Meet an Alumnus: the impact of EDHEC’s MSc in Entrepreneurship & Innovation on my career

Written on 08 June 2022.


After a few years of professional experience in the IT industry, Siddharth Tiwari felt something was missing. He wanted to learn about entrepreneurship and innovations. EDHEC’s MSc in Entrepreneurship & Innovation fitted his bill. He is a Senior Business Development Associate at Sparksense.co.

 

What was your educational background prior to joining EDHEC?

I completed my Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Oriental Institute of Science & Technology, Indore, India in the year 2012.

 

Why had you decided to go back to school?

Computer Science Engineering was a rational choice. It was the cream of the crop for me at that time. Actually, now that I remember I really wanted to go into animation or a creative field. I felt that I was a creative person. After finishing my Engineering, I started my career as a Programmer Analyst at Cognizant. Very soon, I realised that this job was not the right one for me. I moved to another Product Based Company, NICE Systems, and started working as a Product Support Analyst. It was a new setup of that company in India. I felt it was a great opportunity for me to grow and learn in that environment and I was very happy with my experience. Yet, I had a hunger to learn innovative and new technologies or pursue new ideas. I kept on learning new things and experimenting with a few things on my own even though I had a regular job. Learning about new subjects and areas is such a hobby to me and I can do this all day!

One fine day I sought advice about my decision to pursue higher studies from my Senior Manager, and he supported my decision. I started preparing for exams and research along with my job. To an extent, it was extremely difficult for me to manage both, but my aspiration for an innovative field & hunger to achieve something more kept me motivated toward my goal.

After 7 years of little experience in global IT Business, I reached my final destination and joined the MSc in Entrepreneurship & Innovation of a world-class Business School.

 

Why had you chosen EDHEC and its MSc in Entrepreneurship & Innovation?

It’s my friend Shameek Sarkhel (MIM 1st-year student) who told me about EDHEC Business School. I wanted to pursue my higher studies at a university in Europe, especially in France because I have been very intrigued by French culture for a long while. When I was 14 years old, I read a beautiful story about the French Revolution and I learnt that French is the most logical language in the world. From that particular day on, I was motivated by the French language and culture!

When I heard that created by a group of entrepreneurs, EDHEC Business School was one of the oldest schools with a great alumni network and a rich culture I knew it was the best choice to pursue an Entrepreneurship degree.

Entrepreneurship isn’t just setting up a new business, bringing new technology, and making wealth but solving problems, taking risks, and embracing change - It brings efficiency to a traditional system. It’s about passion for innovation and groundbreaking ideas, and that is what motivates me. I have always been someone who is thinking of new ideas and trying to bring them to life. Today, the world and its resources make it easier than ever for us to get to where we want, and I think this is the best time to study and be an Entrepreneur.

 

Why did you feel it necessary to study Entrepreneurship?

When an idea originates in a human’s mind, he/she experiences an adrenaline rush and, at that moment, he/she might make a decision which may or may not be a perfect plan to reach a set goal. It’s very necessary to understand the nuances of business, its possibilities, and risks before taking a leap of faith.

Moreover, Entrepreneurship is now further categorized into different categories such as Social, Creative, Individual, Intrapreneurship, etc. It’s an ocean with limitless possibilities and before diving deep into this ocean one should really study the waters.

 

What are the main takeaways?

 After joining the MSc course at EDHEC, I learned about startup ecosystems and how the entire community works. Initially, we visited a few incubators/accelerators to understand the mechanism & life cycle of a startup; Moreover, we got to learn so many inspiring & exciting stories from Entrepreneurs. It was really fascinating to know about their entrepreneurial journey. I also had a great opportunity to meet alumni and understand their perspectives about this course and towards success. Hence, it was a great way to extend my network and identify more opportunities for business.

The classroom training was a blend of theory and practice where I could implement our learnings in a real-life project or a startup. This dimension helped me understand a working business model in the real world. From Finance to Marketing I learned a gamut of skills during my entire course. The biggest learning for me was “how to pitch” because generally, we are unaware of the best techniques for pitching. I am glad we have honed this skill and will still be practicing further and becoming better. The other two major takeaways for me were understanding leadership skills and Social Entrepreneurship.

I feel that I have grown exponentially in terms of my productive capacity.

As an entrepreneur, it is necessary to be highly motivated toward a dream, and passionate about the values and economic growth that we can impart to society, but it is also necessary to carefully study every minute detail of the business or a business model. This basically sums up my learning after Entrepreneurial Studies.

 

You are a Business Development Associate at Sparksense.co, Switzerland. How did the MSc prepare you for your role? What are your main missions?

The MSc Entrepreneurship & Innovation course was very instrumental for understanding the world of startups & businesses across different regions. Because the European startup ecosystem is pretty different from the North American startup ecosystem. There was an interesting class on Negotiation and I learnt about various cultures around the world and definitely it helped me in doing business in Europe & the US.

The course also helped me to understand what makes a startup successful and Identify the right startups/businesses. Provided me with a clear understanding of successful, ethical & value-driven Business Models. The Design Thinking course helped me to dive deep into a problem and use interesting techniques to solve problems.

The Social Entrepreneurship course by Prof Maria was one of my favorites and I am glad that I was able to practice this in the real world by working on a program Business Blasters launched by the Government of Delhi, India where I helped young entrepreneurs in making a sustainable business.

At Sparksense, we work with deep tech startups across Europe and the US and it’s essential to know the basics of startups. Whether it is a product-market fit, viable business model, hiring the right talents, building the right team, marketing, and sales every single thing that I studied during my stay at EDHEC helped me to get better at my current job at Sparksense. I am also grateful to Hervé (Founder of Sparksense) for guiding me and believing me.

 

Do you have any advice for students to get the best out of their EDHEC education?

Focus on learning new skills such as coding, copywriting, and video editing; gives you an edge while looking for a job, practice pitching, grow your network and learn time management.

 

Your best memory of EDHEC will remain…

Orientation Day was filled with so many activities and the entire session was so well organized, it was like clockwork. Met so many people from diverse backgrounds, learning about their experiences and team-building exercises, all these activities were super interesting. Definitely the best memory.

 

A piece of career advice for recent graduates?

Focus on jobs and businesses where you can add real value. Any other job which is not aligned with your interests, values, and focus could be a waste of time, energy and effort.

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