Technology youth development and entrepreneurship education
Technology, youth development and entrepreneurship education are three areas close to the hearts of Reactor School’s co -founder and chief executive officer, Mr. Khairul Rusydi.
Combining the three areas in his career, Mr Khairul Rusydi, 32, has set up Reactor School which designs and develops entrepreneurship education programs for students aged 13 to 24.
The Reactor program allows students to immerse themselves in a start -up environment, so that they learn to feel ‘comfortable’ with an atmosphere of uncertainty.
He started Reactor School along with two other similar founders, Mr Lim Weiyuan and Mr Ian Low, while at university.
Today, Reactor School works with over 200 secondary schools and universities in the region, including Hong Kong and as far as Dubai.
“We feel that although every student does not necessarily have to be an entrepreneur, every student should cultivate an entrepreneurial attitude,” said Mr Khairul Rusydi, the eldest of three siblings.
Mr. Khairul Rusydi graduated with a degree in biological chemistry and chemistry from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in 2014, and is a recipient of an Enterprise Singapore scholarship.
While at university, he had the opportunity to participate in the Youth Expedition Project (YEP) organized by the National Youth Council (NYC).
It also sparked his passion for contributing to the development of youth.
FOSTERING ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN YOUTH
Despite being busy running the Reactor School, Mr Khairul Rusydi has contributed to the Singapore Youth Action Plan (SG YAP) panel, organized by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and NYC.
The panel championed a range of youth engagement issues, including sustainability, mental health and finding more inclusive spaces for youth to meet and collaborate.
Said Mr Khairul Rusydi: “I am passionate about contributing to the SG YAP panel as it allows me to work with various youth sector organizations for the impact I have made in education.
“As part of YAP, my team organized the Edu2025 Policy Hackathon event. One of the ideas of the hackathon event was to build another type of national entrepreneurship education framework.”
Encik Khairul Rusydi has also been a mentor and consultant with the Youth Action Challenge (YAC) for more than three years.
YAC is a platform under SG YAP that gives youths the opportunity to take action and give back to the community with their own unique ideas.
He was a panel member involved in the Vision 2025 program, where he was involved in the vision process, and mentored several teams while serving at YAC. He is also passionate about inculcating entrepreneurial values among the youth.
Through his experience working with youths, Mr Khairul Rusydi found that generation Z, the zoomer generation that grew up in a high -tech environment, were beginning to realize that they would step into a global and distant workforce.
Talent competition is very fierce and youths may feel left out if they cannot access such opportunities.
As a result of Covid-19, the adventure had to be stopped for a while now and students are not able to study abroad as easily as before.
“Some of the students I worked with started to feel tired with Zoom University (learning through Zoom). So, I think we need to venture into a hybrid model as soon as possible that combines‘ virtual ’learning and face -to -face interaction,” Mr Khairul Rusydi said.
CREATE OPPORTUNITIES AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL
Therefore, he advised young Singaporeans to learn other Asean languages.
This is because there are many economic opportunities in Southeast Asia and they need to learn to work in different time zones and cultures so that they can work effectively with regional teams, according to Mr Khairul Rusydi.
To help local youths gain work experience with companies in Southeast Asia, Reactor School has launched the AEP-Entrepreneurship Edition (AEP-EE) program, where Singaporean youths from tertiary institutions can experience ‘virtual’ work experience with technology companies and startups. up from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Students can also take part -time jobs when they still need to attend classes.
The AEP-EE program was created for aspiring founders and entrepreneurs who want to identify technology opportunities and learn about the region. The goal of the program is to have more startups on the regional footprint.
For example, a company could have a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) from Vietnam, a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) from Singapore and a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) from Indonesia.
Such companies can create more jobs and help local communities in all three countries.
Apart from that, Encik Khairul Rusydi also advised young Singaporeans to build a portfolio of projects that they archiving, in and out of school.
Explaining the importance of building your own project portfolio, Encik Khairul Rusydi said:
“Start -ups and technology companies are now leading the hiring process based on demonstrated skills, and not through academic grades. We want to shift the emphasis on academic grades by leading technology startups.”