One of the great programs that allows us to put "experiential" on our brand is the Enterprise system. I was placed in the Carlson Ventures Enterprise, which focuses on small business development, entrepreneurship, and like all the enterprises, consulting.
Our class sat down today with Toby Nord, the Professional Director of the CVE to do some typical first day stuff. We discussed the syllabus, outlined the use of our Ventures office facilities, and talked a bit about the goals of the CVE.
And then we hopped right into our term-long project.
That's one of the things I really enjoy about the enterprises specifically, and the Carlson School in general. Faculty and even peers make sure you understand your purpose, understand your surroundings. And then you jump in.
While I can't discuss the specifics of our projects (confidentiality and signed non-disclosure and all that), I can tell you that my project involves a start-up that's creating educational software for kids. This start-up needs some help with a business plan. Or it wants to commercialize some of its offerings. Or maybe it wants to assess which of several new projects to undertake.
The other thing I really like about enterprises is the ambiguity. There is no right answer in the back of the Teacher's Edition textbook. These are real-life applications of the concepts and frameworks and critical thinking (more b-school terms, quickly!) that we've learned over our brief stint in the program. These companies are paying real money for our expertise, and our good and bad decisions have consequences.
It's a heady feeling, and I'm looking forward to the next seven weeks. Stay tuned.