Priorities:Menlo College Student Priorities

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Fall 2023

Strategy #1: Improving students comfortability with public speaking in the form of a pitching activity while also further developing entrepreneurial skills

Based on the research conducted through a student survey and the landscape canvas, we identified the lack of tangible involved professional development opportunities on campus. Therefore, we developed a multifaceted approach to help students improve those missing components by creating a wide-ranging deck of cards. The cards are composed of three different categories: Instance, Audience and Reflection. Students would be required to pick both, an Instance and Audience card, which make up their specific pitch challenge. And after they finished their challenge, they then proceed to reflect on their experience with the help of the Reflection card.

Considering the combination of game, challenge and the use of resources on campus, we believe that with this idea we can encourage students to learn more about themselves both professionally and personally while meeting one of the needs expressed by our students (the lack of professional development support).

Strategy #2: Reimagining an mandatory course intended to help students transition to our college

Responses from our student survey gave us insight on the need to revisit the content of Menlo 101, our required introductory to college course. We intend to combine current MLO 101 units with new hands-on activities that empower students to utilize our institution and outside resources. What motivates this change is the desire to create emotional investment in our college, a more helpful transition to college life, and give students more control of their college experience. This will require us to consult various faculty members, consult the student body, and ideate with fellows who've expressed interesting in revitalizing the course in the past. In measuring the results of our impact, we will follow-up with student/community pulse-checks and implement a succession plan in which the course gets reassessed and updated every two years.

Our initial course additions include:

- (Within first two weeks) What is Menlo College? A thorough introduction to provided majors, minors, study abroad programs, UIF, etc. This will be not unlike the landscape canvas we devised earlier in training. The activity would be followed-up with a guided walk-through of how to develop a rough 4-year plan of what they intend to do at Menlo.

- A professional development support program that guides students through the building of a strong resume, the research for areas of career interest, and potential companies they would like to intern or work in. A set of activities that would align with and introduce the Internship & Career Services.

- A detailed explanation combined with practical lessons on how to utilize different resources on campus, and how to engage in extracurriculars. This addition would lead students to truly understand the function of different departments existing on campus, and how to effectively get involved by taking initiatives such as creating a club.

Strategy #3: Strategy #3 Curating excitement and better understanding of the role the University Innovation Fellowship program plays on campus along with developing sustained interest and support from the student body for future cohort pursuits

Throughout the progression of our training it became clear that cohorts encounter difficulties with executing and engaging student participation because a majority of our peers remain unaware of what UIF does and provides. This three part strategy begins with increasing awareness of the Menlo College UIF chapter and increasing interest in utilizing design thinking techniques. Once we've created awareness about the program, we will focus on providing an immersion or simulation that provides the students with the opportunity to experience recurrent UIF dynamics such as brainstorm sessions. Afterwards, we will be able to implement a "shadow program" that will serve as a succession plan for future UIF applicants, and students who want to be involved but have time limitations.

Early Training Fall 2022

Strategy #1: Improving the lack of university technology transfer function and supporting students in starting their business.

Menlo College is lacking in the university technology transfer function. Students are innovators and come up with amazing ideas. To build the bridge between ideas and economy some students need a hand. That is why we want to find a way to support their creative minds. In order to help students starting their own business, it is crucial to have a center, a club or a delegated person to talk to. That way students would not only be supported, but also motivated to implement their projects. That is a big step towards a more innovative and entrepreneurial Campus at Menlo College.

Strategy #2: Update Communication Channels to inform students about events, new courses, and other Menlo affiliated information

People involved in the Menlo ecosystem have also often complained about the lack of student engagement. This includes participation in campus events, responsiveness to survey's or other news that requires student action. That's why we propose to update the main method of communication of Menlo, which is email today.  We recommend to push the different main communcation to a different tool such as the Menlo app or social media with modern ways to engage the student body (slack, discord, instagram). It is also crucial to improve the myMenlo mobile version or organize workshops that emphasize the importance of communication.

Strategy #3: Guiding students in organizing innovative events.

Students have creative minds and ideas, sometimes they need a hand on how to implement projects. In as Project Management Class, a Professor that has experiences in event planning will guide students and prepare them with everything that’s necessary for a successful project. The syllabus will contain topics like funding, management and marketing. Together as a class, students will decide on one project that they want to implement. Outcomes could be TedX Menlo College, Startup Weekend or Design Thinking Workshops. This will not only foster students to be creative and engaged, but also foster a more innovative climate on campus and events that every student can benefit from.

