Entrepreneurship minor offers vital skills for aspiring professionals

Entrepreneurship minor offers vital skills for aspiring professionals

by Conor Nordberg, Staff Writer

Entrepreneurs are a vital element required for any economy to succeed. They are the movers and the shakers. The ones with the ideas that could reinvent whole technologies or ways of thinking. It’s this characteristic that faculty are trying to relay to students with the recently introduced entrepreneurship minor.

The minor’s emphasis is essentially focused on gaining experience, followed by knowledge of the profession. According to the College of Business Administration’s website, this includes business plan competitions or internships. These kinds of “real world” programs are geared to let the students think for themselves and have a role in an actual company, in an effort to instill a sense of comfort and security in a business setting. These activities are largely focused on pitching a business idea and implementing it, including seeing whether it can succeed or not.

The minor is being launched by the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, which is ranked in the top 30 for entrepreneurship distinction by US News & World Report. According to its website, the center is “a stellar example of what can result when academic talent, local industry and private donors join forces.”

This minor is targeted primarily at this generation’s future workforce and workplace, putting an emphasis on emerging technologies and trends.

“I really see the millennials as one of the most entrepreneurial generations in our history,” Lavin Entrepreneurship Director Bernhard Schroeder said.

Most see the millennial generation as selfish, impatient, and too technologically reliant, but Schroeder sees this as positive rather than negative.

“Today’s generation will not feel comfortable working for one company for 30 years, they’re more likely to take risks than at any other time,” Schroeder said.

First offered in the fall of last year, the minor has grown rapidly. If a student wants to pursue a minor in entrepreneurship, he or she must complete one business preparation course, two focused entrepreneurship classes, and two or three elective courses. College of Business Administration majors are preferred, although not required.

The minor is largely aiming to teach students the entrepreneurial mindset, the mindset that brings on the start-ups like Uber, Soylent and many others. This is why the new minor challenges students to think creatively and understand that some ideas can fail, but others can succeed wildly. In addition to this, it’s targeting today’s generation of optimism, which Schroeder and others hope to utilize.

The essence of the minor is to give knowledge, something that can be learned in the classroom, followed by experience, something students will pick up from their internships and competitions.

“I want to teach students to work for themselves, not be afraid of what’s out there, and have their hard work pay off,” Schroeder said.