“Today’s children will work in careers and industries that haven’t been invented yet. They will need to solve problems that won’t exist for decades. As educators we need to teach the skills that will help our children develop into innovative global citizens.”
Meet Alice Ju, from GirlCrew Sydney, Founder and Managing Director of Creative Einstein
Making your hobby your career is a daunting prospect for anyone, but for Alice Ju the rewards outweigh the difficulty and she wouldn’t look back!
After graduating college with a Batchelor of Economics, Alice began her career path with a job in a high profile investment bank. However, she quickly realised that the corporate lifestyle wasn’t for her and she needed a change – “I wanted something with more of a work-life balance so I went back to university and got a Master of Teaching.”
While this was a change of focus, Alice jokes that it wasn’t a change of pace “I didn’t appreciate, at the time how hard teachers work on a daily basis and throughout the holidays!” Despite this, she persevered and after noticing that there was a lack of resources for students at all levels she began tutoring privately and was amazed by the results. “A friend jokingly said that I should tutor full time. I laughed it off at the time. But two years later, Creative Einstein was born.”
Originally set up as an art school, Creative Einstein goes against the current trend of wrote-learning that is so popular in a lot of the educational sector. For Alice, this method of learning means children “lose creatively and the ability to think for themselves.” By encouraging her students to be more critical of their surroundings, and to explore topics in a deeper way Alice hopes that they will be able to grow and prosper. Alice is firm in her belief that this approach is not only more beneficial to the individual, but is also key for society overall – “our rapidly changing world means today’s children will work in careers and industries that haven’t been invented yet. They will need to solve problems that won’t exist for decades. As educators we need to teach the skills that will help our children develop into innovative global citizens… my learning programs are focused on developing deep understanding and critical thinking because I want my students to be confident and independent learners: creative geniuses.”
1. What is the best thing about running your own business?
Having an unrestricted creative license; whether it’s preparing engaging teaching and learning programs, designing a fun and quality learning environment or constructing new marketing material.
2. What did you find most challenging about it?
Always having to plan for the unexpected, you never know what can fall through at the last minute and cause a domino effect. I have learnt to have a Plan B and often Plan C. Early on, I encountered a delay in receiving a completed lease agreement meant delays in setting up a landline, signage, business cards and ultimately losing leads from looking unprofessional.
3. What is your proudest business achievement to date?
I started the Free Homework Help initiative which gives all primary school students equal access to free academic support in a quiet learning environment outside of school. The program is set to run from 3pm until 6pm, Tuesday through to Friday during the school term. As a former teacher I know there are many families who can’t help their children with school work or can’t provide a quiet environment to study. I want to give these kids equal opportunity for academic success.
4. What would be your one tip to others who want to set up their own business?
Find something you’re passionate about and work on turning that into a living. I love art and I love teaching. However facts and figures showed that running an art school wasn’t feasible and I’m not nearly good enough to be a professional artist. Luckily I had two hobbies.
5. What would be your motto in life, and in business?
Reach for the stars; aim high and you’d be surprised.
If you are a GirlCrew member, and are interested in being featured in Meet the GirlCrew just email me at Aine@girlcrew.com!x
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