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More than a minor

OSU students can now earn a business minor in just two summers, setting them up for career success

Geoffrey Wildish sits in a study area on campus with his black laptop open in front of him. Geoffrey is earning a business minor on top of his construction engineering management and innovation management degree.

The business and entrepreneurship minor helped Geoffrey Wildish realize his true passion: Business operational management. “It can definitely open up your eyes to new possibilities and what else is out there,” he says.

By Heather Doherty  
April 3, 2017

Whether you’d like to build up your résumé, impress potential employers or learn something new, adding a minor in business and entrepreneurship to any degree can help you do all of that – and much more.

Beginning this summer, Oregon State University’s College of Business and OSU Summer Session are teaming up to offer OSU students the chance to earn a business and entrepreneurship minor in just two summers on campus in Corvallis and online.

“This business minor is not only going to benefit students during their academic journey here at Oregon State, but it’s also going to set them up for a successful career,” says Claire Cross, OSU Summer Session director. “And summertime offers the unique outlet to make that happen in a condensed timeline.”

In addition to providing a leg up in the job market, this minor can also establish a real sense of job security.

“When unemployment hits eight percent, this is what is going to make a difference,” says Jim Coakley, OSU College of Business senior associate dean for academic programs and student development. “When there are layoffs and you need to find a new job, the person with more broad skills is going to get hired because they can contribute more to the company.”

Two summer session students walk their bikes next to each other and talk.All courses are now strategically planned so that a motivated student can complete the minor in back-to-back summers. Classes are offered in various sessions, four or eight weeks in length, allowing students to focus on their minor coursework during summer term and their major classes during the rest of the academic year.

The minor is open to all non-business majors, and with classes focusing on accounting, finance, marketing and management, it can benefit any degree program and future job.

“It’s hard to imagine any job where you’re not interacting with business,” Jim says. “Everybody at some point in their job recognizes that there’s a better way to do things. The question is, ‘How do you convince management to invest in that?’ That is what entrepreneurship is. It’s not about starting a business, it’s about taking a new idea, looking at marketing research, finances, budget, etc., and figuring out how to sell that to management.”

“This business minor is not only going to benefit students during their academic journey here at Oregon State, but it’s also going to set them up for a successful career.”

Geoffrey Wildish, who is studying constructing engineering management and innovation management and has already earned the business and entrepreneurship minor, chose to add the minor – and subsequently the innovation management degree – to enhance his career outlook.

“It differentiates you among people who don’t have it and shows that you have interest in management roles, and you will have more opportunities,” Geoffrey says.

Geoffrey says the courses not only taught him new skills he can apply to an engineering job, but also opened up doors he never considered walking through – and now he’s changing his whole career trajectory because of it.

“It made me want to learn more and realize that I’m interested in business operational management,” he says. “My goal now is to get a job within marketing management or business operations fields after college, instead of construction. It can definitely open up your eyes to new possibilities and what else is out there.”

All courses are offered on campus in Corvallis and online through Oregon State Ecampus, so students can mix and match online and face-to-face classes to fit their individual schedules and needs.

And students who complete the minor can apply for OSU’s accelerated MBA program, saving time and money.

“Are you prepared to walk into your first meeting in a business and be a participant at the table and understand what people are talking about? If you can talk the language, you can make a contribution,” Jim says.

“At some point, you’re going to come up with an a-ha moment and say, ‘How do I get this product out? How do I make this available to people?’ It’s a skill everyone should have.”

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