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

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

Sat, Jun 21, 2014, 01:00

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.

“Appreciate every minute that you have in college before it’s too late . . . I use my free hours to learn how to code with HTML, CSS, Javascript, and jQuery. I am also an event planner, so I am currently working with a company to plan a conference in mid May. I also have three jobs on campus . . . I am also a social-media ambassador and special-events video recorder. The rest of my time, I use those 168 hours to apply for jobs and focus on gaining new skills.”

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?

Dazzling CV

Healey, who has the sort of dazzling CV you’d expect from a Babson College president – former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, Republican National Committeewoman, and senior campaigner in Mitt Romney’s presidential bid – says you need to be highly motivated to succeed today.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.
From Monday 20th October 2014 we're changing how readers sign-in to comment, click here for more information.