There is a motto attributed to a few business leaders like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Lee Iaccoca that basically says “hire smart people and get out of their way”. The last class of the Entrepreneurship Practicum course in the Business Administration program at RRC just demonstrated why this might be accurate.
For decades, Entrepreneurship Practicum served as the capstone course for the program. Over 30 teams of 10-15 students from all of the RRC campuses poured themselves into the creation of a business plan, which they ultimately displayed via a booth at the highly anticipated tradeshow, as well as by delivering an oral presentations to members of Manitoba’s business community. Due to Covid-19 restrictions and the organizational decisions to push the classroom online for the final year of the capstone course, a huge void was created in how to allow the students to demonstrate the culmination of their studies in the program. With the in-person oral presentations not possible, and a tradeshow being out of the question, the instructors in the program had to come up with a solution.
The solution for the presentations was easy, move them to Webex for a virtual presentation. These went as smoothly as any presentations could be with over 300 students, nearly 40 judges and 10 facilitators. The groups demonstrated their skills and knowledge to the business community in an impressive manner. However the trade-show aspect was still missing. The instructors scrambled quickly to create a virtual assignment that would allow students to demonstrate their business concept without having people gather. The replacement assignment was to create a 2 minute long video demonstrating the 4 “P’s” of marketing, (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) for their business concept. Essentially it was for the groups to create an infomercial.
The video was not an easy thing to pull off, as the groups are not made of experienced videographers, actors, directors, editors, or animators. The groups also could not get together in person, and their budgets were near zero. Add in the fact that this portion of the project amounted to only 10 percent of their grade, and the expectation was that the videos were going to be “OK” at best. Here is the part where “getting out of smart people’s way” comes in to play.
Many of the videos created were professional quality, extremely creative, covered the required material, were uplifting and demonstrated the wherewithal of our student body. Rather than do the bare minimum, students went out of their way to create something that captured the essence of their abilities. They created a 2 minute video that encapsulated their knowledge, hard-work, creativity and most importantly their spirit in trying times! The future of Manitoba business is in good hands as demonstrated by the class of 2021 – all we have to do is get out of their way.
Please click on the logos below to watch the videos created by students.