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Getting Started with Entrepreneurship: Recommendations from Beryl Pittman

Beryl Pittman, co-instructor for the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program, shares some of her favorite entrepreneurship resources.

Getting started with your entrepreneurial journey can be overwhelming. Having resources to help point you in the right direction can make things a little easier. At NC State Entrepreneurship we have many resources and staff that are ready to assist you in your journey.

Beryl Cox Pittman is a co-instructor for the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program (EEP), a program that allows students to choose an engineering problem and form an entrepreneurial venture or product aimed to solve or mitigate the problem. Since 2008, her primary goal is to provide start-up teams with strategies and tactics to communicate persuasively through writing and speaking to expert and non-expert audiences. The preparation begins immediately in Fall semester with simple guidelines for writing reader-friendly messages and moves into preparing status reports for mentors, and briefs and feasibility reports for instructors, all the while maintaining productive communication within the team itself. Presentations in Fall semester include pitches that range from recruiting team members to explaining progress on their products. The stakes are even higher in Spring semester as teams prepare reports on prototype development, pitches to investor audiences, and a business plan that would be competitive in any arena. At this point, most teams are entering new venture challenges, including NC State’s own eGames. Beryl’s role is exceptionally fulfilling for two reasons:

  • She gets to work closely with top-tier students and witness the evolution of their communication skills – which are all transferrable to career paths beyond entrepreneurship – and the confidence that grows along with acquiring those skills.
  • She gets to work with exceptionally talented co-instructors who themselves are engineers in different areas and entrepreneurs. The three of them are able to walk the talk when it comes to demonstrating the value of multi-disciplinary teams

Along with EEP, Beryl teaches Communication for Technology and Engineering at NC State. Since 2012, she has taught in the international business program of Aalto University in Mikkeli, Finland – entrepreneurship is a key element of that program, too. And since 2019, she has taught Business Communications for SKEMA University, a university from France with several global campuses including one on our Centennial Campus.

Beryl’s experience also includes teaching management communications for about 10 years at the programs of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

We asked Beryl Pittman for some recommendations to get started with entrepreneurship, below are some of her favorites.

Books

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury
  • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White
  • The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life by Anu Partanen
  • Why Business People Speak like Idiots: A Bullfighter’s Guide by Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway & Joh Warshawsy

TED Talks

Podcasts

Connect with Beryl Pittman on LinkedIn

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