Shark Cage Spotlight: Tristin Heald

The Razor’s Edge Shark Cage Scholars Program is a combined bachelor’s and master’s program for first time in college students interested in becoming entrepreneurs. According to NSU’s website, the program provides meaningful learning experiences inside the classroom as well as outside the classroom through curriculum created by real-world professionals. It even allows students to start and run their own businesses.

Tristin Heald is a sophomore marine biology major. Starting April 11, she is opening a farmer’s market on campus for NSU students. The market opens on April 11 from 2-5 p.m. and will also be open April 25 at the same time. It will be held in front of the Alvin Sherman Library in the quad.

What interested you in the Shark Cage program and why did you apply?

“I have always been involved in business. My parents own an apple orchard back home, and I have been in farmers markets doing things for them. [I’ve always liked] the business side of things.”

What are some of the advantages of being a Shark Cage student?

“You get to have a lot of networking opportunities. We all go to exectivices and residents (EAR) sessions where a bunch of entrepreneurs and established [business] people all come in and tell us about their story, what they have done, what they would have done differently and any advice they have for us. We also have a mentoring program where we are all matched with people who have similar interests to us, and then they help us with our business. We have the chance to start our own on-campus businesses, so that’s another great opportunity.”

What are your future aspirations?

“I’m actually a marine biology major, so after graduation, I will probably go to graduate school for marine biology, but I have always wanted to have business in my life too, so I would like to start another business one day. And then [I want to] work in conservation.”

What is the most important thing you have learned through the program?

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, especially with a lot of the networking opportunities. You just go there and ask people questions, and they love to give advice, so just put yourself out there.”

How has the Shark Cage program helped you to realize your future goals?

“I am starting a farmer’s market right now, and honestly I’d do it again. Business has always been a part of me and [the experience] is helping me to grow.”

What advice do you have for students applying or in their first year of the program?

“I never thought I would go into business but even if you think it’s something you are kind of interested in, explore it. It is a great option. Our program gives such real world experience to students. It’s a great program, and not just for business majors.

What inspired your business plan?

“I have always been involved in farmers markets. I was a vendor for my parents for their orchard. [My parents] were both business majors in college and did corporate job and then decided to move to a farm. I really enjoyed working on the farm when I was younger, and then I came here and didn’t have any of that, so I made it for myself.

Right now I have been getting vendors for [the farmers market.] I have been going out on the weekends and trying to find people. I have met a lot of people, and it’s been really fun.”


Be sure to check out Heald’s social media pages.

Instagram: @sharkmarketnsu

Facebook @nsusharkmarket

Leave a Reply