Chasing his Entrpreneurial Dream
By: Michelle Thompson
To say second-year International Food Business student Mitchell Watt is a busy guy is an understatement.
A native of Oakville, Ontario, Mitchell is well on his way to earning a dual degree from Dalhousie University – one in business administration from CAH Vilentum University of Applied Sciences in Europe and one in agriculture from Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture.
And when he isn’t studying or travelling for school, Mitchell successfully manages two small businesses.
“I own two successful small businesses,” explains Mitchell. “A Landscape Business and an e-commerce business specializing in unique Halloween décor with various clients among North America and abroad.”
Mitchell is regarded as an emerging leader in the university community for his outstanding Dalhousie spirit and involvement in campus life. He has held the title of Grad Chair, participated in Residence Council, Dal Halifax Choir, IFB Club, Cultivat8 sandbox, was the Agriculture representative on Dalhousie Senate while also taking classes on the Halifax campus and travelling to Holland last year as part of his degree program.
It came as no surprise when Mitchell was awarded the student Impact Award for Rising Leader of the Year last year. “When I received the Impact Award I felt surprised and proud as I try to make a material difference to others lives through building a positive school environment on campus,” explains Mitchell.
Mitchell was also involved in the Startling Lean entrepreneurial venture offered through the Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship – an innovative campus-wide course in entrepreneurship. The course is designed to get students out of the classroom and into real-world customer discovery.
“We represented Nova Scotia in the Canadian Championship,” he explains. “The experiences and opportunities I had with Starting Lean were so good for me in terms of entrepreneurial learning and exposure,” he added. “The teamwork and leadership we had was amazing.”
Mitchell dreams of one day owning his own Garden Centre and spending his summer working at home.
“As a young child, I used to visit a local family-owned garden centre near my home in Oakville. I loved it there,” he said. “When I was 15 I applied for a job and am currently in my sixth year working there,” he added. “The experience I have gained there has contributed to my end goal of owning my own garden centre.”
Mitchell’s hard work, determination and dedication to his community also earned him the H.A.L. McLaughlin Memorial Scholarship. “I am so honored and grateful to have received this award,” he explains. “I fund the majority of my education and scholarships like this make a material difference in helping me achieve my goals.”
Entering his third year this fall, Mitchell plans to stay involved by rejoining Senate, IFB Club, Cultivat8 and SAIL, the Faculty’s student leadership program while managing his two small businesses.
“The AC has been and continues to be a great place to go to school. I have met some wonderful people and enjoy the friendly family-like atmosphere a small campus brings,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell Watt is well on his way to fulfilling his entrepreneurial dreams.