At a recent interview, I was asked to elaborate on some of the experiences listed on my resume. My interviewers were particularly interested in my time as the Student Volunteer Coordinator for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Penn State. I excitedly told the panel more about the internship and my GEW experience, which was ultimately what gave me the competitive edge for the position.
I was introduced to GEW during my sophomore year at Penn State. I had recently decided to major in public relations and was looking for an academic minor that would set me apart. I had originally been hoping to find a business minor, but was struggling to find one that truly fit my interests. My advisor suggested that I try out the Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI) minor. The minor offered an array of different options, allowing me to build a foundation of entrepreneurial skills and add to them with courses that fit my specific interests.
I enrolled in MGMT 215, the first of three core classes for the minor, and I knew almost immediately that I was in the right place. The class challenged my creativity and pushed me to have confidence in presenting my ideas. Along the way, the minor introduced me to GEW. I attended events, initially, simply as a requirement for a class. Soon enough, I was attending because I wanted to.
GEW introduced me to entrepreneurs from a number of fields and focuses who shared their stories and gave incredibly helpful advice. I was able to participate in workshop events that allowed me to apply what I had been learning, and I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with students from different parts of the Penn State community.
At the beginning of my senior year, I received an email from the College of Communications Career Advisor, Bob Martin, advertising an internship with GEW at Penn State. I applied and was selected to serve as the Student Volunteer Coordinator for GEW 2016. I got to dive even further into the entrepreneurial community, using the skills I had acquired to support the events that had taught me so much.
My internship with GEW, participating in GEW events, and the ENTI minor taught me firsthand how you can be innovative within almost any job. Entrepreneurship and innovation aren’t concepts that solely apply to starting or owning a business. Creativity and the ability to innovate are essential to most careers. My interviewers very much agreed with that philosophy, and they mentioned that innovating and improving the program that I would be working with was very important to them.
I very recently started my career as the Telefund Program Supervisor at the University of Tennessee – the position I had been interviewing for. When explaining their decision to hire me, my interviewers specifically mentioned that my entrepreneurship experience was something that they were impressed with and fit the direction that they wanted to take the telefund. Innovation is essential to improvement and success, and I’m very excited to be working with an organization that values new ideas.
I’m so thankful for the opportunities that Penn State, the Donald P. Bellasario College of Communications, the ENTI minor, GEW, and the entire entrepreneurial community have given me. Without my background in entrepreneurship and innovation, this jump-start to my career may not have been possible.