When the Thiel Fellowship began in 2010, founder Peter Thiel caused a stir for his denunciation of the traditional educational system.
“So many students are not getting the jobs they need to repay their debts, are moving back in with their parents, and the contract both signed up for is being revealed as false,” he told The American Interest magazine.
Sometimes, however, students are lacking in more technical abilities.And while Luan reenrolled at Yale and graduated last spring, it does not look like the other fellows will be returning to college any time soon. dating for unge under 18 Tønder THE DECISION TO DROP Those who press “submit” on the application are a self-selecting group.Looking around the San Francisco Bay Area, it was clear that people could rise to the top of the tech world without college degrees.With national college debt totaling over a trillion dollars (more than national credit card debt, according to Thiel Foundation President Jonathan Cain) the value of higher education is now up for discussion.
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“We wanted to reach promising young people before they become so locked into one particular path in their education or in their career,” Cain said.“Some ideas exist within a moment of time, and if you don’t act on them at the right moment, you may lose that opportunity.” For some students, project proposals may not be fully formed, but the drive to see what they can create is enough of a motivator.“Most types of challenges that I dealt with up to that point of my life had been a challenge within the confines of a very specific system,” Gu noted. While Gu acknowledged that he had not been prepared to become a working professional, he said two more years of theoretical training in university would have made no a difference. “One thing that’s really valuable in a liberal arts setting is learning to think critically…but you can also learn that on the job,” said Zhu, who spent the beginning of his first fellowship year working on a robotics project with Luan.Best known as the cofounder of Pay Pal and Facebook’s first investor, Thiel is a self-made billionaire who has started more companies than most people would dare to dream of.
Though he followed a standard high-power educational path, with two degrees from Stanford University, the mounting college debt phenomenon and the lack of innovation outside the computer technology industry prompted him to advocate for an alternative model.Gu and Friedman were both in the “Zoo,” Yale’s computer science lab.Gu wrote in an email, “We pretty much jumped into the air to chest-bump and promptly dropped our phones with the Thiel Foundation still on the line.” THE ROUGH START Though the entire pool of Thiel winners includes one entrepreneur who formed a company at 12 and a techie who worked at MIT labs at 13, most fellows arrive with a less clear sense of the professional world. As Gu recalled: “I spent the first six months drifting from idea to idea.” Though the Thiel Foundation provides fellows with an extensive network of mentors — who advise them on everything from intellectual property to employee recruitment — the program is largely hands-off.In practice, he said, you learn through time constraints: “a deadline, a real person evaluating your work.” Looming over their heads was the possibility of failure — with a 0,000 safety net.According to Gu, eliminating the financial risk allowed them to undertake endeavors they might never have otherwise.