Education styles – Part 3 – What do I consider an good education?

Updated: Mar 31

January 27th, 2021

Nikolas Zetouni


If you haven’t read my past articles, I strongly encourage you to do so now (Article 1 & Article 2 links).

I used my past introductions to tell you a bit about myself and my achievements. Now it is time to go all out. I graduated in the top 5 from my BSc. I was the first student from the whole university to get a paid internship on year 1 out of 4. I was the first student from my department to start research projects on year 2. I finished my thesis on year 3. I was the first student from my cohort to have a part-time job teaching on year 2, full time teaching on year 3. I was the first student in the whole university to be accepted on a MSc abroad. I got 5 “best teacher” awards and found a high school. During my MSc in Canada, I got 2 scholarships, over 10 awards and was constantly asked to slow down by my supervisor and professors. Not to mention my work achievements (I became Head of Operations with Coded Minds 6 months after being hired). I might’ve been doing something right. There are a lot of factors to it, of course. But I want to focus in 2 main points to explain what is a good education to me:

Education is multifactorial

Do an online search right now on “skills of successful people”. Whatever list you check, you will see a handful of skills. How many of these are taught in schools? Do you see any school subject in those lists? Nope, you don’t, and this is my point. Whatever we learn at school is important, but it does not make you successful. All the other skills needed for success are self taught. Success is not about mastering Literature, getting A+ on exams or writing a 50 pages assignments. Success is multifactorial and require a broad skill set. If I can broadly classify, these are the 3 skills sets that helped me through my education and life:

Knowledge: Everything you have learned through studies, like an expertise. For example, my expertise is teaching and biology. I learned them through education and work experiences.

Social skills: Your abilities to modulate your emotions, often referred as emotional intelligence. For instance, when interacting with random people, I am often complimented on being trustworthy, a social skill that I have been developing over the years with a lot of effort.

Environment understanding: How to handle people around you, the norm, culture or context. This also means how fast you can adapt to change (different environments, different norms). From my experience, moving to another country poses a huge environmental change, and if I didn’t adapt, I would be clustered with my country-folk and not blending into my new environment.