A new entrepreneurship club gives students real world experience
Many high schoolers find themselves troubled with the question of what they want to study in college. It is hard to know if you really want to be a chemical engineer by taking a chemistry course, or a teacher without having any co-op experience or internships as a teacher like kids can in college.
One way to learn if you really have interest in a certain field of study is to get real world experience.
You may know him mostly as the varsity football head coach, but Mr. Aaron Brady, in his role as Director of Experiential Learning, is working to plan out projects and experiments for students interested in entrepreneurship in business, engineering, research, and other fields that would be of interest to students.
By talking to Mr. Brady and telling him what field(s) of interest you have, any student can sign in to this ongoing program. About 15 students have become part of this informal entrepreneurship programming so far. Mr. Brady sets up projects and events open for anyone to be part of, but nothing is by any means required.
“Malvern has always tried to start some sort of Entrepreneurship club,” said Nick Elia ‘16. “I joined one a few years back, but it wasn’t what I expected. Now Mr. Brady has revived the entrepreneurial engines and started up a group that is totally novel yet familiar. He gathers a handful of innovative thinkers together about once every couple of weeks and organizes many different types of meetings and sessions for us to attend.”
Currently, a select group of students interested in engineering and architecture are working on a project in which they split up into teams and develop an evacuation plan for rooms in every building on campus.
These students have Director of Technology Mr. Terrence Norko’s assistance with the Lucid Chart software they use to draw up the architecture of the campus building interiors, and in drawing up the evacuation plans for each room.
“What I want to do is give a problem to a student, don’t give them the answers, and let them go find an answer,” said Brady.
Brady has also been building connections with Villanova’s Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) program. In February, a group of students interested in business entrepreneurship attended a hour long webinar sponsored by ICE in Austin Hall, in which they witnessed a presentation about how to cultivate ideas, pursue entrepreneurship, and deliver an elevator pitch.
“These meetings help really help people who have ideas but just don’t know how to start producing them,” remarked Elia.
The following week, Justice Bennett ‘16 attended an event at Villanova ICE called Ideabounce. Anyone who wanted to could get up and give an “elevator pitch” or a short sales pitch, on their idea. He presented his business model in front of a group of people he didn’t know.
“It was a cool experience,” said Bennett. “It was a great opportunity to network with people and refine my elevator pitch. I think it would be awesome if there were other students participating in it. I think it would be an great thing for any Malvern students to be a part of.”
Mr. Brady recommends becoming part of this program, even if you don’t really think you’re interested in any type of entrepreneurship.
“Sometimes… they’re not sure if it’s for them. Then you get out here and figure out, ‘hey I can do some pretty cool things.’ And that’s the hardest part for us is to reach those students who don’t even realize they’re entrepreneurial at heart,” Brady said.
Brady has also gotten involved with some other companies, such as Callahan and Ward, a company who will be presenting some of the students here with problems related to real estate. This may end up potentially be a future project in summer and fall.
So what kind of company are you interested in starting? Mr. Brady is always looking for new activities in which to get the students involved, but he is also looking for student input on new ideas and new fields of interest to invest time in. He even has students working to create new technological products such as phone apps.
“Being an entrepreneur is not just inventing something. It is taking an idea and making it better,” said Brady. “For any student who wants to be a part of this, let me know what they’re interested in. Come and see me and we’ll find somebody to be a mentor and help them build their idea.”