Aqil Hussain

Aqil Hussain

About you

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

Prior to joining the Imperial College Business School, although I didn’t participate in any formal internships within companies, I had the opportunity to work on various extra-curricular projects alongside my studies. One of which was the Formula Student programme at Queen Mary University of London. As Project Manager of a multidisciplinary team, I was able to learn about the importance of planning and managing an engineering project, which in turn inspired me to undertake my MSc in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management.

Part-time work was also an important aspect of my development, not only because of the extra spending money. It gave me the opportunity to meet people outside of my studies and the potential to learn new things from their different perspectives.

Why did you decide to study MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management at Imperial College Business School?

I decided to undertake an MSc in Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management because coming from an engineering background, I had exposure to various technological advancements being developed on a daily basis within the industry, but I wanted to further develop the understanding of how to bring these advancements to market and make a real impact on the world. The Imperial College Business School is connected to one of the best engineering departments in the world, while also being located in the heart of London, meaning that there are unlimited opportunities, both engineering and entrepreneurial, that can be explored both within London and the university.

I feel that the MSc has been able to complement my engineering background while also giving me an understanding of the business aspects of innovation management, which I hope to develop and grow as my career progresses.

Did you receive a scholarship?

As a scholarship recipient, I was able to get myself involved with more activities within the local community. This included attending more events and having the freedom to meet people for coffee, both students and professionals in industry, which enhanced my experience while undertaking my MSc.

It was a proud moment to receive the scholarship award as I was also able to self-fund my studies, which would not have been possible without the scholarship.

Programme

What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?

I believe MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management introduced me to a new way of thinking with regards to approaching new challenges. The focus on building your network through events held within the university, while also having exposure to the vast number of opportunities available from the Imperial network, was very rewarding.

Particularly being part of such a diverse cohort, I was able to learn a lot from the different academic and cultural backgrounds of my colleagues. I experienced tasks from a multicultural perspective and developed new skills by simply being around my peers, which had a great impact on my personal development.

As I had no previous experience in any of the modules taught in the programme, I was exposed to a variety of new concepts during the programme, meaning that I learnt a lot throughout the year.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

There have been various modules that have been interesting in their own way, I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite! I think Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources Management was an interesting module, as we were required to think about the people aspect within an organisation and attracting the right talent to build a successful business.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

There have been various modules that have been interesting in their own way, I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite! I think Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources Management was an interesting module, as we were required to think about the people aspect within an organisation and attracting the right talent to build a successful business.

People

How do you describe your cohort at imperial?

One of the main reasons why I joined the MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management programme at the Business School was because I knew I would be interacting with a diverse group of people from whom I will have a lot to learn. My cohort had around 34 different nationalities from a variety of academic backgrounds, all with different aspirations. This has allowed me to understand the cultures and the differences in the way people think and work from all over the world. Having lived in the UK throughout my life, as well as having studied a very technical undergraduate degree, meant that I didn’t have many opportunities to have discussions with people from totally different educational and cultural backgrounds. Spending a year with similarly ambitious and talented individuals on my cohort was inspiring and fun. It was also a great chance to bounce ideas between each other and learn new things every day.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

I particularly enjoyed working with Miguel Meuleman as he invited various guest speakers to demonstrate real-life examples while teaching the Venture Capital and Growth Finance module. He was very engaged with the class and consistently gave tips on running your own business. The content was very useful and specifically tailored towards aspiring entrepreneurs like us, which is why he is one of the most memorable lecturers – also he gave out books for contribution in class!

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what did you like the most about working in this type of environment?

By design, working in a group environment requires an open-minded approach to work. The emphasis of group work at Imperial is great preparation for working in a professional environment, where it is key to understand the importance of how others work and coordinating the work being completed. I particularly enjoyed working in a group as I was able to take insights from my colleagues from different backgrounds, and also learn how people have different approaches to work. There are various opportunities to learn, as other members of your team will bring in ideas that you may not have considered when working independently, and the key challenge is to try and implement all of the ideas into the final submission.

Opportunities

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

Simply being an Imperial College London student allows for opportunities to be opened up for you. There is a vast network for both employment options and building personal connections for the future. As an Imperial College Business School delegate, I attended many conferences, including the British Chambers of Commerce Conference, all of which allowed me to learn more about the entrepreneurial environment within the UK. The Enterprise Lab is also a great place to explore and meet new people who are pursuing a variety of different entrepreneurial opportunities.

Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?

The Business School hosts many events throughout the year, particularly workshops conducted by external companies. I attended many of these workshops throughout my year and they were very useful. I believe I learnt a lot from a workshop conducted by Fiat-Chrysler Automotive as this is an industry which I am passionate about due to my previous experiences. I developed skills that will be useful when undertaking assessment centres while also gaining further knowledge of the industry itself. Due to the large number of workshops, events and guest speakers there’s always an opportunity to further develop your knowledge and skills, regardless of the industry that you wish to enter following your programme.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position?

I am currently a Student Ambassador for the programme. I love this opportunity because I get to meet enthusiastic individuals like myself who are about to embark on the journey of undertaking an MSc. I enjoy my role as an ambassador as I am able to give students the information that I wish I had before starting my MSc, while also having the satisfaction of inspiring the brilliant minds of future cohorts. It also allows me to answer questions and directly give feedback to the programme team with possible improvements.

I am also a member of the Formula Student programme at Imperial College London – Imperial Racing Green. Having been a Team Principal and winning awards with the Formula Student team at my previous university, it was interesting to join a new team with a different team culture (something I learnt in my Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources Management module). It was a great opportunity to bring my experience to assist the Imperial College London team and make key improvements to the programme. I was also able to learn from the operational differences between the management of the Formula Student programmes at Imperial compared to my previous university.

How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?

Studying at Imperial allows you to meet very talented individuals every day. Along with this, the alumni network exposes you to various opportunities while there are many initiatives that look towards helping the students to be successful in pursuing entrepreneurial ideas.

London location

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?

I may be slightly biased as I have lived close to London throughout my life, but to me, London is the best city in the world. The culture, career opportunities, nightlife and food, is amazing. As well as developing your career, London is the perfect place for cultural enrichment in all corners of the city, and this is recognised by the big companies who have their key offices here. You never know with whom you will meet and where you will meet them, but there is always something happening. I think being based at Imperial College London, in South Kensington, is a great place to build your network and search for career opportunities.

Tips

Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?

I attended nearly all available information sessions and webinars because I wanted to ensure that this programme was the best fit for my career aspirations and that I could also add value to the Imperial community. I was able to meet the lecturers, staff and the student ambassadors for not only my programme, but also other programmes as well. This gave me an insight into the different MSc options available and also the wider Business School environment. I think attending these sessions allowed me to have an understanding of how best to make use of my time at Imperial, while also giving me confidence that this was the programme that fit my career aspirations.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

Undertaking an MSc is a big commitment and is also very challenging. To ensure you have the most enjoyable experience, make sure you understand your career goals and how the programme fits into you achieving those goals. Participate in as many of the events available within the Business School, because you never know, you might find an exciting opportunity from a simple conversation. Meet as many people as you can and make sure you hit the ground running, research what Imperial has to offer and be proactive! Most importantly, enjoy your time as an Imperial College Business School student. I wish you the best of luck.

Aqil-Hussain

MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management 2017- 18

Nationality: British

Undergraduate Education: Aerospace, Auronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Queen Mary University of London

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