Monthly Archives: December 2018

Catalyzing entrepreneur success post-graduation

Becoming an entrepreneur is a very rewarding and thrilling experience. It can become a lifetime career if you do it right, and know how to learn from wins and mistakes along the way. The best part is that you do not need to wait to be an entrepreneur. You can start now, even post-graduation from The University of British Columbia.

In many ways, taking a year or two to heed the entrepreneurial calling after college can be very rewarding, both professionally and personally. It is also a great way to prolong the 9-to-5 grind that you may not be too thrilled about. As thrilling as it may seem, however, there are challenges that await new entrepreneurs.

It’s true that the entrepreneurial journey involves taking risk and making sacrifices, however, if you look at the brighter side, you are in control of your destiny, your opportunities your time, your upsides, and your career. Building a company isn’t a smooth process.There are roadblocks and bottlenecks that can deter even the most confident entrepreneur offering the best solution.”

The best way to mitigate these challenges and potential risks is by forging down the entrepreneurial path with a bit of knowledge under your belt. Let’s take a deeper look at how to catalyze entrepreneur success post-graduation.

Understand The Importance Of Having A Market

Anyone can become an entrepreneur. All you need is a product or service, a website, and a few social media networks. It really is that simple. However, there is a huge difference between a successful entrepreneur and a regular one. This is often based on market for products and/or services.

Did you know that the top reason why startups fail is no market? That’s right, and it makes sense. If you have no one to sell to, you probably will not have very many conversions for your endeavor.

The same goes for having too big of a market. The saying goes, “If everyone is your customer, you don’t have any customers.” So you can see that there is a delicate balance when it comes to finding the perfect industry and niche market to claim for your entrepreneurial journey.

The good news is that you can actually test your product or service before spending thousands of dollars! How? First, create a product or service marketing plan with some high-quality images. Next, create a WordPress website and get your site registered on Google AdWords.This will cost about $100 or less.

Once you have this in place, run keyword rich ads for about $50 per day, for a week. If your ads net enough leads to justify the marketing spend on ads, you most likely have yourself a winning entrepreneur idea. Total cost of market testing is around $500. Not bad!

Beg, Borrow, Or Steal More Business Knowledge

Gathering knowledge in a wide range of disciplines is optimal for entrepreneurs. This may seem difficult due to the freshness of your adult professional career post-graduation, but it can be a bit easier in some respects.

After you have a market tested product and/or service, it is time to begin building your network of peers, and most importantly — mentors. You can hop on LinkedIn and reach out to those in your industry and niche. Find entrepreneurs who have made it and send them a message too.

Podcasts, YouTube videos, Udemy courses, and blogs are also very beneficial. You probably will need to get some basic knowledge on the platforms you will use for your business, like MailChimp, Moz, and WordPress. For instance, something simple, like knowing how to fix WordPress errors can save you a lot of time, energy, and money.

Learn Everything Possible About Marketing

Entrepreneurs have a lot of skills, but one is very important for entrepreneurial growth and success — marketing. Marketing is critical to your startup’s success, as well as future business ventures. From traditional marketing to social media marketing, there is a lot to learn, and you need to hone all the needed marketing tools for success.

Marketing is also essential because you will not only be marketing your startup. A lot of entrepreneurship is about marketing yourself. From publication partnerships to potential investors, you will need to be liked before anyone likes your business idea.

Are You Ready To Join The Entrepreneur Ranks?

Becoming an entrepreneur, and a successful one at that, can be very rewarding right out of the gate post-graduation. The road may not be easy. However, it may be the road you were meant to be on. From honing business skills to market testing, take an intelligent approach to starting your startup. What are your entrepreneurial goals for 2019?

How blockchain is transforming education

Mention blockchain and most minds automatically turn to the cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum that have taken another of their famous market plunges in recent weeks. However, as anyone who attended UBC’s mini conference on the future of the technology will be aware, the highly secure, efficient and fraud-resistant nature of blockchain makes it a versatile tool that can deliver benefits across a range of industries.

The education sector is no exception. While the headlines might be dominated by stories of one student after another finding the right crypto trading platform to supplement his or her finances, the truth is that blockchain is set to change university life in a host of ways.

