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Start-up NEWS FROM AROUND THE C ARLSON SCHOOL AND BE YOND Hitting the Right Note Back in December 2011, several hundred members of the University’s School of Music appeared flash-mob style in the atrium of the Carlson School’s main building for an impromptu, flash mob-style performance of “Deck the Halls.” While the event was a welcome surprise to exam-weary students, it also sparked an idea. Carlson School Dean Sri Zaheer and David Myers, professor and director of the School BY CHRISTOPHER PEDERSON Bridging the Cultural Gap 6 UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA BY KEVIN MOE In 2007, when a wave of international undergraduate students were en route to the Carlson School, Associate Academic Advisor Anny Lin thought about how best to get them acclimated to their new cultural surroundings. Her idea was the Carlson Global Connect (CGC) Event Series, which she piloted in fall 2008. Now in its fifth year, CGC has been instrumental in helping students succeed in their new environment. CGC centers around three events: a kick-off and faculty networking, career and job search strategies, and intercultural communication. “The kick-off and networking event allows students to feel and experience a strong international student community at the Carlson School,” Lin says. Thinking about their future plans is a vital component in the career and job search event, which is coordinated by Career Coach Xiaoji Zhang. At this event, students hear directly from seniors and alumni about some of the challenges facing them as they try to find a full-time job in the U.S. The communication event introduces students to such topics as Introduction to American Life, Cross-Cultural Management, and How to Talk Like Americans. The CGC hosts about 40 to 50 students per year. of Music, began looking for ways to collaborate. Several rounds of meetings eventually produced a unique new interdisciplinary course: Entrepreneurship and Musical Careers. Harry Sapienza, a professor in the Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, is teaching the course. As he notes, it’s designed for undergraduate and graduate music majors who want to learn basic business principles, and for Carlson School undergraduates looking to parlay their musical ambitions into careers. “It provides an introductory overview of business principles, concepts, and vocabulary,” Sapienza says. “It also delves into current issues and practices in music entrepreneurship and introduces students to the fundamentals of new business creation.” While working with music students might seem unusual for a Carlson School professor, Sapienza says it’s a natural fit. “My academic scholarship has been focused on the creation of new ventures and on the efforts of entrepreneurs to find ways to fund their dreams—whether from bootstrapping, crowdfunding, angel investors, or venture capital,” he notes. “Young musicians often struggle with ways to create and build their entrepreneurial projects and careers. This course will help them realize their musical and entrepreneurial ambitions.” For International MBA Students The MBA Program office also offers a cluster of programming for its incoming international students. About 25 to 30 students take part each year. “Our goals are to help our international students experience some of the iconic activities that our domestic students have grown up with to help them cross that cultural bridge and feel comfortable in Minnesota,” says Associate Director and Career Coach Michele Moylan. Read an expanded version of this story at carlsonschoolmagazine.com PHOTO BY WALLY AGBOOLA PHOTO BY WALLY AGBOOLA “This course will help them realize their musical and entrepreneurial ambitions.” —Harry Sapienza


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