Produced by Guest blogger
In her guest blog, Ene Adasen, who is studying MSc Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship talks about how she has managed the challenges of postgraduate study alongside family life and how studying on this course has benefited her own business.
I remember feeling apprehensive when I first arrived at Bournemouth for the MSc Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship course. I had relocated to the country with my kids, so you can imagine my anxiety. All of this, however, began to dissipate after my induction week, and by the end of my first month on the course, I had achieved some balance. My success trajectory has been shaped by the support that I have received from my course coordinator and lecturers.
Prior to this course, I was running my own business and developing products that required a great deal of creativity and innovation, so it was only natural that I desired a master’s course that would elevate my skills while broadening my entrepreneurial competencies. It would be an understatement to say that I have not accomplished this objective through this course, as I have not only learned how to implement design thinking but also how to be an effective business and people leader. My Nigeria-based business is undergoing change because my team and I had to re-evaluate our business model and redesign our internal processes to implement our new growth strategies. And now, when we design new products for our clients, we are more deliberate in our design processes because, although we were able to effectively manage projects in the past, we realised that our design thinking required refinement.
This course, nonetheless, caters not only to entrepreneurs but also to management professionals. This has meant that as my career progresses toward business advisory solutions for business-to-business clients, it has created new consulting opportunities. If you were to ask me what the most beneficial aspect of this course has been, I would say the exposure and career opportunities it has afforded me because I am no longer confined to a single role but rather equipped for a variety of positions. But it isn’t all academic at BU; I have enjoyed socialising as much as I have enjoyed the various workshops and seminars. I have also made incredible friendships and connections with people from around the world. I will honestly say that one of the best parts of studying at BU has been peer learning which was made possible by the university’s student-led seminar model. I would say that I have been around the world through the experiences of my colleagues.
But it wasn’t smooth sailing because it was not easy balancing my multi-functional role as student, entrepreneur, and mother. When you wear many hats, stress, exhaustion and sometimes depression keeps company with you. Some days were so tough that I questioned my decision for coming here to study, but I never took my eyes off my goal.
My friends do still ask me how I have “coped” and my response has been this: stay organised and stay positive. It is very daunting having to deal with the tight schedule that BU students run – lectures, seminars, assignments, exams, workshops – there is so much to do so you must be very organised by planning your week ahead. I have my lectures, course contents, assignments, and deadlines organised even before the semester begins. And I did my assignments incrementally to avoid getting overwhelmed by deadlines. So, with my bright smile and positive attitude, I was able to find my balance.