Q&A THE POWER OF e
All about e-ship
Written by Yvonne Schroeder | Photographed by Carla Satchwell
|Why has the time come for an entrepreneurship major at TSU? What are the factors that make this move good now?
In 2003, TSU received a three-year grant from the Kern Family Foundation to develop and launch an e-ship minor open to all TSU students regardless of major. It’s now 2007, and the task of launching an e-ship minor is finished and well established at TSU, with three percent of students taking at least one e-ship course and a little more than two percent of students declaring the minor. This year during graduation we saw our first five students graduate with the e-ship minor.
We are continuing to see interest and growth in the e-ship area. All along the journey of creating and launching the minor, current students and visiting potential students and their parents have inquired about an e-ship major. So, in early 2007, an e-ship major was developed by the Ketner School of Business faculty and approved by the faculty as a whole.
This positions TSU well by making us one of the few small private universities offering an e-ship undergraduate major. Having an entrepreneurship program is just the first step. The next step is to work to make our e-ship program the premier entrepreneurship program in America.What type of attitude, spirit, and aptitude are you looking for in students interested in the program?
Attitude, spirit, and aptitude? Those are only three attributes. There are seven characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, and we’ve incorporated learning experiences in our e-ship courses that get to all seven. The seven are:
You know, it’s the aptitude part of the education process we can help with most. The student needs to bring at least a spark of attitude and spirit, and if they do that, we can help them grow that spark into a burning desire.What can students expect from the program?
Students can expect to learn in an interactive, creative environment that challenges them to use both sides of the brain. Successful entrepreneurs as guest lecturers will bring theory to life with their been-there, done-that knowledge. In the end, students earn a bachelor of science in business administration degree with an entrepreneurship major—a degree that can provide a pathway into management and marketing careers, as well as position them for future business ownership..
Students can expect to learn in an interactive, creative environment that challenges them to use both sides of the brain. Successful entrepreneurs as guest lecturers will bring theory to life with their been-there, done-that knowledge. In the end, students earn a bachelor of science in business administration degree with an entrepreneurship major—a degree that can provide a pathway into management and marketing careers, as well as position them for future business ownership.Is there an internship relationship with a business as a required unit of study?
Between the junior and senior year TSU e-ship students are given an internship in an entrepreneurial venture where they can try their skills and expand their thinking in the art and science of entrepreneurship.What elements in the program make it a broad-spectrum, solid-based platform to launch students into their own businesses?
Students in the e-ship major take the general education core (47 hours) and the business core (27 hours) required of all Ketner School of Business majors. The major builds upon the core to increase aptitude in the areas of venture finance, tax and legal issues for small business, venture planning, market research, and leadership.Is the degree program flexible enough to prepare students for other facets of business?
Among other options, people with entrepreneurial skills are welcome additions to corporate staffs. Inside corporations, employees that have harnessed the power of the art and science of entrepreneurship are often referred to as “intrapreneurs,” and generally thrive in departments responsible for new ideas, products, markets, and service sectors. Being an intrapreneur is a good thing—it provides the budding entrepreneur the forum necessary to build technical knowledge in an area of focus, and to hone entrepreneurial skills.How will you involve the community in the program?
There are many communities we can and do involve. The local business community provides our students with internship opportunities and serves in an advisory capacity to the Ketner School of Business. Our alumni community provides us with a rich source of entrepreneurs upon whom to draw to act as program advisers, lecturers, subject matter experts, and champions of the program. Their giving, in terms of time, talent, or treasure, is invaluable. Our work in and with these communities is by no means mature.You said something earlier about creating excellence in the program. I think you used the word “premier.” How will you do that?
Universities of all sizes can say that they have an e-ship program, but only a few can say that they have a premier program. Premier programs are different in that they fund and host an entrepreneurship speaker series, a business plan competition and winner awards, a regional/national symposium or conference on entrepreneurship, an entrepreneur-in-residence program, a student-run business, and support faculty learning and conference paper presentation. Creating and launching those efforts takes time, but more importantly, funds. That is why we are launching a fundraising campaign to build an endowed fund that will provide sustainable funds to build the TSU entrepreneurship program into the premier entrepreneurship program.About the director:
Dr. Donald Kreitzer, professor and chair of the Ketner School of Business and coordinator of Entrepreneurial Studies, received the Charles William and Mary Ann McKetta Excellence in Teaching Award from TSU in May 2005. His degrees include:
Dr. Kreitzer has 32 years of corporate experience in manufacturing, international marketing, and quality human resources. He has been teaching at TSU for four years, and has launched a major and minor in e-ship. He was elected faculty president and is currently serving a two-year term.