“The programme is a great opportunity for international students to experience the vibrancy of the entrepreneurial culture in Switzerland through structured lectures, industrial attachments, entrepreneurship networking events, and lots of travelling.”
I am Jereld Sze, a 3rd year student (Bachelor of Business Management) majoring in Entrepreneurship and Advanced Business Technology (Information Security & Assurance).
I view this immersion programme as a great opportunity for international students to experience the vibrancy of the entrepreneurial culture in Switzerland, which, with outstanding scores in product and process innovation as well as high-growth firms, was ranked second in the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Index. Through the organised lectures, startup attachments and innovation-related events we are to attend, I am confident that we will leave this country much better-equipped to embark on our own pursuits back home.
Just yesterday, the programme participants had our first meeting with the designated supervisors from the companies to which we have been attached, to gain a deeper understanding of the companies and thereafter draw up a roadmap of learning points and projected deliverables for the attachment period. Personally, I met with Dr. Alain Codourey of Asyril, which is a high-tech startup with expertise in robotics and flexible feeding systems, a field which I have had little prior experience with. By the end of the session, I had a much better idea of the company model, and felt much more prepared to dive into the startup attachment, which commences today (17/05).
Beyond the lectures and attachment, I am also extremely keen to meet the local entrepreneurship networks and learn as much as possible. I attended an innovation event centred about sleep-related research, and how sleep can be manipulated in various manners, e.g. to enhance memory or to improve quality of sleep. It was fascinating to watch the demonstrations in the Sleep Lab, and even try out a prototype myself!
In interacting with the other attendees of the event, one major point I noticed was that the University’s Innovation Club did not limit attendance of its activities to members of the university- anyone with an interest in innovation or entrepreneurship was most welcome. Creating a community beyond institutional membership and barriers is something which I feel all interest groups should strive towards, such that more people can learn from one another, facilitating growth within the community.
Of course, another huge benefit of the programme is that we get to travel and explore a multitude of new sights. Having stayed in metropolitan Singapore for the longest time, it is great to have a change of scenery, and the landscapes in Switzerland are simply breath-taking.
In the upcoming 10 weeks or so, I do hope to see more of Fribourg and Switzerland, and hopefully interact with much more of the staff and students of HEG-FR!
As part of a collaboration between HEG-FR and the Singapore Management University (SMU), a team of 11 selected Singaporean undergraduates will be based in Fribourg from May to July 2017 to experience the entrepreneurial culture of Switzerland through classes at HEG-FR and startup industry attachments.