Updated: Dec 2, 2020
This month, we’re featuring WCE alumni Amanda Moya (‘17) for our alumni spotlight. Our alumni spotlight showcases the entrepreneurial journey of the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship's graduates. Let’s meet Amanda, founder of Amanda Moya Photography, co-founder of Aspire Advancement Center, and Program Director of the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship.
Meet Amanda Moya (‘17)
Amanda Moya is a woman wearing many hats and was born an entrepreneur.
She is the co-owner of Aspire Advancement Center with her mom. They started Aspire 10 years ago as an in-home tutoring hobby into an established tutoring company in Cypress, Texas.
She also owns Amanda Moya Photography where she shoots high school seniors, couples engagements, birthday parties, and other outdoor portraits.
If that wasn’t enough, Amanda is also the Program Manager for the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship – keeping students (and Dave) on track.
When asked how she juggles it all, she responded with, “I don’t really know how it happens.” Because she has three big things that take up different times of the day, she is able to time block effectively. The Wolff Center is her full-time day job. Aspire is her evening job (and can now happen at any time thanks to COVID). And photography is her weekend job.
Additionally, she was able to directly apply what she learned in Ed Blair’s class to her tutoring business. It just made sense.
Experience in WCE
Knowing she was going to continue to run the tutoring center in Cypress, Amanda knew she was going to attend the University of Houston. As a business owner, she also knew she needed to get a business degree. But she wasn’t sure what to major in! Marketing, she thought... That was until she received an email about a WCE info session.
It was clear that WCE was where she needed to be.
Since she has worked there after graduating from WCE, it’s like she never left. She continues to learn and evolve with the program – just with a different set of students each year.
What was so remarkable about the program is that it gave her a sense of belonging. For the first time, she found a group of people who were running their own businesses or had the entrepreneurial bug. It gave her a community to go to that didn’t exist before WCE.
After graduating from WCE in May 2017, she had a couple of months before she started as Program Manager in July of that year. What many don’t realize is that although she manages the program, she is also heavily involved in the classroom. As a result, she gets constant reminders of what she needs to know, do, and learn.
How COVID-19 Has Impacted Amanda Moya’s Ventures
COVID impacted Amanda’s businesses hard and required her to apply what she learned in WCE to pivot her businesses.
Aspire Advancement Center
Tutoring used to be highly customized with a max of two students per tutor. With COVID restrictions, they weren’t allowed to seat two students next to one another nor were they allowed to fill their building.
To pivot, they ordered plexiglass to put in between the tutor and the student. They also required masks for each individual in their building.
COVID also opened up a door they never even considered before. Aspire started to offer virtual tutoring. Not only did this allow students to safely receive their tutoring, but it also expanded Aspire’s footprint beyond Cypress, TX. Now, they have clients all over Texas, Louisiana, and California.
With growth comes growing pains. Typically, they used the Cyfair ISD curriculum to base their tutoring around. With the expansion, they had to acquire and learn different school districts’ curriculum.
Amanda Moya Photography
Unfortunately, COVID hit Amanda’s photography business at their seasonal time. Senior photos are huge for Amanda in March and April! All of her bookings were canceled. Thankfully, many of her clients rescheduled for the summer months after they realized that the photos will be taken outside and at a distance – making this a safe activity.
If you need business headshots, team photos, graduation photos, Amanda would love to help you!
Words of Wisdom From Amanda Moya (‘17)
With our alumni spotlights, we always want to help and inspire current WCE students and WCE alumni to accelerate through the learning curve. Here are Amanda Moya (‘17)’s words of wisdom:
“People do business with people they know, like, and trust.”
Build those relationships with people prior to doing business with them.
“If you’re doing so many things at once, you will never be able to do everything at 100%.“
Amanda’s mentor told her this: “Focus on one thing and slow down.” That means delegate activities that are distractors for you so that you can focus on the activities that will move the needle.
Follow Aspire Advancement Center on Facebook.
This WCEAN Alumni Spotlight was produced by Lauren Jefferson (WCE ‘16) and her team at FocusCopy. FocusCopy is a B2B copywriting firm that partners with entrepreneurial companies to better communicate how they transform their customer’s lives. Learn more about FocusCopy here.