Sunday morning I woke up as usual next to bearded man, sun in our faces from the window behind, the cool air for once not being a bother. We just got back from one of the coolest events I’ve ever had the pleasure to attend, the EIT Digital Kickoff in Eindhoven. Not knowing what to expect I obviously didn’t foresee that the event would be the answer to the weight I’ve been carrying for the most part of this year.If you’ve read some of my posts prior to this you have an inkling to what a pain this year has been; illnesses, ridiculous work loads, lack of social life… and that’s just the half of it.
Yet, Sunday, the day after our return from Eindhoven I awoke and had the ecstatic high comparable to coming home from a festival. The people, the environment, the fun… how couldn’t I be affected? I was so affected, and so inspired, that I just got straight to work first thing. There was so much I wanted to do, so many ideas I wanted scribble down, projects I wanted to look back at, people I wanted to speak to – the lid that was so tightly sealed on my creativity was shot off and all the inspiration I hadn’t been able to consume just flooded me.
I started writing this, I continued writing on other neglected posts, I filled a note in Evernote with a ton of ideas I could add to my portfolio… I chatted to folks for the first time in… well, a year. I even mingled with strangers while out and about. Yesterday, on the bus, I chatted with an old man that was a Aeronautical Engineer – we even exchanged business cards. Somewhere along the line all I needed was a good shake and a wake up call to remember that actually I do enjoy what I’m doing and it doesn’t have to be a pain all the time.
We were about 400 people in the Muziekgebouw center in Eindhoven, accommodated by hotels minutes away, and night life just around the corner. The facility was like made for the event. We poured in to the enormous foyer noon on the Thursday, soon to be inspired, to mingle, to innovate. We worked hard, mega-mingled, and danced. I gave my business card to 102 people, and met so many more. For so long I haven’t valued my output, everything seemed so half hearted, as if I was constantly holding back. Low self-esteem in other words, not to be mistaken for low self-confidence. Self-confidence is a problem every now and then, but generally I trust in my self to get things done (i.e. confident in self), but I’m never satisfied with my output (low self-esteem). Yet, the event completely shattered this self-esteem stupidity and I just went for it!
If someone had told me that I would do a one-(wo)man improvised theatrical scenario for our 10-person team infront of a load of people, I would have laughed. Like a belly heaving laugh. Yet (before last) Friday afternoon, there I was infront of these peeps, and played both Anna the 13 year old wanna-be photographer and her diplomatic mother, the my-daughter-will-not-pursue-photography type of mum. I even changed accents and pitch. I had to keep myself from laughing and pretty much everybody after the presentation gave me a slap and said that it was brilliant. I was so unbelievably happy and proud to have made the most out of a half-arsed idea.
To give you a bit of background to the event, we were all divided into groups of 10 with individuals from all over the world. These individuals all attend an EIT Digital universities, there are in total 20 across Europe with students from literally the world over. Then we were given our business challenge, for us it was the “talent-identifier”, a service that could identify talent. Which over 48 hours became Talentia – identify and develop your talent, done by our talented algorithm that would be able to identify pitch, melody and similarity to other performers (or artists). It wasn’t an easy idea to work with so I think we made the best of it, we didn’t get to the finals but it was still well worth it.
So, you might not have heard of EIT Digital. If I’m going to be absolutely and completely honest; I wasn’t exactly aware of the fact that I wasn’t attending KTH. Which I am in a sense, but only as in the KTH facilities that are shared within the collaboration with EIT Digital. It’s confusing, or maybe I’m just confused by it… Anyway, the format of EIT Digital masterprogram is for the student to study one year in a european country (that shouldn’t be your own) and the second year in another european country. During these two years the student studies 30 % entrepreneurship courses and the rest within a speciality (which there are 8 of and all of them are extremely well equipping for the future). Also it seems that EIT is the only masters program offering a combination of engineering and entrepreneurship.
You might have reacted on that I’m still in Stockholm and I did most of my bachelors here, an exception was made for the bearded man and I. Lets leave it at that.
For next year we’ve been recommended to go to Eindhoven, basically a fantastic hub for embedded systems. I’m still uncertain if it’ll turn out that way as Big Data is so tempting to change over to…
Get this; the number of Swedish students in EIT Digital can be counted on one hand. And I don’t mean in this batch, I mean throughout EIT Digital time.
Now why is that?
As a swede you’ll probably be well aware of the “rest-kurser”, it’s extremely common here. People put off courses when they’re to much of a hassle, or if they don’t have time to study for the re-examinations. This is kind of unheard of in IIT and KAIST, sure you can throw things around a bit – but you better be done with your courses before doing a masters. If you want to study your masters at KTH, sure you’ll be able to, but if you want to study at say… EIT Digital, you can’t. You need that bachelors degree to be done with. So keep that in mind, there are so many opportunities out there that you’ll be missing because of putting courses off!
By selecting a masters that reflects your expectations you’ll have a much better time. I love my class mates at EIT, the diversity really gives such cool outcomes when solving things together. So don’t just stick with a uni because you’ve done your bachelors there, do some research guys! Get yourself out there!
So that’s my two pennies worth. Next up I’ll be writing about my mind blowing experience with my dream company that I’m currently interviewing with.
Lots of love,
Credit to Techcrunch for their great illustration that I’ve used as the cover photo.