The Tulane Entrepreneurs’ Association (TEA) took the admissions department’s conferen

The Tulane Entrepreneurs’ Association (TEA) took the admissions department’s conference room by force (by force I mean permission) for the first round of its telathon. A telathon doesn’t sound like much fun does it? Well, it was. In two hours we phoned 50 universities and got 37 contacts to send our Tulane Business Plan Competition marketing materials to.

Here’s the thing: The Tulane Business Plan Comeptition is put on by students from TEA. Our student organization raises $67,000 and gives $40,000 of it away to two ventures every year. I am in charge of all that. We raise from $0 every year. My point in telling you this is that every school has student organizations. But some schools have really cool ones. A telathon may sound boring – but when you’ve personally raised the $40,000 that is going to get given away, you want the most applications you can possibly get to ensure quality. Our telathon became fun, because the entire event is our baby.

The experience of leading a large organization has been the best experience I’ve gotten at the school. Books and classes are fantastic (really!), but actually leading a large team is the best trial experience you can get. You have to motivate people, convince them to donate a precious resource (their time whilst in graduate school), and be creative. It’s REALLY hard work, but its the same experience I would need for the starting a successful business in the real world.

Before the MBA I started businesses, but they were mostly service businesses that involved me and few other people. Now, I feel like I really have the experience to start an organization based on expansion.