The Entrepreneurship Experience:
Building dreams and passions into fun and profit
Instructor: Dr. Jim Friedman taught the entrepreneurship module at this session of Miami’s Summer Scholars. Although he teaches entrepreneurship and creativity courses at Miami, the majority of his career outside the school was for his television production group, called Blind Squirrels Production Group. This group was responsible for many segments on notable networks such as ESPN and PBS, and also directed/produced 11 primetime television dramas. He’s won 64 regional Emmys and one national Emmy for his work in broadcasting. However, Friedman personally wanted to be a college professor. When offered a job at Miami to teach a creativity class, he was initially skeptical, but fell in love with the class after his first semester with it. Ever since then, he’s been teaching at Miami.
The course: Friedman’s course is split into two halves. The first week of the program, he teaches students about creativity, design thinking, and other tools he thinks are essential for any entrepreneur to understand. During the second week of the module, he invites a pro company to act as a “client” and pose problems to the students. Students are then tasked with creating solutions to these problems. “Several times we’ve had these clients actually use some of the solutions that the students come up with,” Friedman said.
Significance of the course: When explaining the creation of this course, Friedman emphasized the difference between business and entrepreneurship. “The business course is more lecture-based. In entrepreneurship, we like to give students more hands-on experience and getting them to be creative,” he said. Friedman wants to show students that thinking outside of the box can be very beneficial, and hopes that students will use the tools he teaches them to go after what they want in life. “An entrepreneur doesn’t look at the materials available…he or she figures out what they want, and finds a way to make that available,” Friedman said.
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Mel Beyer: Business as usual
Melinda (or Mel) Beyer, from Robinsville, N.J., discovered her passion for business when she joined her high school’s robotics team. Read that again. That’s right, you did just read “passion for business” and “robotics team” in the same sentence. While normally these two things would mix like butter and ice cream, Mel believes that Nemesis 52, her team, combines the best aspects of each element.
Her history with the team is pretty straightforward. “I joined because my sister’s friends wanted me to. I decided to try it, but I ended up liking it a lot,” Mel says. She wanted to join the marketing section of the team, and since that moment, she’s worked her way up to being the head of the marketing team. Her duties include managing the team’s website and social media accounts, creating displays and buttons to be used at her high school, and just getting the word out about Nemesis 52 in general. “[We] all come from different social backgrounds, but it makes us all happy. That’s why I love this team so much.”
Mel continues to serve her team in whatever way she can, and hopes that the marketing experience with Nemesis 52 will assist her in a business major.
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Miya Shultz: A Great Samaritan
Miya Shultz, a senior at Loveland High School in Loveland, Ohio, has a soft spot in her heart when it comes to helping the poor that draws her to service with the Interfaith Hospitality Network.
Every year, volunteers in her community spend three weeks providing dinners and otherswise assisting local homeless families. Volunteers like Miya then proceed to entertain the kids while the parents get a much deserved break. “How I decide to hang out with each kid really depends on the age. With the younger ones, I usually go for Barbies or other kinds of toys, but the some of the older kids just prefer to sit around and talk.” The program attracts families with kids of all ages, so Miya has experience with homeless children of all ages.
When asked about why she serves so fervently with the Interfaith Hospitality Network, she answered, “It’s good to give back to a community that has given so much to me.”
Dan Bosworth: Master of management
Dan Bosworth, a rising senior at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin High School in Chardon, Ohio, leads an interesting double life. While many of his peers see him as a happy, carefree guy who loves hanging out with friends, this persona vanishes when he’s on the basketball court. But he doesn’t play the role you might think he would.
Dan doesn’t play basketball, but rather he manages the team. Dan never liked playing sports, and thought that becoming a manager for his team would be a great way to enjoy the adrenaline of being on a team without actually having to play. He has been a student-manager at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin for the past few years, and he has great responsibilities when it comes to this team. “I essentially oversee day-to-day operations for the team,” Dan says. This means helping out with logistics when it comes to practice and games, and trying to relieve the stress that some of these players might face. “It’s all the perks of being a player without actually playing,” he admits. Whether you think Dan’s job is trivial or not, one thing is for sure: when it comes to the basketball court, Dan is the man with the plan.
Media Matters: An Overview
The two weeks that I spent in the Media Matters module was filled with insightful tips into the world of journalism. Whether it be through paper, email, or even the radio, people receive news in many shapes and forms and from many different providers. The first person we interviewed was Emily Williams, editor for the Miami Student and intern at the Columbus Dispatch. She talked a lot about her responsibilities being such a high-ranking member of Miami’s biggest student newspaper, and I was very interested about her paper’s coverage of the story of a Miami student who died from alcohol poisoning earlier this year. Next, we talked to Tess Sohngen, a Miami graduate who is interning for the Global Citizen. She told us about Global Citizen’s focus on international stories based on poverty. However, Tess also mentioned that she was said the Citizen doesn’t do more national coverage. Another person of interest that we interviewed was JM Rieger, who creates video stories for the Huffington Post. It was interesting hearing how he sees his employer, which is often cited as biased toward the left. Additionally, his videos were incredibly funny.
Chris Graves of the Cincinnati Enquirer also took out some time in her busy schedule to talk with us. Her coverage of the Pike County murders and the fact that she followed persons with ties to the case to Alaska was extremely intriguing. I think Graves practiced the best ethics out of any journalist we met in these two weeks, and this is evident in how she handled interviews with suspects from the Pike County murder mystery.
Mike Horsley, of WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, showed us around his TV station, and explained the everyday logistics that happen in his station. His station is part of the controversial Sinclair Broadcast Group, which was featured in an episode Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. His position on the group was very interesting, as they try to water down the bias that SBG tries to put on them. My favorite guest of all was probably Shannon Rosenberg from BuzzFeed. While I do not use BuzzFeed as a news source, I thought it was very cool to hear her job description and how BuzzFeed operates as a whole. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time learning about the world of journalism and how it operates locally, nationally, and internationally.
About the author
Jack Paul is entering his senior year at Mullen High School in Denver. He enjoys anything outdoors, which includes (but is not limited to) running, biking, hiking, fishing and hunting. He is employed as a cashier at a Home Depot in his hometown of Littleton, Colo. While he does like his job, he considers it incredibly soul-crushing at times.
At Mullen, Jack is a member of several academic groups including the National Honors Society and National Latin Honors Society, with a 4.2 GPA (on a weighted 5.0 scale). His favorite subject is, without question, United States History, which he took at the AP level during his junior year. “I greatly enjoy seeing how people work,” he said. “What they do and what they think — it’s just so interesting to me. I like to investigate the causes behind huge populist movements, and see why people are so enthralled with some of them.”
Jack is also heavily invested in service work, traveling as far as the Blackfeet Indian Reservation to help those in need. He hopes that this service will keep him informed about social injustice around the nation and will provide him with the tools to create a more fair society. In college, Jack hopes to major in a government-related field or journalism, with computer science as a fallback in case something goes wrong with his first choices.