Again, it has nothing to do with them. There's probably no way they could have prevented it. It is the nature of their field and I had wrongly equated information with knowledge without regards to area of application.
Studying is gathering information; research is turning them to knowledge; and fixing real world problems with that knowledge requires imagination. And if you are a lecturer, you'll definitely have a lot of information, and depending on how intensely you take your research work, you will have some knowledge. But the last part -- applying your knowledge to solve real life problems -- is beyond what the university setting provides. When you've got students you have to prove to that you have more information than them in order to earn their respect and keep your professional worth and career progress for you is more on how many abstract papers (research work) you can churn out, you will need to be a superman to do much in the commercial creative space.
Why am I going on and on about lecturers this way? Well, it is because the fundamentals also apply to us. Whenever you don't put creative work to your learning, the value in it to fix real life problems will be lost.
It's like I see many people on LinkedIn do. One person has got 10 different professional certifications across different fields and no work experience along those fields. To me, I see no value in the certifications beyond making your CV look great (which is a good thing in this competitive market).
If you really care about adding value and have found what you have passion for, then you need to turn your learning to work. Put to work what you are learning and start operating on the level of constructive imagination. Don't wait till some employer gives you the opportunity to practice what you are learning. Create your own work.