Entrepreneur students look at opportunities ahead

Wanda Lewis
Staff Writer

Entrepreneurship, an extremely important aspect of our national and global economy, is currently on the rise. New businesses are constantly emerging, providing consumers not only with products, but also opportunities.

Here at Hudson Valley, our Entrepreneurs Club is providing opportunities for students. With the main goal of fostering pride and fellowship within the School of Business and throughout the campus community, the club centers around each student member’s future academic and career goals, encouraging interest and activity in the fields of business and related areas.

“Entrepreneurship teaches leadership skills such as being self-directed, self-nurturing, action-oriented, and being a calculated risk-taker,” said Sandra Thomas, president of the Entrepreneurs Club.

In today’s global economy, we need to effectively find ways to meet consumer needs and be prepared to quickly adapt to a constantly changing environment. “Today’s entrepreneurs focus on creating a practical, evolving business model,” said Johanna Mather, advisor to the Entrepreneurs Club.

“The learning environment is so much different today. We are seeing more focus at younger ages to solve problems using a ‘hands-on’ approach and incorporating innovative technology … In today’s economy, employers are looking for individuals who can think creatively, solve problems effectively, and successfully execute an idea. An entrepreneurial mindset is a skill that will serve students well, whether they have their own business or are working for an existing company,” Mather continued.

“Entrepreneurs Club provides these students with a place to go and be a part of a community of entrepreneurs like them, who can help in the process of building a small business from the ground up. Participating in the club helps students learn to communicate effectively in a business setting and prepares them with the skills necessary to tackle the everyday obstacles of running a business,” said Brody O’Connor, vice president of the Entrepreneurs Club.

Members of the club are also part of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO). Launched in 1997 by Professor Dr. Gerry Hills of the University of Illinois at Chicago, CEO seeks to inform, support and inspire college students to be entrepreneurial and seek opportunity through enterprise creation, while encouraging and guiding students through leadership and core values.

This semester, the Entrepreneurs Club has some exciting events planned for students to participate in. “We have two different contests planned, we’re bringing in speakers, and, you know, just a lot of community events,” said Thomas. The two upcoming contests are the Speak-Off Contest and the Free Enterprise Competition, open to all students. At press time, dates for the two events had not yet been determined.

In the Speak-Off Contest, participants will have an opportunity here at Hudson Valley to present a three- to five-minute speech they themselves have written. The winner of that contest will move on to the Speak-Off finals at the Free Enterprise Marathon located at SUNY Plattsburgh, where he or she will compete regionally with other participating colleges.

According to Thomas, the speaking contest will not only assist students in gaining the skill of public speaking, which is a large component of entrepreneurship and business, but also help them to feel more a part of the community. The club hopes that the contest will help boost their membership and give students a window into what the club, and entrepreneurship, has to offer.

The Entrepreneurs Club is open to all students. The club meets Wednesdays at 2 p.m. in BRN 201. Contact Johanna Mather, BRN 225, at (518) 629-7659 or j.mather@hvcc.edu

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