Taking care of business

By Megan Pendagast

The entrepreneurial studies minor offers non-business students the opportunity to diversify, be more marketable and distribute résumés at venues such as Rider’s career fair.

Business-savvy students with no time to commit to an additional major can look no further than the College of Business Administration’s (CBA) new minor in entrepreneurial studies.

This is an 18-credit minor that provides a business-course structure for non-business students. These six classes consist of two business prerequisites, two required courses and the option of two of the five offered entrepreneurial studies classes. The electives include Family Business, International Entrepreneurship and Tax Planning for Small Business. A special topics course and independent study are also offered.

According to business professor Dr. Ronald Cook, the creation of this minor has been in the works for some time. The idea came into fruition after the development of the arts administration major with an entrepreneurial track. After that program was established, he began to see a lot of student interest.

“I started getting questions from non-business students interested in taking entrepreneurship classes without double-majoring,” Cook said. “This provides an opportunity to learn these kinds of skill sets.”

From this interest a new minor was born. Cook says that he hopes the entrepreneurial studies minor will broaden non-business students’ horizons and make them more marketable.

“We wanted to offer the minor for students outside of the CBA who were maybe looking to open a business in a skill or talent from a different major,” he said. “They could benefit from the minor and learn some of the issues and concerns of starting a business. We structured the minor to essentially capture core elements of the major.”

Senior entrepreneurial studies major Justin Pappas considers himself an advocate for the minor.

“No matter what your major may be, saying that you have been educated in an entrepreneurial way makes you as a candidate look better,” Pappas said. “This is really the foundation in making you an individual that can handle more than one type of job, which separates you from the rest of the job force.”

Junior psychology major Megan Yost was first attracted to the entrepreneurial studies minor for some of those reasons.

“I’m doing it because I hope to one day own my own restaurant and I think this minor would be beneficial, especially because I’m not a business major,” Yost said. “It’s one of the few minors offered to non-business majors so I think it’ll help me out a lot.”

There are approximately 100 students who are currently pursuing either an entrepreneurial studies major or are on the program track.

According to Cook, this minor has value for all types of majors, even those with an entrepreneurial spirirt in the arts.

“The entrepreneurial studies major may provide students of Westminster College of the Arts with an opportunity to earn a living through business or entrepreneurship while still pursuing performance careers,” he said.

Junior entrepreneurial studies major Rob McBride believes that offering this program will be beneficial to people both in and out of the CBA.

“It’s a great investment and it could become especially useful when you’re sick of being the worker and not the boss,” McBride said.

According to Cook, the minor is set up for a number of possible outcomes.

“Students could go into business for themselves based on skills or interests, or benefit from learning the different components of working for a business that’s not your own,” he said.

Cook emphasizes that the lessons learned from this program are applicable to all career paths.

“Most importantly, regardless of disciplinary major, this program emphasizes thinking outside of the box,” he said. “That kind of outlook and attitude can be applied to any structure. It’s not strictly limited to business.”

Contact this writer at pendagastm@theridernews.com

Printed in the 12-7-12 edition

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