There is no standard career track for college students post graduation, as there are a myriad of options: graduate school, professional school, public and private sector jobs, fellowships abroad, and the list goes on.
But how can we encourage students to create their own jobs after they graduate – or perhaps even earlier?
This is the question that David Reeth, student body president at Caldwell College, aims to answer. “[We’re] always taking a step back and asking, ‘How can we innovate?’” Reeth said. As an entrepreneur himself, Reeth is personally invested in this agenda item. In fact, in 2011, Reeth was named the New Jersey Collegiate Entrepreneur of the year. Now as president, he challenges all students to think and work creatively on a daily basis.
Because a significant number of Caldwell students are interested in entrepreneurship, Reeth and his student government have pursued several initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Reeth noted that Caldwell’s business program is “robust” and a great outlet for entrepreneurship, but it’s still important for him to create more entrepreneurial opportunities for students.
Reeth works to promote an entrepreneurial spirit through Caldwell’s student organizations. Within student government itself, Reeth constantly challenges his student government team to “reinvent the norm.” Although many student governments use Robert’s Rules of Order to structure a meeting, Reeth found this structure to detract from his members’ creativity. With little hesitation, Reeth ended the requirement to use such rules, in order to facilitate an easier exchange of ideas.
With student groups more broadly, Reeth asked all student group leaders to evaluate their respective student groups and Caldwell’s student government. Specifically, they used these evaluations to reflect on how well these groups are achieving their goals. In doing so, student group leaders had a chance to reflect and consider how much they promoted innovation. Moreover, these evaluations allowed Reeth and his team to identity new projects they can pursue to enhance campus life and their image to the student body.
“We can’t improve if we don’t know where we need to improve,” Reeth said.
From Reeth’s perspective, “You’re in a good place” if you go to Caldwell and care about entrepreneurship. From a strong business school to supportive faculty and staff members to an innovative student government, the entrepreneurial spirit takes many forms at the college. Perhaps it is this sort of creativity that will help students figure out what their plans will be after college. If anything, Caldwell students can be certain that if there isn’t an option they like, they’ll be able to create one for themselves.