Photo by Shelby Stanley
Often times as students it is easy to feel overwhelmed or even have a sense of uncertainty about your major and future career path. Classes that revolve around your field of study and internships both have ways that you can dive into your field- but a place dedicated to bridging you with experienced professionals in your field and getting a hands on experience does not come around too often. FUA-AUF’s International School of Business’s EntrepreLearn Lab aims to do just that.
The lab is meant to be a space where students can gain entrepreneurial skills by meeting and exchanging ideas with experienced business professionals, typically entrepreneurs and learning through experience. Students work on special projects, encountering both problems and opportunities that entrepreneurs deal with on a daily basis. They learn how to handle situations and hopefully apply what they have learned to their actual career.
“Students learn important and useful things like how to prepare a meeting and a briefing, how to focus on a specific task and how to analyse and research,” creator and professor, Sandra Nannini said. “We look for entrepreneurs from around the area or whom have a strong link with this territory,” Nannini continued as we sat in the EntrepreLearn Lab.
As I Iistened to her speak of this innovative space, I could not help but notice that an entrepreneur was actually in the lab that day and really engaging with students. From what I can hear the project the students were working on was helping entrepreneur, Vinod Gangotra create a website for a new product. Gangotra drew on the lab’s interactive Promethean computer as the students interjected, throwing ideas and going over data. It was amazing to view that exactly what Professor Nannini said the purpose was, actually is what is happening.
“This lab is important because it exposes students to applicable problems in the industry they want to be in,” Gangotra said. With 35 years of experience in project innovation that covers many aspects in business including marketing, branding, and production, Gangotra is just an example of the different mentors the lab sees and students work with.
The lab is “for SPEL students for a number of classes that have academic experiential learning hours involved. Additionally through class, students come here for shifts which is time spent in the lab researching, elaborating, or constructing something,” Nannini said. The lab opened at the end of August and just as it promotes creativity and exchanging ideas, Professor Nannini encourages new ideas on what activities students can do in the lab.
From what I can see this lab is essential for business students wanting to get a hands on experience before getting into the real world. It is beneficial in many ways, to both entrepreneurs and students as it can help gain new perspectives and become more rounded in a business aspect. The EntrepreLearn Lab is located in the International School of Business at Via dell’ Oriuolo 43.