I’ve always been around entrepreneurship – I grew up in a family business and started my first company in high school, setting up shows for up-and-coming performing artists. However, after coming to Cornell, I realized there was an immense opportunity for a new business that would help student renters, landlords and property managers succeed, and I launched a new venture to serve this market.
I came to ILR to gain a well-rounded education in business, law and the social sciences, and found the community and program aligned well with my personal and entrepreneurial interests. Frequently, I tell people that ILR was my perfect startup starting point, and I’m met with confused looks. What about Industrial & Labor Relations screams entrepreneurship?
In short, no part of the curriculum independently focuses on entrepreneurship, but when combined and applied, the results are powerful. And it’s not just me who feels this way. In fact, 8 of the 42 startups listed as completing Cornell’s eLab accelerator program in recent years were started by ILRies.
Classes like Organizational Behavior and Human Resources were especially beneficial in teaching me the people side of business. I developed skills in negotiation, team building and communications while refining my knowledge of the workplace day in and day out so that I can craft the culture and routines that make sense for my venture.
I also had the opportunity to pick up a useful knowledge statistics and economics in my core coursework, and I earned credits counting towards my ILR major in the Hotel, Johnson and Dyson Schools along the way. By the time I graduated, I had a unique and diverse foundation in business comprised of both hard and soft skills I carried forward to my current coursework at the Johnson School.