Dan Branston was already an undergraduate at The University of Leeds when he applied to study for an MSc at the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES). As a Biology student, he’d gained strong experience in laboratory work and theory, but felt he needed to be better equipped for the working world.
Dan knew the University of Leeds was the place he wanted to continue his studies but was unsure of his future plans. In February 2018, he attended the Leeds University Business School (LUBS) open day and spoke with Dr Stephen King, the Masters in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme Leader. ‘Steve was so down-to-earth and approachable,’ says Dan. ‘He took a genuine interest in my business idea, brewing beer, which I’d begun to do using my biology knowledge and at-home brewing equipment. I rang him for a chat after the event and knew in one conversation that his course was the right one for me.’
Jesha Effendie had begun learning what it takes to build a business through her Public Relations course in Indonesia. After graduating and working in HR, she set up a social enterprise. However, she knew CEES could help her learn more about making this family business, and her own future plans, a success. ‘The Masters in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship really stood out as unique. No other universities seemed to have an academic entrepreneur centre, CEES, and student start-up support service, Spark, which offer the balance between theory and the practical world,’ says Jesha.
Throughout their modules the University of Leeds have supported Dan and Jesha’s entrepreneurial ideas. Dan’s Research and Enterprise Consultancy project saw him demonstrate concepts for launching an interactive survey app to market. Jesha’s study of the high growth education business, Twinkl, founded by a university alumni, Jon Seaton, allowed her to look at how the business, which develops educational resources for schools could enter a new market. Jon is also an Enterprise Ambassador for the University of Leeds. In this role, he voluntarily provides business mentorship and advice to students who take an Enterprise module.
The MSc also gave Jesha the opportunity to speak on a social enterprise panel. ‘It was an incredible experience and an honour to be asked,’ Jesha says. ‘I was able to share the stage with a brilliant lecturer, Steve Curry, talking to an audience of people who were involved with, or wanted to start out in, enterprise. Without the programme at CEES, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity.’
‘The University of Leeds is hugely popular in Indonesia,’ says Jesha. ‘LUBS was recommended to me by others who’ve studied here before: I looked at a range of courses, and CEES seemed quite unique. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I’ve made great introductions into the business world and strong LinkedIn connections alongside my studies.’
Dan is also full of praise for the CEES postgraduate course. ‘Other courses seem less hands-on, and more theory-based. This has been a practical business course, with hugely supportive lecturers at a great university. Prior to the course, I’d learnt a lot in a lab but didn’t have anything business-related that I could share in a job interview. Now, I’ve had some truly hands-on experience: I can talk about my direct consultancy work straight out of university.’
Learn more about our MSc Enterprise and Entrepreneurship programme here or please see our website