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Michigan State University Student Priorities

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Student Priorities

Inspiring Design Thinking

Students do not even have innovation and entrepreneurship on their radar, particularly in the early years of their education. This unfortunate truth presents an opportunity to show students what opportunities are present in a fun way that gets them excited, as well as making entrepreneurship accessible to everyone.

Strategy #1: Provide regular meetings where students can be presented challenges and invent unique solutions.

Before students will truly embrace entrepreneurship and innovation, they must feel empowered; the intimidation factor must be diminished in a fun and easily-accessible way. The best way this can be done is by using what brought engineers into the discipline in the first place: problem-solving and design. Students will be presented a problem at each meeting throughout the semester, which they will be expected to solve in a unique and innovative way. The problem presented on any given day will range from broad problems, such as global warming, to very niche problems, such as ways to improve the process of doing laundry. Students will be provided food as well as a variety of tools for prototyping and playing with their ideas in a physical way. The purpose of the club and exercises is not only to have fun, but also inspire the kind of thinking required for entrepreneurs in the field of engineering. 

Encouraging the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship

Students are currently both intimidated by entrepreneurship and encouraged to follow the corporate route in engineering at Michigan State University. It is important that the campus culture encourages students to pursue their entrepreneurial goals as well as inspire capable and innovative students to follow the route of entrepreneurship throughout their studies and following graduation.

 Strategy #1: Work entrepreneurship into the curriculum

 The general curriculum engineers go through should inspire students to seek out and pursue their entrepreneurial potential and make entrepreneurship and innovation accessible to all students.

Strategy #2:  Hold regular presentations and speeches by engineers who pursued entrepreneurship

Knowing that others have followed entrepreneurship and have made it through the same point where the students are currently at will empower students to pursue the "big bad beast" of entrepreneurship.

Providing Tools for Realizing Entrepreneurial Goals

Once students at Michigan State decide they have the confidence and desire to follow entepreneurship, they quickly realize that they lack the tools necessary to do so. A large part of this problem is satisfied by the Innovation Center in the Business College, but it’s important that students leave the university with the tools necessary to maintain their entrepreneurship independently and successfully.

 Strategy #1: Provide an entrepreneurship concentration within all engineering majors; specifically designed for entrepreneurship in their field

These specialized classes will focus on students who know that they eventually want to pursue entrepreneurship, but do not know what their next steps are. There will be business classes on business model development and how to get capital, as well as classes on what entrepreneurship looks like in their field, some of which may range from patent writing and processes to software development and consumer testing.


Strategy #2: Provide seminars on business design and entrepreneurship strategies

For those students that do not have the space in their curriculum to add entrepreneurship to their degree but still would like to add these skills to their skill set, or for those relatively familiar with the entire process and only need classes in specialized areas, independent co-curricular seminars should be held on isolated subjects. For instance, a brief seminar on patent writing may suit students better who are at a particular point in their entrepreneurial track but need a little extra information.

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Michigan State University

Brandon DuQuette