Is it right for a growing business to stop growing? Is it a good idea for a leader to stop making strides, contributing, and moving forward? No. That’s why in fall 2013, the Merrick School of Business will have two new programs in entrepreneurship and innovation.
“Our school is forging ahead in an area where we have plenty to contribute—everything from classroom learning to mentorships, internships, even experiences in businesses in other countries,” said Dean Darlene Smith. “When you have momentum, when you see the successes you’ve been planning for, you keep going. It’s a natural for us.”
At the undergraduate level, the school will launch the Entrepreneurship Fellows Program, which will balance classroom learning with immersive, hands-on experience with entrepreneurial “gazelles”—Maryland-based small-business success stories who welcome the opportunity to share their expertise with entrepreneurial students. This program will have a pedagogy that is different from the typical entrepreneurship program found in U.S. business schools. When the Entrepreneurship Fellows enter the program, they’ll have already gone through a rigorous application process that includes interviews with key faculty. The program is designed so that each student will have a local serial entrepreneur as a mentor. The program will use the tutorial model of teaching, which features intensive and complementary instruction with faculty.
Also debuting next fall is a new master’s-level program in Innovation Management and Technology Commercialization. This pathway is intended to increase the pool of managerial talent that is needed for managing some of the state’s most prolific R&D firms. The program is the only one of its kind in the region and blends technological, market-based and organizational focal points as its central goal.
“The economy has made great strides toward a more entrepreneurial, self-starting approach to doing well in business,” Smith said. “Even large companies are looking for employees who have that entrepreneurial mindset—they bring energy, intellectual capabilities, and a strong sense of curiosity about the marketplace and the larger world. We’re right there in the mix, urging these future leaders to pursue their entrepreneurial outlook and prepare for the future. In a way it’s what we’ve always done, but I believe there is a heightened awareness of it and more enthusiasm for it than ever before.”