Entrepreneurship Faculty Profile: Beth Goldstein
Beth Goldstein is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Babson and will serve as an advisor for this year’s Summer Venture Program! She recently spoke with me over the phone about her passion for applying entrepreneurial approaches to all aspects of her life and what most excites her about SVP.
What is your role at Babson? How long have you been at Babson?
I’ve been at Babson for almost three years now. Before coming here, I taught entrepreneurship for 13 years at Boston University. At Babson, I have several roles. I am an adjunct faculty member teaching Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship to GAP students. I teach entrepreneurial marketing for MBA students, within Babson Global and Executive Education. I teach entrepreneurship courses worldwide in cities including Bangkok, Jakarta, and Guadalajara. I am also going to be an advisor for this year’s Summer Venture Program!
What do you think makes Babson unique?
Babson’s holistic philosophy about entrepreneurship is unlike what I have found at any other school. We teach students that entrepreneurship is a part of every aspect of running a business. Other schools teach entrepreneurship as a course to be taken individually, but here it is integrated in every aspect of the classes and extracurricular activities. Entrepreneurship is part of the fabric of our school, making it stand out from any other institution that I have heard of or have been involved with.
What is your definition of entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is an approach. It’s the way you think about problems, risk, and opportunity. It becomes a part of who you are. An entrepreneurial approach can be used in your personal life, the business you work for, or a business you’re running. People think that entrepreneurship is limited to just running a business, but it is really how you think about handling every aspect of your life. It’s an underlying basis for how you approach problems and opportunities.
What does the world need from entrepreneurs today?
The world needs a different way to think about problems and opportunities. Our current political environment is a good example because it empowers people to get involved and think about how to fix problems and find solutions. With everything going on, it’s so important to think differently: Not only seeing obstacles, but also seeing ways to overcome them. We need an entrepreneurial mindset to solve big and small problems to make the world a better place.
Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs?
The most important tip is to really view opportunities and problems in the same light. Even when things are going well, there still may be a hidden problem or opportunity. Entrepreneurs need to constantly search for ways to make things better, understand their stakeholders, and seek answers to needs that they identify. A good entrepreneur is constantly searching for that; their eyes are open in a proactive way. They are sincerely looking for the next problem to solve.
What do you hope this year’s Summer Venture Program teams will get out of the experience?
The teams are all so smart and have such interesting ideas. I hope that they really take action on the concrete goals they set at the beginning of the program. By the end of SVP, I want the teams to be far ahead of where they imagined they would be after these ten weeks. Maybe they will finally launch their business, or make a pivot, or better understand their customers. During these concentrated two months working with mentors, advisors, and peers, they will set themselves up to move quickly and lean a lot. Each business is unique and will need different outcomes from SVP. I am hoping that they accomplish what they need, relative to the growth of their business.
What excites you about the Summer Venture Program?
The entrepreneurs excite me. They have great ideas and are incredibly passionate, which will create an exciting to work environment. I love when students pursue important work that they feel passionately about. Plus, SVP is comprised of a really impressive team. David Chang, the advisors, and the Blank Center staff are all terrific. It is always an added benefit getting to work with them.
What do you do for fun?
I travel! Most of it is for Babson, but I always try to get a personal aspect out of it. I incorporate entrepreneurship into my personal life by seeing opportunities where others may not see them. I love exploring new cultures and learning from them.
Describe yourself in four words.
Ambitious, fun, opportunistic, uncoordinated.
Anything else people should know?
Coming to Babson was the ultimate dream come true for me. Although I loved BU, I wanted to be at Babson because of its strong emphasis on entrepreneurship. Coming here was even better than I expected. Even after working here for three years, I am constantly learning from everyone around me- including students, faculty, and staff. The school’s entrepreneurial mindset makes a big difference.