USD E-Team travels to Australia By Shauna Marlette
Yankton Media, Inc. With the world's economy struggling, students at The University of South Dakota have an opportunity to develop ideas and business plans that will be shared around the world. The USD Entrepreneurship Team (E-Team) will head to Australia for a two-week tour. The E-team is dedicated to promoting the advancement of entrepreneurship in the state through network building, local business and organization consultation, and club-related business operation. "The E-team is a group of students who start new things and try to create a buzz," said team member Nicole Albers. "There is a Dean's lecture series at the U, where they get a bunch of speakers to come through and talk to the students. There was a team from Australia that spoke to us. Our advisor for the E-team kept in contact with her. We want to continue this contact and see if we can get students who want to study abroad through the entrepreneurship team in Australia." The students who will be traveling to Australia are Albers, Yankton; Eric Hesla, Wakonda; Dustin Pratt, Watertown; Kyle Mulder, Canton; Kerry Kooi, Hull, Iowa; and advisor Mary Derby, director of Health Services Administration Program at USD. While in Australia during the last two weeks of July, the group will be visiting Melbourne, Hamilton, the Gold Coast and Sydney with the goal of promoting relationships between the country — the state of South Dakota and USD in particular. "We had two professors come to USD from Australia this past school year and it sparked the idea that this is something we would like to continue going forward," Hesla said. "We will be meeting with students and faculty from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. We hope to create exchange programs for both students and faculty. We are hoping to create a program that lasts throughout the years." Locally, the club offers students, faculty and small business owners an opportunity to bring their ideas or problems to the group, and using the resources to set plans in action to implement or solve them. In Australia, the E-team will be working with a similar group from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology called the HIVE. "The HIVE is a group of students with advisors and faculty from the school who meet to put on different programs and projects and help new start up projects grow," Hesla said. "But they also keep their alumni involved. Alumni will come back and try to help keep the interest up and help mentorships, stay involved with the university. We will be going over how the two groups work, and maybe doing a couple of projects together — recruiting new students to the program and sort of work with them." The group will also be participating in an international conference where their host for the tour, Dr. Paul Collits, will be a speaker. The Pacific Regional Science Conference Organization (PRSCO), will feature speakers from around the world presenting their views on the economic and housing crisis, as well as scientific developments. "Dr. Collits would like us to go to the PRSCO Regional Science Conference in Sydney," Hesla said. "It is an opportunity to listen to speakers from all across the world who have been in business in one form or another, the experiences they have had and what advice they have to offer. "He also wants us to get the full experience of Australia. So, we will be going to farms out in the 'Outback' to get the real rugged farm and ranch experiences. There are also a couple of us that will be scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef to get the full experience there. We also have wildlife tours set up. It will just be a great experience." While the team members are excited about the opportunity to visit Australia, they both noted that they hope to accomplish one thing. "The main thing we are hoping to do is get out the fact that South Dakota does have a large variety of business," Hesla said. "We want to emphasis the fact that we do have a lot of entrepreneurship here, the fact that we would like to grow global friendships and partnerships. I have heard that a lot of people that go to Australia want to stay there, so we want to give them the idea that we know there is a global business environment and just work back and forth with each other."
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