Kickstart your Future! • Speaker Series Recap

Before the holiday, an awesome event took place at the VU: ‘Kick Start your Future!’, organized by Aureus and Student Talks. Five motivational speakers where invited to the VU to share their stories and passions in life, with the goal to motivate other great thinkers here at our university. Feeling the lack of motivation to kick start 2018 after a relaxed Christmas break? Don’t worry! In this Speaker Series Recap, we look back at an inspirational and successful afternoon with the speakers Mitchel Wubben, Tare Velis, David Hwan, Anne Hospers and Bhupinder Singh.

Under the principle of “share to inspire”, Student Talks organizes events all over the world. From Copenhagen to Singapore, they manage to reach out to the biggest talents of this generation and put them on stage to share their story and passion. Their goal is simple and humble: ‘entertain everyone – inspire some – change the lives of few’.

Mitchel Wubben: Next Big Thing

Mitchel believes to know how to be successful in our ‘next big thing’ in life. He thinks there are certain big phases in our life, for example graduating, that we need to prepare our mind and body in order to succeed. He lives by the motto: “where focus goes, energy flows”. If you focus on something you really want to achieve, you’ll get there! Do not focus on your failures too much, because then you’ll begin to feel like a failure. Instead, focus on what you have been successful in, and you will notice that you’ll be successful in upcoming events too.

Mitchell concluded his talk with four steps which he believes are key to success: First of all, don’t think, but say it. It really helps to speak out your goals to yourself and to other people. Secondly, you need to have a positive mental focus. Thirdly, learn from the best; the most successful people aren’t the smartest, but they surround themselves with the best people in the world. At last (self-evident but very true), follow through, even when you’re having a hard time. We all sometimes have limited beliefs, but you got to follow through in order to reach your goals.

Tara Velis: Personal Branding in a Digital Age

Tara made us all realize that innovation is the currency of the future. So, it is time to innovate ourselves to take the unique brand -YOU- to the next level. Nowadays, having a strong brand is very important to distinguish yourself from competitors. The same counts for us. It is not sufficient anymore to only have a degree. Companies also want to hire you for who you are. Yet, it is hard to find out what makes you unique. How did Tara find that out? By becoming more self-aware! When you get to know yourself on a higher level, you can use that knowledge to become a better communicator, when it comes to a job interview for example.

Also, Tara has three golden rules to help us innovate ourselves. Firstly, choose your own adventure. Just because you study a specific field does not mean you end up there. You don’t have to be stuck on one career path. Secondly, show and don’t just tell. Thirdly, use your online presence. What do you do when you just met a new person? Exactly, Facebook stalking 😉 Companies do that too! You have the power to control what they find about you on the internet.

David Hwan: Taking on Social Problems

David is co-founder of a very inspirational organization, called ‘Refugees Forward’. This organization strives for the economic empowerment of newcomers and their integration into local communities. In doing so, Refugees Forward tackles one of society’s major challenges: refugees. Why did he decide to take upon this ultimate challenge? Because David believes we should always aim for the high: “The danger for most of us is not that we aim to high and miss it, but that we aim to low and reach it.”

We as a society all have these huge problems. Tackling these problems as an individual and trying to make a sustainable social impact is the hardest challenge of all. “And I think that is exactly the reason why you should take them on”, David states. He believes that taking on the hardest challenges that exist, is the ultimate way to invest in yourself. Why? Because these challenges require concrete solutions. Finding such solutions challenges us to make the best use of our brain, social skills and network, which is extremely valuable for yourself. If we switch our mindset and challenge ourselves to solve these problems, we can also lay a basis: “what matters are the countless deeds of unknown people, who lay a basis for the significant events that enter history”.

Anne Hospers: My Hobby? Networking!

Everybody hates networking, but we love to make friends. How can that be? Anne shares her story about how networking became her hobby and how you could make it yours as well. Because, when networking becomes fun instead of a chore, a world of possibilities opens up! Anne shared the three main lessons she had learned. The first one is: “Nee heb je, ja kun je krijgen” (You never know until you ask). It sounds very simple, but it is actually very important. It’s all about fear for rejection, which you have to embrace.  Her second lesson is: the power of the curious mind. The power of asking questions, self-reflection and making connections is huge! Her third and final lesson is all about being visible. Anna uses LinkedIn by sending an invitation with a personal message every time she meets someone new. Also, she tags people and shares what she does. Making sure you’re visible adds value for other people. Combine these three things, and you’ll have the perfect recipe for a great career!

Bhupinder Singh: Entrepreneurship as a Tool for Freedom

Last but not least, a speech that did not really motivate us to kick start our exam week, yet had a really thoughtful message to take into consideration. Bhupinder says: “it’s time to reassess what we’ve learned and focus on what will make us happy”. We as students are given conventional prejudice until our retirement: doing a bachelor and buying a house for example. We often blindly follow this. Yet, many successful people in this world actually refused to bow to conventional prejudice. So, what is the difference between a mediocre mind and a great spirit? He believes: The mindset!

Changing your mindset and becoming an entrepreneur is THE tool for freedom and happiness, he believes. “Since I started being an entrepreneur, I changed” he says. “Entrepreneurship takes you through a lot of dirt. When you think you’re at your lowest point, it will take you down even more. But in the end, it makes you a better person.” You will learn a lot about yourself and about life in general. His biggest hurdle is not how to grow his companies, it is himself. “I have to learn about myself to get myself further.” Bhupinder believes that if we all would be an entrepreneur, we would all be great people doing great things. Start by changing your mindset! And the funny thing about mindset is, it can be changed at any given moment..

Already have some regret that you didn’t attend this event? You can check out some of these speaches and many more from other events on the Student Talks Youtube Channel.

And of course make sure you don’t miss the next Speaker Series event!