Sdsu MBAs Get Practical Experience by Working Shoulder-To-Shoulder with Business Big Wigs

May 14, 1998

Jolene Crowley
Crowley Communications


(San Diego) -- Could your company benefit from having a fresh, bright, highly trained business mind suddenly join the management team for very little money and relatively no risk?

Sound too good to be true? It's not.

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, the Entrepreneurial Management Center at San Diego State University will place 15 of their brightest MBA students into internships where they'll learn the ropes from some of San Diego's most successful entrepreneurs. (The grant requires a significant project be assigned to the SDSU intern who will report to senior management and sit in on senior management's meetings.)

High Demand for Entrepreneurship Training

The United States in is a significant era of entrepreneurship. Over 700,000 companies began last year, compared to 50,000 per year in the 1950s. Research has shown that all new net job creation comes from new and growing companies.

Colleges and universities throughout the country have reported tremendous growth in their students' interest in learning about entrepreneurship. According to San Diego State University's College of Business, this dramatic growth in entrepreneurial interest and activity is reinforced by a counter trend large companies are downsizing, re-engineering and eliminating traditional job opportunities.

These developments indicate a very strong interest in, and demand for, effective and innovative educational and training programs to accelerate the entrepreneurship learning experience.

Enter Ewing Marion Kauffman

This is why in 1992, Ewing Marion Kauffman, who was a truly remarkable entrepreneur, endowed the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation with $1 billion for the creation of the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. He had one outcome in mind the development of entrepreneurs and their companies, which would lead to job creation. He understood that jobs indeed, economic development depended upon the ability to grow companies. He was convinced that the best way to enhance the possibilities of success for entrepreneurs was to identify and teach the skills that contribute to entrepreneurial development. If entrepreneurs could learn how to develop successful companies, jobs would be created.

The Kauffman Center in Kansas City, Mo., is an independent not-for-profit educational organization. During his successful career, Kauffman built a small pharmaceutical firm into a major healthcare company with more than $1 billion in annual sales at the time of its eventual merger with Merrell Dow.

"The $50,000 grant to SDSU's Entrepreneurial Management Center allows our students to gain the kind of 'hands-on' experience that can only be found in a high-growth company. I cannot think of a better way to familiarize students with the rigorous challenges of leading an entrepreneurial company," said Sanford Ehrlich, Ph.D., Executive Director of the EMC.

SDSU Situated in Unique Economic Environment

According to the Kauffman Center, the nature of the San Diego economy dependent on growing industry clusters in life sciences, software/multimedia, electronics, telecommunications, travel/tourism was a compelling factor in awarding the grant. In addition, San Diego's cross-border location offers students the opportunity to work with companies that are pursuing international markets.

All 15 interns will be placed throughout three semesters, beginning with summer 1998, continuing through fall 1998, and ending with spring 1999.

In order to fulfill Kauffman's dream for job creation, host companies must meet the following criteria of an entrepreneurial venture: $25 million or less in annual revenue and fewer than 200 employees. The hosting company must also contribute a stipend of $2,500 per intern, an amount matched by the grant funds. Interns, who will receive class credit, are expected to work approximately 10 hours per week over the course of a semester.

To be considered as a host company, call SDSU's Jeff Glazer, coordinator of the Kauffman Entrepreneur Internship Program, at (619) 594-3900. Professional service providers are encouraged to identify potential companies or to consider funding an intern for a qualifying client organization.


Jolene Crowley
Crowley Communications
2084 Forester Creek Road
El Cajon, CA 92021-3778
619-593-6686 (fax)

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