Lehigh University’s Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center: Why it’s something to pay attention to

Imagine you’re a kid from Manhattan Beach. It’s your senior year and you’ve been living in Pennsylvania studying communications and political science working with professors in small classes that lend itself to larger opportunities. Opportunities that included leading you to here…San Francisco. And as you interview CEO’s to create videos called Milestone Makers, you realize you have more impact on the greater world at your fingertips that will ultimately surpass both Manhattan Beach and Pennsylvania.

This is a story about just one student attending Lehigh University. And while Bethlehem Pennsylvania may not mean much to a student from Los Angeles initially, it becomes something global, something new, something pivotal quite quickly.

I operate on the philosophy that one cannot predict the experiences, the conversations, the mentors or the network of just so happen chances that ultimately lead to changing your life. Changing your direction into something you never could imagine.

This past Monday I flew to Lehigh’s Western Regional Office in the heart of San Francisco to check out the work and opportunities they are creating for their students. It is quite remarkable. In partnership with the Nasdaq Exchange, Lehigh operates out of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, a space that explores startups, builds partnerships with enterprises throughout the west and among others, fosters career development and industry relationships. Lehigh students are placed in a fast-paced environment and experience life firsthand not only adding to their larger resume, but allowing them to away with unique experiences opening new doors.

And while it is new, the types of experiences they are curating with their students is just the beginning to something larger. Students of all disciplines can come to specialized programs in San Fran with their professors and take a class, explore storytelling in a multimedia center, walk down streets lined with places like Amazon, LinkedIn and Salesforce.

When you look at the return on investment from a university, these are the types of specialized experiences that leave students with more than their diploma upon graduation. It’s what can set a student a part as they interview and apply to their next path.

In addition to the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial center that students can apply to participate in Lehigh Launch. A select group of students experience their Fall semester of freshman year either abroad in Ecuador or in the American West in Montana and New Mexico. This away experience is led by Lehigh faculty and offers immersive hands on experiential learning. Students stay on track to fulfill their core coursework and are able to graduate on time while having this unique opportunity. The program develops skills in leadership, teamwork and social responsibility and emphasizes strong communications, reading and writing throughout their excursions. Students would apply to Lehigh and then after apply to the Lehigh Launch program (it doesn’t affect your admissions consideration whatsoever and is an additional program).

General Facts about Lehigh

  • 5,047 undergrad students
  • Private, research based university, undergraduate focused, 9:1 student faculty ratio
  • D1 sports, clubs, intramural sports, Greek life, organizations, campus spirit and traditions strong community
  • 95% of students graduating employed or attending grad school within 6 months of graduation
  • 89% of students completed one or more internships or an experiential learning during their time
  • Meets 100% of demonstrated financial need, merit based scholarships available
  • Handshake career online portal (Lehigh students have access to jobs where employers have indicated they want the quality of a Lehigh student!)
  • Strong faculty mentorship
  • Located in Bethlehem, college town, restaurants, shops, festivals, concerts, arts experiences all within walking distance and within the SouthSide Arts District, lehigh.edu/bethlehem

Areas of study

  • College of Arts and Sciences
    • Including languages, architecture, interdisciplinary studies in cognitive science, global studies to hard sciences including computer science, physics, biochemistry and more)
  • College of Business
  • College of Health
    • New and opening Fall of 2020
  • P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science
    • Varying disciplines within engineering including, bioengineering, chemical, civil, computer, materials, mechanical, etc.
  • Dual-Degree Accelerated Programs
    • Pre-Dental with Penn Dental School, Arts & Engineering and more
  • Intercollegiate Interdisciplinary programs
    • Combining interests in computer science and business and engineering and business
  • Pre-professional tracks for medicine, vet and law

Remember, always check out a college’s website for the most up to date information.

Lehigh is educating and inspiring entrepreneurs and innovators in all of their students, regardless of major. Not bad for an institution that’s been around since 1865.

Published by Casey Barneson

Author of The College Wellness Guide. Beverly Hills High School College Counselor.

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