uSchool Mentorship

uSchool is an educational program for kids between the age of 16–18, with one simple goal: teach them to make a living from what they love to do. We talk about an entrepreneurial club, where the guys can launch their first startup, which they will try and turn into a profitable enterprise. The whole program is around 6 months long and revolves around Design Thinking methods.

Last month I joined the ‘Robotics, AI & Games’ club as a mentor for a weekend to help them with the ideation process. My task was to facilitate the thinking process of the guys with running a few exercises, like validating their idea or creating a business model canvas. Besides meeting great people and hearing some cool ideas, I’ve came to a very important realisation.

Learning Design Thinking and entrepreneurial skills at a young age is priceless. I come from Hungary where starting your own business is considered as a huge risk for many in my generation. Let’s just say we are rather pessimistic about this. This makes me sad for many reasons. How many people end up in Shared Service Centers without trying to profit on their big idea? How many multinational companies exploit brilliant employees that didn’t have the courage to stand on their own feet? I know this sounds idealistic, but I am convinced that programs like uSchool are a great way to turn this around. Starting your career with all this knowledge is a huge plus.

After an exhausting two days, I asked the kids what’s their takeaway. They said it’s amazing how fast ideas are dismissed, change and evolve, but they didn’t seem unhappy about this. So I guess that’s what most important: get used to uncertainty and see opportunities instead of difficulties in turbulent times.