In the 2017 edition of Summerpreneurship there were again 30 students joining for an intership in different startups and innovation departements of corporations. Summerpreneurship brings students and career starters together with startups, universities and innovative companies for a summer internship. Through Summerpreneurship, students will get a unique experience of the entrepreneurial world, as well as a realistic view on the innovation sector free of high entry barriers. The three-month Summerpreneurship Academy is offered to the Summerpreneurs in order to learn about the tools they need to become an entre-/intra-preneur, to better understand the innovation world and their personal career paths. Startups and innovative companies get valuable support to drive their ventures further through the motivated interns, timesaving hiring process and access to a network of talented people (students, entrepreneurs, employees of innovative corporations startups and academia).
Let’s hear from Mirjam, Joshua and Oliver about the experience they had as Summerpreneurs.
What were decisive factors for you when choosing to apply for Summerpreneurship?
Mirjam: When applying for the Summerpreneurship program, I was looking forward to a fun summer, full of new experiences. To me, the most important was to get an insight into the startup world and have a valuable learning experience.
What was important for you when choosing your future startup employer?
Mirjam: I care about the values and the purpose of a company. But in the end I cared most about the people of the organization. The team I work with and learn from are definitely a crucial factor when choosing a company, especially when talking about start-ups and very small teams. To me it is important that, even as an intern, I feel as a part of the team. For this my co-workers need to be willing to share their experiences and be transparent about what’s going on the company. I was lucky enough to find a perfect fit: lovely people, great purpose and active in my field of studies.
What skills did you learn through Summerpreneurship?
Oliver: This programme was an enhancing experience to learn, build skills, and engage in an innovative and vibrant environment. Interns from various Impact Hub-based start-ups, would meet weekly to tackle important problems as well as learn about important concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship. Each session was structured around our own entrepreneurial idea for a potential start-up. Through workshops, our business idea was built and developed to become more viable. We applied various models and theories, e.g. a business canvas and the augmented service model, to our ideas to make them more lean and concise.
Joshua: The internship in the startup gave me the possibility to see into a new area of a business: Marketing. I believe that the most valuable lesson for me was that studying marketing at university and to actually work in marketing are two completely different things. I am grateful that I had the possibility to acquire new hard skills in a safe environment.
Are those skills of complementary character to your university curriculum? And how do those skills and new insights influence your future education/career path?
Oliver: Throughout the programme, I saw many parallels with my university curriculum. There were certain models and theories that I was taught during some of my courses at my university. It was interesting to apply these theories and models to our own idea developed throughout the Summerpreneurship program.
All in all, it was a great and informative programme which gave me many insights into developing a raw idea and how to narrow it down to become viable. The start-up industry is very dynamic and having learnt certain tricks and skills to navigate the venture of starting your own business is invaluable knowledge. I learned and applied skills that will aid me in engaging with future projects and internships, as well as learning how large Swiss academic institutions foster innovation, which was a fascinating and relevant aspect to the program.
How did Summerpreneurship have an impact on you?
Joshua: On a personal level I learned that some character attributes, such as flexibility and patience are of utmost importance when starting a business. Not losing sight of your goals and focus on your priorities was something that I could learn. Through the reflect and grow sessions that took part on Friday mornings, I could reflect more about myself, my learning steps and my desires for future jobs.
Another great aspect of the program was that I got to know many like-minded people, that have an intrinsic motivation to make the world a better place and that are interested in entrepreneurship. It was really nice to connect with people and to philosophe about the business world
Through the program I was able to find a new employer for my last year at university, which would have not been possible without participating the Summerpreneurship Academy. I can recommend the program to anyone who wants to gain experience in the start-up world and is not afraid to spend his/her summer holidays working.