Stanford’s Most Popular Class

A friend sent me this fascinating article about what is currently Stanford University’s most popular class: a course designed to help students understand vocation so they can better “design their lives.” Here’s a quote:

Before Kanyi Maqubela became an investment partner at the Collaborative Fund, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on social enterprises, he was a typical Stanford student in need of career guidance. He was working with startups, studying philosophy, dating someone special—and feeling overwhelmed.

Enter “Designing Your Life,” a new and wildly popular course for Stanford juniors and seniors that is grounded in design thinking concepts and techniques. The course’s lessons gave him the perspective he needed to navigate decisions about life and work post graduation.

“It really helped me understand what the concept of vocation was,” he says. “I had thought of it either as a narrowly religious concept or for a specific job. But it’s this feeling that I have true agency over my work, because I know what I stand for and I have tools to fix the things that I encounter in my life.”

Kanyi’s story illustrates the mission of Find Your Calling. We believe that if we give young people the right information at the right time, they will make smarter, more intentional, more confident decisions about what they want to do with their lives—because not only will they discover the vocations best for them, they will also anticipate where various education and career choices will lead. Through Find Your Calling, we want to help our country’s students design their lives.

Below is Stanford’s video describing the impetus behind the Design Your Life program.

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