Entrepreneurialism thrives among the future generation. Gone are the days when you were expected to graduate and go straight into a reliable job-for-life where you work to make someone else rich. These days, graduates know the unending possibilities of branching out on your own. Tackling the business world head on, throwing themselves in and turning that genius idea into reality is no longer a pipe dream
While theres no shortage of inspired concepts in the world, it takes skill, dedication and knowledge to turn ambition into action. A solid foundation that prepares you for the unique challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship is absolutely essential.
This is where a strong liberal arts education can give young entrepreneurs a significant advantage.
Liberal Arts students are taught to reason across disciplines and cultures, from perspectives familiar and foreign. This exposure to diverse viewpoints and paradigms enables Liberal Arts students to approach a problem with a holistic view of disparate ideas or elements.
This flexibility and creativity is a crucial framework for entrepreneurial enterprise.
To make sure you tap into this thinking through your studies, you need a Liberal Arts college that nurtures rather than extinguishes this philosophy. All too often, higher education can be all theory, no practice. Students can learn to reason with clarity and discover their academic passions, but never learn what it means to put those passions to work.
A truly great Liberal Arts college will let you learn through exploration, and it is this curiosity and wonder and its practical usage that will drive your enterprising heart.
Here are 6 Liberal Arts colleges that nurture your entrepreneurial spirit
HOOD COLLEGE MARYLAND
The ethos of Hood College is one that stays with you through life and acts as a driving force behind how you take on the world after graduation. The colleges mission is to provide an education that empowers students to use their hearts, minds and hands to meet personal, professional and global challenges and thats exactly what they do.
Their approach to education is well-rounded and holistic. Their impressive faculty work to integrate the liberal arts with professional studies and experiential learning, so students get crucial practical experience in their field on top of the academic knowledge needed to succeed.
There is plenty of opportunity to get out of the classroom, with over half of all seniors engaging in experiential learning and all students having the opportunity to pursue an internship placement. If thats not enough to get the inspiration flowing, the college also offers study abroad programs allowing students to experience the world and get an understanding of the global challenges and solutions facing the world.
LE MOYNE COLLEGE NEW YORK STATE
Le Moyne places strong values at the heart of its every move. As one of the top Jesuit institutions in the US, the college is fully-invested in the academic and spiritual development of students.
Taking this holistic approach into the classroom setting, Le Moyne seeks to educate students as whole people, critical thinkers, and engaged citizens. This versatile and creative skillset stays with graduates throughout their lives, driving the out-of-the-box thinking needed to succeed as an entrepreneur.
The school also understands the fundamental value of practical learning and so provides every opportunity for professional training and meaningful success.
This heady combination of moral values and a nimble mind for triumph proves to be a winning formula, as is evidenced by the success of Le Moyne graduates like Andrew Lunetta, who set up the charity A Tiny Home For Good that builds homes for the homeless.
A lot of it came out of this idea of providing them a safe dignified space thats their own thatll really foster this sense of stability thats absolutely essential to overcoming homelessness, he says. As Andrew continues his mission to end homelessness in Syracuse like all Le Moyne graduates, hes learnt to aim big.
SWARTHMORE COLLEGE PENNSYLVANIA
Swarthmore has a rich history of giving students the knowledge, insight, skills, and experience needed to become leaders and innovators for the common good. Established in 1864, this historic and beautiful campus makes for the ideal setting to get the creative juices flowing.
With its blended liberal arts and engineering curriculum, Swarthmore attracts students from all backgrounds and cultures, making the close-knit community a great place to learn from your peers and tap into the collective enthusiasm and exuberance of like-minded, ambitious individuals.
The Center for Innovation and Leadership grants opportunities for Swarthmore students to lead and inspire, as well as to listen and learn in ways that allow them to meet the great issues of our time, and to reflect the values of our community. The programs they run inspire inventive thinking processes while also promoting creativity thats invested in the public good, so students go on to establish pioneering businesses that not only prove financially successful, but that also help the community at the same time.
COLBY COLLEGE MAINE
Another one steeped in history, Colby is the 12th-oldest private liberal arts college in the country. Located in central Maine, the luscious 714-acre Mayflower Hill campus overlooks the stunning Kennebec River Valley.
This small college gives you a true community feel with just 2,000 students from every corner of the globe. The diverse yet cohesive student body makes for a supportive learning environment that encourages educational exploration, and collaborative learning experiences led by the colleges world-class professors.
Colby wants you to succeed and gives you the tools needed to do just that. The innovative Davis Connects programs works from a whole new model of liberal arts education. As its tagline says, you design your own future. If youve got a vision for your future, no matter how grand, the Davis Connects program gives you what you need to make it a reality.
Providing connections and resources, Colby gives students the chance to step outside their comfort zones and gain the valuable experience that instils both life and business know-how.
Through global experiences, internships and research, learn the practical and creative side of entrepreneurship.
VASSAR COLLEGE NEW YORK STATE
Consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country, Vassar is renowned for three things pioneering achievements in education, a long history of curricular innovation, and for the beauty of its campus.
The college has an extensive and incredibly highly-respected academic curriculum, but they recognise that learning also takes place outside of the classroom setting.
Vassar provides plenty of opportunity for students to gain real world experience, get out in the community, and gain an understanding of issues and solutions affecting people at large.
Community-engagement learning is a core of Vassar ethos. The program combines an internship placement outside of the college with academic work under the direction of a faculty member. There are a wide variety of placement available in schools, shelters, food banks, hospitals, courts, and businesses. The experience of working in these settings along with reading and writing about the issues they face allows students to learn about and reflect on some aspect of the world beyond college walls.
SCRIPPS COLLEGE CALIFORNIA
The Scripps experience is one from which students walk away satisfied. The college is rated in the Top 20 Best Colleges, according to the Princeton Review, for everything from best college dorms (number 1 in the country), and best quality of life (#8) to best classroom experience (#14) and best career services (#15).
Students can explore 50 majors available on the Scripps campus and have the unique opportunity to study more through other Claremont Colleges; an American consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate schools of higher education located in Claremont, California.
But students are also encouraged to transform their classroom learning into action through the colleges study abroad program, research with faculty, and internship opportunities.
Through Study Abroad and Global Education (SAGE), students are urged to live and study in a brand-new environment. This helps develop the global competence and innovative thinking required of college graduates in todays fast-paced commercial world.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International
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