Maintaining and sharing records

Storing records in a way that is secure, maintains confidentiality, yet provides easy access to those who need them is something of a holy grail in the education sector. Blockchain’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) could provide an elegant solution.  Sony and IBM have teamed up to develop just such a platform called Sony Global Education, and say it will provide a living, constantly updated academic record for students – after all, these days, we never stop learning. Keeping this kind of data in one easily accessible place would be a giant step, but the possibilities do not stop there. Specific skills and qualifications can be stored on a blockchain-based open badge passport that gives prospective employers an instant overview.

Identity management

For an increasing number of students, learning takes place in an online environment, and face to face interactions are becoming less common. A number of blockchain-based applications have been developed, including uPort and Blockstack, which provide a straightforward and reliable means for users to prove their identity in cyberspace.

Improving security

Campus security is a high-profile topic that everyone needs to take seriously. In the digital age, however, it goes beyond patrols and cameras. Universities are at constant risk of hacking and digital breaches. The inherent security of blockchain makes it a perfect tool for sharing confidential data across networks, and companies like Xage are creating bespoke solutions aimed squarely at the academic market.

Data storage

Universities and their students use, create and store vast amounts of data. Cloud-based solutions are clearly the most cost-efficient and demand far less physical infrastructure. Innovative projects like Filecoin are finding new ways to leverage DLT to store all that data securely, and allow enterprising souls to make a little money at the same time. Some are calling it the Airbnb of file storage.

Improving library facilities

Most universities are justifiably proud of their libraries. However, the need for these to evolve is even stronger than in other sectors. DLT could have a major impact in helping libraries to expand their services, for example by building enhanced archives, developing protocols for community-based collections, and managing digital rights more effectively.

Blockchain is transforming technology and technology is transforming education. We are on the crest of a wave, and the university sector needs to be prepared to evolve in ways it can scarcely contemplate to remain relevant throughout the 21st century.

Transportation and students: Getting around Vancouver for the UBC student

One of the first things any new UBC student needs to figure out is how to get around the city. Vancouver is a large city, but its immense size and complicated geography can make finding your way around a little challenging, especially if you need to use public transportation.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get around Vancouver, so whether you live on campus, have an apartment in the city, or are coming in from even further afield, there are plenty of ways to manage your commute — and explore the abundant beauty of the greater Vancouver area.

If you are new to Vancouver and UBC and want to make the most of your time in the area, here are four tips for getting around in Vancouver:

  1. Take the Bus

One of the major benefits of living and studying at UBC is the extensive transportation networks that exist to serve the metro Vancouver area. Vancouver’s TransLink network provides students with extensive bus, trolley, and community shuttle services that are both affordable and easy to navigate using a UBC U-Pass/Compass Card.

Bus schedules can be found online, and are regularly updated. While there are dozens of routes that run regularly every day, there are also ten night-bus routes that cover most of the city and guarantee that you can get home safely, no matter how late you need to stay up studying at the library.

  1. Use the SkyTrain

Vancouver’s famous SkyTrain is one of Canada’s longest light rail systems, and one of the oldest automated driverless rapid transit systems in the world. The SkyTrain goes from downtown Vancouver to Burnaby, New Westminster, and Surrey, making it an ideal choice for students commuting from further afield.

Not only is the SkyTrain one of the fastest and easiest ways to travel between cities in the Lower Mainland, it is also included as part of the U-Pass/Compass Card program, which means that UBC students can use it in tandem with the metro bus system at no extra charge.

  1. Buy a Used Car

Many students will still find that the easiest way to get around the Vancouver and the Lower Mainland is simply to purchase an affordable used car that will give you more freedom of mobility than transit allows.

For those who are new to British Columbia (and even for those who have lived here for years) the best way for students to find their new car is to explore the options available through digital classified sites. Digital classifieds have recently overtaken traditional media outlets in terms of their offerings, and this is how most locals buy and sell used vehicles.

