It’s kind of like a crash course in creatively thinking and problem solving: More than 80 incoming first-years from across the Midwest – and as far away as Colorado – took part in the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship’s First-year Innovation Immersion workshop at St. Thomas Aug. 29-30.

While most of the students will be majoring in business and entrepreneurship, many students were from School of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Associate Dean of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Laura Dunham explained why thinking like an entrepreneur is a good thing no matter the field of study.

“Entrepreneurs solve problems,” she said. “We live in a world of problems and challenges, and entrepreneurs are people who aren’t afraid of tackling them.”

Students were paired in teams of four, and each team identified a problem and developed a business idea that serves as a solution. They created prototypes or storyboards to showcase their ideas, and pitched their concepts to volunteer mentors from the community.

Prizes were handed out to the winning teams, but students took away much more from the two-day workshop.

“We put together an amazing presentation, and we had the opportunity to network and meet these super successful people,” first-year David Zimmermann said. “It’s been really fun.”

“I met so many people. We hung out, went out together … and we learned a lot,” first-year Sierra Pawlak said.

“It was a great way to experience just a little bit of what I will be studying the next couple of years,” first-year Olivia Tracy said.

For more information about entrepreneurship degrees and programs offered at the University of St. Thomas, check out the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship.

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