by David Lin
That’s exactly what many of us students are going through these days. Am I worried you may ask?
Truth is I have not applied for a job and I do not intend to. No, its not because I want to party for a year before finding a job – it is because I intend to start my own business.
Sure the risks are high, but considering the job market is so bad right now, the opportunity cost of starting a business is pretty low.
Even before I entered SMU I always had a dichotomy of a dream – caught between the path of entrepreneurship and finance.
Somehow as I progressed through school I started to veer toward finance and midway through I was convinced I would be working in corporate finance or in private banking in the future. Then came my final semester when I took MGMT 324 under Prof Pamela Lim.
There are some that claim entrepreneurship is something that cannot be taught. My personal experience after 13 weeks is that there is so much knowledge that can be imparted through an entrepreneurship course.
One of the first things that we did in the class was to generate a business idea in the first hour, and to subsequently present on it. I personally felt it was incredible that a business idea could be created so quickly. Sure it was not perfect at the start but as the weeks went by, we managed to refine our idea in our business plan along the way. As each group presented, the rest of the class then participated by giving extra suggestions. In a class of about 30 students, the amount of positive ideas brought out can really make an impact!
As the course progressed we were constantly required to tweak and refine our business plan. We practically had to learn the whole nine yards. Starting with writing a proper business plan down to the income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement and even valuation, we also had to implement and launch our business.
This is one aspect that I believe sets the MGMT 324 apart from the rest. By having us establish the business, there were so many issues that we had to consider, and furthermore we experienced so many problems along the way that cannot be thought off if running the business hypothetically.
Another aspect I learnt was that working with business partners made me understand a lot about how effective communication was important. When working under stressful conditions it was easy for misunderstandings to take place.
Truth is, Pamela gave us invaluable insight into setting up a business and making it grow successfully. From the inspiring entrepreneurs that came to class to speak, to all the tips and tricks to nail a presentation, to learning how to protect our intellectual property rights, a lot of such information is hard to obtain and some experiences we learnt cannot be found in books or online.
What I can say is that going through this course has reinvigorated me into venture onto the path of entrepreneurship again. Through the excitement (and also pain) of setting up our business – ‘SpreeRepublic.com‘. I’ve learnt how rewarding it can be to operate a business, to be in control of things. The icing on top of the cake was that we managed to make a small profit even on the first run!
So overall what I can say is that through her class, Pamela has sparked the entrepreneurial spirit in me. Now who says entrepreneurship cannot be taught!