Written on 11 January 2022.
Niklas Kohlstruck joined EDHEC’s MSc in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. He shares his experience of the program and his hopes for the future.
I had limited work experience before joining the Entrepreneurship & Innovation program at EDHEC. Except for a six-month mandatory internship at the end of my bachelor studies, I only completed a few very short work placements (each less than a month) during my undergraduate courses. I did the compulsory internship at an IoT start-up in Germany, where I worked in the business development department. Afterward, I continued working there for three months as a business development manager, right until the start of my foundation courses at EDHEC.
Before I joined EDHEC, I studied a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration at the University of Bamberg in Germany. The program consisted of five academic semesters in Bamberg, two semesters studying abroad, and a compulsory six-month internship. It was focused on language and management skills.
I decided to join the MSc in Entrepreneurship & Innovation because I wanted to develop from a decent innovator into a game-changing one. For me, the unique combination of five-star infrastructure and outstanding entrepreneurial ecosystem, which EDHEC offers, represented the ideal environment to guide this development. Moreover, I wanted to join this MSc to connect and grow with all the other exceptionally talented students on EDHEC’s international campus, in the hope of building up a one-of-a-kind network. Studying the Entrepreneurship & Innovation program also assists me in achieving my future career goals, as I envision myself working in the startup industry.
I enjoy the most that every course, no matter which topic, is wired to the entrepreneurial process. I also enjoy working with my fellow students whose different backgrounds absolutely enrich group works and the classroom experience as a whole. My favorite modules so far have been Pitching with Success and Entrepreneurial Leadership and Negotiation because both courses were delivered in a dynamic and vivid way. As pitching and leading are two key skills for entrepreneurs and innovators, these modules have been highly beneficial for my personal development. Furthermore, these courses were very practical and offered possibilities to directly apply the learnt knowledge.
First of all, studying at the Campus Jean Arnault brought all the MSc students even closer together, and we truly benefit from this dense network and its regular exchanges. The entrepreneurial ecosystem itself benefits us by giving students from the MSc better access to the people responsible for EDHEC Entrepreneurs since they are located on the Campus Jean Arnault as well. Right at the beginning of the program, they visited us and we talked about what EDHEC Entrepreneurs could offer to us. Another aspect is the concept of the business lunch, where guest speakers are invited, and we are given the possibility to ask questions and connect with them. For instance, people from the ignition program already participated in a business lunch.
The startup campus itself is impressive and the whole building, including the restaurant, definitely was a highlight. Apart from that, the short presentations given by EDHEC entrepreneurs and the discussions with these startup founders were the main highlights of the day. It was absolutely interesting to listen to their different background stories and the path they took before founding their own business. In the discussions with these entrepreneurs, we had the opportunity to ask more detailed questions. The insights offered by those founders were fascinating and discussing their business ideas with them once again sparked my interest in the start-up field.
What struck me the most in the founders’ paths was that they did not necessarily have profound experience in the field their startup operated in. Instead, they learnt adaptability and creativity along their path, which then enabled them to transfer their expertise to their startup idea. All the founders had a clear vision and could explain to us what they thought would be key for them to excel at their business. They also made use of their EDHEC network, which definitely inspires me to do so in my future career as well. Furthermore, it inspires me that the founders showed special energy to acquire all the skills needed to grow their business and to be creative about their learning processes.
If you think about applying for the program, my advice would be to first think about your very own career path. This could not only help you with the decision if the MSc in Entrepreneurship & Innovation is the right MSc for you but also with later drafting your motivation letter and with your preparation for the application process in general.