Jade Colin made a name for herself as the youngest black woman to own a McDonald’s franchise at 26. But she says she’s not stopping there.
Colin, now 28, has been fostering her work ethic since she was 14 years old. But attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as a business management student crystalized Colin’s understanding and passion for business, specifically entrepreneurship.
“Once I started business management, it all made sense to me,” Colin said, drawing from her early work experience. “Leadership, finance, the details that matter — that’s what business management taught me.”
Throughout her time at UL Lafayette, Colin continued to work, taking positions with McDonald’s, H&R Block, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Academy Sports & Outdoors. All the while, she clarified her vision for her future with the skills she learned.
“Knowing business management, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” she says. “Business management teaches you the different pieces of the puzzle to make your business run.”
By choosing UL Lafayette, Colin was also able to balance school and work while still making it home to New Orleans most weekends, where her parents own multiple McDonald’s franchise locations.
Once she graduated in May 2012, Colin began working at her parents’ McDonald’s franchise on weekends before going full-time to run a restaurant. During that time, she was named Outstanding Restaurant Manager of the Year for her region and was recognized among the top McDonald’s managers in the world with the company’s Ray Kroc Award.
In December 2016, Colin celebrated the grand opening of her first franchise. But publicity didn’t come until 2018 when her story went from a blog post to national platforms, including EBONY.
“It surprised me, but it’s inspiring for people to see that you can do anything you put your mind to,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be as big as McDonald’s, but as long as your mindset is clear, you can do anything you put your mind to.”
To maintain her success, the young business owner identified her major challenge early in her role and says she has maintained a steady focus to make it a priority.
“I’m in a people business — developing teams, motivating people, pouring into people and lifting them up,” Colin says. “Once I figured out how to build a team, how to motivate the team, and how to get results from a team, then my results came.”
Colin believes in her company, its brand, and its mission and says she wants to see McDonald’s grow and grow with it.
“I want to continue to grow McDonald’s brand, improving the reputation and serving as a brand ambassador,” she says. “That’s my No. 1 focus because McDonald’s is a wonderful brand.”
If you want to gain the knowledge and skills to grow in the business world, enroll in UL Lafayette’s online business management degree program through the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.
The 100-percent online program offers in-state tuition for all online students, experienced faculty with real-world experience, and the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s in business from a renowned, accredited program. Request more information today!