Millennial Ventures CEO Reflects on Teaching at Wharton
In August of 2009, our CEO started her undergraduate teaching career at her alma mater, Temple University. For the next several years, she taught at institutions like Lancaster Bible College, Harcum College, Johns Hopkins, and even a short-lived stint at the ITT Technical Institute. After several years in the classroom, Dr. Baldwin stepped away to focus on her growing start-up; what we now know as Millennial Ventures. But in the Winter of 2017, she received a call from a colleague with an opportunity she couldn't pass up.
After working out the details and making a few adjustments to her schedule, she accepted an offer to become a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania's esteemed Wharton School of Business. After teaching there for a few semester, she sat down with the Millennial Ventures editorial team to reflect on her experience and the future of business as we know it.
Reflections on Wharton + The Future of Business:
What surprised you about the ivy league culture of Wharton?
I was pleasantly surprised to see how sharp these young 18 and 19 year-olds were. They were like mini-corporate officers. The level of maturity they exhibited was uncommon from what I've experienced at other institutions. Also, Wharton is very diverse! I didn't expect to see such a melting pot of students from around the world.
Did your perspective on business change after lecturing in the most prominent business school in the world?
I wouldn't say that it changed. I'd say that it reminded me that today's young Millennials and GenZ'ers are our future. They must be equipped to lead the world, and I can say with confidence that Wharton is preparing them in a special way.
What course did you teach and how relevant is it to the future of business?
I taught a management and business communications course that was rigorous but practical. Our goal was to teach the students how to increase their persuasive communication strategies to thrive in the workforce. Business is all about communicating a message. Whether it's in marketing, pitching, sales, or leading a team, communication is at the core of all business. I believe this is the most important skills students can have in the future.
As an entrepreneur you're living a breathing business everyday. What advice would you give for business schools who are looking for opportunities to innovate and remain relevant in today's fast-paced world?
It's simple. Stay relevant at all costs. The higher education landscape is changing rapidly and some institutions that are thriving today will be non-existent in the next 10 years. The only way colleges can remain relevant is by bridging the gap between the classroom and the boardroom. Learning about business and practicing business skills are two different things. I can say without a doubt that at Wharton, they're providing safe places for students to actually practice the skills they'll need in the business world.