Education, Extracurricular Activities, Entrepreneurship & Associated Business Opportunities

Mousumi Kundu Paul, Founder & Director, Monomousumi ServicesMousumi is a freelance writer and a passionate blogger who loves to express her emotions with words. She has been associated with leading companies like Cognizant, iGate, GiftBlooms, Brainybatch, PR Solutions and many others, and has written over 2000 essays/articles, two textbooks, reports and dissertations.

Education is no more about just getting degree ­ it is about developing your personality as well, including each and every aspect of it. Extracurricular activities, as we all know, are those activities held in schools or colleges, which are not at all related to education and not in the conventional syllabus, but are a way of showcasing talents and taking a break from the day-to-day lectures. By the way, these activities are not about a self-centered activity, but help students to develop their talents, interests and passions, besides making them understand the practical skills which are subtly inculcated in them ­ for example, time & team management, writing skill and others. These activities are not only a cursory experience, but gently nudge the talent inside into the right direction. Not only that, it does have a placental connection with the values relevant to today's society.

We need to acknowledge the fact that, talent is not something that will just appear out of the blue without stepping out of the college gates and entering a corporate or an industry ­ it needs some long, hardworking years of nurturing and developing. Students first need to manage and flirt with a lot of skills to finally zero-in on one or two which they think are essentially useful, and focus on them intermittently. This is the sort of nursery where love for skills can be understood & realized, and it is thoroughly impractical to conclude that they must always be the sole responsibility of the institute. This is where the entrepreneurs need to step-in.

The Link between Extracurricular Activities & Entrepreneurship
Now, the question is - what is the link between extracurricular activities and entrepreneurship? The corporate and entrepreneurs have to spend months training college graduates to first unlearn the text-book orientation that has been the part and parcel of their lives till now, and then learn to apply skills the way the market actually
works and demands. And so, it makes real sense for entrepreneurs to scrape that unproductive post-recruitment training period and replace it with a well-thought, thoroughly planned extracurricular invasion at the college and institute level.

There are many ways this participation of entrepreneurs in extra-curricular activities can be tactically introduced. Students, while they are in college, do need to be directed on the right path, for there is no reason at all why anyone must discourage a college fresher from having a passion for suppose, writing, cooking or body building. It will be better, to be honest, rather to help them setup their own platform, where their obsession gets converted into a productive activity. Not only will it make him appreciate the art of clear and explicit expression of ideas, but also help the person in his/her businesses in the long term with the skill practiced over the years. The publishing industry can, for instance, help the College Literary Club or the college magazine follow professional guide-lines and be like internships for those intending to join them later. Thus, every skill, from cartooning to sewing or weaving to ceramics, has the possibility of one or more connected industry to step-in and help institutes build the right infrastructure and a relevant focus.

It makes real sense for entrepreneurs to scrape that unproductive post-recruitment training period and replace it with a well-thought, thoroughly planned extracurricular invasion at the college and institute level

Emerging Market & Entrepreneurship Opportunities
Entrepreneurship in education is no longer about just mentorship or sponsorship of the annual college fest. An entire section has conveniently forgotten the essential link-up with extracurricular activities in institutes and colleges ­ which essentially have the potential to evolve into the most powerful weapon those businesses, have ever seen. Businesses usually hire people and train them for months, so that they are turned into generators of profit ­ and incorrectly so, the educational institutes and colleges get all the blame for this flaw. Do you want to hear the truth? It is that out educational institutes have as well as provide the right opportunities that the entrepreneurs need to notice, nurture as well as nourish.

Because of the diverse interests of school or college students, the range of extracurricular activity offerings varies extensively, depending upon the size and type of school, college or university. Extracurricular activities range primarily from participating in school magazines to social organizations to intercollegiate athletic programs, and more. Debates and elocution participations have clarity in thoughts and a logical assimilation of appropriate ideas in the right sequence inbuilt in them. Community services such as walks & marches, do-nation drives, beach clean-up, volunteer fair, fundraising activities, some fun trips to important places, such as summits and seminars; Summer opportunities such as career opportunities, boot camp, internships and lots more. These are the areas where fresh leads can be generated, which is not only a golden opportunity of entrepreneurs, but also help in building a strong and responsible country. This is the need of our country, which is although a developing country, but needs only a slight concentrated push to become a developed country. Just need to work in a right direction to shape the future generation to take it from this stage with sea of opportunities that entrepreneurs are looking for. And if this is really true, businesses need to make it their business to label extracurricular activities as opportunities for future-building.