Enterprise is the ship of the future

Gazette file photo The annual Michigan Tech Expo showcases products of the Enterprise teams, like this autonomous robotic vehicle dubbed “Charlie,” which was displayed at the April 2016, Expo.

HOUGHTON — Michigan Technological University’s Enterprise Program provides participating students exceptional opportunities to help prepare them for the workforce.

Joseph Thompson of the Pavlis Honors College, and sponsored projects manager of Enterprise, described the program well.

The Enterprise Program is an educational program designed to develop students’ technical, professional, and interpersonal skills and prepare them for early-career success upon graduation, Thompson said.

“The essence of the program is team-based, industry-relevant projects led by student teams and supported by faculty advisors and industry sponsors,” he said. “Industry sponsors pay a standard per-project fee in support of program infrastructure and direct project expenses.”

Students in the program are not just there for higher grades or for an assignment. The Enterprise Program is a unique, multi-year, multidisciplinary program available to all students, first year through graduate level, regardless of their major or chosen field of study, Thompson said.

Multidisciplinary teams mimic the project team structure in many industries, the Enterprise website states. Collaboration, teamwork, leadership, and the process of bringing an idea to market and community are the foundation of every Enterprise team.

“The Enterprise Program has around 800 students, and conducts over 60 projects annually across a very broad project spectrum,” he said. “The projects are typically open-ended to encourage creative problem solving and innovative solutions. This approach is one reason why industry sponsors like to invest in the program.”