This past Friday Outsell was proud to host the Entrepreneurial Scholars students (E-Scholars) from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota. The E-Scholars program provides students the opportunity to design and create their own world-class business venture and is open to all disciplines.
Now on its 7th group of students, the E-Scholars participate in a 3 course sequence in entrepreneurial studies, including national and international travel and several opportunities to meet with successful entrepreneurs.
We were honored to have the opportunity to share the entrepreneurial spirit and background of Outsell with the E-Scholars, who ranged from international students like Jessey Niyongabo from Africa hoping to bring car rental services to campus, to Eden Prairie, MN, native Rebecca Scholz with dreams of starting her own plus-sized wedding dress shop. There were eleven students in all who visited with Outsell, including Director of the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship, Terri Barreiro, and Management & Entrepreneurship Professor, Paul Marsnik.
Outsell’s relationship with the E-Scholars program has been ongoing for several years, in part due to President and CEO, Mike Wethington, being a St. John’s University alumni and former Regent.
Additionally, Account Executive, Nathan Calderon, began his career at Outsell because of a past E-Scholars tour. Calderon was part of the 5th group of E-Scholars and a tour of Outsell in 2009. This opened the door for a Marketing internship with Director of Marketing, Sahil Merchant, and a later Sales internship with Director of Sales, Paul Monskey. Nathan has been a valued member of the Outsell sales team since completing those internships and took the role of leading the Outsell tour for this year’s E-Scholars.
The students were treated to a full tour of Outsell, including a look at the Innovation Lab, the hub of some of our most exciting new developments. They expressed particular interest in what Outsell has to offer after watching The Outsell Digital Engagement Platform video, which can be viewed here.
After the tour we asked the students to participate in an activity that we also conduct for our associates. At the beginning of each new year we hand out colored post-it notes to all Outsell employees and go through two exercises, first asking them to write down as many accomplishments as they can think of that they are proud of from the previous year, followed by suggested goals for the coming year that are directly used to formulate Outsell’s annual corporate goals. We keep the post-its up all year long to remind employees of what we are proud of and what we hope to achieve.
For the E-Scholars, we asked the students to first tell us what they learned during their tour of Outsell, and then where they saw room for improvement and further innovation. Their insights were very interesting, including great excitement over Outsell’s recent ventures using QR codes for dealers and the possibility of doing more with QR codes in the future. The students also expressed that they see great opportunity for expansion and growth at Outsell and are eager to see where we go from here.
We are always honored at Outsell to host an E-Scholars visit to both show an example of successful entrepreneurship, and to hear what some up and coming entrepreneurs have in the works. Thank you again to the E-Scholars and the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University for the visit, and for our own success story of Nathan Calderon as a valued addition to the Outsell team.