Moving all in-person classes to distance learning in response to COVID-19 this spring and summer is inspiring new approaches to teaching at the University of Oregon.
One way the Lundquist College is delivering remote expertise direct to students is the new “Getting Ahead” video series.
Hosted on the college’s YouTube channel, the videos “provide the opportunity to learn from exceptional students, alumni, and community members in an ongoing online environment,” said Kate Harmon, Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship program manager and director of cross-campus engagement.
In each segment, Harmon talks with entrepreneurial Ducks. Although the audience for the videos is primarily students, Harmon explained, “anyone can learn from and get inspired by the talented individuals featured in this series.”
Each interview, conducted via the video conferencing service Zoom, is focused on a central theme related to the subject’s career or area of study.
The objective, Harmon said, is to provide a glimpse into how the entrepreneur approached or grew a specific business area or venture.
“The videos can also be plugged into future classes if faculty are discussing related concepts,” Harmon added.
Because the primary focus of the Lundquist Center is entrepreneurship and innovation, interviewees selected for the project have entrepreneurial backgrounds or can speak to advancing their career using an entrepreneurial mindset.
“Our alumni have done a fantastic job stepping up to offer their time and assistance to our students during this challenging period,” Harmon said. “They want to give back by sharing their experience and advice.”
One such interviewee is UO alumnus Michael Jones, the CEO of Science, Inc., a startup studio and venture capital firm specializing in the digital media, marketplace, and e-commerce industry.
“A few of my first companies were founded by people that I met while I worked at the university computing center,” said Jones, who discussed in the video what he looks for in a founding team, among other topics. “The campus became in a sense my little ecosystem to test and build business ideas.”
Another interviewee appearing in the series is Anthony Rodio, president and CEO of Your Mechanic, an online company providing mobile car repair and maintenance services to car owners.
Rodio graduated from the UO in 1987 with a BS in business administration, and the topic of his conversation with Harmon was developing a framework for managing your career.
Class of 2020 graduating senior Adam Faris discussed networking in his video segment.
“Put the time in to garner meaningful relationships and connections in the professional world,” Faris said. “This is often greatly overlooked by students these days.”
So far 16 videos are available on YouTube, covering themes ranging from design thinking to leading a brand turnaround and building your own student marketing agency. Harmon hopes to produce as many as 35 installments.
The Getting Ahead video series helps further the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship’s charge to provide student entrepreneurs with a solid foundation of business theory with fresh perspectives from pioneering business leaders.
Watch the Series on YouTube
—William Kennedy, Lundquist College Communications