where you’re going.

What are your goals for the future?

My ultimate goal is build a career in sales and marketing, and hire a manager to run the stables. I still plan on being involved in the business as much as possible.