Last year, for our first edition, we had 27 students from 16 different nationalities across Europe coming for 3 days of event. This year, we gathered 70 students, from 19 nationalities.
10 entrepreneurs came to share their experience with the participants, all coming with different backgrounds and experience, different type of business, different way of ruling their company, different size of company.
Diversity is probably a word to describe all the persons involved in this project. From ThinkYoung members, participants and entrepreneurs, all came with their own cultural identity and ideas, but with the same aim: sharing on entrepreneurship.
More than entrepreneurial tips and direct advices from the successful entrepreneurs, the participants had a real experience. That was only possible thanks to the methodology brought by the European Institute for Industrial Leadership and the great work of research and organization of ThinkYoung team.
The idea is simple: you learn more by getting involved. Therefore, no university teacher, no powerpoint presentation or lecture were implicated. The participants were building their own workshops, by interviewing successful entrepreneurs. They were actually making their event, by sharing experiences with the speakers as well as the participants.
All of the participants would tell you: the speeches were only part of the school. On side of this, they got to learn and understand how to drive an interview, is to say how and what question to ask to get the information you need; but also how to work within a team. In fact, those participants were divided into groups which they had to be working with the entire week. Some questions are therefore coming up: how to deal with a dominant person in a team, how to make everyone involved in the team discussion, how to take into account everyone’s idea …?
Those are making each ESS a unique event, as the participants will always be and react in a different way.
We are happy and glad to say that this edition was a success, a real building, inspiring experience. Most of them were probably not expecting to have such a strong human adventure. At the end, I think that they learnt more on themselves!
* Alice Vandekerkhove, Entrepreneurship Summer School’12 Project Manager at ThinkYoung, the first European Youth lobby.
Born and raised in the North of France, Alice holds a bachelor in geography for the University of Lille. Wanting to meet Europeans and study in a multicultural environment, she did her third year in Utrecht University. An open-minded experience led her to take a master in international relations. She has joined Think Young in March 2012 to be in the core of Europe and work within a team on a topic she is very interested in: European youth.