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Student review

Gioia Lelli

'If you're thinking about starting your own business, I believe your Master’s is the time to do so'

Gioia Lelli (Switzerland)

'Wanting to become an entrepreneur myself, it was not difficult to find the right study for me. In fact, my choice was made very easily. First of all, it was very important to me to study in a city that has an entrepreneurial environment/ecosystem. Also, I was looking for an open-minded city where people with crazy ideas are welcome. Secondly, I did not want to study only “academic literature”, I also wanted to put my hands on a real project and learn in practice. Additionally, I wanted to find a study where I will expand my network and find like-minded students who are eager to change the world by implementing new (social-) business ideas. And last but not least, the benefits that the University of Amsterdam offered, and its great reputation convinced me to not look further and directly apply for the master Entrepreneurship. Looking back, it was the best choice for me personally.'

'The programme has definitely met my expectations. The Master's programme offers a huge diversity in courses (e.g. social enterprises, finance or entrepreneurial skills, etc.). The course I enjoyed most (next to the Venture Challenge), was the Startup Project. Here you had the opportunity to form a team, brainstorm about a business idea and launch it within the next 2 months. The course was hosted by Bammboo, a Growth Marketing Agency. (Free tip: you can also ask questions about your own business in the breaks, make use of this!) It was a great opportunity to understand how easy you can test an idea, how important teamwork is, and how fast you can build a website and push it. Especially the final presentations were very entertaining, as you could see what your classmates came up with (and some ideas were super creative). The winner of the course could pitch it to real investors and won a start capital and received a free office at the co-working space The Nursery.
Next to the courses, I enjoyed my classmates the most. The majority was very entrepreneurial and open-minded, had working or had already set up their startup! Exactly the network that I was looking for!'

'Studying at the Amsterdam Business School is great. People are really helpful (there is a student help desk that helps you with any sort of problem), the library is very spacious (if there is no corona or exam period, you will always find a place to work) and the building is very modern. You have wifi everywhere, good coffee places around the corner, and many activities to join (don't miss the introduction event). Every building I had classes in, was in the middle of the city centre and easily to reach (another tip: get yourself a bike! This is an absolute must).
I have enjoyed my time at the Amsterdam Business School very much and I am sure you will as well!'

'I can assure you, Amsterdam has something to offer to everyone. It is by far my favourite city to live, study, and enjoy life in. The parks, canals, and buildings give you a very warm “home” feeling. Every day you can take the bike and easily go from 1 point of the city to the other. The daily life and nightlife have a lot to offer regarding events, possibilities to eat out and entertain yourself. Don't worry about this!
The Amstel is a beautiful river crossing the city. You can sit on its banks with your friends and enjoy a beer. If you fancy the beach, it only takes 20 minutes by train to reach Zandvoort aan Zee. Last but not least, Amsterdam has many green parks to enjoy a simple run or try out some skating.
You might have heard that it rains a lot... True! Very true! But that does not shut down the city. People still do everything, but then in raincoats. And that is the beauty of it. There is always something to do.'

'Before starting the Master’s I worked as a business development executive for 2 years . Because I wanted to follow the Master's programme, my company allowed me to lower my working hours from full time to 20 hours a week. During the courses, I also started my own company. It was a very busy time, but in the end, if you coordinate well and stick to the plan, it is definitely doable. Another tip: I highly recommend making use of the free time you have during your study year. Also, if you're think about starting your own business, I believe this is the time to do so. You get a lot of support from the coordinators, motivated people (maybe your future co-founders?) while working in an entrepreneurial environment. I found great co-founders, a supportive environment, and many useful resources I could use.'

'After the programme, I will still be working for companies as an employee and as a freelancer until my own business has developed properly. The goal is that one day my co-founders and I can live from it. I am aware that it will take some time, however, I am positive that 1 day we will succeed. And if not, (free tip again) I know that the next opportunity already lies around the corner.'