Dr. Kat’s List: Colleges for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Do you dream of opening a restaurant, launching a tech start-up, or spearheading a social justice initiative? Are you excited by leadership and innovation? Do you see yourself as the next Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey? While there are many ways to prepare for an entrepreneurial career, an undergraduate degree in Entrepreneurial Studies may provide you with a strong academic foundation and the resources to develop the next great idea. Dr. Kat and the expert counselors at IvyWise have identified a list of schools to invest some time researching as you start your college search:
University of Houston, Houston, TX: Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship
Founded in 1991, the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston’s C. T. Bauer College of Business offers students a combination of classroom education and real world experience. In addition to teaching students the fundamentals about starting and owning a business, WCE grants unique resources and mentorship opportunities. For example, recently students were invited to spend time with Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway’s headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. With more than 400 student organizations such as Arts Enterprise, CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization), and Collegiate DECA and an extensive local alumni system, students have plenty of opportunities to develop ideas and network. WCE students have been recognized by Inc. Magazine for “America’s Coolest College Start-ups” – 2010 graduate Alfonso Olvera was highlighted for his project, RailTronix, a real-time tracking for oil industry rail shipments.
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK: Center for Entrepreneurship
The Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business offers a minor, BBA and MBA degrees in Entrepreneurship and Venture Management. Students gain a global perspective through study abroad and all-expenses-paid trips to destinations such as Austin, Texas, San Francisco, California, and Beijing and Shanghai, China. At the program’s center is the First Fidelity Integrated Business Core, which is comprised of four courses: Principles of Management, Principles of Marketing, Legal Studies, and the First Fidelity IBC practicum. Each semester, program participants work in small groups to launch companies - from choosing a product, applying for loans, and working with manufacturers, to sales and distribution, and then close the company and donate the proceeds. Since the inception of the core in 1985, students have donated more than one million dollars to non-profits and have completed over 48,000 volunteer hours. Further, the program requires students to shadow a CEO for a semester for real world, hands on experience.
Northeastern University, Boston, MA: Entrepreneurship & Innovation
The College of Business Administration at Northeastern University offers seven concentrations, including Entrepreneurship. Within the program, students can pursue tracks in family business, technological entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. In addition to a required first course (Innovation! or Opportunity Assessment and Entrepreneurial Marketing) and a required capstone, students can choose from electives such as Business, Global Poverty, and the Microfinance Revolution, and Sustainable Innovation. A trademark of the Northeastern University experience, students are required to pursue a cooperative work experience. Co-op opportunities exist globally and past employers include Google, Walt Disney World, Morgan Stanley, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Specifically, Entrepreneurship students have pursued internships at companies such as Bose and Kraft. The Boston, Massachusetts campus is also home to more than 300 student organizations. Aspiring entrepreneurs might be inspired to join the Entrepreneurs/Innovators club or the Finance and Investment club.
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA: Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute
The Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University is home to the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute, which sponsors events such as the Be Your Own Boss Bowl and the annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference. Past finalists in the undergraduate track of the Be Your Own Boss Bowl have proposed a gluten-free restaurant, a bicycle specialty store, and online subscription software that helps college professors share course materials with their students. Undergraduate students can major or minor in entrepreneurship, and also have access to diverse elective, internship, study abroad, and research opportunities. For example, students in the program are required to join the Entrepreneurial Student Association, can partake in courses such as Power, Influence, & Negotiation and Social Media Innovation, and participate in the Consortium for Open Innovation Research.
Whether your interests lie in medicine, baking, accounting, or painting, undergraduate studies in entrepreneurship can help pave the way for a successful career in almost any field. As the first step in this direction, be entrepreneurial in your college search: think creatively and plan strategically, research thoroughly, perfect your “pitch” by practicing for your interviews, and evaluate the strengths and areas for improvement within your college application. Best of luck from all of us at IvyWise!