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Freshman Year: Innovation and Exploration

Freshman Year: Social Innovation and Exploration

When: Usually freshman year, fall or spring.

What You’ll Learn

First, understand what we mean by ‘social innovation’ in the context of today’s existing business models. Discover both for-profit and for-purpose business models, including their role and value in supporting socially innovative solutions to society’s problems. Then, apply this knowledge as you begin to devise new ones. Finally, learn why social innovation ultimately strengthens every business as we pursue our mission of “business moving society forward.”

What Courses You’ll Take

The Ground Floor

Our showcase business course for freshmen. At the core of the Gabelli experience, learn what we mean by “social innovation” and “business with a purpose.” To achieve this, not only will you will learn about the foundations of business - but also the biggest challenges facing business and society globally -  including frameworks for developing solutions: the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • To inspire you: Delve into the foundational skills underlying what it means to be an entrepreneur (and intrapreneur) as we uncover ways to systematically approach business problems
  • To challenge you: Work within teams honing new skills, leveraging these as you work on two team projects.

Along the way, we will bring the experts to you. In addition to your regular professor, you will also benefit from a roster of guest speakers - both faculty specialists and visiting New York City executives - who will show you not only how accounting, finance, marketing, sustainable business practices, and more come together to drive a business, but also the ways social innovative policies are realized and the impact they have within each.

Various core liberal arts courses

Not everyone in the business world knows about history, philosophy or theology. You will. Become uncommonly well-rounded through these courses while building the critical thinking skills so critical to your future success.

Social Innovation Real-World Projects

Apply your newfound business knowledge right away with a team of your Ground Floor classmates:

  • For the first team project, you will take on the role of intrapreneur as you research a company and recommend a new or modified socially innovative approach.
  • For the second (and larger) team project, you will experience first-hand the challenge of developing and pitching a new business idea: working with your team, you will together engage on a journey of discovery as you learn how to write a business plan for a new startup.  Because every business impacts the world, to showcase how ‘business with purpose’ can benefit the local community and society in general, your new business idea will be charged to address a specific, pre-assigned UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).  Through this process, you will experience how each business discipline comes into play.

Freshman Year: Exploration

Spring of freshman year, in most cases.

What Will You Learn?

This is your time to think about what you might do after your career path. Most students, even as freshmen, are not sure. No problem. This block will help you explore careers, decide what interests you, and plan a post-graduation strategy.

Skills You’ll Develop

  • Résumé writing
  • Crafting a quality LinkedIn profile
  • Networking
  • Interviewing

You take all of these courses in a cohort, as in the Teamwork block.

Exploration Real-World Project

Explore one of your career ideas. Choose a field that interests you—say, finance. Then, through in-the-field research, find out what skills are needed. Discover specific job types. Learn how much you might earn. And identify ways to stand out in interviews.