Hello everybody! This is a summary of the second semester for the Bioentreprenurship programme. I did one previously for the first semester: https://studentblogs.ki.se/2019/12/15/5-things-i-learned-studying-bioentrepreneurship-semester-1/ <<—- Read this as well to follow my series of this blogpost.
No programme or studies is perfect and the Bioentrepreneurship is not an exception there. But I am overall happy with the second semester and really feel that I am at the right place at the right time! With that said, here are 5 overall points that I learned from this semester:
1. Product Development
This course was probably the most organised and well thought through course I have ever had in my studies (and I am counting my bachelors too). We performed the whole step by step process of developing a product. That means that we did: ideation (actually coming up with our product), perform a market research, consider the regulatory affairs, consider its intellectual property rights (e.g. patents), calculate finances, and the business aspect of it (make Business Model Canvas – google it) . It was super intense but wow, I learned so much from that course.
We had companies, governmental authorities, consultants and others from Sweden and abroad holding the lectures and workshops during this course helping us along the way while we were developing the product. It was a fantastic experience and opportunity to learn things directly from them.
I definitely learned about the many roles and positions you can work within product development in the life science industry as we got to meet many of them. I could see where I would like to work in the future!
2. Understand the market
Not only did I understand how important it is to do extensive market analysis and research from the product development course to be successful with your product, but we also had a market course (analysis, sales and marketing) fully emphasising on that. There are two overarching ways of considering the market for a product: create a product of interest and “push” it into the market where you think of an excellent market entry strategy. Or, you analyse the market first, find the missing gaps – the needs – and “pull” out a product for that. I prefer the second approach more as I think it is highly relevant for the life science industry. Patients are usually the end-users and my priority should be to create something they need.
The course went also a lot into sales and marketing (basically how you should create selling strategies and how you market you product whether it be digitally or in person).
It was not my favourite course but it definitely gave knowledge and insights you need – it is relevant for almost any kind of position in the life science industry.
3. Distance learning is different from classroom learning
For obvious and understandable reasons it has been online classes for us since 18th March. I miss my class a lot and it has been sad to not have classes together. I am a people-person and need to be surrounded by friends and noise and activity.
But in a way, I have really mastered to discipline myself with self-studies (I previously was a master of procrastination), be more efficient with my time, pay closer attention to the zoom lectures and be more attentive during classes. You are still taking credits and being graded and therefore it was important to stay focused!
But I definitely prefer classroom learning any day.
4. Perfectionism is your worst enemy
If you are trying to excel in you studies, do extra curricular activities, maintain a healthy diet, good physical health while being social and spending time with friends – you are in for a challenge. That is what I was trying to do for a while but it is simply not possible sometimes. Unless you who is reading this can, then I am scared of you. You have to learn to prioritise and compromise certain things and think for yourself: What is the most important for me right now? But also, you should learn to recognise what is the most necessary to do right now?
If it means studying on a Saturday night rather than spending time with friends or if you need to do vice versa (spend more time around people) then make that choice and be happy with it!
5. Practical placements: learn by doing!
We had our first practical placement in the programme and it was incredibly fun. We have final presentations this week so it is now completed! How it works is that you send in your preference of company (small, medium or large) and your preference of field (market analysis, sales, consulting, HR etc) and the course director tries to match every student with those preferences to their best ability. You are paired with someone in your class to perform the placement and that is due to two reasons: create more value for the company as well as enhance the learning experience for both students.
This year it became a virtual practical placement, but for me and my partner – it went as smooth as ever. We maintained close communication with our supervisor through zoom, e-mail and built a comfortable and open collaboration through the placement.
We were working for a company where our project was to investigate and analyse innovation strategies in the life science industry globally. We interviewed many large pharmaceutical companies worldwide, learned deeply about the life science landscape and how companies work with drug development innovation.
We also emphasised a lot on just enjoying the project and its interesting topic while create a network for ourselves.
To conclude, the first year (semester 1 and 2) has definitely been intense and not just from a study perspective. It has had other layers attached to it. Such as getting to know your class (partying, dinners), studying a purely business masters (new way of studying), performing a lot of extracurricular activities and trying to achieve the highest grades. It has been challenging at times and many days of late nights. But it has been worth it.
// Tina 🙂 Blogger for the Bioentrepreneurship Programme
I am studying the Master's in Bioentrepreneurship and will be writing about my courses, my classmates, and the general satisfaction regarding this masters. Being born & raised in Stockholm and previously doing the Bachelor's in Biomedicine at KI, I know more than the average KI student about living in Sweden and the university :) Feel free to contact me: email@example.com