EADA has collaborated with ACCIO, a government-sponsored organisation promoting entrepreneurial activities. This pioneering programme between EADA’s Centre of Entrepreneurship and ACCIO allows International Master in Management participants to work on their final project as consultants in real start-up companies, facing all challenges of the business world and putting into practice what they have learned during the programme. Here International Master in Management participant Diego Luyten shares his experience working in the start-up Gate2Brain.
My group and I get the chance to work with a bio-pharma start-up from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) called Gate2Brain. It was an amazing experience that allowed me to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of working in a start-up.
Working with Gate2Brain had many advantages. First of all, you get to evolve in a different work environment than the traditional corporate environment. The general atmosphere is more relaxed and informal so you can easily talk with the people in charge of the project. That also allows you to see the amount of difference your work is making at a ground level, which gives you a lot of satisfaction.
Secondly, it is a unique experience from which you are constantly learning. Every day brings you new challenges that you have to deal with and you get practical hands-on experience about how to run a company in the early stages. It also teaches you how to be flexible because you need to adapt to the fast changing environment of the company.
Working with Gate2Brain allowed me to grow not only personally, but also professionally. Finally, working in a start-up environment allows you to be creative. As a start-up always needs new ideas, it allows you to get your creativity going and come up with new ideas or opportunities. If you don’t like monotony and like trying out new things, working in a start-up can offer you the work environment that you are looking for.
As well as these advantages, working with Gate2brain –or any start-up– involves certain disadvantages. The first disadvantage, and in my opinion the biggest one, is the uncertainty. As you are trying to grow on an uncertain path and making lots of assumptions along the way, you never know if you are going the right way until your ideas are actually implemented. But if your ideas are based on comprehensive, reliable research, you don’t have to worry. Because that’s also what start-ups are all about, learning from their own mistakes and adapting themselves to new findings.
Another disadvantage is the lack of structure. As you are working in an environment that is unstructured and flexible, you need to be independent. If you are not independent, you will need to learn to be. In our case, we had a tutor that we can always reply on, but if you were working in a real-life start-up without any help from EADA, it would not be as easy.
Working on Gate2Brain’s project has allowed me to grow personally and professionally in many ways. As I want to start a career in consultancy after my studies at EADA, this opportunity has allowed me to experience what consultancy really is.