The primary experiential co-curricular entrepreneurship program offered by Thought Into Action is the TIA Incubator: a long-duration, rigorous program for students to develop an initial idea into a tangible outcome. This program is well-suited to students who are passionate about a specific problem they would like to solve and would like a long-duration, hands-in, immersive experience. That said, such an intense, long-term program isn’t the right fit for every student. We know there are students who are interested in exploring entrepreneurship without necessarily committing to a nine-month program.
In response to this need, we launched a new program this spring, “Game of Life: Life Skills of Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs,” a five-week workshop series that provided students with an opportunity to learn about the skills and mindsets of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs and reflect on how they might apply these to their professional and personal lives. We delivered this programming in partnership with Colgate’s Chapel House, as this program complements their focus on reflection and self-discovery.
Together, workshop facilitators Carolyn Strobel, director of Thought Into Action, and Rodney Agnant ’14, Assistant Director of Programming and Lead Facilitator at Chapel House, identified the following goals for the student participants in our program:
- Development of a personal brand
- Identification of impact-focused, meaningful goals
- Reflections on sources of inspiration
- Creation of trusting teams
- Flexibility and resilience
Each session focused on one of these topics. Between sessions, students completed personal exercises that facilitated deeper, independent engagement around the topics. Due to the remote learning environment in spring 2020, this program was held virtually over Zoom, meeting for an hour and a half each week for five weeks. Six students participated in this inaugural series.
Feedback from participants shows that the program had a meaningful impact and that participants gained valuable skills for their professional and personal lives:
- “I think the most useful tool that I gained from this course for my professional development is that my personal brand is ultimately the most important thing in whatever I'm selling, whether it's my services or actual tangible things.”
- “I learned about my role in my career through identifying my personal values and life ambitions.”
- “I learned how to check in with myself and see how I am aligning my day to day activities with the big picture I have in my head of the future.”
- “I also thought more carefully about… how to better collaborate with others using techniques such as the green lens to guide interactions. This technique is really helpful for centering focus and truly getting the most out of personal relationships which will surely be beneficial throughout the course of my personal career.”
And from a high level, students found the program to be valuable and would recommend it to others:
- “I think this course is good for personal and career exploration and I would recommend it to a friend as well.”
- “I absolutely loved this class and will be looking forward to taking more classes like it either through TIA or Chapel House!”