Adapting to progress is an integral part of a student’s success. You must work hard in grade school, then, when the time comes, leverage your successes so they give you the best shot at admissions. Let’s jump ahead a bit. Say your admissions campaign was a success. With the assistance of a tutor from TutorNerds, you’ve chosen the best school, submitted a moving essay, and charmed interviewers with your humility and passion. For the past year and a half, it’s been all about what makes you stand out. More importantly, it’s been about your skills and accomplishments.

Beaming with self-confidence, you get into your top school of choice. Eager to get to work, you open your first online assignment, which reads, “Create a resume of your failures.” That’s right, failures. If you were enrolled in environmental engineer Jack V. Matson’s “Failure 101” course, then you would most likely be faced with such a daunting task. You may be asking yourself why a professor would create such a course. Simply put, failure is the soil from which creativity grows.

imaginationTo illustrate, The New York Times quotes the professor as saying, “the frequency and intensity of failures is an implicit principle of the course. Getting into a creative mind-set involves a lot of trial and error.” Creativity – it’s more than just a buzzword these days, it’s what will get you your dream job. Creativity is what will wake up you up in the middle of the night to program the next billion dollar app. But wait, what if I’m not creative? Like any other unfamiliar skill, learn it!

Colleges are more focused on career building than ever, that’s why what businesses desire is often what universities seek to provide. It’s easy to find an example of the high demand for creative thinkers. For instance, In Creativity Become an Academic Discipline, Laura Pappano explains,

“In 2010 “creativity” was the factor most crucial for success found in an I.B.M. survey of 1,500 chief executives in 33 industries. These days “creative” is the most used buzzword in LinkedIn profiles two years running.”

Corporations are eager to hire the creative for obvious reasons – they benefit a team driven environment, they produce innovations, and they learn from their failures. Further, these firms aren’t just plucking the ripest fruits from the creative tree, they’re spending lots of money on training and counseling to make the lot they have even more creative.


Lydia Dallett of The Business Insider highlights this sentiment amongst the business world by quoting prominent thinker John Canfield,

“Improving creative thinking skills is the key to improving business performance,” says management consultant John Canfield. “What differentiates great and not-so-great organizations is if and how they encourage employees to think more effectively.”

It’s no surprise creativity is this cult-like phenomenon promising to solve the woes of a mercurial market. In fact, it’s the entire machine that’s turning to creatively rich thinking – from the unpaid interns, to the antique, oak desk of the CEO. “Don’t shoot an idea down immediately,” suggests Dallett in the article; a tip worthy of students and professionals a-like.

theres-a-critical-difference-between-creativity-and-innovation Difference Between Creativity And Innovation 

While schools create courses, minors, and, in the near future, entire degrees around the philosophy of creativity, it’s urgent for students, of all ages and grades, to expand their creative capacities. Need more proof? Just look to the increase in participation companies have had working directly with schools. During my time at The Eli Broad School of Business, I never went more than a week without a guest speaker from one of the top corporations shaking things up during a lecture. For example, in a final marketing course, Ari Popper, CEO of SciFutures, turned our once dull and placid classroom into the command center for a spaceship. Drawing on his history as a Sci-Fi writer, he urged us to look to our imaginations when it came to finding marketing solutions. Those walkie-talkie like devices from ancient Star Trek episodes were once a thing of dreams, now they’re called cellphones.

This phenomenon of the business world and the education system synthesizing – incubating creative thinkers- is becoming more and more commonplace. On the other hand, in Businesses Are Changing How They Support Education, Report Finds Peggy McGlone points out that these relationships may not be strong enough,

“The partnership also released a survey of superintendents about the role of business in education. The study found 95 percent of American school districts are involved with businesses in some fashion, but the relationships are fragmented and focused on short-term goals rather than long-term systemic change.”

There’s no denying the need to be creative. Here’s a final scenario to illustrate. Perhaps a class isn’t going so well. That group project you’ve been dreading has placed you in the all too familiar situation of, “I’m going to have to do all the work myself.” You’ve tried emailing, pleading face-to-face, and threatening the others to do their part, only to find yourself stuck doing everything.

There’s no question your contemporaries have failed in the gamut of effort, but you’ve failed in the role of leader. Now you must turn to your last option: creative thinking. What do these students enjoy? Since the textbook is proving insufficient, why not try hands-on-learning. Instead of meeting in the library, you meet at the local museum. Suddenly, the quiet slackers are active and talking on and on about the project. Okay, maybe it’s not always that simple, but you get the point.


Creativity is a tool any student, teacher, and tutor can grow. Perhaps a student is struggling with the traditional text book way of studying a topic. Utilizing competent tutoring, he or she will surprise themselves with their ability to find a creative alternative to mastering the subject. Read more about our vast tutor services on our website, and let your creative skills grow.

Further reading:

Research on Creative Thinking & Breaking Through the Creative Block

Borderless Creativity

An Abstract Playground Design to Fuel Kids’ Creativity


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