University of Newcastle are offering an undergraduate degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and we asked current student Alex Austin a few questions about the new program.
FN: You’ve done a business degree previously, and now are in your final year of entrepreneurship. What is the key difference between the courses?
AA: I guess the easiest way to explain it is that when you study entrepreneurship you aren’t submitting an assessment and hoping for a high distinction… you’re pitching an idea for seed investment.
It’s so practical. Everything you do is hands on.
FN: So do you need to have a business idea already in mind before you jump into this degree?
AA: No, not at all!
I think a lot of people think that Steve Jobs was just born an entrepreneur… and so it seems really unrealistic to think that you could be next. There is this perception that you need to have an idea for the next i pod already in your head. But what I have learnt is that being an entrepreneur is understanding a business problem and putting a creative lens on it.
FN:What do you learn in the course?
You learn how to structure revenue models for new businesses, you learn how to pitch ideas – about business ethics, it’s a really diverse mix.
FN: What do you like about it?
AA: The practical nature of it, definitely. Newcastle Uni is really good at getting you in front of the right people. We get face time with the decision makers from big corporations and that network and face time is crucial because you get to learn from people with radically different perspectives and experiences than you.
I’m really passionate about the course. I love it, and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in starting their own business, or working
FN: Can you do the course as a standalone degree?
UON: This undergraduate degree must be combined with either a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Creative Industries or Bachelor of Laws (Honours).
FN: Why did you create the course? Where’s the need in the market?
There is a growing demand for professionals with this kind of training. Employers are seeking highly adaptive, ambitious individuals with a willingness to take educated risks and operate both within and outside of large corporate environments.
Entrepreneurial skills and knowledge of innovation processes and how to implement them are just as valued in corporations as they are for business founders.
FN: What’s an example of an assessment that students would complete?
UON: One type of assessable item involves students writing an individual innovation plan, and then working as a group to develop a new business model to address the challenges faced by real-life businesses.
Find out more about studying the Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship combined degree here.