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Au Pair Experience Home > Au Pair Experience Online - Special Social Distancing Series

Off to a Fresh Start-Up: How to Design The Business of Your Dreams (In-Person!)   

In order to reflect CUNY's decision to hold distance-learning courses, BMCC Au Pair Experience will be continuing in an online format and a hybrid format through the summer. Please email us with questions at


Off to a Fresh Start-Up: How to Design the Business of your Dreams

This is an introductory business course designed to provide students with the tools necessary to start their own successful side hustle or startup in a post-Corona world.


Keep reading for more information or click here to sign up.


It is a guide to creating your own business if you are considering entrepreneurism as a means to survive this new landscape. We will cover topics necessary for successful business creation including: mindset, ideation, planning, action, and strategy. 

We will use a series of practical exercises that will guide you through the process. 

Part I We begin by focusing on generating or refining a business idea that is both innovative and actionable. 

Part II We explore various tools that can help transform an idea into a product or service that creates value for others. 

Part III Finally, we review case studies from some of the most successful, innovative and disruptive companies in the world today. We will not only examine their successes but also discuss how these innovations will need to be reframed for a post-COVID world. This discussion will help you to plan and shape your own businesses for the world we will inherit post-quarantine. 

By the end of this course, you will no longer be one of many ”wantapreneurs." You will have taken the first important step towards creating the business of your dreams. 

Your course will consist of a pre-assignment, independent coursework and final assignment as well as live online class sessions with your teacher/other au pairs. Credit for J-1 visa students is 36 hours. Students earning J-1 visa credit must attend all sessions and complete all homework.

"I've already recommended it to my other friends because it is so informative! "

"You never think an online class would be so interactive but this was. Professor Brown made sure every single one of us spoke and made sure we understood one another… so that made me feel super comfortable and special. "


About your instructor: Mikaila Brown is a fashion anthropologist, who has a doctorate in Anthropology and Education from Columbia University and over 10 years of work experience with domestic and international non-profits.

During these years of working as a consultant, she honed the skill of identifying the needs of a particular community and aligning them with the services provided by their local agencies. She applied these same skills when she left the nonprofit sector to pursue a lifelong dream of working in the fashion industry.

After working for designers like Oscar de la Renta, Pamela Roland and Betsey Johnson, she launched a socially conscious fashion line in 2011. Most recently, she has further integrated her anthropological background and fashion experience to create The Common Thread Project, which highlights cultural diversities within the fashion industry by investigating the style trends of local, underrepresented fashion communities. She shares this knowledge with the public by offering cultural shopping tours through AirBnB's new experiential arm.

She is also currently a senior lecturer in Cornell's Fiber Science and Apparel Design department.




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