MA '11 (Educational Studies/Master of Business Administration)
Whoever said “the greatest risk in life is not taking one” probably knew Dan Hazekamp, because this expression suits him well. Hazekamp is a student in the dual-degree program, master of arts in educational studies/master of business administration. This Grand Rapids native and Central Michigan University alumnus knew early in life that he wanted to be an entrepreneur with all of the rewards and risks that come with that career path. He would learn later, though, that his passion for teaching others about entrepreneurship and leadership would lead him to a career integrating the worlds of business and education.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Hazekamp moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, to manage several Jimmy John’s franchises there, which he remembers as a great learning experience. When the opportunity arose to open his own franchise in Syracuse, New York, he seized it despite words of caution from his father who felt the move was too risky. Hazekamp felt that the bigger risk was staying put and missing an opportunity. He opened his store and realized his dream of being his own boss. He employed several undergraduate students at his store and enjoyed teaching them about the business of entrepreneurship. “I got to thinking,” he said, “why can’t we instill the entrepreneurial spirit at a younger age? Why not start teaching leadership skills at the middle and high school levels?” With that, his interest in business education was born.
As a lifelong University of Michigan enthusiast, the Ross School of Business was Hazekamp’s first choice when it came time to apply to MBA programs. He was particularly interested in the dual-degree programs available. After completing his first year as a full-time MBA student, Hazekamp applied for the MBA/MA-educational studies program and was admitted. He took his first education classes that fall and noticed right away major differences between the schools. The 500-person cohorts and practically-focused courses at Ross contrasted greatly with the small, personal cohorts and theoretically-focused courses in education. Hazekamp describes having to “learn a new language” in his education courses, which was challenging but also intellectually stimulating. “The courses provoked me to think at a level that I’m not accustomed to thinking at,” he explained. While most of his social network is at Ross, he values the conversations he has with his School of Education peers.
Hazekamp is currently seeking a summer internship that will give him practice applying business strategies to solve educational problems. For example, as an intern, he may be assigned to a school system or educational foundation to assist with marketing or finance-related projects. He is hoping an internship might lead to employment possibilities once he graduates in December. Of course, he is not sweating the job search as much as his peers given that he still owns his Jimmy John’s franchise in Syracuse.
When he is not thinking about developing his own business or helping others develop theirs, Hazekamp can be found at the gym, watching college basketball, kayaking, or hopping on a plane to explore someplace new. In the past year alone, he has traveled to Guatemala, Japan, and Singapore, either on Ross-affiliated trips or on his own. He says that these are only the beginnings of his world travel adventures. It seems that at work and at play, this is one risk-taker who never misses an opportunity to try something new!
This story or profile was accurate at the time it was published and may or may not be updated.
Last edited by on Tue, June 19, 2012 - 1:26:22