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Learning to think like an entrepreneur

For former Merrill Lynch investment banker Allen (A.J.) Steigman 08BBA, the journey to launching his own firm took root while working on a project for his Entrepreneurship and New Venture Management course, taught by Andrea Hershatter, senior associate dean and director of Goizueta's BBA program.

Not only did Steigman learn "how to think in an entrepreneurial mindset," but, as he puts it, the course also provided me with the training necessary to initially identify a deficiency in the market and to then put the idea on paper." Steigman went on to co-launch Soletron, a social networking and e-commerce site that focuses on sneaker and streetwear apparel and represents more than 1,500 products from 90 brands.

What set the coursework experience apart for Steigman was the focus on "doing." A traditional class, he explains, "teaches you to internally retain information and apply it to a specific skill set, while in this situation, you're on your own." He calls the courrse "the closest thing to a real-life scenario of being imaginative and forming a real business while still providing the 'technicals' that are associated with executing that business model."

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