A Mindset Worth Learning: Elgene's Academy Insights

Elgene is an incoming Grade 12 student from the Philippines taking Accounting, Business, and Mathematics (ABM) strand in Senior High School. Last April 2019, she applied to attend her very first academy –the 6th Swiss Re Start Up Academy in the Philippines (April 23-30, 2019). The academy aims to develop the entrepreneurial mindset to our young students as well as to expose them to inspiring mentors from all around the globe. This is her story.

“The Swiss Re Academy was so great that no other educational activities I had so far would suffice to compare to it. From the very first day up to the last night, everything was maximized. The business concepts, various cultures and varied perspectives left me with a broader view on things. Truthfully, I never thought that I would be given an opportunity to interact with professionals in the corporate world. Aside from sharing their academic knowledge, they had given me an idea about the most important skills in life thorough entrepreneurial mindset.

When the application for Swiss Re Academy was opened, I was quite nervous and hesitant to join. I used to ask myself what if my potential isn’t enough to reach what they expect of me. I guess the spirit of exploration and curiosity came in to encourage me to grab this opportunity.

At the start of the week, the academy posted an enormous challenge to us – come up with a business plan. I told myself that I should exert my best effort to maximize the chance granted to me of being in this academy. Every coaching session, I chose to always be open for changes and developments which I wouldn’t be able to accomplish without the help of my group and guidance of our mentors. In those moments, I realized that there would always be people helping you in every step of the way. They would offer their shoulders for you to lean on whenever life gets tough. I learnt how to be more grateful whatever the circumstance life gives me, and to always consider and maintain a positive outlook on things.

ALL SMILES AFTER COACHING: Elgene (2nd from the right) with her Start Up groupmates
and mentor Stefan Leuenberger (3rd from the left) 

At the end of the day, I asked why the Swiss Re Academy was founded and why I decided to join it. The reasons is simple. It is for us to find inspiration from other people. Little by little, one mentoring after the other, young hearts are being inspired to make changes for the betterment of the world. This may seem a bit idealistic, but with the eagerness and open hearts that seeks to improve and grow, people can make the world a better place for the present and future generations. The goal is to create a mindset that would help other people to be better versions of themselves. A mindset which bounces back from failure and maximize every opportunity on its way. Through the opportunity given to us by Swiss Re Academy, many are convinced that they can (and they would achieve their) dreams!

My heart is full of gratitude and joy because Swiss Re Academy taught me to conquer the battles I have: within, with other people and with the world. The Academy pulled out an exemplary example of how people from different background can connect and interact with each other to produce something worthwhile. This is how our world should work most especially today. With all of the happenings around the world, this is the best time that we show the values we were able to build through our shared experiences and interactions. We are learning together, hand in hand, to fuel each other’s eagerness to dream for ourselves and for other people.

Editor's Note: Elgene's group, Step Up, aims to produce convenient and sustainable energy through specialized soles in shoes. This is achieved by converting the kinetic movement of walking to electric current that is stored in an energy bank and can be used to charge electronic devices. Their group won the first place in the 6th Swiss Re Start Up Academy.

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