- Entrepreneurial education can inspire students to be more – think creatively, be innovative, dream bigger. It can help fill the gaps in our traditional education system.
A young man from a small town in Odisha was so conscious of his Odiya accent that he put on a heavy western lilt every time he spoke in English. Job interviews induced severe anxiety and fears. It’s common to (falsely) equate good communication skills with fluency in English. Understandably, those who are not very confident about their eloquence in the language often struggle in professional settings.
“We did not tell him what he was doing wrong. Instead, we told him what was going right. We pointed out that his sentence construction was good, and he was articulate, even if his delivery was slightly off. We showed him examples of world leaders who have accents and made him comfortable with his own,” says Rakesh Godhwani, Founder and CEO of the School of Meaningful Experiences (SoME), an education startup based in Bengaluru.
It was just a matter of time before the young man overcame his fear of facing job interviews. “Soon, he got admission for MBA at a prestigious university and a great job offer!” informs Godhwani, an entrepreneur driven by a deep desire to transform education in India based on his unique ‘Six C’ model.
At SoME, the ‘Six Cs’ philosophy empowers learners with key skills – namely Communication, Confidence, Collaboration, Curiosity, Competence and Creativity. Godhwani calls them the backbone of entrepreneurial skill sets. “Good communicators are not always born with innate skills. However, if you are willing to invest the time and energy, you can hone these skills wonderfully,” he says.
When educational institutes merely train students to find a job and get a stable income, the sole goal, Godhwani contends, for most students is to make sure that they are not fired. “While they may be competent professionals, they seldom have the drive to thrive. In that sense, entrepreneurial education can inspire students to be more – think creatively, be innovative, dream bigger. It can help fill the gaps in our traditional education system,” maintains the educator who also teaches at IIM Bangalore, IIM Udaipur and Ahmedabad University as an adjunct faculty.
Without losing heart and the will to succeed, dealing with failure is a critical aspect of success and entrepreneurship. At SoME, the courses are designed to empower learners to adopt critical thinking and a growth mindset, identify innovative ways to find solutions, create an impact by way of value addition, and be fearless in the pursuit of excellence.
Godhwani finds the obsession with unicorns in India rather alarming in terms of current trends. “Students who lack certain skills or clear ambitions aspire to become entrepreneurs because they want to be the founder of a unicorn! This sets the wrong precedent for the younger generation,” he says.
While entrepreneurial education can help fix specific gaps in our education system, looking at it as the ultimate solution to all problems would be a mistake. “We need to embrace the learnings from sports, music, dance, environmental studies, and interdisciplinary modules to groom students holistically,” insists Godhwani.
When he started SoME in 2018, Godhwani was sure that the courses couldn’t follow a cookie-cutter model. He made a conscious decision to offer various programmes that cater to different age groups and address specific challenges faced by learners.
“Every learner has a unique personality, and at SoME, we provide personalized training that aids their holistic growth – personally, professionally, mentally and emotionally,” says the IIM Bangalore alumnus. “We don’t criticize our learners but believe in constructive feedback. We empower them to realize their core strengths and improve on them. Each learner is not only encouraged to play to their strengths, but also understand and work on their weaknesses, and learn new skills,” he explains.
Incidentally, faculty members are not called teachers. They are ‘Guides’ who inspire learners to be a better version of themselves by enabling them to improve their human skills, thereby becoming more robust and more competent professionals. They ensure that learning is fun, with the learner being an equal participant in the process.
When one of the learners at SoME – who was up for a promotion – recently asked for one-on-one coaching to help present themselves confidently to their company’s leadership, the ‘Guide’ was at their service. “With proper guidance, training and effort, they bagged the top job they aspired for,” says the communications expert.
“Our courses also contain industry-specific case studies and thought-provoking materials that encourage critical thinking among our learners, enabling them to become confident problem solvers,” says the entrepreneur, who believes that personality building is a lifelong process.
Disclaimer: This is a company release. No HT journalist is involved in creation of this content.
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