What Students Can Learn from Entrepreneurs

How a little bit of wonder can help you to stay motivated.

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Being a student can sometimes be truly exhausting, especially when you’re one with high ambitions. Although wanting to make it to the top is a motivator, endless hours of studying mathematics and accounting for sure is not. The real challenge, however, is not to get a good grade on every exam until receiving a university degree, but to stay motivated along the way. 

In the years at university, I’ve found it particularly hard to stay motivated and to focus on my goals whilst sitting in the lecture hall with hundreds of other stressed-out students. But this year I was really lucky. Looking through the course catalogue to find another course to fill my semester with, I stumbled upon a weird title hidden between the typical business courses: “The Spirit of Entrepreneurship”. At first, I was not even sure if this was an actual course until I read the description. “This seminar aims to analyze the spirit of entrepreneurship from different perspectives.” A short one, but intriguing. The courses I had taken so far tended to be rather dry and filled with theoretical concepts, so I thought I would give this course a try.

The first meeting of the seminar was absolutely not what I thought it would be. Our task was to write a fifteen-page paper on a particularly successful entrepreneur and analyze their personal traits based on their biography. More importantly, we needed to find out which traits, experiences and attitudes might have led them to become successful. What sounded like studying a famous person’s Wikipedia entry at first, turned out to be a truly eye-opening and insightful experience. As I was assigned to write about Arianna Huffington, I started to read her book “Thrive” and looked up every newspaper article and interview I could find. Being reminded by Arianna Huffington’s words that “every successful entrepreneur has to face failures and weaknesses before achieving a goal” is a charming way to bring new motivation and energy into a student’s mind like mine. I have found that the pure will to accomplish something and the courage to aim at greatness can move mountains. Moreover, this was exactly what I needed to realize to find new motivation for my studies: if it was one thing that distinguished successful entrepreneurs like Arianna Huffington from the rest of the world, it would be their courage and self-confidence. 

Following the lead of the entrepreneurial spirit, I tackled the challenge of staying motivated during my studies to reach my own goals in the future. Looking back on this seminar, I wish there could be more courses like this at university to remind students why they are actually there and motivate them to give their best in every possible way. “The Spirit of Entrepreneurship” was a great way to teach this.

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