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Category: college

There are 3 posts published under college.

Why You Should Work at a Startup

Startup communities are cropping up all over the world. Global News called 2014 ‘The Year of Startup Communities’. Almost every day, a new accelerator program is announced. We prefer the announcements and results coming out of existing accelerators than to hear another one has been born, but still - the spirit of the entrepreneur is spreading. Since anyone with a computer and an internet connection can start a company, and learning to code is becoming cooler than ever; the growth and unwavering hype around everything startups does not look like it’s going to slow anytime soon.


If you’re reading this you might already have an interest in startups. You might not have a ‘big idea’ right now, and might not be an innovation leader yet - but have you ever considered working for a startup? Your interest doesn’t need to be as a co-founder, and you don’t need to aspire to be the next Zuck - startups need good people and people need to do work they’re passionate about. You don’t even need to necessarily have experience - fresh grads and startups are a great match.


Here’s why we think YOU should consider working for a startup:


  1. Startups need good talent arguably more than large companies do. Lets face it, large companies have enough man power to get things done while they are busy looking for more staff. They’re going to get by. But for a startup, every day missing a key skill or knowledge can be crippling.
  2. Second-to-none experience to be gained. In large companies there are teams of people working on key tasks or objectives. You won’t always get a chance to try something new. Startups need confident and ready risk-takers. The best lessons and experiences come from diving in and having a go because there’s simply no time to waste! With your contract you’re handed a lot more responsibility at startups than you might find at established companies, which leads us to number 3…
  3. Maximum impact. Being with a company from its humble beginnings means you get to see your passion and hard work make real impact over time, influencing the outcome of the team’s work. Been chipping away at your established workplace for years, but not feeling fulfilled or like you’ve made an impact? Startups are everywhere and they’re ready for your influence. Alex Lynn of Real Ventures told MTL NewTech last month that people working for startups benefit from seeing the future before it happens - meaning these people are also shaping the future.
  4. Savvy graduates need not be just a number. Large companies are full of faces. Numbers, even. Fresh grads are often lured by well-known brand names and companies with impressive history. But will you be just another number? Choose a startup and you might just skip years of waiting for promotions, waiting to be noticed and waiting to make an impact - for your moment to shine. You can step into high-level positions right away, or maybe even just something closer to the job you really want; you don’t always have to spend years working towards that if you find the right fit at a startup.
  5. Increased flexibility. Although a lot of companies are switching it up to let you work remotely, (P&G major announcement last year, Work From Home Program) many startups don’t have offices yet and working from home or the nearest cafe with WIFI can often be the norm. Plus, if your startup hooks up with a local co-op space, you’ll experience a fresh and new kind of environment. These kinds of shared spaces can spark creativity and innovation just by being surrounded by people equally as passionate from other like-minded companies doing all kinds of different and amazing things.


Busbud CEO and Co-Founder LP Maurice, a leader in the Montreal startup community thinks you should work for a startup too. “I think that startups offer some of the most exciting career opportunities right now, partly because you can learn a lot very rapidly, partly because you can play an active role defining your work environment, but mostly because of the potential to have a big direct impact on society.”.


Even the PPLCONNECT Co-Founders Jenviev Azzolin and Denzil D’Sa left a large, Fortune 500 company to begin PPLCONNECT. Jenviev shares her view on the appeal of startups;


Startups offer very meaningful experience, especially for young graduates eager to learn quickly and accelerate their career. Typically, startups have very little to no hierarchy, which means you can gain a wide-breadth of experience and exposure to complex corporate challenges, which would otherwise be reserved for more senior employees. At the end of the day, you can have a major direct impact on your team, end-users and tackle a worldwide problem.


The trending keyword here seems to be ‘impact’. Having an impact in your daily work ultimately leads to fulfilling work. And the best part? The growth of startups means that supply of ready and willing startup employees is always low. If you find a startup you’re passionate about and you’re an intelligent person smart enough to know when to take risks, then the chance to shape the future is yours for the taking.



Online But Not Connected: The Challenge MOOCs Face in the Promise of Internet Education

Online learning courses have notoriously low completion rates. An informal study by Ph.D. candidate Katy Jordan found that average completion for massive open online courses, commonly known as MOOCs, is about 7%. While MOOCs have been touted as a catalyst for change in higher education in particular, the coming revolution may have been overstated with completion rates this low.


Equality of access is at the heart of much of the hubbub surrounding MOOCs. They provide free or low-cost access to the world’s top lecturers and instructors. Therefore, they ostensibly provide world-class, college-level instruction at a steep discount. MOOC services like the courses Coursera and Udemy offer insure this by providing video lectures, texts, assignments, and projects. At the end, they offer a certification confirming completion of the course.


