Entrepreneurship is not just a topic of interest for someone starting a business, it is a mindset. In fact, this mindset has been so crucial that I recommend that every college student should take at least one entrepreneurship course – regardless of whether they actually want to start a business or not.
Why? First, entrepreneurship programs are unique in that they are multidisciplinary in nature. All of the functional areas of business (e.g., strategy, finance, marketing, accounting, etc.) come together when discussing the process of launching new ventures. And it significantly enhances the learning experience. As an MBA student, I remember vividly how much I struggled to put together financial statements for a fictitious business despite having taken two graduate-level finance classes. Now, as an instructor, I see my students go through similar struggles as shift to examining things from a holistic perspective rather than a purely functional perspective. In today’s world, companies – large and small – must think and act entrepreneurial in order to stay competitive. As such, it is important for students to do the same so that they can help these companies succeed.
And secondly, entrepreneurship concepts can be applied to help individuals build successful careers. One book that does this especially well is “Business Model You.” This book explains how the business model canvas can be adapted to examine an individual’s career. The same sorts of principles that are used to examine and validate an organization’s business model can then be applied to this personal business model to help individuals find happiness and success in both their work and personal lives. Gone are the days when someone could start their career at a firm and remain there till retirement. Individuals must constantly evaluate their careers and figure out what changes need to be made to stay relevant and competitive in the workplace. This requires adopting an entrepreneurial mindset, and the best way to do so is to learn it before you start your professional careers: during your undergraduate education.