Think Like an Entrepreneur was an event hosted by the Weinert Center in partnership with the Undergraduate Career Engagement Team that consisted of five panelists speaking about their entrepreneurial journey and highlighted the various applications and benefits of having an entrepreneurial mindset that advanced their careers. Undergraduate students of all academic backgrounds attended the event and students were also able to ask questions to the panelists at the end of the session.
The five panelists came from a variety of industries and backgrounds. Ousmane Kabre is a BBA alumni and founder of Leading Change, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming young Africans into leaders and agents of change. Jasmine Kennedy is a BBA alumni and Chief of Staff at Spoke, a consulting startup focused on outsource solutions for high growth companies. Adam Kroener is the President and CEO of Carbliss, a food and beverage company out of Plymouth, WI. Katie Lorenz is a BBA alumni and founder of Campo Alpaca, a startup focused on ethical alpaca apparel from Peru. Carly Wood is a BBA alumni and senior product manager at Intuit.
All the panelists provided the students with great insights into how having an entrepreneurial mindset has helped them in life and their careers. One common theme the panelists focused on was what Ousmane referred to as “learning to learn.” The panelists emphasized how important it is to continue learning in both your career and personal life. Additionally, some of the most important life lessons come when things don’t pan out. Jasmine recited a quote that was particularly meaningful, saying “a smart person learns from their own mistakes, but a wise person learns from others mistakes.” Similarly, Adam gave his personal mantra on mistakes as “I’ve never lost at anything, I have either won or learned.”
While the panelists agreed on lifelong learning and learning from mistakes, they seemed to have different perspectives on risks. Ousmane, Adam, and Katie suggested a more in the moment approach. Advocating to pursue your ideas while you are young and able to bounce back more quickly from mistakes. Katie talked about not waiting until you think something is perfect because it won’t be. “Share your plans, pitch, and just talk to people about it – you will adapt, grow, and the idea will improve!” Carly and Jasmine, on the other hand, advocated a more calculated risk management and risk tolerance assessment approach, knowing yourself and the obligations you have in life. However, I believe that both groups would agree that becoming an entrepreneur is about perseverance and having the right mindset to follow through with your ideas.
As the students learned, becoming an effective entrepreneur requires more than running your own business. It’s about having a natural curiosity and searching for solutions to people’s problems. To paraphrase Carly, it’s about wanting to create something with your own hands. It’s about being courageous enough to dust yourself off after you fail and try again.
This mantra is the entrepreneurial mindset that each panelist uses every day to be successful.