Why I Love National Competition – Ranj

To those of you who don’t know me, my name is Ranj and I’m the Vice Chair of the Enactus UK Alumni. My Enactus journey started back in 2008 (yes, I’m old) and since then, I’ve worn a couple of different Enactus hats – from project member and team leader at Enactus Warwick to Enactus UK staff, Alumni Mentor and Alumni Board Member. This is my eighth year of being involved in the Enactus UK network (like a bad cold, I refuse to go away), and one thing that hasn’t changed in all this time is just how much I love the Enactus UK National Competition.

I am not a morning person (never have been, never will be) but there are 3 days in the year that I will bound out of bed – Christmas, my birthday and (yes, you guessed it, you clever thing), Nationals. But “why?!” I hear you ask, “just what is so great about this whole Nationals thing?!”. Well my friends, read on and I will tell you just what Nationals is all about.

A celebration of awesomeness. Nationals is the pinnacle of the Enactus year, the culmination of all your work, a celebration that you took action to make an impact. Whether you got knocked out at Regionals or you make it all the way to World Cup, you made a choice this year to try to make an impact. You saw a problem and did something about it, so celebrate that. Celebrate your team, your projects, your initiative, your work and your commitment to the cause.

An opportunity to learn. I know that human trafficking increases when a country hosts the Olympics, that burning a kerosene lamp for a night is equivalent to smoking two packets of cigarettes and that 60% of the Indian population do not have access to toilets. I also know that orange peel is an anti-malarial, that waste avocado can be turned into soap and that gravity lights are the new solar lamps. I know these things because I learn them watching presentations at Nationals. Nationals is an opportunity to learn about global issues, the needs around you & innovative solutions so watch as many presentations as you can.

Get Inspired. It never fails to amaze me how Enactus students spot opportunities and create solutions. It fills me with hope that there’s an entire community of students who dedicate time and energy to tackling challenges and empowering people. I believe that anyone has the power to do incredible things if they take action, and Nationals is a testament to this – asides the presentations, you can also find out more at the Project Fair and even see some of the products that beneficiaries have made. Be sure to check it out – I leave more inspired every year!

Connect. The atmosphere at Nationals is just incredible – put all those amazing students in one place, throw in alumni, business advisors, university advisors and Enactus UK, and you’ve got a venue full of likeminded people. Nationals issuch a great place to meet students that care about the same things as you, talk to sponsors who can open up career opportunities and talk to alumni who can tell you about Enactus after University. Make sure you take the opportunity to meet people – you never know whose going to turn out to impact your Enactus journey.

I hope you guys are as excited for Nationals as I am. It comes but once a year, and I promise you, it’s worth the wait. I’ll be there so please do come say hi if you want to find out more about the Alumni network, and remember to have fun.