We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
Recent Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) graduates, Aseem Sharma and Nabeel Hussain, reflect on life after MBET.
While we were sitting at Williams Café on a beautiful, sunny day, something struck us: during our professional journeys, and our time spent in corporate environments, how often did we get time to actually think of solutions to everyday problems?
It wasn’t until we enrolled in the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Program that we began to ask ourselves important questions. Having completed the program, we now have the chance to think back and reflect on the MBET experience and the unique art of “possibility thinking” that it has taught us.
There is something unique, and in some ways divine, about living a life of choice. Spending years in the shelter of corporate life, and growing accustomed to job security and a handsome paycheck, can be intoxicating. But, it can, and in most cases, does, act as the biggest obstacle in living a life of choice.
We want to share some of our experiences as international students who made the right choice to leave our comfort zones and come to the University of Waterloo to pursue our MBET degree.
1. Lean living:
We were fortunate to have joined a program that is life changing because it produces leaders who have the potential to change the world for better by doing the things that they love to do. This is a motto that is at the very heart of what the Conrad Centre hopes to instill in its students. Irrespective of the economic status of a person, Nabeel and I share a common belief that it is important to live on bare necessities at some point of time during a person’s life. It expands perspectives, enriches the overall experience, adds modesty and, yes, prepares one well for the entrepreneurial journey.
2. Incremental progression vs possibility thinking:
A lot of corporations are still infected with the idea of incremental progression in which everything follows a set, predictable pattern. A business model like this leaves little room for substantial change because it creates a comfort zone that stifles personal growth. One of the perspectives that has been added to our lives from our time at Conrad is “possibility thinking”. Possibility thinking is the constant search for, and identification of, possibilities to solve problems or share experiences. This is what it means to think like an entrepreneur.
3. The creative side:
Everyone has his/her own talent and creative side. In many cases, this creativity cannot be harnessed in a strict, process-oriented environment. Taking risks is vital to explore, develop, and sharpen the creative side within. MBET taught us that being creative and resourceful are two essential attributes of an entrepreneur.
Having just graduated from MBET, we have learned that this is the perfect time for us to wake up those creative desires which were sleeping during our past jobs. This is the time to learn something new and reclaim the curiosity that got lost somewhere in the life of promotions and perks. This is our time to explore, ask important questions, and engage with the world around us.
MBET is a bold program designed for people who are bold enough to think big."
Reflecting back on the past year, we can say that getting our MBET has been a life changing experience, and one of our best decisions!
Aseem Sharma has a strong interest in open source technologies, especially how open source solutions can resolve social issues like the digital divide. He is a community moderator and an author at opensource.com. He also consults at rockims.com, a website development and SEO company, and blogs.
Nabeel Hussain Nabeel is passionate about developing and marketing new products and ideas but also about building tomorrows brands. He has a track record of success, including driving ClarySolar’s online business by $3.2 million for the year, making ClarySolar the 14th fastest growing company in San Diego.