But MOOCs may be trying to mimic college courses too closely. A quick browse of the courses starting soon on Coursera show that courses tend to be between 6 to 12 weeks long and require an average of anywhere between 4 and 16 hours of work per week. In other words, while MOOCs may be vastly cheaper than the traditional college course, they still require heavy time commitments. These courses may just be too long or too intensive for people who want to learn a new topic as a side project or hobby. Very few courses offer the option of being broken up in smaller increments and none of the courses give credit for partially completed courses.


As they currently stand, MOOCs are not taking advantage of all that the internet has to offer. They are still being taught by the book in the age of the internet. In stark contrast with the networked nature of the internet, they only provide linear instruction, there is an all-or-nothing logic to course completion, and they deliver courses in a rigid and vertical timetable. Coursera and Udemy fail to even offer similar suggested courses, much less suggestions for continued learning if a student did complete a course — or were looking for a more advanced course on the same topic. So, yes, MOOCs are, as the name suggests, on the internet, but they fail to be of the internet.


Placing courses onto the internet potentially gives us the ability to break down their components into smaller discrete chunks and gives students the option of where to go after completing a lesson. For instance, an introductory calculus lesson can be a short lesson on how to take a simple derivative. From there, the course can give students the option to learn to take more complex derivatives, to learn how to integrate, or to learn how derivatives may be applied in other topics such as physics or economics.


Online learning gives us the opportunity to rethink how people tailor their own educations based on their needs and desires. MOOCs may still revolutionize — and democratize — education, though not necessarily in the ways people originally expected; If we would only learn from, instead of fighting, the logic of the internet.


5 Things You'll Learn From Starting A Business In College That You Won't Learn In Class

Thankfully, I was able to start my first business as a senior in high school. The opportunity to start my business so early on in life was a blessing, because I got first-hand perspective on a lot of things.


As I balanced school and business simultaneously during my college years, I quickly learned something extremely valuable. There were a lot of real-life lessons I was learning from running my business that I didn’t learn in the classroom.


In this article, I’m going to share why you should start a business in college and the 5 things you’ll learn from starting a business in college that you won’t learn in class:


1. There Is No Formula


School is all about listening to lectures and reading through textbooks to pass tests on the material. No matter how much material you read, you will never really have a precise formula on how to be successful as an entrepreneur.


The reason for that is because there is no process or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur. It takes grit, grinding and a lot of patience. You have to learn on-the-go and, most importantly, make discoveries as you apply yourself.


No matter what class you take in college, you will never know what it takes to be successful as an entrepreneur until you actually go out there and try it for yourself.


2. How To Sell


No matter what it is that you choose to do after college, you have to have the ability to sell. If you start a business, you have to sell yourself to get new customers, new employees or even new partners.


If you choose to get a job, you’re still going to have to sell. Instead of selling something, you’re going to have to sell yourself during the interviews to land a job.


Selling is probably the most crucial skill of all, but, unfortunately, college isn’t the place to learn how to do it.


3. Education Is Continuous


College does a great job of making you feel like you never have to learn another thing after getting your degree, but your education is just beginning. If you truly want to be successful, you have to forget about the hundreds of thousands of dollars you spent on your college tuition and continue learning on your own.


College will never tell you to continue pursuing an education after graduating or how to learn upon graduation. Any business owner, however, can tell you how vital learning on-the-go is to be successful as an entrepreneur.


4. No Doesn’t Always Mean No


College doesn’t tell you much on how to deal with rejection. For some reason, college is taught in such a way that they almost make you feel invincible. As long as you get your good grades, nothing can stop you and everything will go your way.


Ask a college graduate about that and they will tell you their horrific stories. Not only are you going to face rejection from the world, things also aren’t always so pretty on the other side.


However, as a business owner, you must have a lot of persistence and willingness to accept rejection. If you hear the word “NO,” that doesn’t mean you should stop. That just means you should try again in another way.


5. You Have To Do It All


College doesn’t necessarily prepare you very well to be an entrepreneur, because it doesn’t help you diversify your skills. When I started my first business, I was literally the sales guy, project manager, customer support guy, marketing guy, and the accounting guy.


I had five roles that I had to balance simultaneously. Had I gone to college, I would have only sharpened up either my marketing skills or my accounting skills while leaving me high and dry for everything else.


If you wish to be a successful entrepreneur, you must realize that you may end up having to do it all when you start your first business. College won’t prepare you for that, but you should be aware of the possibilities.