Business Student Follows Entrepreneurial Path

Aubrie Riste is aiming for her bachelor’s degree before managing her family’s dance studio

Aubrie Riste, 19, has been dancing from the time she was a toddler. Dancing runs deep in her family. Aubrie’s mom owns and runs Synergy Dance Center in Farmington, Minn. Aubrie teaches dance and baton at the studio. Her goal is to one day manage the studio herself.
A 2013 graduate of Rosemount High School, Aubrie first attended Inver Hills Community College as a PSEO student. She is now working on her A.S. degree in Contemporary Business while making plans to transfer either to the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota or a college near Los Angeles, Calif., where she has family roots. She is hovering between earning her bachelor’s in accounting or management.
“I chose Inver Hills because I can easily commute from the studio in Farmington or our home in Rosemount,” Aubrie said. “I also heard really good things about the college from friends—especially the business programs.”
Aubrie’s business classes have given her insights into her role supervising assistant instructors at her dance studio. She is already applying what she learns in her work and understands how a solid foundation in business principles is important for entrepreneurs and small business owners. “My mom and I both decided that I needed a college education to run a successful studio,” she said.
Yohannes Agegnehu, a business instructor at the college, is impressed by Aubrie’s positive outlook in the classroom. “Aubrie is an engaged student,” said Yohannes, who is also a faculty advisor for the college’s DECA Student Club. “She was part of a service-learning project last fall and competed at the Collegiate DECA Career Development Conference in Mankato. The business course she is attending at IHCC and her experience in the extracurricular activities at the college will certainly help her to realize her dream of managing the family dance studio.”
Aubrie has settled into life at Inver Hills. She likes that her instructors are very friendly and easy to approach—and she reported that the campus is “wonderful.” On Wednesday, Feb. 11, she participated in the Minnesota DECA competition at the college’s Student Success Day as part of a class assignment. She took part in a case-study interview and was surprised to find out she had scored high enough to compete at the 2014 Collegiate DECA Career Development Conference (CDC) Feb. 26 and Feb. 27 at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minn. Along with fellow students, Beatriz Olivares, Nathan Shine and Bryan Cervantes, Aubrie placed first in the group competition, Management Academy Challenge. Aubrie and seven other IHCC students have advanced to the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC), which takes place April 22 through 27, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about DECA at Inver Hills, read the Newsroom article, “IHCC Students Advance to DECA ICDC.”

From Aubrie’s dance instructor bio:
I have been dancing for 16 years and have had classes in ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop, Indian and African. Dance has always been my passion. I started dancing when I was just two and a half years old. When I was old enough, I joined the competition team and started assisting classes. I just couldn’t get enough dancing! When I was in elementary school, I wanted to do something other than just dance, as most kids that age do, but I loved dance and wanted to find something that complemented that. I found baton twirling!
I started twirling baton when I was seven years old. I have been on a competitive baton team for the past nine years, and for the past seven years, my team has gone to nationals at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind. I have won many state and national titles both individually and with my team.

Eleven favorites and wishes

Aubrie has one sister, Macie, 15, who is also a dancer. Other family members include two Chihuahuas, Harley, 8, and Cocoa, 5, as well as a cat named Itty Bitty, an 18-pound Californian her grandfather rescued.

For more information about Business programs at Inver Hills Community College, contact:

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