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Mark Zuckerberg Talks About the Importance of Hobbies to College Students

March 14, 2017, 9:22 AM UTC

The multi-billion-dollar social media behemoth that is Facebook (FB) famously started as young Mark Zuckerberg’s side project while he was still at Harvard.

And speaking to students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Monday, the Facebook co-founder and CEO spoke about the importance of having extracurricular hobbies, reports CNBC.

Zuckerberg said that side ventures outside of people’s day jobs is one of the things the company looks for when making hiring decisions.

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“At Facebook we often ask [prospective employees], ‘What is something that you’ve built that is outside of the jobs you’ve done?'” Zuckerberg, who was Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year in 2016, told the audience. “Often that’s one of the best ways people can show passion and leadership.”

In the town-hall event that was streamed on Facebook Live, Zuckerberg said that a side project not only sets one apart by demonstrating commitment and interest in a given area, but also helps them pick up new skills.

“I probably learned more coding from random side projects that I did than the courses I took in college,” he said.

Apart from Facebook and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the charity which he co-runs with his wife Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg has resolved to travel around the U.S. and meet with residents of all 50 states in 2017. Running for the nation’s highest office, however, remains off Zuckerberg’s radar for now.