A sneak peek in the life of our Master in Management Alumnus Benjamin Ayeolowo
From Nigeria to studying in the Netherlands to completing an Erasmus Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) program in Portugal. Over the past couple of years Benjamin Ayeolowo, originally from Nigeria, has been actively developing himself through studies and an internship to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. In this blog Benjamin takes you with him on his journey of the EYE program, how the Master in Management program has helped him and his next career steps.
After graduating from the Master in Management (MM) program in Maastricht in September 2020 it was time for me to start orientating myself for my next career step. I came across the EYE program and it immediately grabbed my attention because the program provided young people, like myself, with the opportunity to learn about and become an entrepreneur. Starting a business for myself has always been my goal and after following the entrepreneurship and innovation module that was part of the curriculum of my MM program I knew it for certain, I wanted to become an entrepreneur. As the EYE program provides young ambitious people with the opportunity to learn from existing organizations, that were in my line of business and interest, it only seemed like a logical next step to apply for this internship program.
I decided to apply and to my surprise the application process wasn’t too complicated except for the fact that a business plan had to be submitted. Writing a business plan isn’t an overnight job, which can make the application process quite tedious. But if you already have a business plan or once you are ready with your business plan the process is very easy going. I checked all the boxes for the eligibility criteria, I prepared and uploaded my CV, motivation letter and business plan to the EYE website. As a next step of the application procedure, I had to find a suitable host, which I found in Portugal with the help of the local contact point. I then prepared myself for the exchange, traveled to Portugal to the hosting company and started my cross-border entrepreneurial exchange.
During my exchange I could really apply the learned theory from my Master in Management into practice. As I mentioned the entrepreneurship and innovation module really pushed me to organize and focus on becoming the entrepreneur that I always wanted to become. But that wasn’t the only module that was beneficial to me. Finances are one of the most important subjects in a business, therefore, the accounting for managers course was invaluable in crafting out my business plan and get my financial plan in order. I can say that I was able to start the EYE program mainly because of the knowledge and skills I have garnered from all the Master in Management modules at MSM.
The knowledge and experience that helped me grow
During the exchange I learned so many new things that really helped me grow. I was able to gain knowledge in management of social, artistic and environmental organizations which is helpful information that I can apply to my own future business that I want to establish in the Netherlands. Furthermore, I gained a better understanding of the pros and cons of starting up my furniture upcycling business. This knowledge I can apply in order to hopefully kick-start my own business soon. And of course, I also learned a lot about the Portuguese culture and even learned to speak the language a little bit. I think it’s important to try and indulge in a culture as there is a lot to learn and this is beneficial for international relations.
All in all it hast been an experience that I didn’t want to miss out on. I have great memories of my EYE program as it has been such an intensive learning experience. The host entrepreneur and staff have been so kind and welcoming to me and their encouragement towards me starting up my own business is a great motivator for me to start as soon as possible. Another highlight was meeting the European Solidarity Corps volunteers at the workplace. But the most memorable moment was building a Christmas tree using planks. This may sound a bit strange, but the team and I had such a good time creating something innovative and beautiful out of wood, that I really cherish that memory.
My entrepreneurial future
Now that I finished the program and are back in the Netherlands, it’s time to really push to start my own furniture upcycling business. I’m very much motivated and equipped with a lot of knowledge that I gathered during my studies and exchange that I look forward to a bright future being an entrepreneur. I also want to give back and help other youngsters who are motivated to become an entrepreneur. I Therefore also want to become a host entrepreneur and train people in my field of business.
Lastly, I would like to encourage current and future Master in Management students who may be interested to start their own business and become an entrepreneur to also join the EYE program. I believe the EYE exchange together with the MM program prepares you very well for an entrepreneurial future.
About MSM's Master in Management
The MSM Master in Management program is a one-year full-time master’s program for recent graduates and young professionals (< 3 years of working experience) with the ambition to manage people and processes with success in any organization, country or context.
Our program provides you with a first necessary step to fast-forward your career to higher levels by providing you with a solid foundation in the practice and theory of management in a fast-changing global world. During this course you will be provided with the opportunity to understand how to steer your organization to high performance in a diverse and multicultural international business context. You will learn from experienced faculty, international companies and fellow participants from different cultural, business and study backgrounds. Click here for more information.
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