Dr. Susan D. Peters,
Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship
- Ph.D. — Saint Louis University
- MBA — Kent State University
- BSIE — Millikin University
I have been in over 60 countries, mostly working with entrepreneurs or government entrepreneurship projects. My research focus is writing teaching cases for use primarily in MBA programs, and I teach other professors how to write cases.
In which online programs do you teach?
Which classes do you teach online?
MGT 5290: Entrepreneurship
What do students learn in your classes? What is the expected outcome?
Students re-examine business through the perspective of a small business. Throughout the class, they build a business plan suitable for going after investor financing.
What advice would you give to those considering the UNCP online MBA program?
You'll find a lot of the professors have actually practiced in their fields. They know what theories work well and which ones work in a perfect world.
What qualities make someone particularly successful in business?
Creativity is the one thing that separates the best. Almost anyone is trainable, but those who really succeed are those who think outside the box, those that see things others miss.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that people in business face today?
Things are changing so quickly that it's less about how much you know than how quickly you can adapt. That's where the creative thinking comes into play.
Why did you start teaching?
As I looked back on my teachers, I recognized that some got their expertise from books and others from practice. The latter group used examples from their experiences and made their classes more interesting and credible. One day, I realized I had worked long enough to have my own stories and left industry for a Ph.D. and a teaching career.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know about you.
My mother taught her children to seize every opportunity that arose. That advice took this first-generation, rural, poor student around the world and into so many interesting situations. I've rafted the Grand Canyon (twice). I wrote a business plan for a dairy—actually, a yak milk dairy—in Tibet. I've held a panda, petted a tiger and played tag with a gorilla baby. And who knows what is coming up!