As part of the Higher Colleges of Technology’s (HCT) strategic goal of ‘Embedding an Innovation Culture in the Institutional Environment’ the HCT-Dubai Women’s (DBW) Faculty of Business conducted a series of workshops for the student body.
The workshops were also aligned to the Ministry of Education’s initiative on ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’, which is based on the Stanford University Model. The primary aim of the workshops was to provide an integrated learning experience for students enrolling in the ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ course, and would complement their studies in that course. Students from different degree programs, and at different levels, were mixed to provide a dynamic learning environment which would unleash student creativity.
Ms. Sara Almahmoud, Ms. Mariam Alnuaimi and Dr. Mysoon Otoum, the faculty organizers who were trained at Stanford University as part of Ministry of Education’s initiative to advance educators in the innovation and entrepreneurship field, said these progressive workshops would create an integrated innovative ecosystem based on continued student-faculty-industry collaborations. They added that the desired institutional challenge was to change ‘collective mindset’ from a purely academic one into a dynamic entrepreneurial ethos.
Shatha Ali Binjab, a DBW Applied Media major, said: “I have learnt a lot in this workshop. Often, I would think of innovation as a new technological device or object. Being in this workshop, I have learnt that innovation can stem from anything, even updating an already-existing product or service is considered innovation. Moreover, the workshop has significantly bettered my confidence in terms of my creativity and how I present my ideas.”
“We were asked to refrain from using PowerPoint to present our ideas and assignments, which led us to resort to different and unconventional ways of presentation. As for myself, I had to completely rely on the way I present orally, knowing there would be no visuals for me to present. This has immensely improved my verbal skills. One thing I would like to have done in this class is to have gone further into the business perspective of innovation and entrepreneurship,” Shatha added.
Maitha Jaber Mohammed Ibrahim Alqasemi, another highly satisfied participant, said: “I really enjoyed the sessions, what I loved the most was interviewing people that I met for the first time, people that I know nothing about, not their name, not their age or even their major to understand their needs.”
“Moreover, as an artist who loves to play with things and create something from scratch, I really enjoyed bringing our idea to life from the materials provided. Even though it was also my first time sitting with my group members on the day, and I’m not the kind of person who is easy to get along with but I really enjoyed working with them. I would love to do this again even if it starts as early as 8 am,” Maitha added.
Dr. Syed Bashir, Business Chair at DBW, said: “Innovation and entrepreneurship in curricula provide a blend of creativity, experiential learning, knowledge building and most importantly, a shift in mindset. An early exposure to innovation and entrepreneurship, will certainly prompt the students to consider entrepreneurial ventures at some point in their career. These kind of projects play an integral role in promoting entrepreneurial mindset.”