How will you fill your 168-hour week?
The most ambitious students in the US don’t waste their non-study time “socialising”. There are coding languages to be learnt, jobs to be sought, enterprises to be founded
A shift in thinking: the new emphasis on entrepreneurial graduates is a far cry from Cardinal John Henry Newman’s notion of university’s imparting the “inestimable benefit of the litera scripta”. Phtograph: Chris Pecoraro/Getty
As a leading advocate of the “entrepreneurial graduate”, Kerry Murphy Healey did a surprisingly conventional PhD. The title of her dissertation was The Impact of Cultural and Legal Influences on Certain Aspects of the Judicial Development of Human Rights in the Republic of Ireland. Her supervisors were Kader Asmal and Basil Chubb, two late greats of Trinity College Dublin’s humanities departments.
“I can’t say I used it a lot, but it was a good basis for thinking,” says the president of Babson College, in Boston, Massachusetts.
She completed the postgraduate degree 30 years ago, on a visiting scholarship to Dublin, and it was there she also met her husband, a fellow US scholar.
“It was a very productive time.”
Now heading one of the world’s top-ranked business schools, she is returning to Ireland next week to bring her message of entrepreneurship for all.
“From day one, we point out to our students they are likely to spend only 14 hours a week in class, and if they are getting the most out of their education they need to be practising entrepreneurial skills outside their classroom. Most colleges talk about extracurricular activities. We talk about cocurricular activities.”
This is the philosophy behind “Babson 168”, a credo for students at the college. “There are 168 hours in a week. How you manage your 168 hours a week will be critical for the next four years that you have in college,” a student on the college website explains to freshmen.
It’s a long way from Cardinal John Henry Newman’s idea of the university. Whither “the inestimable benefit of the litera scripta” these days?