Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Entrepreneurial Leadership Boost During J-Term
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Brummel and Doney

Entrepreneurial Leadership Boost During J-Term

Darius Brummell ’21 and Bliss Doney ’22 share why they spent their January break studying what it takes to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and how they intend to apply their coursework to future careers. 

Taught by the Director of the Centennial Center Amy Forbes, the “Entrepreneurial Leadership” course prepares students to apply innovation and ingenuity to a rapidly changing workforce. In addition to studying successful entrepreneurs, students develop a strategic plan for making their idea for a product, service, startup or organization into a reality.

“Students consider important concepts, such as ethics, sustainability, economic Darwinism and managing uncertainty,” says Forbes. “They also discuss product invention, service implementation, economic choice, risk and return, scale and scope, value creation and small business generation.”

Darius Brummell ’21 says the J-term course gave him “hands-on experience” developing a business plan and evaluating products and services. At the end of a 2020 summer internship with Citi Bank, Brummell accepted a position with the firm as an analyst. Having already landed a post-graduate position, Brummell wanted to use his winter break to prepare for the role. “I thought a class that related to business, that actually required students to come up with their own ideas and pitch them would be applicable and useful,” he says.

Bliss Doney ’22 is a dance and education double major. As she studies to become an educator, Doney believes it is important to “know how to be an innovative and successful leader for the better of my peers and future students.” Doney says that during the course, she was struck by two aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset that remind her of her dance education: risk-taking and creativity. “Risk is a vital aspect of entrepreneurial leadership,” she says. While evaluating case studies, Doney identified that successful entrepreneurs “consistently think creatively.”

The Entrepreneurial Studies minor is the fastest growing course of study on campus. In 2018, the Colleges opened the Bozzuto Center for Entrepreneurship – a collaboration hub in downtown Geneva, N.Y. where students advance their economic and social ventures. The entrepreneurial studies academic program is enhanced by the Centennial Center, where students develop practical skills through workshops, accelerators and mentorship programs.