Staff Highlight – Kristen Hayes

September 20, 2022

Meet Kristen Hayes, the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship.

Can you talk about your role with the Close School, and what you do for students/the Drexel community?

As Director of Strategic Partnerships, I strive to bring awareness to corporate partners on the importance of entrepreneurial thinking and mindset to empower employees to innovate within their company. Through the Close School’s graduate degree programs four certificates, and unique corporate and social innovation programs, our expert faculty teach individuals to be intrapreneurs and leaders.

If I had to describe my role in one word, it would be “connector.” I look to connect our corporate partners with our faculty, students, and the entire Drexel community to the Close School’s mission and the overall message that entrepreneurship education empowers everyone!

How do corporate partnerships benefit the Close School and Drexel as a whole?

Some of our corporate partners send a cohort of employees to get graduate degrees or certificates in entrepreneurship to improve their own employee’s ability to think like entrepreneurs.

Separately, for the university, our corporate partners provide great brand awareness. Whether it be a partner coming to work at the university or to participate in a degree or certificate program, it’s beneficial to the whole university. This also brings in room to do interdisciplinary work, which further pushes the initiative of the university to have all units working together. A great example of this is the work the Close School is doing with the food lab to provide a food innovation certificate.

What excites you most about working with the Close School?

It’s never the same! There’s always something new going on, I love hearing about new projects, what our students are working on, and most importantly, connecting the dots between our students, faculty, and our partners.

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