Villanova, Pa., June 28, 2017 — Earlier this month, Villanova School of Business (VSB) partnered with Agnes Irwin School (AIS), a local all-girls, college preparatory school, to offer an entrepreneurship program which comprised of a day on Villanova’s campus learning entrepreneurial skills as well as day at AIS where the students pitched their business concepts to a panel of Villanova judges. This program was part of AIS’s Special Studies Program for ninth graders which allows students to choose topics they want to explore.
The group of 19 freshmen visited VSB to participate in the “AIS Shark Tank” workshop organized by Sue Metzger, Instructor, Accountancy & Information Systems, and Cathy J. Toner, JD, Director, Marketing and Communications. Throughout the workshop, Metzger walked the young women through the steps of crafting a pitch and taught them how to articulate themselves to in order to sell their ideas.
“Young women should have every opportunity to innovate and be encouraged to be entrepreneurial,” said Metzger. “Learning to pitch yourself and your ideas in a direct yet engaging manner is a skill of a lifetime. Providing girls with outlets to be creative adds to their level of confidence.”
Toner showed the students how to create a presentation and provided tips on how to maintain attention from any audience. By using both good and bad examples, the students were able to fully understand how to craft an effective presentation.
The students also heard from Becca Gleeson ’20 VSB and Chinasa Nwokocha ’17 VSB who both provided insight into the VSB student experience and why they decided to major in business.
On the second day of the program, the girls were ready to pitch their ideas to a panel of Villanova judges, including:
- Joyce E. A. Russell, PhD, The Helen and William O’Toole Dean of VSB
- Martae Giometti ’13 COE, ’19 MBA; Assistant Director, Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship (ICE) Institute
- Vanessa Kungne, ’17 COE; CEO, Afya Tea
- Chinasa Nwokocha ’17 VSB; CEO, Ataria NYC
The presentations were judged on the effectiveness of their pitch, the market analysis and the benefits of their idea.
“The girls learned a tremendous amount from our partnership with the VSB,” said Elena Bertrand, math teacher at AIS and developer of the course. She continued, “The students loved visiting campus and learning about logo design, effective pitches and teamwork. During their pitches, the groups showed off their budding entrepreneurial skills and received terrific feedback from the panel of judges.”
VSB was thrilled to partner with AIS to mentor the young women through a crucial business skill. “It is very important to help develop entrepreneurship in young women today,” said Dean Russell. “Teaching girls how to grow in the world of business is an integral part of their journey to become the successful women that VSB is proud to help foster.”
The Villanova School of Business (VSB) undergraduate program is ranked #1 in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek and has been at the forefront of business education since it was founded in 1922. Serving over 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students, VSB is home to six Centers or Institutes of Excellence (the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, the Center for Business Analytics, the Center for Global Leadership, the Center for Marketing & Consumer Insights, the Center for Church Management & Business Ethics and the Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Institute) with each center and institute designed to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research and teaching opportunities for business faculty. VSB is known for academic rigor; creativity and innovation; hands-on and service learning opportunities; a firm grounding in ethics; and an applied education that prepares students to become outstanding leaders and global citizens within the ever-changing, complex, and fast-paced world of business. For more, visit business.villanova.edu.