Attempting to find a comfortable place in Philadelphia in which to work was not a simple quest for Melissa Alam. That’s why the Fox School of Business alumna took a proactive approach.
“I was working out of coffee shops and living rooms and, after two years, I realized there needed to be a comfortable space for ambitious women to use,” said Alam, a 26-year-old from Carol Stream, Ill.
This month, Alam will open her co-working office space called The Hive. Located at 2nd and Race streets in the Old City section of Philadelphia, The Hive offers ambitious and creative women a place to work, a space to network and an opportunity to brainstorm with other similarly innovative women.
About eight to 10 women daily can occupy the space, which will be affordably and competitively priced, Alam said. Whether someone is a blogger, an entrepreneur, a start-up business owner or a remote worker, Alam said they will find an atmosphere at The Hive that supports the free flow of ideas.
“There’s nothing better than having the support of other women in the same room going through the same thing you are,” she said. “About 25 women are interested, and they are women who have the mentality that they can accomplish whatever they want. The Hive will be a place where we can get excited about each others’ successes and businesses.”
The Hive is not the only business Alam has initiated. Last June, she created an online magazine, Femme & Fortune, which covers topics ranging from culture, self, technology, career and style. Alam, who majored in marketing and international business at the Fox School, attributes the success of her entrepreneurial endeavors to her Fox education and her participation in Temple’s multi-cultural organizations.
Alam’s success has caught the eye of her alma mater.
Ellen Weber, Executive Director of Temple University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, which is based at the Fox School, invited Alam to attend the League for Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference Oct. 8 at Mitten Hall. According to Weber, Alam’s story is inspirational for those who wish to pursue the same path and open co-working spaces or simply work in Alam’s space after graduating.
“She is a positive role model,” Weber said. “She is someone who is taking some risks that seem to be working, and students can learn from her to take control of their own careers.”
Alam will host her first event at The Hive Oct. 16, for National Boss Day. Looking forward, Alam hopes for her businesses to gain more national attention.
“As for The Hive, I would love to open up new spaces in different cities,” she said. “I am also co-hosting a conference in April with another Temple alumna, Antoinette Johnson, of At Media, called FemmeCon – aimed toward female executives and entrepreneurs to network with and mentor one another.”
Alam’s opportunities out of college would not have been possible, she said, if she hadn’t learned during her Fox career to jump at opportunities.
“Stay hungry and take every opportunity you can get, because you never know where you will meet people who will help you out in the future,” she said of her personal mission. “If you aren’t happy with the job hunt you are going through out of college, make your own job. That’s what I did and that’s the entrepreneurial spirit that’s rising here in Philadelphia.”