Getting More by Going All-in-One: A New Venture into Transforming Mindsets and Accelerating Ideas into Solutions

20 December 2021 — On paper, Nadim Zaro had done everything right. He had done well in his undergraduate studies, graduating with a degree in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence from Royal Holloway, University of London. However, there was a nagging uneasiness in him. As he looked out for job opportunities in the industry that he had been trained for, he wondered if he could stand being stuck behind a desk and a computer in a laboratory for the rest of his career. He itched for something more.

He joined the Royal Holloway Enterprise Hub and won the Royal Holloway Entrepreneurship Award in 2019 and since then, the native of Jordan had felt the urge to strike on his own, to seek novel solutions to problems, to feel the thrill of doing something new, and to experience more of the world. Then, he happened across the Master of Science in Venture Creation (MSc in Venture Creation) programme offered by the National University in Singapore (NUS).

A More International Experience
Nadim’s desire to gain a wide range of real-world knowledge and experiences was a key motivation that drove him to travel 7,000km across six time zones before finally setting foot on the tropical shores of Singapore.

“Singapore offers several advantages when it comes to learning more about and getting a richer experience of Asia,” he shared, pointing out that, as a regional hub, the island nation is well-connected to many other countries.

Nadim Zaro
He found that NUS offered similar access to international perspectives, with professors and students from all over the world—China, India, South East Asia, Americas and even Europe. This observation was also borne out in the MSc in Venture Creation programme, where modules feature business cases drawn from such illustrious globally recognised institutions as the Harvard Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In Nadim’s eyes, Singapore, NUS and the MSc in Venture Creation all offered an international experience in one attractive package.

A More Rounded Education
Nadim was familiar with the lore surrounding start-ups. The media often featured stories of eager young entrepreneurs setting out with no more than a dream or idea to solve a problem (often from their parents’ basement or a small rental apartment), creating solutions that hit the jackpot, and turning everyone involved into millionaires and hotshot tech moguls. The stories were sexy, but the reality was that nurturing a successful start-up required a mix of technical skills, business knowledge, and market savvy.

Traditional academic programmes—such as ones focused solely on engineering, marketing, management, or finance—did not cover the gamut of competencies that aspiring entrepreneurs needed. In this respect, a multidisciplinary programme, like the MSc in Venture Creation from NUS, would offer more value.

Drawing from the expertise of six different schools, the MSc in Venture Creation stood out as an immersive graduate degree programme that combined experiential learning with the academic rigour of one of the top universities in Asia and the world.

NUS UTown students walking

A More Customised Curriculum
The MSc in Venture Creation is specifically designed to nurture aspiring entrepreneurs. It aims to transform mind-sets and accelerate the translation of ideas into solutions, providing its students and graduates with opportunities to receive mentoring in business development, access NUS technologies, as well as network internationally. As a student, Nadim particularly enjoyed several modules offered by the programme.

  People Strategy   focused on real-world applications, giving him an opportunity to put his classroom learning to use in an actual project on Shell, one of the largest multinational companies in the world.

  Digital Transformation   allowed him to gain insights into the latest strategies being adopted by companies to meet technological challenges in the real-world. The course addressed a number of hot topics (including Industry 4.0, digital supply chain, cybersecurity, biotechnology, medical technology, and financial technology), while also giving students the chance to tap into the knowledge and experiences of guest speakers from companies like Google, Rainmaking and Standard Chartered.

  Big Data and Business Strategy   looked closely into case studies about cybersecurity, medical technology, and financial technology, exploring how data from these industries could be monetised.   New Venture Creation   and   Lean Startup Practicum   meanwhile offered opportunities to get hands-on with and delve further into both the operational and business aspects of starting a new company. During the practicum, Nadim and his classmates conducted a lot of research on patents and intellectual property (IP), interviewing IP professionals, technology managers, and engineers to learn from their wide-ranging experiences in emerging technologies.

A More Exciting Future
Nadim is confident that the skills and knowledge he is picking up from the MSc in Venture Creation programme will serve him well in the future. Already, he has a few options in mind about where to take his career after he completes his Master’s Degree. He has an interest in digital transformation—specifically when it comes to the industrial or energy sectors—and also in investments, but would consider a role as a technology consultant or a product manager too. It may come as a surprise that he has no plan to set up his own start-up upon graduation. He shares that he is not the only person with this thinking among his cohort.

NUS UTown grass patch

“Some of my classmates want corporate jobs; they have been clear about this from the start. However, they still enrolled in this programme because it trains them in people skills, as well as business and investment fundamentals.”

However, this does not mean that Nadim does not ever intend to establish his own company.

“I am inspired by the ventures expanding into space exploration, such as Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and SpaceX. I am also inspired by advancements being made in health technologies, gaming, and industrial data processing.”

Certainly, Nadim has lofty dreams and goals. With the MSc in Venture Creation, he has seized the opportunity to open up various pathways for himself and explore a range of possibilities for the future. In time, perhaps he will be able to look back, and say he has achieved all his ambitions—and more.

To find out more about the NUS MSc in Venture Creation click here.

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20 December 2021