Immersive Learning is a vital component of the entrepreneurship education, providing students opportunities to apply the theory of academic coursework to real-world applications. These short-term (1 – 8 weeks) experiences embed our students directly with practitioners to experience the world of startups first-hand, providing completely new and different ways of thinking about innovation and entrepreneurship. We leverage our University of Notre Dame connections in the world's innovation ecosystem to provide students an opportunity to explore entrepreneurship up close in a powerful way.
Feedback from students relative to the Immersive Learning option is very positive. "Life-changing." "Amazing." These are words frequently heard in describing the immersive experience.
- “This was the best experience offered at Notre Dame MBA. I learned more shadowing a VC for a week than is typical to learn in an entire mod-long course. The experience changed my life and is exactly what I was hoping to get out of business school in terms of professional development. The lessons will last a lifetime.”
- "I wish more students had the opportunity to experience and internalize the vibrant opportunities available in Silicon Valley. I definitely want to be a part of a start-up in my future."
- “It was awesome - one of the highlights of my MBA experience, a 5-star review from me. The experience is more than fantastic.”
Credit is given for short-term immersive programs. When possible, reimbursement of expenses is provided to offset living and transportation expenses as well. Oversight is provided by a faculty member within the Mendoza College of Business; grades are assigned on a pass/fail basis, and deliverables are agreed upon in advance.
Immersive Learning experiences align with our four entrepreneurship learning tracks:
- Start-Up Track (“I want to start a business”): Students will gain insights into the life of an entrepreneur by pursuing opportunities with early stage startups, at incubators or accelerators. Opportunities may include work with startups at Innovation Park at Notre Dame, with startups in Silicon Valley (as part of Notre Dame’s California Initiative) or with key Gigot Center partners such as Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center.
- Venture Capital Investing Track (“I want to invest in many start-ups”): This track provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable insights into entrepreneurship from the investor perspective. Exploring the world of funding new ventures will appeal to those students who have an affinity for finance, and would include opportunities to work closely with those in venture capital, private equity and/or angel investing.
- Intrapreneurship Track (“I want to lead a corporate innovation team”): Students may prefer to go behind the scenes with proven industry leaders in innovation, to explore ways to become agents of change within existing corporations. The opportunities are endless.
- Social Entrepreneurship Track (“I want to start a social enterprise”): Explore opportunities to work with existing social ventures who demonstrate bottom-line financial viability while addressing significant social and/or environmental concerns (double- and/or triple-bottom-line ventures). Experience first-hand how business can create significant impact by creating solutions that are financially sustainable. One recent Social Entrepreneurship Immersion sent a team of 6 students to work with Economic Growth Initiative (EGI) in Haiti to explore the challenges unique to Haitian entrepreneurs, and to develop a business plan competition designed to spur innovation and entrepreneurship.
Immersive Learning opportunities include intensive 1-week “shadowing” experiences, as well as “practicum” experiences combining the 1-week “shadowing” immersion with ongoing project work, for a total of 8 weeks.
For more information, email the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship at firstname.lastname@example.org.