I think in almost all university profiles marketing or at least entrepreneurship theory should be taught in the final year. Two clearly different subjects but that would certainly be a real help for the students who finish university and have no idea where should they go next.
Take as an example the faculty of Psychology.
The student enrolls at university because he plans to practice psychology -> Attends his psychology classes-> Buys the professor’s books and some more -> Attends conferences -> Writes projects and passes his exams -> Graduates from the faculty of psychology-> Receives his diploma and has to join the Association of Psychologists in order to practice in the field. He also has to pay a certain annual fee, of course.
In order for him to practice in the field he has the following options:
1. He opens a personal practice.
2. He opens a practice with other colleagues of his.
3. He takes his CV to every practice and hospital possible.
4. He waits for an open position to be announced.
5. He gives up psychology.
Is it just me or this whole equation is missing the following things:
Because Entrepreneurship prepares you (at least in theory if taught) for the real world. It teaches you how to go off on your own and start that business you have been preparing for in your 5 years at university. And this can be applied to the majority of faculties: acting, dentistry, journalism, law, etc. Do you realize that these students sit on these school benches for 5 years just to be prepared in theory but when they bump into reality a large part of them will abandon everything they learned?
Because marketing teaches you to present yourself, to have the courage to show your project, it teaches you how to sell and how to buy. Every university should teach marketing at least in the final year. I’m not talking about elaborate marketing and how to create a marketing campaign with a media plan and a ready budget. I’m simply talking about certain marketing principles that every student that comes out of university should be aware of.
So who’s to blame then?
The professor that sees his students as competition and only teaches them another course on having a stable salary + being in the audience at the next conference + buying the next book?
The student who does not ask and is too comfortable?
The education system that thinks only in short shot?
Entrepreneurs that won’t hire straight A students, only experienced ones who perhaps didn’t even graduate because they were too busy working for free for other people just to gain experience?
I honestly don’t want to just criticize then wash my hands waiting for traffic to grow on this blog just for emphasizing some ideas. I would be another hypocrite that states something, receives applauses (in 2.0 form of RT, Like, Share, etc.) then gets off the stage. So I came up with a few solutions:
1. There are entrepreneurs or marketing consultants (interested in actions not words) willing to give a part of their time to preparing students for the real world. They are those people with long shot thinking for a more prosper future, for a more upright and real business.
How will they be paid, though? No no no…let’s not talk about conferences where they can bring their roll-ups on the stage, or Facebook mentions and websites. These entrepreneurs/consultants can be paid with money. What money? Students don’t have them and professors hardly get their salaries. There are European funds, projects submitted to the City Hall or projects that can be forwarded to companies that invest in education.
2. There are different marketing/entrepreneurship conferences that students should participate in to at least learn a few things from this field. But don’t go to conferences where marketers or entrepreneurs speak their own language. Keep an eye out for conferences, contact the organizers and ask them “Why would we, students from the x faculty (psychology, dentistry, acting, music, etc.), come to this conference? What could we learn and then put into practice?
3. Professors must stop seeing their students as competition, but as a win-win partnership. This thing with partnership vs. competition is a pretty sensitive subject but could be the trigger for some very strong projects!
4. Students should think for themselves and bring in at a conference, seminar, open discussion people who can prepare them for life beyond university doors.
When should all this things start taking place?
As soon as possible.
Students | Shutterstock