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Making the transition from University to the Real World - Going Pro!

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by Startacus Admin

Dubem Menakaya, young entrepreneur & kind supporter of Startacus, highlights why the transition from 'University to Career' includes entrepreneurship as a career option and the similarities it has to boxing...

"Going Pro – Making the transition from University to the Real World"

So another academic year is in the books.  For many it's merely the passing over from one year of University to another – the workload increases, the university enterpriseresponsibility increases but essentially it's still the same thing.  However for some of us this is the end of the road.  The point of no return.  This will be the last summer we ever take off!

What was the point of that intro and what does this have to do with Startacus some of you may be thinking (admittedly I just described a process that's been going for hundreds of years!).  Well for those of us aspiring entrepreneurs we are the new generation.  We are one of the first to have been passionate and involved in some sort of way with entrepreneurship during University.  So as we graduate it's a test case of that transition from University education to the real world hustle and bustle world of entrepreneurship.

I'm a big boxing fan and I see many similarities between the transition from amateur boxing to professional boxing.  Amateur boxing is usually fought over 3 rounds of 3 minutes and boxers have headgear, while in professional boxing it's generally 10-12 rounds of 3 minutes with no headgear.  It is a training ground for future pros where they can harness their techniques, fight against different styles from around the world and get used to what it's like in the ring.  

For aspiring entrepreneurs University is essentially the same thing – it's an environment where you can try new ideas, attend events by enterprise societies or NACUE, be actively involved with an enterprise society and generally get a feel of what it's like to be an entrepreneur.

One of the biggest differences between the amateur entrepreneurship game and the pro game is the cost of failure.  Just like in amateur boxing, if you lose it's generally not that much of a big deal (unless it's at the Olympics).  However if you lose when you go professional it can have a great detrimental effect on your career.  

university careerSimilarly to entrepreneurship – if you fail in University (have an unsuccessful startup, don't finish what you start and so on) the effects are not that significant.  In fact viewed as a vital learning experience.  However if we do that in the 'real' world you could end up living on the street.  That's not me saying that to scare anyone, it's just the truth.  This is a key component of the game though and should ever be feared.  The risks of being an entrepreneur and the ultimate highs and lows that it brings is part and parcel of the life.

Some of you may not have had an 'amateur' career in University – you may have discovered entrepreneurship late during your studies, you may have even gone 'pro' early and started a business that was generating a lot of revenue for you at the time.  Well that's where there is another similarities – the best amateur boxers are not always the best pro's.  

In fact no UK Olympic gold medallist has ever won a world championship.  Floyd Mayweather Jr (the number 1 pound-for pound boxer in the world) controversially only got a bronze at the Olympics.  I say this to state that having a good grounding in the university entrepreneurship world brings no guarantee of success.  

One of the beautiful things about entrepreneurship is that you never stop learning – even the best pro's still go to seminars, networking events, read business books and are always looking to improve.  That is the one of the factors that will define your success going forward.  I believe retaining that hunger, passion and being willing to learn from your mistakes and those of others will make you a successful pro whether you start a business straight away or in the future.

By Dubem Menakaya @dmenak

Thank you Dubem, it's a pleasure you writing for Startacus and we look forward to further offerings over the next few weeks. In terms of the subject matter - making that step from University to starting your own business can be a tough transition so here's a couple more articles to help motivate you along the way...

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Published on: 7th August 2013

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