Strategy #4: Personalizing the learning experience with STEAM

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) education develops students’ soft and hard skills with the hands-on approach. This does not only increase engagement and motivation but makes personalized learning experience possible. In addition to the existing collaborative space, innovation center, Menlo College will offer resources and supplies to help students explore various subjects and opportunities they can create. This will also help attracting students to visit innovation center.

Fall 2021

Strategy #1: Deepen connections within the student body.

The lack of connections between students with different backgrounds is a real issue at Menlo College. This situation worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to all students to engage in on-campus activities, competitions, events and much more (House system). Inspired by the Harry Potter houses, this strategy will foster the growth of Menlo College and it’s beautifully diverse community to another level. It is time to break the systematic, societal, and institutional chains and comfort zones to move forward into to the next chapter.

Strategy #2: Bringing attractiveness to institutional/club events.

Menlo College has the opportunity to have a tremendous number of diverse clubs. However, those already available are not receiving the retention or attendance they should have. Social, professional, and academic clubs play an important role in the college community. They provide students with resources and experiences to enrich their college career. We are bringing attractiveness to campus clubs and institutional events in order for students to be more involved and active within the Menlo College community.

Strategy #3: Foster professional development opportunities for all students.

Due to the varying socioeconomic statuses of students on our campus, we recognize that not all students have the means to participate in events/programs/etc out of Menlo College such as conferences that historically have high prices for attendance. Through a student development fund, students would be able to apply for the cost of admission, as well as travel or lodging, if applicable. With this opportunity through funds by either donors or government grants we can empower students' professional development. Along with this, the creation of a student selection committee can review and approve any applications for funding which can provide further engagement and professional experience. Professional conferences provide an opportunity to network and gain knowledge that otherwise would not be available.

Fall 2019

Strategy #1: Enhancing the engagement of off campus resources for students / Breaking the students comfort zone / Lack of involvement with the Silicon Valley community

We want to engage the students in more off campus opportunities so students can experience the true entrepreneurship culture of Silicon Valley. Tapping into the companies and organizations around campus will not only build Menlo’s professional reputation but also create a larger sense of community for students and Menlo Park/Atherton residents. Besides trying to engage the students in more off campus activities, we also want to enable the chance for students to experience more of Silicon Valley’s resources right here on campus. Menlo College’s current trend to a more entrepreneurial mindset can be reflected by giving room for students and alumni to share their entrepreneurial success stories. By offering both opportunities students will have their pick of community engagement, whether that be directly on campus or off.

Strategy #2: Creating a more real-life hands-on experience for students focused on Finance and Entrepreneurship

Hands-on experiences are highly valued by employers all around the world. Menlo College has the opportunity to offer a lot more opportunities as such by creating a Bloomberg trading center, where students learn to know the software and the actual day to day use. A potential student-led investment fund and can use this hands-on experience in the future for employment or their own individual venture, after the trading lab has come to fruition. Menlo College will benefit from more specialized classrooms and the increased intimate learning environments.

Strategy #3: Integrating more interdisciplinary business/socially-relevant general education courses

We want to harness all of the momentum from students concerned about social issues and integrate those discussions into the general education classes. If Menlo College wants their graduates to create sustainable businesses for the future, it’s necessary for faculty to add socially relevant issues into Menlo’s curriculum for a full circle connection in hopes of producing more diverse, socially conscious, and critical thinking entrepreneurs. Besides these clear advantages, it also increases the interest in the taught classes and the feedback of students has shown us, that the first year college experience would be higher valued if they see relevance of the learned content.

Strategy #4: Creating a more technological literate community on campus

Since we’re a business school in the heart of Silicon Valley it’s silly that we don’t offer any 21st century Literacy in Tech courses. There’s so many organizations around campus that are consistently looking for more college students to work, intern and get their feet as an entrance into the industry. Menlo will not be doing it’s job if students are not technically prepared for opportunities that require a bit more literacy than the average job in human resources-- we’ll all benefit from the extra edge!!!

Spring 2018


Visit Our Change Story Website:

As a leadership circle we came together to discuss the changes we would like to see on campus. We were all very passionate with the areas we decided to work on. Overall we noticed how many resources Menlo College needs. As students of change we did research, created a prototype, tested our prototype, and came together. Here are our strategic priorities for this year.

