“Success in the twenty-first century depends on street smarts, not book smarts.”

– Dale J. Stephens, founder of Uncollege.org

If I had to name one big take away from this course ME2603 – it would be “Educate yourself!”. Right from the start Serdar told us that instead of asking too many questions via emails and LinkedIn we should rather put our “google skills” to use. The fact that the lecture slides were not available on Bilda, but sometimes could be found on Slideshare is a good example for that. The comprehensive but in some cases contradictory and outdated course overview information added to the need of organizing and managing ourselves instead of simply following instructions given by the teacher.

But there was also way more to it. As a substitute to a standard exam we had to engage in a lot of “outside of class” activity. This included amongst others finding and attending startup events, being active on LinkedIn and writing blog post on this very website. It was this activity which by far has taught me the most in the last two months.

“How do I even write a blog?”

– every classmate after the first lecture

By attending startup events, I became better at the art of small talking and learned how to pitch an idea to a complete stranger, as well as giving qualified feedback to others. One event which I went to was a super interesting book club meeting, a fact which lead to even more self education – before being able to attend I had to read the book “0 to 1” by the famous Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel which contained several valuable learnings for me. Thanks to a friend’s tip I soon picked up another book with the title “The education of millionaires” by Michael Ellsberg. This book stresses the importance of educating yourself outside and beyond university and definitely got me thinking. Thanks to my experience from the Entrepreneurship course I could relate to a lot of claims the author made and in return began to understand better why our teacher kept pushing us out of our comfort zone.

The same holds for the exercise of writing blog post. In order to deliver an appealing text, I first had to teach myself how to write a blog post and upload it on a wordpress page. And you never know – this could very likely be a super useful skill in the future.

As a disclaimer: I personally had profound knowledge in entrepreneurship before I started the course. Otherwise I most probably would have been able to learn even more in class. Nevertheless I am happy with my choice of taking this course and I’m absolutely certain that it will benefit my future life and career.

“Self-education is the key to upgrading your mind and your life.”

– Matt Mullenweg, Creator of WordPress.org


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