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“At the European School of Economics, I was welcomed with the opportunity to meet and be taught by several extremely inspiring, innovative, and well-affirmed professionals in various sectors. Apart from Music Management, I took classes ranging from International to Digital Marketing – both of which, by the way, is something I found out to be not only truly passionate about but also quite capable in – and from more business-oriented subjects (such as Decision-making) to more leadership-focused ones. The Entrepreneurial Management and Leadership class has been, in all probability, the most eye- and mind-opening experience of my entire life, without any exaggeration.

When I submitted my application for the European School of Economics, there was a particular value this school enforced that just stuck in my mind: they promoted the so-called ex-duco method. As I read about it, I could not help but smile, remembering the hours spent studying Socrates’ almost-identical educational approach (known as maieutic) for philosophy class in high school. In Latin, the verb ex-duco means to educate someone by literally bringing (duco) out (ex) the inner qualities that they maybe have yet to discover and, after that, developing those qualities in order to further consolidate their personality and capabilities. This is precisely what I experienced every time I attended an Entrepreneurial Management and Leadership lecture: a feeling of gradual discovery, an awe for finding the unexpected, a sense of meeting myself for the second time.

As stated before, I entered the class believing I knew everything there is to know about me, for philosophy and literature had already trained me more than enough on self-reflection, contributing greatly to shaping who I am as a person. Predictably, it turned out that was not really the case, and I would even go as far as to say that the same will probably apply to anybody who has never studied these topics, despite thinking, as I did, that there is no chance somebody actually knows how to make you know you. Dead wrong.
After facing the initial astonishment at this realization, I understood that this journey would only bring more clarity to my current situation: I was seizing the opportunity to not only find, but finally define what I was not able to figure out before. But how is knowing yourself through academic experimentation going to affect your future success? In this sense, it is essential to affirm that the practices of self-reflection, as taught by ancient philosophers, are indeed necessary to establish a vision for your future, however, they are only a part of a broader self-awareness branch that, along with certain strategic devices, falls under the category, as I found out, of personal branding. As a matter of fact, creating a personal brand for ourselves was the core of this course.

One of the first but surely most treasurable lessons I learned is that it is not about who we are, but rather what we express and how we express it. I fundamentally had to start everything from scratch, and all that I was working with was a list of ten adjectives that described me: ambitious, imaginative, sensitive, optimistic, organized, smart, precise, flexible, proactive, and responsible – it may have been the spirit of the lesson, but I poured those words effortlessly on my notebook page. From there, I was presented with a personal branding canvas that had to be filled in with a perfectly balanced usage of both my heart and my head, which is not easy to obtain. I had the chance to practically apply my abilities and, now certain of my quick-learning, positive attitude and my constant out-of-the-box approach for problem-solving, I was finally able to see how I will benefit from these skills, entering the workplace.

Our class had also the honor of meeting some phenomenal guest speakers who further gave us valuable advice on how to perfect our personal branding project or, better said, how to create our own unique opportunity for success.
My carving is far from being over, and my niche still requires some work; however, now I can confidently say – apart from a whole lot about myself – that I am sure of one thing: I will let life carve the remaining corners, for I have learned that, if you really aim to know who you are, your dreams will naturally find their way to you; after all, is there anything more fulfilling than letting your newfound achievements determine your future success?”

Sara Segat

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