Into the Unknown Pamplin students to reshape business world
he new entrepreneurship and innovation major certainly has a ring to it. “’Innovation’ is the buzzword right now,” Charmaine Wan, ’14, said. “Saying you have a degree in entrepreneurship and innovation management is a lot more impressive than saying you have one in just marketing and management.” Students with the new major take classes in business innovation, marketing research, opportunity assessment and more. They can pick from a variety of electives that never would have shown up in UP’s bulletin ten years ago: sustainable marketing, social entrepreneurship, etc. Connor Whan, ’14, considers the freedom the EIM major gives its students to be the most invigorating and challenging part of his academic career. “The content isn’t black and white,” Whan said. “Entrepreneurship is, in large part, very open to personal opinions, strategies and ideas that are up to the entrepreneurs themselves to come up with, so the professors play more of a guiding role rather than a lecturing role.” Since entrepreneurship is what you make of it, the elusive nature of the degree pushes students to use the best of their creative business tools to carve out their own paths. “The major is essentially studying to be successful in something that doesn’t exist or isn’t at its best today, so there is a lot of thinking outside the box and creative thinking that’s involved. But the critical thinking and ingenuity that it requires you to have are skills that will allow you to be successful in any business endeavor,” Whan said. For Wan, also an EIM major, knowing how to explore and implement big ideas is the biggest challenge of all.
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“There are always good ideas but you have to be able to recognize them,” she said. Wan, who already has an internship at a Hong Kong consulting company under her belt, is interested in going into marketing and research. Whan, who has spent his life observing his entrepreneurial father’s business successes, finds the uncertainty of his future exciting. “Most college graduates get a degree and find a job with a steady income, but many entrepreneurs tend to be on either side of the spectrum because of the openness the career entails. I’ll probably be an aspiring entrepreneur on the low side until I create a product that’s well-received and hopefully allows me to live a little more leisurely.” Marketing and sustainability major Alex Gatewood, ’14, is impressed by the ideas of his fellow business students and has faith the future success of students like Whan. “The entrepreneurial spirit is really strong in most of the business majors I’ve met at UP. Each one of them has an interesting new product idea or a way to change or alter an existing business model,” he said. However, brainstorming sessions are not without their lighthearted moments. “Classes like Introduction to Marketing are heavy on group projects that cultivate idea generation. Sometimes you hear ridiculous ideas too that are pretty entertaining,” Gatewood said. Gatewood is on the soccer team and dreams of either combining his love of sports and business by someday working for a company like Nike or Adidas or breaking into creative advertising and marketing. He is confident that his studies at UP are arming him with the knowledge and skills
he needs to achieve his goals. “My major has required me to become more vocal and communicate my thoughts and ideas in a more clear and concise way than ever before. If I’m in an interview and am asked a question like, ‘In 30 seconds, describe your personal brand and mission statement,’ or some other generic business cliché, I can immediately spit out how I identify myself in the business world and what skills I bring. I’ve learned to market myself in a way that will help me get where I want to be.” Liz Paulson, ’13, is also feeling good about entering the workforce thanks to her entrepreneurship minor. Paulson is a communications major and likes the range of creative and practical thinking her courses require. “The entrepreneurship minor gives me the opportunity to use creativity and apply it to business,” she said. “And I love how hands-on it is.” Paulson, who has started a number of off campus projects like an art blog and a music sharing website called splash.fm, wants to explore creative business and marketing. She recently asked Pendleton to hire her on as an intern, and even though they had no internship programs implemented, they said yes. Where will she be in five years? “Oh God, hopefully in Copenhagen, doing something like creative branding,” she said. “That would be a dream.” Thanks to the school of business, Paulson, Wan, Whan and Gatewood are learning how to execute their dreams with a one-two punch. By Corey Fawcett Photos by Mason Lindblad
Sacks of Love W
hen most h i g h school seniors strategize beefing up their resumes for college applications, they don’t anticipate it to entail the sale of merchandise stamped with innuendos of male genitalia. But this was exactly what happened to Nick Ost, ’16, and his friend Chris Utterback, who just last March launched the non-profit Sacks of Love to raise money for testicular cancer research. “We were looking at those ‘I heart boobies’ wristbands and thought, ‘Hey, why don’t men have something like that?’” Ost said. The non-profit has raised thousands of dollars in its short existence, which has gone to the testicular cancer research segment of cancer research and treatment center M.D. Anderson. Ost, who is a business major at UP, dreams of using the skills he acquires in the classroom to make Sacks of Love a 501c(3) business, or an American tax-exempt non-profit. As of now, it is Washington state tax-exempt only. “Right now, I’m doing a lot of talking on campus, trying to spread awareness,” Ost said. In addition to networking, Ost is working on a comprehensive business plan and getting a website started. He is also selling tank tops, crew necks, wristbands and more from his dorm room. “It kind of took off,” he said of Sacks of Love.
Clockwise from right: Elizabeth Paulson, ’13, talks about her business classes. | Students in Dr. Sebatiao’s Innovation class listen to lecture. | Elyse Landreville, ’13, Andrew Hadfield, ’13, and Tommy French, ’13, attentively listen to a guest speaker from Ziba Design in Dr. Sebatiao’s Innovation class. | Charmaine Wan, ’14, talks about how she’s involved around campus. Opposite: Students listen to a lecture by Dr. Sebatiao.
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