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Entrepreneurship Study Option Offers New Opportunities

The School of Business and Economics at Plattsburgh State University of New York is now offering a new study option within the business major.

The entrepreneurship program makes its debut this fall and is for those who want to launch their own business, help with a family business or become a project manager in a large business.

"The entrepreneurship study option provides students another opportunity to acquire the skills, knowledge and some practical experience in starting up a new business or to introduce and implement innovative ideas in larger businesses," said Dr. Siamack Shojai, dean of the School of Business and Economics.

"It is also significant to the North Country community because we are inviting distinguished and established business leaders who have themselves experienced the entrepreneurship waters to come into the classroom. Our students will benefit from their experience, and business leaders will be role models to so many bright and eager students," said Shojai.

The program is comprised of five core courses plus the general education requirements and other business course requirements. These five courses are: entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship; small business management; strategic management; personal financial planning and a management internship.

"The internship portion of the study option will provide the students with a much more structured experience while learning outside of the classroom," said Dr. James Csipak, associate professor of management and marketing. "Students and the College will be able to make more connections to businesses in the local community, which is one of the on-going requirements of the AACSB accreditation. The program also has a close connection with the Small Business Development Center."

The study option was researched by faculty members within the department, according to Csipak.

"Dr. Lise Heroux (professor of management and marketing) spent a lot of time looking at similar programs offered at other universities. She looked at what would be the best for this program and put things together," said Csipak, who teaches the entrepreneurship and intrapreneruship course. "The faculty have attended several conferences to get more information on different entrepreneurship programs across the country and to share ideas with other faculty members. Dean Shojai has been very encouraging, helpful and has provided resources for the conferences."

Csipak said that the program is very challenging for students and provides all sorts of opportunities for students to come up with innovative business ideas.

"First we have the students 'paint by the numbers;' then we have students create the colors. That's the philosophy here. Entrepreneurship is all about thinking and doing. It's about being action-oriented," said Csipak. "Students will have to think creatively and on their feet. It's a mixture of art and science. Students will use scientific knowledge as well as artistic skills. This is what makes it a discipline."

The courses within the entrepreneurship study option are also available for students outside the School of Business and Economics. They may take this opportunity to learn skills to start their own business, said Csipak. 

"Students in arts and science can take these classes to enhance their own programs," said Csipak. "Accounting, finance and economic majors can also create a double major with this study option."

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