Experience is the best form of learning. You can talk, observe, study and plan as much as you like, but it’s not until the rubber hits the road, to coin a phrase from my transatlantic friends, that you find out what works and what doesn’t, what you are capable of and where you struggle.
Two common challenges for young people today are gaining work experience, so they can learn and realise their potential, and navigating the minefield of the job search and application process. Enabling young people to get the chance to shine is what drove Sharon Oh to tackle both these problems together.
In the latest interview for our monthly Learning to Leap series, I spoke with Sharon, an award-winning young digital entrepreneur. She is someone who doesn’t take no for an answer! She taught herself to code while studying a digital media degree and within four months developed a prototype mobile job search app – against the advice of her lecturers. At the end of her studies, she was recognised for her Outstanding Entrepreneurship and Innovation and given a grant to develop her idea further.
If you have an idea, you need to let the world know.
Sharon is now the founder of Augmented Vacancies, the first mobile app job search site for 16-25 year-olds incorporating augmented reality and video CV. Currently, her focus is on internships, placements and graduate jobs in the IT and Gaming sectors within the London area, but with plans for other sectors like retail and outside the capital.
Fail it, learn it, practise it.
I caught up with Sharon to hear all about her company and being a young entrepreneur. In a wide-ranging conversation, we covered:
- What she learned from her dispiriting experiences as a job seeker (and what she did about it).
- How employers can speed up their recruitment processes by 30%.
- How young people can use the AV app to build their communication and interpersonal skills.
- How students can quickly source work experience opportunities using GPS location technology and their mobile’s camera.
- How young people can join the AV Ambassador Scheme as a volunteer to enhance their employability.
- Sharon’s savvy reflections on striving for entrepreneurial success.
- Details about the Digital and IT Recruitment Exhibition she is running with STEM employers and her plans for rolling it out to schools and universities.
Sharon is genuinely inspiring and passionate about what she is doing. Watching the interview you instantly see, hear and feel the entrepreneurial spark in action, someone practising what she preaches – resilience, determination, humility, energy, and fun.