This fall, I was part of the Diplomacy Lab project through the Department of Entrepreneurship. The Diplomacy Lab is a public-private partnership through the U.S. State Department to utilize university students and courses to increase innovation in solving foreign policy challenges. The State Department will post the project proposal, and university professors can apply to host the project.
Two professors from Entrepreneurship applied and were selected to supervise a project this semester, and it immediately piqued my interest when I learned of the topic. The objective was investigating how the State Department can increase employment in Pakistan’s Punjab region through entrepreneurship. I applied and became one of seven students working on the project.
We began the research by splitting into two teams and building entrepreneurial ecosystem canvases of the U.S. and of Pakistan to see if there were resources we had here that we could export. From there, we began benchmarking and forming our recommendations, and we spent the last two weeks typing a large document and building a website that shared our findings.
Entrepreneurship is not seen as a career option for many in Pakistan, as they want the prestige and security that comes from having a job with a regular paycheck and more stability. This is true of many in the U.S. as well, although our history of successful entrepreneurs does inspire many young people to follow that track.
The group of researchers were a blast to work with, and I tremendously enjoyed getting to know a couple more professors in my department at the same time! I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and consulting throughout this project, and I know it will benefit me as I go on to be a consultant in my future.