English Majors Can Do More Than Teach. U-M Liberal Arts Students Push For Entrepreneurial Classes

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executive director of the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education.

“We forget as we teach people in different areas of specialty that working for somebody else isn’t the only option,” Ashmore says. “We are beginning to recognize that providing experiences to students while they’re still in school is a way to get them to think about what the opportunities might be.”

Sophomore Noel Gordon, a political science major, is supporting 1,000 Voices because it encourages a “much needed discussion” at U-M of what it means to be innovative.

“A lot of students are entrepreneurs and they don’t realize it and I think a lot of that has to do with this narrative that entrepreneurs are only in business,” Gordon says. “I think the campaign does a good job of showing students that entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes and different disciplines.”

Gordon is such an atypical entrepreneur. He founded the Michigan Political Union last year after observing that school lacked a public forum for political discussion.

“I think if LSA students were to see that, they’d see that my desire to publish a selection of poems or a story or my desire to invent this product all make me an entrepreneur,” he says.

Once LSA students start to think like entrepreneurs, “you’ll start to see a lot more students taking the initiative, becoming engaged and doing the things that they think are important,” Gordon says.

Aparna Ghosh is a liberal arts student that took an idea to fruition. In 2008, she founded Dance to Empower Stronger Healthcare, a non-profit organization that wants to improve health care conditions in rural India.

“Being an entrepreneur is having an idea that will affect a bunch of other people, not just yourself,” Ghosh says. “It’s important for people to realize that just because they have an idea and it’s not a for-profit business, that doesn’t mean they’re not entrepreneurs.”

Weisz recalls a friend who wants to pursue a career in fashion industry but was discouraged by lack of job opportunities.

“If you want to do it, then why don’t you just start your own company?” Weisz says of her friend’s dilemma. “If people knew more about entrepreneurship, I feel like they might be more inclined to go out and do something like that and take a chance.”

Ashmore says 1,000 Voices helps dispels the myth that only business-minded or tech-savvy students can strike out on their own.

“There are a lot of entrepreneurs out in our world some of whom have never even been to college and they learn in all different kinds of ways,” she says. “It’s all a matter of exposing people to that option.”

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Jillian Berman is an intern for Xconomy Detroit. Follow @

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