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Last summer we wrote about Student Talks, a non-profit initiative organizing events aiming to motivate student(s) (entrepreneurs) to reach their full potential. On December 8th, their second event in the Netherlands took place in the VU. The theme of this event, that was organized together with student association Aureus, was “how to kickstart your future”. About 80 students and recent graduates gathered in a college room to be inspired by the speeches of five young speakers.
Ambitions at Student Talks
Many students are ambitious, enterprising, and full of great ideas. However, after graduating it is not always easy to find a suitable job to further develop those ideas. In contrast, it is easy to get lost in the busy-ness of daily life, or to get stuck in a job that doesn’t bring you where you wish to be. How do you make yourself visible between so many others, and how can you stay focused on what you wish to achieve? Host this afternoon was Student Talks’ Daniel Breitweiser, who also helped organizing the event.
If there were students who still didn’t believe in the power of positive thinking, they may be convinced after hearing the lecture of media psychologist Mitchel Wubben. Inspired by Tony Robbins, he emphasized the importance of focusing on the things you want to achieve, instead of paying attention to failures. Because, “where focus goes, energy flows”. But it is not enough to just think about it, and keep the idea in your mind. You have to feel it, and therefore Wubben prompted the students to make the first step: stand up and say it out loud.
However, sometimes showing your talents is more effective than talking about it. Tara Velis, educated in digital innovation and growth hacking, spoke about the use of online channels and social media to brand yourself. That’s not only hiding your party pictures on your public profiles, but it is especially about showing personal activities that you want other people to see. If you don’t know your personal brand yet, Velis recommends to be active, and try out many different things to see what gives you energy. In her own search, the practice of mindfulness was very helpful too.
Challenges in order to grow
In order to kickstart your future, would you rather reach for the stars and miss, or reach low and hit? David Hwan, a student in Philosophy and Tax Economics, believes that you need challenges in order to get the best out of yourself. He shared his struggles and how they helped him get where he is now. After helping refugees in his home country Indonesia, he initiated Refugees Forward, an organization that provides programs for refugees who want to start their own business but lack the right network to get started.
Sometimes it takes only a bit of curiosity to get where you want to be. Anne Hospers looked energetic when she entered the stage to talk about her hobby: networking. Her job as Coordinator Innovator didn’t exist before she started an awkward conversation with a stranger at a music concert. She turned out to have the skills that he was looking for and now she works for his company as a freelancer. Hospers believes that curiosity can lead to unexpected possibilities, so if you have nothing to lose, why don’t you just try it?
Our mindset is the key
In the closing lecture, Bhupinder Singh, who has various businesses in multiple sectors, explained how we can use entrepreneurship as a tool for freedom. According to Singh, it is all about having the right mindset. We tend to forget that values such as money are realities that humans created, and do not exist outside the human mind. That means we can influence a faster growth within the “capitalist engine” with the right (positive) mindset. His talk was the most philosophical, and would probably have been more absorbed by the audience had it been the first talk.
Leaving our comfort zones
The event closed with an informal network session. After hearing a speech about the fun of networking, the students now had the opportunity to leave their comfort zone and experience it themselves. Not everyone enjoyed networking as much as Anne does, so, fortunately, there were also plenty of drinks and some snacks.