Carson Ciggia started his automotive detailing business about the same time he enrolled in the University at Buffalo School of Management. But the demands of being a full-time student and an entrepreneur somehow left the Clarence, NY native with enough time to get involved with student government.
“I’m the academic coordinator for about 20 clubs on campus,” he says. “I make sure their events are running smoothly; that they’re holding meetings; and I also represent them on the student senate.”
Ciggia’s ambitious schedule is part of an education at UB that he says allows him to apply valuable aspects of each experience to his career goals.
“The Student Association has taught me a lot about relationship building that will translate well in the business world,” he says. “Every time I looked for a certain extracurricular at UB I was able to find it. There are so many opportunities here to learn inside and outside of the classroom.”
Ciggia says he has been fortunate to meet teachers who are passionate about their subjects, including Joseph Salamone who worked with him as part of his independent study.
“He had already retired,” says Ciggia. “He could have been relaxing in retirement but instead was right there helping me. What a huge asset!”
In addition to launching a business and his student leadership role, Ciggia entered the recently formed entrepreneurial arm of UB’s Undergraduate Academies, contributing to a business plan to develop a mobile app that would introduce UB students to other students on campus who might be potential study partners.
In the immediate future, Ciggia says he plans to enter the Henry A. Panasci, Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition, designed to bring UB students from science, technology, business and other disciplines together to maximize their potential to create viable businesses in Western New York.
“I’m going to give that a go and see if I can get some funding,” he says. “If that doesn’t work out, I have an internship coming up in Representative Chris Collins’ office. And after graduation I’d like to continue exploring my entrepreneurial ventures or work for a local firm. My ultimate goal is to be the CEO of a publicly traded company.”