And so a second week has passed since you joined us at the “A matter of Course” event here at the Enterprise Zone… Or maybe you weren’t here? Fear not, I would love to tell you exactly what happened on that thoroughly enterprising Tuesday afternoon.
It was a cold winter day, and yet our hearts were warmed by the excitement and anticipation of the things to follow. It all started at 12:30, when lovely food and the first few of our guests arrived at the Zone. The chewing and chatter begun in earnest, as we were readying ourself for the event commencement. At 1 pm as we were all full of food for both thought and belly, we started our discussion on Enterprise.
First off, we divided our group into ‘Team Students” and “Team Staff’, for just a bit of friendly rivalry. We then asked our teams to give us their own definition of Enterprise. The answers were varied, but most included business, innovation, and creativity. This is neither surprising, nor wrong, but it is not exactly how we at USE would describe it.
So what is Enterprise?
It is having an idea and doing something about it, it’s making your idea happen… At uni it could be working on a group project, for which you truly need to work as a team – true collaboration. It is taking the initiative and acting on your idea, even if this is a risky one. Taking calculated risks, and learning from your success… or failure! It is being creative and innovative when confronted with an authentic problem. Now that’s Enterprise!
We then asked whether Enterprise Education is important… And if so, how should it be taught, and by whom?
All our participants agreed that true Enterprise skills were indeed important, and as such should be taught to all students, as part of their degree courses. Here our teams’ opinions varied, with some participants saying Enterprise should be taught within core modules, and some preferring the freedom of it being part of optional, or extra-curricular modules. I (being an Enterprise freak) obviously side with the first statement!
All opinions were again united in that Enterprise should not be just a bolt-on, but instead it must be relevant, and fit seamlessly within the degree module. At the same time, it is important to understand that all modules can incorporate some Enterprise skills, and that most can indeed incorporate all of them. The teams also agreed that the five Enterprise capabilities, defined above, are essential in any chosen future career.
And who should teach Enterprise; whose responsibility is it? According to our teams, it should be a coordinated effort from USE, Careers Services, the academic departments… and from the students themselves. I totally agree, take ownership of your own development! 🙂
But what do you think? Are you enterprising, would you like to be, and do YOU think it’s important? Let us know!
And remember, there are plenty of activities to get involved in at USE, plus all of them can help you on your way to an enterprising future.
Interested? Check out the University of Sheffield Enterprise Academy website for ideas on how to improve your university Enterprise experience.
Thanks to Katherine Hodgson for her amazing photos from the event.