Mentor Assessment #1:
Date: March 24, 2016
Topic: Tech Entrepreneurship
The following Mentor Assessment (#1) details the encountering with my mentor Jon Kendall in the mentor meeting on March 13, 2017. I came prepared to discuss one thing with Jon, that is his view on college as a tech entrepreneur. Overall, he provided great insights about college from his personal experience.
Today, Jon and I discussed one of my college options – SP Jain. This is because I received notice from SPJ two days ago, regarding their willingness to offer me full-tuition, ~$80,000 off over the four years as a BBA student. All I am left to pay is ~$15,000 per year with my registration fee, room and board, and books and supplies.
However, my parents’ lack of support for me to attend this school. Their reasons are as follows:
- BBA (Bachelors of Business Administrations) is not as worthwhile as a degree in Software Engineering as any undergrad engineer students can go on and earn an MBA, but not vice versa. Furthermore, too many people take a business, so the major is too easy to earn which means you waste your time in four years.
- SPJ is a new school lacking empirical evidence for its credibility. Plus, you receive the accreditation by an Australian government, which could potentially negatively affect your employment in America.
Also, some of my additional concerns to this school:
- Student quality: some Indian students just want to get by and are quite wealthy which means they focus on things that are not related to academics (partying and shopping).
- Lack of wide-alumni connection: since it’s a small and new program, and it’s basically unheard of in the markets that I will be competitive at (U.S. and China).
- Some scholarship and federal financial aid money won’t go through funding foreign schools.
Meanwhile, Jon analyzed the pros and cons of BS in Software Engineering vs. BBA:
- Engineering degrees – you can make good money, it’s incredibly stable, though it has a ceiling.
- Business degrees – it’s not as stable, but it has more potential; plus, if you are going to fail, fail in your younger years.
- However, if you don’t want to join large corporations but instead, want to join startups then: live ultra-frugally and save more than $40,000 (which will give you incredible purchasing power), use that as investment capital and join startups as startups value capital more than degrees.
Lastly, Jon encouraged me to get with SP Jain students/alumni/professors to get more insight of the school. And that’s what I did. I went crazy and asked questions from many SP Jain students/alumni/professors (I tried 60, with ~40 responded) and have collected the information below.
My goal is to become a nomadic, serial entrepreneur who travels the world and start something with other talents worldwide. SP Jain provides me with experience to three of the major nexus of the social, economical, and technological changes and opportunities in the world.
I always sought for an unconventional, global immersion type of experience for college. I felt that most colleges in the U.S., despite their reputations and so-called having a quality education, lacked the flexibility to sync with how the world is evolving.
My personal belief is, whenever everyone is chasing something (e.g. America), the real opportunity will be in the other direction (e.g. the rest of the world). I don’t like to go mainstream, and plus I value a smaller, tight-knit community, where I get to be a pioneer to shape the school instead.
Furthermore, it might sound strange but I think going to SPJ isn’t as risky as isn’t seems, I would actually rate it more leaning on the conservative side of college options among other colleges. Because of these reasons, I think SP Jain is a great option, and it can’t go wrong.