Eastern Michigan University
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Entrepreneurial Faculty Have National and International Impact

Published January 23, 2013

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College of Business students looking for real world entrepreneurial experience have an asset in Eastern Michigan University faculty, several of whom own and operate successful businesses.

"I know about the challenges that need to be overcome in order to be successful in a business, and I'm dedicated to helping students navigate those challenges," says Diana Wong, associate professor of management and faculty adviser for EMU's Center for Entrepreneurship.

Judging from the results, Wong's dedication has paid off. Five of her entrepreneurship students have won cash prizes after placing into one of the top three spots for business plan completions, including two first place winners.

Part of Wong's real-world experience comes from a business she founded seven years ago-Sensei Change Associates, LLC, a learning and development business. The Ann Arbor-based business, which has several sub-contracting consultants and facilitators, provides training to support leaders of organizations.

"If a business comes to me seeking help in strategic planning, organization development, designing a leadership development program, cross cultural training, or international business, I'm able to connect them with professionals and advanced students who can provide the services," says Wong, adding that four of Sensei's consultants are EMU alumni.

Ruth Chris (BS10) says her education at Eastern laid a solid foundation for her job as Sensei Program Manager. "Eastern professors supplemented classroom lessons with personal, real-life experiences in the business world. This type of learning allowed me to move forward in beginning my career with clear certitude, because I knew about the practical implementation necessary," says Chris, who received a bachelor's of business administration.

 EMU's Center for Entrepreneurship, established in 1986, is a co-curricular program of the COB and strives to encourage innovative business creation and growth in southeast Michigan and a strong culture of entrepreneurial thinking in the EMU community.

The Center operates programs in several areas, including matching small business and non-profit organizations with EMU faculty-led teams of advanced students who participate in projects as part of their course work. It also supports the EMU Chapter of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and hosts the Skandalaris Business Plan Competition, which includes university, community college and K-12 students from the Midwest region.

College of Business
473 Gary Owen Building
300 W. Michigan Ave.
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197

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