|Semester & Location:||
Summer 2022 - DIS Copenhagen
|Type & Credits:||
Internship - 3 credits
Business, Entrepreneurship, Consulting
Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Europe (Summer Session 1)
|Kristian B. Knudsen, CFA - email@example.com|
Susanne Goul Hovmand - firstname.lastname@example.org
|Time & Place:||
Startups in Copenhagen + DIS + various
Over the course of your 6 week stay in Copenhagen, you will get an opportunity to work closely with a Danish Startup, and to experience first-hand what challenges young companies are struggling with in getting their products and services to market.
The internship will both focus on the specific challenges faced by your assigned startup, and its competitors in their respective spaces, but also very much on your own personal journey into the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Furthermore, the internship will give you the opportunity to build a network in Denmark, and to transfer some of your learnings and observations to the venture that you are building in the core course.
Over the past several years starting your own company is increasingly seen as a legitimate and viable option available to college students. In most universities and business schools entrepreneurship courses are being developed, and student engagement in the community is encouraged. This summer program should be seen as an extension of this global trend.
The appeal of the entrepreneurial lifestyle is very often based on stereotypes and preconceived notions based on success stories and dreams about the free and creative life, where one is free from self-serving bosses, corporate politics, formal dress codes, constraining cubicles and repetitive tasks. Who wouldn’t want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg?
The truth is however that the likelihood of success with a new startup is small, the working hours long, the pay limited, and the insecurity very tangible. Added to this one could say that the startup culture, which is often put in opposition to the constraining corporate culture, is not as easy to navigate as it seems. Virtually everything about the startup environment is different than the corporate environment. Where the corporate model is about efficiencies and execution, the entrepreneurial model is about business model search, constant iteration, and “managed chaos”. One requires a certain kind of resilience and attuned networking skills to excel in this environment. This is an important part of what this internship will expose the students to.
Learning objectives of the internship
By the end of this internship you will:
- Be familiar with the practical challenges of working in a startup setting
- Have a balanced view of the pros and cons of working in a startup environment vs. a corporate environment
- Have an understanding of the structure of the space that your startup is operating in, its competitive landscape, and changing dynamics
- Be aware of how to add value to your assigned startup by leveraging your academic strengths, your personality, and your personal network
- Have experience working in a startup environment characterized by fluid job descriptions, changing priorities, flat hierarchies, and high requirements on flexibility and engagement
- Have experience with the difficulties in managing time and expectations, negotiating trade-offs, and prioritizing tasks in an ever-changing environment
- Know to take on multiple roles and manage a fluid job description
- Be able to reflect on your personal abilities, and your self-efficacy as an entrepreneur
Kristian Bernt Knudsen is a member of the International Business and Global Economics faculty at DIS.
On top of his teaching duties with DIS, Kristian owns and manages a number of companies. He is the Owner and Managing Director of a boutique style business consulting company, providing advisory on investment, financing, and strategic matters. Furthermore, he handles his own Private Equity company and has among other portfolio investments recently acquired a watch-and-fashion company.
Prior to this, Kristian has progressed his career through 15+ years into accomplished executive leadership positions combined with financial and strategic advisor roles while working internationally in highly esteemed public and private equity companies in various industries.
Kristian is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder and holds a Masters degree in Finance/Management from the University of Aarhus, Denmark.
Phone: +45 28102441
Texts and resources
Various, which will be posted on Canvas.
Approach to teaching & expectations of the students
This internship is made up of time at your assigned start-up (up to 20 hours per week), as well as regular reflection and feedback sessions. The majority of the learning will take place in your interaction with your startup.
The reflection and feedback sessions will primarily be to frame the real-life experience. This will be done on two levels: (1) framing the content of your experience through an introduction to the different startups, their competitive landscape, and challenges, and (2) framing your personal journey through status reports and peer-to-peer workshops where you can share your experiences, and give each other advice.
The startups with whom we will be partnering fall into many different categories, both tech, and non-tech. You will be matched based on your interest and profile. There will typically be one, two or three students assigned to each startup.
You will be required to contribute up to 20 hours per week to the startup, and to manage this time efficiently. Your exact function will be determined on a case by case basis, and in dialogue with the startup. It is important that you are proactive, and take part in determining your tasks, setting expectations, and deciding on the tangible output to be expected at the end of the program. Since startups are not (yet) corporations, you should not expect a set schedule, and guided supervision. These functions are simply put not available at this early stage of company growth. HR departments, and industrial working hours, are NOT what characterize startups. In other words, it will be up to you, and your interpersonal skills to forge out a place for yourself in the startup, and to make yourself useful to the best of your abilities. The engagement with the startup will be a combination of physical presence at their office facilities (if applicable), remote collaboration, and possible participation at networking events and sales meetings.
Percentage of final grade
Performance assessment by the company (The grade will be given after feedback from the assigned company)
Detailed 'job description', time-log, blog, project management (approved by your company), and final report
To be eligible for a passing grade in this class you must complete all of the assigned work.
Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:
The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
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