Although Jennifer Kushell didn't graduate from a formalized undergraduate entrepreneurship program at Boston University, she's a sterling example of the kind of raw ambition that's present in every young entrepreneur. Even though she was influenced by the five small-business go-getters in her immediate family, Kushell's grit has come largely from within. Does she think of herself as a role model? Actually, she's pretty modest. "Any young entrepreneur who pursues their own company while in college and sticks to their guns is a role model," she says.
Entrepreneurship programs have undoubtedly changed the way students approach their careers--and the students themselves have changed the way university faculties structure their academic programs. To illustrate the change in the perception of entrepreneurship as a legitimate academic pursuit, Bygrave recalls that 11 years ago, when he joined Babson's faculty, students typically asked whether it might look bad on their resumes if they took a class in entrepreneurship and then tried to get a position at a big company. "I never get asked that question today," he says.
Bailey agrees that the "E-word" plays a much bigger role in business schools' vocabularies these days. In fact, he believes entrepreneurship is the major that best represents the growing interdisciplinary nature of business. Says Bailey, "In a lot of ways, entrepreneurship is the interdisciplinary business major of the 21st century."