We know a good thing when we see it, hear it and test it. So, when the scale measuring student success tilted in favor of a first-year experience, with our students in living-learning communities, we acted. And we made it happen – with 520 students, 400 Beaver Nation volunteers, 225 Fridays in Austin workshops, 67 business startups, 3 residence halls and one huge goal – we’re drying ourselves off from the wild ride that has been the launch year of Innovation Nation, the first-year experience.
Innovation Nation introduces theory, promotes practical and hands-on skills, and taps into the network of alumni and business leaders who visit the college. We are creating confident, engaged and resourceful entrepreneurs.
We can’t wait for our Innovation Nation students to come back and welcome the new cohort – because that is the goal. (And, seeing you back in Austin Hall, too!)
Read on for more of the first-year journey.
The new generation is here
I t’s 8:30 p.m. in Weatherford Hall, the all freshmen, all business and design student residence hall, and it is a scene of dorm-life “new normal” for OSU’s College of Business. Technology figures prominently, as students press through assignments, working with their team to put the final touches on their business plans, and decompressing with their headphones and social media.
The new generation is here, Gen Z — the first cohort in the College of Business’ “Innovation Nation” first-year experience — and they’re wired into a new and intentional curriculum experience, writing business plans and launching their own micro-businesses all before they call themselves sophomores. They’re practicing from day one how to be the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders.
The team of first-year College of Business entrepreneurs designing a bicycle blinker are (left to right) Noah Cooke, Gavin Chan, Dmytro Shabanov, Sydney Brentano, Graham Barber, Kyle Petersen and Fabriel Nguyen.
A year of learning and doing
For Dmytro Shabanov, this was a pleasant surprise. Shabanov — who works with six other entrepreneurs to launch a new product, a bicycle turning signal — finds his first year as a business student far from average.
“To be honest, I expected the first year of business school to be all book work — just reading about business without much doing — with junior and senior year being when we’d write business plans,” Shabanov said. “So for us to be working together as freshmen to start our own business and launch a real product is pretty exciting. Not to mention, our product could really take off, which makes this much more motivating than your average team project.”
Innovation Nation revolves around coursework that introduces fundamental theory and promotes practical and hands-on skills across all areas of business studies. By the end of the first year, students also have tapped into the experience of alumni, business leaders and CEOs who visit the College of Business to share stories of hard work, success and surviving failure.
“This is the kind of experiential learning that positions students to be more engaged in the broader community and with their faculty and peers,” said Sandy Neubaum, director of student engagement at the College of Business. “Our philosophy behind Innovation Nation is to prepare students to be profession-ready with the skill set and mindset that today’s ‘nano fast’ business environment requires.”
A longer version of this article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of the OSU alumni magazine, Oregon Stater.
Innovation Nation: Philosophy
BA 161: From Awareness to Action, Winter 2017 - Syllabus
By the end of the term, you will be able to: