Last week, I was in Vancouver to open the new programme in Entrepreneurship & Innovation that my school and Simon Fraser University have set up. Like many programmes of this type, this has taken several years to get started. The Dean of SFU, Daniel Shapiro, and I initiated the idea several years ago so it was great to finally see the Canadian and French students getting to know each other. Whilst I was there I asked some of the students their reasons for selecting the programme. This first post gives the Canadian perspective.
Sivansh Padhy decided to join the program because as a communication major he wanted to get some real practical business experience.
“In business you need to work with a team in different areas where everyone else has different hats and you’ve got to work on different types of projects. This program kind of exemplifies such an environment.” he says.
He sees entrepreneurship as being based in reality rather than just relying on theory.
“At the same time, it’s not like traditional business where everyone may think there’s only one way of doing things.”
Rather, he feels that good entrepreneurship seeks to find a multitude of ways of overcoming problems. This he feels will allow him to develop the creativity skills he has been developing in his major in communication.
Sivansh explained that working with the French students would help him understand the European perspective on business.
“Having a French perspective is going to really allow some creativity.” he concluded.
Rizwan Qaiser is specializing in management of information system with a minor concentration in entrepreneurship. He went into entrepreneurship because it was a course requirement but fell in love with it because theof the people involved in the programme and the practical nature of the courses. “You can apply your knowledge and theory step by step in actions that matter and create value in society.” he adds.
He thinks the course will help him broaden his perspective on how business is done in the real world. “It’s just a kind of A to Z kind of view of the whole process and I think this will make me a better all-around businessman.”
Working with French students will allow him to develop a broader perspective on how global businesses work and how societies are run.
In today’s society, with the integration that is going on, especially with technological globalisation, I think it’s really important.”
He adds that adapting to a different culture is always a challenge as there nitially might be a bit of culture shock but concludes that having a challenge really helps someone realize how they can overcome things allows them to grow.
Phalisha Subaghra, who is majoring in Entrepreneurship and international business, said she chose the programme because it gave her the opportunity to experience a different culture while still being in Canada. “I can meet new people and learn from professors from Grenoble and that would be an opportunity I would otherwise not have.”
This would be her first real international experience, hence her enthusiasm for the programme.
She feels that the major challenge for the French to adapt to the culture and the way the professors teach.
Finally, Mark Anthony Wijaya, who is majoring in Economic development and environment issues, even started his own venture at SFU.
“One of my professors said I could choose this course as I was really interested in entrepreneurship. I get to work with 30 French students which isn’t a common thing and I really wanted to experience something new, something different and something fresh out of the box. Working with 30 French students I believe will really give that perspective that I really want.”
He says that he has already communicated with two French students found that the way they think is different. He feels that he can benefit by learning from them and that they can benefit by learning from him.“I think that this kind of mutual relationship is beneficial for both of us.” he adds.
Speaking of the potential challenges for French students he says that need to be more expressive in Canada and that they shouldn’t be too shy. “They shouldn’t be afraid to do mistakes because that’s the way you actually learn.”
Being in Canada will help them learn about multiculturalism but also about sustainability. “There’s a great sustainability mind set here in Vancouver so I think there is a lot to learn for French students. If they are extraverted and willing to experience some new things I think they will really learn a lot.”