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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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Warrior Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group Helps Student Entrepreneurs Network with Professionals and Each Other

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Ethan Beaudette y Mark Powell, Presidente y VP del club WEI. (Signal Fotografia/Adan Cortes)

 

Warrior Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group (WEI) are a new organization on campus that gives students, staff, and community members a space to network and grow their existing businesses or get a headstart on whatever extraordinary venture idea individuals have in mind.

This club allows its members to gather and communicate with people of all different career backgrounds who are goal-driven and passionate about expansion. 

WEI was founded right after the 2023 spring semester ended when Ethan Beaudette (Senior, Business Administration, President of WEI) and Mark Powell (Senior, Business Administration, Vice President of WEI) received an email from Dr. Pablo Paradis Romero (Lecturer, College of Business Administration) where he stated that he would want to help them start an organization on campus. 
Recently opened to the public in the fall of 2023, WEI has acquired over six members who work behind the scenes to make WEI what it is today, and has about 27 members who regularly show up to the meetings.

“…we have probably, I’d say 15 to 20 other members that we meet with and they kind of give insights and stuff like that to the kind of events they want us to hold and then how they think that the club can benefit them,” Powell said. 

Within the WEI organization, they focus on creating job opportunities for students who are interested in certain areas of business, giving them job experience that they can utilize for their own benefit. 

“In us being so new, we’re able to kind of create new positions for students and stuff. So with students that have marketing kind of in the business, they want to focus on that from maybe a business or job for themselves. We kind of give them that experience early on and kind of make it flexible,” said Beaudette.

Beaudette continues by saying that they mold people to positions they see fit for them so that they can be successful. 

The organization is not exclusive to business majors, and they say that their goal is to welcome anyone who has goals to succeed on their own merits and to move away from traditional employment routes. 

“…that’s kind of the big thing with our organization is that we wanted it to be open to anyone with a thought that they just don’t want to work for another person or they want to be in a position to control their own lives and careers,” said Beaudette.

WEI recruits most of its members on campus during Warrior Wednesdays, or sometimes they’ll set up a booth.                 

WEI prefers not to recruit through their events because they want to keep the events exclusively for members.

“I mean, of course, they’re open to others, but we want to connect them with the community heads. A lot of the Turlock people, the Modesto people, business owners or entrepreneurs, a lot of Chamber of Commerce members are all part of that. So we feel like as an organization, if we can organize at least our members and get them into that right field, that’s half the battle right there,” said Beaudette.

WEI’s three main ways of promoting their club are through: Warrior Wednesdays, social media, and word of mouth.

This is how they have been able to gain most of their new recruits for the club. 

WEI can help young entrepreneurs by making students confident not to fear rejection or putting themselves out there.

WEI archives this by giving the students tools and the proper experience. 

“So going over panel interviews, practicing interviews, building up their resume, getting them connected directly with a better source of information for those interviews and stuff,” said Beaudette.

On December 1st, WEI held a Shark Tank-related event where different entrepreneurs from the valley pitched their ideas to investors.

They considered this to be an inaugural event and say that similar ones will be held in the future.

Dr. Romero has served as a mentor to Beaudette and Powell through the process of starting WEI.

“Dr. Romero, I would say he’s been a great help. He’s probably one of the most down-to-earth professors. Seems to really hold himself to a standard, a high standard of class and education. And I think he holds us to that same standard. We’ll just do very high shelves. But when he does have to get it to the more human aspect, he is very easy to talk to, too,” said Beaudette.

For now, the WEI club is exclusively for Stan State students, but eventually, they would like to connect to other colleges and compete statewide. 

“We eventually want to have a funnel system connected with MJC and other colleges around it. And kind of, especially do like county-wide, statewide, maybe competitions and have us do Shark Tank events by competing with Cal Callie’s entrepreneurship organization and having us compete with them,” said Beaudette.

When asked if they have seen any growth in their members since they started entering the WEI club, Powell said:

“For example, one of our members, Chewy, actually, he was kind of like a little shy when we first met him at our Fab Lab event, and we kind of got to talking to him, and then he actually helped us table one day, and he was like one of the more outgoing personalities at our table that day.”

Brian Miske (Senior, Creative Media) self-runs a photography business and he started to see clients for fun about two years ago.

When asked if he would find it helpful to have a space where he could network to grow his business, he replied:

“Yes, that’s definitely helpful. Networking is a great way to build not only current business, but business in the future. If you can interact with someone with an everlasting impression, then you’re going to be influenced by their thoughts, and certain things will come up.”
You can keep up with the WEI club through their podcast Warrior Entrepreneur Innovation Studio.
Edited by Natalie Ramos

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Warrior Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group Helps Student Entrepreneurs Network with Professionals and Each Other