18 November 2013 - 10:57 am

Stepping forward is a challenge

National Tree Week. World Hello Day. National Freelancers Day (yes, this is a thing). These are all wonderfully barmy things that are being celebrated across our country this month. Amongst the celebrating of trees, terms of endearments and freelancers (still a thing), there’s one week in particular that is actually not at all barmy and one we at USE think is pretty worthy of a spot on our National Calendar. It’s Global Entrepreneurship Week this week, so wheel out the party poppers, Kool & The Gang and the cucumber sandwiches and get celebrating.

Okay, so chances are you probably don’t share my enthusiasm for this week, nor the 1980’s seminal classic (seriously though – what a song) but I think you should. It’s a week you can find out more about here, but it’s basically a way of getting young people involved in enterprise, which is of course never a bad thing. This year’s theme is really interesting and when presented with this task of writing about it, I got a bit stumped. This year’s theme asks us to think about (and plan) all the ways we’ve taken a step forward or are indeed, ‘Taking A Step Forward’. Sure, I’ve done quite a bit in the past year, but what really counts as taking step forward?

Rob holding up a poster saying he is taking a step forward by challenging himself.

Clearly my handwriting needs to take a ‘step forward’.

But then I thought about it a bit more. I have done a lot this year. I only need to think back to this time last year (and courtesy of the app Timehop, I can now also cringe at what I was updating my social networks with too) and realise my days consisted of going to the odd lecture, coming home, playing Call of Duty with my housemates and doing the occasional bar shift at the Students Union. Now I can’t even contemplate buying the new Call of Duty (*sadface*) cause a) I’m broke, but more importantly b) I don’t have the time. Personally, I think the way that I’ve pushed myself forward is a change in my attitude and a drive to challenge myself. Because as the revered and celebrated avant-garde poet Drake (…) would say, ‘YOLO’, right?

Earlier this year I went to Nigeria with Enactus Sheffield, a student-led social enterprise company that has completely changed my outlook on life. I don’t think I’ll ever forget my Nigerian experience, it is genuinely one of my most proudest achievements (hence why I think I mention it at least once a blog post) and it was an eye-opening eleven days. Back at home, directing and project leading a social enterprise whilst contributing towards strategy to a company that has a revenue of £42,000 isn’t exactly without it’s challenges either, especially when viewed in tandem with that little thing called a degree. I can’t really put my finger on when I made the mental change, but I now challenge myself everyday, push myself to get things done and step forward, all whilst trying to maintain some semblance of a normal student life.

So Global Entrepreneurship Week, you asked me to think about how I’m taking a step forward and there’s your answer. I challenge myself everyday, and let’s be honest, when has progress ever been made without a challenge preceding it? So, enjoy Global Entrepreneurship Week and your cucumber sandwiches and ask yourself, how are you taking a step forward?


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  • About the author

    Rob Ryan

    Rob Ryan

    Hello! I'm a third year English Language and Linguistics student and I'm the Marketing Intern this year at USE. If there is a part of my life that isn't imbued with a form of enterprise, mark my words, it soon will be. When I'm not in the Enterprise Zone, I spend the rest of my 'free' time at Enactus Sheffield, S10 Gym, or occasionally, doing my actual degree. I might even squeeze some TV or a night out somewhere if I'm lucky. Thanks for reading!