USA: to study with the elite, it is better to create a start-up in high school
The competition for admission to American universities is fierce for all high school students in their last year of “high school”. To decide between them there is continuous assessment on the one hand, on the other the SAT, a test introduced almost a hundred years ago in 1926, which evaluates their skills in only two subjects, English and Mathematics.
The problem is that virtually all students who claim top universities end up with scores of 4.0, the maximum, on continuous assessments, and 1600, again the maximum, on the SAT. This is why in 2022 the University of California system announced that they would no longer take SAT scores into account.
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So, in order to differentiate themselves, these students needed something else. Some claim to have volunteered for a union, others for humanitarian missions in Africa or South America. But this is still not enough to decide between these little geniuses or “wunderkinds”. We have seen, during the pandemic, a new kind of super performers emerge among this generation known as zoomers : Those who create their own business.
Silicon Valley has had its share of teenage company founders in recent decades. We can cite Sean Parker or Mark Zuckerberg who were barely 19 when they founded Napster and Facebook respectively. But while others complained about school closures, lack of supervision or isolation at home, hundreds of young ambitious 14, 15 or 16 year olds took advantage of this confinement, unlimited access to computers and the Internet, and Took minimal adult supervision to start your own business.
Silicon Valley talent made accessible
In another strange coincidence, the end of the pandemic and the recent mass layoffs in Silicon Valley, this new wave of entrepreneurs find themselves in an ideal position today. Like all start-ups who didn’t have access to this talent until now, these seniors now have all the time and willingness to help their projects grow.
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Start-ups aren’t the only ones benefiting from these experienced profiles. Many of them become involved in non-profit organizations or the sometimes derided administration. Money is clearly not the main motivation for those who just a few weeks ago made hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nor are free meals morning, afternoon and evening, 24-hour access to a luxurious gym or massages. People living in this world of fad rediscover or sometimes even find enthusiasm to work on disruptive technologies for some, or for others, decide to find stability in these uncertain times.
All, in any case, find in their new roles the meaning and influence they said they had lost and set out to regain during the pandemic.