Caroline Tenden Stormorken
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
I have some experience within finance and banking. The most relevant experience was probably having my own small scale social enterprise before I started at Imperial College Business School.
Why did you decide to study MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management at Imperial College Business School after completing your undergraduate studies at Imperial?
Firstly, I was very keen on moving back to London. I lived here for one year, six years ago, and loved it. Secondly, Imperial has a great reputation, and I have friends that went here before me that were all very happy with their choice. Thirdly, Imperial College Business School is one of few highly ranked schools that offers an MSc that covers both innovation and entrepreneurship. As I truly enjoy both of these fields, doing a Master’s that only covered one seemed a bit too narrow, especially when you can have both in one programme at Imperial. Lastly, through doing my own research, I found that Imperial has a great entrepreneurship ecosystem, where help is available every step of the way if you are looking to do your own startup. I was considering doing this, which is what made me choose Imperial over other business schools in London.
Did you receive a scholarship?
I received a scholarship for my application and interview, which has been beneficial in many ways other than the obvious. If you receive a scholarship, Imperial encourages you to apply for roles within the Business School, such as Student Ambassador or roles within the Student Staff Committee. This year, I have been both a Student Ambassador and the Academic Leader of my cohort. Even applying for these roles forced me out of my comfort zone, and the application processes are great practice for future job application processes. I have become a lot more confident with public speaking and I believe the roles have allowed me to better get to know the students in my own cohort, but also students across the Business School programmes. It is additional work, yes, but you learn a lot from it and you actually get to have a say in how things are being done at the Business School. In addition, it looks good on your CV!
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?
My favourite aspect of the MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management is definitely the diverse people on the programme. I believe the cohort is unique – we have people from so many different academic and cultural backgrounds, who all have had different experiences. In turn, I would argue you learn just as much from your fellow students than from the academic programme, which is one of the best things about the programme.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module was Venture Capital and Growth Finance. Not only is this extremely relevant when wanting to become an entrepreneur, but it was delivered in a very good and structured way.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
Personally, I would say the most challenging part of the programme has been the amount of group work. Apart from the exams, I do not remember one piece of work we had to do individually, everything is group work. This pushes you out of your comfort zone, allows you to try out your leadership skills and/or follower skills, and in general puts you in a position with people that all have different thoughts about time, effort and methods. This can be hard at times.
How do you describe your cohort at imperial?
Diverse, ambitious and creative.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
I found the consulting workshop with Llewellyn Davis we had before the Consulting Project started very helpful.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
The main benefit is a larger network I would say, consisting of people with different interest and expertise than those within the programme.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My overall career goal was always to work for an organisation that had some sort of positive social impact, and that had a larger vision than simply making money. Through Imperial, we have had guest speakers that work for such organisations, and also briefly covered social enterprises within the Entrepreneurship module. These together sparked my interest and motivation even more, and now I have landed a job for a fantastic Norwegian organisation that definitely has a positive social impact.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
I have received a few job offers since I started the programme, all back home in Norway. In August, I am starting my new trainee position in Oslo, for an organisation called Ungt Entreprenørskap (Junior Achievement). Overall, they work with getting young creative people into entrepreneurship and host yearly competitions for pupil and student led enterprises, to mention some. I had a student led enterprise through them in 2014 and that was what originally sparked my interest in the field. Due to that, it will be fun to sit on the other side of the table and encourage other aspiring entrepreneurs to continue down this route.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Definitely! We have been visiting incubators and accelerators, Tech City, White City Entrepreneurship Lab and WeWork to mention some. I know for certain that some of the students from my cohort have gotten jobs in the companies we visited.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I lived in a private student accommodation in Hammersmith. I ended up here because it seemed to be a vibrant part of the city, with well-connected travel lines, especially to Heathrow Airport. I have been travelling a bit abroad including for job interviews, and getting to the airport is both simple, fast and easy from Hammersmith. In addition, with several tube lines, it is very easy to get around in London.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in London?
I am a big movie enthusiast, so I spend a lot of time watching movies and documentaries. I am also quite outgoing, so I like to go to the pub with friends to watch football, or have a dinner at one of the many cool restaurants London has to offer. Whilst I have had time to travel, a lot of the work you do on the programme is group work. Because of this, I have largely stayed in London to make sure I could contribute to the work as best as possible.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
Some of the benefits are all the opportunities to meet new and diverse people, all the things you can do here in your spare time (parks, museums, football etc.), the weather (at least this year) and you get to practice your English!
Some of the challenges have been learning how to get around. It takes a while to get used to the system, and only having lived in smaller cities, I am still not used to potentially travelling for 40-50 minutes just to go to a restaurant or a class visit. Once you get used to it, is both easy and effective. Make sure you do your research in terms of where you end up living in London. I probably spend 50% of my time at Imperial, and 40% where I live. In turn, I am happy I live in a place that is vibrant, and that has a lot to offer. When I am not up for travelling to do things, it is nice to have both shops, restaurants, pubs and parks within walking distance to where I live. Building on this, on days I do feel like going somewhere, it is very nice to live somewhere with good tube and bus connections. Also, download the Citymapper app! It makes your life a lot easier if you are new to London.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Be yourself throughout the whole application process. If you get in based on that, you know that you will be very well suited to this programme.