“School and University prepare you for your life.”
– A lesson that is passed down from generation to generation. But truth only lies in what everybody thinks is right until someone proofs it wrong.
The academic experience you collected in university is nearly useless without some practical exercises.
Once you get out of university and want to start working at a big company or even start your own business, you’ll realize that it couldn’t be further from the truth. You’ll be standing there with all that theoretical knowledge on the one hand and no practical skills at all on the other side. You’ll notice that the academic experience you collected in university is nearly useless without some practical exercises. Or did terrible powerpoints in class teach you how to do Fundraising or how to build a network of Investors?
The most popular subject at German universities by far is business administration. So it should be about how to run a business, shouldn’t it? But is it the right choice if you want to start your own business or get a good job? A survey of the industry association Bitkom shows that two-thirds of German start-ups are looking for IT-Experts rather than marketing or management experts.
At another survey of the magazine “WirtschaftsWoche Online” and the opinion research institute “Civey”, 6,000 people were asked which course of study they see the most in demand on the labor market in the future. 64% see engineers and computer scientists on top. Only 7% think economists will have the best chances.
Students have to adapt their skills to the new age!
Another threat for the studies of business administration is Artificial Intelligence. More and more jobs are taken over by machines. Jörg Rocholl, president of the private Business School ESMT in Berlin, is warning his students that “the digitization is shaking up the job profile.” He has a clear message: students have to adapt their skills to the new age.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, business administration is the most studied subject in Germany. About 230,000 students choose a business administration study every year. So between those thousands of students, you’re just one among many. All you are is a matriculation number, aren’t you? Probably something like “PD 1718559”.
That’s why business data processing specialist Peter Fettke advises students to stand out from the crowd early during their studies by acquiring some practical skills.
How can you stand out from the crowd?
So if all of this is true, how can you stand out from the crowd? What can you do to be more than just “PD 1718559”?
The answer is proactivity and creativity. I’m not saying you should get a brush, a canvas and start drawing like Picasso.
Creativity can be defined in many different ways.
Robert E. Franken defines it as “the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.”
But again, that’s a theoretical definition. So how do you put it into practice?
Here are 5 Ways to improve your practical skills, boost your creativity and most importantly become irreplaceable. Because creativity and proactivity are things that can’t be done by AI.
1. “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
As Steve Jobs advised to the students of Stanford University, you should always keep your ambition and not be afraid to pursue new or crazy ideas even if no one in your environment believes in them. “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Rob Siltanen
2. Put your finger on the hot stove.
That’s how kids learn what works and what doesn’t.
If they are not afraid, why should you be?
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
As Henry Ford once said.
Even Though failure should never be the goal, it is something you should not be afraid of. It is about trying things and practically learning how things work – or don’t work. Corporate culture is changing, and failure is being accepted a chance. So take your chance.
3. Be open to new things
It is that simple. All you have to do is keep your eyes open for new ideas and try them out. Listen to many different opinions and points of view. Meet new people and learn about their stories and cultures. Teach yourself things you always wanted to. This will automatically make you more interesting for other people. And you’ll quickly stand out.
4. Go with your gut
An A.I. is supposed to be intelligent. Like a brain. But what about the good old gut instinct? Or “Bauchgefühl” in German. This is something that makes us human and will persist even at the highest managing levels. Don’t get me wrong. The analytical skills these days and how you can quantify nearly everything is crucial. It is essential for every sustainable business. But linking emotional experiences with objective facts is a skill only humans learn while growing up.
5. Challenge yourself.
If you follow the first four steps, you’ll notice that all you keep doing is pursuing the next challenge without being aware of it. And this is the kind of intrinsic motivation you want. The less time you spend actively looking for motivation, the more time you have to achieve new things. And once you get this rolling, it will not stop. You will see how the previous steps keep synergizing.
Standing out is more important than ever. The times in which humans used to be your only competitors after your studies are coming to an end. Employers want to see originality, creativity, pioneering spirit, practical knowledge and since recently: a digital mindset.
#jointhedialogue and experience new things. Get to know new people, broaden your perspectives and start a new path!