As part of its strategic plan, Olin Business School is committing to infuse entrepreneurship into every aspect of the business education.
Dean Mark Taylor wants to make his message clear:
“Every business student today must understand how to think like an entrepreneur.”
– Mark Taylor
For years, Olin Business School has fostered entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking, supporting student startups through coursework, competitions, and experiential learning opportunities. The school is committed to expanding that support to all business students, not just those interested in founding their own companies.
Olin’s Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) offers a finance and accounting clinic in which masters students provide free services to St. Louis-area startups. They also head up an international impact initiative in which students work with social enterprises in developing countries. Speaking of, Olin is expanding its commitment to social enterprise by partnering with the Brown School of Social Work to create a social entrepreneurship innovation accelerator.
Olin’s Weston Career Center offers two different entrepreneurship treks to visit companies outside of St. Louis. In one, students from across the university visit executives at mature startups. In the other, students go inside established corporations that have launched intrapreneurial teams. “Intrapreneurial” refers to entrepreneurial thinking within a corporate environment. These out-of-classroom experiences expose students to companies that demonstrate innovative thinking and problem-solving across a range of industries and corporate structures.
The career center also offers the Entrepreneurial Summer Stipend program, which awards up to $5,000 to each of four students who want to forego traditional MBA internships to explore and develop their entrepreneurial skills.
These are just a few examples of how Olin is infusing entrepreneurship into the student experience. The depth and breadth of Olin’s programming reflects the reality that entrepreneurship takes many forms. Karen Heise of the career center notes that entrepreneurial spirit can manifest in a number of ways besides starting one’s own company. Businesses of all sizes and in all stages of development need entrepreneurial leaders with the vision to drive change.