We’re here with a fantastic student, Andrew Hofheimer, for our latest student profile.
CEI: Hey Andrew, thanks for meeting me today.
Andrew: Call me Hof.
CEI: OK, Hof. What’s shaking?
Hof: Just trying to change the world on this lovely afternoon.
CEI: Haha, keep fighting the good fight man. But seriously, I wanted to talk to you today about our program and entrepreneurship. So would you mind telling me why you chose the MSE Program?
Hof: Well, I graduated in 2009, had four years work experience working for some great, large companies in Atlanta. But I’ve always known that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, to be in the driver’s seat, to make something special happen. And it came a time where I wanted to make a transition while I was still young, to take what I’ve learned in the professional world and add that to the mindset and tool kit of an entrepreneur.
CEI: What did you think an entrepreneur or entrepreneurship was before you started the program and what you think it is now, a few months from graduation?
Hof: Before, I just thought it was a fancy french word for “owner of the business.” But my understanding has become much richer. An entrepreneur is anyone that can see an opportunity, for change, and realizes that opportunity by doing whatever is in their power to align the resources necessary to make that change occur.
CEI: What have you done in the MSE that has enriched or changed you entrepreneurial mindset?
Hof: What’s interesting about the program is that it isn’t one class or experience. It’s about throwing yourself into the lifestyle and immersing yourself in the world of entrepreneurial thought and action. If you only go to classes, you will only experience this at a surface level. It’s about a holistic experience -taking part in experiential learning, meeting the young entrepreneurs around town, meeting the more experienced mentors, and being willing to throw yourself into anything for the possibility of something exciting happening.
CEI: I know what you mean, but how would you explain that to a 5th grader? So what is experiential learning? What is the lifestyle like?
Hof: Learning in this field is learning by doing. Whether its filling out a business plan, building a website, sourcing products form Alibaba, get out of the classroom and make something happen.
CEI: And the lifestyle?
Hof: While it’s often romanticized, it is full of struggle, self-doubt, frustration, and ambiguity. But – but when you push through all of that, and achieve some successes, even little ones, nothing tastes sweeter because of what you had to go through to achieve them.
CEI: Is that a common trait among you and your classmates? To you all enjoy challenges?
Hof: The reason you become an entrepreneur is because you enjoy challenge, because you despise being content. You are not satisfied being comfortable, living short of your full potential. You need to wake up wanting to grow everyday to see what you are truly capable of.
CEI: So when you said you were changing the world, you weren’t kidding! What’s your plan after graduation?
Hof: My plan is to continue growing my business GirlsOfFall.me here in Gainesville. I’ll be marrying my beautiful fiance, Kirsten. Continue meeting great people and making some fun memories in the Gainesville community.
CEI: I think that’s a wonderful note to leave on. Thanks so much for your time.
Hof: You know, I want to leave you with a quote I really like. “The price of being a sheep is boredom, the price of being a wolf is loneliness. Choose one or the other with great care.” – Hugh MacLeod