When Sheehan Chase entered Chaminade University at the age of 28, he entered a community of learners that would nurture and challenge him to go beyond what he thought were his limits.
Chase had been out of school for a while before he finally returned. He purposely chose Chaminade because of its Marianist connection. As an alumnus of Archbishop Riordan High School, which is sponsored by the Marianists and under the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, he was familiar with Marianist educational values and was seeking community. He was not disappointed. He found that students and faculty were involved and engaged. So was he, and he thrived in the smaller-sized classes.
“Chaminade has given me a great community and a small tight-knit place to grow in,” said the senior majoring in communications.
His growth took a quantum leap when he entered Chaminade’s Hogan Entrepreneurs Program.
To be eligible for the program, students had to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better and then continue that performance while in the program. They had to have a record of leadership or entrepreneurial experience and demonstrate evidence of creative thinking and the ability to consider the ethical dimensions of their actions.
Once part of the program, Chase and his fellow student-entrepreneurs learned about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, the external environments of entrepreneurial organizations, the issues which affect entrepreneurial success and management of entrepreneurial ventures. Then there were the professional development workshops which develop students’ skills in areas such as professional communications, business etiquette and protocol, media relations, sale and cross-cultural management.
In addition, one of the great benefits offered was that of access to the Hogan Mentors-in-Residence, Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, and the Leadership-Coach-in-Residence — a cadre of expert advisors and business leaders available for students to meet with one-on-one. These experts have been an invaluable resource for student-entrepreneurs.
The program offerings and the network of experts ignited Chase’s entrepreneurial passions. He already had an idea for a business seeded in his mind before entering the program. He had created a journal of his grandmother’s life that was so impressive, people encouraged him to start a business. Could he do it?
When Chase shared his idea with his Hogan advisors and mentors, they urged him forward. Dr. John Webster, the director of the program, was the one who advised him to focus on developing a prototype and perfecting that prototype. Following Dr. Webster’s advice, Chase prepared his grandmother’s book with her oral history to perfection.
Chase showcased the work to the Hogan Advisory Board and landed his first client. In December 2016, Chase’s business “Tale to Tell” was launched. As a communication major and a Hogan entrepreneur, Chase was uniquely qualified to blend the telling of a good story with a business niche.
“For any student with business ideas, the Hogan Entrepreneurs program is a great facilitator and a great provider of resources,” said Chase, who delved into program offerings with gusto and met regularly with Hogan experts regarding his new business.
Chase’s network of Hogan people did not let him stop at just having a business. They pushed him to compete in the state regionals of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, which recognizes the best in student-led business innovation. Hosted by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Hawaii, the competition judged competitors as entrepreneurs and on their business plans.
Chase made his presentation to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs and competed with college business students from across the state. He had his doubts, but his mentors were confident. In January, Chase was recognized as one of this year’s top three regional finalists and was mentioned in Hawaii Business.
“I love Chaminade and what it has done for me,” Chase said. Chase is especially grateful for the Hogan Entrepreneurs because it equipped him with new skills, extensive connections, and the mindset to start new things wherever his career may lead him. “It has been such a great experience,” he emphasized.