by Nur Syahidah Alim (Singapore)
I’ve taken a similar course, like MGMT 324, during polytechnic. So, when I decided to take Technological Entrepreneurship: Opportunity Identification during the summer term, I thought it would exactly be the same stuff as what I’ve did before – report writing, theory, case readings, etc. Before I’ve ever taken this module, I was a “biz-noob” (as known as a person who’s still new/inexperience in setting up a business). I’ve never set up or run a real-life business before. I think the closest I’ve got to setting up a business was just writing up a business proposal which didn’t materialize into the actual thing. It was all theory, but never practical.
So, when my first lesson started…Prof. Pamela Lim said that we’ll be doing real serious business in 5 weeks. Well, my first reaction was like “Whoa, real business? Did I hear right?” (O.o). It was something different and interesting, of course. I’ve never experience the practical aspect of entrepreneurship…and that’s where I decided to continue on throughout the term.
Setting up a business, like our Co-op, was tougher than it sounds in theory (especially when we have a big group of nine to start with). The excitement, the heated disagreements, the sleepless nights, and mistakes were all experienced throughout the five weeks. At times, we were receiving a lot of feedback and suggestions that we lose our way, and even our confidence, to continue because we were trying to included everything in our plan. But whatever awkwardness we’ve done, we must work our differences, dust ourselves off and keep moving forward. All the theories inside books can’t better explain the true value of setting up a business, only experiences and failures can.
Other than the module that enables us to get our hands “dirty”, I truly learn a lot from our guest speaker. I remembered he said that there are three golden words of an entrepreneur: Dreams, Reality and Sacrifices. Dare to dream high; reality will help you think things rationally; and sacrifices must be made in order to gain success of business. Sometimes, I don’t know if I would truly be able to do so…which is why I have high regards to those who do.
Finally, I’ve learned that managing and setting up a business is a totally different entity. Managing a team or group requires trust, respect and unity. Without either of them, the team can just topple and become disarray. As I’ve the opportunity to lead, I’ve learned that one must draw a line between a leader and a friend. At times, I must be serious and stand my ground in certain issues. On the other hand, I should trust that my members can complete the job without much intervention. One way to respect them is to understand and give them a listening ear to their ideas.
In conclusion, I feel that the most beneficial aspect in taking this module would be Prof’s Pamela Lim’s practical advice and tips as an experienced entrepreneur. Instances like making effective business plan presentations, finding sources of funds governments and external parties, and so on. She even recommended her own contacts to help in building our business. Such tips are rare and will never be found in textbooks; I’m happy that Prof. is willing to share her trade secrets with the class.
So, if anyone ask if MGMT324 is a good module, I would definitely say YES!