Learn from Professionals rather than Professors

Let me start telling you my own findings from my experiences while I was still at college.

We, -only 6 lucky of us,- had this amazing place called: ‘BUTECH’ (Bahcesehir University Technology Development Centre) to work as interns so we could experience real life engineering problems. This way we got to learn practical things from professionals rather than from professors. BUTECH created many opportunities for us. We were treated like ‘real-engineers’ in front of potential customers, and took part in real problems, challenged to solve hard real-life issues with the professionals in the crew. We were assigned serious research tasks to assist them and be part of the solution and so forth.

There were many enthusiast students willing to work in BUTECH, however the quota was full and we were a good team. So, all the rest were gathered under Mechatronics Club of the BAU in order to convert their theoretical learnings into real practice. Especially national robotics competitions were great opportunities serving this purpose. The club members were even seeing us as rivals in competitions, although we were under the same roof. Having said that, BUTECH intern team was a real success story. In every competition we were winning at least 2 prizes.

Getting close to graduation, 5 out of 6 interns of BUTECH became entrepreneurs and in 2011, BUTECH spinned-off 3 companies founded by those 5 interns. We all won a competitive government funding the same year.

Anyhow, BUTECH couldn’t keep up the same passion after our team was graduated. Then, I as a young and inexperienced entrepreneur we were struggling with many other responsibilities of owning an engineering startup. I could easily see the missing qualification for enthusiastic young candidate-engineers such like me and my co-founder and close-friend Kaan Alper. Even “the great BUTECH intern team” had too many difficulties mainly caused by lack of experience and of course mentorship. If this is the case, what could the passionate Mechatronics Club members - with even close to zero experience - do in such real-life conditions? There must be a way to progressively train every student and prepare them for all of such responsibilities and equip them with variety of experiences.

We have learned many great things from professionals in technical sense thanks to BUTECH and experienced something about business too. Technical infrastructure that we practiced was indeed amazing! We were dealing with advanced technological issues; yet we were missing the business and design approach that I realised after years. So; why don’t we create a system that can train people in professional way with professionals rather than in class teaching led by professors?

This is the vital question that drove me to create SPARKGO; which I will be explaining details in the next post of this fresh blog of mine.