Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow. Anthony J. D’Angelo
When I was 21, I visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus at Boston with my mother. I was filled with awe as we gazed at the historic buildings with columns and viewed all of the bustling students who had the reputation of being some of the world’s smartest students. I still recall how I felt as I stared at them; longing to be one of them learning and working with Professors who were revered all over the world.
I am a life long learner as I reiterate over and over. When I was a Project Engineer, during my free time I began to take MIT’s MOOCs- these are their open courses online which are free and available for the public to partake in. Last year as I navigated the murky waters of entrepreneurship with my social enterprise for it’s second year, I returned back to those courses for a roadmap. It was while taking these courses that I learned about the MIT Bootcamp again. Notice I said again because previously in April 2017, I learned of it from 2 friends who had been part of the second cohort at their Boston campus; since then they have taken place at various parts of the world.
I started thinking about applying for it the more I recalled what my friends had said about their experience and I recalled how much I had wanted to learn from the MIT community. The MIT Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp is a program designed to teach a person who has the mindset of contributing to humanity how to develop a strong start-up, with a high chance of success after taking their courses online on entrepreneurship and has the desire to keep learning. For me it was a voracious need within. I desired to stretch myself, learn and grow in a way that would benefit my social enterprise as well as the people I am serving. (Just like the quote above goes!)
It was a rigorous application, I gave it my best and let go of it because I knew it would be a highly selective process. When I received notice weeks after submitting my online application that I was scheduled for an online interview via webcam, it began to feel like I should sit up. There are hundreds of applications for each cohort and only a few of them are selected; from countries all over the world.
Two weeks later I received the email saying I was accepted to the MIT Bootcamp Innovation and Entrepreneurship program.
I was BLOWN AWAY!!!
The MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamps are intense week-long new ventures leadership programs that challenge participants to develop a sustainable new venture in a week. Innovators come from around the world to learn from MIT faculty and MIT-trained mentors. Bootcampers learn the same innovation framework and curriculum taught in core entrepreneurship classes at MIT, and practice critical skills required to be leaders and drive innovation and collaboration: teamwork, leadership, communication, mutual goal reinforcement, and giving feedback.
Admission to MIT Bootcamp is highly selective and based on the following criteria: initiative and follow through, open and critical thinking, capacity for calculated risk, and focus on community. (all of this resonates with me as they are all values I hold myself strongly to and am determined to equip our children with.)
It has been a couple of days since the program ended, I can surmise it all by saying it was a phenomenal experience. It surpassed my expectations and I will give a summary of what I learned and experienced in my next article. It will suffice to say that I don’t see the world the same way I did before I went, I am a lot more cognizant of the fact that we are all inter-connected as humans and need to step out of our cocoons to realize this.
As stated in the title of this article- the way I view education has also been validated over and over. I will go into this in great depth, I am even more driven to focus on learning by doing for our children worldwide.
Next week, I go into the rollercoaster ride that was the Bootcamp and lessons from it.
Adetola Salau; Educator / Speaker / Author/ Social Entrepreneur / Innovator
She is an Advocate of STEM Education and is Passionate about Education reform. She is an innovative thinker and strives for our society & continent as a whole to reclaim it’s greatness. She runs an educational foundation with the mission to transform education.