Of course, it is important to remember that Vancouver is an extremely dense city, which means that roadside parking can be difficult to find. Students who use their vehicles regularly may want to download the EasyPark Mobile Parking App to find and pay for parking spots across the city.

  1. Explore the City by Boat

Vancouver is home to Canada’s largest and busiest port, and the ocean is a major feature in the life of the city and its residents. Students who want to enjoy all that the Vancouver area has to offer during their time at UBC may want to use Vancouver’s SeaBus and BC Ferries for day trips to the North Shore and Vancouver Island.

The SeaBus travels between downtown Vancouver’s Waterfront Station and the North Shore’s Lonsdale Quay, and the breathtaking twelve-minute crossing of Burrard Inlet is worth the trip all on its own. Like the bus and SkyTrain, the SeaBus fares are covered by UBC’s U-Pass/Compass Card program.

BC Ferries operates multiple routes out of Vancouver’s Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals, taking passengers as far as Victoria and Nanaimo (on Vancouver Island) as well as the famous Sunshine Coast.

Students come to UBC from all over the world because for the world-class facilities, dedicated teachers, and brilliant research opportunities. But British Columbia’s natural beauty, and the exciting culture and rich diversity of Vancouver, also offer a compelling reason to study here.

If you are coming to UBC for school and want to make sure you can get the most out of your time in one of the world’s best cities, remember to take advantage of the many transportation options that are available to you. Between the extensive bus networks, the ease of finding a good used car, and the SeaBus and SkyTrain, getting around the city is easy once you know how to do it!

Useful resources online that can help students with their academic careers

Studying at university can be a stressful experience for students who don’t have enough support. In most cases, such students are enjoying a certain level of freedom for the first time in their lives. Instead of having someone tell them what to do, they have to make decisions for themselves. This can be overwhelming in the beginning. However, technology and the internet have made things a lot easier for students to access information about both their schoolwork and their private lives.

The challenges faced by students are also a concern to their teachers who often try to help. Many professors have discovered an easy website builder for teachers where they can shares resources with students. This is useful because while students may not always have access to their teacher, they can use the website to get updates and recap on concepts.

Below are some other resources that university students can use to make their time in college more manageable.

Attempting to listen attentively in a lecture while also taking notes can be a challenge; especially for students who have just started at university. Trying to take notes during a lecture can take away attention which could result in you missing important information. This is the challenge that lecture capture apps have been designed to solve.

While recording lectures is something that has been done by students for a long time, modern apps allow you to do more than just record. These applications make it possible to capture the whiteboard. Some of them actually transcribe the lecture into words. You can also use this technology to convert images into PDFs or PowerPoint presentations that can be useful for revision.

Students generally tend to be disorganized. This is understandable because in most cases they have just left home where someone else was responsible for making sure they had food and transport. Now, they must plan their own affairs and make sure they meet their obligations. For those who don’t know where to start, this can be a stressful time. This is where student planners come in.

A student planner is useful for anyone studying at university because students suddenly find themselves with many balls to juggle: lectures, assignments that need to be handed in, social lives, and extramural activities. Attempting to keep the plan in your head is a guaranteed way of forgetting an important assignment or test.

Having a clear plan of what needs to be done can also be a great way of beating procrastination. With a plan, you know exactly what needs to be done and when. Consequently, it allows you to learn the lifelong skill of planning your time.

Modern education has moved from a view that students come to university to have knowledge poured into their heads by learned lectures. Knowledge construction has become the norm. This means that students take an active role in building their own understanding. To do this successfully, they need skills to work in groups where they learn from each other’s experiences.

While in the past students had to find a time to gather in one place, technology has also made it possible for students to have a discussion in different times from different places. This can be done using the university online campus or social media applications like Facebook and WhatsApp. The advantage of these groups is that they are generally informal; which encourages participation.

One of the most frustrating things about university is creating a bibliography. It takes time to remember where the full stop should be, which words should be in italics and whether it’s the city or the publisher that comes first. You can ease this frustration by taking advantage of online bibliography generators.

Most bibliography generators have a function where you can save the bibliographies you have generated for later use.

Being at university can be frustrating for students who feel like they do not have enough support. However, as you can see, technology has made life a lot easier.