December 5, 2020

Going Places: Business student a model of (nonstop) success | FIU Magazine

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Passion fruit is Khareem Oliver’s favorite smoothie flavor. And it shows. 

The go-getter has a résumé that begins with a volunteer job at an animal shelter at age seven—a response to his not being able to keep a dog in his apartment—and explodes in high school with his developing an app to locate lost pets, an innovation that twice won him seed money from investors.

Fast forward a few years, and the now-senior marketing major has since broadened his horizons by landing an internship (after having held ones with a local bank and an international freight forwarder) in FIU’s branding office, for which he recruits social media influencers to promote school merch and tracks the results of viral campaigns designed to engage students.

On the side, Oliver has added to his portfolio a pair of online resale businesses that serve the growing market for rare sneakers and vintage clothing. And most recently, he started 305 Agency, a branding and marketing outlet that he hopes to make a full-time pursuit following his December graduation.

“Why wait and do something later?” asks the fast-moving entrepreneur, a technology maven who keeps up with trends in his industries of interest so to put his own twist on them. “I want to do it now.

Even with so much going on, Oliver has bigger plans still, a dream he can’t shake: establishing a smoothie shop or two to serve customers in low-income neighborhoods. He believes food deserts deserve attention and anticipates that post-pandemic America will again see the economic conditions to make the venture viable.

“There’s a lot of opportunity,” asserts Oliver, who adds that the desire for nutritious options extends beyond the borders that business owners have traditionally mined. “I think they’re looking at it with a closed mindset,” he says. “They don’t see the bigger picture.”

No one will ever accuse Oliver of such small thinking: He is 100 percent open for business.

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