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UMW student featured in Distinctly Montana

October 28, 2011

Birkenbuel is a returning student to Montana Western. He first came to the university for the fall 1996 semester on a football scholarship but eventually took time off his academics and pursued a passion for skiing. In between skiing adventures, Birkenbuel worked jobs in entertainment promotions and soon discovered another passion: bringing people together through art.

Birkenbuel eventually returned to Montana Western in spring 2009 to continue his pursuit of a business degree. Back in the classroom he expressed to his classmates his longstanding idea of making a documentary film about Montana’s ski areas. His professor Fred Chilson also backed him up when Birkenbuel asked if the project could be used as an internship.

Since then, Birkenbuel developed a business plan for the project titled “Montana’s Sweet 16.” He plans to get interviews and to ski every Montana downhill ski area during January 2012. When completed, Birkenbuel plans to premiere the documentary at future film festivals, including HATCH and the Cold Smoke Awards.

The Distinctly Montana article goes on to explain how entrepreneurship is becoming a fresh aspect of learning — especially in business departments — across Montana’s colleges and universities.

Deans and professors in Montana see a growing interest in entrepreneurship from students across majors, especially in students starting small businesses.

Developing business plans is central to business education in Montana Western’s business department, giving students a leg up on what is involved in starting a business and successfully growing that business after graduation.

The article details the importance of having a business plan to allow entrepreneurial-minded college graduates to reach for another important goal: to remain and work in Montana.

The “Educating Young Entrepreneurs” article was written by Paul F. Vang, a freelance writer living in Butte, Mont.