We interviewed International Master in Management participants Judith van Eeuwijk and Cosma Nouschirvan about their experience in the Innovation Management Specialisation. Judith holds a n MSc in Intellectual Property Law, Innovation and Technology from Utrecht University (the Netherlands). Before coming to EADA, Cosma completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and worked as a Brand Manager for a leading German entertainment player.
In the interview, Judith and Cosma share their experience in the Innovation Management Specialisation. Participants in this specialisation worked with Alumnus Keenan Thompson to complete a project in innovation with AB InBev. This is one of 3-4 specialisations offered each year in the third trimester of the International Master in Management. The specialisations provide an opportunity for participants to explore where their passion lies and jump-start their career.
Why did you choose the Innovation Management Specialisation?
We chose this specialisation to learn how to generate innovative ideas and establish a growth mindset.
Cosma: I learned first-hand the importance of innovative and creative ideas during my experience as a Brand Manager. I recognised that being able to think outside of the box is key to standing out and having a competitive advantage in the selection processes, as well as in the job itself.
Judith: I had already specialised in technology and innovation in my Master in Law, and chose this MiM specialisation to gain further knowledge on how technology and innovation can positively impact our lives and how companies can use the latest techniques to innovate and develop corporate strategy.
How did the build on what you learned in the first two trimesters?
In the first two trimesters, we worked on developing a base including core management competencies and personal and professional skills in the areas of communication, presentation, negotiation, teamwork and leadership. In the specialisation, we are able to go in depth and focus on a single area of interest to all future managers. The knowledge and skills acquired during the first two trimesters help us analyse innovation from different business perspectives. This base provided insight into what is happening in the market now, allowing us to identify innovation-related challenges and develop a continuous flow of ideas to solve them.
Cosma, what has been the greatest take away from the specialisation for you?
The most significant takeaway for me was that innovation does not necessarily have to be rocket science, but it has to be customer-driven. As an innovator, you should put yourself in the customer’s position to get to know the problems and pain points. This is the point from which you should generate innovative ideas to meet customer needs. I also learned the importance of a well-thought-out business plan – this is crucial to persuading potential investors and Business Angles to support your initiatives.
How did the faculty and professionals in the specialisation contribute to your learning?
The professors all currently work in environments in which innovative thinking, design thinking and establishing the latest trends is their daily business. They are able to connect the theory with real-life examples and provide lots of tools, concepts, methodologies to solve challenges.
Judith, what was the most important thing you learned from working with a real company?
Before the specialisation, I had the impression that innovatiion came from “accidental” ideas or through long process of R&D leading to a complex and very technical result. From working with AB InBev, I learned that companies can tackle every innovative challenge or task through systematic, creative thinking. What is important is having the right mindset, skills, tools, methodologies and processes to develop innovative ideas. Now I understand that companies constantly need to critically evaluate the process, product and business model for business innovation. This allows them to bring ideas to life through prototyping and experimenting, improving these ideas by integrating user feedback and solving feasibility challenges. The tools, concepts and methodologies that we learned have provided us with confidence and a competitive advantage in the selection process.
To read other interviews in this series, click on the following links:
- MiM Specialisation Cross-Functional Management: Clara gets ready to face transformation
- MiM Cross-Functional Management Specialisation: Rankin explores how tech can maximise performance.
- MiM Specialisation Consulting: Lucia and Anne-Sophie learn about the industry first-hand
- MiM Specialisation Entrepreneurship: Aryan learns a new approach to business