If you’ve worked with Enactus in the UK, chances are you know alumnus, Mark Corbett. Today, Mark works with the program as a mentor. But it wasn’t so long ago that he was a recent college graduate, passing up a job at Apple to instead work for Enactus, the program that altered the course of his life beginning at King’s College [London] in 2007.
Mark joined Enactus the way most do, through a friend. He thought it would be an interesting and challenging way to occupy his time outside of study, and that maybe he’d even learn something! Soon enough, that free time he now spent at Enactus began to feel like the time of his life. That’s why he chose Enactus as his first post-graduate job. And it’s why, even when he left to start his own company, he knew it wasn’t goodbye.
“I think you learn so much when you’re mentoring unselfishly,” Mark says. “I learned so much about how people work, and how to lead other people, and how to learn from your own experiences in a way that allows you to pass on that knowledge to others. Enactus taught me how to do that.”
But the question became how do you scale your ability to mentor larger amounts of students and yet retain the effectiveness that comes from proximity? Mark and his team’s solution: video-based mentoring and training.
Mark’s company, Edvent, is focused on restructuring the current education system to prepare students for the world of tomorrow, one that’s constantly in flux.
“I’m a firm believer that the majority of our education systems are set up completely incorrectly,” he says. “Frankly, we’re preparing young people for the wrong century.”
“That’s why our purpose is very much around building workforces tomorrow, today. We’re too focused on learning hard skills that computers are going to be doing for us. What we really need to be understanding is how to actually build a symbiotic society where you have humans and machines working together in perfect harmony. Whether it takes 25, 50 or 100 years, that’s what the world will look like.”
“I learned so much about how people work, and how to lead other people, and how to learn from your own experiences in a way that allows you to pass on that knowledge to others. Enactus taught me how to do that.”
Mark’s platform is free for students, and then licensed to universities and corporations. Having worked with more than 15,000 students, Edvent currently has 15 university and corporate clients, including his former university, Kings College London, alongside Aston University and Santander. On top of their technology, they are delivering hackathons, accelerators, and vibrant development opportunities for students.
Most recently, Mark has taken a stake in AwesomeTrip, the organizers of Europe’s largest student tech festival, Amstertech. Needless to say, there is an open invite to all Enactus students.
Mark is an Enactus success story that we all hope to emulate. The first Enactus Nationals that Mark went to in London, in 2009, his team won. But that was just the beginning. His team was later defeated in the Berlin World Cup that same year, going out in the first round to the eventual winners and runners up.
“Ultimately, it was a good thing,” he says. “We learned far more in our defeat than we ever would have by scraping through.”
Coming to the Enactus World Cup this year as a proud alumnus, Mark’s not resting on his laurels. Edvent’s mission is to “provide young people with the soft skills and opportunities to rock ‘n’ roll in their ideal jobs; whether or not the jobs exist yet,” and to “become the No. 1 career services operation in the world by 2027.”
Lofty goals, to some. After 12 years of involvement with Enactus, though, Mark says it’s an attainable mission he’s committed to seeing through.