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Do you have the passion for an entrepreneurial career

By Alice Leyshon - Posted on 25 September 2013

Alice Leyshon studied at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde Business School, attaining a first class honours degree in Business Enterprise. She describes the benefits of taking part in the Santander Universities - Babson College Entrepreneurship Program for students at Babson, USA…

Day one - I find myself standing in a lecture room screaming ‘I HAVE GOT THE PASSION BABY!' That is just a taster of what classes were like during my two week Santander scholarship, which gave me the opportunity to participate in a coveted Babson entrepreneurship programme. I was honoured enough to get offered this scholarship through the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship. All graduates who received a first class degree get offered the opportunity and I was very lucky to have my name selected in a random draw (and I complain I never win raffles). I was overwhelmed with excitement when I heard the news I’d be travelling to Boston. What better way to end my degree in entrepreneurship than attend the world’s number one entrepreneurship university.

The programme focused on entrepreneurial thought and action with each class based on a different aspect. The teaching style at Babson epitomised practical learning. In almost every class we were encouraged to come up with new business solutions to problems, and present our findings to our classmates. You are really encouraged to approach problem solving in new and unusual ways. For example, do people need a drill? No, what they actually need is the hole the drill makes. This is a simplified example but this style of thinking makes Babson unique.

30 students from around the world took part in the programme, with all participants coming from different academic backgrounds but with a shared interest in entrepreneurship. The opportunity to work in international teams was brilliant, as it highlighted to me the cultural influence on individual’s perspectives, improving my communication skills and broadening my own perspective. Additionally, from a social viewpoint, I can now say I have friends from across the world.

My Babson experience culminated in a ‘rocket pitch’ assignment, which involved presenting a new business idea in a three minute pitch. My team achieved second place with our idea ‘spoiler alert’, which solved the uncertainty that consumers face regarding the freshness of milk. This idea grew from simply identifying a common problem. Consequently, this leads me nicely to my key Babson lesson; there is opportunity everywhere because there are always problems that need to be solved. If you’re looking to start a business but need that spark of inspiration, start by brainstorming all the problems you face in life – I bet that a brainwave will soon come your way.

Overall experience was a brilliant way to round off my business enterprise degree at Strathclyde!

Do you feel inspired by Alice’s story? Have you traveled overseas to participate in a similar programme? What were your experiences like? Let us know in the comments below…

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