Bree Langemo, J.D.
Assistant Professor of Law and Entrepreneurship, Offutt School of Business
Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship
Please tell us about your background.
I am an accountant and an attorney with 20 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member, chair, and dean. I stepped out of higher education for several years to lead a global education company focused on entrepreneurial mindset education. As part of that work, I traveled worldwide, conducting speaking engagements, workshops, and training on entrepreneurship. I’ve also been honored to serve as a board chair for nonprofits with incredible and impactful missions. My experience crosses over profit, nonprofit, government, and academic arenas.
Where are you from and what did you study in college?
I’m originally from West Fargo, N.D. I received my Bachelor of Science in accounting from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1999 and my Juris Doctorate from Ohio Northern University in 2003.
What brought you to Concordia College?
I returned to the F-M area from Colorado in 2018 when my husband accepted a position as president and CEO of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation. I stepped down from my leadership position at the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative with the goal of grounding myself in a local organization or institution. I was hired as a consultant for Concordia in 2018 to help create the entrepreneurship curriculum and to teach Business Law as an adjunct. The curriculum was successfully launched in 2019, and I was hired full time as the director of entrepreneurship and assistant professor of law and entrepreneurship in January 2020. I felt a real synergy and philosophical alignment between Concordia’s vision and mission and my understanding and appreciation of entrepreneurship and how it can be applied broadly to all disciplines.
How long have you been teaching at Concordia and what courses do you teach?
I have taught at Concordia since 2019. I teach BUSN 305: Introduction to Business Law, ENPR 240 and 340: Entrepreneurial Mindset I and II, and INQ 100: Entrepreneurial Mindset. I also serve as a faculty advisor to the Concordia Entrepreneurship Club, which you can follow on Instagram @cobberentrepreneurs.
Tell us more about the Entrepreneurial Mindset Certificate and the entrepreneurship minor.
The Entrepreneurial Mindset Certificate is a nine-credit hour certificate that complements any major at Concordia. The courses are Entrepreneurial Mindset I and II, Design Thinking, and Entrepreneurial Marketing I. The certificate focuses on empowering students with entrepreneurial skills whether they plan to start something new, join the gig economy, or work for an established organization. It gives students a competitive edge in their field by teaching them how to think and act like an entrepreneur, recognize opportunities, solve problems, and create value. Everyone needs to be entrepreneurial, no matter their professional path in life. The certificate then stacks into the entrepreneurship minor, and students who continue on to complete the minor do so because they become interested in launching an idea. The classes for the minor include the certificate courses plus Entrepreneurial Finance, Entrepreneurial Marketing II, Venture Planning, and Startup PEAK.
What type of student is most drawn to take your entrepreneurship courses?
Students from various disciplines, such as exercise science, nutrition, neuroscience, music, art, biology, finance, etc., take Entrepreneurial Mindset. They often take it if they are interested in working for themselves one day or if they are interested in a more creative and innovative curriculum. Some students see the certificate as a competitive edge in the job market. Others know that they want to own their own business and appreciate getting to explore and test their ideas while studying at Concordia.
What course is your favorite to teach and why?
I love teaching incoming first-year students in the INQ 100: Entrepreneurial Mindset course. They show up so eager and excited to learn! I also think learning how to apply an entrepreneurial mindset is critical at the onset of one’s academic career. I see its impact on how they approach college from day one. In my former role as a dean in Colorado Springs, I helped implement an entrepreneurial mindset as a required course for incoming first-year students, with tremendous results in student success and retention. I’ve had students at Concordia suggest that this course should be required for all students, which pleases me greatly. It tells me that we are creating value by offering it and that students find it relevant and timely. The INQ 100 course also counts as ENPR 240 and 340: Entrepreneurial Mindset I and II, so students have only six credit hours left to complete the full Entrepreneurial Mindset Certificate. And starting in Fall 2023, the INQ seminar will uniquely focus on social entrepreneurship in alignment with the college’s new core focus on engaged citizenship.
What do you love about your job? How does Concordia allow you to be passionate about your work?
I love being entrepreneurial in my work, exploring how to grow the program, and iterating and making it better each year while micro-experimenting and testing new ideas. There is more opportunity than there is time! I also love supporting our entrepreneurial students in their journeys and watching them succeed. They inspire me all of the time.
How does Concordia differ from other places you have worked?
The college lives and breathes its vision and mission in a way I haven’t seen at other institutions. I also find Concordia to be very thoughtful and contemplative in its approach, which I appreciate. Entrepreneurship is in the institution’s roots, and the college continues to find ways to remain relevant during times of change. The faculty and staff here are exceptional in their intellect, work ethic, loyalty, and demeanor. I enjoy working with my colleagues in the Offutt School of Business and across the campus. The culture at Concordia is very strong and one I’m proud to be a part of.
Why is a liberal arts education important?
Concordia College has a reputation for strong liberal arts programs and a commitment to inspiring its students to become responsibly engaged in the world. It emphasizes the importance of lifelong curiosity, creative and critical thinking, and problem-solving. The same is true of entrepreneurship. The core belief behind the entrepreneurial mindset is that it is our responsibility to align our interests, skills, and abilities to solve problems for other people, find valuable ways, and create value in the world. An entrepreneurial mindset incentivizes problem-finding and solving, with a connection to our communities, just like a liberal arts degree.
What do you enjoy about the Fargo-Moorhead community and in what ways are you active outside of Concordia?
I love the strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in the F-M area and how Concordia can contribute to it. Part of my role is external, meaning I attend entrepreneurial events, engage our students in external entrepreneurial opportunities, and speak at community events when invited.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I love to spend time with my family, including my dog, Marley, a mini Goldendoodle. I enjoy being outside and taking in nature, whether hiking or bike riding. I love to read books, cross-stitch, and do puzzles. I studied abroad in college for a year, which instilled in me the love of exploring new places!
Published April 2023