I don’t know about you, but if OU offered a bartending class I would sign up. Well when Chris Good, Debbi Brock, Heather McNally Miklo and Wendy Wigton Reinhart were here in the late 80s, their club, Association for Collegiate Entrepreneurs, started one. With the university’s approval they partnered with the C.I. where one of their bartenders taught the class. No wonder C.I. is the business bar, and can you imagine President McDavis hearing that one of the student organizations was sponsoring a bartending class? Well, they did, and at one point they made $8,000 at $45 a person for the class. This class was quite the success, and it actually served as a tool to teach about alcohol awareness and safety (they used colored water to “make drinks”, not alcohol). Personally, I would like to see this come back.
These former students were majoring in Small Business Entrepreneurship, similar to our current Entrepreneurship major. At the time, Ohio University was the only one to have this type of major, but for some reason it was cut a few years later.
Debbi, who attended from 1986-1989, was the secretary of the Association for Collegiate Entrepreneurs. She would then become president, even with the boys encouraging her to not run (very different times). From there, she went on to work for the International Headquarters of the Association for Collegiate Entrepreneurs and became the first female executive director in 1991. This trailblazer for women everywhere was working in the field of entrepreneurship that was 80% male at the time. Actually, the field is still predominately male. The semester after Debbi graduated, Heather McNally Miklo and Wendy Wigton Reinhart got the class off the ground.
Debbi attributes her success to not making the basketball team here at OU. She took that energy and invested it in entrepreneurship. Now she is in academia. She, as well as many others, understand that the skills learned through entrepreneurship are incredibly important to creating opportunities for success. Having the basic business acumen to handle different ventures, ideas, and even freelancing your skills creates possibilities that are limitless.