Name: Chris Alvarez
Hometown: Chelmsford, MA
Entrepreneurship at JHU
I, like many students entering JHU, have always been interested in the sciences. My early exposure to neurochemistry in high school drove my fascination with the brain and various aspects of neuroscience. Although I was always confident in my decision to become a neuroscience major, I had never seriously considered minoring in anything business related. It was not until the second semester of my freshman year, after taking the course Introduction to Business in order to complete my distribution requirements, that I contemplated minoring in Entrepreneurship and Management (E&M).
One aspect of the Entrepreneurship and Management minor that cannot go unmentioned is the strength of the faculty. In addition to their real-world knowledge of the field, E&M professors are extremely student oriented. Whether you have a question concerning a business case brought up in class, a recent news event, or a business idea, E&M professors are always more than willing to spend large amounts of time to answer questions.
In addition to a great selection of courses and professors, JHU is also a great place for business and entrepreneurship extracurricular activities. It was during this same semester that my business partner, Ian Han ’14, and I started our first business venture, The Blue Jay Cleaners (http://www.thebluejaycleaners.com).
As the name suggests, The Blue Jay Cleaners is a dormitory and apartment janitorial service catered towards serving the Johns Hopkins community. Although The Blue Jay Cleaners began as a Maryland state business, we have since merged with the university by joining Hopkins Student Enterprises. Hopkins Student Enterprises, or HSE, is a non-profit umbrella organization that assists student entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses on campus. Being part of the Center for Leadership Education, which houses the Entrepreneurship and Management Minor, HSE offers unparalleled guidance and opportunities for those students who embrace entrepreneurship. In addition to weekly meetings with HSE faculty advisors and the managers of the other ventures that make up HSE, all CLE professors of eager to answer any questions one might have. HSE also allows ventures to have full advertising rights on campus and other advantages in order to fully allow each business to become integrated into the JHU community. One wonderful aspect of HSE is that it truly allows student entrepreneurs to manage their own business and make their own decisions, while offering support when support is needed. In addition to The Blue Jay Cleaners, I also manage Hopkins Student Creative Services (http://web1.johnshopkins.edu/hse/hcs/), a web development and design venture. My current goal is to improve name recognition for HSCS on campus in addition to the Baltimore community in order to increase the amount of clients served.
Another great entrepreneurial extracurricular activity is the JHU chapter of the Kairos Society (http://www.kairossociety.org/). The Kairos society is an international entrepreneurship society dedicated to solve the world’s greatest challenges in order to ensure a better future through domestic and international collaboration. This past year I traveled with members of the JHU Kairos Society Chapter to both the White House and the New York Stock Exchange to discuss ways to solve world issues including healthcare, education, and the environment. It is truly amazing to be surrounded by hundreds of individuals from different countries around the world, all focused on the same goal.
JHU is an amazing place when it comes to fostering both business and entrepreneurship on campus. No matter what your major, I encourage you to take a few classes in the Entrepreneurship and Management minor or attend a few extracurricular events in the Center for Leadership Education. You, as I was in my freshman year, will be truly excited by both the business and entrepreneurial opportunities provided by JHU.
To further your exploration of this academic program and ask any question you may have of current students, be sure to visit the Hopkins Forums’ Academics: The Insider Perspective and the Entrepreneurship and Management question thread._______________________________________________________________________________