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Business alums offer advice

By Jane Ver Steeg

Jonathan Hall, Minneapolis, was one of six Dordt College alumni entrepreneurs who met with student business administration majors and shared his experience of starting up a new business.  Hall's new business is Sherwood Information Partners, Inc.

Jonathan Hall, Minneapolis, was one of six Dordt College alumni entrepreneurs who met with student business administration majors and shared his experience of starting up a new business. Hall's new business is Sherwood Information Partners, Inc.

They started their own businesses after graduating from Dordt College—and six came back to share what they learned.

The Dordt College business department invited alumni entrepreneurs back to campus on November 20 to share dinner and advice with business professors and students whom they hope some day may start businesses of their own.

Alumni from Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, and Sioux Center spent time with Dordt College business students, sharing both the joys and pitfalls of starting and operating a new business. Businessmen attending included Steven Hall, Jonathan Hall, and Tim Brands from Minneapolis; Todd Van Tol from Sioux Falls; and Allan Kramer and Brian Groeneweg from Sioux Center.

“Increasingly as a department, we want to encourage entrepreneurship and recognize the contributions of entrepreneurs,” commented Dr. John Visser, the chair of the business department. Visser noted that Dordt alumni have created some significant businesses from the ground floor up, and he is pleased that these entrepreneurs were willing to share their experience with promising young students.

“Dordt College seems to attract quite a few students with an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Visser. He attributes this to greater exposure to farm enterprises and small town businesses, which offer teenagers increased opportunities to work side by side with private business owners. The business faculty also has a strong interest in small businesses: five of the seven full-time members of the business department faculty have had an ownership stake or worked in small or start-up businesses.

At the business department dinner, each invited entrepreneur had the opportunity to talk about his business and answer questions posed by students. This practical input ties into and supplements what students have learned in the classroom, said Visser.

This fall, Dordt College was named among the top ten U.S. business colleges in four separate categories by Business Reform Magazine, which deals with today’s business issues from a biblical worldview. One of these categories was “Most Entrepreneurial” and another was the “Most Biblical Curriculum/Focus” category. Under “Most Degree and Course Options” Dordt College was ranked eighth.

Students seeking a degree in business administration at Dordt College may choose an accounting major or a business major emphasizing marketing and management, finance, human resource management, information systems, or public administration.