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Hunger for Entrepreneurial Education


Andrew came to Simpson with some education already under his belt, but he was seeking a program that would be convenient and flexible enough to fit into his demanding schedule as a full-time working father. He says Simpson’s online, eight-week course structure works extremely well for him.

“It fits into my work schedule perfectly,” says Firestine. “And the online courses allow me to pretty much work at my pace and my speed.”And, he adds, Simpson’s faculty provides the kind of personal attention and support he needs.

“They know that as adults we have a little bit more going on than the normal, traditional student. Sometimes, for example, we might need a little more time to complete an assignment. So they’re understanding and flexible.”

Simpson’s business management program is feeding Andrew’s healthy entrepreneurial appetite. He wants to have his own business one day, but which business will it be?

Exploring all his options

“I have a lot of businesses I envision for myself,” says Firestine. “I’ve thought about a video game store, a book store, a café, a 3D print shop —I’ve got a lot of passions. Obviously, I need to narrow it down.”Whatever path he chooses, Andrew is determined to make a meaningful impact. He’s already doing that at the Des Moines AreaReligious Council (DMARC), working full-time for its mobile food pantry for the last four years.

Each day, Andrew is out and about serving food to people in need throughout the Des Moines area. As someone who has experienced his own financial struggles, Andrew can relate and fully empathize with the people he meets.

“I’ve come to know a lot of people on a first-name basis,” says Firestine. “How you picture people on food stamps or who need a food pantry, take that picture and throw it out the window because they’re just like everyone else. Doing this opens your eyes to the struggles people are going through.”

Andrew says his business management education is helping him to understand the big picture of what it takes to run a nonprofit. He believes his increased depth of non-profit knowledge could lead to advancement at DMARC or position him to strike out on his own in any one of the directions he’s considering.

For now, he’s just focused on completing his bachelor’s program in December. “My degree in business management is just so broad, it can be applied to anything I might do, really.”