When Queens, New York, native Terron Grant arrived on the Buffalo State campus as a freshman, he wanted to know how it operated, who was in charge, and how to get involved. During Orientation Week, he explored Cleveland Hall, which houses the offices of the college president and several vice presidents. He introduced himself to staff members and asked questions.
This was unusual, one administrator noted; no student had taken that kind of initiative before.
A business administration major, Grant laughs at the memory of himself talking to top administrators while wearing cargo shorts and touting his curiosity and ambition.
“My high school only had 500 students, and I was accustomed to knowing everyone,” Grant said. “My father was the PTA president, and I was very involved. Coming to a school of 10,000 students, I couldn’t see myself not knowing the leaders.”
“I wasn’t that organized when I started out. I’ve figured out a better way to do things—working smarter instead of harder. And I’ve become a better critical thinker.”
USG and Beyond
This type of initiative has served Grant well. He’s now president of United Students Government (USG), an organization he joined his freshman year when he earned the “senator of the year” designation. He’s also served on the College Senate, the President’s Inaugural Committee, and as president of the Cassety Hall Resident Hall Association, all while making the dean’s list five semesters in a row.
Despite that full schedule, two years ago he launched a line of Buffalo State licensed apparel, Black Fire Clothing, with friend and fellow student Nubia Hill.
“Student government helped us amplify the business. Then I reached out to the president’s office and was able to sell the clothes in the campus bookstore,” he said. “We’ve now sold close to 650 garments and hope to double that by the end of the year.”
A Natural Leader
With an easy smile and a professional demeanor, Grant seems a natural leader. He also takes his positions on campus seriously.
“I spent the majority of the summer getting some USG initiatives started,” he said.
They include working toward installing a 24-hour ATM in the library as a way to keep students on campus and implementing a system to live stream events in the Campbell Student Union for students to watch later.
Although he originally chose Buffalo State for its electrical engineering technology program, he soon realized he had the acumen and heart for business and switched majors.
He pointed to Susan McCartney, director of the campus’s Small Business Development Center and lecturer in the Business Department, as a superb mentor.
“When we were launching the business, she helped us take it to the next level. In the classroom, she puts us in the position of captain of the ship and asks how we would react in different scenarios,” he said. “I’ve always believed that business is something that should be applied.”
Grant’s long-term goal is to become an entrepreneur.
“I’ve always had an eye for opportunity, and I’m looking into several possibilities.”
He attributes the success he’s enjoyed thus far to his engagement with Buffalo State both in and out of the classroom.
“All the activities I’ve gotten involved with have helped me become a better planner,” he said. “I wasn’t that organized when I started out. I’ve figured out a better way to do things—working smarter instead of harder. And I’ve become a better critical thinker.”