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QM student awarded chance to attend top-ranked university for entrepreneurship

Thursday 25 October 2012

Yasmin Desai, a BSc student studying Economics, Finance, and Management at Queen Mary, recently attended a two-week entrepreneurship programme at Babson College in the United States. Babson, the top-ranked university for entrepreneurship education in the world, holds this entrepreneurship programme for students from all over the world to attend. Yasmin entered to be part of the Babson Entrepreneurship Program in partnership with Santander and was accepted to the programme after completing a 500-word report on how participating would help her with starting her own business in the future.

Upon arriving at Babson College, Yasmin discovered that she was one of the youngest of the 30 participants, with students’ ages ranging from 19 to 31. While she said working with older students who had more professional experience than her was intimidating at first, she said it was very interesting and that she learned from them all. Yasmin gained knowledge on a variety of business and entrepreneurship-related topics, including Business Planning, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Idea Creation, Marketing Tests and Business Models, and Sustainable Entrepreneurship.

At the end of the two-week programme, participants formed teams to create and develop a new venture, and were required to present their pitch using all of the knowledge they had gained throughout the programme. Yasmin’s group focused on a range of hair-colouring products. She found it very fun and valuable to learn how to pitch a business plan in less than three minutes.

Yasmin claims that some of the most important things she learned were to follow your passion when seeking a career, never underestimate the importance of internships or work placements, and use every opportunity to network and gain feedback about your ideas. Her own business will benefit from her gaining expertise in many different areas of entrepreneurship as well as from learning the future trends of business.

Currently in her second year at Queen Mary, Yasmin is a committee member for ENACTUS (formely named SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise)) and YELP/TEAM UP also on the committee for Queen Mary Entrepreneurs. She is following the advice of one of the programme supervisors and focusing on acquiring an internship for next summer. She has a part-time job at a start-up company and is aspiring to create her own new business. In order to share the valuable knowledge and skills that she learned at Babson, she is hoping to create a larger and more progressive network of students at Queen Mary who are interested in entrepreneurship.

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