Kendra Scott appointed professor of practice at UT Austin

Entrepreneur and designer Kendra Scott has been named a professor of practice at the University of Texas at Austin's College of Fine Arts.

Scott will co-teach a course named Women in Entrepreneurship as part of a new faculty appointment alongside Jan Ryan, professor of practice and executive director of the Center for Creative Entrepreneurship.


AUSTIN, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 24: Kendra Scott, CEO, designer and philanthropist (L) and Jan Ryan, Executive Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at The University of Texas at Austin attend the unveiling of the Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership I


Scott previously partnered with UT Austin to create the Kendra Scott Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute in 2019. In addition to a curriculum and speaker series that launched this spring, the WEL Institute is slated to open a new student center space on the first floor of the Doty Fine Arts Building this fall.

UT Austin says the new three-credit course class is designed to provide hands-on, tangible tools to equip and empower female entrepreneurs. With a blend of lectures, experiential exercises, and guest speakers, the class will immerse students in the core tenets of creating a new business, will expose the obstacles and challenges women face in contemporary society, and will offer strategies to overcome them. This class is available to all schools and majors.

RELATED: Kendra Scott unveils new Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute at UT-Austin

“I’m honored to join the university as a professor of practice, and am so excited for the opportunity to work directly with this next generation of courageous leaders,” Scott said in a release. “We’ve seen a real hunger for programming and classes that lift up and support aspiring female entrepreneurs, and I am eager to further our work with the WEL Institute by bringing my own experience and expertise to the classroom.”

The Women in Entrepreneurship class will have a specific focus on the female founder’s unique perspective and is targeted at students interested in starting their own company or simply pursuing an understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset. The class aims to confront common gender biases and conditioning, provide actionable advice in the face of the roadblocks women face and empower students to see larger possibilities for their career.

RELATED: Kendra Scott repurposes materials for face masks that will be donated to Austin hospitals

In the class, students will hear from Scott and her executive team members who lead the company’s marketing, eCommerce, innovation and philanthropy departments, and students will have the opportunity to move beyond theoretical concepts and practical real-world examples of decision-making and problem-solving.

“Uniquely, this class will allow us to offer a ‘live’ case study of one of the most innovative brands in retail today,” Ryan said. “We want students in this class to walk away with the tools they need to feel empowered to take control of their careers.”

The course will be open to 30 students, who were admitted to the class through an application process in the spring. Though the course was originally planned to be taught onsite at the Kendra Scott headquarters, it is moving to an online model in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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