Dear Future GC Student


I have provided below a presentation I made to prospective students about BSc Advanced – Global Challenges at Monash University. The course continues to both challenge and inspire me every day.

Good afternoon everyone,

When I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you today I cast my mind back over the last year and a half and came up with three key learnings that I’ve taken from Global Challenges.
The first is to have an entrepreneurial mindset. The second is to connect with your tribe and my final point is to get uncomfortable.

So to start off I’m going to need a bit of audience participation. I have here in my hand a foldback clip. Now I’d like an estimate on what you think this is worth? I have 10 cents. $1. Ok.
What if I told that this foldback clip is worth a surfboard, a unicycle and an electric keyboard.  Which brings me on to my first point: having an entrepreneurial mindset. In first semester this year, my lecturer set us the task of trading a foldback clip to see what we got.  So we’d trade the clip for a pen and the pen for a plant and so forth. At the end of semester we had managed to get all of the items I just mentioned. 

This activity was actually inspired by a real life event. In 2005, Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald carried out a series of trades starting with a single red paper clip. His goals was to get a house and sure enough after a year he had a two storey house to call his own. 

This reinforced one of the most important things Global Challenges has taught me: to have an entrepreneurial mindset. Not all of us, not all of you are going to end up running a business but by studying entrepreneurship I’m learning to look at the world through a different light. To see opportunities where before there seemed none. What to some may look like a worthless foldback clip to others could be something of much greater value.

Point number 2- connect with your tribe

Each and every single member of Global Challenges are looking to make their impact on the world. But we’ve come to recognise is that you can’t do this alone. Global Challenges is great because it allows individuals to develop as chemists, biologists, mathematicians. But Global Challenges goes one step further than a traditional science degree in that it allows for us to come together and tackle a problem. At the moment, myself and the other second years are looking to grow a business by the end of semester. I’m not sure what each and every step will be to get there, but I do know that in order to grow we’ll have to connect with our tribe. Networking as I’ve learnt helps you identify opportunities, get uncomfortable and achieve goals.

This entrepreneurial mindset alongside help from my mentors and staff from the university has helped me to learn how to get uncomfortable – point number 3. A university experience is so much more than lectures and labs. What you do outside the lecture theatre can be just as valuable as what you learn inside it.  Global Challenges has taught me to recognise the many learning opportunities available to me. Mentors, internships and our guest speakers have and will teach me more than I could ever have imagined. 

One of our guest speakers once gave us a riddle that has stayed in my mind. She said I’d like you to try and think of a sentence. The sentence has got to have ten words and each of those words can have only two letters. I tried and I tried but came up with nothing. After a few minutes of racking my brain, she provided the solution: If it is to be, it is up to me. This for me is what having an entrepreneurial mindset is all about.

If it is to be, it is up to me. The fun part is you get to decide, so what is your vision and will Global Challenges be the vehicle that gets you there.  

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