DePauw University delivers entrepreneurs and leaders to Indy’s tech community
There’s a big misconception that in order to have a successful career in tech you have to know how to code. Steve Fouty, director of The Robert C. McDermond Center for Management & Entrepreneurship at DePauw University, knows that it’s simply not true. Steve doesn’t have a technical degree, but he’s been a part of some of the most high-profile tech successes Indianapolis has ever seen, including Software Artistry, Emerging Threats, ExactTarget, and most recently ClusterTruck.
Encouraging non-technical DePauw students to consider careers in tech doesn’t take anything away from the university’s renowned computer science department. “We have an exceptional CS program led by one of the best minds in the field—Dr. Gloria Childress Townsend—and it’s a solid pipeline for Hoosier tech companies,” Steve explained. “One of my focuses is on introducing liberal arts students to career options they weren’t even considering because they don’t think they’re welcome in tech or they simply don’t know how much opportunity is there for them.”
DePauw has a successful history of delivering entrepreneurs and leaders to the tech community. There are, of course, great examples of DePauw CS graduates creating and building powerhouse tech companies like BC Forward founder Justin Christian. Steve pointed out, however, that there are many high profile leaders in tech like David Becker (First Internet Bank), and Angie Hicks (Angie’s List) who hold liberal arts degrees from DePauw as well. Tech entrepreneurs Haley Altman, Megan Glover, RJ Talyor and Jenny Vance all have liberal arts degrees from DePauw, along with Mary Kay Huse, one of the highest ranking local executives at Salesforce.
Steve delights in dropping names of distinguished alumni; it’s a long list for a school of just over 2,000 students. And it’s a big deal to be able to point to wildly successful people in tech and say “they were once DePauw students studying the same things as you.” The university has made several moves in recent years that are designed to open more doors in the Greater Indianapolis area to students, especially in tech. DePauw’s largest source of student enrollment is Central Indiana—topping even Greater Chicago.
Three of the Depauw University Academic Centers came together to join TechPoint and formalize the university’s relationship with the state’s influential nonprofit technology growth accelerator. They include:
- The Kathryn F. Hubbard Center for Student Engagement connects students’ academic experiences to off-campus study, internships and career development opportunities.
- Robert C. McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship help students blend their liberal arts education with an entrepreneurial spirit through leadership development and experiential learning.
- The Tenzer Technology Center is a high-tech collaborative space where students enhance their technology, computing, and visualization skills through workshops and seminars, internships and mentoring opportunities.
“Connecting to the broader tech community through TechPoint has already introduced some students to companies and career paths they wouldn’t have known about otherwise,” Steve said. “Even events as simple as visiting tech companies in Indianapolis and talking to people who work there,
Making a stronger bond between the university and the tech community is also a positive step that supports the DePauw Gold Commitment: a guarantee that graduates will be in graduate school or employed within six months of graduation. With thousands of open tech jobs statewide and a recent track record for growing jobs in tech faster than any other industry, DePauw is wise to pursue stronger connections with Indiana tech companies and the tech community at large. The university, however, is so confident in the outcome of its distinctive liberal arts education, that DePauw was the first university to guarantee a 100% success rate within six
The third area where DePauw is reaching out to the tech community is through its new outpost space in The Union 525. With enough room to comfortably seat 10-12 for board meetings, group projects, networking events, meetups and more, the space is open to all students and faculty as well as all DePauw alumni.
“I’m working out of the Union space at least once a week,” Steve said. “It makes a difference to be right here in the middle of everything and we’re decreasing the distance for our students, too, bringing them closer to great careers in tech, whether it’s through our computer science program or those non-technical liberal arts majors who are becoming more and more sought after.”
Just like every other business, technology companies need sales and marketing, human resources, finance, operations and other professionals to fill mission critical roles. DePauw University is eager to ensure that more and more of those roles in Central Indiana and beyond are filled by DePauw graduates.