"You do not need to be an entrepreneur to join this course. You can be an individual considering a start up or even joining a start up," notes Dr. Jagannadha Pawan Tamvada, Associate Professor and Program Director of the MSc (Strategy and Innovation) and MSc (Global Enterprise and Entrepreneurship) at Southampton Business School, University of Southampton.
In this Interview with Careers360, Dr. Tamvada discusses about the opportunities presented by the Southampton Business School in terms of practical training and support to talented entrepreneurs through incubation centres.
Below are the edited excerpts:
Q: Tell us about the courses- Innovation and entrepreneurship?
A: Both these courses are really fresh and innovative programmes.They have been newly introduced in the University of Southampton. The MSc in Global Entrepreneurship is targeted at those who are really interested in starting up firms and expanding them internationally. The courses are designed in such a way that they we give you tools that would allow you to expand understanding of your business. What kind of strategies work or do not work in the international business setting? How are the decisions made? What are the procedures, legal implications? The courses include everything one needs to build his business in a global setting.
Q: Since the courses are mainly focused on entrepreneurship, do you conduct seminars and special workshops?
A: There are a wide variety of seminars in the University of Southampton. Since the university is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world, students get a number of opportunities to interact with the best minds in the business. So, you have people coming from all over world giving lectures on different faculties and departments. It is, of course, completely up to the student how he makes best use of the seminars. In courses like innovation and entrepreneurship, we make it a point to call entrepreneurs and talk, especially who are from India, studied in UK and had started off with their enterprises. It basically helps students to relate to that and understand what goes into starting one own enterprise.
Q: Is this course specifically designed for entrepreneurs?
A: There are a couple of things here. You do not need to be an entrepreneur to join this course. You can be an individual considering a start up or even joining a start up. We have many individuals who fall in the latter category -- students who are interested in joining newly set up enterprises. In fact, the course is also very helpful for students who are considering expanding their family business abroad.
Q: What according to you are the factors that a student should consider before embarking in this social entrepreneurship?
A: We have been fairly flexible in terms of the batch. We do have students from engineering background, from management background as well as students from psychology background because starting up is not restricted to students from just one background. So, you know, the course is not restricted to one bunch of students. What we do in the process is that we want to make sure we get good, capable students in the programmes. Because they will then be able to understand and equip themselves with the programme. The course is specifically for people who are genuinely passionate about learning and practicing management strategies for flourishing one’s business.
Q: What kind of research avenues can one explore in this field?
A: There area large number of opportunities with regard to writing your dissertation. Towards the end of your MSc, you have to write a dissertation which is a piece of research where you are supervised by one of the faculty members. But you go and explore a topic of your interest and you do an intensive research on that piece of topic and write a dissertation. So, in that sense, there are significant research opportunities imbibed in the programme.
Q: Does the university support students who want to start their own enterprises?
A: We do have an incubation centre.As you know the ecosystem in UK is very conducive to high techstart ups, in fact, to all kinds of start ups. At the university you have facilities that support a student’s start up ideas. So, in addition to groups that are actively working on things like competition or supporting you they guide you with the required advice required to start a new enterprise. So, if you are a student at Southampton you can walk to one of these groups or talk to the lecturers and get some ideas. At the incubation centre, they have some criteria that you have to fulfill. Essentially, you have to convince them of your idea. But once you succeed in doing that, you can get a lot of support. In terms of what kind of funding opportunities you can tap, what are the legal procedures, whom to approach, and so on.
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