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Students find their inner entrepreneur

12 Jul 2011

A group of Sydney high school year 9 and 10 students were asked to find their inner entrepreneur during interactive sessions run by the University of Sydney Business School as part of the University's Experience Day held this month.

Matthew Keast from the Discipline of International Business ran two sessions on Money Making Ideas and in these sessions about 30 students came up with some inventive, useful, helpful and crazy ideas - like singing wrapping paper!

The aim of the sessions was to identify a need in the market place and turn it into a business idea. Other ideas including students developing automatic transcribing devices and talking billboards.

In an event co-hosted by the Social Inclusion Unit and the Smith Family the entrepreneurship sessions were one of the experiences students embraced during their  day in the life of a university student.

The students are part of the Smith Family's Learning for Life program, which provides students from disadvantaged backgrounds with financial support for education and access to mentoring and vital life skills programs. For many students, this was the first time they'd consider tertiary education as an option.

University Experience Day is run by the University of Sydney's Social Inclusion Unit, which aims to encourage primary and secondary school children to participate in higher education.

"The University is proud of our long association with the Smith Family, which is an important element in our social inclusion program," DVC Education, Professor Armstrong says.

The students experienced university life with a tour of the campus and in addition to the entrepreneurship classes a series of hands-on workshops, such as designing their 'dream job', examining animal skulls, treasure hunting, rock climbing for physical fitness, building a boat and analysing DNA samples were held.

Students were also able to ask questions and have lunch with current students of the University, including up and coming athletes from Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness' Elite Athlete Program.

"Many of the young people attending the day will be the first in their family to consider further study and the workshops provide them with a taste of university life in a fun and relaxed environment, whilst also prompting them to consider serious career options in areas that interest them," said Gillian Odbert, the Smith Family General Manager.