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“What can I do with my arts degree?” is a question that many Faculty of Arts students often ask. So much so that Elena Valenzuela, associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, decided to take action. With the support of Dean Kevin Kee and Vice-Dean Programs Sylvie Lamoureux, she designed the Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Social Innovation option: a thoughtfully crafted micro-program built for our makers, shakers and risk takers! This customized program for arts students was created in partnership with the Telfer School of Management.

The new Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Social Innovation option provides meaningful experiential opportunities for students to develop their entrepreneurial skills in a supportive and stimulating environment. The program provides many entrepreneurial paths, such as traditional business, social ventures or applying entrepreneurial skills in an existing organization.

Stephen Daze, Dom Herrick Entrepreneur in Residence and professor at the Telfer School of Management, teaches courses that are part of the option. “The strongest new ventures include a healthy blend of different skill sets,” says Daze. “Ensuring that students from multiple faculties are learning together and working on joint projects is encouraging and will foster a multidisciplinary spirit that leads to strong, healthy new ventures and entrepreneurial work settings.”

Students just need to enrol in the six designated courses during their program and the option will appear on their official transcript. Valenzuela is confident that taking these courses will help students diversify their skill set, but more importantly, it will allow them to use all of the skills they are learning in their program and apply them in group projects. “Professionally, it’s a great experience for students to learn how to work in groups, how to problem solve with people from different disciplines.”

“You have to find something that matters to you. Once you find out what that is, we will help give you the skills, mentoring and support to help you turn what you care about into a job,” adds Valenzuela, who will be teaching a brand new AHL3700 Creativity and Innovation course, one of the six making up the option, in the fall.

Whether students are looking to start their own business or to shake things up in an existing company, this new transdisciplinary option is ready to offer them what they need to become the successful entrepreneurs and social innovators of tomorrow.

Click here for more details on the Transdisciplinary option at the Faculty of Arts in conjunction with the Telfer School of Management. 


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