The new season of The Bachelor is not what you think
A degree with flexible study plans, hands-on experience, and giving you the skills and resources you need to build a business while still earning course credit – is this the one-year honours degree that every student needs to future-proof their career, no matter what their field of study?
Speaker 1: We strongly believe that entrepreneurship can be taught. So, we give you all the steps to learn entrepreneurship and to experience it.
Speaker 2: Here at the Island 19 bootcamp for the entrepreneurship honours at the UTS Business School, we're basically getting you to start thinking around the entrepreneurial mindset and to start to learn some of the tools and methods that are relevant and important for you to learn as an up and coming student entrepreneur.
Speaker 1: It's two fold, we start with a bootcamp which is an immersive experience, where we mix the team building experience with learning and exploring competencies through practising specific activities.
Speaker 2: We have students from the MBA programmes, from across the university, undergrad and post-grad, coming together to work on their ideas.
Speaker 3: I'm super excited to fill in the gaps in my knowledge in terms of the startup space, like learning about lean canvas. And learning how to pitch.
Speaker 4: I've learnt how important the value of teamwork and accepting other people's ideas are in the process of ideations. And I've also had amazing insights on sharing and reflecting with other entrepreneurs around me.
Speaker 5: The solution that I'm here to give to you today is ...
Speaker 6: The first market segment that I would be targeting ...
Speaker 4: To overcome challenges and discover who they are together.
Speaker 7: All of these techniques that are available within this entrepreneur space, they're really effective tools that you can pick and map and take all the things that you need from it, to apply it to your business.
Speaker 8: It's been a really good ice breaker, in order to share genuine experiences that will help me, but also help the UTS startup community share their own ideas and support each other in being able to gain valuable feedback for your own business and your own mindsets.
Speaker 9: To be on this programme, these are the skills that you need for the future. The economy is going to be in the favour of the people who build the businesses and have the ideas and create it.
Speaker 4: Pack your stuff, great ready for the best three days in your UTS entrepreneurial experience.
The Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (Honours) at UTS accepted its first cohort of students in 2019 and is the first of its kind in Australia. By combining the self-directed learning style of traditional honours courses, with the practical elements of building a business, the degree has distinguished itself as a new breed of honours, giving students the best of both worlds.
An unconventional degree
The honours degree is not just for business students but open to all students with an undergraduate degree from any faculty or university.
“It’s not a conventional honours degree because you aren’t doing an academic thesis on what entrepreneurship is. Instead, you’re actually working on your own business and developing a set of competencies around that,” says UTS Business alumni, James Entwisle.
For students, the flexibility and self-managed course style has allowed them to invest the necessary time into building their business whilst still being able to undertake an honours course.
“I think when people see the word ‘honours’ they think they won’t be able to do anything else but with entrepreneurship, it’s so different because you can apply what you learn so practically.”
For James, a practical approach has meant practical results.
“So many people finish their degrees and just want to earn money but this way you can earn as much money as you would in a full-time job but running your startup and just working part-time.”
Associate Professor Jochen Schweitzer is Director Entrepreneurship at the UTS Business School and leads the honours degree team. He says it’s best to think about entrepreneurial skills as being transferable.
“Employers are seeking people with the skills to think differently, to test and validate assumptions, who can confidently pitch their ideas, and who can apply basic business skills to develop it further.
“I tell students to think of this degree as a way to work on your own passion project while developing key skills that will make you stand out in a workplace,” he says.
Much more than a thesis
Not only have students been able to support themselves financially throughout the process, but they have also gained personal fulfillment along with it.
“All throughout uni I was working and chasing money and then I finally got into a really high-paying job and found it wasn’t very fulfilling,” says James. “Now, I care more about where my money comes from than how much I’m getting.”
A recent graduate from the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation, Jerwin Roberto agrees. He says creating a business of his own through the Bachelor of Entrepreneurship, and developing the skills to become an entrepreneur has been an exciting and empowering process.
“This doesn’t feel like a degree because it’s something I’m passionate about,” says Jerwin.
With a conventional honours degree, a well-researched thesis is the goal. Whereas with the Bachelor of Entrepreneurship, you finish with a well-researched idea, supported by a portfolio that documents your progress.
Director of the Diploma in Innovation at the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation, Martin Bliemel, says the portfolio is based on course modules and serves two purposes. First, it keeps track of the development of your idea. Second, it documents your personal development. Students are assessed on both.
“It’s one thing to show others what you’ve done. With the portfolio, you can also show who you have become. You don’t have to have a run-away commercial success. Many successful entrepreneurs failed a few times while honing their skills,” says Martin.
Jerwin says that regardless of whether his startup sinks or swims, the personal skills he’s gained along his journey so far are equally as valuable.
“It teaches you how to talk to people, how to manage your time, how to be independent.”
The UTS Business School and the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation developed the new degree together in collaboration with UTS Startups.
James and Jerwin are making the most of the resources provided to them through the degree including co-working spaces, access to the fast growing UTS Startups community, networking opportunities, and support from leading mentors.
“Of course, there’s the support network that comes with it and being introduced to some very important people,” says James.
“If you’re not doing the degree, you would have to pay for all those resources which just wouldn’t be possible for me,” agrees Jerwin.
With this innovative new degree, Jerwin feels the opportunity to continue his education and build a business has given him the direction he needed and is excited to pursue a meaningful career.
“It’s helped me find purpose,” he says. “I want to continue to learn and hopefully create some impact.”
Think the Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (Honours) might be for you? Find out more here.