My first year of university has flown by so quickly. So quickly that I still feel like a new student, It hasn’t felt like a year, however a lot has happened since I started in September until now.
To give some context, the course I am on is BA Entrepreneurship, and the goal is learning by Doing approach. The way we learn is described in an earlier post (Click this link) and our aim is to build a team company comprising as the name suggests, as a team of now 18 people.
We started in September, rather more fresh looking than now, confident and possibly looking back, a little arrogant.
We started with the orientation which was a week introducing us into the Entrepreneurship course, and we completed a series of business challenges. The first was organising an event we didn’t know what was about and who would be arriving. The being given a day to sort it!
We however did it and did it well, and had a lot of fun while doing so too!
Our second challenge was at Mass Challenge. We were given three real start ups, who posed problems to us and we were given 24 hours to solve them. My group was given an App called ReRoo, a train line ticketing app that gets you cheaper tickets using the ticket splitting system. We were given the task of telling them how they should launch their app. We did win that one and lets just say I couldn’t see how we couldn’t win, clearly the best team but I am slightly biased!
The week ended there, and we had a quiet conclusion to reflect on the happenings of the week, how after only a week into the University, we had conducted two business challenges and networked with many business contacts and startups. This was a huge reality check about what we were getting ourselves into.
The weeks that lay ahead were ok, we were getting along rather well and everyone was happy, the group dynamic was good and we all were fine. Then came a week I can’t remember exactly when but everything changed.
We hit the chaos.
The chaos being, it was November, we had no business yet, no group structure, no formation, and no direction. Many of us were wondering what was the point of doing this degree?
This is when we Skype called Team Academy Finland, who were more advanced position to us at that point. They established they had a leader, team roles, small group cash generating projects and a vision, a goal, a direction. This was everything we were lacking. The result of this call was me being elected the first team Leader of our company, which was now named Team Future.
I set out that we needed a direction, a structure and money! Without these we have no foundation for a bigger idea in the future that we can develop. I also wanted to streamline our communication as a team, WhatsApp groups were not working, so I set up a Slack for the team and this worked well. I also wrote an agenda and set up a Thursday team company meeting for us to hunker down and talk/ work on team future.
This worked well, In January my group made their first revenue and eventually profit by selling Valentines day hampers, and the same group continued to make more money with other projects like smoothies and juices. Then at the end of February I stood down and made way for two new leaders, who were elected to create a new longer term strategy for team Future, that I didn’t agree with at first I have to admit however looking at it from our position now I can see their swift action was needed.
With the new leaders in motion, we have online social media presence, a website that I built, and we decided to create a social media management company, called Collective Media.
This helped us greatly as we started to develop a brand, build awareness, and pitch to potential clients.
We then had a change up near the end of the year that I can say was rather unexpected. We shifted, the social media company was now to be a project, not the overall business. The business Team Future is now and will always be an Incubator, so our businesses can use it to share as a community and thrive together.
The social media business also got its first potential client. We pitched the business and what we could offer and did it to a great reception, and we are now negotiating terms and what else we can offer to try and solidify the deal.
So now we look to now.
Team Future is bright. We have lost some people and there have been times where the end just didn’t seem clear. However now we have a goal, a vision, a direction, an end in sight. We are now building our own businesses, like myself with Serenity Co, so that hopefully, when we graduate, we can take them on full time and reach and aspire to our dreams of running our own businesses.
Its been a crazy first year, with many firsts academically and socially. As a person, I feel more confident, more open, more passionate about my cause, and overall a stronger person after being leader. People have annoyed me and will probably continue, I have probably also annoyed others, but thats life. Things will never be easy, when they feel easy, we are not working hard enough!
However, looking forward, I cannot wait for what the next year has in store, and Im fully ready to go into second year with my head held high, and ready to take my business to the next level.
That was my first year of University!