Strategy #1: Remodeling Senior Capstone Course “Launching the Venture”

A relatively new course called Design Thinking brings the design thinking process onto Menlo College Campus for first time in Fall 2017. In this class, students work on problems/customer-jobs-to-be-done in the society, while brainstorming processes, and creating multiple iterations of  prototypes. And as a  results of these processes, we get wonderful ideas that, if implemented, would be not only sustainable but also profitable.

However, students have no outlet for these class projects to become actual startups. One of the current senior capstone courses called Launching the Venture that was designed to address this problem is not really effective in what it’s trying to achieve. The current working ideas do not lead to actual ventures. One of the main reasons for that is because the students enrolled in the class are not serious entrepreneurs, as in they have no interest in launching their own ventures; they only enroll in the class because it works better with their schedules. Additionally, another big factor for why the current Launching the Venture is ineffective is because students begin the class without a refined idea to work with. So, a big chunk of the course is spent on finding the project ideas, in a very rush-Design Thinking way. Lastly, due partly to the lack of funding, Menlo College lacks many components/resources that are essential for building a sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship ecosystem on campus, as indicated in our Landscape Canvas Synthesis.

How Might We

provide Menlo College students, who are serious entrepreneurs and have great ideas, the resources–mentorship, connections, and fundings–they need to launch their startups, without breaking Menlo’s bank?

After investigating the problems more closely, we came up with an idea to remodel the existing senior capstone course: Launching the Venture. The non-serious entrepreneurs are the first factors that we need to address. To do that, we must encourage more entrepreneurship students to enroll in the class, while the non-entrepreneurship students who do not wish to have anything to do with startups are encouraged to enrolled in the other senior capstone course: Global Strategy. This doesn’t mean that accounting, finance, psychology, etc. students are not allowed to enrolled in the class, but they must show some type of initiative that proves that they are genuine about launching their own ventures. The initiatives may be the fact that they have been working on their startups for some time, and they are looking for a way to start out. Which leads to the next big change that would be introduced to Launching the Venture.

Students should begin the course with pre-existing ideas that they are passionate in pursuing. Students who have been independently working on their startup ideas and those coming out of Design Thinking with great ideas are the perfect candidates for Launching the Venture. We came up with the idea to remodel the curriculum structure by making Design Thinking a prerequisite to Launching the Venture. Again, this prerequisite should be waived if students or teams of students show that they have feasible business ideas.

The remodeling of the course is not enough. These students will also need more more valuable resources, including mentorship, connections, and funding, in order for them to launch their ventures. We need an accelerator program that is effective in guiding these entrepreneurs into the right path, while at the same time, does not break Menlo College’s bank, as our financial resources are very limited. That challenge could be easily overcome because the school only needs to hire 2-3 people to run the accelerator department, where they invite mentors to work with the students, provide outside connections that students can reach out to, and most importantly, coordinate a final pitching stage, where various angel investors are invited, to attend the student’s final pitch, where they will present the business plans they have been refining for a semester.

Strategy #2: Business, Technology, and Innovation

Menlo College is currently undergoing a revamp of the education curriculum. Students at Menlo College who want to learn about business and technology should have the option to do so. Menlo is in the heart of Silicon Valley, which is the global leader in the tech industry. What can be improved to Menlo curriculum would be additional courses that is designed to teach students about technology. It will give them a better foundation that will better prepare them when or if they apply for a job in Silicon Valley.

Student’s currently have major options in Finance, Marketing, Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Psychology, Sports Management, International Management, Human Resources, and Real Estate. The job outlook for each of these majors requires proficient knowledge in some range with technology and the current curriculum is not preparing students for encountering technology. Menlo College’s only major with technology is Management Information Systems, that has been discontinued and contains limited courses. To find a solution to these issues we want to develop and coordinate new technology-driven courses within the curriculum such as; Business Intelligence & Data Science, Computer Programming (Python, C++, Java), Growth Hacking, Machine Learning/Automation, Mobile App/Web Development, and Design Thinking/Theory. Our objective is to have these set up as a Business & Technology & Innovation concentration or minor that students could potentially implement with their current major. In order to fulfill this we must coordinate with the school’s curriculum committee who then must get it approved by the faculty senate. We are also looking to incorporate pilot programs or 3-4 week modules that students can take on the side. This will not only prepare students for their professional expertise but also allow them to expand their innovative mind.

