'Fail fast, fail forward'


Merel Schöffel (28) graduated from Media and Entertainment Management in 2019, set up the startup GetKarma, and is the director of Trive.

It's not bad to muddle along for a while
After my studies, I was still searching. On the one hand, I was driven to do great things and cause impact! But on the other hand, I didn't know exactly what, and especially at what organization. People expect you to have a serious job immediately after graduation. But it's not bad to muddle on for a while and think about which way to go. There is so much pressure on this generation. Feel free to take six months after your studies to figure this out quietly.

Founding GetKarma
During my studies, at Start Up Campus Haarlem, I started my own company GetKarma. This is a platform that brings young people and volunteers together. I saw in my environment that many young people want to do good but don't feel like going to a regular volunteer service. For this, after my studies, I went out, researched, and talked to many people. Then, I ended up at Trive through word of mouth. They eventually helped me further develop GetKarma, and I did unpaid work in return. I began to like that work more and more. The founder of Trive saw that too.

Become a director? That's right, I will!
Meanwhile, I joined the company and began to get more and more involved in the organization. The founder also saw that I was engaged with the team. Then he said, "This is going so well. I actually want you to run this company as director,' I said, 'That's fine, I will!' That's what I'm doing now.

Voor alle studenten die willen ondernemen zou ik zeggen: ‘Niet bang zijn en gewoon doen’. Gewoon zorgen dat je met mensen in contact komt. Het is een hele fijne basis om vanuit te experimenteren.
Merel Schöffel

At first, we focused mainly on startups. Meanwhile, we've changed the direction toward the public and cultural sectors. For example, together with the team, I helped several war museums and the central museum in Utrecht with their digital transformation. I am mega proud of this.

Meanwhile, I learned a lot in the role of director. It wasn't always easy, and I bumped into myself on several occasions. Think of difficult projects, saying goodbye to team members, and having too much to do. It's all part of the job. I did learn to take things less personally. At first, it often felt like a personal failure when something didn't go right. Now, I can see things better in perspective. Many things are beyond your control. Life is often about being lucky. To make the best of every day is the most important thing. Just enjoy the ride!

Start Up Program
I was looking for an extra challenge in addition to my studies. A lot of people go part-time freelance after their media studies, so it's good to learn how it works to set something up on my own. That's why I joined the Start Program at Start Up Campus Haarlem. SUCH is really a place separate from your studies. Also, the idea that professionals were brought in to help you is awesome. Participating in the Start Program gave me a toolkit to start new projects and contributed to my professional development.

To all students who want to be entrepreneurs, I say "Don't be afraid and just do it.'' That's the most important thing. Make sure you connect with people. And clearly state what you want to learn. Most people say 'yes' to a concrete request for help. This is a very fine foundation from which to experiment. Fail fast, fail forward. Don't be afraid to fall flat on your face. That's just part of it.

About SUCH:

Start Up Campus Haarlem is the place for entrepreneurial students of Inholland University of Applied Sciences. Through an inspiring five-month program of events and workshops, you work on your business, and entrepreneurial skills and grow your network at lightning speed. Entrepreneurship begins at Start Up Campus Haarlem! Want to know when the next Start or Growth program starts?  Check out our Instagram of website.

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