Before I came to Leipzig I got my degree in pharmaceutical sciences and I did a postgraduate study in Marketing in my original country, Colombia. I had managed several projects in the life sciences (pharmaceutical, biotech and medical devices) branches for big companies as well as for SMEs, in the divisions of R&D, sales and Marketing. Going to the University of Leipzig to pursue my MBA-SEPT studies was a decision based on the unique and exclusive curriculum of the program pretending to give insights of the business development, methods and techniques for improving and learning by doing, how to promote and develop business within an international context.
My most important career advancement through the studies was the capability to learn how developed economies incubate businesses and how these Starts-up could be sustainable and competitive. The tools provided during the master program let me to formulate strategies based on market research, strategic thinking and planning in my current position as a Research project manager for a German biotechnological-based company.
Although the program is entirely taught in English, the chance to learn German during the studies, to understand the culture and speak one of the most important languages in the world, is an advantage that qualifies a person in any field of his life. It is a pleasure to enjoy readings of Great thinkers, history or listen to music in the original language.
My two years in Germany as SEPT student were a transformational experience from different points of view. I was exposed to a friendly and multicultural environment where I knew people from different part of the world what enriched my understanding about the diversity of lifestyles, beliefs and values.
This was also an intellectually stimulating place where I had the opportunity to discuss various topics with my professors and colleagues related to innovation, entrepreneurship, globalization and their impact in countries’ economic development as well as to visit institutions like United Nations, BMZ, DIE, DAAD, InWent, among others.
All these experiences opened my eyes to a new world that allowed me to reshape my thinking about my role as university professor in Peru and the impact of my work in my community. Today, I apply what I learned from my SEPT studies doing empirical research in Peruvian SMEs in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and sharing this broader vision with my students.
After having graduated from SEPT MBA program, I was working as a project manager in the Investment and Venture Fund. Now I’m the professor assistant in the Institute of Economics and Finance of Kazan State University and also the leader of the Republican Club of the Talented People “PERSPEKTIVA”.
The most important knowledge I’ve received from SEPT is the business cycle of small and medium company. That’s crucial to know how to find an idea for your small business, how to start a company and successfully run it not only locally, but also internationally.
I would like to stress this point - to successfully run small company on the international level. I believe that many people, having opened small business, have never even thought about the possibility to export their products abroad. But that’s possible! And the theoretical knowledge becomes even more crucial for the career when you receive practical experience from your professors, consultants and the whole program. By implementing modern tools for business idea creation, innovation management, marketing of SMEs, knowledge management in SMEs and many other important topics dealing with small and medium businesses, you receive the crucial background to being successful entrepreneur on the international level or consultant.
I would like to recommend SEPT program for both who wants to be entrepreneur and to be consultant. SEPT gives you all the necessary tools for that.
After completing my studies in Germany, I decided to transform my thesis subject into a real-life business model called Mindesa. I teamed up with another entrepreneur to make this business come to life. Mindesa started as a buying group for small scale grocery stores (abarrotes), is about to become a disruptive player in the Mexican grocery retail market.
The business model we have developed is based on organizing these stores into a franchised chain. Entrepreneurs who realize they cannot survive on their own, transfer their store to Mindesa. Mindesa then renovates and transforms it into a modern retail outlet under the Gudis brand. Once the entrepreneur has finished an on-the-job training in some other Gudis store and masters basic operational skills, he becomes a franchisee (comisionista) in his Gudis store.
It is our objective that an entrepreneur makes more money as a franchisee with us than as independent shopkeeper, while at the same time having social security and being in compliance with tax regulations. We believe that our "don't give them a fish, rather teach them how to fish" approach will create long-lasting benefits and a virtuous cycle.
My MBA-SEPT studies helped me completely visualize the potential to organize and modernize traditional businesses, while creating benefits to all stakeholders involved, and perpetuating long-standing community traditions. I recommend SEPT to everyone interested in getting a full picture of doing business from the "bottom of the pyramid" and up.
The International SEPT Program offers an opportunity to understand entrepreneurship in different countries. In my generation, my colleagues came from all over the world: Tanzania, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia, etc.
This unique feature of the program allows participants to discuss deeply the challenges in promoting small and medium enterprises.The Leipzig University and the professors of this master program guarantee that students will develop skills to achieve a successful career. Besides that, the city of Leipzig is a charming place to live.
Nadia Arévalo Muñoz
As a lawyer with professional experience in the corporate field, I have advised investment projects of Nicaraguan and foreigner of different sectors. I was part of their business development process from the idea conception, creation, legalization and management. I worked for 7 years as a lecturer in business law for the National Public University of Nicaragua (UNAN-Managua). In 2011, considering all these experiences, I decided to go back to being a student and looked for a master´s program which could enhance my knowledge on topics related to development economics, finance and marketing. Fortunately, I found MBA-SEPT and I was awarded with a scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to obtain a MBA degree at the University of Leipzig.
This academic preparation gave me the opportunity to strengthen my analytical skills by discussing projects and strategies with fellow students and experts from various sectors and nationalities. The program is about developing your expertise in your business projects using the tools provided by the professors. I considered my thesis as a unique moment which allowed me to assess the effectiveness of fiscal incentives on the growth of SMEs in Nicaragua. The research involved measuring the impact of legal instruments on the economic behavior applying qualitative methods to capture the complex underlying dynamics.
Actually, I created a blog Caffeine for your Business: www.cafeinaparasunegocio.com. This is a personal project whose main aim is to provide business and legal advices for SMEs. Besides, the website has an additional purpose, which is the promotion of the Nicaraguan products. The multicultural experience living abroad and learning about Germany allowed me to recognize the big opportunities that Latin American SMEs have to tap into the European market.