Strategy #3: The Path (Entrepreneurial Resource Program)

Menlo College added an innovation space from the efforts and pursuits of last years UIF candidates. It is currently used as a classroom/meeting space but we will create a program based on the “Pursue” and “Spinout” components of the Landscape Canvas. We have come together with a Fellow from last year to coordinate and create a model for this program. It will serve students by giving them access to startup resources. This will enable students to commit to an opportunity provided by Menlo. We want more connections like GSVLabs brought to campus while also utilizing our Alumni and Professors mentorship. The program will provide regional sources of capital, mentoring, advisory, and business networks.This will use students intellectual property to attract venture capital, grow entrepreneurial skills and develop a culture of innovation on campus. Our vision is to make Menlo a place where students can come in with ideas and truly develop them in the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

Strategy #4: Strengthening the Community Engagement at Menlo

Menlo College is currently lacking of connections with the community in our area. Creating a new space entirely dedicated to the community involvement would be helpful to increase our impact on the society. The space can contribute in a wide variety of activities dedicate to our community including tutoring for children in the community, and tax assistance through the Menlo Accounting Club. It would be beneficial both for Menlo and for the community. It would create awareness of Menlo College, SERV hours opportunities for the students, networking opportunities and hands on experience for all the students who will be involved. On the other hand, the community would receive an affordable tutoring and tax service and it would motivate children to continue their studies at higher level institutions.


Spring 2017

Watch Me Now: An Oak's Guide to Change

Strategy #1: Creating Space for Creativity

Creating a space for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the Menlo College campus is difficult because of our small size. Menlo College has a little less than 1000 students and already uses up almost all of its space.  That is why we thought of setting up temporary innovation spots outside around campus.

            We would stake out a location on campus and during certain parts of the day, we would set up an outside creative space. We would have a shed nearby that contains chairs, tables, white boards, music speakers, bean bags. We would also have a crate that is full of resources for the students, markers, sticky notes, pens, some days we would bring pizza, fresh fruit, and beverages.

            We feel that a creative space outside, with the trees, fresh air, and something that would offer a new scene rather than be inside, like every classroom, would ignite more creative thinking. 

Strategy #2: Bringing Awareness to On-Campus Resources

Menlo College has a limited of already established, on-campus resources related to entrepreneurship and innovation. However, the resources Menlo currently provides its students with are underutilized. One area students should utilize more is the Oral and Communications center. Next, by adding a specific space for innovation on campus, students will be able to have an area to cultivate their own business ventures. In addition, clubs and other campus organizations can put on events and skill-building workshops in our space for innovation on campus. This will bring students together and excit them to pursue their entrepreneurial visions. Another area of interest could be partnering with the Academic Success Center, where we could organize game night challenges related to acamdeia and have peer tutors as well as other faculy be guest judges.

Strategy #3: Strengthening Curriculum and On-Campus Clubs

Menlo College is currently undergoing a revamp in part of their education curriculum, specifically in regards to the entrepreneurship major. A committee at Menlo is thinking about possibly developing a course at Menlo that would combine aspects of "social innovation" (improving society) and entrepreneurship, with the goal of eventually incorporating it in other classes. One concept that would be covered in this potential "social innovation entrepeneurship" course is using entrepreurship to solve problems with California's affordable housing crisis or climate change. 

Another idea that is being discussed at Menlo is incorporating "themes" into the curriculum to help students find and develop their personal passions with business - if you like technology, you would take "technology entrepreneurship". Another idea is combining some class, so biology would combine with a business course to become "biotechnology" or something. 

Strategy #4: Business Vocabulary and other skills necessary for business

UIF gives us the perfect platform to be able to share what we are about. The fact that Menlo College is located in the heart of Silicon Valley means that we are surrounded by all types of business. Design think is a great tool we have been able to use, and as a group we have identified different areas our campus needs work on. This tool is not only perfect for our campus, but it is also a great skill to take onto the workforce. A way to teach the new vocabulary and skills would be to host annual events and workshops that would enable our students to have a much more in depth and better understanding of what it means to empathize, research, analyze, prototype, and most importantly, will teach students not to be afraid of failure. 

Related Links

Campus Overview

Spring 2018 Fellows:

Sachal Jogi
Esther Funez
Ash Hunt
Ethan Moengchaisong
Brenda Flores-Reyes
JC Maroun
Jonathan Garcia
Lucia Casadei Parlanti

Spring 2017 Fellows:

Jessica Carlson
Russell Perkins
Yasmin Gomez
Max Barnes