All Posts Tagged With: "entrepreneur"
Most aren’t confident about finding jobs after graduation
The Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) says the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well among young Canadians.
According to the bank, almost half of Canadian post-secondary students surveyed — 46 per cent — said they see themselves starting a business after graduation.
BMO said that some see their planned new business as a primary source of income while others see it as a secondary source.
The findings came out of a survey conducted by Pollara, which asked Canadian post-secondary students about career prospects and their aspirations to own their own business.
The results found less than a third of those surveyed — just 29 per cent — were very confident they could find a job in their own field after graduation.
Ryerson supports startups with Digital Media Zone
Phil Jacobson thought getting a business degree would help open doors on Bay Street.
He didn’t expect it would also help him become a big wig on Main Street.
“I figured, out of all the undergrad possibilities that were out there, a business degree would position me as the most well-rounded coming out of school,” said the 22-year-old president and co-founder of mobile app PumpUp.
“So I could either start something or get a great job and just have those good skills.”
After graduating last summer from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., Jacobson decided that his dream wasn’t to get poached by a big financial firm. Instead, he wanted to continue working for himself.
And he’s not alone.
Today entrepreneurial grads like him find plenty of help
Jordan Smith was desperate. It was July 2009 and he was unemployed and struggling. A recent graduate, his business degree from Memorial University was proving to be poor bait for potential employers. To top it off, it was mid-recession.
“I couldn’t find a job,” he recalled. “Nobody was hiring. If anything they were laying people off.”
So the 23-year-old devised a plan. He printed off a stack of resumes and constructed a large sign from a piece of a refrigerator box. It read: “NEW GRAD. NEED JOB.”
Six programs for ambitious undergrads
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings—on sale now. Story by Sandy Farran.
It’s the stuff of dreams: in early 2009, University of Waterloo engineering student Ted Livingston set out to design an instant messaging app while taking part in Waterloo’s VeloCity Residence program, an intense four-month incubator for student start-ups. The program provided Livingston with regular access to an entrepreneur-in-residence, use of the latest technology, a collaborative work space, exposure to community mentors and the support of like-minded peers.
The entrepreneurial skills that Livingston acquired while in the VeloCity program propelled his instant-messaging app from the idea phase, in early 2009, to a downloadable app in the fall of 2010. Since then, four million users have downloaded the free technology (called Kik Messenger), investors have come knocking, and Livingston has donated $1 million to his alma mater to help other student entrepreneurs.
How Baba Brinkman is teaching M.B.A.s
From the Maclean’s Rethink Issue. Story by Angelina Chapin.
It’s a Sunday night in Manhattan, and the only place in the world where 40 white people have their fists in the air chanting “I’m a African.” Their ringleader is performer Baba Brinkman: a tall, gangly man who is explaining to his audience in the off-Broadway theatre how the theory of evolution is captured in the lyrics of New York City-based hip-hop duo Dead Prez.
Brinkman’s riff on their song, which argues that until 60,000 years ago Homo sapiens all lived in Africa, is a part of his rap guide to evolution—the second in a series of educational rap guides he’s produced. The songs unpack such Darwinian principles as natural and sexual selection using the analogy of the rap industry: just as certain organisms are selected to survive in nature based on favourable qualities, certain rappers are selected by their audience to succeed based on talent.
Grads will be paid to work in poor cities
A new non-profit organization called Venture for America will give bright university graduates a crash course in entrepreneurship — if they’re willing to move to a town with a struggling economy.
The idea is to help graduates learn about entrepreneurship, while helping impoverished cities like New Orleans, Providence, R.I., and Detroit to get back on their feet.
After all, business graduates don’t usually move to such economically depressed areas. In that sense, Venture for America is modeled after Teach for America, the highly-successful organization that pays new teachers to move to places where they wouldn’t otherwise move, helping to fight poverty.
VFA will pay its fellows a modest salary of $32,000 to $38,000 per year for two years.
The startups will get free workers. The workers will get to see a company grow from the ground up.
