Recently, BMCC business administration major Joosik (Ben) Kim joined 30 other young people in a two-week entrepreneurship training program at Babson College, in Babson Park, Massachusetts.
“Santander Universities, part of Santander Bank, funded the program to help youth be open-minded, to broaden our understanding of the globalization of business and how entrepreneurship functions,” says Kim.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for our students to gain exposure to different business models and to meet industry leaders as well as other students from around the world, ” adds Sussie Gyamfi, Scholarship and Special Services Coordinator in the BMCC Office of Student Affairs led by VP Marva Craig.
“Santander only selected two colleges in the United States to participant in this enriching program, and BMCC was one of the colleges selected.”
Bonding with future entrepreneurs
“In the first day, we brainstormed about what entrepreneurship is,” says Ben Kim.
“We looked at the skills we have, and the skills we need to develop in order to come up with innovative products, marketing and other strategies needed to build a business and excel as an entrepreneur.”
They also took class trips to nearby Boston and other towns, played soccer and shared meals.
“We really bonded,” says Kim. “Even though not everyone in the group is fluent in English, we’re all a similar age, and we have similar interests.”
Last week, some of the participants visited New York City on their way back to their respective countries—Spain, Chile, the U.K., Russia, Mexico, China, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and others.
“They were really impressed by the City,” says Kim. “They were captivated by the views and scenery. Some thought New York would be small because it’s an island. They asked me repeatedly, ‘How many people live here?’ They were amazed.”
The ‘Rocket Pitch’
The two-week program at Babson College involved problem-solving and pitching ideas to an audience of business leaders and faculty.
“We broke into ten groups, three people in each team,” explains Kim.
“The main objective was to prepare and present what they call the ‘Rocket Pitch’—we had to develop a new company, a ‘start-up’, and we had to develop a business plan and present it to people who might be willing to invest in us.”
The teams each made Power Point presentations (in English, says Kim—“We helped each other translate”), addressing three main points: “‘What is the problem this product solves?’ ‘What is the solution?’ Then we had to provide a ‘Call to Action’.”
According to Eduardo Garrido, Director of Santander Universities, Santander Bank, Babson College “is playing an important role in helping us to develop, promote and advance an entrepreneurial mindset that is creating significant and lasting value at Santander and around the world.”
That mindset, known as Entrepreneurial Thought and Action ®, balances action and creativity with an understanding of business concepts. It provides a methodology that takes into account, social, economic and environmental issues.
After graduating from BMCC with an associate degree in business administration, Ben Kim intends to transfer to the University of Pennsylvania and major in finance, with a minor in economics.
“My ultimate goal is to own a hedge fund company, and maybe help youth by developing the kind of program I was able to take part in at Babson, with the support of Santander Universities,” he says.
Meanwhile, he is balancing his business studies with being treasurer of the BMCC Student Government Association, a member of Phi Theta Kappa and a BMCC Foundation Scholar. In Spring 2014 he traveled to Central Oklahoma with BMCC’s Alternative Spring Break program, and helped build homes with Habitat for Humanity. He also likes to water ski and plays piano (classical) and tenor saxophone (blues). He attends concerts at Radio City Music Hall and Lincoln Center, as well as Broadway plays.
“I chose BMCC because there was a lot more affordable tuition,” he says, “but also, I just wanted to explore.”