What makes UNB a Millennial Dream university?

This blog post originally appeared on: http://www.unb.ca/initiatives/millennialdream/blog-post.html

Entrepreneurship is at the very core of the Millennial Dream. But contrary to the American Dream, the Millennial Dream is not just about acquisition – owning more and growing your income. Profits are important, but we’ve also come to realize that profit alone won’t help us live out that dream we’re envisioning.

The Millennial Dream is about doing well by doing good, and The Millennial Dream documentary explores how this is happening.

There’s a moment in the film when marketing guru Seth Godin explains the role of education in working to achieve this dream. He explains that the post-secondary institutions of the future are those that will teach students how to solve really complex challenges and give them the leadership skills to begin this journey.

At the University of New Brunswick (UNB), students are empowered through entrepreneurship, and are taught to be community-minded. The greatest part: it’s coming from all corners of the campus.

My journey through the UNB’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has led me to enrol in entrepreneurship courses in three separate faculties: Renaissance College, Business, and Engineering. But something that significantly enhanced my experience at UNB was my participation in programming offered by the various on-campus entrepreneurship centres. The Technology, Management and Entrepreneurship Centre (TME) at UNB continues to expand its programming, offering new courses and opportunities to students from across disciplines. Most notably, the TME Centre is entering its third year of the Foundry Summer Institute accelerator that has attracted purpose-driven entrepreneurs from as far as Britain.

The International Business and Entrepreneurship Centre (IBEC) is another example of UNB’s entrepreneurial spirit at work. Every year, IBEC’s Activator program partners UNB students with local entrepreneurs to imagine and build real startup ventures.

Finally, the Pond-Deshpande Centre for Entrepreneurship has become a hub and conduit for the startup ecosystem both on campus and outside the university. Its Student Ambassador Program, B4Change Accelerator, and Social Innovation Lab Initiative are only a few examples of the work the PDC is doing to bridge the gap between industry and academia, harnessing the creativity and passion of students and industry leaders to work towards meaningful change.

If Seth Godin is right – that the education of the future should be about teaching students to solve complex challenges and giving them the leadership skills to do so – UNB is leading the change.

Jakob Wildman-Sisk is a recent graduate from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

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