A year into my MEST journey!

MEST, Thursday November 10th 2011

[caption id="attachment_1113" align="alignleft" width="334"] MEST Recruitment team + Fiifi (at the back in brown shirt)[/caption]

I clearly remember my first day stepping through the doors of MEST as a new EIT (entrepreneur-in-training). With highly motivated teaching fellows and senior faculty i was determined to learn as much as i will have the opportunity to and have fun as well. We were forewarned our stay at MEST was going to be challenging but fun as well.

Speed Learning: As most of my colleagues are used to this by now; taking time to absorb lessons and preparing for quizzes, MEST introduced us to a faster pace of learning: few days after new topics were introduced, there were assignments and projects running side by side.

Lesson learned here: This scenario simulates 'real world' demands and competition in business today, where customers demand for products and services on time. It took me a while to get up to speed with this new culture, even to the point of deciding deadlines for our deliverables as a class.

Switching from learning economics to java?
I came to MEST originally from an economics background and very used to concepts such as 'economies of scale', 'macro & micro economics', 'money markets' etc ...  now here I was, learning new concepts like java, php, system architecture and to mention but a few. I found it challenging keeping pace with the class during my first weeks at MEST. It was inspiring hearing Jorn Lyseggen, CEO Meltwater Group on one of his visits to MEST, speak on the culture of Meltwater and emphasising the importance of hard work. "The world is filled with a lot of talented people, but in order to be successful, much of the work actually depends on the hard work you put into nurturing the talent you have", said Mr Lyseggen.

The series of quizes we had to take without preparation made me understand, we can not be fully prepared for the challenges and opportunities that come our way, we can however take advantage of these opportunities and overcome such challenges when we apply ourselves to working hard and constantly training ourselves in our pursuit for success. There have been countless number of times when my colleagues and I have had to work into the night on a quest to meet deadlines.

We do have fun as well
I must admit that MEST has its fun-side too, I quite remember the opening day of the Class of 2012, Rhys (a tech teaching fellow from Australia) was dancing skilfully to local Ghanaian 'hiplife' music, which got most of us smiling in amazement. Talk of fun times, perhaps getting ice cream with the whole class during a hot afternoon (about 30+ degrees celsius) with teaching fellow Dave during an 'idea generation' class was not such a bad idea after all... and oh the weekend sleep over at Adah-Foah, where a colleague only realised after half an hour of swimming in the ocean that he had his phone in his pocket the whole time :)

Networking at MEST
Part of the MEST program, Guest Lectures are among the aspect of the program that i consider to be very important. These are very informative and motivating times when EITs are exposed to some of the software industry's CEOs with global businesses; we get the opportunity to network with these entrepreneurs at the MEST campus over a weekend (4 times in a year), where EITs learn about the Guest Lecturer's  life experiences, ask them as many questions as possible and get the chance to learn as fast as we can from their succeses, mistakes and experiences.

A year at MEST has been very eventful i will say, and i am looking forward to take full advantage of the opportunities in the coming year and best wishes to the rest of my colleagues.