BY MICHAEL GUBERTI
Academic institutions teach students how to absorb information about subjects such as mathematics, science, and literature. This learning regimen enables youths to succeed in a scholastic environment, yet many have questioned the real- world value of their curriculums. Incredible room for improvement lies in the areas of personal growth, professional presentation and financial proficiency.
After training thousands of young, aspiring entrepreneurs online and in-person, my brother Marc and I have learned that few can confidently speak their true intentions. If not enforced by one’s parents, the mental muscle of self-belief has not been grown in countless students. Thus, the multitude of brilliant ideas inside these would-be achievers remain dormant for years, or sometimes a lifetime. This partly contributes to the popularity of the phrase, “That person stole my idea,” when someone else takes action on a past thought of yours.
A class focused on confidence development, soul-searching, values identification and belief system creation would pay years of dividends in the lives of today’s young scholars.
Professional presentation is another skill set that would reap monumental rewards for students. How many times have you forgiven young people for not clearly explaining their intentions or describing their initiatives? Society generally perceives adolescents as incapable of accurately expressing themselves, let alone persuading others to adopt an idea or purchase a product.
Yet there are those rare individuals who can articulate and enlist others into action at a young age. These are the inspiring stand-outs, the persuasion phenoms and peer role models. A class describing and training students to develop attributes of polished presentation and savvy negotiation would accelerate the growth of these upstart, future influencers and create more of them.
Additionally, a course detailing business theories and tactics would greatly serve today’s youth. A common criticism of conventional academic curriculum is their lack of usability. Courses oriented around holistic understanding of enterprises and their growth strategies would teach information that can be used the moment students exit the classroom.
How does Apple build their loyal fanbase? How does Nike convince millions of consumers that their shoes create high performance? How do visionaries like Steve Jobs and Henry Ford create companies? These are the questions students want answered. Six out of every 10 teenagers want to become entrepreneurs.
Modern start-up culture demands startup-focused classes. Guest lectures from company heads, discussions outlining why some corporations succeed and others fade and an engaging orator to spearhead the conversation would make for a dynamic class.
If you want youths to value an educational experience, tailor the curriculum to their deepest learning desires. Why do you think Marc and I teach and train youths on topics of confidence, personal branding, persuasive presentation and business competence at our summer Teenager Entrepreneur Boot Camp? The incorporation of social media and online communities into academics would better condition students to use hyper-popular platforms to responsibly brand themselves, rather than bully others and destroy one’s reputation in the process.
While extroverted students tend to dominate the physical classroom, a class blog would empower shy students with an outlet to voice their opinions.
Moreover, a course describing how to grow an online presence as a thought leader would help elevate the students’ understanding and consequent use of the Internet. The instructor can display case studies of individuals who became online influencers by posting quality content, interacting with industry heads and creating products and programs to serve their audience.
Every day, 92 percent of teenagers go online, according to the Pew Research Center, and more than half of them do so several times a day. Equally intriguing, seven in 10 young people between the ages of 13 and 22 have been a victim of cyberbullying, according to an anti-bullying charity’s 2013 survey of cyberbullying in the United Kingdom. Has there ever been a better time to teach students how to proactively use the Internet to grow a credible, positive presence and even position themselves as an expert in a certain field?
Michael Guberti is a Fordham University student and social media and business blogger at Teenager Entrepreneur, the social media marketing and entrepreneurship training business he operates with his brother, Marc Guberti. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 914-722-6005.