Ciara Gumsheimer joined EDHEC MiM Global Economic Transformation & Technology in 2020 after her Bachelor in Economics. In the course of the curriculum, she grew a deep interest in entrepreneurship. She launched Founders Feature in April 2021.
Written on 01 Jun 2021.
I did my last two years of high school in Ireland. And before that, I was in Germany. So, I studied in different countries, and then for university, I did my undergrad degree, a Bachelor in Economics, at the University of Cambridge in the UK. From there, I applied to EDHEC.
I chose to apply to the GETT, because I decided I wanted to have a business education. I had a degree in Economics and didn't really want to pursue that path any further. I wanted to learn more about business and management. What I loved about the GETT programme was just how international it was and the fact that we would be educated across three continents. It really made it stand out from any other programme that I had seen.
It was actually a bit of a lucky decision. I did have a job offer from an investment bank in London. I was hesitating between starting to work in London or doing the Master. When I got accepted to the GETT, I decided to do the Master.
I'm very happy about this choice because my interests have actually changed since I started the programme. With Economics, I was very much exposed to banking and policy… Since I joined EDHEC, I was exposed to the business world, and many different topics, including entrepreneurship. A topic I grew a deep interest in.
Well, for me because I'm not French, obviously even moving to Paris was a highlight! I loved Paris and I've been multiple times before but that was nice to experience living there. Despite the lockdown, the first two months were just really wonderful and we had some great experiences there.
Beyond that, the biggest highlight was going to Korea. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to go to Korea in the midst of the pandemic. Because of the quarantine restrictions, we couldn't travel outside of Korea but we got a chance to explore every corner of Korea. I went to the East coast, to the South coast, to the West coast, even to the tropical island of Jeju.
The lectures in Paris were very time consuming which I was not used to all because my degree in the UK was quite hands-off, so I went from having an average of five to ten hours of lectures a week in the UK to have an average of five hours of lectures a day. This was a big change but we had a lot of interesting subjects.
France provided the foundation of our Management education because, although I had an Economics degree, I did not study anything related to Management or Accounting. All the topics were new to me. In Korea, we got to specialize in the technology aspects of our degree. We had a course in AI & Machine Learning which was really interesting and I did a course in Marketing Analytics so we actually had to learn to code.
I’m a very big fan of newsletters! Founders Feature is a weekly newsletter, featuring young founders and their startups, explaining what they've learned from their experience. I decided to launch it as a structured interview format to draw upon different responses to the same questions and highlight the founders' experiences and how they can be useful to others.
My interest had really shifted towards entrepreneurship, so I personally wanted to learn more about it and I thought what better way than to contact people and learn about their experiences and then to share what I have learned; it gives me a better reason to actually get in touch with all these interesting people. I was also very used to being highly involved with university clubs and societies and just being very busy besides my degree, so I wanted an extra project. I started talking to people in February 2021 and launched the newsletter in April.
It's also a great personal learning experience. It's so fascinating seeing what people my age and younger or a little bit older are being exposed to when starting their company. It also opens you up to different ideas of what could be possible.
In line with this newfound interest in entrepreneurship, I will do both of my internships in Berlin. I lived there for many years, so I wanted to go back. I will do my first internship in a startup and the second one in a Venture Capital firm. I want to explore both sides of the entrepreneurship space: the startup and investment sides.
Then, I will go to Berkeley for the final year. I'd love to take advantage of our opportunity to start my own startup through my Master’s project. I do see myself founding a company sometime in the future. I just don't know whether that'll be then or a few years later once I find the right idea.