Category Archives: Team Stories

End of the "EVO Triangle"

Adventure Sundays

Any of you who’ve met me will know I’ve got the most Home Counties Accent, ever. This affords me a few funny moments, especially during time I’ve spent in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In fact just anywhere outside of the Home Counties.

I’ve been in Launceston in Cornwall and people have asked if I’m from there. In Dundee people thought I was from Oxford, and in Wales, pretty much everyone thinks I’m from London. In Belfast people thought I was from Edinburgh. I think the best one was in Dundee: an international student on my course told me my accent was “really difficult to understand compared to [my friend from] Yorkshire”. I’m baffled. But it always reminds me that not one section of the UK (or the world) are the same and we can always learn more about somewhere new.

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An Enterprising Culture

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

John F. Kennedy

The majority of us will bypass, or perhaps never thought of the idea of being self-employed or “rocking the boat” within an organisation. Change is risky, uncertain and unpredictable – it takes us out of our comfort zone and into the realms of instability. We all like to know where our mortgage payments and dinner will come from – anything for an easy life. Inspiring change, innovation and enterprise is not any easy thing to do – you often need to believe in the opportunity and really want to take that leap.

A culture of enterprise and innovation does not mean taking risks; it does not mean leaping in head-first and making sweeping decisions. It instead often means finding a way to have your cake, eat it and be paid for it (to extend a metaphor). Enterprising cultures inspire others to think differently, but to also take steps to do something about it. It’s about making an environment of change and flux acceptable.

We’re here to help you make that start toward change and help develop an enterprise culture at Cardiff University. But we cannot do it without you.

Get in touch to find out how you can help us spread the word, or if you would like to be an Enterprise Champion for your College or Academic School.

What was their problem? – Student voices

This post seeks to build upon from my previous blog post entitled ‘What is your problem?‘ in which I highlighted the practices of simulation and problem based learning as a means of introducing and progressing a personal understanding of the role and value of enterprise skills amongst students across a range of disciplines at Cardiff University. A key benefit of the approaches used is their ability to evoke quite individualised responses to the discipline contextualised enterprise learning experiences in which students engage. In doing so, deeper levels of personal insight and comprehension are engendered by learners – exactly the type of self awareness, industry specific acumen and practical mindfulness expected of an enterprise and employability aware graduate making the transition from higher education to a professional career path.

But don’t take my word for it. What follows are extracts from reflective pieces written by students from engineering and physical science disciplines who took part:

“At the time of commencing the  module, I was confused as to the relevance that enterprise and commercial awareness had to my degree . . . It soon became apparent that in the post-degree economic working environment, a knowledge and awareness of commercialisation would stand me in good stead for any career path I choose to follow.”

“A section of the course I found most interesting was the research on patents. . . In reference to the pharmaceutical industry in particular, I found how the law limits or prevents certain patents interesting, because as a result, some companies mark up prices to retain profits. This I found especially interesting as it is relevant to my degree. The pharmaceutical industry employs a high number of graduates and so such knowledge will be beneficial to me, but more so that I identified this as an area where I may actually want to seek further employment.”

“Having analysed my personal learning outcomes of these sessions I now feel I have significantly developed my skills in enterprise and improved my understanding of of business and entrepreneurship as a whole. Most importantly I have learned their relevance to my professional career and therefore developed an ambition to further improve and develop this skill set in preparation for the challenges I will face in my professional career. This understanding will be essential to me in professional life and I am not yet entirely confident about many aspects of it, I will therefore need to continue to put into practice what I have learned to develop these areas further.”

“As a science student I enjoy applying scientific principles of logic and analysis and was pleased to find similar principles in the process of a feasibility study, in that specific criteria, such as viable market, production and distribution cost are applied to a concept to establish its commercial viability.”

“I now have a basic grasp of what I need to set myself up as a self-employed worker or commercialise an idea of my own, alone or as part of a group. In this way my job prospects have improved and I am no longer constrained to work the job roles made available by employers but instead have the knowledge to go about creating my own.”

“I think commercial awareness is a key requirement in any professional career as ultimately any business is supplying a product to a customer. Previous to the report, I may have skimmed over this; thinking everyone has natural ‘commercial awareness’, where in reality what arose from the class is that I did not have much understanding on this topic . . . On this aspect I have significantly improved my understanding of the vastness of business entrepreneurship.”

“I now possess a better understanding of the process of commercialising an idea and have developed an understanding of Intellectual Property, marketing techniques as well as general business practices. I also have a more thorough understanding of the type of companies that operate within the UK and can appreciate how the size of the business can affect the structure of it. Whilst obtaining commercial skills during the module, it has also improved some of the softer skills that are needed in industry such as self-confidence and communication skills.”

“One aspect of constructing the feasibility report I found most beneficial for me was working in a pair. At first I did not like the idea of it, especially as we had different ideas on what the product would be. I had a plan of what I would do and wanted to just pursue my plans. While it wasn’t the most enjoyable experience, as I eventually had to go with my partners’ idea, in the end it turned out that there was far more to write about, and that as a project it was a better idea. . . Not only did I get higher marks but I learnt how to work better in a team. . . I can now fully appreciate the benefit of working in a functioning team as you get the best ideas from more than one person which eventually makes the whole project better. . .This is an extremely useful experience for me as it has shown me how to come across better in assessment days and in an actual workplace environment, where cooperative and functioning teamwork will be essential.”

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We’re “kind of a Big Deal” in Japan

This evening is the University’s first ever Powered By PechaKucha event. We have four entrepreneurial people from across Cardiff delivering 20 slides in five minutes, with networking in between each of the speakers, with nibble and refreshments to keep everyone vitalised.

What makes a PechaKucha style presentation different to a “bogo” sit and listen to me lecture?

It’s rapid. Fast-paced. Full of energy. Engaging.

It’s not death by Powerpoint.

Come and listen to four of Cardiff’s most engergies entrepreneurs this evening and see what it’s all about.
http://cardiffunie.eventbrite.co.uk/

Adventure and Enterprise

 

 

Pony Express trail, Austin.

Man has been to the moon, round the world, made fire, wheels, microscopic devices, folded large lumps of metal into things calls “aeroplanes” that fly, climbed the highest peaks in the world and discovered that strapping bits of wood to ones’ feet and essentially slipping down a mountain very fast was fun! Don’t get me started on bungee jumping or zorbing.

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18 words

I’ve just spent the last 60 minutes writing a stimulating, but lengthy, blog post around the intellectual, emotional and social skills we need to drive the UK out of this challenging economic environment.

I used 878 words, recalled 4 websites, 2 referenced papers and 1 book. My final statement amounted to just 18 words. 3 minutes ago I decided to delete 860 words to leave you with just the final 18.

….When things are uncertain we need an entrepreneurial response.  When things are certain a managerial response will do. 

What is your problem?

Dear reader, whether you are student or staff . . . would you like the opportunity to think creatively, form a company, manage a project, construct business strategy, market your brainchild and ultimately present an (unfortunately simulated) invoice to Cardiff University for your time spent in achieving all this?

If so I have only one question I would like to pose to you: What is your problem?

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