Team Academy is an optional three-semester-long specialisation programme for BA students specialising in Business Administration and Management at Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences. Students admitted to the specialisation form teams and establish their own business ventures. Throughout the programme, they work on the development and the successful running of these businesses, while they implement their own ideas and focus on meeting and responding to real demands of the market. Young entrepreneurs acquire theoretical knowledge by facing business-related challenges and managing difficult situations.
Unconventional and non-formal educational methods used at Team Academy facilitate experiential training and learning. These methods, on the one hand, are continuously developed by using the results of the University’s research programmes and, on the other hand, they are adapted to the needs of Hungarian and foreign students. Team Academy students will acquire superior skills in the professional areas of giving presentations, negotiation and reasoning, customer service and cooperation. Their activities are supported by committed, open-minded and experienced coaches offering broad perspectives. Budapest Business School contributes to the successful development of these ventures through the following means: by providing a supportive environment; by making its smart campus (opened in 2017) based infrastructure and facilities available to its students for the purpose of motivating their creativity; and by involving former Team Academy graduates, business partners and mentors in the learning process.
According to research results, 4-5 percent of fresh graduates start their own businesses (on average, 5 percent of those Business Administration and Management graduates who did not attend Team Academy start their own ventures) while, in comparison, approximately 20 percent of Team Academy graduates run their own businesses.
Historically speaking, willingness to assume risks is not a typical feature of Hungarian society, where being an entrepreneur is still associated with negative overtones. However difficult it may be, it is still very important to encourage young people to start their own businesses and to set this activity as their career goal. Envisioning this career goal is especially difficult for students if the development of an entrepreneurial mindset is addressed within the structures afforded by traditional education.
The foundation of the current entrepreneur-friendly strategy cherished by Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences dates back to the early 2000s. At that time, the management of Budapest Business School (the predecessor of Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences) realised that the School may have an important role in preparing young people for entrepreneurship and thus may assume a vital part in providing training and further training to managers and owners of SMEs (which companies, at that time, often functioned as businesses providing false self-employment). This conviction led to the recognition that the notion of “entrepreneur-friendly university” became one of the pillars of the University’s 2016-2020 development plan.
In the scope of the university’s strategy of becoming an entrepreneur-friendly institution, the University’s management, based on a Finnish model, decided to launch the Team Academy programme to complement the traditional ways of developing professional skills. Within the framework of higher education, Team Academy provides opportunities for students to try and test themselves as entrepreneurs thereby gaining professional experience in a supportive and protective environment.
Our students’ views on Team Academy:
“Team Academy is my second home. Here I receive sufficient support from both my team and our coaches for achieving my goals and for having enough persistence to stay the course. This is the place where I realised that it is really good to work in a team because every one of us takes responsibility for the tasks we have undertaken. And we do accomplish these tasks, which is contrary to my experience of performing learning tasks in the scope of group work activities at various other university classes. In their early 20s, not many people can boast of having a company and a dream that they have already started to realise. For us, building our own businesses is the greatest fun during the whole activity and we are dedicated to realising this goal every single day. I am glad to be here, and this is in fact the best opportunity that the University’s Faculty of Finance and Accountancy can offer its students.”
“Team Academy is a perspective of life. It is a community of determined and ambitious young people who not only desire to make changes in their lives and environment, but they are able to realise such changes. At the same time, these people are not afraid to undergo changes themselves while they are walking along the path of causing changes. Team Academy’s framework provides us with a unique opportunity: unlike conventional business education approaches, which exhibit typical corporate attitudes, this training programme offers alternative paths to follow, and we can try and test ourselves on the free market in an environment of a protective background. During my two-year-long career at Team Academy, we had set up and then run a business until it reached its successful exit period. The applied coaching methods helped us learn from our own failures, our skills developed and the learning process also became a memorable experience for our whole lives. Through the practical skills and the business culture that we have acquired, this experience has made us stronger and helped us achieve our goals and realise ourselves.”