By: Pierry Parmera
Algonquin students are set to have an array of opportunities open to them as the SA is appointing an Executive-In-Residence to help students grow as entrepreneurs and develop their creative business ideas.
Algonquin’s new EIR, Andrew Foti, an experienced legal executive and strategic advisor, will be present at the school by the end of this month. He will assist students in the process of realizing their ideas.
“A lot of students have great ideas on how to invest in society but don’t know how to start them,” said Jack Doyle, general manager of the SA. In essence, Foti will be a mentor to students by helping them remove the mistakes in the process of creating their own businesses.
The SA is starting this program in part because there was “great demand from students and faculty,” said Doyle.
Students who need counsel on how to put their ideas to work will have the chance to meet Foti. He will send them to the right places and advise them on how best to have personal success in their careers.
Foti will be on the campus once a week for now until the SA sees what the demand brings so that they may revisit the program accordingly.
According to Doyle, the SA is confident the new EIR is ready to meet the enormous task of counselling hundreds of students given his wealth of experience in the corporate and entrepreneurial world.
“He is a very experienced corporate lawyer,” said Doyle. “This is someone who’s done great deals in his career,” he said. “We are happy to bring his experience and expertise to Algonquin.”
In addition, he is a “highly motivated and passionate guy” who is prepared to do whatever it takes to lead students to the path of success.
And although he has had a mostly business-oriented and legal career, he will also work with students in other fields like journalism.
The implementation of the program is not costless as the SA is spending $55,000 to cover the required expenses the first year.
The SA had been thinking about appointing an EIR for the last five years but concluded that now is the appropriate time to do it. “Now that we have the facilities we’ve decided to go forward with the program,” said Doyle.
“There are other schools that have EIR people,” he added. “Algonquin has very unique characteristics and we are ready to do whatever works.”
The SA expects to see great improvements in student entrepreneurship as faculty and students are hoping to benefit from the EIR.
“We are going to establish a benchmark after the first year and grow the program from there,” said Doyle.