The Entrepreneur Alliance at NNU, which consists of students from the School of Business, was established in 2009. Focusing on fostering innovation and boosting efficiency, the organization provides a platform for students to develop and convey their creative ideas. It also serves as a link between enterprises and students who are in need of career guidance and information.
Tiantian Wang, the present leader of Entrepreneur Alliance, was attracted to this organization two and a half years ago. When she participated in a recruitment activity organized by Entrepreneur Alliance, she was impressed by her predecessors, Qian Lu and Yaqian Zhou. “They do their work with complete dedication and high efficiency. They both have a neat, methodical mind,” Wang said. “I admired them in this respect and hoped that I could learn from them after I joined the organization.”
During the past two and a half years, Wang and her co-workers have organized a wide range of activities through which students can develop and share their innovations. According to Wang, students, particularly those who major in business-related disciplines should attach great importance to innovation. They should be practitioners rather than bookworms and apply what they have learnt in class into practice.
“Crazy Mind” is one of the enduringly popular activities held by Entrepreneur Alliance. Several entertaining and inspiring games are designed to encourage students’ creativity. Teams strive to win first prize by creating and presenting an innovative design based on the key words they selected randomly beforehand. A panel of judges, including teachers from the School of Business and administrators from noted enterprises, grade these groups according to their performances and put forward some suggestions for their designs.
Participants relish the chance to share their seemingly fantastic designs. “Brainstorming was quite an interesting process. Our team members kept bouncing imaginative and marvelous ideas around. We had a lot of discussions then finally came to a decision. Moreover, the sense of cohesiveness within our team was heightened,” Ci Zhou, a member of this year’s champion team said.
Although ‘Crazy Mind’ has attracted praise from students and teachers, Tiantian Wang told the correspondent that she hoped Entrepreneur Alliance could do better in the future. “Most of the participants took part in ‘Crazy Mind’ because of the awards rather than the desire to share fresh inspirations,’ she said. ‘We are trying to strengthen their motivations.’ Besides, those participants are dubbed by Wang as ‘dancers with chains’ as they have to come up with new ideas which must be related to several key words within a time limit. ‘We keep considering and analyzing these problems and attempt to fix them by changing the form of our activities,” Wang said.
Apart from intramural activities, Entrepreneur Alliance has organized many extramural ones in order that students can obtain useful information and better adapt themselves to new environments. Students from the School of Business are regularly afforded the opportunity to visit the headquarters or the branches of some well-established enterprises in Nanjing such as A.O.Smith, Suning and Pegasus Brigade. Students can acquaint themselves with the work environments and cultures of these enterprises, along with some recruitment information and skills for interviews shared by directors of Human Resource Departments. “This activity not only helps students understand how the enterprises operate, but also helps enterprises locate well-qualified employees,” Zeyu Yu, the director of the Publicity Department of Entrepreneur Alliance and the person in charge of this activity said.
‘City Survival Challenge’, another extramural activity, appeals to scores of participants. Participants are divided into several groups. Each group is allocated the same amount of money, using what they need to buy commodities and then sell them within a time limit. They can add value to their commodities by using special designs. The team who earns the most at the end of the activity is the winner. According to Tiantian Wang, students need to harness communication skills and employ marketing strategies during this activity. They really apply what they have learnt into practice.
Already being the senior ones in Entrepreneur Alliance, Tiantian Wang and Zeyu Yu are both gratified to see growth in themselves. Their confidence has been bolstered. They have discovered their strengths and began to appreciate themselves. Many of their original ideas were drawn from the activities they organized. ‘I gained many inspirations which were of great help to me in professional competitions. I also became bold and formulated my own ideas as I watched how other participants did it for themselves as well,’ Yu said.