Talent all the way

67 new talents have been accepted at Design School Kolding. Soon we will know if they have what it takes.

Design School Kolding separates itself from traditional universities in that we base our intake on talent. But what is talent and how do you make it grow? Rector Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen has an answer to that, which she recently shared with the participants at a cultural meeting in Northern Jutland.

- Talent is not something that you are born with; yet you might have a natural ability for something. And this ability can be cultivated – in the form of support from your surroundings, positive role models, training and practice.

-At a time when television is crammed with talent shows, it is no wonder that talent development is an area that we focus on. For a long time we have focused attention and money on musical talent and sports talent, yet other areas are just as important.

- In Denmark we are not very good at talent development. We need to become better. This is why we should set up a Team Danmark for the arts which can help us get more talent in favour of economic growth and prosperity. We know that part of our future livelihood will be creativity. That’s why we need to become better at developing it, Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen says.

Skill is not everything
Talent is not just about skills. It is just as much about passion and willpower, Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen believes, and stresses that part of the admission process at Design School Kolding involves finding out whether the applicant has the inner driving force that it takes to become a great designer.

- In the closing interview with the applicants who have made it through the first two steps of the procedure, we mainly focus on willpower. Is the applicant willing to invest the necessary time? Perhaps up to 80 hours a week? Does the applicant want to be one of the best? Is the applicant passionate? We meet students who have the potential to become stars but never succeed – primarily because they lack the willpower, Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen says.

She encourages that you start cultivating talent even in primary and lower secondary school. Find out what each child is good at and allow them to develop it further.

- Let us call it talent all the way. Coach them. Train them. Give constructive feedback. Teach them that becoming super good at something requires persistence, she ends.