Aaron Phillips

A stepping stone to entrepreneurship

Hard work and determination are the hallmarks of success for small business owners and students; luckily Aaron Phillips is both. 

Phillips started his entertainment company after graduating from Lanphier High School in 2006. “I registered at Lincoln Land Community College, took Intro to Business and got a B,” he says. But the demands of building a business came first. 

Student reading a text book sitting in a public study space.

Phillips’ business started in his mom’s basement as a recording studio. “My friends were into rapping. I was never the greatest at making the music, so I became the recording engineer.” His business prowess paid off. Midwest Connectz grew to incorporate DJ services, entertainment bookings, podcasts, social media marketing and more. As his business grew, so did his reputation and digital presence, working with local, regional and national Grammy and Oscar winners. 

He re-connected with LLCC last summer after seeing a flyer for a free continuing education program offering a Google Digital Marketing & E-Commerce professional certificate. He knew the skills would help take his business to the next level, so he registered. 

“I took the series of seven classes, and it piqued my interest to come back and finish my degree,” says Phillips. So, this business owner, full-time car salesman, husband and father of five added full-time student to his list of titles and enrolled at LLCC to finish his associate degree in business.  

As a non-traditional student, Phillips says he was excited to learn about the flexibility of online classes. “When I visited campus again, I was glad to find that I could work my classes around my work and family schedule. I can navigate it on my own time.” 

Phillips said he didn’t even consider taking classes part-time. “I came back to really lock in and focus.” He’s balancing 12 credit hours each semester while working and spending time with his family. 

Affordability also played a role in why he chose to come home to LLCC. “When comparing the prices of classes and credit hours at LLCC against other institutions in the area, it was a no-brainer,” says Phillips. 

“LLCC offered a wide range of scholarships, and the availability of financial aid made it super affordable for someone on a tight budget, like myself.” He sees his degree as an investment for his business, but also as an investment in his future. 

“As an entrepreneur, it’s necessary to have all of the tools to build your business to its full potential.”