As a recent graduate and current post-graduate student I have first-hand experience of how dated the current education system is. Attending a lecture is about as engaging as listening to Siri read my lecture slides, whilst the teachings feel antiquated and cumbersome.
The harsh reality is that although a lot of the learning objectives are required in order to be accredited towards official bachelor degrees, overall students tend to take on assessment items in a tick and flick manner, looking for their “piece of paper” rather than taking the time to logically think and research the best way to approach and tackle the problem at hand…. I must admit I am guilty of this as well… especially whilst completing my undergraduate degree. Fast forward a couple of years and my thoughts on university and tertiary education has drastically changed.
Firstly, after completing my undergraduate degree and obtaining a graduate position in an SMB I soon realised that it was a lot more difficult to network with the influential people that I aspire to be and also finding the time to do this was very difficult. Not to mention I was not trained for and completely unprepared to be put in charge of rebuilding the whole accounts system whilst running the day-day accounts operations of the company. I made the choice to return to university and complete my post-graduate in Information Technology, but this time it would be different.
Semester one, I co-founded the Griffith University Start-up Entrepreneurs Club and pursued an agenda to increase innovation and my local network so that our members can grow and learn from the local eco-system, I have been an active volunteer for the Student Guild and involved in helping with the operations of events such as O-week, am employed as a student ambassador for both departments of undergraduate and non-school leavers admissions for Griffith directly, applied for the mentee program through Griffith and have been paired with a great mentor that is based in south-east asia, won the GCAP Masters by Coursework award for semester 2 2016, currently in the finals for the Gold Coast Young Entrepreneurs awards and also the Australia’s Top 100 Future Leaders awards for innovation, formed strong relationships with local industry mentors, investors and universities and currently in the process of developing a first of its kind cross-discipline work integrated learning course with the aim of launching for semester 1, 2017 at Griffith.
Now I know that was a mouthful and looked like blatant self-promotion, however remember that I said this time would be different. This time I have taken every opportunity that I possibly could, unlike my undergraduate degree where I had the tick and flick mentality of targeting my marking criteria, getting the study done and going off to work and having fun. There are tons of events and activities that are run by the university and local associations that usually have poor attendance but are fully funded and provide a great opportunity to meet the local people who you may well be doing business with in the future, despite using the issue of poor promotion of these events (topic for another article) as an excuse not to attend, I never really appreciated the opportunity until I finished university and experienced the real world.
After completing my undergraduate I could count the amount of extra-curriculum activity on one hand and my integration with students from schools outside my study zone was slim to none. Now on the other hand, I have to keep a log of the events and activities that I have been involved in, internship and collaboration opportunities that I have been offered and how rewarding and fulfilled all of this makes me feel.
Myself along with some of my pro-active professors and local stakeholders are really hoping to positively impact the way we, as students are taught at university and to reignite the innovation and entrepreneurship knowledge as we complete our education…. WATCH THIS SPACE!
Until then, I urge all of the current students, academics, alumni, university administrators, businesses and mentors to get involved and encourage collaboration and mentorship amongst one another. Students I can assure you that the majority of these people are more than willing to extend a hand and take the time to talk to you and industry people I can assure you that a lot of the students are afraid to approach you in fear that they will come off looking stupid or have nothing valid to talk about.
If you are a current student and think that just graduating with high grades will make you a success, let me assure you that you are mistaken. DON’T WASTE ANY MORE TIME AT UNI, use this time to connect and network with as many people as possible, it is not as easy to approach someone once you have graduated and they are less likely to be as open and ready to take the time to talk.
Griffith University Start-up Entrepreneurs Club (GUSUE) operates club meetings designed at fostering innovation and collaboration. If you are interested in getting involved as a member, mentor or academic please message me and don’t forget to like the page to stay up to date with events! – https://www.facebook.com/GUSUEGC
Originally published on 27