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After completing the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MBET) program, a team of Conrad students, including Steven Wang, ventured to Denmark to attend the European Summer School for Advanced Management (ESSAM). These are Steven's reflections on his experiences at ESSAM:
How are MBET students different from the other students at ESSAM?
Most of the participants at ESSAM were either MBA or MBET students. Although both MBA and MBET students had very effective business skills, I found that the students from the MBET program were more prepared for the intensive nature of the course. MBET students are rigorously trained to hustle and innovate in a fast-paced environment, so I noticed that students from the MBET program were better prepared to deal with the stress of this fast-paced course.
As well, we are definitely more focused on entrepreneurship than our counterparts. Most of our classmates found it refreshing to experience what it was actually like to be an entrepreneur, especially through our practical component to the MBET program.
How ESSAM enriched my MBET experience
I think after going to ESSAM, I gained fresh, new confidence in the MBET degree. By being able to work with MBAs at an intimate level and hearing their stories and how they work, I feel MBET alumni are at a great advantage in regards to know-how, team dynamics, execution, and adaptability to situations.
Future advice for students going into ESSAM
Remember to have fun. The clients that you work for know that you only have 2 weeks (actually, more like 1 week) to come up with a solution.
In order to do well and stand out in ESSAM, make sure you spend a lot of time with the client and understand their problem, validate it with them, and come up with a few actionable and feasible solutions, not 10 different solutions.
As for the social aspects of this experience, join all the social events you can. Meet people from around the world and build a relationship with them. These two weeks will help you forge lifetime friendships that will be beneficial for both your professional and personal lives. It was a great two weeks, and I still keep in touch with many of the people I built relationships with.
Moment of success in ESSAM
Our consulting client was the National Culinary Team of Denmark. They compete in the "Olympics" of culinary arts in gruelling 10 + hour competitions. Our team received one of two best presentation awards in ESSAM 2013. The team was very diverse, both in backgrounds and nationality, which I believe helped us come up with a well-rounded solution for our client.
Moment of success in my Travels
After ESSAM, I travelled for another 3-4 weeks. This was the most amazing time of my life! I think what made this trip so great was that I embraced spontaneity, believed in the kindness of strangers, and I met the most fantastic people ever.
Overall, my travels made me appreciate life more. Travelling made me realize that people should work to live, not live to work. Take time out of your busy lives and take some chances – the outcome is unbelievable!
How ESSAM motivated me in regards to my startup
ESSAM has helped me renew my motivation to pursue a startup because entrepreneurship was definitely the hot topic during ESSAM. I personally did not take the entrepreneurship course since it resembled MBET too much, but from what I heard, everyone who took the course loved it because it was something different from their typical MBA courses. This made me appreciate the value of the entrepreneurship focus of my degree even more.
I also gained new motivation for my startup when I pitched my startup to people I met at ESSAM. Nine out of ten people expressed extremely positive responses towards it, which showed me what real preliminary customer validation looks like. If you can’t finish your pitch and your audience already wants it, you know you have something worth exploring further.