Lernik Moses emigrated from Iran four years ago, leaving her parents and older brother behind to pursue her educational goals. Moses, 26, traveled to America in search of freedom and opportunities to make her dreams of becoming a businesswoman a reality. With her innovative business savvy, Moses developed the idea of a book exchange program with a target market of CSUN students.
It was while purchasing her textbooks that she envisioned a change to the relationship between the sellers and buyers of textbooks. While bargaining for lower prices with online sellers, Moses opted to pick up the books directly, cutting out shipping costs. Coincidentally many of the textbook sellers she came across were fellow CSUN students, which prompted the idea of a book exchange program on campus.
“Like many other students I did not want to spend $100 or more on textbooks even though I highly value them. While driving home this idea of book exchange sparked in my mind,” said Moses.
Moses is an active member of CSUN’s Management Association, better known as MACSUN, a non-profit student organization which helps students from any major gain experience and network through management and human resource events.
As vice president of development for MACSUN, Moses hopes to further implement the vision of her book exchange.
“It started with a survey to make sure students are interested in this idea and the result was surprising,” she said.
Of those surveyed, a majority of 60 percent agreed they were willing to contribute 5 percent, or $5, of their transaction to MACSUN, she added.
“The money goes directly to the organization development, which will benefit our members and all students,” said Moses.
The proof provided by the student surveys motivated Moses to take her innovative idea to the MACSUN board, realizing she would need their full support to carry out the plan.
“MACSUN Book Exchange is a bridge between CSUN students who want to sell or buy used books. The objectives are to help students save more money by eliminating shipping and other costs. It is faster for students to find the books they need because the target market is the CSUN community,” said Moses.
The MACSUN Book Exchange is not limited to business majors. It is open to the entire CSUN campus, as well as sellers in the neighboring community.
Students determine the selling price of their textbooks, Moses said. Students submit the information of their textbooks via www.macsun.org, providing MACSUN with a 5 or 10 percent transaction fee (based on the selling price) when the book is sold.
Moses hopes to expand the book exchange program and bring awareness to all students on campus in the upcoming semester. To help implement her plan, she has utilized social media such as Facebook. Moses also plans to reach out to other organizations on campus and get them involved in recruiting students to participate.
In addition to her work with the book exchange program, Moses is a member of the business honors program and interns at Merrill Lynch-Wealth Management. Moses will receive her bachelor’s degree in finance and management this spring and plans to attend graduate school to obtain her MBA in the near future.
The opportunities facing Moses were limited in her home country, but her move to the U.S. has only led to a number of accomplishments.
“Coming from a third-world country, the United States has been a sea of opportunities where I have started a new life with a new vision,” she said.