Friday, 9 November 2012

More Than Just A Degree

There’s nothing like the sudden desire for self-improvement to spark a radical change of direction.

Take my decision to enroll in a Masters of Commerce degree at The University of Sydney Business School. Prior to taking the plunge I’d been running my own one-man consultancy, developing new technology for some architects who’d come up with a new product idea. It was all going great until it came time to think about project funding. Their line of thinking then quickly became something like this: “we haven’t made a firm decision about how to raise further funds - we’ll get back to you.” At that point, I realised I’d missed out on a piece of business I’d otherwise have won had I known about the entire holistic commercialisation process.

Indeed, when it came to entrepreneurial start-ups, there were plenty of questions I couldn’t answer. For instance: what happens if it doesn’t work? Will we get sued if something goes wrong? How do we get the funding? How does venture capital work? How will our company be valued? How do we know if we’re getting a fair deal? Not surprisingly, I quickly identified postgraduate study as the best way to fill in some considerable knowledge gaps.

I’m currently halfway through the course and I love it. But it’s not just the actual study side that’s been brilliant. Just being in the university environment and having the opportunity to meet many business-minded people with their own ideas and entrepreneurial aspirations has been extremely beneficial. The academics in the faculty have been amazing and very facilitative. If you demonstrate the interest, they can easily steer you towards countless additional learning opportunities. If you really get engaged, this place has so much more to offer than just a degree.

So, where will it all lead? Eventually, I’d really like to be in a position to facilitate great ideas. I’m passionate about ensuring that new start-ups get the support and attention they deserve. The skills I’m developing now will help me do just that.


Author: James Harry Crowther – Masters of Commerce student

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