“These fellows are going to end up in the midst of a really exciting ecosystem and they’re all going to have access to all the entrepreneurs in the region,” Andrew Yang, founder and president, told Fast Company. Some graduates will find success in their new towns and stay permanently, he said.
And one of those grads will get $100,000 at the end of two years to start a business of their own.
But competition is tough. Yang expects 5,000 applicants for the first 50 placements in September.
Would you want your heart surgeon to be a ‘creative entrepreneur’?
Can a 4.0 GPA be a bad thing? A guest lecturer in one of my courses thinks so. In a lecture about “Mistakaphobia,” he argued that part of life–and therefore a part of being a university student–is making mistakes and growing from your experiences, taking risks and learning how to live in the real world. Perfection isn’t something you should strive for, because without mistakes you can’t learn anything. Instead of aiming for that 4.0 GPA, university students should accept mistakes as “opportunities.” It’s all part of a “creative entrepreneur” mentality.
I don’t have a 4.0 GPA, but it’s not for a lack of trying. And although I don’t know anyone who would disagree with the idea that making mistakes and taking risks are all part of living in the real world, as someone who’s planning on applying to med school next year, I need the highest marks possible if I want any hope of actually making it in. I’m sure anyone else who’s getting ready to apply to graduate school or professional school feels the same way. The problem is, there are plenty of applicants with 3.8+ GPA’s who aren’t nerdy little hermits with underdeveloped social skills and a lack of creativity. Out of the thousands of people applying to med school every year, plenty of them have high marks, but I don’t assume a correlation between high marks and low levels of “creativity.”
In the tutorial that took place after the lecture, where students and TAs were able to discuss the ideas with each other, I found it interesting that a lot of people seemed to think it had to be one way or the other: embracing a 4.0 GPA is somehow a rejection of the arts, and it’s only smug science students who get high grades. Discipline and a work ethic shouldn’t be rewarded–they should be stigmatized. If you have anything higher than a 2.8 GPA, you’re not creative or intellectual. You’re afraid to take risks and live in the real world–a robot who’s just following instructions. Part of a flock of sheep.
Yeah, sitting in that tutorial, I felt like I was in enemy territory. It was very uncomfortable. Kind of like if you were sitting in the middle of a crowded cafeteria and suddenly, everyone started declaring Holy Allegiance to the Underground Mole King, and all traitors should be TORTURED AND MUTILATED AND CHEESE GRATED TO DEATH. It was one of those, “I wish I had a jet pack” kind of moments.
I also found it interesting that some of the students also had obvious contempt for the sciences, and seemed to think that all science students are disrespectful of the arts. Like we all get together in Nerd Conferences and make fun of arts students behind their backs, and say things like, “How can a course in philosophy lead to a viable career? If a textbook doesn’t contain at least a couple equations and words like ‘entropy,’ it’s a joke.” At least, I know none of my friends in the biomedical sciences think that way.
Not to mention, med schools are increasingly embracing non-traditional backgrounds. More and more schools are dropping science prerequisites and MCAT requirements. And every med school across Canada looks at more than just marks. Extracurricular activities, life experience and even essay-writing skills are often evaluated, and although the exact weighting formula varies depending on the school, all of these non-academic criteria are important. Of course, it’s wrong to think that a doctor with a background in the arts would automatically be more creative, innovative and people-oriented than someone from the sciences. Just like it would be wrong to assume that someone with a science background is automatically harder working and more disciplined.
The point is, it doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other. In a field like medicine, the ‘entrepreneur’ mentality is definitely a valuable asset. After all, lots of scientific discoveries were mistakes to begin with. And new, innovative surgical techniques are the result of experimentation. But I’m sure those medical researchers and surgeons had high GPAs.
At least I feel better about my physics and organic chemistry marks now. Apparently I can make a political stance out of it. Any low marks I’ve ever gotten were a deliberate choice. I was learning how to be an entrepreneur.
Mind you, if I was having open heart surgery, I wouldn’t want my surgeon to be a “creative entrepreneur.” I’d want them to be a perfectionist who had a 4.0 GPA. Someone who is afraid to make mistakes.